Monday, December 20, 2010

CR-48: Update 1

I used the CR-48 for a better part of my day. I did have to switch to my MacBook to work on some projects for the holidays. There was one very evident thing. The multi-touch track pad on the CR-48 is terrible. Some of this I did know, I have been able to right-click one time successfully when I tried. I am guessing this can be fixed with better driver support. I know the Linux synaptics driver is buggy. Movement of the mouse seems sensitive, but the multi-touch gestures are lacking. I didn't quite realize how bad until I went back to the Mac and the glass trackpad with very good multi-touch interface.
The second thing I have noticed is poor video playback. Sometimes the video doesn't buffer, sometimes it plays choppy then the video freezes and the audio continues to play. Sometimes the video and audio play but it is really choppy. I tested one video in Chrome for Snow Leopard and it played back fine.

More to come.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

CR-48: First Impressions

I recently got a CR-48. The hardware is excellent. Very nice sleek, keyboard is pretty nice. The track pad is a bit rough. It needs to be a bit more sensitive.

As for Chrome OS I am going to dive completely into the cloud experience over the next 2 weeks. A post my thoughts on this site.

To give a little background, I am a Unix Administrator and Mac user. I have an iPhone and iPad and very much think that is the wave of the future. Having said that I have family that is constantly looking for computers etc. I am hitting this with an open mind and seeing what value this notebook can provide. I have been around all sorts of computers for many years.

For my first impressions:
Given the lack of apps in the app store I don't see this yet as being useful for IT folks. I do, however, see this as being very useful for many of the PC users. There is some transition time for some folks but for the most part they can accomplish everything necessary with this device. For a device to travel with, this is a very suitable notebook. I do question why this isn't a tablet. I see the use case with this device much like that of my iPad. Yet my iPad has a better battery life (not by much). Plus I can put media content on it and not rely on network for delivery. I am excited to see what comes over the next couple years to make this a solid competitor.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Last week RedHat announced RHEL 6. While I have yet to really dig into this product, I got an email letting me know that my RHCE is no longer current. While working in Omaha I received my RHCE under RHEL 4. I can’t complain much since I was in the RHEL 4 pilot class so I have been certified almost the full length of RHEL 4 and RHEL5.
The question really is; do I re-certify? From my understanding I am always an RHCE and always will be just depends if I am current or not. The biggest benefit I get is being able to take the RHCA cert exams. Perhaps I should see what the differences are between the two versions. Not really looking forward to shelling out $800.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

VMWorld 2010

As with every conference these days this one was all about the “Cloud”. While the could can be confusing I was a tad enlightened about the direction of this “Cloud Computing” trend. Little bit of Infrastructure, some rigor and some smoke and mirrors and you have a cloud. Enough about the “Cloud”. Here is some technical information I picked up while at VMworld around tuning Linux VMs.

Align VM Disk.
If you align to 128 you are guaranteed to hit all storage vendors for alignment all the way to the NFS share or LUN.
New to RHEL 6 and EXT4 disks will automatically be aligned. Also if VMDKs are created from vCenter they are also auto aligned.

Of course always use para-virt drivers where you can. RHEL 6 is due out with pvscsi and vmxnet drivers baked in so we should have less problems with drivers not loading after kernel updates.

Disable VMtools time sync. and enable the divider option in the kernel. Here is the KB article on this practice.

Play with elevator tuning used for I/O scheduling. We did work with this in our environment but found no significant results. Perhaps this will only be a viable option on high I/O VMs. Also can turn off atime and diratime for filesystems that may not be necessary. This could break backups so use with caution. It will likely break mail so avoid doing this in /var/spool.

To gain better De-Dup results “zero out” unused sectors on disk. Blog article talks about this during VCB snapshotting process.

Disable all readahead services.

Linux VMs need a udev tweak to allow for hot-adding of vCPUs. Currently we are running vKernel for our capacity analysis and planning. It can auto add memory, CPUs and disk for guests that support it. Here is the KB article on how to enable hot-add of vCPUs.

And as all great tuning documents, I will add the disclaimer that “milage will vary in your environment.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

iPhone 4

I have long been an iPhone owner, got the original on launch day and have loved it every step of the way. I upgraded to the 3G when it released and to the 3GS when it released. So it was really no surprise when I opted to upgrade to the 4. This time I did something a little different. I upgraded both iPhones instead of just passing down my 3GS. I figured with the killer feature being FaceTime it would be silly to only have one. Almost like getting a single walkie-talkie.

The Purchase
As with previous years (minus the first) I didn’t pre-order or stand in line to get the upgraded phone. I chose to wait for everyone else to tell me if it was worth it. Low and behold one friend said it was. So I called the Apple store and had me placed on a list for 2 of them. It took only about a week before I was notified I could go pick it up. The only down side to this was the drive to Des Moines, but it happened to arrive on my way back home so that worked out well. As a typical Apple Store purchase goes, they let me open the box and they activated it for me.
Initial Thoughts
Now as I first held the phone I thought ‘this is really weird.’ The lines are so different from previous models it felt foreign. But it also felt very solid compared to the older versions. The phone is gorgeous, I never liked the black backs of the 3G & 3GS I always preferred the look of the original until now. This was by far the best looking of the phones they have made.
Using the Phone
The phone is very much like the others. I do find it a little slick due to the glass front and back. iOS 4 is nice but not exclusive to the iPhone 4. Multi-tasking can be both good and bad. Sometimes TomTom app continues to provide route directions even after I closed it intending to completely close instead of just background it. The supposed “antenna” issue that got most of the press is really a non-issue. Yes I was able to replicate it but actually held it in a position different from what I typically do. I was never able to get it to drop a call. If I would have I wouldn’t have know if it was AT&Ts service or the phone.
Now for the ‘killer app’. FaceTime is absolutely worth the upgrade cost if you travel. I have used it a couple times while away from the kids and it beats iChat or Skype, the video quality is much better.
If you can use FaceTime, then it is worth the upgrade, if that doesn’t matter I would stick with the much cheeper 3GS and perhaps wait for iPhone to move to Verizon.