Adaptability and Ingenuity
Currently, my web article inbox is full of articles that reflect one of the tenets of the open-source philosophy—doing it yourself. Sometimes, however, we aren't doing things ourselves because we want to, but because it's our job and someone else waited too long to do his or hers. Other times, we are forced to find some way to pull it all together or watch as the whole process grinds to a halt. Out of necessity comes ingenuity, and that's most likely to be true if you're adaptable, which is one of the reasons why knowledge of Linux can be such a handy tool in your arsenal. From the articles I've seen lately, it seems that if you know Linux and open source, people are coming to you for help whether you want them to or not.
In “Installing Slash for a Private Project” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6674), Paul Barry shares his tale of finding a way for an academic department to schedule meetings, decide on topics and record opinions and responses. To meet the department's asynchronous needs, Paul chose to use the Slashdot framework, Slash, installed locally. His article walks readers through the setup process, including installing the database back end, Apache with mod_perl support and all their dependencies. As always, Paul is humble enough to share his mistakes so you can avoid making the same ones.
If you're a system administrator, one of the most frustrating parts of your job may be dealing with people who expect you to reinvent the wheel on a day's notice. In “Configuring a Virtual Server Instance for Quick Recovery” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6531), Jeffrey McDonald explains how he took advantage of VMware's disk modes, in both the server and workstations, to provide a new development/test environment in a day and a half. As he says, “It's cool to be able to run multiple instances of virtual servers on a single Linux host server, but easily being able to manage or back out changes to the OS and applications within the virtual server instances is even cooler.”
On the other end of the do-it-yourself spectrum, in a place we might call fun, is music—specifically, the theremin. Almost everyone wants to play some sort of instrument well. I'm still mad at my five-year-old self for refusing piano lessons. But the theremin offers us all a chance to make music in one of the most unique ways imaginable. To make it even easier, Seth David Schoen offers the “Poor Man's Theremin” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6597), which “turns a laptop computer with an 802.11b card into a theremin-like instrument, using the signal strength reported by the card to control the pitch of a note”. Your coworkers and friends may complain, but at least they'll leave you alone for a while.
The weather is starting to break here in Seattle; we've already had a couple of those clear sunny days that exist to let you know there is more than work in life. So while we encourage everyone to take a break from the screen and keyboard—get crazy and go outside—we thank you for sharing all your stories and wait to see what you are up to next. Keep us posted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heather Mead is senior editor of Linux Journal.
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!
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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