Posts Tagged ‘Open Source’

Closed-source software I use

As I’ve said before, I like using open source software whenever I can. So what close-sourced software do I use? Here’s the list below the jump:

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Open source for school

I’ve said several times on this blog that I am a strong believer in open source software. I’ve found that it’s pretty easy to find open source replacements for most of the things you need to do on a computer on a daily basis. Then past year has shown that this applies just as much to students as anybody else, as I went the entire year using Open Office as my suite of choice for schoolwork. Overall, I found it to be much better than Microsoft Office for just about everything.

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Clonezilla update

A while back I posted about moving from Ghost to Clonezilla. Many months have passed, and after using it to roll out a bit less than a hundred computers, I thought I’d give an update.

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Moving from Ghost to Clonezilla

Update: In addition to this post, check out my guide on customizing custom-ocs.

In a previous post, I talked about using disk imaging software for setting up Windows in a corporate environment. For years, I’ve used Symantec Ghost, specifically Ghost 8. I’d previously manually run Ghost from a network drive, booting from a custom floppy bootdisk with a DOS Novell client to allow me to log into our network (we still use Novell). A couple of years ago, I switched to running Ghost from an external USB hard drive that stored all the image files. To make it even more automatic, I wrote a tiny utility in assembly that reads the model info from the computer’s BIOS and uses the correct image file.

As time went on, though, the shortcomings of Ghost became apparent. The biggest one is speed: by running Ghost in a DOS environment, I was limited to USB 1.1 speeds. Ghosting a 20 GB Windows 7 partition would take around 40 minutes. When you are ghosting many machines at once, the quicker you can do it, the better. I knew of a great, free alternative in Clonezilla, but would it work for what I needed?

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