Happy Birthday Ubuntu

I see from various news articles from yesterday that Ubuntu reached 5 years old yesterday. An honest and deep felt congratulations from a Red Hatter. Working on a release is hard work and any organization that reaches 5 years has gone through a lot of different pains. While I disagree on a couple of issues (proprietary drivers mostly .debs slightly) I will say you have accomplished things that I never thought would happen 6 years ago:

  1. Made a Debian release easy to install. The power that Debian has in its .debs was quite a beast for a lot of new people. [I think I had 8 failed installs before I got one to complete before I went crazy... not to other people.. do not use install instructions from SuperExperts who like to tweak or know about every option]
  2. I believe you helped Debian into becoming a faster release cycle (though its up to a lot of debate). I remember a lot of Debian people saying it was just impossible for that to happen due to the internal debate societies.. and your time-based made it possible for them to see how it could be done (in a smaller way).
  3. Focused on a market (the new or naive user) that was under-served by many of the distributions making them compete stronger or know that was not an area they didn't want to go into.
That all said.. expect a lot of competition over the next 5 years :).


Yaakov Nemoy: Emotions Rising

Yaakov Nemoy: Emotions Rising

Mssr Nemoy,

I think it is because humans for some reason have less error tolerance in their brain for sound than eyesight. You can mess with a visual signal in many ways and people can make out what is there or even find the odd vision effects temporarily pleasant.

Messing with sound seems to cause discomfort and pain. The brain knows something is wrong and will activate various fight or flight mechanisms. This effect is more acute in some people (audiophiles who find discomfort in listening to a CD versus a live performance or a record because they aren't getting signal their brain is expecting. But for most people just cause drops in sound or change it and you will see that they will start showing anxiety.


Fedora 11 + Lenovo T500 + Avocent Switchview

equals no video on startup... for some reason. It is some combination of all three hardware bits.. not sure exactly what to do about it though. My first set of problems seemed to be BIOS settings. On first connecting the monitor directly to the laptop I got no detection or startup except every few reboots. I then went into the T500's BIOS to assume a VGA out and some other flags. That has gotten it to work directly most of the time.

Going through the Avocent at startup always ends up with no video so I have to plug the monitor in directly and then everything back into the switch to get it to continue to work. I got it to work once through the avocent but got this kernel oops.

[drm:i915_gem_object_unbind] *ERROR* Attempting to unbind pinned buffer
------------[ cut here ]------------
WARNING: at drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915_gem_tiling.c:473 i915_gem_set_tiling+0x4ba/0x52c [i915]() (Not tainted)
Hardware name: 2241B36
failed to unbind object for tiling switchModules linked in: fuse ipt_MASQUERADE iptable_nat nf_nat rfcomm bridge stp llc bnep sco l2cap sunrpc ip6t_REJECT nf_conntrack_ipv6 ip6table_filter ip6_tables ipv6 cpufreq_ondemand acpi_cpufreq freq_table dm_multipath kvm_intel kvm uinput arc4 snd_hda_codec_conexant ecb snd_hda_intel pcspkr snd_hda_codec iwlagn i2c_i801 firewire_ohci sdhci_pci sdhci joydev ricoh_mmc snd_hwdep uvcvideo mmc_core iwlcore firewire_core snd_pcm ata_generic yenta_socket lib80211 iTCO_wdt rsrc_nonstatic iTCO_vendor_support crc_itu_t mac80211 thinkpad_acpi videodev rfkill hwmon snd_timer v4l1_compat v4l2_compat_ioctl32 snd soundcore wmi snd_page_alloc pata_acpi cfg80211 btusb e1000e bluetooth xts gf128mul cryptd aes_x86_64 aes_generic dm_crypt i915 drm i2c_algo_bit video output i2c_core [last unloaded: microcode]
Pid: 2134, comm: Xorg Not tainted #1
Call Trace:
[] warn_slowpath_common+0x95/0xc3
[] warn_slowpath_fmt+0x50/0x66
[] i915_gem_set_tiling+0x4ba/0x52c [i915]
[] ? i915_gem_set_tiling+0x0/0x52c [i915]
[] drm_ioctl+0x21d/0x2e9 [drm]
[] ? avc_has_perm+0x6b/0x91
[] ? do_sync_write+0xfa/0x14b
[] vfs_ioctl+0x7e/0xaa
[] do_vfs_ioctl+0x46c/0x4c3
[] sys_ioctl+0x65/0x9c
[] system_call_fastpath+0x16/0x1b
---[ end trace 152ab49aad65c390 ]---

My guess is that there is something in the kernel driver that is not getting the right signal detection and the X11 code says no monitor is hooked up.. so we aren't able to connect to it via system-config-display or the new X widget tool.

Well on the good news.. I can now get my two test boxes working via the monitor/keyboard so my wires went down.. I just have to play around when I start the laptop up.


Sites for Open Curriculums

So today I was helping out at the elementary school computer lab and realized that a big help there would be an open set of lesson plans for teachers and education assistants as many states provide somewhere between nil and nothing for elementary schools on this. So I got home all eager and had massive Google failure... what? huh? no one has thought of this (no I need to type slower and spell things better than Google's guesses.) So I sent an email to Greg DeKoenigsberg as he has been doing a lot in this arena... and in 2 minutes I got an answer to where I am going to be trying to help out on:

Hopefully I will remember to blog more about them in the future :). Thank you very much for the links Greg!


Creating Drama, Fedora Style

One knows that a release is occurring soon in a software project by the amount of 'Drama' that occurs on mailling lists or inside of cubicles (if your software company is inclined to be old school like that). Soap opera's can be written on the things that happen as people try to release tension from bad packages, non compilable code, bugs that refuse to co-operate, and schedules that do not slide enough.

Now such problems do occur in all work-places but I think software people seem more like their Opera's are written by Gilbert and Sullivan than Wagner. The developer who sleeps with his co-workers wife somehow turns on the PA system in the closet and broadcasts it across the workplace. The top developer who goes into a tirade about poor coding practices and then finds out in the middle that he was the one who wrote the problem code. The manager who decides who will be let go after the release by throwing darts at the org chart.

In general the issue comes up because everyone finds themselves surrounded by alligators, a Predator or two, and a bad case of malaria.. and they aren't sure if they were supposed to drain or restore the swamp. Currently Fedora is going through that (like it has many times before and will happen again in the future most likely.) People are debating "What is the Fedora Project?" to which there is no real answer, but is probably less problematic for harmony than the PA system solution.

Ok so
"What is the Fedora Project?" for me? It is a Project to push new technologies and concepts across the vast Chasm between Innovators/Visionaries and Pragmatists. Some of those technologies will go onto large scale and some will falter and have to go back or just wither away. This project's goal is not to focus on popularity, 'market penetration', or 'winning the desktop wars'. If something that Fedora does becomes an Ubuntu or Windows 8 standard.. thats ok. The goal is to get the various things from 20% to 66% completion... and maybe further.

Does this mean that I don't see Fedora as for being for newbies or not.. no I think it should be that way for people who want to focus on that (and if rules need to be changed to allow that.. make it so.)

[Edited 2009-10-09T00:04+0000 to add:] One should read the blogs with trance music... it makes the discussion much nicer to handle. My first reading was with Type-O Negative which had the opposite effect.]