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Ask Slashdot: How Did You Become a Linux Professional?

Pengo Interesting reading other peoples responses.. mine (298 comments)

About 15 years ago i just started installing it and using it for various tasks. In a smaller company this is a very easy thing to get away with, and I've spent most of my career in Small/Medium businesses. Many of which were in startup mode and saving money was an easy sale. What makes you a professional is when you've started to break things, or see things fall apart and you can fix it.

The hardest part about Linux (or at least was) is that you'd have to cash the checks you were writing, no blaming microsoft or Oracle when you put Linux on the line.

Any chance that you have to get an organization to invest in Linux is a sign that they are interested in investing in their own employees, namely you.

If they aren't interested in trying Linux/Open Source, it's probably trust issues with turnover or having been burnt by someone in the past that just didn't know what they were doing. If you do jump into that game, start with something small and low-key, maybe a simple PHP app or a file server. Ease into other services and build up your toolbox. You will panic the first time the disk fills up, or the server is unresponsive and you have to mount the disk in single user mode for a repair. Things happen, but lucky for you google is your friend.

The best way to become a professional in my experience is to jump in and Just do it ! :)

Best of luck.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Have You Handled Illegal Interview Topics?

Pengo Seriously.. are you that desperate for a job... (714 comments)

The only shocking thing about this thread is not one person said :

"Wow, this isn't a company I'd want to work at/for.. I'm sorry we wasted our time"

Let me give you a hint: If you're in software or engineering, not a complete retard and don't have any history of sticking a fork in the neck of your secretary or coworkers, you can go knock on another door and get a job. Go find a company that doesn't want to snoop around in your social media accounts. Believe me , they are out there.

Whenever i hear this topic come up I just think to myself, what kind of pathetic would would even consider working for such a company.

more than 2 years ago

Go Version 1 Released

Pengo Possible replacement for Dalvik into the future? (186 comments)

Does anyone know if this is an R&D project that could be poking at the idea of a litigation free runtime for Android away from Dalvik?

I'm curious to see how this language evolves and its internal adoption inside of google.

Regardless of the language taking off or not, it's a great to see a new language enter the ecosystem, and no doubt we'll learn things from it that can be brought back into main-stream languages or interesting innovation that could open the doors for new (pray disruptive) development in new areas.

more than 2 years ago

2011's Fastest Growing Language: Objective-C

Pengo Re:C# (356 comments)

Where do you consult? The City of Redmond city service building?

When I see a post start with: ".. and everywhere I go I see NetWare and UNIX.. " I have to scratch my head and wonder where you're going!

I don't want to seem like a troll, but wherever you're going is definitely NOT where i'd want to be or would want to work. If a place is so sophisticated that they are just getting around to replacing Netware, Windows Server really might be the right solution for your customer! :) No doubt that there is COBOL consultants following you in tow to these customers.

about 3 years ago

Linux Kernel Developer Declares VirtualBox Driver "Crap"

Pengo Re:Oh the irony! (357 comments)

On that note, from someone who has used both Virtualbox and VMWare on Linux (Yes, Virtualbox is crap)

KVM felt really strange for a little bit, I was used to Xen but as our servers slowly moved to Ubuntu LTS, I made the jump.

1-2 days of studying and playing in a lab envornment was all it took to being able to script my own deployment scripts and be able to throw up servers into my lan with just a simple script call. I never had a single problem with KVM and the performance was amazing. I'm not discounting that other VM's have their place, and I'm sure KVM has its warts, but I -never- had a problem with it.

Now... with that said, I never tried running non-ubuntu hosts on it. I ran Linux guests, ubuntu Guests at that running the same version of Ubuntu on guest that the host was running. IO was never a drama for me, which seemed to be more so with VirtualBox. I'm sure there are people who could chime in and explain why that was the case.

I ran 12 production guests on a VM host with a Dell 2950 with 32g of ram in Raid10 configuration (6 decent magnetic drives).

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Releases Windows 8 Developer Preview

Pengo Re:Too late (266 comments)


Our small group has developed a few mobile apps, and we've done well enough on markets that don't have Apple's huge user base. Building a reasonably decent app for us have sold well when ported to Palm's market. Though now it's all but dead, the windows market will make a lot of people a lot of money before critical mass lands. Pushing prejudice aside, and not taking into consideration some groups already considerable investment in the marketing strategies and loyal customer base for the iOS platform (which is my personal favorite environment to build for), it's silly to call a company like microsoft too late to the game to make a business selling applications on.

Decent money is being made right now on the windows market place, even with a low usage base, and with the sheer mindshare they have of folks that are windows programmers not wanting to re-tool over to MacOS to write iOS apps is going to create a decent ecosystem of applications, which is what will truly drive the demand for their handsets.

I haven't sat down and wrote software personally for WinMo7, but I watched a guy on our team re-write a Android app that we have on the market in Visual studio in about 1/5 the time it took to write a similar application in XCode for Mac, and that was fumbling through C# and a new toolset. Overall to compare the development environment that Win7 programmers enjoy, you could almost call it penis envy.

Yeah, I know this is Slashdot, and I have invested MANY years into Linux/Java and more recently iOS/ObjC.. but I'm pretty shocked how nice it appears to work in Visual Studio, and more importantly how effective a decent programmer can be using the tools even with absolutely no experience working with it. If MS can get the handsets to the masses, they will I believe really give Apple a serious run for its money.

That said, automated reference counting (garbage collection) in iOS5 and the new Storyboard layout in xcode is a godsend for productivity. It's definitely going to bring ObjC to new higher levels of productivity for experienced iphone devs, and reduce the barrier to entry for new programmers wanting to pick it up and learn it. What an interesting time we live in! We're seeing the true benefit of competition reward us as engineers by giving us GREAT choices in platform development!

I would hate a world where Apple is running unchecked or being stuck with buggy android phones as the only platform of choice .. and we all know what life was like when MS was the only real game in town.

Long live competition! Let's hope all the major players do well and prosper.

more than 3 years ago

OS X Lion Ships With Faulty NVidia Drivers

Pengo No issues here (284 comments)

Lots of posts, but just checking in.

2010 macbook pro running Lion and haven't seen this happen once.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Android For Development?

Pengo Check the support phones on Cyanogen Mod forums. (203 comments)

There are almost no phones that are affordable running 2.3.

I do development and use a unlocked Incredible on Verizon, but it's not activated, I just have it using WiFI.

On the road my kids can use it as a portable game device, i have a hotspot 3g card so the phone works as a phone, even when roaming.

I paid less than $200 in a local paper to get the phone, it was in perfect condition and runs fine. I actually enjoy that phone so much with Cyanogen i'm tempted to use it in place of my iPhone (also on Verizon).

I personally would never buy any Android phone that wasn't supported by the Cyanogen developers. (I'm looking at you boot-locked Motorola!) :)

more than 3 years ago

Quad Core, Thunderbolt In New MacBook Pros

Pengo Does the new macbook support Sata6 (3) (495 comments)

I've not been able to find any spec's on this machine that detail what the internal sata controller supports.

I'm interested in picking one of these up to replace my very old Macbook, but if it's still usb2 / sata2, I'll likely wait.

more than 3 years ago

Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

Pengo I always hire with room for income to grow. (785 comments)

I don't think there are many jobs out there that will simply pay more because you're younger, unless you're a true prodige', and are worth the money.

The bottom line, basic economics go into play with employment. I usually get someone to disclose, if they can what they were making before, and what they would like to make now. I always shoot a little low, and try to give frequent and predictable raises. No better way to raise moral and say you've done a great job, than pulling out your wallet and giving someone a raise or a nice bonus.

One time a person told me (before I became an employer myself), that your biggest raise is always through the front door of a new company. This is a very true statement from my experience, and I'd argue that this is more often than not why a younger person is paid less.

Another thing i've noticed, having worked with people of various ages, older people tend to be more predictable and more stable. Staying up all night with mountain-dew knocking out a project late at night is not how things work in the real world. A predictable pace is much more valuable in the long run, and having discipline is often harder for younger people, of course with exceptions on both sides.

I've been fortunate to work with very young and very mature programmers, they both have their place.

about 4 years ago

Book Piracy — Less DRM, More Data

Pengo Re:Why I pirate books (304 comments)

You are, of course, almost certainly lying. If ebooks were in the $3-5 range you would be here with an almost identical complaint about how that is too high, but if they were around $1 you would buy.


Maybe i'm one of those burnt customers who have bought a Kindle with the hope that the eBooks will be more cost effective than tree-books.

I have just looked at my amazon account, and between myself and my wife we have over 100 purchased titles in our account. Both of us have kindles, as we're both avid readers.

A disturbing trend that seemed to occur when the iPad launched with it's book reader, the price of books nearly tripled, even more in the more popular books. Authors such as Steven King, have prices on their books that are drastically higher than the HARD BACK copies you can buy at Costco. Publishers such as Penguin are probably the worst of the publishers.

I'm not a pirate, nor am I going to threaten on Slashdot to start pirating books because the price is too high, but I will stop buying them. $15-20 for an eBook is ridiculous, and frankly i can understand why people would want to pirate the material when forced to pay such ridiculous prices.

The beauty of the price hikes that are occurring is it's pushing people to consider content from less popular, but just as talented authors that are selling their books in the $4-$7 price point, which from the reviews and popularity of these books growing on the top-100 lists on the Kindle store, appear to be a price point people don't mind spending.

about 4 years ago

Running ZFS Natively On Linux Slower Than Btrfs

Pengo Re:Why I use ZFS/Solaris in production for Postgre (235 comments)

It's a good blend of both reads and writes.

We have tables that have as many as 100m records, where Solaris/ZFS seemed to help massively was the big reads for reporting. We have indexed it pretty aggressively, even going so far as to index statements and managed to pull amazing performance, considering the concurrency we see from a free database. (Which for the record, has never given us any problems... postgres has been rock-solid)

for the most part it was running "ok" on linux, but the bump we got from the testing on Solaris with ZFS with identical hardware and similar configs was nothing short of amazing.

One of the big differences between the 2 configs, we disabled the raid controler (A dell perc 6/i) to run jbod instead of Raid 1+0. I've not tried to do a stripe configuration on Linux with a similar configuration , even without compression. To be fair to the linux performance, i really need to setup and test with a similar config to make sure my results were not hardware related.

A friend had told me where solaris and ZFS really gives the big bump on the performance is how it's not having to read each byte from the disk, it's reading a compressed block and decompressing it on the fly, which if you have the CPU cycles to spare causes the io transfers to be a lot quicker. (at times 2-3x faster than a raw read with uncompressed data)

I'm guessing that we could probably get similar results with Linux on XFS or ext4 using solid state drives, which are now a little more affordable than they were years ago.

Again, we're not a large shop with lots of money to throw around at the project, we're a startup just trying to get by in a brutal economy. :)

You're right though about the default configuration. I've gone through and tuned the work memory, index cache, tuned the memory to match my hardware. (Currently 32 gigs on an array of 8 disks on a 8 core Xeon server)...

more than 4 years ago

Running ZFS Natively On Linux Slower Than Btrfs

Pengo Why I use ZFS/Solaris in production for Postgres (235 comments)

The throughput for large data sorts are just faster, period.

A lot of it has to do with the reading of compressed data, and the huge ram-buffer that ZFS uses on the OS, optional commit on writes, block sizes that match the database pages.

The system scans 3 megs of index data, what it's actually reading to get that off is say 1 meg, which it decompresses on the fly on one of the many cores the database server has. In the end throughput destroys what i get running non-compressed volumes on EXT4 or XFS on Linux. For "MY" database, it runs nearly 2-3x faster than the same hardware running on Linux. (RHEL5 is what I ran the db on for a long time).

I have not been able to get Linux/Postgres to run even partially as fast as I have been able to get Solaris/ZFS running Postgres 8.3.

Btrfs isn't even near production states yet, but i am really hoping that it will give me an option to get off of Solaris.

On that note, one thing i haven't tried yet with our DB is Solid State Drives. The sheer throughput might more than make up for the benefits i get on compressed ZFS volumes.

I for one am VERY VERY hopeful that BTRFS can get stable, and fast. Oracle's fiasco has me and a few other people at our small business very nervous. I'm not planning on replacing our Sol10 (free) distribution , and could care less about the support Oracle offers. I'm playing with Solaris Express 11 now, but not sure I want to pay the $1k a year for production use, though if it offers me the performance gains over linux that I'm currently seeing, it will probably be worth it for our Database system alone.

Has anyone here had experience tuning Postgres on Linux versus Solaris/ZFS ? We're not a huge shop, 8 people running large data-warehouse type applications. We run on a shoestring and don't have a bunch of money to throw at the problem and would be very grateful for any ideas on how to make our database run with comparable performance on Linux. I'm hoping that I'm missing something obvious.

more than 4 years ago

Did the Windows Phone 7 Bomb In the US?

Pengo Re:If You're Late to the Party (609 comments)

They ARE doing what nobody else is, they have Bing'd their phone through and through.

No more pesky google services, at least without a lot of effort.

I get first-class access to Hotmail and Exchange, why would i bother with wanting a native GMail client.

Google Voice integration? Glad they keep that shit off my phone.

Google Navigate? I'll happily pay for my Garmin numi thank you.

Google Voice Search? I'm a little irritated that they tricked me into the 411 services to help them train that. I'm boycotting that little app.

more than 4 years ago

Oracle Sues Google For Infringing Java Patents

Pengo Re:Serious questions raised by Oracle patent attac (510 comments)

From what I'm reading, it could be python Syntax and it just wouldn't matter. It's the running of code in a bytecode virtual-machine where the patents seem to have bite.

Interpreted scripts are going to be a hard sell to developers, it either needs to natively compile or at least compile into a bytecode blob.

I personally would be resistant in investing hundreds of hours, or millions of dollars in marketing and development for a big title to only have Python scripts being passed around for the world to take and use.

more than 4 years ago

What To Do With Old 802.11b Equipment?

Pengo Re:I think it's a good question. (249 comments)

I have 2-3 routers like this at my house.

I found that when i'm at my moms place, she has a lot of dead spots in her home. I've tried to catch reception from the back-yard patio for example. Their house was wired for ethernet, to at least 3 major points in the home which are all tied to the router. I created 2 access points on the 2 oposite sides of the house.

Sure it's 802.11b , but that's enough for my iphone to connect to or one of my sisters to attach a laptop to , to simply check her Facebook or email.

802.11b is slow, but really it's faster than the 3G cell networks still, and is fast enough to do most tasks that any typical laptop user might need.

I unloaded some old junk, and scored points on the parent-meter = ) It's a great way to pass on the love, and improve those long sunday visits when you can't get good signal to their main router. =)

more than 4 years ago

Study Says Targeted Ads Gettin' a Lil' Creepy

Pengo The advertisers will use what converts (241 comments)

I find it amusing when research groups drone on about this or that, in the end the Marketing groups that are pushing millions of dollars in advertising a month know when so much as a fraction of a point changes in conversion rates, either direction.

Online marketing seems to be very reactionary and any group I've worked with that have managed to stay successful know their numbers VERY well. The only way that too-targeted of ads won't work is if people don't click on it.

The marketing-departments don't give a flying rats ass about privacy, morality or ethics. They ONLY care about what will convert your click to a conversion, and nothing more.

Paying more or less for that marketing data is only useful or valuable to them if you give them your eyes, or money.

For them to coach where a marketing department should put their budget is laughable, and if a marketing group is having to even ask that question, they aren't making their decisions based on performance, they are making it based on assumptions and feelings which will be nothing more than a Fail-Boat marketing campaign, and likely has no clue what they are doing and won't stay/survive in that market long.

more than 4 years ago

Next Ubuntu Linux To Be a Maverick

Pengo Re:The Slashdot Trolls all agree (319 comments)

Haha :) +1

I've been using Linux since the early days, and was on the linux desktop back when KDE was 1.x , I've long since abandoned Linux on the desktop since OS X has come out and been strong. (I'm a linux-server junkie, but no chance for using it with my desktop) I just don't have time to deal with all the crap-software and second rate desktop environment. Shitty hardware support, terrible video drivers. (I use dual 30inch monitors on a modern NVidia gfx card). The drama list goes on and on.

I was playing with this release of Ubuntu this weekend on a testing workstation i have at home, and I was thinking for myself for the first time in years. Maybe I'll give Linux a shot again as a workstation replacement at work vs. OSX on my Mac Pro. I love to try new things, but previous linux desktops have just been a steaming pile of shit compared to the fit and finish of OSX.

I write Java software for deployment on Linux servers, I'm hardly a "retard", but from reading Slashdot today you'd think it's the end of the fucking world with this release of Ubuntu. I just found it ironic that it's the first version of linux in 5 years i've considered to let back on my desktop.

Maybe it is the year of the Linux Desktop. :) Great post!

more than 4 years ago


Pengo hasn't submitted any stories.



Did the journal entries get deleted?

Pengo Pengo writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I had a couple journal entries that are now gone.

Anyone else missing their journal entries or was I just lucky? Maybe they made an update to the slash-code.. who knows. *grumble*

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