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today's leftovers

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  • When was the last time you used Windows?

    Are friends and family constantly asking you to troubleshoot issues with their Windows or Mac device? Being the resident support technician in your home is an important job. Like any responsible technology steward, you are going to try your best to help out. However, it might be quite a challenge if it has been a while since you last used such an operating system.

    How long has it been since you last used Windows? Before using Linux, were you primarily a Mac user? Or, are you using Windows or Mac now either at home or work?

    Take our poll by selecting the Windows version you last remember using. If the term, "windows" only reminds you of those glass panels that let sunlight inside, you are probably a long-time Linux user.

    Leave us a comment and share your story about how you started using Linux. 

  • Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop, a follow-up

    I recently detailed my attempts to install Linux as an alternative boot an SD card in a new Dell laptop. Those attempts failed. See Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop for the details.

    Microsoft has continued in their usual way and notified me last week that the current feature update of Windows on that laptop would soon be unsupported and urged me to update to the latest version.

    However, that proved impossible. In spite of removing most of the software installed on the machine, Windows was incapable of cleaning up enough disk space to allow the installation of Windows 10 version 1903 to proceed. The installed 32GB eMMC drive simply is no longer large enough to allow the updates to install. This was true even when I manually downloaded the update and tried to install from an external drive.

    It is remotely possible wiping the hard drive and performing a clean install might have worked, but the prospect of being forced to do so every year was not appealing. So being forced to choose between running an out of date version of Windows or wiping the hard drive and installing Linux, I chose to try the latter.

  • Going Linux #377 · Listener Feedback

    Our first giveaway. In this episode: hidden gems, Banshee abandoned, FreeOffice issues, back to Ubuntu MATE for accessibility, and NTP and hardware clock. 

  • Test and Code: 88: Error Monitoring, Crash Reporting, Performance Monitoring - JD Trask

    Tools like error monitoring, crash reporting, and performance monitoring are tools to help you create a better user experience and are fast becoming crucial tools for web development and site reliability. But really what are they? And when do you need them?

    You've built a cool web app or service, and you want to make sure your customers have a great experience.

    You know I advocate for utilizing automated tests so you find bugs before your customers do. However, fast development lifecycles, and quickly reacting to customer needs is a good thing, and we all know that complete testing is not possible. That's why I firmly believe that site monitoring tools like logging, crash reporting, performance monitoring, etc are awesome for maintaining and improving user experience.

    John-Daniel Trask, JD, the CEO of Raygun, agreed to come on the show and let me ask all my questions about this whole field.

  • how to detect chef
  • Linux Command Cheat Sheet: Download For Free
  • Porting Storm to Python 3

    We released Storm 0.21 on Friday (the release announcement seems to be stuck in moderation, but you can look at the NEWS file directly). For me, the biggest part of this release was adding Python 3 support.

    Storm is a really nice and lightweight ORM (object-relational mapper) for Python, developed by Canonical. We use it for some major products (Launchpad and Landscape are the ones I know of), and it’s also free software and used by some other folks as well. Other popular ORMs for Python include SQLObject, SQLAlchemy and the Django ORM; we use those in various places too depending on the context, but personally I’ve always preferred Storm for the readability of code that uses it and for how easy it is to debug and extend it.

    It’s been a problem for a while that Storm only worked with Python 2. It’s one of a handful of major blockers to getting Launchpad running on Python 3, which we definitely want to do; stoq ended up with a local fork of Storm to cope with this; and it was recently removed from Debian for this and other reasons. None of that was great. So, with significant assistance from a large patch contributed by Thiago Bellini, and with patient code review from Simon Poirier and some of my other colleagues, we finally managed to get that sorted out in this release.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Programming Leftovers

  • Python Script Invalidates Hundreds Of Papers

    This news item is interesting not just because it is a lesson to us all, but because of the way it is being reported as "Bug In Python Script ..." with the suggestion that Python is the cause of the problem. The truth is, in fact, much more interesting. The script is about 1000 lines of Python and hence it isn't a small program. It has been in use since 2014 and was created by Patrick Willoughby, Matthew Jansma, and Thomas Hoye to take raw data and calculate NMR shifts. In the journal Nature Protocols the subject is referred to as the "Willoughby-Hoye" scripts.

  • Future-Proof Code

    Y2K was the nerdy disaster that wasn’t. The fear was that the moment 1/1/00 rolled around, some computers would think it was Jan. 1, 1900. What could go wrong? Maybe highly computerized hydroelectric dams would open their floodgates! Or maybe all date math trying to subtract from 00 would end up negative, and suddenly your mortgage would have been paid off dozens of decades ago! The world freaked out. Software engineers stayed up late. In the end, Y2K had some terrible real-life consequences, but it also didn’t turn out to be a complete catastrophe that required stockpiling ammunition and MREs. After airplanes didn’t fall out of the sky, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The problem, as the public learned so well in the run-up to the New Year, was that for decades, software engineers had left out the century to save on space when storing dates. It was as though they had assumed their software would always run in a year that began with 19. For many who were still just getting used to dial-up internet, Y2K was their first exposure to the potential fragility of software.

  • Current qutebrowser roadmap and next crowdfunding

    Now I'm employed around 16h/week at the same place, mainly helping out with the operating systems course (in other words: I spend my time staring at LaTeX/C/Assembler/Python and teaching students). Like already mentioned in the earlier mail, this means I now have a lot more time than before for working on open-source projects. I'm in the process of founding my own one-man company and already have some work lined up - but as soon as everything is set up, I plan to spend much more time on qutebrowser. Certainly a lot more than what I've been able to during my studies in the past years. However, that means I don't have a lot of recurring income (enough to pay for rent, food and other bills - but not much more than that). This is why I plan to start another qutebrowser fundraising very soon. There will be shirts and stickers available again, as well as some other swag. This time, I'll focus on recurring donations, but I also plan to offer a way to contribute via one-time donations instead.

  • Introduction to PyTorch for Classification

    PyTorch and TensorFlow libraries are two of the most commonly used Python libraries for deep learning. PyTorch is developed by Facebook, while TensorFlow is a Google project. In this article, you will see how the PyTorch library can be used to solve classification problems. Classification problems belong to the category of machine learning problems where given a set of features, the task is to predict a discrete value. Predicting whether a tumour is cancerous or not, or whether a student is likely to pass or fail in the exam, are some of the common examples of classification problems. In this article, given certain characteristics of a bank customer, we will predict whether or not the customer is likely to leave the bank after 6 months. The phenomena where a customer leaves an organization is also called customer churn. Therefore, our task is to predict customer churn based on various customer characteristics.

  • Arduino With Python: How to Get Started

    Microcontrollers have been around for a long time, and they’re used in everything from complex machinery to common household appliances. However, working with them has traditionally been reserved for those with formal technical training, such as technicians and electrical engineers. The emergence of Arduino has made electronic application design much more accessible to all developers. In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to use Arduino with Python to develop your own electronic projects.

  • Eclipse Vert.x 3.8.1 update for Red Hat Runtimes

    The latest update to Red Hat Runtimes has arrived and now supports Eclipse Vert.x 3.8.1. Red Hat Runtimes provides application developers with a variety of application runtimes and enables them to run on the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

  • Robotic process automation (RPA): How it works

    “Do more with less” might be a timeworn excuse for a business mantra, but robotic process automation (RPA) is a tool that could actually help teams do just that in the right circumstances. That’s the big selling point of RPA. The phrase itself might sound complicated or scary, but the possible benefits of RPA are pretty simple: Use software to automatically handle repetitive (and often boring) computer-based tasks that previously hogged a person’s time. Moreover, the processes that make good fits for RPA usually take up human hours with work that requires minimal (or no) skill or creativity. It’s ultimately about efficiency.

Events: CopyleftConf, Oggcamp and FOSDEM

  • CopyleftConf 2020

    A week before Software Freedom Conservancy had announced the CopyleftConf 2020. The conference is going to take place on 3 February 2020, Monday, in Brussels, Belgium. The first edition of CopyleftConf took place in February 2019. One can have a look at the videos here The organizers do plan it after Fosdem.

  • The fight to get home from Oggcamp 2019

    I’d heard that parking in Manchester was not only a nightmare and that you would have to sell your children into slavery to pay the parking fee for a few hours so with that in mind I decided to use the train. Now to get to Manchester by car from my house takes around an hour and a half so long as you stick within the speed limit. My train was set to eat two and a half hours from my lifes timeline, but I felt it was a small price to pay given I was only going to do one day of a two-day event. My journey to Oggcamp started at 6.55 am the train took me to Birmingham New Street, where I was due to change for the onward train to Manchester, on the way up to Birmingham, we stopped at Wolverhampton train station. My connection was on-time, and I made myself as comfortable as possible in my reserved seat. To my horror, a rather large gentleman poured himself into the seat next to me and mine if truth be told. We set off heading back the way we came and just for the fun of it and to wind me up a little our first stop was, yes, you guessed it, Wolverhampton train station. I could see the next two hours were going to be a bundle of joy as I tried to look at my phone while feeling that I was confined in an invisible straight jacket if only that were the extent of my problems. Mr Creosote decided that after consuming his breakfast which he had brought on board, it was now time to have a little sleep. “What’s wrong with that?” I hear you ask. Mr Creosote promptly started to snore like farmer Giles’s prized Gloucestershire Old Spot pig. Two hours later, frazzled we arrived in Manchester Mr Creosote had been kind enough to wake up in Macclesfield just enough time for my bladder to fill to bursting along with my fit to burst brain after all that snoring. Oh, and I forgot to mention the lad opposite who while sat underneath a sign saying “Please be considerate to those around you” played videos of South Park amongst other things at full volume on his phone. Never heard of headphones arsehole?

  • FOSDEM 2020 IoT Devroom Call for Proposals

    FOSDEM (Free & Open-source Software Developers’ European Meeting) takes place every year in Brussels, Belgium on the first weekend of February.

Graphics: Vulkan and Mesa

  • RLSL Allows Running A Subset Of Rust On Vulkan/SPIR-V Enabled GPUs

    There was a recent Khronos meet-up in Munich where Maik Klein of Embark Studios talked about their work on bringing a sub-set of the Rust programming language to Vulkan (SPIR-V) enabled GPUs. RLSL is the project being worked on by the Swedish game studio for opening up Rustlang use for GPUs to benefit from the language's same design advantages, provide a unified front-end, and being able to leverage the existing Rust ecosystem with the likes of Cargo/crates.

  • Raspberry Pi 4's V3D Driver Lands OpenGL ES 3.1 Bits In Mesa 19.3-devel

    The Broadcom "V3D" Gallium3D driver that is most notably used by the new Raspberry Pi 4 boards now is effectively at OpenGL ES 3.1 support within the newest Mesa 19.3 code. We've known that Igalia has been ironing out OpenGL ES 3.1 for V3D after taking over the work from Eric Anholt who left Broadcom earlier this year to go work for Google. Merged this past week was the OpenGL compute shader bits as the main blocker that prevented the V3D open-source Gallium3D driver from exposing GLES 3.1. Following that was a memory violation fix and then explicitly exposing OpenGL ES Shading Language 3.1. That merge request does note that a few more fixes are still needed before V3D will officially pass all of the OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance tests, but at least Mesa 19.3's code is good enough along to enable the support.