Lenovo X61 – Update

A quick update to this post. As of Tribe 5, both audio and wifi work flawlessly in the default configuration. With the manual installation of ThinkFinger for the biometric thumb scanner, absolutely everything on the machine is working as expected. I’m really liking the form factor of this laptop, it’s going to be great for conferences and travel.


Lenovo X61

The new laptop arrived today, just in time for my trip to LinuxWorld. I had an Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn disc laying around from Ubuntu Live, so figured I’d just go with that. I’ve not had Linux installation problems in a long time. I guess the X61 is just too new. First, the harddrive wasn’t detected by the installer. The fix for this was easy enough, simply enable Compatibility mode in the BIOS for the SATA controller (defaults to AHCI). Looks like this is also needed for some Windows installs, so not a big deal. After that the installer fired right up and the installation proceeded without incident. First boot up and everything looks good. That is until I realize that neither wifi or audio work. Poking around I see my X61 came with iwl4965 and AD1984, respectively. Feisty supports neither, but Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 at least supports 4965 for sure, so I decide to upgrade. I really like how easy a dist-upgrade is in Debian (and therefore Ubuntu) and Gutsy is on the laptop in under an hour. Wireless networking worked out of the box without so much as a configuration change needed. Audio, however, does not seem to work out of the box. The chipset is properly detected now, but I don’t get any output. I haven’t had a chance to actually look into this yet as audio just isn’t critical for me at this time. Overall the Ubuntu install experience is really impressive. For an alpha release, Gutsy has been quite stable so far. Certainly not without issue, but we’ve come a long long way. The out of the box support for a device this new in Gutsy has almost reached an acceptable level. My guess is with Dell and others now making a driver push, we’ll be all the way there in the very near future.


OSCON Executive Briefing II

(live blogging, so forgive the grammar and lack of proof reading)

Always Better

Matt Asay (Alfresco) and Mike Olson (Oracle via SleepyCat) discuss the value of source code. Mike argues that zero cost frictionless distribution is more disruptive than source access. A response from the crowd asked why he doesn’t close BerkleyDB. He didn’t get a chance to answer the question, but did give Matt a book.

The Path to IPO

Marten Mickos discusses how he hopes to grow MySQL AB to a billion in revenues. He covered how much the company has matured in the last few years (including items like: “we now invoice customers and have prices”). MySQL really aligns with PHP, but is “promiscuous when it comes to programming languages”. “Moore’s law will continues, but doesn’t apply to people” – MM. “The company you keep matters in Open Source” – TO. MySQL data seems to once again confirm that many people test OSS on Windows and deploy on Linux. Open Source will accelerate what is already happening to a product – bad ones will die quicker and good ones will get better faster.

Managing Linus Torvalds and other small challenges

Jim is covering the reasons that FSG and OSDL merged. He is also reflecting on what he sees as the future responsibility of the Linux Foundation, including what directions they should take and what pitfalls they should avoid.

Why Free Software values work for business

Mark discusses the relationship between the commercial Canonical and the non-commercial Ubuntu community. Mark sees collaboration as one of the key Open Source strengths. Launchpad is meant to take advantage of this and leverage collaboration as much as possible. Freedom of data is becoming increasingly important and Ubuntu/Canonical is committed to free data not only in launchpad (which will be Open Sourced soon), but throughout the project/company. “Driver support in Linux is probably one of the biggest reservations in Linux adoption” – MS. The following question was asked: “Can Ubuntu become bigger than Mark”. In essence, if Mark went away for whatever reason, would Ubuntu survive? This is clearly a question Mark has really thought about, up to and including Will provisions meant to ensure financial viability for the project.


Day 1 – Ubuntu Live

The first day of Ubuntu Live is coming to an end. One thing that has permeated the first day is the amount of energy in the Ubuntu community. People are excited and eager to get things done. While originally mostly a desktop distro, Ubuntu is scaling in multiple directions from there – from LTS on the server to the mobile and embedded edition. A certification ecosystem is also in the works. If the growth and energy can be maintained, the future for Ubuntu is certainly bright. Off to Fun, Food & Drink (sponsored by Canonical) now, but I’ll continue coverage tomorrow.


Ubuntu Live & OSCON

I’ll be leaving for Portland in a few hours to attend both Ubuntu Live and OSCON. OSCON is always a great conference and I’m looking forward to the first ever Ubuntu conference. If you’ll be in Portland for the event(s) and would like to meet up, drop me a line. See you in Oregon.


Intel Launches Mobile Linux Project

The mobile Linux space continues to heat up (recent coverage). Now, Intel has jumped into the fray with the Mobile & Internet Linux Project. From the about page:

Moblin.org hosts the Mobile & Internet Linux* Project which is an umbrella, open source project focused on the development of Linux for Intel-based devices. To this purpose, moblin.org will host various projects that will provide key elements of community-based projects such as Ubuntu’s Mobile and Embedded Edition*, and Red Flag’s MIDINUX*, targeted for such devices. We also intend to be an incubator for prototyping new ideas and projects targeting these types of devices, such as the Intel-based Mobile Internet Device (MID) and various consumer electronic devices.

Looking at the projects page I was happy to see that the UI Framework is actually Hildon, which runs on the N800 and was released as Open Source by Nokia as part of maemo. Other projects will be contributing directly to upstream Open Source projects. Awesome.


Ubuntu on Two New Inspirons

In a move that would seem to back up initial indications that the Ubuntu Dell offerings were selling well, Dell has officially announced that it is adding two additional models to its Linux lineup:

From a Ubuntu perspective, we’re now offering Ubuntu 7.04 to customers in the United States on the Inspiron 1420N notebook and the Inspiron 530N desktop. Both are available for order now at http://www.dell.com/open. Since these are new systems, it usually takes us a bit of time to ramp production. Because of that, we expect to ship these new systems by the middle of next month.

Additionally, Dell has confirmed that it plans to extend the Ubuntu roll-out to countries outside the United States (currently the number one request on IdeaStorm). Dell also indicated that they are considering bringing Linux to their small business customers. Great to see that the Ubuntu offering is being well received. This move could very well be paving the way to both additional large scale OEM Linux plans and someday even a simple “Linux on any model” type roll-out by someone. Kudos Dell.