Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
dartttt writes, quoting Ubuntu Vibe: "Dmitry Grinberg has successfully booted Ubuntu 9.04 on an 8 bit micro machine with 6.5 KHz CPU and 16 MB RAM. Grinberg did this experiment on a ATmega1284p, 8-bit RISC microcontroller clocked at 24MHz and equipped with 16KB of SRAM and 128KB of flash storage. Since the RAM was too low, he added 30-pin 16MB SIMM to the machine and a 1 GB SD card to host Ubuntu image. ... To get the world's slowest Linux Computer running, he had to write an ARMv5 emulator which supports a 32bit processor and MMU. A similar machine can be made very easily and everything should come in about $20." There is source code available, but it's under a non-commercial use only license. Just how slow is it? "It takes about 2 hours to boot to bash prompt ('init=/bin/bash' kernel command line). Then 4 more hours to boot up the entire Ubuntu ('exec init' and then login). Starting X takes a lot longer. The effective emulated CPU speed is about 6.5KHz, which is on par with what you'd expect emulating a 32-bit CPU & MMU on a measly 8-bit micro. Curiously enough, once booted, the system is somewhat usable. You can type a command and get a reply within a minute." If you like watching a whole lot of nothing, there's a video of the boot process below the fold.
dartttt writes "Adobe has released Flash Player version 11.2 with many new features. This is the final Flash Player release for Linux platform and now onward there will be only security and bug fix updates. Last month Adobe announced that it is withdrawing Flash Player support for Linux platform. All the future newer Flash releases will be bundled with Google Chrome using its Pepper API and for everything else, 11.2 will be the last release."
First time accepted submitter bheading writes "Following years under controversial leadership which, among other things, led to a fork (which was in turn adopted by some of the major distributions) the glibc development process has been reinvented to follow a slightly more informal, community-based model. Here's hoping glibc benefits from a welcome dose of pragmatism."
judgecorp writes "After many delays, the Raspberry Pi computer has arrived in Britain, but has been stopped by the need for a CE approval sticker to say it meets European regulations. The Raspberry Pi Foundation expects the sticker to be a formality, and says it failed to apply because it thought the Pi did not qualify as a 'finished end product.'"
head_dunce writes "Now that Red Hat has officially posted more than a billion dollars in revenue, ($1.13 billion to be exact), the company's PR department sent this funny list of quotes predicting doom. For instance, 'We think of Linux as a competitor in the student and hobbyist market but I really don't think in the commercial market we'll see it in any significant way.' Bill Gates, 2001."
New submitter inhuman_4 passes along this quote from an article at Wired: "Last December, Microsoft scored a victory when the ITC Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex found that Motorola had violated four Microsoft patents. But the ruling could also eliminate an important Microsoft software patent that has been invoked in lawsuits against Barnes & Noble and car navigation device-maker Tom Tom. According to Linus Torvalds, he was deposed in the case this past fall, and apparently his testimony about a 20-year-old technical discussion — along with a discussion group posting made by an Amiga fan, known only as Natuerlich! — helped convince the Administrative Law Judge that the patent was invalid."
New submitter Mojo66 writes "Mayor Ude reported today that the city of Munich has saved €4 million so far (Google translation of German original) by switching its IT infrastructure from Windows NT and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. At the same time, the number of trouble tickets decreased from 70 to 46 per month. Savings were €2.8M from software licensing and €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7."
mtaht writes "Has anyone, besides those that worked on byte queue limits, and sfqred, had a chance to benchmark networking using these tools on the Linux 3.3 kernel in the real world? A dent, at least theoretically, seems to be have made in bufferbloat, and now that the new kernel and new iproute2 are out, should be easy to apply in general (e.g. server/desktop) situations." Dear readers: Have any of you had problems with bufferbloat that were alleviated by the new kernel version?
jfruh writes "If you have to administer a *nix computer remotely, you hopefully ditched Telnet for SSH years ago. But you might not know that this tool does a lot more than offer you a secured command line. Here are some tips and tricks that'll help you do everything from detect man-in-the-middle attacks (how are you supposed to know if you should accept a new hosts public key, anyway?) to evading restrictions on Web surfing." What are your own favorite tricks for using SSH?
crookedvulture writes "Commodore has revealed the Amiga mini, a small-form-factor system that runs a custom Linux distro dubbed Commodore OS Vision. A trailer for the OS hardly inspires confidence, and the rest of the system doesn't help. While the Amiga mini features a high-end Intel desktop CPU and modern conveniences like Blu-ray, USB 3.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi, it's stuck with one of the slowest graphics chips Nvidia makes. Some of the other specifications are head-scratchers, too. The mini comes with a whopping 16GB of RAM but only a terabyte of storage. You'll have to pay extra to get an SSD, which makes the $2500 asking price particularly onerous. The case, Blu-ray drive, and power supply are being made available separately, but at $345, they're hardly a bargain. Add this to the list of nostalgia-baiting remakes that don't live up to their inspiration." Update: It looks like Commodore has dropped the price after receiving a lot of negative feedback.
New submitter VoyagerRadio writes "Recently I found myself struggling with a question I should easily have been able to answer: Why would anyone want to use Linux as their everyday desktop (or laptop) operating system? It's a fair question, and asked often of Linux, but I'm finding it to be a question I can no longer answer with the conviction necessary to 'sell' the platform. In fact, I kind of feel like a car salesman who realizes he no longer believes in the product he's been pitching. It's not that I don't find Linux worthy; I simply don't understand how it's ever going to succeed on the desktop with voluntary marketing efforts. What do Linux users need to do to replicate the marketing efforts of Apple and Microsoft and other corporate operating system vendors? To me, it seems you don't sell Linux at all because there isn't supposed to be one dominant distribution that stands out from the rest. Without a specific product to put on the shelf to sell, what in the world do you focus your efforts on selling? An idea?"
spidweb writes "The latest Humble Bundle has gone live, with five new games for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Android. It consists of Zen Bound 2, Avadon: The Black Fortress, Canabalt, and Cogs, with Swords & Soldiers thrown in for anyone who pays at least the average. As always, the games are pay-what-you-want and DRM-free, and this is the initial Linux and Android release for many of them. Of course, as is the tradition with Humble Bundles, other games are likely to be added on later."
An anonymous reader writes "AMD has publicly released the open-source code to the Radeon HD 7000 series 'Southern Islands' graphics cards for Linux users. This allows users of AMD's latest-generation of Radeon graphics cards to use the open-source Linux driver rather than Catalyst, plus there's also early support for AMD's next-generation Fusion APUs."
New submitter LordDCLXVI writes with a review at Tom's Hardware that starts out with some loaded questions about GNOME 3, as included in the newest version of Red Hat's Fedora: "While most other distros are passing up or postponing GNOME Shell, Fedora is full steam ahead. Does Red Hat know something the rest of us don't? Or is GNOME 3 really as bad as everyone says?" Writes LordDCLVXI: "This massive article amounts to a full-blown guide to Fedora 16 'Verne' and complete dissection of GNOME Shell. It begins with an installation guide, with instructions for enabling third-party repos, proprietary graphics drivers, Wi-Fi, Flash, Java, multimedia codecs, and 32-bit libs. Next up is a GNOME Shell tear-down, including customization options and methods to 'fix' the Shell or mimic GNOME 2. Finally, Fedora is benchmarked against Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 7. [While the author] adds to the voices criticizing GNOME Shell, he also points out that the extensions can empower distributors to create unique, yet compatible layouts. One of the most fair and constructive critiques of GNOME 3 — definitely worth the read, and even makes GNOME 3 worth a second look."