http://www.securitronlinux.com/linux/lc/ This is a library of PDF files that will help new users of Linux set up their system and get to grips with the command line and Linux software. I uploaded these a while ago and I thought I would post about them again to alert my visitors that they are available. They are a bit dated, but the Linux command line and software like VIM has not changed that much in that time. I am using Ubuntu 11.04 with the Unity desktop running with the Intel graphics drivers on a Intel i3 CPU and it is very reliable and fast. There are some problems with the Unity graphical support, but these issues will be overcome as time passes and the Unity system matures. This is one persons experience with the new desktop and he raises some good points. https://lwn.net/Articles/433579/ The Unity desktop is the evolution of the Gnome Shell interface, That was released as a demo a while ago. There is a posting here telling you how to install the Gnome 2 desktop in Ubuntu 11.04, but the way I did it was by installing the Gnome 2 packages in synaptic and then logging out and then selecting the Ubuntu classic option in GDM. The screenshot below shows the Gnome 2 desktop selected in Ubuntu 11.04. Just install all the Gnome 2 dependencies and then you can log out as I said before and select the Ubuntu classic desktop. But I am not sure if it will not be discontinued eventually and there will only be Gnome 3.
But I find that the Unity desktop is easy and usable, so I prefer that one now, but installing Gnome 2 is available if you want the classic interface whilst it is still available. And give the PDF files a read, they are very good for learning the command line interface in Linux.
Sony PS3 in the days before Other OS feature was removed from the Playstation 3. This allowed you to have a very fast and reliable system that could be networked into a supercomputing cluster using the Cell processor in the Playstation 3. That was a good system, still available if you have a PS3 that does not have the latest updates and still has the Other OS feature. But due to the recent PSN scandal surrounding the Sony Corporation at the moment, it does not look like they will be getting much respect anymore. But Sony had some great games like PSX Doom and Wipeout 2097, the best racing game ever, period. The network went down for Lent and millions of Xbox gamers rejoiced. Now that Sony are a global laughing stock and there are countless parody videos of PSN on Youtube, they are finally more entertaining than ever. People have lost money from their accounts and are understandably upset by this whole affair. I did not get a warning E-mail about this at all and I am very unhappy and upset about that, but large corporations do not care about the lowly users after all, just the bottom line.
I have just installed Ubuntu 11.04 just to test it out and it is working better than I expected. I just ran sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras and then I had mp3 support and flash out of the box. The Unity desktop is OK, but I have installed the Gnome 2 desktop, to have a classic desktop without the annoying Gnome 3 components and the applications menu I have posted about before. It did not take long for the updates to download and install, then I typed sudo apt-get install mplayer audacious to install a movie player and the audacious mp3 player application. Ubuntu 11.04 comes with Gnome 2.32.1 and the kernel version is 2.6.38-8-generic. Libreoffice 3.3.2 is included for word processing and spreadsheet duties. If you install Ubuntu 11.04 like I did, then install the Gnome desktop through synaptic and then you will have a Ubuntu classic menu option in the GDM login screen. Just select that to load the classic Ubuntu desktop. And Ubuntu is more secure than the Sony network any day. And unlike a certain network failure, the Ubuntu software repository will not steal all of your details to sell on the black market. That is what happened to the details of most of the unlucky customers of the evil Sony fail corporation.
But maybe in the future another company will come out with a network that will be more secure and reliable than the Sony attempt. The Xbox network may be more secure, but I prefer to play online games like Unreal Tournament that do not cost anything to play online and you do not need to enter your Credit Card details to play on the Internet, you just enter a nick and game away. That is fun. Whomever took down the network has had quite an impact on the Sony gamers, now that the network is down indefinitely. I do not know how this will impact Sony in the long term, but surely will impact gamers that is for sure. Not being able to play a game you paid for will upset anyone. Storing passwords in clear-text is the height of stupidity, when a salted hash is easy to create. Even my website is far more secure than that, the MySQL database stores passwords in a MD5 encrypted hash and that is how you should do it, not the brain-dead Sony way. Where they even using a LAMP web-server or did they just make something up in-house like the HB Gary webmasters? The HB Gary webmasters were sharing passwords between servers making the job of cracking into the systems very easy, as well as having simple passwords that were too easy to crack. Here is a good article about this topic: http://blog.escanav.com/2011/02/24/hbgary-password-md5-hash-crack/, it goes into detail about how passwords are stored in a MySQL database and the necessity of having strong passwords for each of your accounts.
The Playstation Network has been cracked into by some evil person and data belonging to thousands of customers has been compromised. More information here: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/04/sonys-black-eye-is-a-pr-problem-not-a-legal-one.ars I have used the Playstation Network to buy a game and play it, but I will not use this network anymore, they need to beef up security before I will trust this company again. The whole PSN network situation is a whole mess that started with the network being accessed by a malicious person and data stolen belonging to maybe millions of gamers. This is due to poor security on the part of Sony, you could brute force the date of birth security question and the passwords and other data were stored as plain-text instead of using a MD5 salted hash to encode the passwords like the MySQL system does. They are as boneheaded as the HB Gary webmasters that had simple passwords for their website and databases. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13192359. [BBC website]. Read Sony`s apology here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13206004 They are really embarrassed with this whole thing and I hope that they learn their lesson from this and do some more work on securing their website from attack. This is the data that is believed to have been stolen:
Address (city, state/province, zip or postal code)
Date of birth
PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login
Handle/PSN online ID
This is going to affect an unknown amount of users, and since I am one of them, I will be paying attention to my bank statements and watching out for any unwanted transactions. I hope that people do not forget about this in time and go back to Sony again, as this is due to the utter stupidity of the Sony Corporation on top of removing Other OS from PS3 and the infamous Sony rootkit that they distributed on Sony Music CD`s. That is still around and even the Anti-Virus companies are not wanting to fix this, they just do not care even though it can be used to hide malicious software in Windows. I did not even get an E-mail about this at all. That is wrong.
Windows 8 build 7955 has been leaked onto the pirate bay website and onto many private FTP sites as well. This gives us a chance to examine the new operating system from Microsoft. Windows 8 has an inbuilt PDF reader, the aforementioned ISO mounting and a new login screen. Another feature of Windows 8 is the Windows Portable Workspace that allows you to install Windows 8 on a 16GiB live USB and take it with you, like Linux has been able to do for ages. And a dedicated webcam app like the Linux application cheese, or the photo booth for Mac OSX. The new Windows Explorer will have the ribbon toolbar like Office does and there will be a more advanced task manager.
Released build: Windows 8 Build 7955 Milestone 3 Build
I do not think I will be downloading this, I have Windows 7 and Debian and I am happy with that. I have discovered a cool thing in Windows 7 though, you can implement symlinks on Windows with the mklink command. Just type mklink /D MyMovies E:\Movies and it will create the symlink MyMovies that points to the E:\Movies folder on the E drive. That way you can have proper symlinks on your Windows system instead of those stupid shortcuts that you had in Windows XP. Linux and UNIX systems have been able to use symlinks for ages, you would type ln -s file1 file2 to create a symlink. Windows is becoming more and more like Linux all the time, but it does not have the legendary security and stability of Linux. I know I should not be blogging about Windows on a Linux site, but I do have a page about Windows 7 tips and that will stay. And it is good to try different operating systems instead of just using the one all the time. I run FreeBSD 8.2 on my laptop and that works very well indeed, the sound and video works perfectly. I just installed Enlightenment E17 from source using the FreeBSD ports system and it works very well indeed with compositing enabled. FreeBSD is a good alternative to Linux as long as your hardware is supported by the operating system that is.
But if Windows 8 can be installed on a USB thumb drive as well as on your desktop or laptop, would that create licensing issues, or would they take that into account when you install the operating system. But that would make your whole operating system more portable if you could take your whole operating system and your desktop settings and all with you and run it on any computer. But as I said before, you could run Linux off a USB stick for ages before this, you used to be able to purchase Mandrake Linux on a thumb drive. I know they will not be selling Windows pre-installed on a USB stick but that installing or running Linux off a thumb drive is faster than off a CD or DVD. Not all of the changes in Windows 8 are for the best, but I am sure that Microsoft can make it a good Windows release without the embarrassing blue screens of death of ages past. They should put more incentive into the Windows operating system to dissuade users from running as an administrator, they should be running as a limited user all of the time like you do with Linux and UNIX, then you have more security.
I just found this interesting video on Youtube and I thought I would share this with you. It talks about what happens when a planet or planetoid collides with another planet and how such an occurrence has been photographed by observatories on Earth. This is how the Earth`s moon was formed, a planetary body the size of Mars collided with the young Earth and the material that was thrown out into space then formed the Moon as we know it today. Without the Moon, the Earth would not have a stable orbit and no stable climate like we have these days, with regular periods of winter and summer every year instead we would have a planet with ice wandering all over it and it`s axis would be shifting due to gravitational interference from other planets in the solar system pulling weakly on our planet and disrupting it`s orbit. The Moon was only about 20-30 thousand kilometers away from the Earth after it was first formed then it gradually moved away from the Earth and now it is 351,000 kilometers away from the Earth and it is moving further away from the Earth every year. This means that the gravitational influence of the Moon is lessened slightly with every year that passes. We know this as NASA has placed mirrors on the surface of the Moon and we can beam powerful lasers onto the surface of the Moon and measure the time the beam takes to reach the Moon and return to Earth to calculate the distance from the Earth to the Moon. I hope someday we will establish colonies on the Moons surface one day and finally move out into space, we are still stuck on Earth when there are many planets to explore out there and countless asteroids to mine for minerals.
That must be our target to aim for in the future, we need to move away from the society we have at the moment dominated by war and the royal wedding, to focus more on space exploration and feeding the hungry people of the world with better technology for growing crops in adverse conditions faced in third world nations. That is what we need to focus on so we can have a happier and more productive time on this Earth. If we could colonise Mars, we would have more space for humans to live rather than being cooped up on this one little planet together like we are right now. That is the problem with our world, we are fighting pointless and destructive wars that are killing thousands of innocent people and not doing much to improve the world for the people on it.
IBM Thinkpad CPU cooler. The ASUS one is similar to this.
I was taking my laptop apart today because I had to clean out the fans and the heat pipe between the CPU and the fan outlet, there is a thick piece of copper that connects the CPU to the heatsink that the fan blows through. And it went quite well although the heatsink assembly was tricky to get back into the laptop, but it was half blocked with dust and I managed to clean it and now it is just fine. A screw fell into the depths of the laptop whilst I was reassembling the whole thing and I had to turn it over an shake it out. Laptops are very hard and annoying to work on indeed, I managed to get it fixed though and now I am typing this on the offending laptop and it seems to be making much less noise as the poor fan is not struggling so much to carry away the heat that is blocked by all of that dust. So if your laptop is very noisy, get it checked out for dust, or do it yourself and save some money. I am still running FreeBSD 8.2 on my laptop, it works better than Linux does and it far more reliable than Ubuntu.
Here is a FizzBuzz solution I coded in C. I have uploaded it as an image so you will have to type it in yourself, but I am a gracious and giving person, so here you are. I coded this on FreeBSD 8.2 with GNU Emacs and I am very happy with how it turned out. Compile this with gcc -Wall and it will compile without errors.
This is the Gnome 3 desktop I have been talking about, I have downloaded the OpenSuse based Live CD and I have actually tried it myself and I have to say it sucks royally. Look at this screenshot of the start menu, this is very hard to use at 1920×1440 pixels resolution, I can not read the icon titles very easily at all. Surely I could change the font settings and fix this, but I am using this as it is on the Live CD and not changing a thing, as described in the link above, this desktop is very different to the Gnome 2 desktop that I actually love to use, it is retarded beyond belief and I can not imagine that too many Linux users will want to use this at all. The screenshot below shows the windows on the Gnome 3 desktop and the lack of minimize and maximize buttons, you have to grab the very thin window border and drag to re size the windows to your liking. And that is annoying, but we can only hope that Ubuntu keep the Gnome 2 desktop around to enable users to switch back to classic Gnome, otherwise people will switch to xfce instead. Which sounds like a good idea in my book, KDE is getting retarded as well, it seems they want to turn users away from desktop Linux by providing stupid bloated and retarded desktops like this for a new users first Linux experience. Do we even want people to use Linux or are we going to turn them away?
Gnome 3 desktop & windows.
It sure seems to be that way. The Gnome 2 desktop in Ubuntu and Debian and other Linux distributions has always been a good usable desktop and now they want to force another desktop onto the users of various distributions making the first impression of someone using Linux for the first time a negative one. The screenshot below is the activities view you get when you hover the mouse cursor over the Activities menu. This allows you to see all open applications and switch between them. And if you move the cursor to the right, you can access the virtual desktops mode, which at the moment only has 2 virtual desktops. But it is not as much fun as having the two tool-bars as in Gnome 2. Even the Windows 7 interface is better than the Gnome 3 desktop.
Gnome 3 activities view.
I guess they wanted to try something new after Gnome 2 but they have failed, assuming that all of their users are as dumb as bricks and simplifying the interface to a toy-like Fisher-Price interface rivaling the Windows XP luna theme with the green start button and bright blue window borders. At least there is FVWM and E17 desktops still available as well as Windowmaker, the GNU Windowmaker window manager is a very good desktop and is a very fast alternative to the Gnome desktop if you want something fast and easy to use instead of the bloated and annoying Gnome 3 desktop that I have just covered here. And the icewm desktop window manager provides a desktop that looks just like Windows XP with the right themes. I have used larswm in the past, that is a tiling window manager that can be controlled entirely by the keyboard. But for a true replacement for the Gnome 3 desktop, I would recommend xfce as it is light on resources and very usable indeed, just as usable as Gnome 2. KDE 2.2 was perfect as a desktop window manager for Linux, but now it is just as bloated as Gnome 3 and annoying to use to boot, they are just trying to copy Windows Vista and Windows 7 but Windows 7 is way faster than KDE 4.5 and easier to use as well.
This is a sad story indeed, Elisabeth Sladen who played Sarah Jane in the Doctor who series has died aged 63. She was one of the best characters in the Doctor who series and she will be missed. I liked her much better than the Doctor Who characters they have nowadays. My favorite Doctor was Tom Baker, he had the best personality and the best character to play the role of the Time Lord. And she got along so well with the Doctor, and made the early episodes such a joy to watch. She will be missed by all Doctor Who fans.
Elisabeth Sladen, 1948 – 2011.
My favorite Doctor Who companion.
http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2011/04/mmm-mmm-good-youtube-videos-now-served.html Youtube are now busily transcoding all of their comprehensive video library into the WebM video format, making all of the videos accessible with HTML5 enabled browsers. This will make the Youtube videos accessible without Adobe Flash hopefully. It is about time that Youtube took HTML5 seriously and converted all of the videos into an open format. Youtube are very busy, with 6 years worth of video uploaded every day, or 35 minutes worth every minute, so they are using cloud based transcoding systems to be able to process the video according to demand on the Youtube servers, with more processing capability available in off peak times. The best thing about Youtube is that they start processing the video during the upload, which speeds up the process of getting your video live to air sooner.
Sarah Jane and K9.
I miss the old Youtube with the stars ranking system and the persons pic next to the video on the right and other information below that, but I guess you have to get used to the new look of things as we move into the Web 2.0 world. The number of likes and dislikes they have under the video window is just as good I think, as long as the HTML5 video format works out well I will continue to enjoy the Youtube content in a whole new format. A good feature of Youtube is being able to create playlists of your favourite music to enjoy whenever you want, this is absolutely awesome. I do not mind the Vevo videos on Youtube either; they provide a way to listen to music that they have uploaded. Some users do not like this but it does not stop you from listening to the music and adding the tracks to a playlist to listen to later does it?
http://www.precursorblog.com/content/google-chrome-we-dont-need-your-permission. Found this website discussing the Google Chrome web browser, the Google company are apparently using it to open a security hole in users machines, according to the blog. I am not sure about this, but Google Chrome is the most advertised web browser, you see the advertisements everywhere you look, out in the streets and on the Internet, especially on Google sites like Youtube obviously and with the advertisements displayed with Google Adsense. I prefer to use Firefox myself, as it has the adblock & Greasemonkey add-ons to enhance your web browsing experience. I do not like the simplistic interface in Chrome, I prefer having the address bar with the drop down arrow of previously typed urls, that makes life easier as well as the fact it is a much older browser than chrome and has always been my favorite browser ever since version 1.0. I miss the Portable Firefox that you could run off a thumb drive on any Windows machine keeping your profile on the drive, but I guess they have discontinued that version of Firefox. Before Firefox there was Mozilla 1.7 which was also a very secure and reliable web browser and even before that there was the Netscape Communicator web browser suite that included a web design application and an E-Mail client giving you everything you needed for using the Internet.
What ever happened to that? now there is the Firefox browser, the Thunderbird E-Mail client and there is no more suite of software like Netscape Communicator, but I guess if you have a CMS then you would not have so much of a need for a simple wysiwyg web design program. I only had to use one of the templates I already had and copy in the PHP code from the WordPress codex and then I had my template done for my index.php that you see now. Doing the website design that way is much easier, I am using the p2 WordPress theme and including some of it`s code in the website template to provide my threaded comments system. But getting back to Firefox, it is a much more robust web browser than Google Chrome, I have had scripts on a page lock up the browser and I have not had that happen with Firefox. I still going to use Google services as they are the best. And the Chinese crackers who are getting into Western data and the time that the Western Internet was re-routed through China and it would have been stored and analyzed thoroughly to discover our secrets, but what are they after? So they are the ones we need to worry about, not the Google company. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html China have performed cyber-attacks against Google before attempting to access Gmail accounts of human rights activists whom they consider to be dissidents and they would be wanting to track down those users and crack into their accounts, but this was unsuccessful. This reinforces the need for comprehensive Internet security strategies when you are using the Internet.