Review: Laptop Mini Roundup


The family and I are visiting the in-laws in Great Falls over the holiday weekend. My family picked me up from work so I wasn't involved in the packing... and it just so happens that my wife didn't pack my laptop. :( As luck would have it, my father-in-law has two recently purchased laptops... and he also had a Dell Mini 9 he was working on for a friend... and he was kind enough to let me play with them.

MontanaLinux from LiveUSB thumbdrive

I usually have one or more USB thumbdrives in my pants pocket and almost always one of them is a bootable LiveUSB of a recent built of MontanaLinux i386 (my own remix of Fedora 11)... so at least I had something I could test with and get my Linux fix. The build I used was dated August 26th, 2009 so it had all of the Fedora updates released on or prior to that date.

Now onto the three laptops I tried out.

Video: KVM in RHEL5

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Here's a presentation from the recent Red Hat Summit in Chicago about KVM in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 that was released this week. I must say that KVM has come a long way and I look forward to using it. I'm hoping that the OpenVZ folks will build a flavor of the OpenVZ kernel based on the newer RHEL 5.4 kernel that includes both KVM and OpenVZ support. That would be awesome!

I hope at some point they release all of their presentations as OGV files.

HOWTO: Use Linux to Slipstream SP3 into Windows XP iso

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A co-worker of mine inspired me to create a new enterprise CD with SP3 pre-installed the other day after I asked about an existing iso I had found on our network. I wondered if it were OEM or a new volume license with SP3 I had hoped it was.

He sent me a few links to some howto's and not all were the same. Looking over a few examples I quickly began replacing their Windows solutions with known Linux. Rather than recreate the wheel, I first searched how others have done it using Linux. These are a couple sites that have inspired my success:

Fake Linus Torvalds Video

It starts with the old IBM Linux commercial and then becomes a rap video. This comes from and you can find full details here.

Is it me or are the Fake Linus Torvalds in the video actually using Mac OS X on Mac laptops?!?

Some Fedora related news


Just some news bytes I've run across recently.

Fedora 12 Alpha includes flavor of Moblin 2
Moblin is a "usage experience" originally designed by Intel for devices designed around their Atom CPU mostly available in Netbooks and other embedded devices. The Fedora Project is basically integrating the Moblin 2 userspace stuff into Fedora so it is a selectable desktop from the graphical login's Session menu. Fedora will probably create an official "mini" spin but that remains to be seen. For more info see: fedora mini alpha testing

New Fedora 11 release for OLPC X0-1 models
You might have already known that the OLPC project is working on an XO-1.5 unit with vastly faster hardware and more storage space and that they were going to change the software so that the OLPC user could switch between the Sugar Desktop and the Gnome Desktop if desired. Fedora/OLPC developer Steven Parrish has released an update for OLPC X0-1 laptops based on Fedora 11 which includes the Gnome Desktop stuff as well. For more info see: Announcing a new release of F11 for the XO-1 and F11 for XO-1

Now here's a video about what Moblin 2 is for anyone interested:

HOWTO: Linux on the Intel iMac - Triple booting

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Introduction - Why Macs?

I work as a System Administrator for a Computer Science Department and as a result I manage both server machines and lab machines. Some time ago the department decided (and I was in agreement) that it would be a good idea to offer the students additional variety in the computer lab by replacing some of the "Pee Cee" machines in the main undergrad lab with some Apple Macintosh systems. This would give students access to Mac OS X (pronounced "ten") in the lab in addition to Linux and Microsoft Windows.

Although Apple switched to Intel-based machines a few years ago, you can't just run their OS on any Intel/AMD machine as they have both licensing reasons and technical reasons why their OS should ONLY run on Apple hardware. They don't seem to be friendly to running Mac OS X inside of Virtualization either. Mr. Jobs, why do you hate us? I digress.

The first three years we had Macs in the lab they only ran Mac OS X and as time passed, fewer and fewer people used them. The usage slowdown was caused by a number of reasons that I'll not go into here. This year though, I decided not to give up on the Macs and to make them triple-boot... so if people don't want to use Mac OS X they don't have to, and the machines can get better utilization.

Video: OSCON 2009 - What's the Deal with Linux on the Desktop?


Jim Zemlin from The Linux Foundation gives the closing keynote for OSCON 2009 entitled, "Moblin, Chrome, Android, Ubuntu, etc: What's the Deal with Linux on the Desktop?".

Even more speculation on Google Chrome OS

Argh, there have been about a zillion articles and blog posting declaring the future of computing and a coming "OS War" between Microsoft and Google. Paaalease. Although I myself am writing yet another piece of content related to Google Chrome OS, I feel compelled to do so because the vast majority of everything I've seen so far has simply been rubbish... and I don't often call things rubbish.

What is Google Chrome OS?

On the public face, so far Google Chrome OS is nothing more than vaporware mentioned in a blog posting by two Google middle management.

It appears it will be just enough operating system to get a web browser to run so one can do all of their online stuff... you know... using Google's Browser and Google's online services. Don't worry, you can use any software that is written using web standards but obviously the Google services and APIs to those services will be heavily favored.

It will be based on the Linux kernel but from the few brief paragraphs of the Google blog posting it appears to be just enough userspace stuff to run the web browser and any add-on support applications for online multi-media.

Video: OLPC Road Show


Here is the video I recorded at the June 25th, 2009 BozemanLUG meeting.

Presenter: Caryl Bigenho

If you want the higher quality Ogg Theora video, just right-click and "Save Link As..." this link:

You can find the pictures I took here.

[Update:] Added a PDF of Caryl's presentation as a file attachment.
Also attached the 2009 OPLC Project updated PDF.

Screencast: Virtual Machine Manager, Fedora 11 Preview


I've been doing quite a few Fedora 11 installs on various hardware in preparation for the review of I'm working on but I wanted to give a short glimpse of KVM in Fedora 11 with the Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager). I also show MontanaLinux (a Fedora 11 remix), some of the new features in Fedora 11 and some additional software.

For those running a browser that can do HTML 5's video tag (like Firefox 3.5 beta), you can watch the Ogg Theora version which is about 1/3 the filesize of the Flash version but bigger and better quality. Or download it: kvm-fedora11-preview-smaller.ogv (right-click, Save link as...)