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September 7, 2008

OpenSUSE Linux 11.0, MacOS X Leopard, and Windows Vista all on my Dell Laptop

by @ 1:26 am. Filed under Dell, SUSE News

How fun is school.

Yeah, it’s not. Especially when you’re starting a new job, too.

The fun part is, I got a dark red 2004 Nissan Maxima. Which I am currently enjoying a great deal.

None of which has to do with Linux. But it’s my blog and I get the liberty of going off topic. At least I’m posting.

So I thought I’d take on the challenge of doing a triple-boot setup on my laptop. Yawn, right? Everyone’s done that.

Except not everyone has done it with Windows Vista, MacOS X Leopard, and OpenSUSE 11.0 all on the same non-Mac machine. A machine much like my Dell Inspiron E1705.

I took said challenge, and it only took about 23 tries before I got it.

Here are some pictures of the machine booting, logging into, and the desktop of each OS:

OpenSUSE 11.0

OpenSUSE Linux 11.0 Booting
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OpenSUSE Linux 11.0 Login
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OpenSUSE Linux 11.0 Desktop
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MacOS Leopard

MacOS Leopard Booting
Click for larger image

MacOS Leopard Login
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MacOS Leopard Desktop
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Windows Vista

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Most often, I will be hanging out in the OpenSUSE 11.0 installation. For that annoying software that only runs in Windows, I am forced, completely against my will, to have it on the machine, as well. And, I have recently become interested in the iPhone SDK, which of course only runs in MacOS 10.5.2 (Leopard) or newer. Hence, the need for all three OSes. And, I have just never seen it done, so I thought I’d jump in and do it. Instructions mostly came from here.


So, back to the off-topic. I am selling a white 2004 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (click for larger image):

For all the information you could ever want about the car, including lots of pictures, take a look at this page.

August 15, 2008

Dell Making Instant-On Linux Machines

by @ 10:43 am. Filed under Dell, General Linux, Linux News

Dell is sure making moves in the right direction with Linux! They have a new machine that is essentially “instant-on” and gives you access to email and the Internet without booting the entire Linux operating system.

Excerpt from Tectonic:

“The really interesting news for Linux fans, however, was Dell’s new “Latitude ON” system which allows for almost instant-on booting when you want to check an email or something on the Internet without booting the entire operating system.”

Read more about these Linux machines from Tectonic

A CrunchGear article explains more:

“By using a secondary processor with its own Linux based OS, the primary CPU is bypassed for instant access to a variety of functions. Think BlackBerry style. Contacts, calendar, email – that kind of stuff – opened up directly on your laptop without firing up the whole system. The dedicated sub-system should also preserve battery life by avoiding the power drain of larger applications.”

Read more about the Linux-powered Dell Latitude E4200 and E4300 from Crunchgear

January 15, 2008

Moving to Linux : Why the increased demand?

by @ 4:47 pm. Filed under Dell, General Linux, Linux migrations, Linux News, My Opinion

Linux is gaining. It’s almost impossible to miss, even for non-techies. Not only that, those non-techies are demanding it. Linux interest is spreading, perhaps driven by the dissatisfaction with the latest OS from Redmond. For example, I read recently:

“Demand for Linux systems is such that some retailers are selling out. Last year, for instance, Wal-Mart for a time couldn’t fulfill orders for Everex’s $199 gPC.” source

There have also been a steady increase in the number of news stories about Linux migrations. It gave me great pleasure to write a bit about Western & Southern Financial Group’s Linux Migration last week. Now, we see that there is another migration. This time, Opus Healthcare, a healthcare application vendor has switched over to Linux.

Then there is the whole concept of “supply and demand.” If people don’t want it, no one will sell it. Quite the opposite is happening in the case of Linux-based hardware. Several different hardware vendors such as Dell and Everex are offering Linux on their systems. I found a handful of places that you can get the Asus Eee with Linux preloaded. I can’t believe the number of vendors now that are selling systems with Linux on them. We’ve also heard recently that Lenovo will be offering SUSE-based ThinkPads.

Why is this happening? Well, for one thing, it seems that people are getting weary of M$ products. They’re tired of the viruses, the worms, the trojans, and all the other malware that they have to spend an additional $100 of software to keep out of their systems. On top of that, Vista has gotten bad reviews. All of this seems to indicate Microsoft has seen its peak of glory. They are not going to disappear (soon), but it seems that they aren’t going to regain the monopoly that they once had. Here’s something else I read on the matter:

“What’s behind the growing interest in open source computing, long the preserve of self-styled computer geeks? Linux’s increasing popularity among mainstream PC users may in part reflect a backlash against Microsoft. The company’s new Windows Vista OS has failed to capture users’ hearts and minds, let alone their wallets.”

“In 2007, only about 39% of new computers shipped with Vista on board, compared with the 67% of the new computer market captured by Windows XP in its first full year of availability in 2002, based on data from Microsoft and Gartner.”

“In spurning Vista, some PC buyers have cited concerns about its cost, resource requirements, and incompatibility with their existing applications. Indeed, the Home Premium version of Vista, not including a computer, costs more than Everex’s gPC. It also requires 15 Gbytes of disk space and a hefty processor.” source

15 Gigabytes? I had better be getting a personal spacecraft for that size. We went to the moon with the equivalent of a calculator. Now we need 15 Gigabytes to write documents in Word (*) and send email in Outlook(*)? No thanks.

Additionally, it seems that people are discovering that other viable options exist. Many like to play with things. They like to combine technologies and have the best of all worlds. All the coverage of Google’s Android and the iPhone are indicators of this. They have specific hardware needs, or they want to have some freedom. They want something that provides freedom to allow them to do what they want to or need to do. Linux provides this, and people are noticing.

These days, even the Micro$ofties are running Linux. You have got to love that.

On top of this, there is a younger generation coming up that is more tech-savvy. They also more freedom and options. They want to explore possibilities. Linux offers the ability to do this. Especially as it develops and becomes better.

Additionally, you cannot ignore the obvious draw of the cost. It’s free. You can pay for it to support those who develop it. But you can’t beat free.

Also, It has a history of being a solid server. Many enterprises, especially those that are just starting out, are already using it. What we hear about a lot are the migrations from Windows to Linux. What we don’t hear about are the countless thousands of entities who have always been using Linux.

With its continued growth, maturity, and capabilities, there has never been a better time than now to make the plunge and give Linux a try. For added interest, take a look at the “Intro to Linux” course. It gives you a bunch of reasons why people love Linux. It also provides about 150 examples of major Linux migrations by all kinds of organizations. The course is available from in the right nav.

Anyway, there seems to be more and more great, positive energy building up around Linux and hardware that runs it. If you’ve ever been curious to try it out or it’s been awhile, there’s no time like the present.

(*) – not included

June 5, 2007

Dell Joins M$ and Novell / Xandros Joins M$

by @ 2:11 pm. Filed under Dell, General Linux

Seems like everyone’s on the Open Source bandwagon. Dell joined up with M$ and Novell…


“Dell says it’s on board with the Microsoft and Novell Linux partnership.

“As part of the deal, Dell will buy SUSE Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft. It will also launch a services and marketing program to woo existing Linux users who are not Dell customers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. It wasn’t immediately clear how many certificates Dell either purchased or planned to purchase. The certificates sold tally–40,000–is the same as it was in March when Microsoft and Novell announced HSBC was buying certificates. The tally in January was 35,000.”

“The good news: Dell is going after the Linux market in a big way. The bad news: Dell may torpedo any goodwill it had in the Linux community after choosing Ubuntu for its desktop Linux distribution.”

Read more about this story here.

And we have Xandros, who is also jumping in with M$…


“REDMOND, Wash. and NEW YORK, June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Today Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Linux platform provider Xandros Inc. announced a broad collaboration agreement based on a set of technical, business, marketing and intellectual property commitments. These commitments provide customers with enhanced interoperability, more effective systems management solutions, and intellectual property assurances, all of which extend a bridge between open source and commercial software and deliver customers real value in mixed systems environments.”

Read the press release here

March 30, 2007

Surprise! Linux marches on. 145 mph 18″ from my face.

by @ 6:45 am. Filed under Dell, General Linux, Linux News, My Opinion

This was inevitable. It would have happened sooner or later. I’m sure that everyone has heard by now about Dell’s support of Linux. They will start selling PCs preloaded with Linux in the near future. What’s interesting is that everyone is all shocked. For a few years, now, Linux has been building momentum. Once Microsoft did its thing with Novell, that was kind of the beginning of a new era for Linux. To me, it felt more like Microsoft was basically just saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” They seemingly figured that in the long run, it would be more cost-effective to partnership with Novell around Linux than it would be to continue a losing battle fighting against it. They changed from the “Linux is a cancer” mind-set to a co-operative strategy.

It still feels to me like they’re saying, “If Linux is going to encroach on our territory, we will control the one with the largest market share.” But Novell does not have the largest market share of Linux installs. That is correct. They don’t. YET. With Microsoft at their back, Novell will eventually enjoy a nice pass to the head of the line of enterprise Linux distributions. By then, Microsoft will have established an influence over the development of that distro. And, of course, they come out on top. Again.

All that aside, another side effect of the M$/Novell thing is that way many more people are going to be using Linux in general. More people will be hearing of it and will start using it. This has already started happening. This is evidenced by the survey that Dell put out recently. They wanted to take the community’s pulse with regards to pre-installing Linux on the PCs they sell.

What distro do you think they will put on these home and business desktops? I am betting that it will be SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. It is a solid system that is very easy to use. Throw an eyeball at a blog post I did on SLED 10 a while back. They really tied it down and made it a solid desktop. In my experience, it is the only logical choice. It does all the regular stuff: email, word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, or instant messaging. It is cheaper than Windows. It offers a full productivity suite in 2. It doesn’t even need antivirus software. Best of all, it integrates into an existing Windows-centric network. Which means compatibility with Exchange.

This is another feather in the cap of the future stability and growth of Linux. What’s more, even if you don’t think Linux is quite up to par now, it is only getting better. Things are only looking up. This is one of the reasons that I have put together a free Intro to Linux course. It is for people who want to get started using Linux, but may not know how. The course is available from my blog. If you want to enroll, please feel free. For people you know who are interested, have them take a look.

Anyway, with the M$/Novell agreement, and now Dell making this new change, expect Linux to become more widespread (this does not mean that this is the year Linux takes out Windows). Expect other companies to make similar changes. It will happen.


My friend Jason, his brother Ryan, and our friend Mac all went to the Salt Flats the other weekend and I shot some video of them doing some SICK spinouts, burnouts, and other stunts in their Mustang GTs (Ryan’s Mustang is mid-90’s, and Jason’s is a brand new 2007). What a couple of sick puppies. Well, so Jason took the footage and mixed it all together and posted it up on Google Videos. Blow my eyes out.

By the way, in some of those shots, they are going by me at 140 mph about 18 inches from my face. Yes, they are. I was there. I know that because when I watch the video, I can hear my voice.

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