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Novell’s Paravirtualized Driver pack

This is something that I was able to help test for a little bit. The idea behind these drivers is to make certain devices in a fully virtualized guest “xen aware”. Since the heaviest used parts of a hosted operating system are networking and disk access, they focused on improving them. For right now the supported operating systems are RHEL 4 and 5, and windows 2000, 2003, and XP. Without sounding like a sales person, I thought this was a really cool idea. Those that have run fully virtualized guests, you can understand why this would be welcome. Anyways, here is a link that you can read.

Novell Ships SLE 10 SP 1 and New VMDP

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Jeff Jaffe’s Thoughts on Hack Week

I just read Jeff Jaffe’s thoughts on hack week. For those of you that don’t know who Jeff is, he is the CTO of Novell. He offers some insight into “What is it, why did we do it, what was the reason for the timing, and what did we learn?” on his blog.

Jeff Jaffe’s hackweek blog entry

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Hackweek at Novell, idea.opensuse.org

This is a really cool idea that Nat came up with. The idea is that all the Linux engineers in the company stop what they are doing for a week and get to work on whatever they want. Kind of like a google thing but for a whole week. Unfortunately, there a some big things that have to get taken care of otherwise I would be joining them this week even though I don’t have those mad elite hacking skillz. Hopefully the next time around I’ll be able to participate. In the announcement there is the link to the website which has pictures and videos already. Hopefully some really cool stuff comes out of this. You can also add your ideas and contribute from your own desk from the website.

Here is the announcement for the event from Nat on the openSuSE announce list:

Hi everyone,

At Novell we’ve been planning a special internal event that will run
this week, from June 25th to 29th. We’re calling it Hack Week.

During Hack Week, our entire Linux engineering team — hundreds of
people — will be working on whatever Linux or open source projects
interest them. Everyone will work alone or in teams, on existing open
source projects or new ideas of their own. No one will tell them what
or what not to do — it’s a free week for free hacking, driven by
individual passion.

To make it easier for our hackers to find and publicize their projects,
we’ve created an Idea Pool web site where we’ve all spent the last
couple of weeks sharing ideas and finding collaborators. This web site
is open to the public here:

http://idea.opensuse.org/

Although this is a Novell event, we’re running it with full
transparency. You’ll be able to follow our progress and projects on the
Idea Pool web site, either with the blog on the front page where we’ll
post videos from our seven main engineering sites[1], or by watching
individual project pages.

We invite you to participate where you can. If you’d like to help with
a project, feel free to add a comment to the discussion section of the
page and volunteer your support.

We hope that you’ll at least enjoy watching Hack Week progress. If it
is successful, we hope to run it again sometime soon, with even more
participation from the community.

If you’re interested in following along, you might check the following
sites first:

-Hack Week Overview: http://idea.opensuse.org/content/hackweek

-Tags: http://idea.opensuse.org/content/blog/welcome-to-the-idea-pool

-Idea Pool code of conduct: http://idea.opensuse.org/content/etiquette

-Flickr pool: http://www.flickr.com/groups/hackweek/pool/

During the week, we’ll use the channel #opensuse-hackweek on
irc.freenode.net for general discussion (project-specific discussion
will find its own venue). Hope to see you there!

Happy hacking,
Nat

[1] Beijing, Bangalore, Prague, Nuernberg, Boston, Provo, Portland are
the main sites

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Meeting Andreas Jaeger (AJ) of openSuSE

At the end of last week we had a meeting that everyone from a couple groups had to attend. The main purpose of this meeting was to meet some of the upper management that is traveling from building to building within the company throughout the world. Didn’t expect it, but Andreas Jaeger is part of that upper management, not that he shouldn’t be. After the meeting, I decided that I had to go up and at least say hi(that and for the bragging rights 🙂 ). So, I went up and was able to meet and shake hands with him for a couple minutes. For those of you that do not know who Andreas is, he is the head guy over the openSuSE distribution. His is one of the blogs that I follow on and off (http://andreasjaeger.blogspot.com/). You can always catch him in the openSuSE irc meetings and on the openSuSE mailing lists. From the few times that I’ve read the meeting transcripts and his blog, he seems like a really cool and down to earth kind of guy. I was also impressed when talking to him in person. Thinking about it, I’m just some peon intern and he didn’t really have to take a couple minutes to talk to me. None the less he did.

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Possible new hobby: Geocaching

The other day my cousin came over and reintroduced me to geocaching. The first time I only created an account. Unfortunately, it requires a GPS and I just don’t have one of those. Maybe one day. This time he brought his GPS and we looked up a couple geocaches and tried to find them.

For those of you that don’t know what geocaching is, your not entirely alone. From what I understand and have seen people hide little caches all over the US, take the coordinates and then post the the geocache on the internet for others to find. Some of them are puzzles of sorts which makes it a little more difficult. There are tons of other things to it, but I’m a noob to geocaching.

So, on Thursday I found my first ever!!! Due to weather though it was damaged so we weren’t able to sign the log book. The second one escaped us 🙁 It was on private property and made us feel a little uneasy about “snooping” around.

Anyways, its worth taking a look – http://www.geocaching.com/

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Job at Novell

Well… I didn’t get a chance to post earlier, but as of last Tuesday I started working for Novell as part of the Novell Virtualization Team. I’m really excited because the position is part of the QA department testing XEN. There is tons of information to learn though and almost a bit overwhelming, but none the less its going to be a lot of fun. I’ve finally been able to install and run a virtualized OS. My first was SLES 9 just a couple days ago. We are using an updated SLES 10 and seems to be working really well so far. I even installed a couple windows versions. As I’m still learning, I’ve only install and updated the guest OSes. Hopefully in the not too distant future I’ll be able to start doing some cool things with the guests. Some of the servers that we are testing on are really cool. I think all of them are at least 2 processors(AMD or Intel) that have 2-4 cores each and tons of memory. From just messing with it, I can’t wait to play with it some more.

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Interview with Novell

I just had an interview with Novell yesterday. It was probably the most fun that I have had at an interview. They had me interview with three different people. The person that contacted me and first interview me is the manager over the virtualization platform team. The second is a developer and the third is in charge of QA. It was a lot of fun talking to them as each are really smart at what they do. In the end I think it would be a great oppurtunity to work there in the virtualization department. I’ll update my blog once I find out.

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Change in Employment

Well, I’ve found it hard to blog lately. My employment at Directpointe consumed a great deal of my time. I have since left and started the ever fun job searching. Because Directpointe keep me really busy for the last 6 and half months; I don’t know what to do with my time since I’m not used to having so much. Luckly I’m taking a Calculus course at Utah Valley State College (soon to be Utah Valley University). That has helped keep me busy for the last week. Calculus in 7 weeks.

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Revamped Decriptor.com

I have completely redone my domain. I’m not on a newer server and my email is taken care of by the great google. My new server is running suse 10.2. Not that changing a server should really make a difference in whether I post more or not, but maybe I’ll post more 🙂 Beyond that there isn’t much of interest with the host/server changes. I mainly wanted to get a post up so that there was something to see.