Samba 4 with Active Directory gets a stable release

SAMBA Logo

Samba 4 has been a long time coming, and now the world has a stable, free and full featured alternative to a Microsoft Server Active Directory Domain Controller on Linux/Unix based systems.  Head over to http://Samba.org and download Samba 4 now!

Samba Press Release:

The Samba Team is proud to announce the release of Samba 4.0, a major new release of the award-winning Free Software file, print and authentication server suite for Microsoft Windows® clients.

The First Free Software Active Directory Compatible Server

As the culmination of ten years’ work, the Samba Team has created the first compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocols. Familiar to all network administrators, the Active Directory protocols are the heart of modern directory service implementations.

Samba 4.0 comprises an LDAP directory server, Heimdal Kerberos authentication server, a secure Dynamic DNS server, and implementations of all necessary remote procedure calls for Active Directory. Samba 4.0 provides everything needed to serve as an Active Directory Compatible Domain Controller for all versions of Microsoft Windows clients currently supported by Microsoft, including the recently released Windows 8.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server provides support for features such as Group Policy, Roaming Profiles, Windows Administration tools and integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Free Software compatible services such as OpenChange.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server can also be joined to an existing Microsoft Active Directory domain, and Microsoft Active Directory Domain Controllers can be joined to a Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, showing true peer-to-peer interoperability of the Microsoft and Samba implementations of the Active Directory protocols.

Acknowledging the value of the interoperability of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, Steve van Maanen, the co-founder of Starsphere LLC, an IT services company in Tokyo, said:

“Thanks to Samba 4, I have two fully replicating Active Directory Domain controllers that boot in under 10 seconds ! It is nice to have alternatives, and Samba 4 is a great one.”

Upgrade scripts are also provided for organizations using the previous Microsoft Windows NT Domain Controller functionality in Samba 3.x, to allow them to migrate smoothly to Samba 4.0.

Suitable for low-power and embedded applications, yet scaling to large clusters, Samba 4.0 is efficient and flexible. Its Python programming interface and administration toolkit help in enterprise deployments.

Created Using Microsoft Documentation

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server was created with help from the official protocol documentation published by Microsoft Corporation and the Samba Team would like acknowledge the documentation help and interoperability testing by Microsoft engineers that made our implementation interoperable.

“Active Directory is a mainstay of enterprise IT environments, and Microsoft is committed to support for interoperability across platforms,” said Thomas Pfenning, director of development, Windows Server. “We are pleased that the documentation and interoperability labs that Microsoft has provided have been key in the development of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory functionality.”

Introducing SMB2.1 File Serving Support

Samba 4.0 includes the first Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s SMB2.1 file serving protocol. Building on the success of the SMB2.0 server in Samba 3.6, the Samba 4.0 file server component is an evolution of the trusted Samba file serving code that is used worldwide by vendors of file servers, such as IBM’s clustered Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), and many other commercial products.

In addition, the Samba 4.0 file server contains an initial implementation of SMB3, which will be further developed in later Samba 4 releases into a fully-featured SMB3 clustered file server implementation.

Future developments of our SMB3 server and client suite, in combination with our expanding number of SMB3 tests, will keep driving the performance improvements and improved compatibility with Microsoft Windows that Samba users have come to expect from our software.

Integrated Clustered File Server Support

Building on our success as the first commercial implementation of a clustered SMB/CIFS server, Samba 4.0 provides industry-leading scalability and performance as a clustered SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server, using our “clustered tdb” (ctdb) technology – also available as Free Software.

Clustered Samba provides a “Single Server” view of clustered file storage, allowing clients to connect to the least loaded server and still providing a completely coherent view of the underlying clustered file system.

Written and tested to be compatible with most clustered file systems, both Free Software and proprietary, Samba 4.0 with ctdb provides a scalable clustered file server solution with full Windows file sharing semantics.

Samba and ctdb have been shipping in production file serving products for many years, to some of the most demanding customers in the world.

Easy Integration into Existing Directory Services

Samba 4.0 ships with an improved winbind, which allows Samba 4.0 file servers to easily integrate into existing Active Directory services as member servers. Both Microsoft Active Directory and Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible servers are supported.

Stability, Security and Performance

Samba 4.0 has been tested using our widely accepted smbtorture test suite, created by the Samba Team to test Samba itself and now used by most of the companies writing SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server software to test their own products. We also regularly test interoperability with other major vendors at plug-fest events to make sure Samba 4.0 deployments work correctly with existing customer equipment.

In addition, Samba is one of eleven open source projects that leading software integrity vendor Coverity has certified as “secure” and has reached Coverity “Integrity Rung 2” certification.

The Samba Team provides immediate responses to any security vulnerabilities, and provides fixes to all vendors using the Samba code in coordination with industry standard security reporting agencies.

A Modular Toolbox for OEM Vendor Needs

As Free Software, Samba 4.0 is the ideal choice for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to use for their file, print and authentication products. It is easily integrated into a whole host of different tasks, and can be customized at will by the vendor to satisfy their needs.

In addition, Samba 4.0 includes a modular “Virtual File System” (VFS) interface that vendors can use to quickly and efficiently customize Samba to take advantage of any specific features of their underlying technology without having to modify any of the core Samba code. From advanced file systems to network traffic analysis, the Samba VFS layer allows external code to be easily integrated with Samba. Example modules are provided as source code for vendors to customize as they wish.

Samba is the leading choice for Microsoft Windows connectivity

Samba is the leading technology choice for Windows file serving on Linux and UNIX platforms and in embedded Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions. Samba is used by vendors selling NAS solutions ranging from high end clustered business-critical systems, to low end consumer devices, and everything in between. Samba is fully IPv6 enabled and meets all mandates for modern network interoperability.

Commercial support is available for Samba from many different vendors.

Getting Samba 4.0

Samba 4.0 source code is available now from the Samba Web site.

About Active Directory

Microsoft Windows and Active Directory are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

About the Samba Team

The Samba Team is a worldwide group of computer professionals working together via the Internet to produce the highest quality Free Software Windows (SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS) server and client software. We are the undisputed experts in providing interoperability with computers running Microsoft Windows. Members of the Samba Team work for many of the largest companies in the software Industry and even helped Microsoft produce the protocol documentation that fully specifies the SMB/CIFS protocol.

Tech of 2012 that will shape the tech landscape of 2013

mayan calendar

With 2012 coming to an end(not the world), it’s time to reflect on this years tech that will help shape tomorrow. From the NASA Curiosity Rover, to the Microsoft Surface and the Tesla Model S, see the tech that will revolutionize the world in 2013 and beyond.

6) NASA’s Curiosity Rover & Sky Crane Landing System

NASA Curiosity Rover and Sky Crane

Manufacturer:
NASA
Cost:
$2.5 billion

NASA has made history in 2012 by landing the 1,982lbs Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars. Although this may seem like something we have done many times before, it was a revolution in spacecraft landing techniques.

All previous rovers landing on Mars were essentially wrapped in bubble wrap, given a parachute and we hoped for the best.  The Space Crane system will allow us to land much larger and more delicate mechanical systems on Mars by gently lowering the equipment to the surface of Mars, and then jettisoning the space crane miles away from the equipment.


5) MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer

MakerBot Replicator 2

Manufacturer:
MakerBot Industries, LLC
Cost:
$2,199

The MakerBot Replicator 2 allows anyone with $2,199 budget to easily fabricate and create almost anyting they can think of.  This device makes it much cheaper to prototype and even create products for sale.

The machine uses spools of plastic filament to lay down layer after high-resolution layer of resin that forms your object. The 3D printer revolution has begun.  Head over to http://www.makerbot.com  to make your imagination and 11.2 L x 6.0 W x 6.1 H your limits of fabrication.


4) Philips Dimmable LED 12.5 Watt(60 Watt equivalent) Light Bulb

Manufacturer:
Philips
Cost:
$21.23
Life expectancy:
22.8 years
Energy savings:
$130.62 per bulb

With the incandescent light bulb being banned in the United States in 2014 you will have no choice but to use a more efficient light bulb. Most people are familiar with the CFL(aka Compact fluorescent, aka squiggly bulb). These bulbs are an excellent energy saver, but have about half the life expectancy with the nasty side effect of releasing toxic mercury into landfills when disposed of improperly. That’s right, CFL bulbs are to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Save your self the trouble by investing in an energy saving bulb that doesn’t have to be handled as hazardous waste.

Philips 60 Watt LED equivalent bulb consumes only 12.5watts of energy, lasts 22.8 years, can be used on a standard dimming circuit and will not fade fabric or colors. That all sounds great, but a common argument they cost twice as much as a CFL. Keep in mind that that negligible 1.5 Watts saved with an LED light over a CFL is over the 22.8 years life span, which is over 3 times longer then the CFLs 7 year life span. Pay twice upfront, save energy and get and extra life out of the bulb. That sounds like a winner to me.


3) Second Generation Nest Learning Thermostat

Manufacturer:
Nest Inc.
Cost:
$249.99
Energy savings:
20% of HVAC bill

Your heating and cooling bill is typically 50% of you energy bill. This fact alone means small improvements in efficiency will save you a lot of money in the long run. The Nest thermostat can save you up to 20% of your heating and cooling bill. The Nest thermostat allows such savings by learning your living patterns, controlling your HVAC system more efficiently and allowing for remote control of your heating and cooling system via your computer or smart phone.

All of these features can be added to your home in less then 30 minutes. Not only will you save yourself some money on you monthly energy bills, but your thermostat will look a whole lot “cooler.” The savings of 20% on half of your energy bill, essentially paying itself of the first year, makes this the number one pick for saving money on your energy bill.


2) Microsoft Surface Tablet

Manufacturer:
Microsoft
Cost:
Windows RT – $499.99
Windows 8 Pro – $899.99

Microsoft has been in the tablet category for a while now, but never in a form that customers accepted. Microsoft made a bold move with Windows 8 by removing the Start menu and replacing it with the touch friendly Start Screen (aka Metro), and in the process they have created the Surface tablet that may even rival the iPad.

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet runs a full version of Windows 8 that runs all of your favorite x86/64 Windows programs in a form factor that was dominated by what is essentially an operating system for a smartphone. This allows for you to run any app that you would typically run on your PC like Microsoft Office or its free rival Libre Office. These full featured Office suites alone makes the Microsoft Surface, for many users, more useful then a tablet running iOS or Android.

In addition to the Surface Pro being able to run legacy Windows apps, a program call “Blue Stack” allows you to run most Android apps on your Windows 8 machine. With Blue Stack you have access to 700,000 Android apps to keep you busy until the Windows Store gets filled with apps.

Even with the oddities found in Windows 8 we think that the Microsoft Surface is on the path to being a no compromise tablet, even for hardcore PC users.


1) Tesla Model S

Black Tesla Model S

Manufacturer:
Tesla Motors Inc.
Cost:
$57,000

The Tesla Model S is in our opinion the single most influential piece of tech this year. The Tesla Model S is showing the world that electric cars are viable alternatives to standard gas powered vehicles, and that you can go green without driving a slow ugly shoe.

The Tesla Model S can get 300 miles on a single charge, while out performing many gas powered competitors in the same class.  While the Model S still suffers from the long charging time EV’s are know for, there are now options that allow you to charge your Model S to 80% in 30 minutes.


Fix for Google Chrome Crash on HP Touchpad with 120 or 132 dpi

Hp Touchpad with Chrome Working

User’s of the HP Touch pad may have noticed that the latest version of the Chrome browser crashes when loading unless your Touchpad is in 160 dpi mode. This isn’t an issue with Cyanogenmod, but with Google Chrome after version 18.0.1025308.

Workaround

  1. The workaround is as simple as downloading an older version of Chrome for Android until this issue is resolved.  You can download the last know working version at here.
  2. Once you have downloaded the APK run it to install the older version of Chrome over your current version of Chrome.
    Note: If you haven’t already done so enable installation of APK from unknown sources by going to  “Settings>Security” and checking “Unknown Sources” option.
  3. Important: After installing the working version of Chrome you must uncheck the automatic update of the Chrome app, or it will be auto updated to the latest non-working version.

 

Rip your DVD, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray to an .MKV file

MakeMKV

With the growing popularity of Netflix and Amazon streaming media services many people are looking to convert their DVD’s, Blu-Ray’s and HD-DVD’s to a digital format that can be streamed locally with services like DLNA.  Most SmartTV’s, Blu-ray player and streaming media boxes support DLNA content.

This easy step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of ripping your movies to the .MKV format. I prefer the MKV format because it is an open source container file that allows for quick and easy rips of movies without loss of video or audio quality, chapter, subtitles and many other DVD features. The fact that you keep all the quality and features also means that files will range from 4GB for DVD’s to 17+GB for HD-DVD’s and Blu-Rays.  With a single hard drive now pushing 4TB in capacity a file of this size is quickly becoming relatively smaller.

DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Ripping Instructions

  1.  Download and install the latest version of MakeMKV for Window’s, MacOS X or Linux at: http://MakeMKV.com
  2. Once MakeMKV is installed place your Disc in the appropriate DVD, Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive on your computer.  If multiple optical drives exists select the proper drive from the drop down menu. Make MKV will recognize the disc automatically and give you the specs or the disc.  Click the Open Disc button with the green arrow to start the scanning process.
    MakeMKV
  3. Once the scan has completed you can now select the specific video tracks you would like to rip. There will typically be several tracks available, but the largest track is the only track you should select, unless you want to save the special features.
    MakeMKV_Track
  4. Next you will click the small white arrow next to the track you are ripping to see the Audio and Subtitle tracks available.  Un-check any audio tracks or subtitles you do not want.

    MakeMKV_Audio

    Tip: If multiple tracks in the same language exist, select both or the first track in the list. The second track is typically the directors commentary track.
    Note: DD 3/2+1 means that track is in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and DD 2/0 mean the track is stereo. Choose whichever suits your needs. If your not sure select the DD3/2+1 track.

  5. In the output folder section select the location you would like to save you DVD/Blu-Ray rip to. and click the “Make MKV” button.
  6. If all goes well you can play your MKV file with your favorite media player, but we recommend VLC, which can be downloaded for free here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Equipment You May Need

  • HD-DVD Drive – If you are going to rip a file from an HD-DVD then you will need a compatible drive. The discontinued XBox 360 HD-DVD drive will do the trick.
  • Blu-Ray Drive – If you PC doesn’t already have a Blu-Ray drive an external model can be purchase for less then $50.

Knights & Merchants Remake adds new life to an old game

Knights & Merchants: The Remake Multiplayer

Knights & Merchant is one of the games from my childhood that I will always remember.  Recently I had the itch to play again and discovered that it had be remade from scratch to improve compatibility, game play and fix problems that plagued the original game.

Knights & Merchants is an RTS style game with a complex economy and battle system.  The economy is much like playing a game of Sim City.  You must build multiple building for the merchant units that include farmers, bakers, blacksmiths and miners.  Each building and merchant depends on one another for food and supplies.  The Knights depend on the Merchants to produce their weapons and the serfs to feed them when they get hungry.  The Serfs moved around supplies, products and food to all the building and units in the game.

The fighting system in Knights & Merchants: The Remake is balanced and functions like the original.  Their is no technical limit to your army with the exception of available resources to build the needed weapons and armor.  Unlike most RTS games Knights & Merchants only have one civilization, so each player has the same advantages / disadvantages.

Both of the original single player campaigns are available in the Knights & Merchants remake.  The story remains unchanged and holds up very well with its age.  The tutorial has been improved and many bugs have been remedied with the complete rewrite of the engine.

Multiplayer has received the most significant improvement because they fixed the crippling multiplayer bug that caused the game to go out-of-sync, making the game unplayable in any condition.  The Knights & Merchants remake team has also included a dedicated server for both Windows and Linux.

To install Knights & Merchants: The Remake use must own the original Knights & Merchants: The Peasants Rebellion CD or purchase it DRM free at the GOG.com website at: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/knights_and_merchants_the_peasants_rebellion.  The Knights & Merchants: The Remake installer can be found at:  http://www.kamremake.com/download/.

I would personally like to thank the Knights & Merchants: The Remake team for all their hard work and attention to detail.  This game is a highlight in my childhood and they have made the memories better and now allow for me to battle my brother in a game of multiplayer without the horrible out-of-sync issue.

Bug Fixes:

  • Multi-player out-of-sync bug fixed

New Features:

  • Add a beacon with the new ‘B’ hotkey
  • Holding the “t” hotkey identifies plays units
  • Assign groups to number keys with ‘CRTL + 1, +2, +3, …’
  • New tutorial messages
  • Peacetime of up to 2 hours added to multiplayer games
  • Auto reconnect in multiplayer when server drops out of the game.
  • All standard resolutions are now supported, including HD resolutions.
  • Re-sizable chat window
  • New victory and defeat music
  • Music track shuffling
  • New stat screens
  • New icon when under attack
  • In-game map editor
  • Multiple language translations
  • Mutliplayer AI that build their town and fights is in the works
  • Windows and Linux dedicated servers

Tip: Pandora on the Xbox 360

Pandora on the Xbox 360

Pandora on the Xbox 360

Although the Xbox 360 lacks a native Pandora Internet Radio app, that doesn’t mean you have to go without.  Thanks to the introduction of Internet Explorer to the Xbox 360 Pandora is now accessible on the Xbox.

To access Pandora Internet Radio on your Xbox 360 go to the “Apps” category of the Xbox daskboard and launch the “Internet Explorer” app.  When Internet Explorer has launched type “http://Pandora.com” in the address bar and hit “Enter.”  You are now able to enjoy all the free online music Pandora has to offer.

Free Game: Battlefield 1942 (2002)

Battlefield 1942 Box Art

Battlefield 1942 Box Art

Release Date: September 10, 2002
Publisher: Electronic Arts (aka EA)
Platform: Windows
Cost: Free
Download: Here

Battlefield 1942 is game that started EA’s most popular franchise, and it’s now available for free on the PC in celebration of the franchises 10th anniversary.

Battlefield 1942 is an on-line multiplayer FPS that takes place during WWII.  Singler player is available, but lacks a story line, decent AI and lacks anything resembling fun.  You can’t knock BF1942 for this because it was designed as a solely multiplayer game, at which it excels.

Battlefield 1942 allows players to battle up to 64 players per server as either an Axis or Allies soldier.  You can play as one of the following classes: Scout, Assault, Anti-Tank, Medic and Engineer.  You are able to control Jeeps, tanks, fighter planes, bombers, battleships, aircraft carriers and submarines.  The variety of weapons, classes and vehicles at your disposal allows for the highly dynamic multiplayer gameplay the Battlefield franchise is know for.

Your objective is to capture and hold “Control Points.”  Control Points act as a base for your team to spawn reinforcements and vehicles.  Hold as many points as possible until the timer runs out or the opposing forces run out of reinforcements.  Accomplishing this task requires teamwork, which was a often a  foreign concept in first person shooters at the time.

The graphics in Battlefield 1942 are dated, but the game play is as strong as ever.  Head over to the Origin website and download the original Battlefield now.

Tesla reports profitable week and Model S gains “Sleep Mode”

Tesla Model S White

 Tesla Model S White

Tesla Motors is having a good week with the announcement by CEO Elon Musk that the company had achieved a positive cash flow last week.  In addition to getting their cash flow Back in Black, Tesla has updated the firmware on the Model S to v4.0.

In this firmware update Tesla has added a new energy saving sleep mode, as well as made improvements the door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

The new power saving sleep mode shuts down all electronics when you leave your car, and will power them up again when your key comes in range of the vehicle.  This allows for minimal wait time before you can begin driving.  This feature saves up to 8 miles worth of electricity from being drained from the battery pack while with vehicle is in storage, your at work or run errands. This will let you squeeze even more range out the the battery pack when you don’t have a charger at your disposal.

Press Release

MODEL S SOFTWARE RELEASE NOTES v4.0

A new software update will be available in the coming days. The onboard notification will guide you through the installation. If you would like to review the process, instructions are available at the end of this email.

After installation, Model S will feature new energy-saving “sleep” functionality, improved door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

Beginning with this update, Release Notes will be displayed on the touchscreen right after the update and can always be accessed later by tapping the Tesla T in the status bar and tapping the Release Notes link located above your VIN number, next to the software version number.


NEW FEATURES

  • Vehicle Sleep
  • App Launcher
  • Release Notes
  • Voice Commands

ENHANCEMENTS

  • Synchronized Door Handles
  • USB Media Browsing
  • Alphabetical Index
  • Calling from Maps
  • Steering Wheel Controls – Fan
  • Speed / Sunroof
  • Throttle Response
  • HomeLink – Location Awareness
  • Energy App

NEW CONTROLS / SETTINGS

  • Auto-Presenting Door Handles
  • Alarm
  • Metric Distance Unit
  • Range Driving Mode

NEW FEATURES

Vehicle Sleep

With this release, Model S will power off the display and vehicle electronics each time you exit, transitioning to a “sleep” state. When you return to Model S, you’ll note a modest increase in the time it takes the touchscreen and instrument panel to wake from this energy-saving state.

Model S will initiate the startup process the moment the key is recognized nearby. You can only begin driving once both displays are ready.

If you would prefer to keep the displays powered so they’ll be instantly available each time you return, you can change the setting in Controls > Settings > Vehicle. Note that keeping the displays powered will reduce your car’s range up to 8 miles per day when the car is not plugged in, and will also reduce the life of your 12V battery and vehicle electrical systems. If displays are set to power off, the displays will power off 2 hours after the rest of the car goes to sleep. The displays will also power off when the battery charge is low (or after 60 hours without use), regardless of the setting.

DISPLAYS

  • App Launcher – With this feature, you can easily launch an app in the bottom app window (in addition to the current default behavior, where tapping an icon replaces the app in the top window). To try it, tap and hold an application icon. You’ll notice a small pop-up indicating the top and bottom viewing panes. Drag the icon to your preferred location.

KEEP DISPLAYS POWERED ON

COPYRIGHT 2012 TESLA MOTORS INC