Aug
24
2009
2

Get rid of that ‘default keyring’ password bullshit when you login to GNOME

I haven’t gone on a good ol’ fashioned rant in a long time.  And you know what?  This one has been in the making for a while.  I’m not holding back… here I go…

Policykit sucks!!!  What’s with this excessive password crap?  By default for GNOME in Fedora 10/11 you have to use a password for everything!  You need a password to login to GNOME, then once inside GNOME your password will be required to unlock network-manager.  That doesn’t seem so bad…  I’ve only entered the same password three times(including the Linux login).

So I have access to the web and I’m happy for the moment until I decide to attach my USB thumb drive to copy some files for my neighbor…  …and guess what?  I need a password to mount my USB thumb drive.  So I decide to watch a TV show I have on a DVD-R.   By default mounting a DVD requires my password.

Installing programs from the ‘Add/Remove Software’ requires your regular keyring password to launch the app and the root password to install the actual software.  Now am I wrong in concluding this is a totally retarded way to handle desktop security?  Typing in the same password eight times in thirty minutes?  This is why 7 year old Windows XP is still a contender.  Even though Open Source GNU Linux is technically superior and far more secure.

Seven times GNOME keyring asked for a password.  That’s as bad as Vista.  No, it’s even worse.  Nobody loves Vista.  In fairness however, Microsoft’s Vista doesn’t require a password to attach a common USB pen drive.  Even using an SSH connection from the console requires keyring to intervene with GNOME!

Luckily, you can install ‘pam_keyring’ with yum.  This will use your Linux login for the default keyring at login, but you have to access the keyring-manager to adjust the rest.  Huge hassle.  It’s annoying shit like this that keeps the average bear off Desktop Linux.  My Mom is a smart woman, but she would never figure this out, and so she will continue to run Windows XP indefintely.

Pick through the options and see if you can find where to grant access to mount a DVD. This is not security, it's insanity.

May
24
2009
2

Tweaking Linux and WINE for World of Warcraft

It’s great that the World of Warcraft runs well on recent editions of WINE(Unbuntu/Fedora), but even when using OpenGL the typical Linux user can expect a frame rate reduction from 15%-30% over Windows XP.  However, I must point out that there are many reports of frame rate drops in Windows Vista and Presumably Windows 7(because of virtualization of XP apps).

All this is okay for typical grinding, leveling, and five man instances.  That said,  my GeForce 7950 GTX is only cranking out 30 FPS in low populated zones…  So for the bigger raids, PVP, and highly populated zones like Dalaran it can be frustrating trying to pwn at 12-16 FPS.  In fact my mission is to get at least 40 fps with the graphics card I have.

I was able to improve my frame rate by disabling mods like ‘Questhelper’ in battle grounds.  I added additional RAM to my system.  Although the frame rate boost was negligible; loading times were cut in half. (more…)

Apr
17
2009
0

Microsoft Works Hard to Protect Monoply – at Googles expense


I was reading Slashdot today and came across this post about Microsoft Family Safety Filter.  I wasn’t to surprised to read by this article:

“I saw that part of the brand new Windows Live package is the Family Safety Filter, so I decided to give it a spin. Turned it on, set it to ‘basic filtering’ (their lowest level), and went to Google … oops, it blocks Google! So I logged into the settings and added Google as an exception. Google still wouldn’t come up. Just in case, I turned off the family filter: voila, Google. As we all know, ‘Don’t be evil’ is not part of Microsoft’s motto! Oh yeah — and with the filter on, Microsoft’s own search engine, live.com comes up.”

To read the entire article click here.

I’m not one to buy in to conspiracy theories, but then again when 89% of all desktop computers are running the same Operating System it takes many less people to make a mistake, or even conjure up a devious plot. Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft make some good products, like Viseo for instance. I also like share point a lot.

Still that doesn’t make up for the rampant security holes(most recently conficker.c), back channel patent trolling, product delays or the price of a copy of Vista. All of these reasons are caused(or at least impacted) by protecting the Windows Monopoly. Most monopolies wreck havoc on a free market place. Microsoft has been sued repeatedly since the mid 90’s by the U.S. Attorney General, state and foreign governments. The complaints are that Microsoft are usually the same. Price fixing(via market share), effort to push proprietary software and communication standards, and bundling additional software with Windows to kill off the third party ISV competition.

The truth is though, that Windows OS is not the ‘bread and butter’ of profits.  Office is.  Someday, long after Balmer is gone, some brave executive in Redmond will come to the conclusion that ‘open standards and customer choice’, is the best long term business model.  Someday Microsoft will give up it’s Windows monopoly because they realize that competition will drive them to innovate over litigate.  The hundreds of billions in anti-trust settlements could go back to share holders and consumers.  Since Microsoft makes the most money on it’s office suite anyway, they could still potentially grow there revenues while loosing Operating System market share.  Some day.

Jan
21
2009
2

Windows 7 Beta running on Fedora 10 KVM

I was interested to know if the Windows 7 Beta was bootable in Fedora 10 w/ KVM/libvirt setup.  I was surprised that it was a fairly quick and flawless install.  In fact I was happy to finally see a Microsoft product worth getting excited for.

Installing Windows 7

The install was painless with no driver errors, crashes and just one reboot.  Woot.  Installs faster on Linux hypervisor than an ordinary machine!  Or at least it seemed like it.

Ugly default desktop with KDE 4.0 like widgets

So far my overall assesment is that the interface seems to be getting steadily worse since Windows XP, but performence wise it seems waaaaaay faster than Vista.  Also let me point out you can change the Desktop Theme to something that looks XP’ish.

It installed quickly and easily, detected all my drivers and seems to be faster on a limited resources VM then on my Intel 2.6 GHZ Vista system.  We’ll see as I use it further…

My fear is that I’m getting some stripped down Beta that is really fast but gets slower as we get closer to release.  If any of you have experiences you wish to share about Windows 7 and VM’s send me a post!

-Matt

Written by mattb in: Linux,Xen | Tags: , , , , , , , ,