Friday, December 24, 2010

µReview: antiX linux

Over the past few weeks I've heard folks talking about a somewhat-lighter distro called antiX. Took it for a spin in virtualbox. Came up quickly with no drama.

RAM usage in the screenshot above is 96MB with the browser open to (accidentally typed the mobile version by habit).

I'm impressed with the snappiness and memory use of the livecd version. I didn't try to install it yet.

ISO, minimum ram, minimum HD, WM/DE
antix: 484MB, 128MB, 1.2GB, IceWM/Fluxbox
lubuntu: 546MB, 160MB, unknown, lxde
xubuntu: 726MB (!), 256MB, 2.0GB, xfce

I think this middleweight field is worth watching. I suspect the current economic environment will encourage people to get all the mileage they can out of previous-generation boxes. With middleweights like antiX you can "add lightness" without having to deal with the weirdness of puppy, dsl, tinycore, etc.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: jolicloud 1.1

I have heard several trusted sources (on TWIG, Android Central, etc) referring to Jolicloud. One even said Google should quit wasting resources on ChromeOS and just rebadge a tweaked Jolicloud.

I downloaded the .torrent and installed it in a virtualbox instance.

Initial thoughts:

  • 698MB? Really? Maybe my basis for comparison is wonky since I've been using small linuxen for a few years, but 698MB for a netbook OS seems excessive.
  • Torrent d/l is cool, but doesn't really seem to fit the target demographic.
  • live version is a bit wonky; can't do many things.
  • hangs for long periods in virtualbox: "initializing virtualbox driver" for several minutes during the install. Less of a problem once installed.
  • requires 2.4GB minimum to install. Yikes.
  • the integration with is interesting
  • the integration with facebook is frightening. I do NOT like this trend.
  • requires a net connection - everything is in the cloud as the name suggests
  • updates happened automagically. See screenshot below:

Didn't crop some of the screenshots, sorry. In case you're wondering the desktop behind the VM is the fluxbox window manager on xubuntu linux bones.

This type of greatly-simplified interface in the shot above was widely panned a few years ago when it was tried on Xandros:

Reminds me of how everyone mocked the tablet form factor until Saint Steve blessed the iPad. BTW, here's an iPad joke:

Q: how do you know if someone has an iPad?
A: they'll tell you.

True, and annoying.

This is what my little Eee notebook looks like these days. It's running Puppy 5.1.1, weighing in at ~130MB:

Monday, December 13, 2010

"may involve the use of explosives"

may involve the use of explosives and always occurs in a heavy industrial setting. A Class A or B CDL with HAZMAT is required, but can be obtained in the first sixty
days of employment during which time appropriate training will be provided. The job is physically demanding and requires being on 24 hour call. The job is in the field requiring work at all times of the day and in alltypes of weather.

Sweet baby Jebus. It's the landlocked analog of a crab fishing gig. If I were a younger and crazier man...

another interesting posting

A really specific/interesting set of requirements on this posting:

Requisition Number: URS51210
Interest Category: Environmental/Sciences

Interest Sub Category: Archaeology

Job Title: Archaeology Caddo Expert
Employment Category/Status: Part Time

Type of Position: Temporary

Country: U.S.

State/Province: Texas

City: Dallas

Minimum Requirements: Ph.D. in GeoArchaeology

15 years experience in the field of archaeology field work and research with an emphasis on Caddo culture.

Must have specific experience interpreting and analysis of all aspects of Native American artifacts, specifically related to the Caddo culture. Must be proficient in all aspects of Caddoan and adjacent cultural areas. Extensive experience in leading projects, both in the field and with the analysis and the preparation of report of findings. Must be proficient in technical archaeological writing.

Proficient in MS Word, MS Excel, ArcMap, Access, and SPSS.

Proficient in using total station, GPS receivers, and post processing software.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

from an actual job posting

Applicants must check your e-mail randomly for an assessment sent to you from [company]. The assessment will need to be completed as soon as possible in order to proceed to the next step.

Really? That's not a good sign.

Reminds me of an online test I took for a well-known telco with offices in Frisco. It was 40mins of massive multitasking. For example, do this math word problem while we barrage you with IMs and emails that scroll by. Oh, and you have to be able to recall the content of the IM/email minutes later.

Translation: we have a totally f&$%ed up work environment; wouldn't you like to work here?

Now, you'd think that a beggar couldn't be a chooser. But I've taken enough messed up jobs in my life to know a bad one when I see it.