The move to Linux, stymied by hardware
With news today of Windows 7 being made available in no less than six different versions, it is getting harder and harder to not move lock, stock, and PGP key to Linux on a full time basis. Except…
For decades, I have listened to my father gripe about the computer industry and their inability to standardize on hardware. This has bitten me on occasion, especially when playing RAM bingo in the late 90s, but currently the hardware issue is affecting my ability to move to Linux. I have a laptop. It is my primary desktop, terminal server, packet platform, entertainment centre and core of my electronic world. It is commodity hardware. It has a wireless card that is not Linux friendly. It is a Marvell Topdog 802.11 a/g/n.
I originally tried to load Fedora Core 8 on this machine and it failed miserably because of the lack of wireless support. Turns out there were a couple of other chips in there that came out of the Marvell plant as well that just made using Linux a non-starter. All the components have to work, not 80% of them, so I loaded Vista and was content do run my Linux in a VM when I needed to use it, sure in the knowledge that someone would crack the code. That was two years ago and I really never got around to looking up a solution.
A little searching this morning shows that there have been advances. There are hacks using the NDIS driver under Ubuntu to make the card work, but I have not seen any articles on a native driver in the Linux distributions for it. There is a driver on the Marvell site for Yukon devices that is listed as running under Linux 2.6-Fedora but I have not had the time to try it, so I cannot affirm that it works. If you have tried it, please let me know your results.
Moving to Linux should not be a difficult task. I should be able to walk into any big box store, slap down my $300 for a laptop or desktop and walk out. I should not be stymied by hardware. But the sad news is that it is getting harder, instead of easier. I should not have to look up the chipset of every component in the box and compare it to a list of approved hardware. I should not have to keep a list of approved Linux hardware vendor websites book marked. A Personal Computer should run whatever operating system I need. We are getting close to that point, but we are not quite there yet.
Maybe this weekend I will get around to moving to Linux on this machine, but, more likely, I will wait for my next PC.
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.
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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