Master of Puppets

Hi,

It’s been a long time since my previous post and many good things happened to me ever since. A few months ago I changed my job, moved to a new home, bought a bike, adopted a lovely little cat and today I finally graduated my MSc studies.

Lately I’ve been working on the thesis project, and I’m very glad it’s over. The project implemented a netinstall and configuration management system for a gLite cluster, all written in Puppet and available on my github page

Now that I finished this I can finally spend more time watching Star Trek or hacking on coreboot :), I just got an old RTL8029AS NIC from an ex-colleague (Thanks Serban Cordis!) that I’ll try to get working as a remote debug console in Coreboot and SerialICE just like Rudolf Marek did a while ago.

Cristi

25’th birthday

Hi,
Today I had my 25’th birthday (and Christmas), and we all had a great time together.
I’ve been away for quite a while now, it’s been almost a week with no Internet connection but it seems I was able to survive…
Me and my wife were gone to Berlin for a Rammstein concert, and after driving more than 3000Km in 4 full days, we finally got home. The concert was great, even better than we expected, but the whole trip was very long and tiresome so we had to rest quite a lot after the arrival. Thanks Paula, this was my best birthday present ever!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
Cristi

coreboot @ Budapest meetup

Yesterday I had a presentation in Budapest, at their New Technology Meetup.

It was a short introduction to the coreboot project. I saw some cool projects made by the other presenters and participants, like a Z80-based hand-made computer able to run Basic and a very spectacular DJ application full of graphic and sound effects.

I had a lot of fun, and I can say that it did worth all the effort of driving there and back in a single day for 15 hours or so (never trust a GPS device blindly, you can get into trouble!). I only wish they didn’t talk in Hungarian while presenting so that we could understand the discussions *hint*.

Thanks to the organizers, especially Balazs Fejes and Tamas Terray for inviting me.

Here you can see the recording.

Cristi

Just married

Hello,

Finally, we managed to wake up.. This weekend I celebrated my wedding with Paula, the woman I chose to spend the rest of my life with. These were the happiest and the more exciting days of my life to date. It was a very busy weekend, with lots of things to prepare and bear (the hardest was the Orthodox religious service that took more than an hour), but over all we had a lot of fun in the process.

Sure, there were some glitches, like anytime you have to satisfy a crowd of 120 people with totally incompatible musical tastes (and not only!), but we did our best and over all it all was great and most of them were delighted from what we could tell.

The ring was hardly bearable at first, just like a tooth filling 🙂 but I’m starting to get used to it. The priest made a mistake at first and in the middle of the service I had to insert/extract twice Paula’s ring off both my annular fingers with great effort and help from my godfathers. I’ll try to avoid churches as much as possible from now on, and only enter again in a church if really necessary 🙂

We’re now eagerly preparing for the honey moon^H^H^H^Hweek, and we hope to get some pictures by the time we return.

See you soon,
Cristi&Paula

My impressions about Fedora 11, as compared to Ubuntu

Hello,

After I presented a slide show at the last saturday’s Fedora Launch Party event, I decided to give Fedora 11 a try for a few days, and switched from Ubuntu 9.04, and by now it seems it will be for a long time.

My first impression about it was when it told me some bad news, it found out that my disk drive is having a bad sector, right from the install medium. Ubuntu didn’t show this kind of info at all.

I’m glad that my garbled fonts are gone, but I was a bit badly surprised that they didn’t customize Nautilus at all, and by default it behaves just like Windows 95’s Explorer.

The system is moving quite well, compared to Ubuntu. The newer kernel, EXT4 and 64bit made a huge difference performance-wise, the system seems quite stable, and Evolution seems not to leak any more the way it did in Ubuntu.

Their new fingerprint-based feature behaves as badly as I managed to get fprint work In Ubuntu(maybe the problem is because of my hardware or my fingers you never know…), just that it is better integrated with the system, so I turned it off after a few swipes 🙂

They have nice KMS support, but unfortunatelly I’m not using console mode (GNU screen is a nice replacement). By the way, the screen configuration in Ubuntu rocked, and should be installed by default in here too, IMHO.

I was expecting to see a better display manager tray applet in gnome, but hopefully that will come in a later release, and that the dual display feature works at lease as good as in Ubuntu(the resolution is hardcoded at a bigger value, and my second old 17″ LCD display flashes like hell)…

A nice feature I noticed is that yum allows installation of software from other arch’es (like x86 on x86-64), which APT forbids, and that yum is moving faster than I expected (it was damn slow in Centos on some of my servers). Still, zsh completion is unusable with yum, and queries in the Yum GUI tool could benefit from some speed-ups.

The only major thing that I’m missing currently is the VPN pptp client, which fails with “no valid secrets” even if my password is correct. It works just fine in Ubuntu.

Their “free software only” policy is not quite appreciated by pragmatic users like me, who just want the stuff work, despite the licenses are not that open, so I had to manually install EasyLife to get rid of this problem (It provides native 64bit Flashplayer and Java, Skype – whose sound is broken with Pulseaudio – and codecs among other nifty features).

That’s about it for now, I’ll update this as I find other issues/qualities as time goes by.

Cristi

Hello,

After reading some articles on phoronix that revealed some benchmarks where the older generation kernel appeared quite slow compared to those >= 2.6.29, I decided to change my default linux kernel from the default 2.6.28 provided by Ubuntu 9.04, to 2.6.30-r7 from the Ubuntu ppa. I got amazed about its speed and responsiveness and I can only recommend it to anyone.

Cristi