First of all I guess I should do the obligatory disclosure according to the American FTC which is just a guide but has lawful penalties (how do they figure that one out?) I received this product for free from the Clear Foundation. In return I am going to do a review of their product.
That being said they are giving their product away for free to everyone. In typical Open Source business model it is the service they are charging for. The product? The new release of the beta version of their latest ClearOS(5.1). I found out about this when their marketing manager Aaron contacted me here on ITtoolbox and basically just said check out what we did and tell me what you think.
Well since it was no skin off of my nose to download their ISO image and whack it into a VirtualBox session I did so. While I was trying to download it I hopped over to their website and had a peek and poke around (aah the old basic days, sigh). What I saw intrigued me to say the least. I was expecting just another fork of another Linux distribution. You know the standard Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE, RedHat type of thing. One thing was evident was that these people were definitely thinking out of the box.
The second beta has arrived! Along with the usual bug fixes, the two significant changes from beta 1 are:
- Updated base system to CentOS 5.4 (released just last week).
- Updated Samba to prepare for improved Windows 7 support.
You can find more details in the release notes. Please remember, this is still beta software.Read more...
Thursday was full of booth visitors, classes and meeting new friends, and later that night the opensource learning came to a pause, and a new sort of education ensued, a Lego building competition! The ClearFoundation team recreated a scene from Dune. We didn't win, but had a lot of fun! After the Legos were put away, we enjoyed Ignite Salt Lake, which consisted of ten five minute talks on various subjects. We were dazzled with a lot of useful information on topics ranging from traditional music from Bali to why we can't allow robots to take over the world. Saturday the whole family was invited. Family day activities included pizza, and games for the kids.
We made some great new friends who are now becoming contributing members of the ClearFoundation community.
ClearFoundation continues to focus on growing the opensource community and driving awareness around ClearOS. We are committed to maintaining the integrity of the open and free nature of ClearOS and engaging community developers and end-users.
ClearOS 5.1 Beta is hot out of the oven and ready to be downloaded! Come and get it!
We are excited to announce that ClearOS 5.1 Beta has just been released. This is an important day for the ClearFoundation Community as we take the next step on our journey together.
ClearOS 5.1 Beta is available for immediate download at this link:
You are invited to evaluate ClearOS 5.1 Beta and join in the growing community surrounding the most tightly integrated and simple IT solution for small businesses and distributed environments.
ClearOS 5.1 Beta is based upon a fifth generation Linux distribution (historically know as Clark Connect) with over 120,000 registered sites. ClearOS 5.1 Beta is available in over 20 languages in 120 countries, with over 200 partners world-wide.
ClearOS 5.1 Beta works in tandem with ClearSDN to deliver cloud services such as dynamic VPN client, dynDNS, multiwan, offsite backup, antivirus firewall, spam blocker, webfilter, cloud application integration and more.
Have you ever found yourself waking up (without a crazy alarm clock) with a pit in your stomach, because you didn't do what you committed to do the prior day? That's how I felt this morning. The open source world is not the same as the world I have lived in for the past 16 years and I'm learning lessons fast!
I set a hard date of Sept. 30, 2009 for the release of ClearOS 5.1 Beta. Unfortunately setting that date encroached upon the process Peter Baldwin and many others in the community have been using to release code for the last 10 years. The process has been, "DING, DING, DING, the code is done and on the table, come and get it!" not, "Dinner will be ready at 7:35pm."
Historically, I have been accustomed to walking down to a dev team, asking them to create requirements around a feature, and the next thing I know it has been spec'ed, and a delivery date has been set. Then I move on to the next topic, taking a mental note that we'll soon be getting a peek at a new feature - the anticipation is like opening a gift.
---- PAUSE ---- The sun just came up, off to take a photo of the first snow be back in 10 minutes.
All of this said, First: Peter, I will commit to not call you late at night during development and ask for your blessing on a press release with a solid date in it. Second: I will learn more about open source release cycles and gain a better understanding of how code gets developed in the open source world.
--- OBSERVATION --- This is a great real world experience that furthers some of the comments received from both Linus Torvalds and Mark Shuttleworth at LinuxCon last week (great learning experience).
I am glad to see Peter Baldwin is dedicated to great software, not just dates. Thank you for your patience everyone!
Sincerely - Michael Proper
Short version -- The release of ClearOS 5.1 Beta is going to slip. We (read: I) apologize for the missed commitment, and will do our best to make sure it does not happen again. Our hope is to have a beta in your hands in time for the weekend.
Long version -- There's no excuse for the missed deadline, but thought you should know what's going on. The underlying operating system is ready to go and we're putting the finishing touches on usability and interface design. Last night, we decided that the menu system was just not workable (and almost unusable on my Ubuntu/Firefox laptop!). In the next day or two, we'll be replacing the menu system with an interim solution. It will likely be changed before the 5.1 final release, but at least we'll have something to beta test!Peter Baldwin
I posted a comment on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago asking what people expected to see with ClearFoundation. I had formulated my own vision but I totally missed the social networking aspect. I am very impressed with inclusion of the social media type tools. It has become painfully obvious that communications in the world wide web is focused on movements. What better movement then replacing your entire infrastructure with a product like ClearFoundation? What better way then allowing members to communicate with eachother in an open platform? "Yahoo!" or should I say "Clear4U!"Read more...
ClearFoundation is an Incorporated Society dedicated to the vision that every small organization and distributed IT environment on the globe deserves proper security, filtration, and management tools. Internet access is the great equalizer in economics, but each network requires security and management. ClearFoundation is dedicated to providing essential tools to everyone that might need it. Below you'll find our basic purpose.
The Purposes [Open Draft]
The purposes for which this Incorporated Society has been organized are as follows:
(a) Ensure that every small business and distributed IT environment on the globe can have proper security, filtration, and management tools;
(b) To defend Open Source software as publicly available and freely distributed: namely, ClearOS and its open source components;
(c) To promote the development, enhancement, and application of Open Source software within ClearOS;
(d) to ensure that people of any language and ability can use ClearOS for their own purpose.
Below is a message I received from Google Apps today regarding a recent Google Apps (Gmail) web interface mail outage.
--- START GOOGLE EMAIL---
"Dear Google Apps customer,
We would like to follow up on the recent Gmail outage and resulting credit through our service level agreement (SLA) with you.
Between 12:45 PM to 2:15 PM PDT | 19:45 - 21:15 GMT on Tuesday, September 1, 2009, Google Apps Gmail users were unable to access their accounts
Readers of the German "Linux-Magazin" get a sneak peek of ClarkConnect 5.0 and the new features to be included. The special issue "Safeguarding Data" from Linux-Magazin includes a CD copy of ClarkConnect 5.0 beta 3 with prime placement on the full front cover.Linux-Magazin sets the pace for many early adopters in Germany with in-depth coverage, such as tools and best practices for network security in this special issue for third quarter, 2009. A natural fit for ClarkConnect soon to be ClearOS in its up coming version 5.1 slated to be released in September 2009. Read more...
We are pleased to see this industry changing technology come to the masses. ClearOS delivers a comprehensive, integrated system in a single box with a unified interface, and that is very important to what we do as IT professionals. Best of all, ClearFoundation delivers premier technology at a fraction of the cost of comparable multi-vendor solutions. ClearCenter partners now have a fully supported open source, open standards solution with proven technology and easy to deploy services through ClearSDN.