Linus on C++

C++ is a horrible language. It's made more horrible by the fact that a lot
of substandard programmers use it...
In other words, the only way to do good, efficient, and system-level and
portable C++ ends up to limit yourself to all the things that are
basically available in C.
In general, I'd say that anybody who designs his kernel modules for C++ is
either
 (a) looking for problems
 (b) a C++ bigot that can't see what he is writing is really just C anyway
 (c) was given an assignment in CS class to do so.
Feel free to make up (d).

You can read the emails here.

 

Kaspersky OS

First, it’s based on microkernel architecture, which allows to assemble ‘from blocks’ different modifications of the operating system depending on a customer’s specific requirements.
Second, there’s its built-in security system, which controls the behavior of applications and the OS’s modules. In order to hack this platform a cyber-baddie would need to break the digital signature, which – any time before the introduction of quantum computers – would be exorbitantly expensive.
Third, everything has been built from scratch. Anticipating your questions: not even the slightest smell of Linux. All the popular operating systems aren’t designed with security in mind, so it’s simpler and safer to start from the ground up and do everything correctly. Which is just what we did.

Let’s talk about this. Micro-kernel design? Interesting, but MINIX has had that for ages now. Linux vs MINIX = Monolithic vs Microkernel = Performance vs Security. Yes, going for one kernel design instead of the other does equal compromising one aspect for the other. In short, this decision to use the micro-kernel isn’t honestly innovative.
Built-in security system? Oh wow.. Sure, whatever. Give us more details and then we will consider it’s existence and efficiency.
Everything has been built from scratch? I admire your effort, but at the end of the day, it is going to have to be POSIX compatible. It’s hard to say whether or not it really was worth the effort. And I hate to break this to you, but it would have saved time, and made more sense, to proofread  the code instead of rewriting it.
In short: As of now, it offers nothing too interesting. Sure, I’d like to download an image and give it a go but that’d probably be it.

 

Fixing the brightness issue on Ubuntu 16.04

  • The issue: Random flickering when changing the brightness using the function key, while the change wasn’t steady. The slider in system settings allowed me to change the brightness normally.
  • The machine: Dell Inspiron N5110

The first solution I tried was creating the /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf file with the following lines:
Section "Device"
Identifier "card0"
Driver "intel"
Option "Backlight" intel_backlight"
BusID "PCI:0:2:0"
EndSection

This didn’t change anything. So I tried following “dushnabe’s” suggestion on this thread. Which too didn’t make any difference really. The problem, as I saw it was that I appeared to be using both intel_backlight and acpi_video0. Both use different ranges of values to change the brightness. Hence the flickering. It became clear that I had to force the usage of just one, and that’s exactly what the fix in that answer was supposed to do. Except that for some reason it wasn’t working.
After googling further on this, I landed on this page and I saw the list of kernel parameters that had to do with the backlight. I rebooted a couple of times, each time trying a different parameter, and finally,
acpi_backlight=native is what did the trick. I noticed that it doesn’t allow me to change brightness on login screen, but after login, there was no flickering, and when I ran ls /sys/class/backlight/, I saw that it no longer returned acpi_video0. The only issue I have right now is that there is no fixed minimum. Sometimes, it decreases to a reasonable minimum, while at other times, it results in a blackout, and I have to manually adjust it using the slider in system settings or using xbrightness..
To replicate this process, all you need to do:

  • Fire  up a terminal
  • sudo nano /etc/default/grub
  • At the very end of the string GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT, (which in my case was “quiet splash,”) add acpi_backlight=native.
    The final string, in my case, looks like “quiet splash acpi_backlight=native
  • Close and save the file, and run sudo update-grub and then reboot.

In the event that this doesn’t work, it’d be worth your time to try out the rest of the kernel parameters. You don’t have to modify the grub file every time. Instead you can choose to modify kernel parameters before boot. This you can do by pressing “c” on the grub screen and typing the desired parameter, in the correct place, right after “splash.”

 

Hands on with Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus"

Being one of those idiots who started downloading the ISO way before the link was even officially added to the download page, I do have a couple of reasons to regret doing so. I was on a slightly messed up 14.04 that appeared to have deteriorated over time, and I had been considering a reinstall, but had been putting it off because I had decided to wait until after the release of Xenial.
So, fast forwarding to when I was done installing it. As per habit, the moment it was installed I fired up a terminal and at the same time opened Firefox.. The first thing I noticed was that the terminal had a green font on the “user@conputer:~$,” and then I ran an apt-get update, which obviously was stupid as it had just been released, and a while before or after it I also noticed that the terminal seemed to insist that I use “apt” in commands in place of “apt-get.” I don’t honestly know what inspired this change, but just another minor.
Two changes that we had been hearing about since way before the release were: … 

 

Code-names of Debian's Releases

Buzz? as in Lightyear?
As if there’s any other Buzz!

Umm, yes. I think there is, but it’s of course too much of a coincidence that every single one of Debian’s releases is code-named after Toy Story characters.
Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, they’re all there, not to mention Woody. And guess what? Even Wheezy made it, (though i hope that was after he got his squeaker fixed.) Now to follow is Jessie, but Damn! That’s one long wait for Buzz, but on the plus side, she’s almost there.