Red Hat Drops Sparc Support

I’m annoyed with Red Hat. We run both Intel and Sun hardware and I like to use the same distribution of Linux on all of them to make things more consistent. We’re running Red Hat 6.2 now. There was no Red Hat 7.0 release for Sparc, which was not that surprising as they’ve skipped *.0 releases before for non-Intel platforms. And they assured me at the time that there would be a Sparc release of Red Hat 7.1 but now that it’s out, there isn’t one. When I called today they seemed to indicate that there probably wouldn’t be one (but there might). And they insisted that even if they didn’t release one they would continue to support the Sparc platform (apparently “support” doesn’t include actually having any software that runs on it). Oh well, looks like it’s time to try out some other distributions.

Rocks or Pointed Sticks

Yikes! Over two weeks since I’ve posted any news… Don’t worry, I’m still alive. And nobody has missed much anyway. I worked a lot, spent a few days not working because of allergies or the flu or something, the Dallas Symphony season has started (the first performance was great the second one not so great). That’s about it. Not much to show for two weeks, huh?

While the last two weeks haven’t been that interesting for me, there’s plenty of news from the rest of the world. The weather here in Texas went from 90 degrees to 40 degress overnight last Friday due to some freak cold front. Cold weather in October is unexpected and just plain weird. I not sure if it’s due to the 11 year sun cycle that’s peaking this year, global warming, or one of those James Bond type villains with a fluffy white cat and a weather machine.

Red Hat released version 7 of their Linux distribution. I received my CD from them Monday but will probably just try it out on a development box until 7.1 or 7.2 is out. For some reason they didn’t bother releasing the Sparc version along with the Intel version this time. There were rumours they’d dropped Sparc support but when I called Red Hat, they said it would be back when 7.1 shipped so who knows.

Looks like after a brief outbreak of peace, everyone in the Middle East is back at their usual occupation of trying kill each other. You’d think they’d get tired of it after a couple of thousand years. Makes me relatively glad to live in the US. Over here a “race issue” is worrying about whether or not people of different races can get jobs or enrolled in school with equal ease. In a lot of the world, it seems the biggest race issue is deciding whether to use rocks or pointed sticks to kill each other.

Bright Blue Light of VA Linux

I configured one of two new VA Linux FullOn 2200 series servers today. They’re fast. The thing that most impressed people wandering by, though, was the very, very bright light coming out of the blue LED on the front of the case. It was bright enough to project a blue circle of light on the wall opposite the server.

After reading others experiences with Helix Gnome, I decided to try it out for myself. It’s an easy install and the installer handles the download as well. It seeems like a vast improvement over the Gnome that ships with Red Hat. Among other things, the GUI is much faster and more responsive. I suspect this is because Red Hat uses Enlightenment and Helix uses Sawfish by default. Sawfish seems much faster and less bloated than Enlightenment in general – it does Window Manager stuff and leaves everything else to Gnome. Anyway, Helix is very cool. Recommended.

I also spent a few hours resolving yet another Verio DNS problem. One of our clients is also a Verio customer with DNS problems. In both cases, Verio does the secondary DNS. We’ve decided to do secondary for each other instead. It will be a bit of work to switch all our domains over to the new secondary servers but it will be worth it to be free of Verio’s incompetence.

Computers, Software, and Art

Another week already gone! After solving our Verio DNS problems earlier this week, I spent the rest my time working with PostgreSQL. It took a couple of patches but I got it compiled and running on our Sun Ultra 10 with Red Hat Linux 6.1. I added a new 13gig drive just for the database. That should be enough space to get started. I’ve got our new web server (an Intel/RH61 box) set up with Perl DBI and PHP interfaces to the database server. Meanwhile, I’ve been working with Erin on our first web database application. I sneaked out of the office for a few hours today to catch the Georgia O’keeffe exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. It’s over in a couple of days and I’d promised Susan we’d go see it. It’s definitely worth seeing (but skip the audio guide!).

RH6 Initial Impressions

Linux RH6 update: I’ve installed it on a P133 at home and it appears to be working fine. The version of Gnome supplied with RH6 is a huge improvement over the 1.0 version (thought not without assorted minor bugs). The major screw-up Red Hat made was shipping a broken version of Pump that prevents DHCP from working. As installed RH6 was unable to successfully get an IP from our Netgear router and start networking. After I did this manually, things were fine. And Red Hat does have a fix out on their errata page already. Other than that, I haven’t found anything to complain about.