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Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

laffer1 What not to use (267 comments)

While I think that most of the posts to use FreeBSD or PC-BSD are spot on, I think I should cover what you shouldn't use in the BSD world due to your requirements.

My own os, MidnightBSD, does not have virtualbox. The nvidia binary drivers work from FreeBSD on it, but that won't be the case forever.
MirBSD wouldn't support at lot of the software you mentioned and doesn't have recent java support for minecraft.
OpenBSD might work, but you would have to check on a few packages.
NetBSD is probably your next best bet after FreeBSD due to the wide variety of packages.
DragonFly is weak on packages, although they're working on it.

FreeBSD does offer disk encryption. Note if you use encrypted swap, there is a massive performance hit. I used to have this a default in MidnightBSD up to 0.4 and it was not a pretty picture on server hardware. Sometimes you'd get panics if there was too much swap pressure with it.

about a week ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

laffer1 Re:Lovin' that smell of BIAS (226 comments)

The problem with a bootcamp is that it doesn't teach theory. You get a good jumpstart on current tech, but if that person doesn't keep learning they won't stay current and in ten years won't have a job anymore.

People who take shortcuts often aren't willing to put the time in later to keep learning.

You get two things out of a CS program in college:
1. You learn how to learn new things including languages quickly.
2. You learn theory so that you understand how to write efficient, reliable and maintainable code.

You don't have to know big O notation to understand that a nested for loop is less performant than a hash lookup, but I guarantee these boot camps don't teach that.

I started as a self taught programmer and then went to college later. There was a LOT of value in doing that.

about two weeks ago
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Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

laffer1 Re:One of the worst points about systemd (522 comments)

> Seriously, what do people want? That nothing must be using Linux specific kernel features ever, because that is unfair to other OS's?

No, what we want is for systemd to not be forced on us as a way to destroy any chance of running a graphical environment in the future. Wayland compositors, GNOME and various other things are starting to require systemd. That is why everyone is upset. Linux users may also not like systemd and that is another issue.

The forced nature of systemd means that every linux distro must switch and that *BSD people may have to fork X or wayland (if it takes off) in the future in order to have a damn GUI.

about a month ago
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Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

laffer1 Re:Some Sense Restored? (522 comments)

You do realize that daemons started by systemd could be vulnerable to right? Web servers, mail servers, etc. It's the going to save you from GNU bash.

about a month ago
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Digia Spins Off Qt As Subsidiary

laffer1 Re:Linux-oriented? (33 comments)

Have you tried to compile qt 5 on *BSD? I'd say it's at best a big 3 OS system now and at worst turning into linux only.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Open Sources Internal Threat Monitoring Tools

laffer1 Re:Linux User Agent (20 comments)

For all you know, he's on the team that's trying to stop you from using chromium on netflix.

about 3 months ago
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How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

laffer1 Preaching to the choir (232 comments)

I work at a large university. IT gave us two options for operating systems on our servers, Redhat or Windows. They also offer a DIY vmware setup. Rather than having IT manage our servers, I have to do it just so we can run Ubuntu. It is impossible to run certain packages like OpenCPU on Redhat because no one ever bothered to port it. Before you jump to the conclusion that linux is linux, it's really not. You can blame Ubuntu for going off the beaten path or Redhat for not keeping up with the times but some software packages only run on one linux distro without considerable effort. Conversely, the only supported backup solution for our servers is IBM tivoli crap and I went through hell to convert the rpm based installer into something that would work on Ubuntu LTS. IBM doesn't get that Ubuntu (or debian derived) distros are popular now either.

As a *BSD guy, I find both Ubuntu and Redhat irritating but at least ubuntu has apt-get. Funny thing is I started on Redhat 5.0 in '99 or so as my first *nix like os. Back then they had a desktop that didn't suck though.

about 2 months ago
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NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

laffer1 Re:Yes Google and FB are the ones to protect us? (116 comments)

It's not just about companies. I haven't used Tor despite my interest in the project because I don't think a court would understand if illegal traffic came from my home internet connection despite me running Tor. Most courts hold the account holder responsible for traffic on their network.

about 3 months ago
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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

laffer1 Still a member (213 comments)

I agree with a lot of the comments here about how it's got declining value. I usually catch up on issues during vacation each year and it's always enjoyable to read some RMS or PHK rant. That said, it's not really worth the $100 for the digital library on top of the yearly dues. I only have it at this point because some of the old content is helpful when working on my hobby.

about 4 months ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

laffer1 It's not just the OS (281 comments)

Most people are blaming Apple directly for iOS getting slow with new releases. I've seen that in some cases with built in apps, but the real problem is usually third party apps. Developers by the latest and greatest iPad and iPhones and then they target those with their apps. The apps get big and have memory usage issues and start crashing on older devices. Usually toward the end of my contract I start having problems with twitter/facebook/google apps crashing a lot and many others that regularly receive updates. My contact timeline usually falls a few months after a new major number iPhone release. I've noticed people on the "s" releases tend to have less issues between hardware upgrades too.

about 3 months ago
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FreeBSD 9.3 Released

laffer1 Re:LOL (77 comments)

It wasn't done at the time of testing. Besides, it's not recommended for use on non OpenBSD systems yet.

about 4 months ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

laffer1 Xerox called (244 comments)

Wait until they here about copy machines!

about 4 months ago
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Opera Releases a New Version For Linux

laffer1 Re:Norwegian company (99 comments)

No.. it's Google's blink and it is open source with some closed code.

about 5 months ago
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Perl Is Undead

laffer1 Re:Modern Weak Languages (283 comments)

That and the Perl community is good about taking upstream patches, has CPAN and a faster, cleaner implementation. Ignoring syntax, Python's got some ugly code in the implementation and it's touchy and irritating to port.

I actually got into Perl because I tried to port Python and Ruby. When you see what's under the hood, it really makes you love Perl. I've migrated from PHP to Perl for scripts and web stuff in the last few years and I find it much less frustrating. The problem is no longer how am i going to get this to work, but which CPAN module do I want to use to do it.

about 5 months ago
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Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

laffer1 Re:Age discrimination exists, but it works both wa (370 comments)

I've had age discrimination happen during interviews the other direction. I was told I looked too young at 21 and that clients wouldn't believe I had the skills. This was for a consulting company. I also had it happen with another company that was just simple web application programming.

about 5 months ago
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Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order

laffer1 Re:Really? (210 comments)

what happens if your internet goes out? - Except for occasional phone home, you can play content offline that is stored on your Mac or PC from iTunes.

what if i don't want to turn on my macbook or PC to stream movies to my apple TV all the time -- You don't have to. The Apple TV can stream TV and Movies from your device directly. If you have iTunes match, the same is true for music.

For me it's about avoiding the storage space of physical media. I have a lot of DVDs and some blu-ray (mostly for 3d content) and it's getting to be a hassle to save space. I saw the big reduction with ebooks and it just makes sense to store everything on an external hard drive now. I can download most of it again from iTunes and I also have a backup on a second hard drive through Time Machine.

about 5 months ago
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OpenDNS Phases Out Redirection To Guide

laffer1 Re:Run your own resolver (90 comments)

Oh I got this...

telnet 2001:4978:f:d9::2 80
Trying 2001:4978:f:d9::2...
Connected to cl-218.chi-02.us.sixxs.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
GET / HTTP/1.0
Host: www.midnightbsd.org

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2014 17:02:59 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.25 (MidnightBSD)
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html

about 6 months ago
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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

laffer1 Re:No (311 comments)

Then we need some changes in thinking on the legal side. Laws to allow individuals and businesses to install solar panels despite HOA or downtown "beatification" laws. I'd have solar panels on my house right now if I could.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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MidnightBSD 0.4 is out with custom package management

laffer1 laffer1 writes  |  about a year ago

laffer1 (701823) writes "The latest version of MidnightBSD includes a new package management system based on libarchive and sqlite3. The project has been working on package management since 2007 and finally has a stable release with it. It's a small FreeBSD fork with desktop ambitions.

(Disclaimer: I'm a committer)"

Link to Original Source
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AMD family 10 CPU bug workaround

laffer1 laffer1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

laffer1 writes "The bug in AMD CPUs such as the Phenom II now has a workaround published by AMD. The workaround is quite simple and involves setting an MSR. It's documented in the AMD guide on these chips http://support.amd.com/us/Processor_TechDocs/41322_10h_Rev_Gd.pdf and already patched in DragonFly BSD and MidnightBSD. http://gitweb.dragonflybsd.org/dragonfly.git/blobdiff/ce5b56a99d27b95380834a6c54a8aeb01e96a8b1..afea4d5a3cf396976e5b778f8477d972e8c29735:/sys/platform/pc64/x86_64/initcpu.c"
Link to Original Source
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Where does one find a 12-14 inch laptop with speed

laffer1 laffer1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

laffer1 writes "I've been searching for a reasonable laptop for several months. The only thing that comes close is the Mac Book Pro 13", but it won't work due to the OS I intend to run. I need a system with a CPU I can do software development on. The system will be compiling software frequently including large packages like firefox, x.org, kde, etc. I work on a BSD project and need a portable system to work on ports and packages with.

I can get away with 4GB of RAM and a modest CPU supported by open source drivers, but the processor needs to be at least a fast dual core or quad core. An AMD fusion is out of the question as it's terribly slow, worse than the core solo 2.2Ghz intel i have now.

I don't care about brand, drive space need only be 80GB and disk io should be fast (SSD or faster SATA HDD)

Where do people go to find systems like this? Netbooks don't work because of the CPU. I think I fall in the fast/ultra portable space. (if there still is one)"
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BSDCan 2011 this week in Canada

laffer1 laffer1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

laffer1 (701823) writes "BSDCan, one of the largest BSD conventions in North America, starts on May 13 with tutorials beginning today and tomorrow. Developers are coming in from all over the world for the event. WIth 4 of the 7 BSD projects represented, and the distro PC-BSD, it should be an exciting event."
Link to Original Source
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laffer1 laffer1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

laffer1 writes "I'm attempting to setup a dual boot environment on my PC. Previously, I had Windows XP SP2 and MidnightBSD working with System Commander. Today I was able to download a copy of Vista x64 from Technet.

My goal was to wipe the XP partition and install Windows Vista Ultimate x64 without effecting my MidnightBSD install on my second hard drive. After several attempts, I'm left with a non booting system.

So far, I've tried setting up the boot menu using EasyBCD 1.52 from Vista. I tried adding an entry and also using neogrub from the software. After rebooting and trying to boot MidnightBSD, my kernel crashed and my partition table was wiped on the vista drive. (first sata hard disk) I'm not using system commander as its not clear if it will work with 64bit windows.

MidnightBSD and FreeBSD are very similar at this point.

Has anyone successfully dual booted Vista and any BSD? What configuration should I use?"
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laffer1 laffer1 writes  |  about 8 years ago

laffer1 writes "Detroit's channel 7 (wxyz.com) reported on their webcast that U.S. Senate Candidate Mik Bouchard's website (www.mikeformichigan.com) was "hacked". The site is now down and it is reported that the FBI is investigating. I voted against him, but find this to be quite an unethical attack. The site is still available in google's cache. (http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:gSSzk0KkAfkJ :mikeformichigan.com/+mikeformichigan.com&hl=en&gl =us&ct=clnk&cd=2&lr=lang_en)"

Journals

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The kernel matters

laffer1 laffer1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Recently, I was searching the web for websites discussing the differences between Linux and BSD. As a BSD fan, I wanted to make a case with a fair and balanced (not in the fox way) site. I found a website at http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/09 that has a critical fail in it's discussion. It claims that all video card support is handled by X in UNIX-like operating systems. This is simply not true. 2D and 3D hardware acceleration are in part provided by a kernel interface that allows X to have direct access to memory. In FreeBSD and MidnightBSD, this code is located at src/sys/dev/drm. The BSD community ports this code from the Linux kernel every few years. It's one of the few parts not under the GPL license in the Linux kernel.

As an end user, this means that BSD is always behind Linux on video card support. Combined with binary blob drivers, the Linux community is far ahead of BSD in this regard. Sure, FreeBSD has an nvidia binary blob that's OK, but any other vendor is not supportive of BSD in the same regard.

In the past, this issue was not a big deal because BSD was used on servers. Today, with my project and others such as PC-BSD, it's becoming a bigger issue. With the recent push toward tablets and other portables, Linux is the only option at the moment as the BSD community is significantly behind in this regard. Several of the BSDs support ARM chips, but they don't support the new low power video options in the same way that Linux can.

I have hope that BSD can improve in this area.

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