Some long-awaited features in GNOME 2.22

I’ve been reading the GNOME 2.22 Release Notes which generally contain a laundry-list of nice-to-have features and improvements, when I stumbled across the following 2 lines in section 5.2 discussng improvement to administration tools:

The Shared Folders tool now allows you to edit the SMB user database (smbpasswd).

The Network tool can now set up PPPoE and GPRS connections.

I cannot stress enough how important I perceive those improvements to be.

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Wuala: True Peer-to-Peer file system

The was a live-journal post linked from linuxtoday today discussing Wuala, which seems to be a network file system which uses Peer-to-Peer technology to pool together the storage of multiple client machines.

This is an idea I’ve been toying with in my head for quite some time now. Ever since the idea of grid-computing became popular, I’ve been waiting for some kind of a grid file system to emerge, one that would allow one to tap into the unused storage resources on the network that typically reside on the local hard-drives of servers and workstations, and avoid having to invest in large expensive central storage systems.

There are several products that claim to be grid file systems, notable examples are lustre and InterMezzo, however, these seem to built around the idea of building a central storage out of a large number of dedicated machines rather then having the storage distributed across all the machines in the network.

Wuala is an interesting piece of software, and if to judge by the screen shots in the live-journal post, its available fur Ubuntu, I’ll be trying it out soon, on the very least, this could be a nice backup solution.