Opening Keynote – DevOps Days Austin

May 21, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I attended the fourth annual DevOps Days Austin.   The event was extremely well organize and had a great line up of speakers.  As always I brought along my trusty flipcam (cause I’m old school) and recorded a handful of interviews.  The first in this series features Damon Edwards of DTO solutions, one of the early pioneers of DevOps.

In this video Damon discusses his keynote and thoughts around DevOps in general (you can check out his slides below)

Some of the ground Damon covers

  • How he got into DevOps consulting and how Devops came to be.
  • Applying DevOps to large enterprises and the importance of visibility.
  • How financial services are particularly keen to dive in as well as interest from pharma, manufacturing, gaming etc.

Damon’s Slides

Interviews on tap:

  • Cameron Haight – Gartner
  • Michael Cote – Pivotal
  • John Willis – Docker
  • Paul Read – Release Engineering Approaches

Pau for now…


Dell IoT lab data center

May 7, 2015

Here is the final post in the series of four concerning Dell’s IoT lab in California.

Product Technologist, Raja Tamilarasan gives an overview of the dedicated IoT data center for customers and explains how it can be used for local or remote access.

Extra-credit reading

 


Dell IoT lab: Smart building demo

May 6, 2015

Continuing with the third of four entries focusing on Dell’s Internet of Things lab, today we have a two-part  look at the smart building demo.

In the first clip, Product Technologist, Raja Tamilarasan takes us through a smart building showing how the sensors are attached to Wyse gateway which constantly monitors the data it receives.  Raja also simulates a fire showing how the building would react.

The second video, which continues from the first, shows how by using Dell’s cloud integration software Boomi, you can migrate aggregated info from a thin client back to a server in the data center.

One more

The next video will be the final one in this four part series: Dell’s IoT data center

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now…


What type of customers utilize Dell’s IoT lab

May 5, 2015

Here is the second in a series of four blog entries focusing on Dell’s Internet of Things lab in Santa Clara, California.  Following the overall overview in the last entry, today’s post focuses on the customers who utilize the IoT laboratory.

Product Technologist, Raja Tamilarasan explains how customers of all sizes, from small start-ups to large telcos utilize the lab. He talks about how the customers utilize the lab and what levels of individuals within those companies attend.

Two to go

With two down, there are two more entries on tap:

  • Dell’s smart building demo (parts 1 & 2)
  • Dell’s IoT data center

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now…

 


Overview: Dell’s Internet of Things (IoT) lab

May 1, 2015

Last month I was out in Bay Area and got to visit Dell’s recently opened Internet of Things lab.  The lab, which is located within Dell’s Santa Clara office, is designed  to help customers build, modify and create IoT solutions.

Part of something bigger

Dell’s Iot lab is a key piece within Dell’s overall end-to-end IoT efforts.  Our end-to-end integrated offerings span services, hardware, analytics software and implementation all wrapped in security.

Dell’s approach is to work with customers collaboratively,  utilizing what they already have, starting small and then iterating.   All of this builds on the IoT foundationally elements that Dell has been utilizing for years.

First video

In today’s video Product Technologist, Raja Tamilarasan gives an overview of Dell’s IoT lab, talks about IoT in general and explains where Dell plays in the space.

But wait, there’s more!

While visiting the lab, I shot 5 short guerilla style videos using my flipcam (yes I still use mine).   Over the next week or two I will follow this post with three more:

  • What type of customers utilize Dell’s IoT lab
  • Dell’s smart building demo (parts 1 & 2)
  • Dell’s IoT data center

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now…

 


4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition available!

April 9, 2015

I would first like to thank everyone for their patience and support as we worked through various bugs that crept up.  This has taken longer than we would have liked but I’m happy to say that as of today, the Dell XPS 13 developer edition is now available in the United States, Canada and Europe!

A short history

As many of you may known, the developer edition began its life as Project Sputnik.  Funded by an Image result for images sputnikinternal incubation fund set up to drive innovation within Dell, Sputnik went from open-ended exploratory project to official product within nine months.

The entire program was conducted in the open in order to identify what you — developers — demanded in an ideal Ubuntu-based laptop. It was also your interest and support that drove Sputnik from project to product.

At the beginning of the year we launched an expansion to the line, the Precision M3800 developer edition, and today we are announcing the availability of the 4th generation of the XPS 13 developer edition.

General specifications of new Dell XPS 13 developer edition (see configs below. Note we realize that some of the tech specs are incorrect, they are in the queue to be fixed.  We made the decision to go ahead launch since we have had so much interest and we wanted to make it orderable as soon as possible)

  • Ubuntu 14.04*
  • 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U or i7-5500U
  • 13.3-inch infinity display
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR3L at 1600MHz
  • Intel (R) HD Graphics 5500
  • 1 Year ProSupport with Next Business Day Onsite Service
  • 2.8 lbs

* We recommend that users use the factory shipped Ubuntu image with the XPS 13 with at least BIOS A02.  We do however recognize that users will want to use other Linux distributions, Ubuntu versions or kernel versions so we’ve assembled a list to indicate problems users should expect with other distros.  In general you will have the best experience on the latest in development distributions with newer kernels.  For more information and instructions please see the technical notes at the end of this post.

US/Canada configurations:

i5/8GB

  • 128GB, Non Touch FHD (1920×1080)
  • 256GB, Touch TL QHD (2560×1440)

i7/8GB

  • 256GB, Touch TL QHD+  (3200×1800)
  • 512GB, Touch TL QHD+  (3200×1800)

Europe configurations/Countries

The XPS 13 developer edition is available in both the consumer and business channels in the following countries:

  • Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom

European configurations

  • i5/8GB — 256GB, Touch TL FHD (1920×1080)
  • i7/8GB — 512GB, Touch TL QHD+  (3200×1800)

A big shout out

I wanted to give recognition and a big thanks to the members of our small but mighty Sputnik core team: Mario Limonciello, Jared Dominguez, Amber Huang and Amit Bhutani.  These are the folks who have worked their butts off and made this a reality!

Technical Notes:

Updated April 16, 2015: new information with regards to current status quo from some people who have used Debian as well as 4.0 updates.

Updating to BIOS A02 or later

  1. Download the executable from support.dell.com and save it to a FAT32 formatted USB disk.
  2. Reboot the computer.
  3. At the Dell POST screen, press F12 to bring up the BIOS boot menu.
  4. Select the option to flash the BIOS.
  5. In the popup menu, select your USB disk and select the BIOS executable.
  6. Follow on screen directions.

Systems shipped with A01 or A00 BIOS

If you purchased the machine with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and it contains BIOS A00 or BIOS A01, please update the BIOS to A02 or later.  If you choose to run a kernel version earlier than 3.15 you should also append the following to your kernel command line:

psmouse.resetafter=0

If you machine was shipped with A02 or later, you will not need this kernel command line change.  The developer edition units will ship with A02 or later.

Ubuntu 14.04

Ubuntu 14.04 includes kernel 3.13.  The touchpad will run in PS2 mode and the soundcard will run in HDA mode.  Currently (4/15) out of the box the HDA microphone will not work, and you will need some packages from the factory shipped image to make it work properly.  The patches needed for microphone support are available here:

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=e1e62b98ebddc3234f3259019d3236f66fc667f8

and

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=f3b703326541d0c1ce85f5e570f6d2b6bd4296ec

Ubuntu 14.10

Ubuntu 14.10 includes kernel 3.16.

With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound will not function.  Please update to at least BIOS A02 and the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  Currently (4/15) the microphone will not work and you will these patches for microphone support: https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=e1e62b98ebddc3234f3259019d3236f66fc667f8

and

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=f3b703326541d0c1ce85f5e570f6d2b6bd4296ec

 

Ubuntu 15.04

Ubuntu 15.04 includes kernel 3.19.

With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound will not function.  Please update to at least BIOS A02 and the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  (4/15) All of the relevant patches have been backported and all functions will work out of the box.

Fedora 21

Fedora 21 includes kernel version 3.17.  With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound will not function.  Please update to at least BIOS A02 and the touchpad will run in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  Currently (4/15) the microphone will not work.  You can track the backporting of the patches here: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1188741

Debian 7.0

We recommend that Debian 7.0 users upgrade to a kernel 4.0 and apply those two patches.  The above notations will apply to Debian 7.0 then.

Debian 8.0

Debian 8.0 will use kernel 3.16.  With BIOS A00 or BIOS A01 the touchpad will operate in I2C mode and sound will not work.  The system will fail to suspend and resume due to a bug in the touchpad driver.  This patch: https://github.com/torvalds/linux/commit/109571cf3ec78a39477eedd6b11927f52cbcb1e8

Will need to be backported for it to work properly.

With BIOS A02 the touchpad will operate in I2C mode and the sound in HDA mode.  Currently (4/8) the microphone will not work.  The patches needed for microphone support are available here:

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=e1e62b98ebddc3234f3259019d3236f66fc667f8

and

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git/commit/?h=for-next&id=f3b703326541d0c1ce85f5e570f6d2b6bd4296ec

We recommend for Debian 8.0 users upgrade to kernel 4.0 and apply the two extra microphone patches.

Also, there are some problems with the xserver-xorg-video-intel package today with Debian 8.0.  You’ll presently (4/15) need to backport from experimental to resolve them.  More details are available here: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=782690

Other Notes

Extra credit reading

  • Designed for developers – Dell launches two new Ubuntu-based systems — Ubuntu insights

Pau for now…


HackDFW and the project Sputnik story

March 10, 2015

Last week I attended HackDFW, a student hackathon in Dallas.  The event, which was put on by Major League Hacking, was a 24-hour event featuring students from around the country.  Besides getting to go around and talk to the students during the event I was fortunate enough to be asked to give the closing keynote.

I presented on Project Sputnik and how we crowd-sourced the development of a developer laptop.  Here are the slides I presented.

The Judges and Winner

After the preliminary judging, seven teams presented to impressive panel of judges with included, among others, Mark Cuban, the CEO of American Airlines and the Mayor of Dallas.

The winning team used Oculus Rift which connected to engine that rendered an ever evolving world of dinosaurs.   This would allow students to get a feel for the enormity of the dinosaurs and watch them as they grew and die from disease and predators

Here a few pics from the event.

Looking down on one of the groups

Looking down on one of the groups

 

Hackers and Hammocks

Hackers and Hammocks

Taking a "short" nap

Taking a “short” nap

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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