Posted by & filed under Computers, Linux.

I love RedHat Linux. I think it is a beautiful piece of engineering. Hundreds of thousands of man hours spent ensuring systems that have packages installed keep running. Continuously.

One thing however that I have found is that my favorite RHEL clone for years, CentOS has been slacking. Bad.

For example, RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 was released 10/11/2010, not bad, seeing as it’s previous version, RHEL5 was released 15/3/2007 – Three and a half years earlier. CentOS? Well, Version 6 of CentOS was released July 10. In the time that it took for CentOS to release their new fresh build of CentOS 6, RedHat had already released their first service pack/major update to RedHat, RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.1.

I must point out here, the fact that CentOS does not have 6.1 is not a security issue. Any security patches for RHEL have made their way to CentOS.

Scientific Linux on the other hand have been tracking the updates and new releases very well. They had their remix of RHEL released for public consumption on March 3 – not too much of a short wait. The fact that it is not a very faithful clone has scared me from moving to it, but with the long wait of CentOS 6.1, I am starting to think that it might just be time to change my mind and grow up!

Posted by & filed under Finance & Payments.

As the cost of living increases and the dream of home ownership seems like an unachievable goal, how can we ensure we have the right tools in place to encourage GenY to build a financially sustainable future and make the most of their personal finances?


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On Tuesday, August 23, a group of us will be meeting at Forresters Hotel at the Cnr. Riley & Foveaux St. in Surry Hills to brainstorm some ideas. I will be there, along with at least 11 others. Feel free to bump into me and say “Hi!”.

Posted by & filed under Holidays.

A panorama of a Brisbane city

A panorama of a Brisbane city, Oh how I love Brisbane

 

Brisbane, one of the few cities that I really love. It quite possibly might even be my favorite capital city in Australia. Should you look down similar streets in Sydney, everyone is too busy to have even the smallest of smiles.

Streets Beach - an artificial beach with a view of the city

Streets Beach - an artificial beach

 

Bubble O' Bill ice cream

Streets Bubble O' Bill ice cream

Sure, Sydney has some nice beaches – as it is a capital just kilometers away from the coastline of the Pacific Ocean – such as Manly Beach and Bondi Beach (which has made many a lifegaurd state celebrities with the TV show Bondi Rescue), but Brisbane has Streets Beach, a man-made beach with just about 4,000 cubic meters of sand. It allows you to have a perfect view of the city lights while kicking back eating a Bubble O’ Bill ice cream.

Park on the South Bank - Panorama(Click to see Full Image)

It almost seems like that on every corner there is a park. Not just a tiny 50m2 block, but a decent sized area. Enough to fit a school class room worth of kids in. The parks in Brisbane show the fashion, style and flare that defines Brisbane, especially South Bank. South Bank is Queensland’s cultural precinct and includes Australia’s largest Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and State Library of Queensland.

Posted by & filed under Computers, Documentation, Random Thoughts.

Wondering where all the interesting Sydney IT meetups are? I have listed here a rough calendar for 2011. There may be some updates further on in the year as more events are announced.

Big Meetups

  • PHPConfAu – Late October. You didn’t hear that form me though because the exact date is yet to be confirmed. First national PHP meetup, this one is going to be big! Some of Australia’s most respected PHP developers are already slated to be there, so if you want to learn anything new, definitely drag yourself across!
  • WordCamp – OK, technically it is in Melbourne, but this is the WordPress meetup of the year, and something everyone who has a blog should go to – tickets are $50, there is no reason not to go!
  • PyCon AU – 20th – 21st August. Again, Python’s National Conference.
  • Ad:Tech Sydney – 9-10 March. ad:tech is the leading event for the digital marketing and advertising community in Australia and New Zealand.
  • CeBIT Australia – 31st May – 2nd June. Australia’s biggest IT get-together.

Weekly / Fortnightly Meetups

  • Sydney Tech Startup Meetup – Every Thursday Morning. 8am-10am.
  • Silicon Beach Sydney – Every Friday at the Grace Hotel 6pm+. Silicon Valley has a supporting ecosystem that makes Internet innovation thrive, so what can Australia do? How can that big island with the best beaches in the world, harness the passionate, intelligent individuals who care to do more?
  • Coffee Mornings – Every Friday Morning @ 8am. A get together of social media personel.

Monthly Meetups

Sparatic

Please let me know (in the comments section “below”) if there is anything that I have missed out on!

Posted by & filed under Google, Linux, Random Thoughts.

I love Android, and I love that Google is offering such a good mobile operating system, for free. Many people might just remember that Microsoft grew to prominence in the IT industry in much a similar way. They provided DOS for free (or at least at a low cost) to OEMs, which provided them with much of the market share that they have now.

It can be seen as actually quite smart that Google are offering their OS for such a low price.

Google commissioned Ascender, a digital typeface foundry and software development company located in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Illinois in the United States to create the fonts that are used by the Android user interface.

Ascender engineered the new set of system User Interface (UI) fonts named “Droid” for the Android platform built by the Open Handset Alliance. The fonts provided by Ascender allow highly legible text resulting in easy to use interfaces.

The fonts are open source, licensed under the Apache Software License.

Finding a download link to the fonts can be a bit tricky, but one of the easiest ways to get the fonts is to download them from Google’s Web Fonts project.

Here is Droid Sans, Droid Sans Mono and Droid Serif.

Failing that there is this link here to a Mercurial repository, but I didn’t tell you that, now did I?

Posted by & filed under Clustering, Random Thoughts, RedHat, Xen.

Imagine if there was an application that you could feed a disk image to, wether it be Microsoft Windows 2008 or Red Hat EL 6 and see a list of applications that are installed – no step back – imagine if there was an application that you could feed a disk image to and just discover what operating system was installed.

Well fear not! There is such an application. I kid you not, if you are anything like me you are going to look and see this as one of the most amazing discoveries. When I found this, I had a “oh my goodness, why didn’t I know about this sooner” moment.

libguestfs is a set of tools for accessing and modifying virtual machine (VM) disk images. You can use this for viewing and editing files inside guests, scripting changes to VMs, monitoring disk used/free statistics, P2V, V2V, performing partial backups, cloning VMs and much much more.

libguestfs basically allows you to do anything that you have ever dreamed of. Yes. It will even read your Windows Registry “hive” files and spit them out as XML files.

The virt-inspector command examines a virtual machine or disk image and tries to determine the version of the operating system and other information about the virtual machine.

libguestfs is definitely on the TODO list for installing :) I am love. I could just imagine a nice web application thrown on top of this that would allow you to do funky things like that a WIndows machine offline, run a Windows Update *while the virtual machine is not running* and then start the machine up again. Doesn’t sound awesome yet? Think about it this way: a new Windows update is released. You take an LVM snapshot of the currently running box. You apply any Windows Update to the new LVM snapshot, shutdown the current running box while bringing up the new one (or edit the registry and remove any details of the IP and add a script to run on startup…)… so many ideas :)

Posted by & filed under Linux, RedHat.

Red Hat is pleased to announce the availability of the latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, release 5.6 (with kernel-2.6.18-238.el5)!

In virtualisation land, one of the major changes have been the addition of the virtio balloon driver. This new driver in Red Hat 5.6 allows guests to express to the hypervisor how much memory they require. The balloon driver allows the host to efficiently allocate memory to the guest and allow free memory to be allocated to other guests and processes.

Also, In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6, a global synchronization point is added to pvclock, providing a more stable time source for guests, which is good because this has been the cause of so many time slips in guest clocks.

RHEL 5.6 also pushes the BIND server to the latest release number.

And guess what. Oh my goodness: PHP 5.3! I know, it seems strange, but finally Red Hat ships with PHP 5.3 as default!

There are many other noteworthy changes in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6, and I would highly suggest that you read the release notes for Red Hat 5.6.

Karanbir (the lead developer of CentOS) has asked on Twitter what should be released and how: CentOS 5.6 or CentOS 6? Arrfab has stated the reasons why CentOS 5.6 should be released first:

  • The centos 5.x install base is there while there is (obviously) no centos 6 install base.
  • So those people having machines in production, faced to the net (, etc, etc, …) would prefer having their machines patched and up2date (security first !)
  • People running CentOS 5.x on servers and willing to install php53 packages, now officially included
  • On the build side, the el5 build process is clearly identified and known since 2007 : packages with branding issues are already identified and patches/artwork is already there, meaning that it will be probably (no, surely !) faster to have 5.6 out of the door than 6
  • Same rule for the QA process : people from the QA team can “blindly” focus on their previous tests, and just have a look eventually at some newer packages (a few, like php53 but not that much in comparison with el6)

and although I am excited to see CentOS 6.0 be released, I must say that I agree that CentOS 5.6 should be released first.