Ramblings & ephemera

Talk about Markdown to SLUUG this Wednesday

I’ll be giving a talk to the St. Louis UNIX Users Group next Wednesday night about Markdown, a tool I absolutely love. You’re invited to come. Please do – I think you’ll definitely learn a lot. Date: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 Time: 6:30 – 9 pm Where: 11885 Lackland Rd., St Louis, MO 63146 Map: […]

A vote for CrossOver

Let me recommend Codeweavers’ CrossOver, a commercial implementation of WINE that works on Linux & Mac OS X. It’s reasonably priced, & it makes setting up & configuring both WINE and the programs that run inside WINE much easier. Plus, the company is made up of good people, & they’re very upfront on their site […]

Linux Phrasebook in Russian

My book, Linux Phrasebook, which is still selling well & still just as useful today as when it came out in 2006 (& will be for another decade or two, given how consistent the Linux command line is), has been translated into Russian. You can find it at this Russian website, where I found out […]

Australian police: don’t bank online with Windows

From Munir Kotadia’s “NSW Police: Don’t use Windows for internet banking” (ITnews: 9 October 2009): Consumers wanting to safely connect to their internet banking service should use Linux or the Apple iPhone, according to a detective inspector from the NSW Police, who was giving evidence on behalf of the NSW Government at the public hearing […]

Apple’s role in technology

Image via CrunchBase From Doc Searls’s “The Most Personal Device” (Linux Journal: 1 March 2009): My friend Keith Hopper made an interesting observation recently. He said one of Apple’s roles in the world is finding categories where progress is logjammed, and opening things up by coming out with a single solution that takes care of […]

Outline for an Unpublished Linux Textbook

Back in 2004 or so, I was asked to write an outline for a college textbook that would be used in courses on Linux. I happily complied, producing the outline you can see on my website. The editor on the project loved the outline & showed it several professors to get their reactions, which were […]

Some facts about GPL 2 & GPL 3

From Liz Laffan’s “GPLv2 vs GPLv3: The two seminal open source licenses, their roots, consequences and repercussions” (VisionMobile: September 2007): From a licensing perspective, the vast majority (typically 60-70%) of all open source projects are licensed under the GNU Public License version 2 (GPLv2). … GPLv3 was published in July 2007, some 16 years following […]

Open source & patents

From Liz Laffan’s “GPLv2 vs GPLv3: The two seminal open source licenses, their roots, consequences and repercussions” (VisionMobile: September 2007): Cumulatively patents have been doubling practically every year since 1990. Patents are now probably the most contentious issue in software-related intellectual property rights. … However we should also be aware that software written from scratch […]

My new book – Google Apps Deciphered – is out!

I’m really proud to announce that my 5th book is now out & available for purchase: Google Apps Deciphered: Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop. My other books include: Don’t Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox Hacking Knoppix Linux Phrasebook Podcasting with Audacity: Creating a Podcast With Free Audio Software (I’ve […]

An analysis of Google’s technology, 2005

From Stephen E. Arnold’s The Google Legacy: How Google’s Internet Search is Transforming Application Software (Infonortics: September 2005): The figure Google’s Fusion: Hardware and Software Engineering shows that Google’s technology framework has two areas of activity. There is the software engineering effort that focuses on PageRank and other applications. Software engineering, as used here, means […]

The X Window System defined

From Ellen Siever’s “What Is the X Window System” (O’Reilly Media: 25 August 2005): X was intentionally designed to provide the low-level mechanism for managing the graphics display, but not to have any control over what is displayed. This means that X has never been locked into a single way of doing things; instead, it […]

A wireless router with 2 networks: 1 secure, 1 open

From Bruce Schneier’s “My Open Wireless Network” (Crypto-Gram: 15 January 2008): A company called Fon has an interesting approach to this problem. Fon wireless access points have two wireless networks: a secure one for you, and an open one for everyone else. You can configure your open network in either “Bill” or “Linus” mode: In […]

Tim O’Reilly defines cloud computing

From Tim O’Reilly’s “Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing” (O’Reilly Radar: 26 October 2008): Since “cloud” seems to mean a lot of different things, let me start with some definitions of what I see as three very distinct types of cloud computing: 1. Utility computing. Amazon’s success in providing virtual machine instances, storage, and computation at […]

How to run a command repeatedly

You can use the watch command, but it unfortunately isn’t available for Mac OS X. At least, from Apple. Sveinbjorn Thordarson (great name!) has a version of watch that you can download and compile on your OS X box. It’s available at http://www.sveinbjorn.org/watch_macosx. Or, you can use this shell script: while true ; do foo […]

I for one welcome our new OS overlords: Google Chrome

As some of you may have heard, Google has announced its own web browser, Chrome. It’s releasing the Windows version today, with Mac & Linux versions to follow. To educate people about the new browser & its goals, they release a 38 pg comic book drawn by the brilliant Scott McCloud. It’s a really good […]

Dropbox for Linux is coming soon

According to this announcement, a Linux client for Dropbox should be coming out in a week or so: http://forums.getdropbox.com/topic.php?id=2371&replies=1 I’ve been using Dropbox for several months, and it’s really, really great. What is it? Watch this video: http://www.getdropbox.com/screencast It’s backup and auto-syncing done REALLY well. Best of all, you can sync between more than one […]

Remove EXIF data from JPEGs

ImageMagick mogrify -strip *.jpg JHead jhead -de *.jpg

What actions change MAC times on a UNIX box?

From Holt Sorenson’s “Incident Response Tools For Unix, Part Two: File-System Tools” (SecurityFocus: 17 October 2003): Various commands change the MAC [modify, access, and change] times in different ways. The table below shows the effects that some common commands have on MAC times. These tables were created on Debian 3.0 using an ext2 file system […]

Find out a hard drive’s UUID

If you want to add a device like an external hard drive to your /etc/fstab file, it helps if you know the hard drive’s UUID. If you use K/Ubuntu, the following command will display the UUID, along with other useful information. $ sudo vol_id /dev/sdo1 Password: ID_FS_USAGE=filesystem ID_FS_TYPE=ext3 ID_FS_VERSION=1.0 ID_FS_UUID=4857d4bb-5f6b-4f21-af62-830ebae92cff ID_FS_LABEL=movies ID_FS_LABEL_SAFE=movies

Ubuntu Edgy changes to fstab

I upgraded my Ubuntu Linux desktop today from Dapper to Edgy. It appears that in /etc/fstab, LABEL= no longer works, and you must now use UUID=. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=278652 So my fstab now looks like this, for instance (these are all external drives): UUID=a3d8a126-a7fc-4994-9675-748ed62c3109 /media/music xfs rw,user,noauto 0 0 UUID=e6e83a83-7487-4f22-a7ac-42cb100dfe24 /media/music-copy reiserfs rw,user,noauto 0 0 UUID=99198c52-3f9e-4255-9326-7891a90223ac /media/temp […]