Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why Microsoft contributes to Apache foundation.

I think the only reason is that MS copies Apache Webserver sources to IIS and adds a few hidden API calls of Windows, gaining an advantage.

So next time you but your favorite copy of Windows server and IIS, remember it's Microsoft's Apache webserver you've been fooled to buy form MS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why Ubuntu sucks.

Ok, despite the popularity that Ubuntu has got I'm posting a rant on it; that's cause it really deserves it. Earlier when I used to use Ubuntu 8.04... no issues, but things have been degrading since then and at the current state and as a system admin, I can confirm that Ubuntu or it's variants are no longer in production quality.
This happened possibly cause of the Windows migrants (or normal users) who just preferred the GUI and next next finish crap but they are actually a part of the community... they are willing to help, unfortunately their help and their opinion causes more problems and myths than solutions. As a result we had more such people adding up in the community and now the state is that almost everything about Ubuntu is complete trash.
Why I decided to write this today is cause one of my clients said “Linux sucks” thanks to Ubuntu (yeah I know it's Ubuntu's fault not upstream).
Why Ubuntu sucks -
  1. Community – As said before, majority (70% to 80%) of people in Ubuntu community are still under the impression that Ubuntu is a Windows alternative; just judging from the GUI and doing everything from the GUI; they dont even know the difference between Linux and Ubuntu. They have less knowledge, ok, but real issues starts by the fact that these people have attitude and overestimate their knowledge and comment without understanding the main questions.
    Overall, to sum up, this is what the Ubuntu community wanna say -
    “It doesn't matter how many packages are preinstalled, it doesn't matter how the packages have been compiled, and it doesn't matter how you've configured the kernel or the system, all that matter is if the OS is Ubuntu or not and if it is, it is the best!”.
    Now the community will ask "It works perfectly here", and the obvious answer that any non Ubuntu user will give is that all this has been tried on verity of hardware which is true... not even verity, in the same system problems increase over time and I get too many calls.
    The community represents the common public, and the common public IS stupid, they don't need to talk to the devs directly!... they need to talk to them though admins or some expert users to ensure that they don't bombard the handful of Senior devs that are still left in Ubuntu. And those admins shouldn't be Ubuntu admins.
  2. Since such people form the larger majority, we just get answers to simple stupid questions like what's the root directory, how you add a new user, how you install software... all repetitive or simple questions. If you have any real questions which points to a real bug/challenge... the community is doomed. 70% of the community does not have the capability to answer this. The remaining 30% are bombarded by repetitive questions so they don't even see the good questions. Let's take some sample old unanswered questions from the 10-11th page of a randomly chosen forum -”
  3. Package quality – Ok, the above is not that much of a real issue, but this is the main issue with Ubuntu. In my case, with every Ubuntu install comes new bugs.
    Take the current issue for examples, DVDstyler does not make the final project... some sorta 'error' occurs, possibly causes of unsatisfied dependency.
    Ok, so I tried the same with Sabayon with the free spaced hosted by an NFS server running on Ubuntu... and guess what happened? Ubuntu NFS encountered 'errors'... cannot r/w files.

    NFS is always giving issues... verity of issues from mounting the served location, to file transfer which at times stops cause of some sorta error which's different every time. Ofcourse the problem gets solved after an Ubuntu 'reboot'. In the end I preferred system rescue CD to get the job done which is unfortunately based on Gentoo – the distro which most Ubuntu users hate with an excuse – 'its not worth it' where as the reality is it's not their cup of tea... how can stupid windows users start using fabulous distros like Gentoo, further more how can they see the advantage?

    CUPS hangs too much, the web config page never opens.

    I opened a bug to compile mplayer so as to play HD videos, hell yeah they fixed it, but now the HD audio wont come (wma).

    That CD/wine bug is there for around 6 months, and no one has a way to fix it.

    Now the scanner stopped working.

    Overall we have verity of uncountable bugs, it appears the devs maintaining Ubuntu packages not proper devs or contributers... they are Windows devs trying to do some Linux package management; or college IT freshers. Otherwise who else will be interested in Ubuntu anyway... it's just another shining distro!
  4. Horrible dependency of preinstalled package – apt-get remove ubuntu-desktop;apt-get autoclean; nothing more gets removed.
    If you wanna remove a preinstalled package in Ubuntu, probably you have to check the dependencies manually to get the job done. I do it for around 10 packages.
  5. Buggy dependency resolution of apt – This is not a major issue, but at times, apt-get autoclean just wont work as expected, and you gotta remove a bunch of orphan packages manually.
  6. FS corruption – Since the Ubuntu's 'super speed' bootup/shutdown started, at times the FS does get an unclean unmount; it shows up in the next boot.
  7. Hardware incompatibility – Various small issues with hardware does occur. For example in a few acer laptops, we have issues with the brightness, touchpad keys, alps touchpad etc...
  8. Ubuntu seems extra slow – All other distros are faster in comparison. You can see the benchmarks.
There're many more (right now and in the making) that I probably forgot about. The current state is such that I'm forced to leave Ubuntu... and I'm glad I'm going to. If you're a system admin or a dev and using Ubuntu, I advice you quit now and start using better thing... maybe Debian itself; yeah Ubuntu community is big, but you gotta see what sorta people it's made off. To the rest of Ubuntu users – I suggest you remain with it and not pollute other distros.

An update -- after more than a year of posting this, I again booted some very old Ubuntu live CDs (7.x and 8.x) to test if they were able to run an ELF executable.
But guess what happened? Bash: ... cannot run executable.
And everything was ok, there was no reason for it not to run. The same worked fine on 2008 Gentoo live CD.
This reminded me that Ubuntu was, is and will always be crap from the beginning of time, not only after 8.04.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

DVD video protected disks.

Recently I got up with a challenge to copy a protected DVD video disk... which is actually illegal, but I just did it for educational purposes.

So what is this protection? It happens that some of the data on the DVD is encrypted, the key to this encryption is supposed to be written to the lead-in area of the DVD.

What a DVD player does is read this key for purpose of decryption of the data (video) under question... so the hardware should support decryption if you want to play such a thing.

Luckily most modern DVD writers (everything else below it is obsolete) do support this, thus you can flawlessly copy such a DVD, defeating it's purpose.

Thoughtfully speaking, almost all sorts of DRM is complete crap (almost, cause few are actually effective, that I've discussed later). If any medium makes a sound and produces a video, it can be, in the modern world, captured with no losses... if it plays in a DVD player (it will) you can record the lossless data though S/PDIF DVI or HDMI... if you're applying DRM to a media which has to be played on a verity of hardware manufactured by various corporations, the technology is probably crap, i.e if you want it to be effective there should a few listed hardware devices which should be able to play it, I bet the Chinese will be the first to break such sort of DRM. This actually did happen in North Asia a few months after CSS DRM was launched... they recorded it live, making the copy protection useless.

Such sorta things cause nothing but problems to the end user... as a result they too download pirated.

So let these propritory DRM people learn a few things by NOT buying anything DRM protected. Yeah, protection of copyrighted material is good, but what's the use if it poses no effects at all?... I mean, if you're having copies of the same thing floating as torrents on the Internet what's the use of it?

So in Europe we have a ban on P2P communication, that is effective, but it's clearly in excess... I mean you're trying to deprive people off fundamental rights simply to make Britney Spears and Steven Spielberg richer?.. yeah, why not forbid people to 'record' the movie and music 'in their minds' to ensure they wont be able to reproduce it anywhere else?.. why not just forbid phone calls to ensure the copy protected lyrics are leaked out off your lips?

Hell yeah, that'll make Britney and Spielberg a lot richer...

If you want to have this thing done effectively, you need to target the sites hosting the copy protected material (not 'peers', but the trackers and the sites providing the torrents).