The Open Road Ahead
It's a delight to debut column-wise in one of my favorite magazines, a journal that has remained finely focused since March 1994. Over the years, we've seen many computer publications falter or fade as they sought faithful readers and fickle advertisers in the face of an ever-volatile industry. There has always been a broad spectrum of editorial targets with “content-addressed” titles, ranging from the cosmic general (Wired) to the minutely specialized (printf() Daily). By “content-addressed”, I mean the magazine title aims both to capture (figuratively) the themes to be addressed and to capture (factually) a viable market segment. The old signifier-signified problem has oft raised its intractable transient-fashion semantic head.
Consider the demises of Datamation (why does this sound archaic, in spite of recent data-centric resurrections?) and BYTE (the once “in” term, with a matching chain of Byte shops, encapsulating the 1980s thrill of affordable, personal computing, but now worth a few mundane bits). Some publications have survived with brash, broad names such as Computer Weekly, a title that was quite content-specific in the 1960s but nowadays reveals only its frequency. Others have gone for “insider” titles. Thus, unless you already knew, Dr. Dobb's might at first glance appear to be yet another paternal self-health advisory. (Some Dobb's fans may say “indeed”.) Mostly, though, it's an upfront WYSIWYG world (What You Subscribe to Is What You Get). If you pay through the nose for MSDN [Microsoft Developer Network] News, that's what you'll get: the current designation, security vulnerabilities, APIs-du-jour, and ETAs for NT 5.0. (To be fair, Dr GUI does offer “work-arounds” to the baffled with non-corporate aplomb.)
There's no shortage of drop-dead titles that strutted bravely but briefly and are heard no more. I wrote evangelically, no one more, for OS/2 Magazine until it succumbed-- not for want of reader devotion (they screamed “Stan, say it isn't so...”) but for IBM's own lack of commitment and the natural ensuing reluctance of the advertisers.
Then we have the fascinating name-change phenomenon. Reacting to those restless, highly paid “demographers” who filter your blatant reader-response fibs through a statistically stunted spreadsheet, the publisher-suits are often convinced that the titular temperature needs a tweak. (Consultant Axiom #1: It's difficult, alas, for the client to ignore expensive advice.) Whether the content should change to reflect the “hotter” title is a tricky problem. Too dramatic a shift in both is rather like a new magazine launch and everything that entails. Instructive exemplars abound: Computer Language moved fairly gracefully to the less “technical” Software Development with an appropriate content-drift toward the bland. (Its “Peopleware” articles are notorious for their vacuous “Cook Until Done” recipes: “Create a well-formed plan before you start coding, and don't forget to select the best-possible team for your project...”) Similarly, following the trend set by Clemens Szyperski's Component Software—Beyond Object-Oriented Programming (Addison-Wesley/ACM Press, 1998) [Reference 1], SIGS's Object Magazine traveled “beyond” to become Component Strategies. This advance was cut short by another popular name-changing influence: the publishing trade's agglutinative propensity. Following one of those hard-to-keep-up-with takeovers (not to be confused with those equally baffling “strategic alliances”), Component Strategies has been newly “folded” into Application Development Trends. Presumably, this title allows the tracking of SE (Software Engineering) fashions beyond mere components. An interesting counter-example, where the content has been fashionably “enhanced” without a title change, is C/C++ Users Journal that now carries a regular column and even detached supplements on...shock-horror...drum-roll...Java! Recall that the earlier post-incremental title update from C Users Journal still triggers irate reader mail. Likewise, for complex “space-precludes” reasons, we've seen the long-going (1983) UNIX Review, outliving all its UNIX rivals [Reference 2], moved by market forces to (1998) UNIX Review's Performance Computing and now, as I write, to simply Performance Computing.
Meanwhile, Linux revives the old UNIX “Live Free or Die” spirit of the 1970s. The only Open Road beckons. Linux Journal leads the way. And lest we become too hyper-serious, browse http://www.gnu.org/fun/ and my next column!
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide