Blogrotate #23: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Posted in: Technical Track

Good morning everyone and welcome to another edition of all the news fit to reprint. Last week iPad news was the number one topic on the hearts and minds of most places I visit, let’s see if the iPad can last another week or if a new champion will be crowned. Call or text your votes to … oh wait that’s someone else. :)

Operating Systems

Starting off on a sad note that I missed last week. Ed Roberts, the inventor of the Altair personal computer died on April 2nd at the age of 68. The New York Times has a good article about it, see H. Edward Roberts, PC Pioneer, Dies at 68. You can also check out an audio interview he did with Mark Frauenfelder over at BoingBoing, Remembering Ed Roberts, the father of the personal computer. Geeks everywhere owe this man a debt of gratitude.

Hey look! It’s an iPad related story. If you miss the good old days of Windows 95, now you can run it on your iPad (assuming you were an early adopter and have not smashed it for YouTube). See this video called Windows 95 on iPad completes the Bill Gates vision. For the record I purposely did not link the iPad smashing video because that nonsense is not worth my time.


Was anyone else up yesterday with email outages that trace back to ClamAV? I know I was. It turns out that ClamAV 0.94 has passed EOL but instead of gracefully disallowing new updates, ClamAV released new virus databases which broke installations of 0.94. You can check out the full EOL release at the ClamAV site in End of Life Announcement: ClamAV 0.94.x. A colleague here (Hi Mo!) found this interesting piece by Neil Schwartzman called ClamAV and the Case of the Missing Mail, proving that we were not alone in our suffering. So once you are done with righteous indignation, be sure to upgrade your AV engine.


Sean Michael Kerner at VOIPPlanet is reporting Open Source Asterisk 1.8 Aiming for Long-Term Support. According to the article users had complained that the frequency of releases in the 1.6 version of the software was making it difficult to know when and why to update, and the Asterisk team hopes to have their 1.8LTS out in the third quarter this year.


VMWare has released new patches for their ESX/vSphere product line. Check out the charmingly titled [Security-announce] VMSA-2010-0007 VMware hosted products, vCenter Server and ESX patches resolve multiple security issues.

If you are working towards vitualization and need a primer in the various technologies available look no further than Containers vs. Hypervisors: Choosing the Best Virtualization Technology by Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier at

Rackspace has released a new iPad app which will let you manage your cloud servers remotely using the bleeding edge device. Matthew Weinberger at The Var Guy has details in The Rackspace Cloud Launches iPad Application, and you can check out the marketing version of the news at the RackSpace web site.

Now that Oracle owns Sun, it also owns VirtualBox. Oracle has now released their first maintenance release addressing some outstanding bugs and stabilizing some features such as VT-x and multicore support. You can get the details from Timothy Prickett Morgan in Oracle freshens its VirtualBox.


James Gosling, the father of the Java programming language, has moved on from his position at Sun Microsystems. No word as to what he’ll be doing, but we wish him well. See his new new blog called On a New Road to hear it straight from the horses mouth.


A BGP error at a Chinese ISP caused it to briefly declare itself the route for approximately 37,000 IP networks, many belonging to US companies. The H Online has a report on this event titled Chinese ISP ‘hijacks’ bits of the web.

The key to corporate web sites has been SEO for quite a long time now. How well your web site is ranked by Google and other search engines is important if you want to be at the top of the results. According to Google’s Webmaster Central blog they are now going to be using the speed of your site as part of their ranking algorithm. See Using site speed in web search ranking for the official announcement. You can also find more on El Reg, see Google tweaks search results with mystery site speedometer.


If you are in the market for SSD to speed up your servers, here’s a good place to start. Henry Newman (CTO of Instrumental Inc.) has a 3 part series at the Enterprise Storage Forum that covers most (if not all) you’ll need to know to choose the right fit for your purposes. See all three parts:

  1. Solid State Drives in Enterprise Applications
  2. Solid State Drive Reliability and Performance in Storage Networking
  3. Choosing the Right Solid State Drive for Your Storage Network

Well that’s all the time I will have for this week. I had a ton of other stuff on the list for this week but I have to stop and do some real work eventually. As always leave your own stories in comments and we’ll see you back here next week.

As promised I’ve posted the instructions for Installing TOra with Oracle Support on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx). Be sure to check it out. And don’t forget to upgrade your ClamAV.

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About the Author

Brad is just a guy, you know? I fought my way up in the world tooth-and-nail. Starting in broadcasting and music to travel to computer support to development of mid size xBase programs. Finally I settled into the wonderful world of system administration where I have honed my skills doing many diverse tasks. I started using Solaris in the mid 80's and built my first Linux system on a 386 using 30-some floppy disks and never looked back.

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