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Article from Issue 156/2013

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Linux Magazine Online


Off the Beat * Bruce Byfield

The State of Linux Distros In the middle of a discussion about whether the number of Linux distributions was declining, I suddenly realized that I didn't need to rely on my own power of observations.

Caliber: A Battleground for Function Versus Form Because of my experience with graphic design, I like to think that an application's layout matters as much as its design. However, the release last week of calibre 1.0 challenges my outlook.

Choosing Which Fundraisers to Support These days, I can hardly log on to Google+ or Facebook without being bombarded by a dozen fundraising campaigns. Musicians, filmmakers, game makers, authors, charities, free software projects, manufacturers, non-profits, for-profits – everyone seems to be asking for a slice of the crowdfunding pie.

Productivity Sauce * Dimitri Popov

Quick Directory Navigation from the Command Line Jeroen Janssens has recently shared a neat little hack that allows you to bookmark often-used directory paths in the terminal and quickly jump to any of the bookmarked directories.

Set up Your Own Firefox Sync Server with Weave Minimal Using the Sync feature in Firefox, you can keep browser data in sync between different devices and platforms.

Change Default Search Engine in Firefox for Android I've been using Ixquick as my primary search engine lately, and I'm pretty happy with it so far.



The RADOS Object Store and Ceph Filesystem -- Part 4 By Martin Loschwitz

We look into some everyday questions that administrators with Ceph clusters tend to ask: What do I do if a fire breaks out or I run out of space in the cluster?

Parallel Tools By Jeff Layton

Even with tons of cores per node today, the traditional sets of tools are still serial-only, utilizing a single core; however, some of the more popular tools have parallel versions, allowing you either to use the extra cores to run the same command in parallel or to perform the same task across multiple nodes.

ADMIN Online


VDI Basics By Jens-Christoph Brendel

For years, the replacement of physical PCs with virtual PCs has been touted as a mass movement, but so far, the revolution has not taken place. We explore the background.

Total Network Monitor By Thomas Joos

Even Windows doesn't have to have an expensive network monitoring tool. The free Total Network Monitor helps you keep an eye on your network.

News bites

XSEDE Upgrades to 100GBps Backbone

US supercomputing network gets a massive bandwidth bump thanks to Internet2 technology.

The US National Science Foundation's Extreme Science and Discovery Environment (XSEDE), a network of 17 research supercomputing centers across the United States, recently announced a major bandwidth upgrade that could increase throughput to 10 times the previous level. Until now, the XSEDE centers have been connected through a 10GB per second (GBps) backbone network. The recent upgrade places the network on a super-fast 100GBps Internet2 optical network.

Internet2 is a consortium of research institutions, government agencies, and companies committed to developing and deploying advanced networking technologies. The Internet2 consortium operates the 100GBps network that will be accessible to the XSEDE supercomputing centers.

This colossal bandwidth upgrade could eventually revolutionize how the computers in the XSEDE network interact, leading to improved cooperation and data sharing, as well as increased on-demand computing and software-defined network (SDN) services.

New Parallel Java Initiative

The Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation (HSA) has announced an initiative to bring better parallel processing capabilities to Java so that Java programs will be able to access the potential of GPUs and other recent HPC innovations.

HSA is a consortium of companies (including AMD, ARM, and others) committed to "building a heterogeneous compute software ecosystem which is rooted on open royalty free industry standards."

HSA president Phil Rogers rolled out the new concept at the Hot Chips symposium in Palo Alto, California. According to a report at PC World, the new Java specifications are slated to appear with Java 9 in 2015.

News bite

Microsoft Announces Azure Grant Program

Academic and research institutes have a chance for free cloud time under a new program announced by Microsoft. The new Windows Azure for Research program will provide grants to "help the research community use the cloud to advance scientific knowledge."

Microsoft's Azure cloud platform has branched out from its beginnings as a tool for running virtual Windows and cloud-based .NET. Azure now supports persistent Linux virtual machines, Hadoop services, and mobile support for Android and iOS devices.

This new initiative seems intended to introduce Azure to scientific computing circles that now heavily favor Linux and open source tools.

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