Monthly Archives: July 2011

OpenIndiana based on Illumos is almost here!!

Finally, great news on the OpenIndiana and Illumos front:

http://twitter.com/#!/openindiana/statuses/93806371002265600

So, this means the first official development release of OpenIndiana based on Illumos is imminent, the latter being the first truly open-sourced, community-driven Solaris-derived kernel. This is big, big news, as many of Sun Microsystems’ brightest engineers have worked on Illumos via the companies they have since joined (ex-Oracle…) that are actively using Illumos for their business.

Seriously, I can’t wait 🙂

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Yet another scathing appraisal of how Oracle is handling Solaris…

…by those who know it best, in this case Eric Schrock:

http://dtrace.org/blogs/eschrock/2011/05/31/beyond-oracle/

“It is with a sad heart, however, that I look at the work so many put into making OpenSolaris what it was, only to see it turned into the next HP-UX – a commercially relevant but ultimately technologically uninteresting operating system. This is not to denigrate the work of those at Oracle working on Solaris 11, but I personally believe that a truly innovative OS requires an engaged developer base interacting with the source code, and unique technologies that are adopted across multiple platforms. With no one inside or outside of Oracle believing the unofficial pinky swear to release source code at some abstract future date, many may wonder what will happen to the bevy of cutting edge technologies that made up OpenSolaris.

“…suffice to say that OpenSolaris is alive and well outside the walls of Oracle, so give it a spin and get involved!”

Amen.

Problems with fonts embedded in OpenOffice 3.3.0-generated PDFs

Interesting problem encountered after purchasing some fonts from http://www.fonts.com/ and using them in OpenOffice to generate a PDF. When opening the generated PDF in Adobe Reader 9 and 10 on Windows, Reader would throw up an error saying “Cannot extract the embedded font..some characters may not display or print correctly.”:

Adobe Reader PDF error

In addition, certain sentences would appear as a series of dots (instead of words). Oddly, the same PDF would open and display just fine in Evince.

It turns out this is a problem affecting specifically OpenOffice version 3.3.0 – which was the exact version I was using on my OpenIndiana oi_148 x86 system. You can read the bug report here:

https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35431

The solution – as outlined in the above bug report – was to upgrade to LibreOffice 3.4.0. As LibreOffice has yet to be ported to OpenIndiana, I installed it in an Ubuntu 10.10 virtual machine, and after importing my .odt file and exporting it as PDF again, the file opened up fine in Adobe Reader.

Looking forward to LibreOffice on OpenIndiana!

Wait, so TeamViewer on Linux runs in Wine?

Interesting!

And after purchasing a license, I’m pleased to say running a test session works like a charm. So far, so good:

TeamViewer on Ubuntu Linux

TeamViewer (and other remote assistance products)

So, I’m on the lookout for a cross-platform remote assistance product, which will allow me to remotely manage Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows computers from a machine running potentially the same operating system(s).

After having a sniff around online, it would appear that TeamViewer is the only application which really meets my needs, from the standpoints of a) feature set and functionality and b) licensing.

On the licensing point, it seems that TeamViewer is bucking what otherwise seems to be a popular method of delivering remote assistance products via a parasitic Software as a Service subscription: the thought of getting gouged every month for the privilege of using an application which I should really be able to install and use standalone is pretty unappealing, really.

A couple of examples of the other remote assistance products out there I briefly looked at before balking at the usage restrictions…

Leading the way in wacky product naming, check out LogMeIn. Let’s see, we have:

    LogMeIn Pro²
    LogMeIn Free
    LogMeIn Ignition
    LogMeIn Backup
    LogMeIn Rescue
    LogMeIn Hamachi²
    LogMeIn Central (“works with LogMeIn Pro², LogMeIn Free and LogMeIn Hamachi²” apparently…)

Aside from being subscription-based, not really being able to deduce which product does what without wading through the marketing materials is a massive turn-off. It’s a bit like the Microsoft Vista approach, designed for maximum confusion. Another win for TeamViewer, which is offered in three editions (Business, Premium, Corporate), plus a free-for-personal-use version.

And over here, we have GoToMyPC, and GoToAssist, both apparently made by the same outfit. At 70 bucks a month for the latter “service” (not even sure if that’s NZD), I’m pretty confident that TeamViewer by comparison would quickly work out as a better value.