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Never made it as a wise man

16 January 2008 21:50

Recently I bought a new desktop PC and rotated my existing machines around, leaving me with one spare. Last night I donated that PC to a local friend, (co-incidentally the same woman who had been out cat-sitter when I went to stay at Megan's parents for Christmas).

I said "Its got Debian on it, that funny operating system that you used when you were looking after our kitten, remember?".

She said "Linux ssems to be getting popular these days I might as well try it out".

But seriously she used it. It had GNOME, it had firefox, she seemed happy. It isn't rocket science these days to point a technicalish user at a Debian Desktop and expect them to know what to do with it. The only minor complication was the lack of flash/java since it was etch/amd64 - but thats probably a plus with the amount of flash adverts!

In other news I made a new release of asql last night. This now copes with both Apache's common and combined logformats by default. (Yet another tool of mine which is now being used at work, which motivated the change.)

I've also started pushing commits to xen-tools last night, so there'll be a new release soon. Mostly I'm bored with that code though, it doesn't need significant updates to work any longer. All the interesting things have been done, so it's probably only a matter of time until I drift off. (To the extent that I've unsubscribed myself from xen-users & xen-devel mailing lists)

Virtualisation is increasingly a commodity these days. If xen dies people probably won't care, there are enough other projects out there doing similar things. Being tied to one particular platform will probably come to be regarded as a mistake.

(Talking of which I should try out this lguest thing; I just find it hard to be motivated...)



Comments on this entry

icon brian m. carlson at 16:33 on 16 January 2008
You can use Flash on amd64 with nspluginwrapper and flashplugin-nonfree, and Java works just fine if you use the icedtea packages from Matthias Klose, since their plugin is based off the gcj plugin.
icon Steve at 16:37 on 16 January 2008

I guess thats true, to be honest I didn't investigate things very much.

I just did a plain install of Etch, wrote down some instructions and gave her a demo.

I know my current AMD64 machines have working Flash & Java but mostly I disable them because I don't need them for anything. (Then again I am running Sid)

icon Petteri at 18:17 on 16 January 2008
Sadly average user needs flash because of sites like youtube, myspace etc. Go and install flash for her and she will be Debian user forever :)
icon Alex at 18:29 on 16 January 2008
asql is neat, it'd be nice if it could handle not just common and combined logformats, but also "split" files where we've got `access.log`, `referrer.log` and `agent.log`.
That way I could do `load /logs/apache/*` and heypresto :P
At the moment I'm not tracking referrers and agents, but erm, we're not short of HDD and it might make pretty graphs?
I'm not sure that Xen really is the "uber" virtualization products it's made out to be. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic solution and in it's day was the only product out there capable of such feats. Now we're moving toward a stage where virtualization is ubiquitous in the server room and there's 101 technologies to do it, the stagnant nature of the Xen tree WRT which kernels it'll patch against is a royal pain in the arse, and part of the reason why I'm starting to really like KVM; still think Iguest is a little too bare and "young" for serious production deployment.