Linux – better plug and play soon?

A great post from Greg K-H about the Linux Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) work that’s going on:

It was basically a presentation from Kay Sievers showing udev and HAL working in real-time handing a very nasty chain of USB devices containing a bunch of usb-storage and card reader devices on a USB hub. The speed at which all of the devices were discovered, recognized by the kernel, and then properly named in a persistent way was amazing. The card reader also handled removal and insertion of media from it, destroying and creating the proper device nodes properly (thanks to HAL which creates a thread for every removable device, just like other operating systems do to handle devices that can’t detect media changes.)

This will be the next step in Linux gaining acceptance – especially on the desktop and laptop.

I look at my use of Windows and Linux on laptops – I plug in all variety of USB and Firewire devices; Windows tends to do well – recognising old and new iPods, CD/DVD writers, thumb drives, camera memory sticks etc etc. Generally everything works well – only the occasional ‘clunk – please reinsert device’. NLD 9 tends to be a manual hunt for the device, mount, umount and hopefully things work well. It’s a pain and totally unacceptable for the ‘novice’.

ZENworks Linux Management – customer success

Great customer quote about ZENworks Linux Management:

Chisholm said with SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 OPSM can apply security-related upgrades from a central point, with full control and reporting.

“Within this more secure and up-to-date environment we can better ensure the integrity of our business information and transactions,” he said. “Due to our large number of store locations we also needed a system that could be centrally managed and monitored. Novell’s Zenworks Linux Management offers greater control as it will enable us to update our operating systems and applications from one central point with fewer interruptions to users. We’ll also be able to support an increasing number of stores without increasing our IT staff numbers.”

Full post at the Australian LinuxWorld site

More on Windows Vista

Beta program has opened; there is now a product home page:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/default.mspx

It’s very telling that the strapline is “Arriving in 2006” – placing a definate line in the sand for ship.

Beta 1 is available on MSDN – it’s a not insignificant 2.4GB DVD ISO download – wow. Looks like the baseline for new hardware next year requires a DVD drive..

BBC Radio streams

I’m still trying to find a way to get the BBC Radio streams to run outside of Real Player.

I found a great site with the streams listed in a usable format. This in addition to the BBC Radio Player.

The BBC have done a great job exposing a lot of their behindthe scenes technology. Not only do they ‘support’ Real Player on Linux; they also have a lot of really interesting information they release to the public:

dirac codec
backstage.bbc.co.uk
– lots of web infrastructure data

AppArmor

Following on from the firewall upgrades a week or two ago – I continued to harden and update my public facing servers.

I just installed Novell AppArmor on both web servers. Hopefully this host-based security hardening will help.