Monday, April 27, 2009

More Charter Cable trouble

So once again, Charter cable is out. Or rather, all I get is a "One Moment Please" screen. This is starting to happen on a weekly basis now. What is really frustrating is there is no number you can call for support - they only have sales (and I don't see the point in upgrading when I can't get what I am paying (being robbed) for). It really makes me reevaluate why I am paying way too much for cable.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How Novell is Killing SuSE Linux

I just can't hold back anymore. I've been running Linux a long, long time, and in the past five years, I have been working more and more with SuSE Linux. About five years ago (roughly), Novell acquired the rights to SuSE Linux in the United States. They created a set of custom distributions (SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server), but there plans beyond that have always been questionable. Personally, I am not sure if Novell is even sure which direction they are heading.

One of the first things they did was replace the functioning OpenSuSE mirror system with something of their own design - something that will fail with any large update. Each mirror "hides" behind - so the end user has no control over which mirror they are using (all up to Novell). This would not be so bad, but with almost every large update, there is always some piece of software missing. Frequently, this breaks the entire system. You cannot simply choose another mirror - you're pretty much dead in the water until someone updates that mirror (which you can only find out by keep trying the update again and again until it works).

Beyond their issues trying to keep their mirrors together, they seemed to forget the purpose of an operating system with the release of OpenSuSE 11.1. Now, most of the time with software, a "dot" release is an update, not a complete rework. Not so for Novell and SuSE! OpenSuSE 11.1 breaks more things than it fixes. In 11.0 sound worked, you had a configurable (and more secure) login manager, just to name my two biggest annoyances. My SuSE 11.0 played sound beautifully, PulseAudio worked well, and I had made this system a central part of my music system. That was over as soon as I upgraded to 11.1, where it seems like they pretty much threw sound out the window.

And then there's Novell's commercial offering. SLES and SLED 10 have held on to Java 1.4 well beyond it's end-of-life, and now SLES and SLED 11 are skipping right to Java 6. So, for all those apps certified for Java 5 (like, well, all of them), obviously SLES and SLED are not for you! Or, be prepared to maintain your own custom install of Java, separate from the system (and why are we paying for support?). Worse, their "support" forums actually suggest users mix their distributions - just combine OpenSuSE repositories with the SLED/SLES repositories in your list of update sites. Following this piece of advice will guarantee you break your system beyond repair!

Novell has made SuSE into a useless nightmare. All the predictions were true.

Go Ubuntu!!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Nice Way to Spend a Saturday Afternoon

After a busy week of rescheduling training sessions - and altering my home schedule in the process - I got to spend a lazy Saturday morning with my wife (with just a little bit of housework).

We were just thinking about lunch when I saw I had a call from my sister ... also looking for lunch, and suggested we visit our favorite restaurant - the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. How could we say "no"?

So we all met at the Cruise, Kitty & I, Clint, Lisa and baby Benjamin. It was surprisingly quiet, so we got lots of attention from our host Sammy. We ended up all getting their Luncheon Feast - which involves filling the table with so many plates of food it's all but overwhelming. We then spent the rest of the afternoon talking and eating. We found Benjamin likes pitas & hummus, as well as the lentil soup. It was a nice, relaxing afternoon with family (including "cousin" Sammy!).

No women with swords this time, though ...