Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where is GNU ?

Well, the odds were good, but I know I never actually thought about it. Most people would recognize LAX as the three letter airport identifier for Los Angeles International or ORD for Chicago O'Hare. So what is one of our (computer geek) favorite TLA (three letter anacronym), why GNU of course. In this case, as an airport identifier GNU is Goodnews Bay, Alaska.

Here is a box tag from a local airline that services GNU:
I used GIMP to smudge out the airline name and phone number, other than that it's exactly what it looked like when I pulled it out of my pocket and scanned it.

From Google maps here is a link to show you where this place actually is.

Okay, enough for now, I found it and thought it was fun. Sharing time is over.


p.s. I have landed there and gotten out of the plane, but didn't go looking around. It was a stop on the way to another village I was visiting.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sabayon 3.5

It's official, Sabayon 3.5 has been released as stable. It's time to say that it has truly come into it's own now. No longer simply a spin off of Gentoo it has improved upon it's parent by leaps and bounds. Foremost in this is the Entropy package manager, which simply put allows binary distribution of packages, similar to apt-get, pacman, urpmi, etc while still maintaining full compatablity with Gentoo's source based package distribution (Portage).

While using a binary packager instead of source you loose one key function of Portage, you no longer have the option of tweaking USE flags, so the packages are more generic than system specific. However it does not rule out the possability of using Portage if you need the fine grained control over specific packages or your whole system.

The Entropy method does offer one huge advantage over Portage though, and that is in full system upgrades. No more do you spend days rebuilding modules, python, and packages that need specific options set. If you have ever done a Gentoo world upgrade you know the pain and frustration that it can become. Entropy allows the whole process to be completed using only a single command that happens at the speed of your internet connection. Then if you want or need to, you can recompile the specific packages you want uber control of.

While the Sabayon crew will tell you, and rightly so, that mixing and matching between Entropy and Portage is dangerous and possibly system destabalizing, I have not yet run into any real issues with it. Mind you I only take fine grained control of specific packages that I use every day, such as wine and firefox.

The speed and stability of Gentoo are still present as well as it's incredible selection of packages and other associated overlays. Now this may sound like this is simply a more user friendly version of Gentoo, but it is so much more. It is one of the most out of the box functional distributions that I have ever experianced. From having Compiz-Fusion active even from the LiveDVD without the need for additional drivers, to the wonderful suprise of finding that my network attached printer had been detected and configured without any interaction from me at all and finding ALL my media immeadiatly playable.

There is also a great dirth of information available for it that is more controlled and professional than other distributions. The level of incorrect or out of date fanboi help and how-to's is minimal. While nearly all of the Gentoo documentation is applicable to Sabayon (and a nod to THE BEST documenation of any Linux goes to the Gentoo folks) there is also Sabayon spefic docs that keep to the high standards that the Gentoo community maintains.

If your interested in having the speed and stability of a Gentoo based system with the improved ease of use and management of modern desktop, perhaps better than most. Also having the Out of the box functionality that so many users crave with little to no mucking about with things after installation, give Sabayon a try.

For those without a DVD drive needed to install Sabayon, there is a CD sized installer that contains a very minimal set of packages, or alternatly you can use the how-to I wrote for installing the DVD without actually having a DVD drive by booting from the .iso.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone. This has nothing to do with Linux today, rather the condition of the United States. While traditionally this is the day we celebrate our declaration of freedom for the oppressive rule of a foreign monarch, I thought I would post a video as to how well the most basic tenet of how we accomplished this task is holding up.

If a picture says 1000 words, then this is nearly the library of congress. Lesson learned? If authorities ever come up to you without a warrant and ask if you have weapons ... well I wont say to say no, but use your best discretion. If you want to be able to continue your constitutionally guaranteed right of self defense I'm sure you can pick a proper response.