In the 21st century people are surrounded by computers. Mobiles, set top boxes, netbooks, nettops, laptops, even in the car. Back in February 2010 Intel and Nokia decided to merge their Linux efforts, Moblin and Maemo, into a new distribution called Meego. When you go to the Meego site you will see that straight away that they going to design this distribution for all of these devices, making it a very interesting development. On 31st March an announcement was made that some Meego images were available, so I was keen to have a look at it. Unfortunately I managed to build an image but have not got it to run, but I thought I would document what was involved anyway. The documentation and code are actively being worked on so I hope to have a working image soon.
Although we all have our favourite Linux distributions, and mine is most definitely Ubuntu, it is often the case that in the workplace we have to learn another distribution, and while that is still Linux is may operate in a way that is quite different to what we are used to. A common workplace Linux distribution is RedHat Enterprise Linux which is supplied complete with a support package. The problem here is that if you want to install it to just learn about it, the price tag might put you off (it currently starts at $349). There is a related free version called Fedora, but this has a slightly different focus, where RedHat goes for stability over features, Fedora is more cutting edge. The result is that the two may not be the same, and depending on what you want to do, Fedora might not provide you with the knowledge you need to work with the RedHat environment. Help is at hand though, RedHat provide the source code to their distribution, which, thanks to open source licensing can be reused.
If you have more than one computer running Ubuntu (or Debian), or maybe you are experimenting with different installations of Ubuntu using something like VirtualBox, you might find yourself using a lot of bandwidth and time when downloading packages from the Internet to update or add capabilities to your machine. By default each installation of Ubuntu will go directly to the Ubuntu download servers to get packages, producing a situation where you are downloading the same file multiple times through your connection to your ISP. There is an alternative to this situation though, you can download the packages through a host on your own network that will act as a cache. The next time any machine wanting that file requires it, the cache will serve its own copy, instead of having to download it again. This is a lot quicker, as the speed in your internal network will be much higher than the speed of the connection to your ISP, it is also a great bonus if you have maximum download allowances as part of your Internet connectivity package. Setting this up is not too difficult, thanks to a program called Apt-cacher.
As with previous blog posts on the subject of virtualisation, I used VirtualBox to run an image of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition(tm) on Kubuntu 7.10. You will need a fairly powerful machine with a lot of free hard disk space and free RAM. I set aside 15GB of hard disk space for the image and 1GB of RAM to be dedicated to the virtual machine.
You have probably already heard of the One Laptop Per Child Project, which aims to equip children in developing nations with low cost laptops to aid their education. The XO-1 is the first machine to be made by this project, and is very innovative in both hardware and software design. Getting your hands on one of these machines is quite difficult, especially if you don't live in North America, but what you can do is get hold of an image of the machine's operating system and run it inside a virtual machine.
Some time ago I got a free DVD set of Solaris 10 delivered to me. Solaris is a version of UNIX which is supplied by Sun Microsystems ususally with their servers, but more recently they have been supplying versions suitable for use on other equipment.