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today's leftovers

  • GhostBSD 20.11.28 overview | A simple, elegant desktop BSD Operating System. - YouTube

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of GhostBSD 20.11.28 and some of the applications pre-installed.

  • mintCast 349 – NAT Ain’t A Firewall – mintCast

    First up, in our Wanderings, Leo has another helping of Pi, Moss gets spooked, Josh changes up the desktop, and Joe strips. Then in the news, OpenSUSE’s going public?, Pine64 feels the Plasma, and Linux gets Ray tracing. In security, kill switches and a reminder that NAT ain’t a firewall.

  • The Month in WordPress: November 2020

    November 2020 saw several updates to the WordPress 5.6 release. Read on to follow all the latest news from the WordPress world!

  • Taskcluster's DB (Part 3) - Online Migrations

    A few of the tables holding data for Taskcluster contain a tens or hundreds of millions of lines. That’s not what the cool kids mean when they say “Big Data”, but it’s big enough that migrations take a long time. Most changes to Postgres tables take a full lock on that table, preventing other operations from occurring while the change takes place. The duration of the operation depends on lots of factors, not just of the data already in the table, but on the kind of other operations going on at the same time. The usual approach is to schedule a system downtime to perform time-consuming database migrations, and that’s just what we did in July. By running it a clone of the production database, we determined that we could perform the migration completely in six hours. It turned out to take a lot longer than that. Partly, this was because we missed some things when we shut the system down, and left some concurrent operations running on the database. But by the time we realized that things were moving too slowly, we were near the end of our migration window and had to roll back. The time-consuming migration was version 20 - migrate queue_tasks, and it had been estimated to take about 4.5 hours. When we rolled back, the DB was at version 19, but the code running the Taskcluster services corresponded to version 12. Happily, we had planned for this situation, and the redefined stored functions described in part 2 bridged the gap with no issues.

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  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (brotli, jupyter-notebook, and postgresql-9.6), Fedora (perl-Convert-ASN1 and php-pear), openSUSE (go1.15, libqt5-qtbase, mutt, python-setuptools, and xorg-x11-server), Oracle (firefox, kernel, libvirt, and thunderbird), Red Hat (rh-postgresql10-postgresql and rh-postgresql12-postgresql), SUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk, python, python-cryptography, python-setuptools, python3, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-kvm, linux-lts-trusty, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, python-werkzeug, and xorg-server, xorg-server-hwe-16.04, xorg-server-hwe-18.04).

Server: BSD, OpenStack, and GNU/Linux

  • From Unix to Linux: Key Trends in the Evolution of Operating Systems (Part 2)

    According to the McKusick article cited earlier, BSD's popularity seems to stem from the cost-free distribution of the system, more than from any technical superiority over Bell Labs’ Unix. As I mentioned, AT&T had no scruples about folding BSD innovations back into Unix. The C code in BSD now looks dated and sometimes a bit scary, but the tools and operating system were production-ready and popular. When Digital Equipment Corporation brought out their VAX minicomputers as a replacement for the PDP series, the Berkeley crew grabbed the VAX Unix port from AT&T and built a new version of BSD on it. Mini-computers became a central part of the computing landscape in the late 1970s and early 1980s (before personal computers became commercially available), and BSD's popularity grew along with the VAX. A popular warning was, "All the world is not a VAX." This referred to bad habits that computer science students were picking up because the VAX helpfully did things such as provide them with zeroed-out memory if they failed to initialize the memory explicitly. If programmers relied on finding zeros in uninitialized memory, their programs would go horribly wrong when ported to other systems. This was now a world where programmers expected to move between computer systems, and take their programs with them. That world was created by Unix and BSD. BSD was also the impetus for the great eruption that brought Unix into the commercial mainstream: the founding of Sun Microsystems. Bill Joy and his colleagues took advantage of the permissive BSD license to sell computers with their enhanced version of BSD, called SunOS. Sun Microsystems’ workstations and mini-computer servers wiped out a generation of other mini-computer companies and started to set the standard for modern computing and networking—all based on SunOS, which meant BSD.

  • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in November 2020

    The most reliable hosting company site in November 2020 was New York Internet (NYI), which responded to all of Netcraft’s requests in November. NYI offers a comprehensive set of hybrid IT solutions across cloud, multi-cloud, colocation and bare metal in its US data centres. So far in 2020, NYI has appeared seven times in the top 10. In November, the top eight sites each responded to all of Netcraft’s requests and were separated by average connection time. Webair appeared in second place. The hosting provider has provided managed hosting solutions for over 18 years and offers colocation across North America, Europe and Singapore. Hyve Managed Hosting wraps up the podium places, in third. Hyve provides a range of services including cloud hosting for business with full management services. These services are complemented by 35 data centres across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Whilst Linux continues to dominate the top 10, FreeBSD makes an appearance in first place in November with NYI.

  • Forecasting the future of cloud with OpenStack experts | Ubuntu

    OpenStack, the cloud computing platform, has proved to be a beacon of success for open source. It rounds off 10 years in existence this year, a period which has seen it reach nearly 200 countries, and we want to look ahead to what the future holds for the technology. We’ve spoken to a number of journalists and other leading experts, including the Open Infrastructure Foundation, the organisation which manages the development of the technology, to understand how OpenStack may develop in the future. While we’ve seen businesses of all sizes adopt OpenStack to embrace the cutting edge and engage with the likes of AI and containers, predicting its next steps is not such an easy question to answer. John Leonard, Research Editor from the UK’s Computing, explains: “That’s a little hard to say. Open source is now the default rather than the exception and there are many more open source collaborations now covering different areas, notably the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). I expect OpenStack will end up focusing on areas of IaaS less well served by Kubernetes, perhaps around serverless and storage innovations.” [...] Tytus Kurek, Product Manager at Canonical believes the foundational element of OpenStack will prove important; “Whereas the interest has long spread to other technologies, OpenStack remains the foundation of private cloud infrastructure across many organisations. In the following years we’re expecting to see continuous improvements around its stability, security and integration as well as supportability for 5G, AI/ML, edge and even more advanced use cases.” What’s vital though, is no matter how they grow over the coming years, OpenStack and its contemporaries remain true to the foundations and virtues of open source – ensuring that as many people can contribute and benefit.

  • Moving to a More “Open” Environment

    The expansion and proliferation of open source organizations such as the Linux Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation attest to how much open source projects have become mainstream.

  • Benefits of Hosting on A Linux Server [Ed: Is this a real article? No. It's borderline SEO spam, as the first link in it reveals.]

    One major benefit of Linux is that it doesn’t slow down over time as compared to Windows. As more and more programs and background processes are added the operating system gets addled with a lot of requests.

Programming Leftovers

  • Santa is pseudo packaging | Playing Perl 6␛b6xA Raku

    Santa needs to know where all the chimneys are. Thanks to schedule constraints, a single subroutine call has to do to query multies defined in a bunch of modules.

  • Development community that we can see to development of Perl Part1 - C language specification creating group | Yuki Kimoto Perl Blog

    The Perl core team seems to be looking for resources to help in language development. Currently, it seems the material in python. perlgov: the perl governance document I feel that Perl and Python cultures are quite different. It's also based on an improvised document in 2019 when the Python reader quit. I can understand how envious we are when we see Python attracting users(although I'm watching a lot of cheating at the same time). On the other hand Perl has long been a conservative culture. So, we can refer to the methods used by developers of languages, operating systems and tools that also have a conservative mindset. The first thing I would like us to refer to is the method used by the group that creates C language specifications.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Bash For Loops in Linux

    A bash script is simply a plain text file containing a series of commands that the bash shell can read and execute. Bash is the default shell in pre-Catalina macOS, and most Linux distributions. If you’ve never worked with a shell script before, you should begin with the absolute simplest case. This will allow you to practice key concepts including the creation of the script and its execution.

  • Re-format blah,YYYYMMDD,blah as blah,YYYY,MM,DD,blah

    This exercise was inspired by a recent article by Girish Managoli. He showed how to prepare a data table for machine learning using simple shell tools.

  • The 20 Best Matlab Books For Beginner and Expert Developers [Ed: Better to use GNU Octave, which is Free software and similar]

    MATLAB is short for Matrix Laboratory. MATLAB is the simplest and most profitable computing climate for researchers, scientists, and engineers. It incorporates the MATLAB language, the main programming language devoted to numerical and specialized computing. You can utilize MATLAB for a scope of utilizations, including Artificial Intelligence, signal preparing and interchanges, picture and video handling, deep learning, control frameworks, test and estimation, and computational science. Thus, in this modern era, it has become very crucial to learn MatLab, and for the appropriate guidance, an adequate set of MatLab books is inevitably important.

  • Why I love Emacs

    I'm a habitual Emacs user. I didn't choose Emacs as much as it chose me. Back when I was first learning about Unix, I stumbled upon a little-known feature in a strange application called Emacs, which was apparently hidden away on my computer. Legend had it (and was proven true) that if you typed emacs into a terminal, pressed Alt+X, and typed tetris, you could play a falling-blocks game. [...] That was my introduction to GNU Emacs. While it was frivolous, it was also an accurate indication of what Emacs is all about—the idea that users can reprogram their (virtual) worlds and do whatever they want with an application. Playing Tetris in your text editor is probably not your primary goal on an everyday basis, but it goes to show that Emacs is, proudly, a programming platform. In fact, you might think of it as a kind of precursor to Jupyter, combining a powerful programming language (called elisp, to be exact) with its own live environment. As a consequence, Emacs is flexible as a text editor, customizable, and powerful. Elisp (and Common Lisp, by extension) aren't necessarily the easiest languages to start out on, if you're used to Bash or Python or similar languages. But LISP dialects are powerful, and because Emacs is a LISP interpreter, you can build applications, whether they're Emacs plugins or prototypes of something you want to develop into a stand-alone project. The wildly popular org-mode project is just one example: it's an Emacs plugin as well as a markdown syntax with mobile apps to interpret and extend its capabilities. There are many examples of similarly useful applications-within-Emacs, including an email client, a PDF viewer, web browser, a shell, and a file manager.

X Still Improving and Microsoft 'Embraces' and 'Extends' Mesa, More DRM

  • X.Org Server 1.20.10 Allows For Larger Number Of Input Devices, Present Extension Fixes - Phoronix

    Following Tuesday's disclosure of more X.Org Server security bugs, X.Org Server 1.20.10 was released that provides those input fixes plus a number of other patches that have been back-ported and accumulated in the 1.20 series.

  • Microsoft Begins Landing Changes For Cross-Platform Support With Their Mesa D3D12 Code [Ed: Microsoft is interfering in Mesa development to make it more Windows- and Microsoft-leaning. See the comments: “Did they also include an option to uninstall the windows subsystem?” [...] “Is this worth celebrating? It means nothing for desktop Linux at all." […] "MS is firmly in the “Extend” phase of their conquest…”]

    Last month the Microsoft-backed Direct3D 12 Gallium3D driver was merged into Mesa 21.0. This is the driver for allowing graphics/compute APIs like OpenGL and OpenCL to run on top of Direct3D with Windows 10. That work to the Gallium D3D12 code has been continuing with the start of the cross-platform code now being merged.

  • Syscall User Dispatch Appears Destined For Linux 5.11 To Help Windows Games On Linux

    The Syscall User Dispatch support looks like it should be mainlined for the Linux 5.11 kernel. This functionality is important for modern Windows games running on Linux under Wine / Proton. Syscall User Dispatch has been in the works for a while as a kernel-level improvement for dealing with Windows games/apps that use system call instructions, bypassing the Windows API. Games avoiding the Windows API and performing system calls directly is an increasingly common occurrence by modern Windows games, seemingly in the name of Digital Rights Management schemes and similar protected modes. This though has been a problem for Wine (and Steam Play's Proton) when bypassing the conventional Windows APIs.