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Systems Maintenance and Monitoring of FOSS to Reap Business Benefits

CJ Fearnley

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Top Stories by CJ Fearnley

I will be attending the 5th Annual Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference (ETE 2010) this Thursday and Friday, April 8-9, 2010. The event is billed for “developers, architects, and IT executives” and attempts to provide a dynamic forum for “emerging technology and Open Source”. I look forward to seeing Robert C. (Uncle Bob) Martin’s keynote on “Bad Code, Craftsmanship, Engineering, and Certification”, a panel discussion on “Open source is a commercial enterprise”, another panel on “Social Media: Why should I care?”, a second Bob Martin presentation on “Agility and Architecture”, Mary Poppendieck on “Cost Center Disease”, Bonnie Aumann on managing developers, Michael Coté’s keynote on “The Pragmatic Cloud”, Geir Magnusson Jr. on “Project Voldemort”, and Brian McCallister on “Failure Happens” (one of the very few talks on systems administration). Then ... (more)

Xen Virtualization: Migrating 32-bit domUs to 64-bit dom0s

Virtualization provides the facility to run multiple isolated computer operating systems on one piece of computing hardware. There has been a huge increase of interest in virtualization technology because recent advances in multi-core technology provide significantly more computing power in each machine with ever decreasing costs. Virtualization is one of the best ways to take advantage of these big changes in hardware. Currently, Xen is the most mature FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) virtualization technology. Although we love the idea of KVM, since it requires a special p... (more)

Seven Observations On Software Maintenance and FOSS

Open Source Journal on Ulitzer The November 2009 issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM) has a very interesting article by Paul Stachour and David Collier-Brown entitled “You Don’t Know Jack About Software Maintenance”. The authors argue energetically for using versioned data structures and “continuous upgrading” to improve the state of the art of software maintenance. The piece got me thinking about FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and “continuous upgrading”. Here are seven observations on FOSS software maintenance that occurred to me as I reflected on the CACM article: FO... (more)

Slides for my talk on “Automating X11 Keystrokes”

X11 is the graphical user interface most widely used on Linux operating systems. My slides and video demo for a short talk given at the Philadelphia area Linux Users Group (PLUG) on March 2nd are on-line. The slides briefly cover xrandr (which can also be used to set the screen resolution), xset, xwd / xwud, xdotool, and xautomation including xte. You can get the slides and watch the video at my page on Automating X11 Keystrokes. ... (more)

Learn Open Source Database Tools from Stanford for Free

I recently finished Stanford’s excellent free on-line course Introduction to Databases with Jennifer Widom. The course is a broad survey of database technology including XML, Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) from many angles (SQL forms the centerpiece of the course), OLAP (OnLine Analytical Processing) and NoSQL. I was very impressed with the breadth of Widom’s approach to the subject: it was a major reason I decided to spend time on the course. Another strength is its nuts-n-bolts approach: some theoretical topics are covered but for the most part this is a course... (more)