Friday, October 21, 2005

Microsoft signs as Wembley backer

Being a fan of English Premiership League, and a linux user, the news of MS becoming a Wembley backer quickly get my attention. From TFA, MS will support Wembley with its technology. I wonder what it means. Does it mean that any information service provided in Wembley will be run in MS Platform? Will any information can only be accessed trough MS tools?
If that's what MS pursues in, I think it's a smart marketing manouver since Wembley is a very Iconic stadium for all football fans.
I just hope that Mark Shuttleworth or any other open source tycoons(?!) can find a counter of such tactic. After all, football fans are also human being, right? :-D

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ubuntu Linux 5.10 (Breezy Badger) At A Glance

Breezy has been officially released!!!.
Now, I believe it's the perfect time for me to get a good grasp with the newest version of my favorite GNU/Linux distribution.
This is the specification of my system:
  • AMD Sempron 2200
  • Asrock Motherboard K7S41
  • DDRAM 512 MB
  • 2x40GB Maxtor Hard Disk
  • Pioneer DVD-ROM
  • on board sound & vga

I. Installation
The text-based installation is similar with Hoary's. It's not eye-candy like Xandros' or Linspire's installer, but it definitely gives you more control.
There is a new feature in Breezy installer : installing into free space reclaimed by shrinking existing partition. It's a nice feature for those new to linux and want too keep his OS by dual-boot. However, I choose to customise the partitioning. My 1st HD contains my main system: Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary) and I do not want to mess with it, so I divide my 2nd HD into root and home, then install Breezy into them.

II. First Boot
The first installation phase is smooth, and after grub installed into my 2nd HD, it reboots. This first boot, however, is not smooth. I have to manually edit the Grub configuration file myself, before the installation goes into the second phase. After additional packages were installed and configured, The new splash screen shows up, and bring me into the familiar ubuntu login screen.

III. Logging in
Finally, I got the taste of Gnome 2.12. I notice some improvements in nautilus, evolution and app-install. However, what I really like is these new features: smeg (menu editor), boot-admin & disks-admin. I know I can edit menu manually, tinkering with menu.lst, or mount those hard disks manually, but having these tools will make my Gnome more humanly, just like Ubuntu slogan: Linux for Human Being.

III. Applications
I don't see any big difference with hoary, since I am not a software developer (those new gcc compiler will remain under the hood forever). One thing I'd like to try is JFFNMS 0.8.2. I use ubuntu at work as nms, so it's my chance to try it out. I'll write about this later.
I would also try Ubuntu as headless server. I feel my desktop performance much below hoary. I think it's because of GNOME 2.12 (My XFCE & E16 run well). It takes some moment for most apps to appears. Perhaps I should test Kubuntu to confirm this.

IV. Conclusion
Wow, it's too early to conclude anything since I've just tried it for two days!
Anyway, I like breezy, but the low performance of this release bothers me much. I even scrap my standard breezy installation on my old laptop to replace it with XFCE-Ubuntu(!). I think I'll keep monitoring the ubuntuforum to seek resolutions of these issues.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Double Choco Latte or Request Tracker

After hundreds of unarchived troubleshooting effort, I felt that I needed a method to keep those records logged. This idea brought me into this solution: trouble ticketing system. I liked the idea of having all the troubleshooting progress monitored and logged, simply by entering the information from web.

Crawling the web for any related open source project brought me some...well, actualy plenty of choices:

  • Bluetail Ticket Tracker (BTT)
  • Bugin
  • Bugzilla
  • Double Choco Latte (DCL)
  • GNATS (aka PRMS)
  • HelpDesk
  • JitterBug
  • Job Control System (JCS)
  • OpenTicket
  • Open Track
  • PHP HelpDesk
  • ProManager
  • Request Tracker (RT)
  • ReqNG
  • Roundup
  • Scarab
  • Teacup
  • TouxDoux
  • WebCall
  • wreq
Quick look at my Ubuntu repositories reduced them to two: DCL & RT

So, it was the time to choose........hmm..............nevermind, I just picked both.

Being quite a coffee geek, I went first with DCL. After wrestling with postgresql, and set it up, I felt that this animal was so buggy and relatively unmaintained that I had to abandon it.

The setup of RT was done somewhat easier, as its documentation spread over the web. I felt that RT was much more mature since it had been around for longer period. However, I felt the administration was a bit kludgy. I also disliked the user interface style. Rather than customizing it, I decided to continue my journey in searching trouble ticketing system apropriate to my work. I am....
Back with manualy logged troubleshooting,.... with pen and papers scattered troughout my desk.