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Linux journal has published a fantastic story that recognizes usage of Linux and Open Source in the file and animation industry. DreamWorks Animation pushes the limits of CG filmmaking with Linux. From the article:

All the big film studios primarily use Linux for animation and visual effects. Perhaps no commercial Linux installation is larger than DreamWorks Animation, with more than 1,000 Linux desktops and more than 3,000 server CPUs.

"For Shrek 3, we will consume close to 20 million CPU render hours for the making of the film", says DreamWorks Animation CTO Ed Leonard. "Each of our films continues to push the edge of what's possible, requiring more and more compute power." Everyone knows Moore's Law predicts that compute power will double every one and a half years. A little known corollary is that feature cartoon animation CPU render hours will double every three years. In 2001, the original Shrek movie used about 5 million CPU render hours. In 2004, Shrek 2 used more than 10 million CPU render hours. And in 2007, Shrek 3 is using 20 million CPU render hours.

"At any given time, we are working on more than a dozen films", says Leonard. "Each of those films has its own creative ambition to push the limits of CG filmmaking." DreamWorks Animation employs about 1,200 people, with about two-thirds in their Glendale studio and the rest in their PDI studio in Redwood City linked by a 2Gb network. (Note that DreamWorks Animation, a publicly traded company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg, isn't Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks live-action that merged with Paramount recently.)

"There were many specific technical advancements on the movie, including advancements in hair, clothing, costuming and crowds as well as bringing the secondary character animation [crowds] to a whole new level of performance", says Leonard. About 350 people are working on Shrek 3, with about 300 at PDI and 50 in Glendale.

The Huge Server Farm at DreamWorks Animation  used to create Shrek the Third animation movie

DreamWorks Animation studio is powered by HP workstations and Redhat Linux distributions (image credit Linux Journal).

DreamWorks Animation "Shrek the Third": Linux Feeds an Ogre

This is yet another upcoming story for open source software. According to IDC:

Sales of open source software will grow from $1.8bn last year to $5.8bn in 2011. Matt Lawton, programme director for IDC's Open Source Software Business Models research programme, typified the current market as "immature" and in the "early stages".

The projected revenue figure is low when compared to commercial, closed source software. But the analyst believes that revenues alone do not reflect the actual distribution of open source software.


This is a reader-contributed article.

If you're serious about music or DVDs, at some point you cross the threshold of having more than you can keep track of easily. The box full of index cards has served its purpose; it's time to move on to storing information about your CDs and DVDs in a database.

This might seem like more of a pain than you can stand. What's the point of doing a database when you can just type it all into a spreadsheet, for instance? Well, a spreadsheet is a good start but with a database you get a lot more features, including easily printing custom labels for all those legal backups you've made. You could also print out a record of all your movies or music, if you keep notes on them such as summaries, who you've loaned them to, and anything else you track.

[click to continue…]

Download of the day CentOS 5 CD / DVD ISO

CentOS 5 has been released. It is only a few weeks behind the release of RedHat Enterprise Linux 5. We run at least 100+ servers using CentOS. CentOS also used at my as development workstation. If you don’t want to pay Redhat (RHEL) money, use CentOS :)

From the announcement list:

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS-5 for the i386 and x86_64 Architectures.

CentOS-5 is based on the upstream release 5, and includes packages from all variants including Server and Client. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. And the option to further enable external repositories at install time
is now available in the installer.

Further Arch support for PowerPC, IA64 and Sparc are planned and will be released soon. These arch's will follow the existing pattern of release to Beta first, and then to Final.

Download links

HP got huge Linux desktop order

Yet another good story for Linux, more and more business are pushing Linux desktop systems. There is a good demand for Linux desktop system. If you consider MS Vista price, DRM shit, strict licensing, and current software / driver compatibility issues, this is a wise move for any business.

According to this article:
Hewlett-Packard is closing custom deals for thousands of desktop PCs running Linux, which has the company assessing the possibility of offering factory-loaded Linux systems, an HP executive said.

We are involved in a number of massive deals for Linux desktops, and those are the kinds of things that are indicators of critical mass. So we are really looking at it very hard.

Now you don’t have to pay Microsoft tax :D

Dell customer demanding free Linux version pre-installation on all Dell PCs to cut down cost.

Now Dell announced that - It’s exciting to see the IdeaStorm community’s interest in open source solutions like Linux and OpenOffice. Your feedback has been all about flexibility and we have seen a consistent request to provide platforms that allow people to install their operating system of choice. We are listening, and as a result, we are working with Novell to certify our corporate client products for Linux, including our OptiPlex desktops, Latitude notebooks and Dell Precision workstations. This is another step towards ensuring that our customers have a good experience with Linux on our systems.

As this community knows, there is no single customer preference for a distribution of Linux. In the last week, the IdeaStorm community suggested more than half a dozen distributions. We don't want to pick one distribution and alienate users with a preference for another. We want users to have the opportunity to help define the market for Linux on desktop and notebook systems. In addition to working with Novell, we are also working with other distributors and evaluating the possibility of additional certifications across our product line.

This is great news. I only purchase Dell laptops and rest of my system is build using components (whitebox). My next desktop machine will be dell for sure. However using Linux on corporate desktop is still a big dream because of MS Exchange, custom made support & sales software etc. I hope this will also change in coming days.

How Novell saved millions with open source software

Yet another adopt or die case study :D

Novell was running mostly Windows and now has moved to Open Office for its desktop productivity suite. Among the big cost savers: a move away from proprietary Unix and a move from Oracle running on HP-UX systems, to Oracle running on Linux.

How much money can a large enterprise save by migrating to open source from proprietary? In Novell's case, it's millions of dollars.

During an address at the recent Linuxworld OpenSolutions Summit here, Debra Anderson CIO of Novell, detailed how Novell has transitioned to open source from proprietary for its own operations. It's an effort that is still ongoing.

=> How Novell Saved Millions With Open Source