Vigilante Bookstore

If you’re an NDSU student, and don’t want to sell your textbooks back to the NDSU Bookstore, might want to check this out:

Vigilante Bookstore

You probably received an email on it already. It’s run by a couple friends of mine, so yes, your stuff is safe. Encryption nerds.

On Vista 64-Bit…

You are allowed to shed a tear. I have switched over to Windows Vista Business 64-bit on my personal full-time use desktop. Many of you probably know that I hate Vista. I still do. The ONLY reason I switched over, is for the 64-bit compatibility. For those of you who don’t know what the heck 64-bit is, here’s a quick explaination.

In the modern computing world, there are two different classes of operating systems. For the longest time, 32-bit was the only type of operating system available. 32-bit refers to how memory is addressed inside the computer, and how CPU instructions can access memory. A technical limitation of most 32-bit operating systems (Any Windows before XP, most Vista installs that come on store-bought computers) is a 3.25 GB memory limit. Even if you pump a computer full of 16 GB of memory, it will only see up to 3.25 GB. 64-bit, in contrast, allows for a much higher memory limit (on the order of 2 TB I think). I have 4 GB in my desktop, and now with Vista 64-bit, I can use all 4 GB, and add more (4 more GB went on sale last week, and made me think more about the switch).

So the question arises: why not use Windows XP 64-bit? Well, I did consider it. Drivers were available for most of my products, but not all of them. Also, Windows XP 64-bit is buggy, and was one of Microsoft’s first 64-bit operating systems. Usually Microsoft’s first try at something has a lot of problems, and is lacking in a lot of things. Vista 64-bit is a little more polished, and I’m finding that Vista is being supported by more and more things.

I have not COMPLETELY switched, though. I will be running Ubuntu 9.04 on my laptop (full time, no extra Windows partition). It does have a Windows VM for some products I use at work that are Windows only. I have also retained my XP Pro installation on this desktop so that if Vista just pisses me off too much, I can switch back for some relief. So far I haven’t run into any incompatability (out and out things not working), but I just don’t like the way Vista has reorganized everything. The jump from Win 98 to Win XP was major, but simple. Very few things were moved around, everything still had the same look and feel. The control panel names were the same for the most part. Vista was terrible to switch to. Add/Remove programs (begins with A, top of the list) has been replaced with Programs and Features (begins with P, some place deep in the list). It’s little things like that that annoy me with Vista.

Alright, enough ranting. I just can’t wait for Windows 7. I call it “Vista that doesn’t suck so bad”. RC comes out May 5th to the public, out now for TechNet and MSDN subscribers.


I’ve now switched the RSS feeds over to FeedBurner. With this, also comes some ads. I have to make money somehow, so I went with the ad route. Don’t worry, they’re perfectly harmless.

On Building an Ubuntu Mirror

ubuntulogoToday, at work, I began building something very interesting. An Ubuntu mirror. Virtually.

So what exactly is an Ubuntu mirror? In simplest terms, an Ubuntu mirror contains all the packages necessary to run the open-source free Ubuntu operating system. Mirrors are typically run by universities and research organizations for the benefit of the users of Ubuntu. Mirrors can also be run for home users that want a faster connection to Ubuntu packages.

I am experimenting with apt-mirror, which is Ubuntu-specific (mirror-type systems exist for a lot of things). Apt-mirror was pretty easy to install, and simple to configure. Once it pulls its initial set of packages (on the order of 50GB), I can start using it to update our Ubuntu servers.

Now as far as the virtually part goes, this computer doesn’t actually exist. It’s running on a virtual machine server, using shared resources, and shared drive space. Virtual machines are a really nice way to utilize every clock cycle and every ounce of hard drive space. They can save a lot of money in the long run.

I do apologize for the short post. I really should work on this a lot more. I’m busy though, just like everyone else.