Sunday, December 18, 2005


Yesterday evening it started snowing and we went out around 8pm to enjoy the snow and take a few pictures. It was fun to be the first going through the snow (at least in some quieter areas), and taking photos. The snow was initially quite heavy, so the first picture shows the tower of the Fürth municipal taken from a safe (dry) spot. The second one is from the "Grüner Markt" where I photographed one of the statues. We weren't the only ones out to have fun - we saw a familiy building a snow man and their 2 year old even throw a snow ball at me.

Today we went to the local park and I took a few pictures along the river Pegnitz of the birds.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Murphy and 10.1 Alpha4

Today I released SUSE Linux 10.1 Alpha4 - but only the torrents to give our mirrors some time to sync the ISOs. The ISOs will be announced tomorrow.

Alpha4 was not an easy release. First there was a bug writting grub during the installation so that the system did not boot at all. Once this was fixed and grub was written, we found a bug in the graphical boot where there was a bad interaction with grub and therefore the system would only boot with some manual intervention. We also noticed some serious bugs in the ReiserFS code of our kernel - and fixed these two issues. Finally the system installed but I could not login. Looking further into this, we had two problems:

* One on the text console: One of the pam modules is broken and therefore the first time a user logs in on the onsole, an error is reported. A second (or third) login should work.
* And one on the graphical console where the login did not work either - due to some changes in the new bash 3.1 release. The fix is trivial: Login on the console and change /etc/X11/xdm/Xession as follows:

--- /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession 2005-11-21 22:22:10.000000000 +0100
+++ /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession 2005-12-15 12:09:03.000000000 +0100
@@ -102,7 +102,7 @@
*/rzsh) shell=/bin/zsh ;;
*) shell=/bin/bash ;;
- exec -la ${shell} ${shell} -c ${1+"exec $@"}
+ exec -l -a ${shell##*/} ${shell} -c ${1+"exec $@"}

Since those two issues should be easily fixable by those that dare to install an Alpha, I went ahead and released this. As usual I've updated my laptop with Alpha4 and I'm now writing this from my Alpha4 environment.

And now - 6 hours after the announcement of the torrents - I figured out that the torrents were not distributed from our system :-(. Ok, fixed and I'm seeding the torrents myself now as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

SUSE Linux 10.1 Alpha3 Testing

As usual, it's time "to eat my own dogfood" - and therefore I'm updating now my laptop to SUSE Linux 10.1 Alpha3 as part of the pre-release testing.

This is the first release of SUSE Linux that installs NetworkManager by default. The integration has still some rough edges. The new kernel has changes in the wlan area and the madwifi driver was updated and NetworkManager cannot handle it the device. Fortunately the network scripts work (after updating wpa_supplicant and a small change to the udev rules) - and kinternet should work as well. With a prism PCMCIA card, NetworkManager was working as expected.

I created yesterday a Factory News Page at that tells about ongoing development changes.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Just read: Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photography

Just finished reading
"Inner Game of Outdoor Photography" by Galen Rowell. The book is based on his columns in the Outdoor Photographer magazine. Galen was not only a great photographer but also a great writer. He shares with his reader the passion he has for the outdoors and for outdoor photography, puts a focus on what it takes him to take great photos - and shows some of his great photos to illustrate his points.

The book has four parts, the first one is called "Visions" and explains how we see and thereby helps us understand better what others see in photos, the second is "Preparations" and speaks about techniques, the third is "Journeys" where he puts some of his photos in context and explains what it took him to take such photos, and the last part in which he describes the effects of photography is called "Realizations".

He speaks a lot about visualizing photos - which is still needed nowadays with digital cameras since the monitors are far too small and you need to look with the eyes of others at it - and the effects of light. Many of his stories tell that he stood up before sunrise (I'm not sure whether I want to be that enthusiastic ;-) to be at the right place for the morning sun, he know where to stand to take good photos and did so.

A great book which needs to be read several times.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Vacation in Pardell/Klausen, South Tyrol, Italy

We spend a week at the Gasserhof in Pardell which is a village near the town Klausen in South Tyrol. The appartment we had was lovely and we enjoyed also the hospitality (including some lovely cakes and chestnuts on saturday - yummy) of the Gasser family.

The photo above shows Pardell, our sunny south balcony (we had also an east balcony for the sunset) can be seen - if you know where to look ;-) - in the right part of the picture.


Driving to South Tyrol, we took a small detour along the Fernpass and the Reschenpass. After the Reschenpass we made a short stop near the famous church in the lake: Reschensee is an artificial lake built 1949 to gain electrical power. A whole village was destroyed with the exception of the church tower and this tower looks out of the lake.


A short walk below our appartment, is the Säben Monastery. The Hl. Kreuzkirche has some beautiful mural paintings. After visiting the monastery we walked down to Klausen via the crossroad and then up the panorama way and back home again. Both ways gave us some nice views of Klausen and Säben, especially the crossroad showed a new view after each corner.


The sunrise was really beautiful. From 7:34am to 8:15 I went every few minutes to our east balcony and photographed the Geisler tops as the sun rose behind them. During the day we did another walk directly from our appartment to get to know the area better: Up to the little village of Verdings and further to Latzfons.


We drove up to the Zanser Alm in the Villnöss-Valley and walked below the Geisler tops at an altitude of 2000m. The Geisler tops build the North-Western part of the Dolomites and looked beautiful from below. The highest peak is the Furchetta with 3025m. We really enjoyed looking at the snowy Geisler tops while walking below them along the Adolf-Munkel-Weg. It was a really sunny day but as soon we were out of the sun, it was freezing cold, the ground was still frozen from the night. We had lunch at the New Gschnagenhardtalm, sitting outside in the sun and thinking that the tops were really close, they didn't look another 1000m of altitude.

In the evening I had to take some sunset photos from our east balcony.


I carried an empty backpack to the village of Feldthurns following the Keschtnweg (Keschtn means chestnuts) directly from our house for roughly an hour. We saw some impressive chestnut trees, quite a lot apple trees and had a good view into the Eisacktal. In Feldthurns, we filled the backpack with our weekend shopping and returned the same beautiful way. On the way back, we overtook quite a lot of people that went to the Huber restaurant that's directly besides the Gasserhof. Huber is well known in the area and a lot of people walk to it and spend some time eating and talking. With the beautiful weather, you could sit outside as long as the sun shined (it got quite soon cold once the sun goes down) and enjoy the food as we did earlier already.


In the morning we drove to Villanders which meant a total of 11 hairpin bends (1 going into the valley, 10 going up). From there we walked to Bad Dreikirchen, a tiny village (3 churches build besides each other, two restaurants, a house and an open air swimming pool) without a public road - and a tremendous view. In Dreikirchen we visited all three churches, had lunch stop at the Messnerhof and then went a bit further up the hill until Briol before going back to our car.

The first of the three churches, St. Gertraud, has been first mentioned at 1237, the others have been built around 1422. Each is a small church of its own - and they are build besides each other. The restaurant Bad Dreikirchen goes back to the year 1315 and already Christian Morgenstern and Sigmund Freud enjoyed their stay in Dreikirchen.

We saw some nice flowers - as well of lots of trees in their autumn colours.

Looking at the photos in the evening, I noticed a rather large black patch on them - the sensor had some dirt on it. I cleaned the sensor and took some shots of my favourite view to double check that everything was back to normal.


We did our highest (around 1050 m of elevation), longest (5 hours pure walking time) and most beautiful tour today: We walked from above Brixen to the Radlsee at 2284m. The walk was quite steep, and once we were above the tree line, we were amazed by the view and the meadows. At the end we had some good food at the Radlsee-Haus - and the highest Espresso we ever enjoyed. before going back again. The view to the tops was excellent, and below in the valley there were some clouds which gave the view some magic elements. The sun was shining excellent - the temperature (measured in the sun) at the Radlsee-Haus was 24 degrees C. We've been glad to have our one pair of walking sticks with us, so that both of us could use one stick. Now we have another Christmas wish: A second pair of walking sticks.

We decided to return home the next day since Jana had problems with her asthma every night (but not during the day) which made her undersleep a little - after discussing with our landlady, we think it has been an ozone problem at night.

Now, we're back in Fürth and do most of the usual stuff - shopping, laundry, cooking, etc. and sleep fine again.

Monday, October 10, 2005

White Balance

Jana and I currently attend a class on digital photography, our tutor is Gerd Dollhopf. Today we had an evening excursion (from 6pm to 9pm) in the city. We started at the subway station "Woerther Wiese" and first took pictures of the station. Then we continued along river Pegnitz taking some more.

The first picture that I selected for the blog shows the subway station entrance - I used a tripod and changed the focal length of the lens while exposing:

This one is a picture of the river where the camera exposed for 15s - and a bicycle went along. Unfortunately the duck flew away at that time as well:

The different sources of light were quite a challenge for the cameras, so we learned a lot about "white balance". In automatic white balance mode the camera tries to guess the temperature of the light and if it guessed right, a white piece appears white on the photo. Especially with non-natural light, the camera heuristics might fail and pictures appear with a yellow/orange or blue cast. The two photos show an extreme example: For the first one, the white balance was totally off and it is far too red. I held a piece of white paper under the light and used this as a reference for white in the manual white balance mode of the camera and then shot the second one. This looks far more natural.

Improving the desktop

As old time Unix and Linux user, I know my way around a system, especially using a shell. A lot of new users do not have this knowledge and it's quite eye-opening if you look over their shoulders and notice their problems and frustrations. Quite a lot of these are usability problems, everything works as designed but the user does not understand how to get it working.
It's easy to take users keyboard and do a one-time fix - and then the user is puzzled again next time the same situation occurs. Making the application do what the user wants in a way that the user can do it, is a real challenge and needs a good understanding of usability and of your users and their needs.

There are already some excellent books, like Alan Cooper's "The inmates are running the asylum", and for Open Source developers the community.

I'm glad about Novell's usability studies that have today been made available under the Better Desktop Initiative. The material presented there might give some developers an eye-opener about problems that some users face today. I have been quite impressed during my visit to Cambridge in may to see the work done by the team for both GNOME and KDE desktops and hope it will have a great impact.

The press release went out a couple of minutes ago.

I'm looking forward to desktops that are usable for both geeks and "normal" users.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Vacation etc.

Jana and myself will leave on tuesday for two weeks of vacation (returning on the 23rd). We'll stay in an appartment in South Tyrol, Italy and plan to walk, relax, do some sigh seeing and photograph. I won't have any internet access but will take the cameras (and would have done it even without reading Marcus' advise to Sonja) and laptop (for organizing photos) with us.

Tomorrow I'm already off from work and since I didn't answer lots of emails last week due to much work with the 10.0 release, the beta testers and the release party, I now went through everything and have an empty inbox. Don't expect anything now from me.

Jana seems to have read Antje's blog and was inspired to draw some autumn scenes - which gives me time to write this.

After the vacation I've got to plan on better ways of releasing the SUSE Linux Alphas to the servers. The 10.0 files were too late on the server and the mirrors were not synched in time. Now the situation should be better again. Eberhard has done miracles on gwdg again (thanks Eberhard). Btw. we moved our Alpha roadmaps to have the releases one week earlier - which reminds me that I still haven't announced this ... (ok, done). Adrian will take care of the next alpha release while I'm on vacation.

Betatester Meeting and Release Party

For SUSE Linux we had a small group of betatesters for quite some time. Some of them are testing SUSE Linux releases since 4.x - that means longer than I'm with SUSE. Wow!
We've invited these long time beta testers for some discussions about SUSE Linux and openSUSE on friday.

In the evening we had an informal 10.0 release party that I really enjoyed. Our trainees served cocktails and I had to taste a "Geeko" - a greenish drink that tasted better than it looked.

For saturday we screwed up - we planned to show the beta testers the town with a tourist guide but asked too late so that all were already booked :-(. Therefore, I downloaded the information about Nuernberg's Historical Mile and Christoph and myself guided a small group of beta testers through Nuernberg and showed the nicest parts. For the next tour, we better have a real guide that can answer questions :-).

Now I'll the sign the GPG keys of those that gave me on friday their keys to increase the web of trust.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

SUSE Linux 10.0 Final released

I just announced on opensuse-announce the final media of SUSE Linux 10.0 (called GM for GoldMaster). The first retail boxes have already been sent out to customers. The retail version includes the following benefits compared to the packages we put out on the ftp server:
  • 300 pages of printed manuals
  • physical media
  • installation support
Note that the big manuals are on the DVD, just the printed one is smaller.

We released these media today:

10.0-OSS - the Open Source (OSS) version:
  • i386 (Intel 32-bit, AMD 32-bit x86), x86_64 (AMD64, Intel EM64T) and ppc (PowerPC) architectures
  • 5 CDs for each architecture
  • experimental jigdo files to create i386 CDs and a DVD from the ftp trees
  • delta-ISOs from RC1 to the final version
10.0 - the retail and Eval versions including some non-OSS software:
  • i386, x86_64 architecture
  • 5 CDs i386
  • one i386 DVD with the contents of these 5 i386 CDs
  • one x86_64 DVD with the same packages as the i386 DVD
  • a LiveDVD for i386

Multi-arch ftp trees that can be used as YaST repositories and come with debuginfo and source RPMs:

  • inst-source: the OSS install tree
  • inst-source-java: the install tree for Java packages including Sun Java
  • inst-source-extra: some non-OSS packages (on
Developing 10.0 as part of the openSUSE project with an open bugzilla was a new and good experience. Thanks a lot to everybody that contributed with testing, reporting and fixing bugs,
discussions etc. in making SUSE Linux 10.0 a great distribution!

Today was still a bit of work to setup bittorrents and our server. Thanks to Adrian, Christian, Christoph and Roman this is now done.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Preparing SUSE Linux 10.0 Goldmaster release

Today, we started the last step of the 10.0 GM (goldmaster) release process:
  • preparing bittorrent files
  • generating some jigdo templates
  • writing READMEs for the server
  • generating some md5sums
  • final test of some media
  • putting around 37 GB of OSS data to
  • putting around 11 GB of data to
  • writing the release announcement for the mailing list
During the writing of the release announcement, I noticed some of the smaller details we missed to do, e.g. bittorrent files for the non-OSS media. So, still a bit of work to do for tomorrow before we can upload and announce everything.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

SUSE Linux 10.1 Alpha1 is ready

Just announced "Auckland" - the first SUSE Linux 10.1 Alpha release. Major new feature is KDE 3.5 beta1.

Following the tradition of "eating your own dog food", I just finished updating my laptop to Alpha1 and added the fixed kdepim3 update. Everything looks fine so far...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Short vacation in the Alps

On Thursday Jana and myself went of for a short vacation to the Alps. We stayed on a lovely farm in Unterjoch, Allgäu (the picture on the left is taken from the farm viewing the village) and enjoyed some sunny autumn days (Friday was beginning of autumn).

For the first time this year we got sunburned (since we didn't use sun lotion and the hats were not wide enough to protect us) and had really sore muscles (after our Friday mountain tour).

On Thursday we arrived at our small appartment in Unterjoch and did only a short walk around.

Friday, after a healthy breakfirst, we climbed the mountain Zinken. Zinken is the mountain directly opposite to the farm we stayed at and has only a moderate height (1613 m - with 1080m as start point). After the first half hour we reached the farm Zehrerhof and then the mountain showed its real side:
The path was really steep and it took us quite some time, effort and breaks to reach the ridge through first some forest and then up a steep meadow. Following the ridge we reached the bottom of the peak and then had to master 50 m of a steep fixed rope route. The view from the top was fine even though it was a bit hazy - and then the worst part come: Going down again using the ropes... In the afternoon I bought some walking sticks - they wouldn't have helped on the rope part but would have helped much for the major part of the tour.

The next day we had sore muscles but were still thrilled about the Zinken tour. We made a short tour by car and were stopped in a small road by the police - together with all the other traffic. The reason of the road block was that the farmers were ceremoniously driving the cattle down the mountain ("Almabtrieb"). The approximately one hundred cows wore some extra large bells and a few of them sported a crown, a mirror and flowers.

We then made a 15km hiking tour around the Zinken - with some ups and downs but no long steep parts. We came along a farm where the bells where just cleaned up and hanging for drying, crossed the German-Austrian border for several times and enjoyed the meadows, farms, rivers and the landscape -and in then end enjoyed a well-deserved lunch at a "Jausenstation".
In the evening we decided to enjoy our dinner watching the sunset - as only couple sitting outside at that restaurant since it was getting cold in the end. Now it's Sunday and we're back home again...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

LSB comments

Ulrich's rant about LSB has a number of issues where he just wrote wrong information. Since he's mentioning some of these for SUSE Linux 10.0, let me point out the following:

  • The filing speaks about minimal requirements, e.g. "Minimum Processor Speed". We did not test this on such old hardware but I'm glad that we support such old hardware. The tests were actually done on a new Athlon64 3000+ single processor system (running a 32-bit kernel).
  • Our engineers looked already during the development phase of LSB 3.0 at the test versions of the certification testsuite and reported bugs in the testsuite before LSB 3.0 was released. During our final application we nevertheless asked for new waivers and also could reuse some of the already filled waivers by others. Note that waivers are anonymous in the database and not shown anywhere. So Ulrich's claim "without the people reporting any problems and requesting waiving the test" is based on his unability to find company names in an anonymous database - and on the way that the LSB does not do a full disclosure of the reports filled by the companies.

I agree with Ulrich that the testsuite is not in the best shape, this is something that hit us as well. We only filled the ia32 LSB 3.0, but tested others archs during the 3.0 pre-testing as well. Ulrich seems to have to support all the Red Hat architectures and since the testsuite seems to have been originally developed on ia32 systems, shows less problems there than on other platforms.

I'm glad that we were the first to have a LSB 3.0 certification - and I wonder whether Ulrich considers this a "lost battle" and therefore started his rants against LSB and us.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Blogs are Spreading...

Antje seems to have liked the blog design that I use so much that she copied it and started her own blog.. Karl has started one as well using a different design. Antje and Karl are colleagues at Novell, she worked in Nuernberg first and recently emigrated to Dublin taking care of translations. Karl is one of our tech writers.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Time for SUSE Linux 10.0 RC1

I'm currently doing the last round of pre-tests of RC1. It looks really good and I'm impressed by the number of bugs that have been fixed for RC1 and that still come in and will go into RC2.

Some of the major changes for RC1 that I can think of directly:
  • The update to GNOME 2.12 (of those packages that were released in time, the rest goes into RC2). Fortunately the GNOME team had a hard code freeze already last week, so that beta4 contained all the code changes, now only documentation and localization updates together with critical bugs should come in for the RC. The two packages that did not seem follow this rule - and did not pass our internal testing - were libxml2 and libxslt.
  • Xen was updated and works under RC1.
  • We went back to installing GRUB in the MBR by default, there were too many broken BIOSes for now. We think we fixed all the reported problems but nevertheless for some systems installing in the MBR might be the only solution. For example, on Adrian's laptop the BIOS made the first partition always active and two active partitions did not work with the installed MBR - and neither would booting from the swap partition which is the first partition.
  • All translations went in - these were done by a number of volunteers and contractors (only exception: We missed to put in the non-English slideshow). I'd like to say a special thanks to the volunteers for their excellent work!
  • Hardware handling and hotplug was improved.
  • My SATA DVD-burner should work now (at least reading of CDs does work indeed).
  • libvorbis was fixed. The libvorbis team suspected a GCC4 bug but it was a bug in their code where they violated the strict ISO C aliasing rules. GCC did some agressive optimizations that were what the authors intented. I'm glad that our GCC team could figure this out and that it wasn't a GCC bug (ok, for now we still use -fno-strict-aliasing for the package but we know why it works).
  • A number of packages were updated like Amarok and FreeCiv.
  • The laptop support was improved in the areas powersaving and wireless support.
Ok, my laptop is updated to RC1, I should finish writing this, so that my workstation can be updated as well and then it's time to finish feeding all our mirrors so that tomorrow everything can be announced...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Codenames of 10.0 Betas

Following some idea of our Prague colleagues, the codenames for our 10.0 Betas are places where Novell developers work. We started with Beta1 called Prague, continued with Beta2 called Boston (it's actually Cambridge) and now Beta3 is called
Bangalore since Novell has a development center there which is involved with 10.0 development and testing! The grub boot screen shows some parts of each city, so after an installation of Beta3, you'll be greated by some place in Bangalore.

Rodrigo and Martin told me now that it's the Vidhana Soudha which is Karnataka's Legislative assembly. Thanks!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

SUSE Linux 10.0 Beta3 on PowerPC

One of the wishes that users come up once we launched openSUSE was a distribution of PowerPC. With Beta3 we now have released a first beta for PowerPC. The quality is not as high as the one for the x86 platforms (AMD x86+ AMD64, Intel ia32 and EM64T) and we will not sell the PowerPC distribution but nevertheless, it's out on the openSUSE mirrors soon!

Before downloading, please read
the PowerPC documentation and decide whether this is something for you.

The Beta3 for the x86 platforms is ready as well, everything will be announced soon.

Neither Christmas nor Easter - but Beta3...

While testing SUSE Linux 10.0 Beta3 there seems to be a random chance of 1:30 to find our easter egg by accident. It happened to me yesterday during the pre-release testing and I enjoyed it so much that I needed to figure out how to reproduce it and write about it. I'm only showing a small part of the easteregg and no animation. Kudos to Steffen!

Btw. did you find Supertux - or the other easter eggs in this easter egg?

Have a lot of fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wedding time for Antje and Arnim

Antje and Arnim are two friends back from university that got married last saturday. We took friday off and used the trip north to spend a day with my parents before driving on to the wedding ceremony which took place in the town church of Ratingen. The thing that most surprised me during the ceremony was the first of the two Scottish melodies played on the organ: "Amazing Grace" is well-known but I've never heard it such on an organ, the instrument sounded nearly like real bagpipes and was excellently played!

We've been also glad to meet Mirjam and Thomas again. Arnim and Thomas as initiators - and myself - were at university part of the Waldmeister Engineering Crew where we developed a high performance theorem prover.

I took quite a couple of photos during the day- including some from a different place while the official wedding photos were taken (some kind of making of).

The wedding celebrations took place directly beside
Burg Linn in Krefeld. The old historic town of Linn and the castle were quite impressive and I enjoyed taking some photos of the castle like the one shown here around midnight.

Friday, August 12, 2005

10.0 Progress

For SUSE Linux 10.0 beta2 a lot of bugs are getting fixed right now, thanks for all bug reports! Additionally beta2 will contain GNOME 2.12beta2 (thanks Gary!), kcal (a new VOIP application), ...

I integrated a fix for GCC PR 23326 which caused a miscompilation of kopete and we earlier added another GCC fix that let to miscompilation of libpcap (worked around for beta1 with -fno-strict-aliasing, now fixed properly).

The kernel got a number of fixes - including those from upstream going into 2.6.13. The current kotd (kernel-of-the-day) can be downloaded from our server or one of its mirrors.

Unfortunately localization is still work in progress.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Green Caps are too popular

Since I blogged about the green caps, I got several email enquiries on how to get these. The only chance is really to go to LWE in San Francisco. I run out of those that I received and even did not have enough for everybody locally :-(.

Perhaps we should start a merchandising shop selling those green hats...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Green Hats

When I first heard that we wanted to give away green hats at LWE I was a bit surprised but then figured out that those are not hats but baseball caps. Today we received in Nuernberg a small number of these caps that I distributed to everybody that I met. I had my camera with me and took some quick photos telling everybody to upload the photo as part of the openSUSE user page. So, if you notice some strange photos of people wearing openSUSE baseball caps on the openSUSE userpages like Harald, then don't be surprised and blame me. I had a lot of fun being Father Christmas - giving out the caps and taking pictures, until I run out of caps :-(.

OpenSUSE is launched

Yeah, we've opened the website and bugzilla and put beta1 up. Great work by various folks until the last second.

I've installed beta1 on both my work station (I'm writing this using beta1) and my laptop. It's a beta and has some Known problems - I'm happy to use it until beta2 appears ;-).

The Heise article has been published, let's see whether our servers will be busy now.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Blogging Problems?

James Ogley proboses to use RSS and I've created a RSS feed via feedburner. Does this help?

Yeah, I'm trying already others to blog - or to syndicate. There're Christoph and Holger now but I don't know whether these will be permanent.

OpenSUSE preparation

Besides answering a number of emails about openSUSE, we've prepared for the open beta test. I'm running now on my laptop our internal build (called preview4). The update of the RPMs from 9.3 went smooth but running some of the apps showed some rough edges, e.g. crashing applications. The profile switcher SCPM did not work
after the update, so I had to recreate my network configuration. This particular issue should be fixed now.

Since I installed on my IBM x40 laptop, I have to mention that the powersaving features, like frequency scaling, suspend to disk and suspend to resume work fine - this time suspend to resume worked without the need to add the acpi_sleep parameter that was needed for 9.3 to reinitialize the video card.

With the chance to fix (and introduce) a couple of bugs, beta 1 will be definitely beta quality :-).

Btw. does anybody know why my blog entries show up with a greaeter than on Planet SUSE and on Planet Novell? Is this a bug or can I do something here?

Commenting on Seb Payne's openSUSE ideas

Reading Seb Payne's OpenSUSE - Ideas for SUSE Linux, I'd like to give some comments:

2. Have a look at our upcoming SUSE Linux 10.0 Beta1.

5. Officially it's SUSE already since some time. As it is with name changes, not everybody is happy with these, you can still find a website explaining the change from "S.u.S.E" to "SuSE" - and some time later it was changed to all caps. So, it's SUSE and openSUSE.

8. OpenSUSE is also about outside contribution. If somebody develops such a frontend or a QT-Theme so that YaST looks like a GNOME application, then let's discuss inclusion of it.

16.: We'd like to have a stable API and therefore waited for inotify to stabilize. Since inotify has been accepted by Linus, we'll have it in our kernel (btw. we're using 2.6.13-rcX now which has it also by default).

All theming issues: This is a can of worms, I'm not sure whether we found something that everybody agrees with. Let's better integrate these different themes in such a way that users have the choice to personalize their systems.

The other points are something that should be discussed on the mailing lists once they're up, I'd like to see more discussion on them.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

OpenSUSE is public - a bit early...

When I first read yesterday morning the article on eweek I was rather frustrated. We've been working hard to keep this a secret because we wanted to
surprise the world at Linux World Expo San Francisco. Now it's been leaked, and also some of the information is not accurate.

On the other hand the week before, I've read the Linux magazine article by Jason Perlow . That one was an interesting read since it gave some background and proposals for openSUSE by
somebody that has not been involved with the project at all. I really liked Jason's suggestion to name the project "Geeko".

I'm glad to see other bloggers on Planet SuSE react enthusiastically like
Seb Payne or James Ogley (Yes, James, it's for real).

So, the project is called and spelled "openSUSE" and not "Geeko" - and to be announced next week. More on it later.

Btw. we will continue to deliver a product for the retail market but it will be called "SUSE Linux 10.0", so we removed the "Professional" from it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bardentreffen Nuernberg

Last weekend was Bardentreffen (literal translation: Meeting of singers) in Nuernberg. On seven different places in the city (open air) more than 50 bands were part of the official program - and there were a number of smaller groups on the street playing music - and all for free. Claudi and Christoph visited us and we had a really cool weekend:

On friday we listend to the band Weißwurscht is - a bavarian band that played good music and let us laugh a lot. Afterwards we had some lunch and listened to the Modena City Ramblers. Unfortunately a real bad storm hit the whole festival and we arrived home completely wet.

Saturday afternoon Jana and Christoph gave us a private concert, they played on all four of Jana's recorders various pieces and seemed to have really enjoyed it. Afterwards we listened to the Scottish band Breabach and then to the acapella singers Flying Pickets. Then we walked around to listen to some other group but neither the Old Blind Dogs nor Julie Delpy could convince us.

Sunday evening we listened with more than 20000 others at the Hauptmarkt to the highlight (at least in our opinion): Capercaillie. All of them played excellent but we had the most fun watching David Robertson enjoy playing the bongos.
On monday, Jana still had sore hands from the whole clapping :-).

Yesterday evening I went through all the photos that I've taken and searched for the nicest one. I did not realize before how difficult it is to take great photos of concerts. Thorsten gave me some hints on taking better photos and Jana was my worst critic. After going once through the list, I counted them and noticed I had
42 photos so I decided to call it a day and publish these.

I'm looking forward to next year's Bardentreffen from 28. to 30. July 2006.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

YaST is full of surprises - and BIOSes as well

On the SUSE Linux discussion list I read the following article: [SLE] Installing 9.3 - "time is in the past" ?????. Apparently YaST, SUSE's configuration and installation tool, figured out that the time was way off and told the user about it but the user could not change the time in YaST. I tried to reproduce this and got the same message but could change the time without problems, so no idea what went wrong.

The funny thing was that my BIOS allowed to set the year 1981 but once I rebooted, the BIOS told me that I had to check "date and time". Checking it back it showed the year 1988, which neither worked. So I had to use the year 2000 to get through the BIOS. Seems my computer makes similar checks like YaST.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

30. Bardentreffen Nürnberg vom 29. bis 31. Juli 2005

At this year's Bardentreffen (meeting of bands in Nürnberg) a number of Scottish bands will play including one of my favourites Capercaillie. Cool!

So, if you're in Nürnberg around this time, you should stay over the weekend!

I love my camera...

I've gone through the photos I've taken the last weeks and have uploaded them to our server. Here's just some information on what I uploaded:

We spend a few days in June at a small hotel called Nakuk. The hotel is an excellent place where we relaxed directly after we arrived and then enjoyed with our friends Alex and Oli this beautiful area and some excellent food. More pictures are available here.

Last week (2005-07-02) there was a beach volley ball tournament in Fürth. Since Fürth has no beach, the organizers made an artificial beach on our main market place.
Some more photos can be found at our web server.

This weekend we have the Fürth Festival. At eight different places bands are playing. One of the highlights were the Kuban bands Madera Limpias (above) on friday and Seis del Sol (below) on saturday night.

Gphoto rocks

I had my new Nikon D70 camera at work on thursday (Jana took pictures of Scott arriving, see the entry of the 7th of Scott's Blog ), and Marcus noticed it. Marcus is one of the gphoto developers and persuade me to borrow the camera to him for a few hours so that he could add further remote configuration for it.
The D70 seems to have lots of possibilities to configure remotely and do remote shots.
Friday evening he showed me the first results and I was impressed, I'm sure he'll get the camera again to finish it, the cvs commit message shows what he worked on.

This is one of the reasons why I love about Open Source. If something does not work and there's somebody that can fix it - if s/he has the right tools (my camera ;-), time and motivation.

First entry

I've just created a blog, let's see how this works out and what I'll write - and how often...