Monday, April 27, 2009

The problem with the current cream of the crops CPUs is that they have so many cores and there are not a lot of programs yet taking advantage of it. Recently i had a request from somebody who wanted to process fotos on his brand new Intel i7 utilizing all of his cores as much as possible. He is using ImageMagick for his batch manipulations, ofcourse it handles only one picture at a time. I thought about it for a while and came up with a simple solution, i called the script 'multirun'.

# Prove of concept script to run multiple processes for dual core (or more CPUs)
# The script takes one argument - the number of concurrent jobs
# This script uses the 'sleep' command as test, change with your own command
# How it works:
# 1. it starts a jobs and puts it in the background
# 2. continue until max number of concurrent jobs are reached
# 3. wait until 2 is no longer true then go to 1.

if [ ! $1 ]
echo "missing argument"

CMD='/bin/sleep 30'

while true
if [ `jobs | wc -l` -eq ${CONCURJOBS} ]
echo "starting a new ${CMD}..."
${CMD} &

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three things i want to share with you all today;

Ubuntu 9.04 has been released, it's not a LTS release but i think it is a welcome update to 8.10, certainly for netbook users since 'Netbook remix' is now an official separate version.

A website got blocked by court order in Belgium. It's a website reporting in which neighbourhood previously convicted pedophiles live. No exact addresses are given, so you don't know who the offender is. I'm not a proponent of these kind of tactics which are basicly censoring. However what shocked me more is that there is a Belgian law that allows this since 2001, it's allowed by law to disable access to data on computerised systems when; it's subject of a crime and/or are in disturb civil peace or vice - scary.
The reasoning is that they fear actions towards the pedophiles if people find out there is one living in their neighbourhood. First, how does that website gather its information? I guess it is publicly available somewhere, if this information is not publicly available then how did they get their hands on it? But, and i recon this is the case, if the data is freely available somewhere already, this site is just taking that information and publishing it in an easily accessable format. in that case the blockade of the website must be lifted!

Bundled sales are now allowed in Belgium, previously this was not allowed by law. Thus, special deals like an iphone for 1 euro when signing a contract with a mobile provider were previously not allowed. I'm still not sure if i'm pro or contra, as always this can have benefits to customers, but in some cases you might even end up paying more or are tricked into an expensive scheme.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oracle buying Sun, who ever saw that comming? Sure it makes Oracle even stronger then they were before because they now also have a serious hardware division in their portfolio. But the questions start here already, recently Oracle announced the Exabyte. This is a total solution combining Software from Oracle (including Unbreakable Linux) and Hardware from HP. I can't imagine they will continue this product using HP's products.

On the software front there is even more to worry about, because the impact on OSS could be huge. First, what will happen with Oracle's efforts on Linux? They have their own Linux version and are activly contributing to the kernel (most famous contribution is probably Btrfs). Previously Wim Coekaerts was able to push Oracle away from the Solaris platform and onto Linux, will he be able to keep Oracle dedicated to Linux or not? He hasn't posted anything on his blog as of this date on this matter. If they keep Linux as their main platform (which i hope they do), Wim could be the man to push a Solaris/Linux merge.

All other software i'm not worried about, OpenOffice will continue to get development, perhaps even more so. Oracle might just want to try a fight with MS with this one. I also hope this will spur a good database component in OOo, currently it's a bit of an unstable complicated mess. Java will continue to grow, Oracle already has a huge investment in this programming language and now they own it.

Who is worried about MySQL? Probably nobody, Sun already did a good job of killing it way before Oracle came into the play.