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Archive for November, 2009

Mobile Phones Freeze our Computers

November 24th, 2009 No comments

Mobile Phones Freeze our Computers

Posted at Australia Post in Blackburn.

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In the Zone, Creating OpenSolaris Zones.

November 22nd, 2009 No comments

I’m really enjoying using OpenSolaris as our server / NAS at home, its a different ball game to Linux but an interesting one never the less. One of the cool features of Solaris are the Solaris  Zones (or Solaris Containers). Zones are an implementation of operating system-level virtualisation where the kernel isolates multiple instances of the user-space available. Something like chroot but so much more. Unlike running under a hypervisor (like VMWare or VirtualBox), Zone’s have very little (if any) overhead.

As I’ve come to realise, because of the way Solaris works in general, you can have multiple (isolated & secure) Zones for each application service exposed by the server – eg. one for Tomcat, one for Glassfish, maybe both Apache 1.3.x and 2.x, MySql, Postgres etc. Whats more, you can limit how much resources these Zones can utilise. They all have their own configuration including network routing (coupled with OpenSolaris Crossbow) and you can make for one kick ass setup that won’t break another area of the operating system.

In the Zones.

Here’s a guide on setting up a new Zone in OpenSolaris, configuring it and booting it.

Me Against the Music, its all in the global zone

When we first install OpenSolaris we’ve already got ourselves into a zone (the parent to all other zones) which is known as the global Zone.

You can find this by trying out the following to list all the available zones on a virgin install of OpenSolaris.

opensolaris# zoneadm list -vc
 ID NAME             STATUS     PATH                           BRAND    IP
 0 global           running    /                              native   shared

The output will be something like above. Now we can go about creating ourselves a zone for playing around in.

When working with zones, we only need to worry about three commands (damn I love that!). The zoneadm command to manage the physical zone, zonecfg command for configuring the zone and zlogin to login to the zone from the global zone.

First we have to do a bit of planning and thinking about what we’re going to do about this zone.

Here are few things to consider:

  • What do you want to run in the zone?
  • Will it need networking and have it exposed outside of the machine?
  • Where will the zone reside on your disk?
  • Would you like to limit the amount of CPUs the zone can see?
  • Would you like to limit the amount of RAM the zone can utilise?
  • Do you want to automatically boot the Zone when OpenSolaris starts?

For this post, we’re going to create a simple Zone (we won’t install anything).

Toxic Zone

Creating a zone we specify a zone to the zonecfg command.

opensolaris# zonecfg -z toxic

You’ll get something like this appearing because teh zone doesn’t exist, thats fine.

toxic: No such zone configured
Use 'create' to begin configuring a new zone.

Then you will be inside the zonecfg configuration.

Lets configure this zone to have the following:

  • Reside in /base/zones/
  • Autoboot with OpenSolaris
  • Shared IP of 192.168.0.24 bound to physical interface e1000g1

Follow me:

zonecfg:toxic> create
zonecfg:toxic> set zonepath=/base/zones/
zonecfg:toxic> set autoboot=true
zonecfg:toxic> add net
zonecfg:toxic:net> set address=192.168.0.24
zonecfg:toxic:net> set physical=e1000g1
zonecfg:toxic:net> end
zonecfg:toxic> verify
zonecfg:toxic> commit
zonecfg:toxic> exit

This will create the configuration, verify, write it and exit. You can verify it was created by running the list command again:

opensolaris# zoneadm list -vc
ID NAME             STATUS         PATH
0 global           running        /
- toxic            configured     /base/zones

Its currently in a configured state, you can read more about the Non-Global State Model in the documentation. Next thing to do is to install the zone – this will get the base packages setup and configured for use.

opensolaris# zoneadm -z toxic install

Everytime, boot her up.

Next lets boot this bad baby up.

opensolaris# zoneadm -z toxic boot

Now if we do a list again we’ll see that our state has changed to running.

opensolaris# zoneadm list -vc
ID NAME             STATUS         PATH
0 global           running        /
- toxic            running        /base/zones

Now we have to configure the zone itself – just like a real machine. For this we use the zlogin command to login to the zone console.

opensolaris# zlogin toxic
[Connected to zone 'toxic' pts/5]
Last login: Sat Nov 21 17:52:43 on pts/5
Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.11      snv_127 November 2008
root@toxic#

After that we’re now in the toxic zone. Anything we do inside here, stays within this zone and won’t affect our global or other zones. But before we continue we really should configure our networking.

First lets modify our /etc/nsswitch.conf file with vi.

...
passwd:     files
group:      files
hosts:      files dns
ipnodes:    files
networks:   file
...

Make sure the hosts entry has dns as above. Next we need to configure the nameservers.

toxic# echo 'nameserver 192.168.0.254' > /etc/resolv.conf

That will create a resolv.conf file with the nameserver which you can get from the global zone as it would be different for everyone:

opensolaris# cat /etc/resolv.conf
nameserver 192.168.0.254

Breath on me, reboot the zone.

Now we can access the networking like the global zone. So you can do a package refresh and update-image too.

toxic# pkg refresh && pkg image-update

If it succeeds we have correctly setup our zone and its ready for use – you may want to reboot the zone however. To do this, exit the toxic console.

toxic# exit
logout

[Connection to zone 'toxic' pts/5 closed]
opensolaris#

Then lets reboot the zone.

opensolaris# zoneadm -z toxic reboot
opensolaris# zlogin toxic
[Connected to zone 'toxic' pts/5]
Last login: Sat Nov 21 17:58:44 on pts/5
Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.11      snv_127 November 2008
root@toxic#

Outrageous, removing the zones.

Now how about removing this zone and trying again? First get out of the zone console and back to your global zone. Issue the halt command to shutdown the zone.

root@toxic# exit
opensolaris# zoneadm -z toxic halt

Once stopped simply remove it.

opensolaris# zoneadm -z toxic uninstall
opensolaris# zonecfg -z toxic delete

You can make sure its gone by using the list command. That’s all there is to it!

Now you can consider yourself, In The Zone.

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Part III: Zeus rebuilt and configured!

November 21st, 2009 1 comment

I’ve spent the last month working with the newly built zeus server which is now powered by OpenSolaris (2009.06).

Here’s my final hardware specifications:

  • CPU: AMD Athlon X2 5050e – 2.6Ghz (45W TDP, AMD-V)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P ( AMD 790X Chipset )
  • RAM: 2x Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (4Gb kit x 2 = 8Gb)
  • Graphics: ASUS 9400GT PCI-Express
  • Hard Disks:
    • rpool – 2x WD740ADFD – 74Gb 10K RPM, 16Mb Cache (mirror’d)
    • tank – 6x WD1002FBYS – 1TB, 7200RPM, 32Mb Cache (raidz)
    • base – 2x WD7500AAKS – 750Gb, 7200RPM, 16Mb (mirror’d)
  • Addon cards:
    • SATA – Silicon Image, Inc. SiI 3132 Serial ATA Raid II Controller
    • NICs – 2x Intel Corporation 82545GM Gigabit Ethernet Controller (e1000g)

I’ve finally managed to get the GA-MA790X-UD4P on the OpenSolaris HCL list – woo! Unfortunately the onboard NIC will not work in the 2009.06 release even though it is detected:

Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller

Maybe in a future release. Make sure you update the BIOS as OpenSolaris may have an issue with the USB controller being ‘mis-configured’ otherwise.

Just for kicks I went to Jaycar and bought myself a power usage meter to measure the watts used by the new boxen (see a review of the Mains Power Meter on DansData).

Old Zeus

  • Idle: 380W
  • Load: 413W

New Zeus

  • Idle: 232W
  • Load: 270W

Nice, with an Intel Atom based server it could go _a lot_ lower, but I’m happy with this.

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Some changes in .NET BCL 4.0

November 21st, 2009 1 comment

I’ve been porting a few products to .NET 4.0 and came across some cool new additions in .NET 4.0 which will be quite useful for developers.

Strings

Streams

Remember writing this before to copy one stream to another?

public static void CopyTo(this Stream input, Stream output)
{
byte[] buffer = new byte[2048];
while (true)
{
int read = input.Read (buffer, 0, buffer.Length);
if (read <= 0)
return;
output.Write (buffer, 0, read);
}
}

Now you don’t need to, just use the Stream.CopyTo() method.

inputStream.CopyTo(output);

Checking for 64bit-ness

Previously to detect a 64bit operating system you would either P/Invoke out and call the IsWow64Process in Kernel32, looked at the “PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE” environment variable or even easier (and completely managed code) way of checking the size of a Pointer.

public static bool IsWin64
{
return (IntPtr.Size == 8);
}
public static bool IsWin32
{
return (IntPtr.Size == 4);
}

Now you can simply use the Environment class that comes with two new properties.

WPF 4.0 Improvements

There are simply too many to list, see the article on ScottGu‘s blog about WPF4 and VS2010/.NET 4.0.

One very important tweak are the Text Rendering improvements that TextBlock‘s now have a new TextOptions.TextFormattingMode that greatly improves the quality of text rendering.

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication1.MainWindow"
xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525">
<Grid>
<StackPanel xmlns='http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation'
xmlns:x='http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml'>
<TextBox TextOptions.TextFormattingMode="Ideal" FontSize="11">ThushanFernando.com - Ideal</TextBox>
<TextBox TextOptions.TextFormattingMode="Display" FontSize="11">ThushanFernando.com - Display</TextBox>
<TextBox TextOptions.TextFormattingMode="Ideal" FontSize="16">ThushanFernando.com - Ideal</TextBox>
<TextBox TextOptions.TextFormattingMode="Display" FontSize="16">ThushanFernando.com - Display</TextBox>
</StackPanel>
</Grid>
</Window>

Here’s a pretty picture showing the difference between using Ideal and Display. The difference is noticable for text sizes below 15.

MainWindowAlternatively you can place it in the Window so all child controls will render nicely.

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication1.MainWindow"
xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
Title="MainWindow - Display" Height="350" Width="525"
TextOptions.TextFormattingMode="Display">
<Grid>
<StackPanel xmlns='http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation'
xmlns:x='http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml'>
<TextBox FontSize="11">ThushanFernando.com</TextBox>
<TextBox FontSize="16">ThushanFernando.com</TextBox>
</StackPanel>
</Grid>
</Window>

There are LOTS more coming in .NET 4.0 that will make anyone doing .NET development today just wet their pants over, just read the article on MSDN by Justin Van Patten about Whats new in the BCL in .NET 4.0 and also posted on the BCL team blog.

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Google releases ChromeOS

November 20th, 2009 No comments

Google just released information and a presentation (below) about ChromeOS.

Wow, you can take a peek at the source as well. I’m not sure if its just a very tweaked minimalistic Linux Kernel with a Chrome Window Manager or what, but like they did with Chrome, this is definitely a Think Different product. Take a look at a visual tour of the ChromeOS.

I don’t think this will replace your traditional desktop completely (I still like to have my stuff with me rather than hosted somewhere!) but what happens to devices, peripherals etc, development environments (Imagine running Visual Studio over the intertubes on ADSL!) etc.

But one things for sure, it takes the idea of Operating Systems and how you view your operating system to a different level. All those tabs you see in Chrome now, are virtual desktop like instances in ChromeOS. More info can be got from the PCWorld article on ChromeOS.

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VirtualBox 3.0.12 released!

November 18th, 2009 No comments

VirtualBox 3.0.12 has been released.

VirtualBox 3.0.12 (released 2009-11-17)

This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: reduced IO-APIC overhead for 32 bits Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 guests; requires 64 bits support (VT-x only; bug #4392)
  • VMM: fixed double timer interrupt delivery on old Linux kernels using IO-APIC (caused guest time to run at double speed; bug #3135)
  • VMM: reinitialize VT-x and AMD-V after host suspend or hibernate; some BIOSes forget this (Windows hosts only; bug #5421)
  • VMM: fix loading of saved state when RAM preallocation is enabled
  • BIOS: ignore unknown shutdown codes instead of causing a guru meditation (bug #5389)
  • GUI: never start a VM on a single click into the selector window (bug #2676)
  • Serial: reduce the probability of lost bytes if the host end is connected to a raw file
  • VMDK: fix handling of split image variants and fix a 3.0.10 regression (bug #5355)
  • VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash
  • Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, some guests were able to send / receive packets (E1000; bug #5366)
  • Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, the PCNet card received some spurious packets which might confuse the guest (bug #4496)
  • Shared folders: fixed changing case of file names (bug #2520)
  • Windows Additions: fix crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo)
  • Linux Additions: fix writing to files opened in O_APPEND mode (bug #3805)
  • Solaris Additions: fix regression in guest additions driver which among other things caused lost guest property updates and periodic error messages being written to the system log

Download it from the Sun VirtualBox download page.

  • VirtualBox 3.0.12 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.12 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64

Woot!

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Fedora 12 released

November 18th, 2009 No comments

It only feels last last month Fedora 11 was released, alas Fedora 12 is out now. Read about the changes and updates found in Fedora 12 or maybe just view the summary or a full list if your ubber keen.

Amongst the many changes, important ones to forward to (from the release notes):

* Optimized performance - All software packages on 32-bit (x86_32)
  architecture have been compiled for i686 systems, with special
  optimization for the Intel Atom processors used in many netbooks,
  but without losing compatibility with the overwhelming majority of
  CPUs.

* Smaller and faster updates - In Fedora 11, the optional yum-presto
  plugin, developed by Fedora contributor Jonathan Dieter, reduced
  update size by transmitting only the changes in the updated
  packages. Now, the plugin is installed by default. Also, RPMs now
  use XZ rather than gzip for compression, providing smaller package
  sizes without the memory and CPU penalties associated with
  bzip2. This lets us fit more software into each Fedora image, and
  uses less space on mirrors, making their administrators' lives a
  little easier. Thanks to the Fedora infrastructure team for their
  excellent work in setting up the infrastructure to generate delta
  RPMs on the fly for all the updates.

* NetworkManager broadband and other enhancements - NetworkManager,
  originally developed by Red Hat's Dan Williams, was introduced in
  Fedora 7 and has become the de facto network configuration solution
  for distributions everywhere. Enhancements to NetworkManager make
  both system-wide connections and mobile broadband connections easier
  than ever. Bluetooth PAN support offers a simple click through
  process to access the Internet from your mobile
  phone. NetworkManager can now configure always-on and static address
  connections directly from the desktop. PolicyKit integration has
  been added so configuration management can be done via central
  policy where needed. IPv6 support has also been improved.

* Next-generation (Ogg) Theora video - For several years, Theora, the
  open and free format not encumbered by known patents has provided a
  way for freedom-loving users to share video. Fedora 12 includes the
  new Theora 1.1, which achieves very high quality comparable to
  H.264, meeting the expectations of demanding users with crisp,
  vibrant media in both streaming and downloadable form. Thanks to the
  work of the Xiph.Org Foundation's Christopher "Monty" Montgomery,
  sponsored by Red Hat, other Xiph developers and the contribution of
  Mozilla.org, Theora videos now deliver much better quality primarily
  via enhancements in the encoder without any change in the format,
  making it available to all Theora users. Using Theora video and
  Vorbis audio formats, Firefox 3.5 and applications using the
  Gstreamer multimedia framework can deliver free media on the web out
  of the box even better than the previous release of Fedora. Theora
  is being rapidly adopted by several popular websites including
  Wikipedia, VideoPress and DailyMotion. Fedora Project is proud to
  support communities of free culture and open content as part of our
  mission. More details at

http://hacks.mozilla.org/2009/09/theora-1-1-released/

* Graphics support improvements - Fedora 12 introduces experimental 3D
  support for AMD Radeon HD 2400 and later graphics cards. To try it
  out, install the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package. On many
  cards, this support should allow desktop effects to be used. Kernel
  mode setting (KMS) support, which was introduced on AMD hardware in
  Fedora 10 and extended to Intel hardware in Fedora 11, is now
  extended to NVIDIA hardware as well, meaning the great majority of
  systems now benefit from the smooth, fully-graphical startup
  sequence made possible by KMS. The Fedora graphical startup sequence
  now works better on systems with multiple monitors. Also on multiple
  monitor systems, the desktop will now automatically be spread across
  all monitors by default, rather than having all monitors display the
  same output, including on NVIDIA chips (where multiple monitor
  spanning was not possible without manual configuration changes in
  Fedora 11). Systems with NVIDIA graphics chips also gain initial
  support for suspend and resume functionality via the default Nouveau
  driver. Initial support for the new DisplayPort display connector
  has been added for Intel graphics chips. Support for Nvidia and ATI
  systems is already under rapid development and will be included in
  the next release of Fedora. Thanks to the Red Hat Xorg team
  including Adam Jackson (X server), Kristian Høgsberg (Intel driver),
  Dave Airlie and Jerome Glisse (Radeon driver for AMD), and Ben
  Skeggs (Nouveau driver for NVIDIA).

* Virtualization improvements - Not content with all the improvements
  in Fedora 11, we've kicked virtualization based on KVM up another
  notch in Fedora 12. There are extensive improvements in performance,
  management, and resource sharing, and still more security
  enhancements. A new library (libguestfs) and an interactive tool
  (guestfish) are now available for directly accessing and modifying
  virtual machine disk images. Richard W.M. Jones from Red Hat's
  virtualization team has a list of extensive virtualization tools
  available and coming up for Fedora at

http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/fedora-virt-commands/

* Automatic reporting of crashes and SELinux issues - Abrt, a tool to
  help non-power users report crashes to Bugzilla with a few mouse
  clicks, is now enabled by default. Abrt collects detailed
  information automatically and helps developers identify and resolve
  issues faster, improving the quality of individual upstream
  components and Fedora. The SELinux alert monitoring tool has also
  added the ability to report SELinux issues to Bugzilla quickly and
  easily with just a couple of clicks.

* New Dracut initrd generation tool - Up until Fedora 11, the boot
  system (initial ram disk or initrd) used to boot Fedora was
  monolithic, very distribution specific, and didn't provide much
  flexibility. This has been replaced with Dracut, an initial ram disk
  generation tool with an event-based framework designed to be
  distribution-independent. Dracut has been also adopted by OLPC which
  uses Fedora; OLPC modules for Dracut are available in the Fedora
  repository. Thanks to the Dracut team, including Harald Hoyer,
  Jeremy Katz, Dave Jones, and many others.

* PackageKit plugins - PackageKit now has a plugin which can install
  an appropriate package when a user tries to run a command from a
  missing package. Another new plugin allows installation of software
  packages from a web browser. Thanks to Red Hat's Richard Hughes and
  the PackageKit team.

* Bluetooth on-demand - Bluetooth services are automatically started
  when needed and stopped 30 seconds after last device use, reducing
  initial startup time and resource use when Bluetooth is not in
  active use. Thanks to Red Hat's Bastien Nocera.

* Moblin graphical interface for netbooks - In additional to special
  compiler optimization for netbooks in this release and the continued
  integration of Sugar interface, the Moblin graphical interface and
  applications are fully integrated thanks to Peter Robinson, a Fedora
  Project volunteer, and others. Collaboration between the Moblin
  project and Fedora was accelerated since Moblin itself is largely
  based on Fedora. To use it, just install the Moblin Desktop
  Environment package group using yum or the graphical software
  management tools, and choose Moblin from the login manager. A Moblin
  Fedora Remix (installable Live CD) for Fedora 12 will also be
  available.

* PulseAudio enhancements - Red Hat's Lennart Poettering and several
  others have made significant improvements to the PulseAudio
  system. Improved mixer logic makes volume control more fine-grained
  and reliable. Integration with the Rygel UPnP media server means you
  can stream audio directly from your system to any UPnP / DLNA
  client, such as a Playstation 3. Hotplug support has been made more
  intelligent, so if you configure a device as the default output for
  a stream, unplug that device -- causing the stream(s) to be moved to
  another output device -- and later reattach it, the stream is moved
  back to the preferred device. Finally, Bluetooth audio support means
  pairing with any Bluetooth audio device makes it available for use
  through PulseAudio.

* Lower process privileges - In order to mitigate the impact of
  security vulnerabilities, permissions have been hardened for many
  files and system directories. Also, process privileges have been
  lowered for a number of core components that require super user
  privileges. Red Hat's Steve Grubb has developed a new library,
  libcap-ng, and integrated it into many core system components to
  improve the security of Fedora.

* SELinux sandbox - It is now possible to confine applications' access
  to the system and run them in a secure sandbox that takes advantage
  of the sophisticated capabilities of SELinux. Dan Walsh, SELinux
  developer at Red Hat, explains the details at

http://danwalsh.livejournal.com/31146.html

* Open Broadcom firmware - The openfwwf open source Broadcom firmware
  is included by default. This means wireless networking will be
  available out of the box on some Broadcom chipsets. 

* Hybrid live images - The Live images provided in this release can be
  directly imaged onto a USB stick using dd (or any equivalent tool)
  to create bootable Live USB keys. The Fedora Live USB Creator for
  Windows and Fedora and the livecd-tools for Fedora are still
  recommended for data persistence, encryption and non-destructive
  writes. Thanks to Jeremy Katz. 

* Better webcam support - While Fedora 11 improved webcam support, in
  Fedora 12 you can expect even better video quality, especially for
  less expensive webcams. Red Hat's Hans de Goede, developer of the
  libv4l library, has more details on his continuous upstream webcam
  support enhancements at

http://hansdegoede.livejournal.com/6989.html.

* Polished Desktop - The latest version of the GNOME desktop includes
  the lighter Gnote replacement for Tomboy as the default note
  application, and Empathy replaces Pidgin as the default instant
  messenger. The new volume control application, first seen in Fedora
  11, has been improved to cover more advanced users. There are many
  nice tweaks from the desktop team for a polished user
  experience. More details at

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Desktop_Enhancements_in_Fed...

* GNOME Shell preview - Fedora 12 includes an early version of GNOME
  Shell, which will become the default interface for GNOME 3.0 and
  beyond. To try it, install the gnome-shell package, and use the
  Desktop Effects configuration tool to enable it. It will only work
  correctly from the GNOME desktop environment, not others such as KDE
  or Xfce. This is a preview technology, and some video cards may not
  be supported. Thanks to Owen Taylor from Red Hat and the GNOME Shell
  team. 

* KDE 4.3 - The new KDE features an updated "Air" theme and fully
  configurable keyboard shortcuts in Plasma, improved performance and
  new desktop effects in the window manager, a new bug reporting tool,
  and a configuration tool for the LIRC infra-red remote control
  system. 

* Cool new stuff for developers beginning with Eclipse Galileo, which
  includes more plugins than ever before. Perl 6 is now included,
  along with PHP 5.3. For Haskell developers, the Haskell Platform now
  provides a standardized set of libraries and tools. But one of the
  biggest changes for developers is that most of the nice new features
  of Fedora 12, from Bluetooth to webcams, are implemented through
  underlying libraries, and many of the improvements will be included
  simply by relinking your application. Also available in this release
  are SystemTap 1.0 for improved instrumenting and debugging of
  binaries, complete with Eclipse integration, and the newest NetBeans
  IDE for Java development. 

* Cool new stuff for sysadmins include added functionality for
  clustered Samba services (including active/active configurations)
  over GFS2; and the ability to boot a cluster of Fedora systems from
  a single, shared root file system. 

* Multi-Pointer X - The update to X.Org server 1.7 introduces the X
  Input Extension version 2.0 (XI2), with much work contributed by Red
  Hat's Peter Hutterer. This extension provides a new client API for
  handling input devices and also Multi-Pointer X (MPX)
  functionality. MPX functionality allows X to cope with many inputs
  of arbitrary types simultaneously, a prerequisite for (among others)
  multitouch-based desktops and multi-user interaction on a single
  screen. This is low-level work of which applications and desktop
  environments will incrementally take advantage in future
  releases. More details are available in the Release Notes and in the
  XI2 tag of Peter Hutterer's blog at

http://who-t.blogspot.com/search/label/xi2

Download them from Fedora or if your a local:

I’m torn between using the latest Ubuntu or Fedora on the client.

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Windows 7 NetBIOS Kernel Crash, 1997 all over again :(

November 12th, 2009 No comments

Looks like Windows 7 is vulnerable to an SMB remote exploit.

Unfortunatly this SMB2 security issue is specificaly due to a MS patch, for another SMB2.0 security issue:
KB942624 (MS07-063)
Installing only this specific update on Vista SP0 create the following issue:

SRV2.SYS fails to handle malformed SMB headers for the NEGOTIATE PROTOCOL REQUEST functionnality.
The NEGOTIATE PROTOCOL REQUEST is the first SMB query a client send to a SMB server, and it’s used to identify the SMB dialect that will be used for futher communication.

Reminds me of the days of WinNuke.

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Next generation Linux file-systems

November 5th, 2009 No comments

If you’ve been reading this blog a couple of things are clear, I don’t like Apple much and I have a soft spot for file-systems. An article was posted on the IBM DeveloperWorks site that covers two file systems; NiLFS(2) and exofs that has some great information about these two beasts.

Linux® continues to innovate in the area of file systems. It supports the largest variety of file systems of any operating system. It also provides cutting-edge file system technology. Two new file systems that are making their way into Linux include the NiLFS(2) log-structured file system and the exofs object-based storage system. Discover the purpose behind these two new file systems and the advantages that they bring.

Read the full article on the Next-generation linux filesystems, there was an article on LWN.net a few years back discussing the (then emerging) Btrfs and NiLFS and how things may pan out. I’m quite happy and content with ZFS but in either case it’ll be interesting to see how all three go.

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Latest Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 trailer

November 5th, 2009 No comments

Can’t hardly wait, this game is going to ROCK! (pre-ordered the PS3 Prestige Edition) make sure you watch the HD Trailer.

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