TuxTops Obsidian N30W
Linux support is where TuxTops really shines. The folks at TuxTops are real-life Linux users, not just suits who saw some advantage to offering “Linux for the weirdos”. The folks at TuxTops know and use Linux, and they know and use their own products, so when you ask a support question they can answer it from personal experience. The test laptop came with an unofficial Red Hat 6.2 release pre-installed and configured to take advantage of the Laptop's hardware. All of the hardware drivers are pre-installed, as is the XFree86 configuration file for the LCD display. The first time you boot your TuxTops Obsidian, you are asked to supply some basic information to configure features such as networking. After that, the system will always boot into an X11-based login screen.
Also included was a bootable CD-ROM with Red Hat and several laptop-specific RPM packages ready for installation. Reinstalling Linux is as easy as booting from the CD and acknowledging the repeated warnings that you will lose all Linux files on the hard drive. Unfortunately, there is no way to specify how the hard drive will be partitioned, or which partitions will be formatted, so you will always have a large /home partition with new files on it. This reduces the value of having a /home partition at all.
The biggest problem with the Red Hat installation was actually the lack of choices when installing it. TuxTops installs the software you need, and the result is a laptop where everything that can work, works, but a lot of the choices have been taken away. The default desktop is GNOME, and while KDE is installed there is no option to make it the default-user environment. Likewise, there are very few choices about how the rest of the system is installed and what software is used.
The folks at TuxTops report that by the time this article is in print they will be offering a wide range of Linux distributions pre-installed on the Obsidian and all of their laptops. I didn't have a chance to try out any of the other distributions, but if they are as well configured as the Red Hat installation, TuxTops will make a lot of people who want or need other distributions happy.
The review laptop came in a dual boot configuration with Red Hat and Microsoft Windows98. The Windows installation was about as bare bones as you will find in a computer. The operating system was installed, but there was no user software—no office suite, no DVD player software, nothing but Windows. This makes sense from a company that really isn't trying to sell Windows at all, but you should be aware that if you buy a dual boot system, you will need to add your own software to make the Windows installation useful.
The TuxTops Obsidian provides top-of-the-line performance, great expandability and great support at a price that is a lot lower than nearly identical hardware from other vendors. If you are looking for a desktop replacement system or a highpowered laptop, it is hard to go wrong with the TuxTops Obsidian.
Born at the beginning of the microcomputer age, Jon Valesh (email@example.com) has pushed and been pushed by computers his entire life. Having run the gamut from games programmer to ISP system/network administrator, he now occupies himself by providing technical assistance to ISPs and small businesses whenever his day job doesn't get in the way.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
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.
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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