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today's leftovers

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  • Sysadmin skills: What junior sysadmins need to know

    As important as research and testing on their own is, just as important to a junior admin is knowing to ask for help when they do become stuck. A good mentor will not expect a junior admin to have all the answers, or indeed even the context to get started sometimes. While it is important for them to first try to figure out an issue on their own, spending too much time on a single problem to the exclusion of other work, or struggling so much that they become frustrated and distracted is counterproductive. They should take a crack at the issue, research it and work through it, but know when to call it and ask for help.

    A great way to learn through that process (and keep the additional workload put on the mentor to a minimum) is to ask for guidance on clearing the specific hurdle rather than having a mentor show them how to fix the entire problem all at once.

    There is nothing especially out of reach about being a systems administrator. There is no knowledge that couldn't be learned by anyone and no technical skills required of a junior admin just starting out in the role. Far more important are the "soft skills" like knowing how to learn, how to test, and how and when to ask for help. Junior administrators who possess these skills will have no trouble picking up technical skills, and more importantly, no trouble being useful and contributing members of their teams.

  • Red Hat build of Eclipse Vert.x 3.9 brings Fluent API Query

    Red Hat Runtimes provides a set of comprehensive frameworks, runtimes, and programming languages for developers, architects, and IT leaders with cloud-native application development needs. The latest update to Red Hat Runtimes has arrived with Red Hat’s build of Eclipse Vert.x version 3.9. Red Hat Runtimes provides application developers with a variety of application runtimes and lets them run on the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

  • Seize the opportunity to transform SAP and the enterprise, with SUSE

    For medium and larger businesses, ERP systems like SAP span multiple divisions and departments. SAP often powers collaboration and communication and acts as a single source of truth. From the central ERP, the business decision-makers can create change, and also monitor results, often in real-time.

  • Microsoft Open Sources 1983’s GW-BASIC Programming Language [Ed: So basically it's published, not to be changed, on a proprietary software monopoly platform for openwashing purposes; PR stunt]

    Microsoft says GW-BASIC is now available on GitHub.

  • Open Source Foundation Pillar Project Launches Smart Wallet With First Ever Built-In Private Payment Network and Meta-Token [Ed: Overt Openwashing; the "about" section reveals no connection to code]

    London-based Pillar Project launched the Pillar Smart Wallet last Thursday, alongside the wallet’s in-built private payment channel to transform the way users interact with decentralized platforms and services.

    To promote the release, Pillar launched a referral campaign which attracted 2,549 new users, with 500k PLR given away in 72 hours. In total, 8,631 new users joined Pillar over the weekend.

    “Smart-contract accounts allow us to offer our users far better functionality and security, and this is what our latest upgrade is all about. Pillar users will now be able to confidently explore the wider blockchain ecosystem directly through the Pillar app,” says Michael Messele, chief executive officer of Pillar Project.

  • Mozilla, Twitter, Reddit join forces in effort to block browsing data from warrantless access

    A group of seven internet companies are vowing to stand up for the privacy of its users this week when the United States House of Representatives considers the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020.

    Mozilla, Engine, Reddit, Reform Government Surveillance, Twitter, i2Coalition, and Patreon have asked four US legislators to explicitly prohibit the warrantless collection of internet search and browsing history.

    "We hope legislators will amend the bill to limit government access to internet browsing and search history without a warrant," the Firefox-maker said in a blog post.

More in Tux Machines

Hardware: Wainlux, RasPi, Arduino

  • Wainlux K6 & Alfawise C50 Mini Laser Engravers Offered for $130 and Up

    A few days ago I saw Wainlux K6 “most compact, powerful and simple-to-use” laser engraver on Kickstarter for about $159. I did not think too much of it at the time, but this morning I thought it already showed up for pre-order on GearBest for $129.99 as Alfawise C50. But I was mistaken, as both products are different, albeit sharing some of the same attributes. Nevertheless, this brought back my curiosity about these types of devices, especially with Wainlux K6 having already managed to raise over $200,000 from close to 1,400 backers so far. So let’s look at both.

  • Travel the world with a retro musical phone
  • Deck out your ride with an Arduino-controlled spoiler

    Car spoilers can provide downforce for better performance, or simply give the appearance of speed. To take things to another level, Michael Rechtin designed his own custom wing that doesn’t just sit there, but pitches up and down via a pair of servos. The system utilizes an Arduino Nano along with an MPU-6050 for control, adjusting itself based on his Mazda’s movement, and powered is supplied by a LiPo battery. Suction cups are used to attach the spoiler, so installation appears to require no actual modification of the car whatsoever.

Programming: XML, Perl and Rust

  • 10 Excellent Free Books to Learn XML

    XML is a set of rules for defining semantic tags that describe the structure and meaning of a document. The user of XML chooses the names and placement of the tags to convey the nature of the data stored in a document. XML can be used to markup any data file to make it easier to understand and process. In addition, it has been applied to many special domains of data: mathematics, music, vector graphics, the spoken word, financial data, chemical symbols, and web pages among others. Here’s our recommended free books to master XML.

  • 2020.28 Bridges 7

    Arne Sommer, inspired by a solution of a previous Weekly Challenge, wrote a small series of blog posts about the seven bridges of Königsberg:

  • A tour with Net::FTP

    When we want to have a way to exchange files between machines, we often think about rsync, scp, git or even something slow and complex (looking at you Artifactory and S3), but the answer is often right in front of your eyes: FTP! The “File Transfer Protocol” provides a very simple and convenient way to share files. It’s battle-tested, requires almost no maintenance, and has a simple anonymous access mechanism. It can be integrated with several standard auth methods and even some virtual ones, none of which I show here. [...] I got the idea to backup and centralize automatically the configuration file during the creation of the build pipeline workspace. It was intended to help both developers (configuration “samples”) and support team (see history, versioned then we can check diffs, file to replay). The constraints were to be able to exchange file from various places with variable users. The FTP protocol is a perfect fit for that. I added also a cronjob to autocommit and push to a git repository and we had magically a website listing versioned configurations files. In addition, FTP proved later to also require zero support. I mean really zero maintenance!

  • Perl Mongers, Unite! is great for resources, but there's no obvious way to promote your meeting. Not that there needed to be when the meetings were local events, but now, thanks to Covid-19, these meetings are taking place virtually. Why limit yourself to your local members? I am convinced that there are plenty of pockets of mongers that, if united and connected, would make the world realize that Perl Is Not Dead.

  • Programming languages: Now Rust project looks for a way into the Linux kernel

    The makers of systems programming language Rust are looking at how to adapt the language for use in the Linux kernel. Josh Triplett, an Intel engineer and lead of the Rust language project, says he'd "love to see a path to incorporating Rust into the kernel", as long as it's done cautiously and doesn't upset Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds.

IBM/Red Hat Leftovers

  • Command Line Heroes: Becoming a Coder
  • Bank of America, Google, and Red Hat Executives Join OASIS Board of Directors

    OASIS, the international standards and open source consortium, today announced that three new members were elected to its Board of Directors: Jeremy Allison of Google, Rich Bowen of Red Hat, and Wende Peters of Bank of America. Their depth of experience in the open source and open standards communities bolsters the Board’s reach and establishes OASIS as the home for worldwide standards in cybersecurity, blockchain, privacy, cryptography, cloud computing, IoT, urban mobility, emergency management, and other content technologies. These three new members join the continuing members of the Board: Martin Chapman of Oracle, Bruce Rich of Cryptsoft, Jason Keirstead of IBM, Beth Pumo of Kaiser Permanente, and Daniel Reidel of New Context. Reelected Board members Frederick Hirsch, Individual member; Gershon Janssen, Individual member; and Richard Struse of Mitre will each serve a two-year term starting in July 2020.

  • OpenStack @ 10: Red Hat’s take on a decade of customer defined clouds and an update on Red Hat OpenStack Platform

    From the early days, Red Hat has supported the OpenStack project and we’ve built a platform of our own with Red Hat OpenStack Platform. This month, we look back at how far OpenStack has come in the last 10 years, how Red Hat has contributed and lastly, we celebrate the general availability of our next version with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.1, available later this month. [...] By 2014, Red Hat was already a major contributor to the project. This not only brought enterprise support from a heavily-invested contributor, but also helped drive community input from customers who may not otherwise have participated. The increasing diversity and chorus of voices within the community helped bring forth new projects and features to solve problems. In addition, the introduction of Red Hat OpenStack Certification widened industry support, launching with more than 100 tech industry leaders as members. The Icehouse (I) and Juno (J) releases coincided with Red Hat OpenStack Platform’s three-year support life cycle, launched with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 5. This meant that enterprises could choose a platform and standardize on it for an extended period, providing stability for the workloads that need it. Red Hat OpenStack Platform 6 kept the ball rolling with more than 700 enhancements, updates and changes to the platform as it continued to grow and mature.

  • How Automation can help banks improve security, compliance, and productivity

    FSIs spend a lot of time responding to auditors. Compliance with regulatory mandates often dictates processes. However, variance in processes can increase tension between developers working to improve the organization’s agility; teams responsible for maintaining operations; and security and compliance teams. Without a clear joint process, each of the teams may develop their own. Inconsistent IT configurations, patching and testing can make management and reporting difficult. A lack of shared processes can also allow technical debt to build, which inhibits change and introduces risk. In addition to managing digital transformation, IT systems are upgraded regularly, entailing an intense period where the IT team focuses on configuration and testing every piece of technology. While this work is critically important, and because the risk exposure is significant if each component is not updated and tested, it is also stressful and can be tedious. The challenge is further increased because many financial organizations are operating across a range of different environments, like Windows, Linux, public and private clouds, virtualized and container environments, increasing the complexity of their IT footprint.

  • My Outreachy Internship: The journey so far…

    I’ve gotten stuck with many issues over the coding period, some more facepalm than others. For example, I wasted almost a week trying to get my setup running on docker-compose only to realize that the problem was just mislabelled services. In another one, while writing a script to initialize a MySQL db I put a space after the ‘-p’ so my builds kept failing. Of course, these issues shouldn’t have taken more than a couple of hours to figure out but more often than not it took days. All this reminds me of the struggle I had when I started learning JavaScript. Trusting the environment/ecosystem did not come easy. It was normal for me to think that the bugs that I was getting were because of a bigger force that I did not understand yet. This would force me to blindly go on an expedition to really understand what’s going on.. only to realize that the issue was right in front of me and I never needed to read anything beyond the files that I wrote. However, even after the time I had lost the net result was always positive. The more ‘blind expeditions’ I went on the more knowledge I accumulated and the more confidence I gained to commit. A bigger hurdle for me has been adjusting to the work-from-home lifestyle. Especially with the pandemic my entire routine has been disrupted and finding a balance has been a challenge.

  • Introduction to Red Hat Insights

    Red Hat Insights is a SaaS application that is available free of charge to everyone with a valid Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription. This article provides a brief introduction to Red Hat Insights, shows how RHEL systems are integrated into the cloud service, and lists key documents and resources related to the service. Author's note: I'm testing the service as part of my job at the Bielefeld IT Service Center (BITS) at Bielefeld University. This article reflects my personal view of Red Hat Insights. Furthermore, I would like to clarify that I am a member of the Red Hat Accelerators community.

  • Developing and testing on production with Kubernetes and Istio Workspace

    Due to container-orchestration platforms like Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift, developers have become very efficient about deploying and managing distributed and containerized applications. But can we say the same about application development and testing? In this article, I briefly discuss how cloud-native development is transforming the traditional development cycle of coding, building, and testing. I then introduce the idea of testing on production, not as a meme but as a necessity. Finally, I introduce Istio Workspace, a tool for developers working with distributed systems running on Kubernetes or OpenShift. [...] Testing new functionality before it reaches production has always been hard, but the shift from monoliths to microservices has brought scale, which has increased the challenge of testing locally. We see developers trying to use tools like Red Hat CodeReady Containers or Minikube to spin up whole applications composed of multiple services. While this approach works well when projects are relatively small, it’s not so easy when you introduce more fine-grained services, and the graph starts to grow. It is not feasible to spin up even a medium-sized distributed system on your own machine. Using replicated environments such as staging or quality engineering (QE) gives some confidence, but it’s expensive in terms of both cost and maintenance. Despite the effort of defining infrastructure as code, there are still potential differences in the target machines’ configuration; they just show up on the operating system and hardware level. It is also frequently impossible to get the same load and volume of data on the test system that is in the actual system. Therefore, testing on production is no longer a meme: It’s a reality and a necessity. What’s needed is a way to use your favorite tools to develop, build, and debug your code locally, but have your application behave as if it were running in the production cluster.

Graphics and Hardware: Mesa, RADV, NIR and DDR

  • Mesa 20.2's Nouveau Enables HMM, OpenCL SVM Now Supported

    The open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver stack reached a new milestone today with the user-space code in Mesa 20.2 finally flipping on the Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) support. It's been a long road with the work done by Red Hat, NVIDIA engineers themselves on the open-source Nouveau HMM bits too, and the community in getting heterogeneous memory management mainlined and working. This has also been part of Red Hat's broader OpenCL/compute upbringing in recent years for the Nouveau driver stack. But finally today the HMM caps are set in exposing it in user-space for the NVC0 driver with Pascal GPUs and newer.

  • RADV Driver Lands Support For Vulkan Extended Dynamic State

    The newest addition to Mesa's RADV Radeon Vulkan driver is support for the recently published VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state extension. VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state debuted in late June with Vulkan 1.2.145 as an extension developed by the likes of Valve, Intel, NVIDIA, Google, AMD, and others. VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state adds additional dynamic state for accommodating games/applications needing to reduce the number of pipeline state objects they compile and bind. The details are laid out in full via the Khronos spec.

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: aNIRtomy

    I’ve spent a lot of time talking about NIR and writing passes, so let’s take a shallow dive into what exactly that means. To start, there’s this idea of a “lowering” pass, where “lowering” means reducing or changing some part of the shader representation. These passes are run for various reasons, ranging from handling compatibility (e.g., the gl_FragColor -> gl_FragData[n] pass I discussed previously) to optimizing the shader by removing unused variables and instructions. [...] In this, the pass iterates over the shader’s functions, then creates a nir_builder (an object used for altering shader internals) while it iterates the blocks within the function. A function block is a group of instructions contained within a given scope, e.g., a conditional. The pass iterates into each block, looping over all the instructions and passing them to the lower_impl internal function for the pass, which is where all the work happens.

  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT Memory Scaling Performance Under 100 Different Tests

    For those thinking of picking up one of the new AMD Ryzen 3000XT series processors and weighing whether it's worthwhile on your budget picking up DDR4-3600 memory or other higher frequency DDR4 modules, here are some fresh benchmark results with the Ryzen 9 3900XT looking at 100 different tests on Linux and showing how the performance changes from DDR4-2133 through DDR4-3800.

  • JEDEC Publishes DDR5 Standard - Launching At 4.8 Gbps, Better Power Efficiency

    The DDR5 standard is expected to see the first DIMMs launching at a speed of 4.8Gbps, the Vdd is down to 1.1V (compared to 1.2V with DDR4), support for on-die ECC and other new features like decision feedback equalization, usage of MIPI I3C as the system management bus, and other improvements over DDR4.