Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

finding Fedora 19 fortitude

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

For various reasons, some of which I’ve hashed and rehashed in the past[1,2,3,4,5,6,7], I feel obligated to keep up with Linux, particularly Fedora. It had been three years since I’d gone all the way through the effort of learning all the new stuff and upgrading production machines to the latest Fedora release (now Fedora 19), which meant I was two years behind from an release end of life perspective, and in jeopardy of not catching up.

Partly, I had held off because I didn’t like the things that were changing: increased memory requirements, more dependence on GUI for administrative tasks, new mechanisms that feel both like overkill and under baked, e.g., firewalld and systemd. I’m not Alan Cox in either Linux credentials or antipathy to recent distributions[8,9]. I don’t naturally adapt to the Ubuntu distributions either, so trudging forward with Fedora seems the most natural path, in spite of the challenges.

My typical pattern has been to emphasize the odd numbered releases, so I would have likely prioritized Fedora 15 if it were not for the new “features” that gave me pause. That was the first release with systemd, which now appears to have been the last straw for Alan Cox, and certainly hasn’t delighted me. Even more discouraging for me was the installer’s enforcement of minimum memory requirements that my ancient hardware couldn’t meet.

So it took me three years to accept and adjust. I’ve stopped trying to use the truly ancient hardware for more than museum purposes. I’ve upgraded to newer/faster/cheap used hardware. All my production machines are now running Fedora 19, as of last night. With the exception of MySQL Workbench, I’ve managed to avoid resorting to using the GUIs for administration. I’ve even got a machine dedicated to trying to learn Gnome. I brought my XO up to the latest from OLPC and even fetched some Fedora 18 RPMs for it, intending to try to get past the horrible keyboard and find some use for the XO.

In the process I’ve tried to refresh and reorganize my museum of hardware and software. I found my NextSTEP/486 discs and am thinking of trying to get NextSTEP running on my souvenir Dell 450 DE/2 DGX. That couldn’t be as frustrating as trying to re-engage with Fedora.

  1. http://notes.technologists.com/notes/2010/07/06/lucky-fedora-13/
  2. http://notes.technologists.com/notes/2010/07/06/spamd-challenging-old-iron-to-keep-up/
  3. http://notes.technologists.com/notes/2010/02/15/finally-friending-fedora-12/
  4. http://notes.technologists.com/notes/2009/08/02/fedora-11-delivered-our-heavenly-right-to-say/
  5. http://notes.technologists.com/notes/2009/08/12/old-iron-servericeable/
  6. http://notes.technologists.com/notes/2009/01/15/xo-musing-820/
  7. http://notes.technologists.com/notes/2008/05/22/fedora-9-uneven-slices/
  8. So Fedora 18 seems to be the worst Red Hat distro I’ve ever seen.
  9. Ok so problem box switched to Ubuntu

EVO 4G returns!

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

“It’s déjà vu all over again” Yogi Berra

The EVO has landed” proclaims Sprint, featuring 4G LTE before Sprint’s coverage is available. Seems like only yesterday (actually two years ago) I was anticipating my second “smart phone”, my first since 2001, and anticipating 4G WiMAX (which I’m still waiting for, at least at my home and other frequent locations).

Re-reading what I wrote after a month’s experience, I don’t see a lot to say differently. The biggest surprise is that I’ve used Skype so little on my Evo, only two times that I remember for a video call. I don’t remember much about the first call, but the second one seemed surprisingly satisfying from a calling perspective, and the portability allowed me to show my sister all 5 of our cats in various poses around the house.

My biggest complaint continues to be the sporadic WiMAX coverage, which seemingly hasn’t improved, and probably won’t given the trends toward LTE. Most of the time I have WiFi available and don’t feel deprived without WiMAX. But there are also times when I turn on the WiMAX radio in hopes of coverage, and more often than not, see the warning icon that tells me I’m wasting battery on non-existent 4G.

So I’m not pre-ordering an EVO 4G LTE when (a) Sprint doesn’t have LTE anywhere and (b) Austin isn’t one of the initial Sprint LTE cities. I expect I’ll keep the  original EVO until the hardware fails. If that happens in the near term, then the new EVO seems like a promising option, as long as I don’t count on LTE.

NeXT, give Steve a little credit for the Web

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

The news reports and tributes following Steve Jobs’ passing this week have been dramatic, both in quantity and in degree of regard and respect. Today in the Wall Street Journal’s Steve Jobs: The Secular Prophet there is an extreme example, with allusion to Socrates, the Buddha and Emerson, and comparison with Martin Luther King Jr.

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msg 2 Sprint: “Everything” means “EVERYTHING”

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Sprint has an “Everything Data” plan that is widely touted on TV, on sprint.com and in paper media. “Our Everything Data plans give you unlimited data, …”

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a good month with Evo

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Clear coverage at my home It’s been almost 5 weeks now. It’s been a good experience, even better than I anticipated. Having a real computer that fits in my pocket is what I wanted, and the Evo meets that desire well. My wife thinks I enjoy the Evo more than any acquisition in recent memory. Clear coverage in my part of town

The most-publicized caution, battery life, has been a non-issue for me.

The most-publicized feature, 4G via WiMAX, has also been a non-issue, because the coverage isn’t quite what I hoped.

Other than that, my concerns and anticipations of problems had been needless, and the surprises have been good. I’ve come to think of the Evo as the best (for me) pocket computer I can imagine in today’s marketplace, and a good mobile phone, as well.

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