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Liam Proven

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The Linux cloud swap that spells trouble for Microsoft and VMware

Just occasionally, you get it right. Six years ago, I called containers "every sysadmin's dream," and look at them now. Even the Linux Foundation's annual bash has been renamed from "LinuxCon + CloudOpen + Embedded Linux Conference" to "LinuxCon + ContainerCon". Why? Because since virtualization has been enterprise IT's …
Liam Proven, 1 Jun 2017
How you doing Joey Friends

Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin'?

Comment Red Hat is the biggest – and one of the oldest – companies in the Linux world, but despite the difficulty of accurately measuring Linux usage figures, Ubuntu and its relatives seem to be the most popular Linux distributions. Red Hat isn’t sitting idle, though. Despite its focus on enterprise software, including virtualisation, …
Liam Proven, 19 Oct 2016
Tupperware image via Shutterstock

One container to rule them all? No. Um, a plastic box* refresher

Analysis Containers are the cool toy meaning two things: new technology and hype. At heart, containers are simple: group the minimum set of files needed to run a particular program into a single directory tree, then run it with some kind of isolation mechanism, so that as far as that process is concerned, it's the only thing on the …
Liam Proven, 5 Jul 2016
Penguin wedding cake, image via Shutterstock

Linux is so grown up, it's ready for marriage with containers

Linux is all grown up. It has nothing left to prove. There's never been a year of the Linux desktop and there probably never will be, but it runs on the majority of the world's servers. It never took over the desktop, it did an end-run around it: there are more Linux-based client devices accessing those servers than there are …
Liam Proven, 7 Apr 2016
classroom_shutterstock_648

From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown

Two tiny, inexpensive, single-board educational computers just shipped. One has had lots of coverage already, but the odds are you've never heard of the other machine. However, the idea behind the obscure one is more important. Hogging the limelight is the Raspberry Pi Zero, a computer so small and cheap it's being given away …
Liam Proven, 2 Dec 2015

Old, not obsolete: IBM takes Linux mainframes back to the future

IBM introduced several significant new elements for its Linux server stack last month: support for KVM on its z Systems mainframes, Linux-only models in both the z Systems and Power Systems ranges, and a new purchasing model. The most technically interesting new development is mainframe support for KVM, the Linux kernel’s …
Liam Proven, 2 Nov 2015

Cheat Win XP death: Your handy guide to keeping snubbed operating system ticking over

How to Windows XP's date with destiny has passed. As of Tuesday, Microsoft will NOT be releasing any new security updates. With one in five PCs still running Windows XP, there's a chance you are among those whose computer is now running an unsupported operating system. What now? Doing an in-place upgrade to Windows 7 isn't a good …
Liam Proven, 10 Apr 2014
Psion Organiser II

Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?

Way back in 2011 we covered a handy category of portable computer that has completely disappeared. The early A4 portables were a specialist item, much beloved of journalists but not a big hit with the wider world. It took a different design to win those hearts. Psion Organiser II Psion Organiser II Source: babbagecabbage …
Liam Proven, 7 Mar 2014

Microsoft's licence riddles give Linux and pals a free ride to virtual domination

Analysis Microsoft is caught in a monkey-trap, created by cloud computing and Free Software, coupled with short-term thinking and a dose of not-invented-here syndrome. You know how monkey-traps work? You make a small hole in a coconut shell, put some bait in it and tie it to something. The monkey comes along, reaches in for the bait …
Liam Proven, 12 Dec 2013

Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action

Windows 8 is going down like a bucket of cold sick - but you're going to have to get used to it. It's not going away. If Microsoft has a future, this is it. Worse still, if you're a pro, you're going to have to support the thing. Microsoft had to make this desperate, poorly integrated attempt to foist a Version 1.0 touchscreen …
Liam Proven, 6 Dec 2013

How to relieve Microsoft's Surface RT piles problem

Somewhere in Redmond (at least metaphorically speaking) are several very large piles of unsold Surface RT tablet components. Why did the long-awaited and much-hyped ARM tablet running "Windows for ARM" Windows RT flop so badly, when ARM tablets running iOS for ARM from Apple are doing so well? It's not just the Modern Windows …
Liam Proven, 14 Nov 2013
Steampunk fan with goggles

Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

It's hard to believe, looking at the modern computing world, but there is still more to life than Windows or Unix… and today, most of the alternatives run on vanilla x86 hardware and are free. Most of them need considerably lower resources than the market-leaders, too, so an old PC is ideal for trying them out. VMs are fine, …
Liam Proven, 1 Nov 2013

How the clammy claws of Novell NetWare were torn from today's networks

Anniversary Before the internet, local area networks were the big thing. A company called Novell was the first to exploit the trend for connecting systems, ultimately becoming "the LAN king" with its NetWare server operating system. There were alternatives to Novell and NetWare in the 1990s - 3Com’s 3+Share, for example – but such was its …
Liam Proven, 16 Jul 2013
Cat 5 cable

Windows NT grandaddy OpenVMS taken out back, single gunshot heard

Digital Compaq HP has announced the end of support for various flavours of OpenVMS, the ancient but trustworthy server operating system whose creator went on to build Windows NT. OpenVMS started out as VAX/VMS on Digital Equipment Corporation's VAX minicomputers, then later was ported to DEC's fast Alpha RISC chips – before …
Liam Proven, 10 Jun 2013
A rude gnome

How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

Feature There never will be a year when Linux conquers the desktop, because desktop computers are going to merge into tablet-style touch-driven devices and disappear. But desktop Linux was getting close, until Microsoft derailed it a few years back. The GNOME project’s recent release, GNOME 3.8, served to remind me of the significance …
Liam Proven, 3 Jun 2013
Ubuntu RHS teaser

Ubuntu without the 'U': Booting the Big Four remixes

Review It's the end of April, so that means that there's a new release of Ubuntu. Well, actually, no - it means that there are eight of them. Don't like standard Ubuntu's Mac-OS-X-like Unity desktop? Here's where to look. There are umpteen "remixes" alongside the eponymous distro. These mostly differ by having a different desktop - …
Liam Proven, 26 Apr 2013
What Linus Torvalds thinks of NVIDIA

The GPL self-destruct mechanism that is killing Linux

Analysis Does one of the biggest-ever revolutions in software, open source, contain the seeds of its own decay and destruction? Poul-Henning Kamp, a noted FreeBSD developer and creator of the Varnish web-server cache, wrote this year that the open-source world's bazaar development model - described in Eric Raymond's book The Cathedral …
Liam Proven, 9 Nov 2012

What's new in Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 – "Cloud OS" as Microsoft sometimes refers to it, and "WS2012" as we'll call it for short – is the result of the deepest and broadest developer effort in the history of Microsoft server products: 10,000 engineers working for four years. Comments from testers and early adopters have included "jaw-dropping", " …
Liam Proven, 2 Nov 2012
Windows server 2012 logo

Windows Server 2012: Microsoft's other Big Push

In 1985, Commodore held the UK launch of the Amiga 1000 at the World of Commodore Show at the Novotel in Hammersmith. Twenty-seven years later, Microsoft used the same venue to host the Technical Launch of Windows Server 2012. Microsoft Windows Server 2012 UK technical launch day The Amiga was Commodore's response to the …
Liam Proven, 1 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Party like it's 1999: CDE Unix desktop REBORN

The original Unix desktop, the Common Desktop Environment or CDE, is back. Seven years after Sun replaced it with GNOME on Solaris, the Open Group's Common Desktop Environment has returned, now fully open-source and with a modern Linux port. CDE was developed about 20 years ago as a unified desktop environment for all the …
Liam Proven, 9 Aug 2012
Cat 5 cable

Raspberry Pi IN THE SKY: Wallet-sized PC is disaster drone brain

A British-led Japan-based group is building a free-software-powered flying robot for use by disaster relief organisations – and at its heart is tech darling the Raspberry Pi. There are lots of uses for the £30 Pi, from an educational device to a media player, if you can get hold of one of the boards. OpenRelief is planning …
Liam Proven, 12 Jun 2012
BeagleBoard ARM PC

Best and the Rest: ARM Mini PCs

Product round-up The Best... RH Numbers Reg Hardware PC Week The Raspberry Pi – if you can get your hands on one – isn't the only small, inexpensive ARM computer around these days. There are quite a few options with varying speeds and price points. So here we take up ARMs with a full review of the ARMini – uniquely British offering that is …
Liam Proven, 10 May 2012
LTE Advance Logo

Faster mobile data: the road to 4G

Feature Reg Hardware Mobile Week The great thing about standards, as some wit once said, is that there are so many to choose from. Mobile phones are afflicted worse than most technology – a multiplicity of standards, nested within one another like a messy set of Russian dolls filled with alphabet soup. The 'generations' of mobile …
Liam Proven, 29 Feb 2012

Release the brakes on your virtual servers

One of the dirty little secrets of virtualisation is the performance cost: operating systems running inside a virtual machine are slower than those running natively on the same hardware, sometimes by quite some margin. This is termed virtualisation overhead, and with current whole-system virtualisation, it's a given. It always …
Liam Proven, 17 Nov 2011
server room

Where are all the decent handheld scribbling tools?

Part 1 As the market for computerised devices grows ever bigger and the internet takes over its users' social lives, it's a good time to be a gadget fan. They're everywhere, from smartphones and fondleslabs to pocket games consoles. There are notebooks of every size and shape from netbooks to desktop replacements. What were once mere …
Liam Proven, 10 Nov 2011

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