Laser Blog

Articles tagged "software"

108 ZFS and Linux?

Sunday 18th May, 2008

This is concerning a cryptic entry from the blog of Jeff Bonwick. The two guys in the photos (follow the link) are Linus Torvalds and Jeff Bonwick. Jeff Bonwick is maybe not quite as well known as Linus Torvalds. He's the CTO of Storage Technologies at Sun Microsystems, he's also the ZFS development team leader, and his blog pretty much focuses on ZFS.

So, what's this about? Aren't there supposed to be licensing issues with Linux and ZFS? All I can assume when Jeff Bonwick says:

All I can say for the moment is... stay tuned."
is that there are "talks about talks". There are certainly interesting possibilities, ZFS is impressive stuff.


107 Three awk resources (and one old sed)

Wednesday 14th May, 2008

I use awk (or rather gawk and nawk) a lot, and I was intrigued to find two resources on the internet very recently. This sort of information used to be hard to come by, so it was good to find it.

The first (and IMO the best) resource I found was an awk tutorial called Getting started with awk.

The second was an Awk, Nawk and Gawk cheat sheet.

Add to that my old favourite Handy one-liners for awk, which seems to have taken it's inspiration from the venerable and much-queried Handy one-liners for sed, and you have the four resources hinted at in the title. I hope it proves useful.


105 Safari imposition

Thursday 27th March, 2008

There's been a little flurry of news regarding Apple's "Safari" web browser.

The first thing which caught my attention recently was Apple's bundling of Safari by default into iTunes and Quicktime updates on Windows PCs. So unless you're on the ball (but aren't all Internet users on the ball?) and deselect the "Safari" checkbox, you get Safari downloaded and installed on your Windows PC. Well of course you wanted it!

In this update, Apple claims that "Safari for Windows is the fastest and easiest-to-use web browser for the PC", a claim which is countered by many sources. I guess these things are perceptual to some people, rather than quantitative!

This has now been followed up with a fascinating paradox in the EULA which comes with Safari for Windows, which states that you are permitted to install said software (unwittingly downloaded or not) onto no more than "a single Apple-labeled computer at a time." Which means that if you're installing Safari for Windows (which you may have been tricked into downloading and installing in the first place) onto a Windows PC, you're violating the terms of the license.

Added March 28, 2008

Slashdot has a couple of articles related to this, one discussing the points above as well mentioning that Safari seems to be suffering some security vulnerabilities. The second article follows up on the vulnerability theme; at the CanSecWest hacking contest, a MacBook Air was compromised within two minutes due to a Safari-based vulnerability.


103 Hotmail doesn't work with Firefox 2.0 and GNU/Linux

Monday 11th February, 2008

Personally, when I first saw the headline, I thought, "So what?" However on closer reading, it seems that Hotmail has been deliberately rigged not to work with Firefox 2.0 and GNU/Linux. To work around it, all you need to do is use User Agent Switcher to masquerade as Firefox running on Windows, and it works just fine. There is no technical reason why it shouldn't work, this just seems to be a deliberate attempt to block Linux users from Hotmail.

The funniest part of this whole story is when the author contacted Hotmail support with his woes, explaining that Firefox 2 wasn't fully supported under GNU/Linux, and he received a reply recommending him to use Outlook Express, as well as details of the steps required to set up Outlook Express on Windows XP and Vista.


98 Windows is free

Sunday 11th November, 2007

This article, Windows Is Free, is a discussion about the impact of pirated software on free software, and is an interesting analysis of people's attitudes to using pirated software. Interesting and thought-provoking stuff.