Author Archives: OO-Dragon

Critical thinking

I thought this was worthy enough to post else where then on facebook.  This is a very good break down of critical thinking and things to watch out for when people are trying to convince you of something, or maybe you should re-think something  you 'think' you know, but in fact may not have the facts 🙂

Linux continues to please

It seems like the more you figure out linux, the more you just love it. It is truly amazing at what you can do with it. When I found the screen program, that made me very happy when dealing with servers and SSH, now I’m happy about finding update-rc.d. This handy system prog allows you to run scripts on startup under a runtime level. If you don’t care to know too much about it, simply create your script, give it execute permissions and put it in /etc/init.d/ and run “sudo update-rc.d script defaults” (assuming your script name is “script”). Wala, it will now run automatically for you on boot. pretty spiffy eh? I just used it to bind some directories from my windows partition to my Ubuntu folders so my files stay up to date on either end, but you can do much more then that.

Kootenay Network cooperation

I had this idea a little while back about getting the kootenay area computer techs together to share knowledge, idea’s, tips and tricks. I had just recently finished my all in one USB installer for windows and such as well, so I was eager to share that and help techs save literally hours of work every time they wanted or needed to reload a system. So I changed my other website ( from my main business website, to a mix of business and the Kootenay Network cooperation. This was all done a few weeks ago.

So I fired off a bunch of emails to all the computer companys I could find online and in the phone book in the immediate kootenay area, as well as posted some free ad’s around the net. After two weeks, guess how many new members I had on the forums? … that’s right, 0. I saw a few views on the things I posted, but nothing major. I did however get a few emails of people thinking it was a great idea, but they just didn’t have the time to be a member, let alone a active one. This actually did make sense, because when I was working full time as a tech for another company, I did not have any time to learn new things during work, and sure didn’t want to spend all my free time doing more work… although I actually did 😛 but only cause I’m a major geek when it comes to computers and do really enjoy working with them. So this is where I am at. I’m just wondering how I could do things a bit different to make it easy for people to find information, so they don’t have to spend much time. I was thinking something more like a wiki as well as the forum, so people could at least get quick answers and then actually contribute / converse if they like on the forums.

If any one actually reads this, I would love to get some idea’s on getting more techs in a co-operative spirit to help better the standards of every one in the area.

Linux Screen application

Wow, how have I not found the program “screen” until now? It allows you to manage multiple terminal sessions in one. Very useful, especially when your going through SSH and have frequent connection issues. Here’s a quick word from some other random dude who loves it.

Screen is best described as a terminal multiplexer. Using it, you can run any number of console-based applications–interactive command shells, curses-based applications, text editors, etc.–within a single terminal. The desire to do this is what gets most people hooked on screen. I used to start a half-dozen terminal emulators when I logged into my machine: I wanted one to read my email, one to edit my code, one to compile my code, one for my newsreader, one for a shell into my web host, and so on. Now I start one terminal emulator, and run screen in it. Problem solved.

The other main cool feature of screen is its ability to decouple the terminal emulator from the running programs. This means that you can use screen to keep programs running after you accidentally close the terminal emulator, or even after you log out, and later resume right where you were. It means that the idea of a “session” in which you are running a number of console programs is a free-floating entity that you can bind to any terminal anywhere, or no terminal at all if you want.

Updated Windows XP Install disk’s!

This has probably been on my to do list for years, but I have just now completed it! I have made a USB stick with the installation disks of XP Home (OEM/Retail) and XP Pro (OEM/Retail/Corp) on it! Now that’s nothing fancy, but having them completely updated to a few days ago and pre-done with almost every driver out there is! Not only that, but it also has the mass storage drivers built in to use when you first install it. What’s that mean? It means it can be installed on RAID and some special SATA interfaces without having to load drivers from a floppy!

Doing this was not a easy task. It took me 3 days of messing with a lot of programs to find the right ones and doing it in the right combinations. That being said I can now do a full reload with updates and drivers in under 30 min depending on the system 🙂 I also found a way to pre-load applications in there, but only added a few like 7zip, defraggler and VLC player.

Next step is doing it for Windows Vista and Windows 7! O yea, did I mention I also have Ubuntu 10.04-2 install ISO on there? 🙂 One usb stick to install them all! … Minus Vista and 7 due to lacking space…

Ubuntu 11.04!

10 days away now and I’m a bit excited about this release. I have been using the beta for awhile now, and although it was pretty buggy at first (lots of crashes), it seems to be pretty stable now. There are a lot of things I like about the Unity interface and think its the right direction for sure. That being said I have also tried the new gnome3 and actually like it a little bit more (maybe because it was more stable at the time) but in time I’m sure they will both become very attractive for varying reasons.

I’m interested to see how the community reacts to this release, since its the first that will come default with unity.

New Remote Administration program

I should be more specific, new to me remote program 🙂 I was first introduced to it when I was working for another company, and at the time it seemed… kinda clunky and the interface could use some work, but a lot of the options where there and pretty awesome. I have been using and still do use Team Viewer, mostly because of the ability for it to connect without the need to port forward and I could pay for it once and use it for ever… well 10 years at least. That being said it is lacking some features, such as the ability to do things beyond just a remote desktop. You have to connect every time you want to do anything like file transfers.

So what is this new program and what can it do you ask? It’s called Kaseya and the new version is pretty sleek. Some of the abilities are scheduled tasks, registry editing, command line access, event viewer and task manager. These are all accessed remotely without having to interrupt the user! It also has some nice tiers to it, such as a pay as you go at low costs, like $10 a month plus $1.50 per month for each computer you manage, a good way to start off with it. Some of the more advanced editions have things like image backup and update managers for groups of machines, as well as very detailed lists of software and hardware in the machine.

For now I’m sticking with Team Viewer because I have paid for it and don’t utilize the extra features enough to justify the cost, but when I start to get more managed services clients I will definitely switch them to it.

If you do remote computer work you won’t regret checking it out. There is also a free version with limited features. Kaseya

Invoicing Software

As most people probably know… well some, I run my own business, and until just recently I did all my invoicing with excel sheets to keep it simple. Well I decided to move up in the world and find something better, cause even with the few jobs I get, I found I was actually spending a fair bit of my time writing up the bills and typing in all the client info as apposed to spending time doing actual work.

Being the open source lover that I am, I wanted something Free and Linux friendly. I looked a bit and found some meh ones and a few that didn’t quite work with my setup … but then… out of a user comment… I found … wait for it… SOMETHING! More specifically Bamboo Invoice! It was simple, easy to setup (for a tech) and was pleasant enough to look at.

Bamboo Invoice

The first thing you’ll probably want to know if your considering it, is that it is actually a web app, meaning it needs a web server and database program to run; not a problem for me, but probably will be for some one who doesn’t run their own web server, but if your interested just look up windows LAMP server or something and you’ll find some pretty good and simple web server software that you can run off your own computer and get this thing running.

Any way long story short, I can now just click on “New invoice”, select a client, and put in some amounts and its good to go. It also shows me who has and has not paid as well as if they are overdue on payments. When I have to do taxes at the end of the year it also just show’s me the numbers for the year so I don’t have to manually add them up anymore (not to mention some fancy graphs ^_^).

I realize this is probably pretty boring stuff, but it’s been awhile since I updated my blog so… here it is ^_^ Also its exciting for me cause its making my billing easier and I got to setup a new web app on my server.

Ubuntu moving away from X?

An interesting move Here. I’m all for moving things forward, so it will be interesting to see how this goes. I like the ideas that mark mentions in here, like taking advantage of the newer graphics cards. Hopefully this will encourage video card manufactures to open source their drivers or a variant of them too. Also if its easier to develop on top of Wayland as apposed to X, this will help improve the development process and get better UI’s out sooner!

Looking forward to seeing a Ubuntu version using it!

Zeitgeist Newsletters

I read through the first newsletter for the zeitgeist movement a little while ago and thought the information in there was excellent. Here are a few lines out of it.

In a sustainable society, human motivation would be driven by contributions to society and hence themselves – not abstractly “making money”. The system would be designed to best facilitate the needs of the population directly. Yes, this is that dangerous phenomenon we hear so much about, with the image of blood engulfing the planet Earth, denoted as “Socialistic”. God forbid society might actually be ‘designed’ to benefit the people which live inside of it. The fact of the matter is, the profit motive incentive and hence our competition oriented system is entirely “antisociety”.

In a sustainable society, a “steadystate” economy would be in order. This would mean that there is no pressure to consume, as labor is not linked into the feedback loop.

There are 2 as of this writing. Check them out here