Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Btrfs on Ubuntu 14.04 (GNOME)

Formatted my SSD into Btrfs this time around. Put Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS.

Now to find me an extra disk to serve as backup to my media files, so I can format sdb partitions to Btrfs too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's Ubuntu Day

10 years ago, on October 2004, a group of open source developers released a Linux distribution based on Debian. They named their first release 'warthy warthog' which is Ubuntu 4.10.

The direction they took breaks the common myths about Linux back in 2004. Ubuntu became known as the most user-friendly distro in the Linux world. It is easy to install, easy to use and has a
supportive community for new end-users.

Linux for humans. Happy Ubuntu Day.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Btrfs on Fedora 20

I reinstalled my Fedora 20 on a fresh SSD formatted with Btrfs.

It's a much simpler setup in Fedora than in openSUSE. Me thinks that Fedora assumes you know what kind of partitioning your use-case needs and leaves it up to you. openSUSE on the other hand performs the virtual partitioning for you. I didn't encrypt the disks for the Fedora 20 install but I did it encrypt it in openSUSE.

openSUSE and Fedora on my Computer

openSuse or Fedora, which one to use? That is the question. I've been using both one way or the other after I removed Ubuntu 14.04 lts in my hard drive. I suppose I should test both operating systems thoroughly in my computer to see which one is better.

I installed Fedora core 20 three weeks ago then moved on to openSUSE 13.2-rc1. This is a limited test and a blindly subjective one at that so here goes. 

If you want an as close to the "devs-original" GNOME desktop experience, Fedora is what you want in your machine.  It has been default in Fedora for sometime now. The Fedora distribution doesn't try to be a jack-of-all-trade by having a "rolling release" as an alternative for you. They release when it's stable and ready. They update such a release fairly well. I have the newest stable kernel right now while waiting for the next stable release. Stability is the most important thing for me. 

I didn't see this the first time I tried the Fedora installer. Btrfs and xfs IS offered but not by default as in openSUSE. You could click on the dropdown button for choices in file systems during installation/partitioning. I highly recommend using Btrfs and xfs for newest installs of Linux. They're the next generation file systems capable of snapshots, self-healing and great scaling. For end-users the benefits of using them outweigh the annoyance of reformatting the hard drives. 

For those who have an aversion towards the command-line and the terminal, openSUSE is your bet. The level of use of graphical user interface for administrative tasks is very high. There's even a security checklist that's interactive. You can click on items and consider enabling it or read up for help about that issue, in one place.

openSUSE offers a lot on how you may want your Linux. There are the regular releases which is now at 13.1 (but I am testing 13.2.rc1). You could try "Tumbleweed", which is a rolling release for stable packages. In Tumbleweed the user is not limited to the repositories of one release (e.g. 12.3 or 13.1). You could also try "Factory"which is also a rolling release but largely untested packages land here, so be prepared to meet bugs.

Speaking of bugs, I really like Fedora's bug reporting tool which is very prompt. It notifies the user of the system error and asks if you want to report it. Once you click on Yes or No it doesn't nag you anymore. I mean I want to help and I don't mind sending the information with my limited internet connection but hey I'm working here. 

I'll add more items here as my testing progresses.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five

I finished reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. I first learned or heard about Slaughterhouse-five from Jessica Zafra's radio program in the late 90s. I surmised that she loves the novel because she often mentions it. Ms. Zafra is an author herself and was the manager for the band Eraserheads. Due to the easy access to e-books nowadays, I decided to download Kurt Vonnegut this past week. I downloaded it using bittorrent along with a number of Kurt Vonnegut's other works. Mr. Vonnegut himself said that Slaughterhouse-five is a loser and promised that his next works won't be.

Slaughterhouse-five is the author's personal experience as told by him in his own words and style, when he was a prisoner of war in Germany in the second world war. He would later write about his captivity and the bombing of Dresden where he and other prisoners of war spent the rest of the war in Europe. Slaughterhouse-five is an anti-war war novel. The writer who is also the main character is a soldier, an infantry man, a private. He saw the barbaric nature of war. He experienced the senseless killing of civilians and the destruction of a city that has no military value. He saw the effects of mass bombing by hundreds of planes concentrated on a city of 100,000 people.

I watched a Youtube clip of Mr. Vonnegut speaking before university students and faculty about the war. That it was senseless, he explains that it benefited no one except himself because he earned from the experience by writing about it and selling books. He came out and stated the obvious: that he made money from the sufferings of others when he wrote this book.

Slaughterhouse-five is an honest book about the horrors of war. It was written in parody and in a comical style that does not abuse the subject. The author would write in two or three paragraphs in non-linear story telling depicting the effect of an event of such shock to the soul and morals that it splinters the character experiencing it.

The author's father asked him why he doesn't have a villain in his books. He said that he doesn't have villains in his books and he also doesn't have heroes either. He said that this book in particular would not sell because of it.

He mentioned two names to thank in his book. First to the wife of his friend and co-prisoner in Dresden and then to the German taxi driver who drove him around Dresden after the war. His friend's wife did not approve of the usual books on war and he promised her that this book will not be the usual. The taxi driver was a young man during the war whose mother was incinerated during the bombing of Dresden.

Some people believe that people are resilient. They believe that man survives against great odds. This book says we pay a price for war even the victors.

Btrfs and XFS By Default In openSUSE 13.2

openSUSE installer offers to format your root and home partition in Btrfs and XFS respectively.

Next generation file systems in openSUSE. Other Linux distros should follow suit.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Article on the 1st Case of Contracted Ebola in the US

This is like one of those tiny seeds on the ground just off the edge of a really big and dark forest.

Ebola's First Contracted Case in the US