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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

SCALE: Southern California Linux Expo

I had the opportunity to attend the SCALE: The Southern California Linux Expo here in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. I wanted to give you some of my impressions of the show, but other projects got in the way. Here are some comments and thoughts I had, even though a bit late.

I only had Saturday morning available in my schedule, but I still caught 2 great talks. The first was a presentation on Windows to Linux Migration. It addressed many issues I hadn't really thought about and gave some clear insight into how to accomplish the migration with a minimal amount of pain.

The second session was the one by BRU on backup strategies. The presenter was very good and he didn't spend an inordinate amount of time shilling BRU. Again, he gave a great overview of the various strategies behind backups and the pros and cons of each. Very good. I especially liked the info on disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T). I have many clients who need to move to some sort of "staged" storage and this really helped to engage my thinking.

The exhibits were interesting, if small. Here I was less knowledgeable about the market, but I did talk to the folks at Novell, BRU, the thin-client people and several others.

One pet project I am looking for is a Linux distro that would turn any older PC (think Win 98-based machine) into a cheap NAS (network-attached storage) box for backups, home servers, etc. I would really like to find a turnkey solution so I could some of these older machines back into service. I configured one such box for my own purposes here in the home office using Damn Small Linux and Samba and I am really enjoying it. It also gave me a test bed for playing around with a Linux Desktop.

One major "take-away" for me had to do with getting out of your usual environment and exploring new avenues of technology. There will be an upcoming Career Opportunities: The High-Tech Career Handbook column based on that concept.


At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Marc Bourassa said...

Hi Douglas,
OT:I really enjoy listening to your podcast. I've been listening for the past few months and appreciate the insights as well as the effort you put into creating such a professional sounding presentation.

I know what you mean regarding trying to make use of older machines for backup solutions. For myself I have an older machine on my network that I'm using both as my print server and to back up the files from the other two computers connected to the network.

The software I've been using is from a company called 2 bright Sparks (http://www.2brightsparks.com/) called SyncBack. They've just released a commercial version but their free one seems to be still available and it looks like it will remain available for a while to come.
The software is pretty sophisticted and can handle a great many backup tasks including backing up over a network, via FTP and to removable media. It can zip the backup as a single file or on a file-by-file basis and you can configure it to either back up the files or to synchronize them easily. On top of that it integrates nicely with the task scheduler in Windows (I'm assuming you're wanting a windows solution since you mentioned win98).

I have no affiliation with 2 Bright Sparks, I stumbled across their software a while back when looking for an alternative to my batch-file command-line zip backup solution. It was flexible enough to do what I wanted to do while not requiring a lot of attention.


At 5:17 PM, Blogger Douglas said...

Thanks for the information. I am actually a Mac house here, but I have many, many clients needing windows solutions. I will check it out.

Thanks again!


At 12:56 PM, Blogger Harold J. Johnson said...

Hi Douglass,

I attended the event Saturday as well, though I spent my entire time visiting with the exhibitors. You may be interested in hearing the interviews I recorded with various project members while at SCALE 3X, currently available at my blog audioblogs.info and at LQ Radio.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Douglas said...


Very Cool! I considered doing some interviews, but I don't have a decent rig for that, yet. I will check our your interviews as soon as I can.



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