Kubuntu 8.10

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Thursday, October 30, 2008 | Published in

I'm typing this from the new version of Kubuntu 8.10, which came out today. This new release uses KDE 4.1 which is a very slick desktop and it will only get better as it matures. At the moment there are some bits of it that a little rough around the edges, but now that it's being used as the default Kubuntu desktop I'm sure it'll see some more love. The new kernel fixes the issue with the ATI accelerated graphics that caused X to freeze up under the last kernel. There's a new version of Adept and some Ubuntu tweaked Plasma features and lot's of other shiny new things. As with the last release things like installing Atheros drivers are pretty much done for you.

See the link above for some screen shots. These are all of features that are enabled and work by default.

Intrepid Ibex is, on first examination, a very nice system that was pleasantly easy to set up. Definitely a worth while upgrade.

GNS3 on Ubuntu

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Monday, October 27, 2008 | Published in

This is something I'd intended to write myself, but hadn't gotten around to it. This guide on The Little Things blog has beaten me to it with a good explanation of how to get started using the excellent Dynamips Cisco emulation package. Ah well. Check it out if you're interested in experimenting and learning with Cisco kit but don't space/money/inclination to acquire a room full of routers.

Twitter Me

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, October 26, 2008 | Published in


I heard about this a while ago, but decided to have a look when the guy who did the Microsoft Talk mentioned it. It's a micro-blogging system much like the status update feature of Facebook, but without all the other intrusive crap that goes with it. Might be good, might be just another "interesting idea". We shall see. Linkage

Networking, Finally

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Friday, October 24, 2008 | Published in

Had our first session of playing with routers today, and christ am I rusty! Got everything working, but it was only a fairly simple point to point layout, with nothing complicated thrown in. But at least we're actually doing something at last, and I'm sure everything will start coming back once we start working with them regularly again.

The Microsoft Inspiration Tour

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Thursday, October 23, 2008 | Published in


Yestersay the MS Inspiration Tour visited Sunderland Uni. The speaker (or Evangelist as Microsoft would have it) was a guy called Paolo Barone, and he gave us an excellent talk on Silverlight showing us some excellent work that had been done with it (like this) and the tools used to create it. I really enjoyed this part of the talk and was particularly interested in a feature called Deep Zoom which I'm looking forward to having a play with.

He also spoke to us about a programming language called XMA which Microsoft is developing for cross platform games creation. This was also pretty interesting but to be honest a lot of it went a bit over my head. We were shown some pretty good games that have been developed using it and there seems to be a lot of potential there.

The last thing he spoke to us about was Microsoft's Imagine Cup. This consists of several different competitions, but the on I'm interested in is the IT Challenge. To quote the site,
The object of the IT Challenge Competition is to highlight the art and science of developing, deploying, and maintaining IT systems that are efficient, functional, robust and secure.
Seems interesting, and I think I'll be signing up.

So Far, So Disorganised

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | Published in

I'm now into the 3rd week of the uni term and they have just about managed to get themselves organised. The time table has been all over the place, and is still wrong in one instance, and there have been several problems with lecturers turning up at different times to their class, or sometimes not at all.

The most interesting module thus far is the Network Management course we're on which is being taken by Dr. Chris Stokoe. He seems like a very nice bloke, and has had relevant industry experience to draw on for his lectures, which (for me) instantly makes him more interesting and credible than those with a purely academic background. He is also going to be the first lecturer this year to actually have us touch a computer (Level 3 IT students, 3 weeks into our course... Am I right to be frustrated by this?). He's apparently going to start us all off doing a Linux system later on this week.

At least it's all finally started. Should hopefully get better from here, but I have no illusions about the uni getting themselves organised. They've always been the same and I doubt it's going to change. I wonder if they're all this bad?