Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sergio, Xena, Xelia, and Rex

Rosmala sent me some pictures this morning...

Xena (Sergio's sister) - 2007:02:17 16:22:10

Sergio - 2007:03:18 13:08:07

Rex (Flintstone) - 2007:03:12 13:04:59

Sergio - 2007:02:25 12:02:05

Sergio - 2007:02:25 12:04:13

Sergio - 2007:02:25 12:01:57

Sergio & Xelia - 2007:02:25 12:04:07

Monday, April 9, 2007

Ubuntu Edgy Eft

PCLinuxOS issue
The Beagle latest version was not available for PCLinuxOS, and my operating system already contained many garbage anyway, so it's good time to try other distro.

I have downloaded several distros last week : Ubuntu Edgy Eft, Foresight Linux, Sabayon, and Yoper....

I decided to give Ubuntu a trial before the others, because of the popularity, and also stability (I need this since I'll use my PC for real work).

Ubuntu Edgy smooth installation
Anyway, the installation to my T42 was very quick, and no problem at all. I was connected to the Internet via wireless in no time. Btw., the installation was performed on the same PCLinux partition with hd6 (contains old /home) not formatted. When the installation finished, all data at /home still intact and no data was missing :)

Turned out the open office application runs much faster than PCLinuxOS. Ubuntu also offers software update. Nice !

Tomorrow I'll install the VirtualBox, CrossOver, etc. and have them compared with my PCLinuxOS experience.

Ubuntu was faster than PCLinuxOS because Ubuntu was not running Beryl, while PCLinuxOS was running Beryl. PCLinuxOS was faster if Beryl not active. The problem was : Beryl was one main reason why I wanted to migrate to Linux, so Beryl MUST RUN on my main monitor and external monitor (later found out it is impossible to run Beryl on two monitor using IBM T42 - and force me to upgrade T42 to T60)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Building Network Blueprint

Spaghetti Network
Many enterprise company did not have a comprehensive network blueprint that lasted many years as planned. Mostly because there were always a lot of business changes during the journey that were not predicted before.

And the network will end up like spaghetti... (or instant noodle without meat balls)

Actually there is a good way to build a comprehensive blueprint using a framework called SONA (Service Oriented Network Architecture), introduced by Cisco Systems. Building SONA based network does not require you to use all Cisco gears, but end-to-end solution from Cisco will help a lot, since network integration will be much easier, and no finger pointing when a problem occurred.

Ideal Network for Enterprise

According to Cisco SONA (Service Oriented Network Architecture), an Ideal Enterprise Network should contains the following services :
  1. Security - network stay alive and operated normally under known or unknown attack
  2. Mobility - network user able to connect anytime, anywhere
  3. Storage - storage area network support for synchronous/asynch data replication
  4. Unified Communications - integration of any communication means
  5. Computing - support of computer clustering and grid computing
  6. Identity - capability to identify anyone and anything when connecting to network
  7. Application Delivery - optimize congested WAN network to support more applications
  8. Application Oriented Network - recognize up to application message for more optimal routing
  9. Virtualization - maximum flexibility and lower cost to accomodate business changes
  10. Modular and Scalable Design - allow easy network grow to support growing business
Start Small and Simple
One thousand kilometer trip start with single step....
An ideal network does not have to be built all at once :
  • Start defining our business and priority
  • Draw timeline and define milestones
  • Brainstorming to get detailed things that are required to achieve each milestone, and how are we going to support the network services mentioned above
SONA could be implemented easily in any Enterprise type network such as : Financial, Banking, Government, Oil/Mining, IT department of Service Provider/Network Operators, Drug Research, etc.


My Background
Long time ago (1990-1995), I heavily involved with AIX (IBM version of Unix that run on RS/6000) and other IBM Operating System (OS/400 for AS/400 and SSP for S/36). I even put a big sticker "I love AIX" at the back of my car so everyone could see it. At home I had a lab consisted of one unit of RS/6000 machine and one PC running OS/2, DOS, SCO Unix and Linux...

Below are some of my findings :
  • AIX was very fast & efficient OS to run engineering applications
  • OS/400 & S/36 was very fast & efficient to run database applications (especially in financial industry)
  • OS/2 was the first multitasking OS, good and reliable, but needed a very powerful PC. Otherwise the OS would run very slowly and frustrating
  • SCO Unix - was OK until a power failure hit the system. I often heard that SCO system admin must reinstall the whole thing due to power failure the night before. I believe it's caused by a poor file system design compared to OS/400 & S/36
  • Linux (still experimental) was OK for playing only. There were a lot of modified unix command with funny names and description in the man pages
  • DOS - well, this is a simple OS, that crashed every time. However, it support many applications on PC, so I stick with it :-P
Anyway, I put high expectation on the Linux system, and hoping that some day in the future I could use Linux in my laptop computer. I have tried many Unix and Linux distro before gave up at year 2000 because I couldn't find good business applications comparable than Microsoft Office suite. I tried Linux to replace Windows 95 for one month, and it really made me unproductive. As an engineer I created and exchange Visio network diagram, and no Linux program compatible with Visio...

However things are going to change with the current release of PCLinuxOS.

It's all begin with Beryl
Djony, a friend of mine, told me that he tried PCLinuxOS with Beryl successfully. He said, he used only livecd, but he could mimics Vista 3D appearance very precisely, and that was done using old laptop with standard configuration...

I was very interested and I started to download the ISO image at home using torrent. The ISO images was finished the day after.

By Indonesian standard, the download time is quite fast, and even the link was only 128kbps, Indonesian service provider called it "Broadband".... My Japanesse friend Jimmy-san laughed in disbelieved when I mentioned that I have 128kbps broadband at home.
According to Jimmy, broadband connection should be similar to the one he used at home in Tokyo (I can't remember but I think he mentioned 1Gbps connection to home). Well, Jimmy my friend, some service provider in my area planning to put GPON with 30Mbps connection to home. It's not as fast as your connection, but it's like a dream for me :D (when it's available & affordable).
Djony was right. The LiveCD performance was very quick and smooth running on my IBM T42 laptop (it was configured with 2GB DRAM). Then I installed it in my spare disk drive, and it run even faster. The boot time was about 30 second, compared to my XP installation which was more than 5 minutes....

In my opinion, Beryl performance is very fast, effortless, and took no CPU penalty, even when running multiple applications : Microsoft Office 2003 (on crossover), Windows XP with Office 2003 running (on VirtualBox), and many other applications (i.e. Firefox, Kopete, etc.). I even tried more than one VirtualBox guest OS (2 instances of Windows XP, and one latest Gnome Linux). All running very fast - with the exception of the Gnome Linux, and with minimal disk swapping (only some hundreds Kilo Bytes taken for swap). I remembered when I use native Windows XP, Windows always utilize the disk swapping that causing performance drop (unless, ofcourse, we disable the disk swap).

After did full testing for about 2 days, I made a significant decision - I deleted the Windows XP and replaced it with Linux (PCLinuxOS) completely. However, I still let my data stored in separate 100GB hard disk (NTFS partition) untouched, and now mounted as read only by the Linux. The 100GB disk is almost full anyway. It's full with data, and I don't have any requirement to make it read/write (at least today).

First Week Experiences
First week was easy, but need some change behavior :
  • Cisco VPN Client (was GUI based on XP) now replaced by command line - it works, but need some adaptation. I have a hard token generator, so switching from one OS to another would not issue any problem for me
  • Microsoft Outlook 2003, now running on CrossOver (based on Wine) - it works fine, and no performance degradation compared to WindowsXP one, but the font was not as nice as the WindowsXP one. I tried the Evolution Mail, but it's too buggy for me (since we use Microsoft Exchange Mail Server in our company), so stick to Microsoft Outlook was the best option
  • The rest of Microsoft Office 2003 applications (Outlook, Word, Visio), now running on VirtualBox. I did tried the Open, but performance was not acceptable, because I had a lot of document with vector graphic inside, and OO.o was very slow when dealing with vector. VirtualBox was much faster. I also tried to run Microsoft Office 2003 with CrossOver, but the performance also not acceptable
  • X1 Desktop search (was an excellent search engine in XP), now replaced with Beagle search. Beagle is very CPU consuming during indexing, and can not index Outlook Mailbox (because it runs on crossover/wine), but Beagle is good enough (until I can find better replacement)
Optimized Windows XP for VirtualBox
I created a very small Windows XP ISO images (less than 150MB) to run inside the VirtualBox. The complete image with all Microsoft Office 2003 (plus Visio) is around 1.4GB uncompressed, and down to 800MB compressed (tar.gz). The boot time is amazingly fast, less than 20 second from cold boot (inside the VirtualBox). And shutdown time also very quick (around 2-3 second).

If you are interested to create a very small ISO image for XP, try : nlite. Use nlite to delete all unnecessary components of XP. You could also delete all drivers, but you need to be prepared with the full ISO image, and also ISO image for the drivers (taken from original XP installation). Just in case the slim XP version does not recognize your hardware and asked for a driver.....

In Progress
  1. Finding the best replacement for Microsoft Office 2003 (Word, Power Point, Visio). The currently available application softwares (Open Office, Dia) do not offer similar capability and performance when compared to Microsoft Office.
  2. Finding better desktop search engine than current Beagle software
Windows XP and its application can run faster on top of Linux using VirtualBox, because we could use a very light Windows XP images without any anti virus overhead, and also using a better virtual memory implementation in Linux that minimize disk swapping.

Sergio Xantoz von Bumi Mulya

Beagle Puppy
Our home was very quiet. Too quiet in my opinion. So we thought that one puppy in the house would bring a lot of hapiness and joy. However, selecting the right breed was not an easy task for us. Tutrie wanted a toy dog, but I wanted a guard dog....

Anyway, after several discussion (also with friends), we finally decided to adopt a beagle puppy directly from a breeder. Beagle is a medium size breed, and (according to literatures) very gentle to people and kids... However, it was hard to find a beagle breeder in Indonesia since this breed was not as popular as Golden Retriever or Rottweiler....

I found only one breeder that also responded to my email with cute picture, a pair of tri-color beagle (one month old) :

The beagle puppies were not ready to be taken, because they were too young. So we wait one month and then decided to visit the breeder. However the tri-color puppies were already sold. We saw only one tri-color female and one white-brown male puppy at the breeder. They are the same age, but the male is much larger, with large and strong bones. So we decided to take the male (the female already sold to someone anyway....)

Sergio Xantoz
The male name is Xantoz. Born in Bandung, January 2nd 2007. Above is the first picture of him taken on March 3rd 2007 when we took him home. His eyes looked sad because he was crying when we separated him from his siblings. He was stopped crying when Ndiet put him on her lap, exactly like a human baby :-P

We gave Xantoz a first name Sergio. The name came from Emyl's 7 years old daughter (Puti) who was 'hypnotized' at the Sergio Mendes performance at the Java Jazz festival in Jakarta a day before.

Sergio was very adorable puppy, but he always very active and love to bite anything. Sergio also could not stop eating even after his belly becoming round like a baloon that was going to explode anytime. Sergio always finishes his meal within seconds (I read a book about dog that a dog meal is in a proper size when the dog can finish it within half an hour, but I don't believe it after I saw Sergio eating). We were afraid if too much food could have him killed, so we decided to control (reduce) his food until his belly did not touch the floor when he walked....

Wet Towel
Sergio was too young to take a bath, so we only use wet towel. It sounds easy, however, experience proofs differently. Cleaning Sergio with wet towel was very hard effort. Sergio always struggle with full speed and power to bite the towel whenever it touched him...

Chewing Bone
One of Sergio's hobby was chewing bone (made from cow hide). Usually a small sized bone would last about 3 days before he ignored it because it became too small for him.

Playing with New Objects
Sergio always wants to explore something new, such as bird feather. Sergio will bark endlessly when the feather moves or flies blown by wind.

Always Running
It's very difficult to take Sergio's picture, because he always try to grab the camera. The picture below taken with telephoto, so I had time to click the shutter button before he's too near :)

Or we could took him from the side (also from distance), which he couldn't see the camera .... (look at his fine body shape after controlled meals)

Ignorant in a New Place
Or when we put him in a new place, so he could spend his time sniffing, and we could call his name and took the picture... Below is his first time we put him in our backyard, near the swimming pool.

He was also busy watching Lasiman (our housekeeper) removing dead leaves from the swimming pool.

Afraid of Height
Below when he walked inside the house... Our house is multi level, apparently one ladder step (less than 20cm) is too high for him, even a dog biscuit could not attrack him to jump... May be because below the step was on top of a koi fish pond (under construction), with a 1.5m depth.

Time for a Shower
First time Sergio took a shower, Sergio cried for mercy as if being butchered. Sergio would tried by any means to escape. However, Pak Agus, a merciless professional dog washer/cleaner (I don't know the correct terminology in English), managed to keep Sergio from running away.

Just like in a beauty saloon, hair dryer would be finishing touch. Pak Agus gave Sergio something to chew (looks like nail cutter to me) since Sergio tried to bite the hair dryer...

Happy Face Again
Well, the shower ritual has finished. Now Sergio is clean as new :) (and ready to play in the dirt again if we didn't put 'firewall' in every opening between stone floor and the dirt world....

Well, that's all I have for my first blog today :)... Beagle is rare and not very popular in Indonesia, so I would be very interested to know if there is a beagle owner who owns female beagle with different great-great-grand-parents :)