Friday, February 03, 2006

My hiking accident, virtualization, and DRM

Wow, three subjects in one blog entry, such a deal. As those of you who are my friends know, I took a nasty fall hiking back down a local mountain yesterday. Scary at first because I had no feeling for 20 minutes in my right arm - then the feeling came back, and the pain was manageable, and I started counting my blessings that I got away with a bit of carelessness. Things were OK for about 2 hours, but then my right shoulder popped out (dislocated), and it hurt like a bitch until I got it popped back in. My wife then insisted on taking me to the hospital ER last night - probably a good thing because they put me on pain medication so I slept well. Anyway, I hope that this does not slow down my work finishing up my new Ruby and Ruby on Rails book (and a few consulting jobs I have right now).

Slashdot had a pretty good discussion on virtualization today. I have used virtualization tools for years to cut down development and testing costs, mostly being able to have a collection of prepared OS images with specific software and environments set up; clone/copy an image, do the work then toss the copy. Huge time saver. I also have been indirectly taking advantage of Xen by using the excellent services at rimuhosting.com. Hosting providers can offer services like backup and general maintenance much less expensively when several virtual OS instances are on one maxed-out server. I used to set up my own and customer systems on leased servers at places like server beach and 1and1 but for many applications a Xen hosted virtual OS (backed by great service) makes more sense.

Linus Torvalds has come out against the draft GPL v3's anti-DRM position. I must say that I agree with him. I look at open source and free software as being tools for effectively doing business (and to have fun with :-) and I think that GPL v2, BSD, MIT, etc. licenses are all business friendly in their own ways. Also, not everything needs to be "free" (both in FSF and 'beer' word usages). As far as I care, things that are not business/work related (like buying music, renting/buying video and interesting things to read) can be DRMed if that makes the content owner's happy. Other technologies like 'trusted computing' hardware make me extremely nervous because they might get it the way of doing business: hamper the use of Linux, interfere with the use of virtualization, etc.

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