Archives for category: Linux

I have a “client” that needed a new computer, and they didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg, but they wanted something that would be reliable and last.  It’s a computer for a small office, that will be used for internet surfing, video playing, and some basic bookkeeping done using spreadsheets. I offered to build them a computer,  I ordered all of the parts on Newegg, and spent around $420.  Here are the pieces i ordered:

I have to say my favorite is the 19 inch wide screen.  after being stuck on my laptop screen for so long I’m envious and nearly bought one for myself, they were only $119.  Everything went extremely well with the computer building, and i have to admit that is is the first computer I’ve built out of all new parts, I’ve Frankenstein a lot of old junk together to make little file servers and boxes to tinker with different Linux distro’s and the like.  It didn’t take long to put the pieces together, and the Ubuntu install was quick and painless.

That’s right. I’m installing Ubuntu for the client.  They will be a completely open source shop. Their website is hosted on MODx and their desktop operating system will be Ubuntu 8.10 64bit.

Today i came across a sweet little tool that gives you information about disk size and usage.  Discus is easily installed and is really handy for figuring out how much space is left on a server. Here’s a screenshot of the install (sudo apt-get intall discus) and it’s output.


After doing a little more looking, and RTFMing i realized that it was just a “prettier” version of df.  Here are the two outputs.


To me they seem pretty much the same.  Discus’ bar graph is nice, but both give you a percent, although by default Discus’ is a little more precise.   df gives the ability to display file system type (-T) which i like, i also used the human readable (-h) tag which cleans up the output and makes it easier to read. One thing i couldn’t find is a way to get either to display information on multiple hard drives.  The server in the second screenshot has a second 100Gb hard drive but neither show it. i’m sure there is a way though…

The long and the short of it.  you don’t have to install anything for df, and the output is practically the same. so unless you really dig the graph and the blue headers don’t bother with discus.

I’ve had this post on hold because i’ve been testing some newly gained knowledge, and wanted to be able to report on any successes’ i had. I went to the missoula linux users group meeting last week and listened to a presentation on virtualization and learned a bit about VMWare. I went to work Friday set on installing Ubuntu on my workstation and doing away with windows! and i did! I installed ubuntu, managed to get dual monitors set up using the aticonfig, which was surprisingly easy, and set up a virtual installation of Windows using VMWare. I love it. the virtual machine works just like it should. I have it joined to the domain, just like a regular windows workstation, so i have easy access to outlook and all the fun Exchange functionality. The Computer i have at work has a processor of handling virtualization which means much better performance from the virtual machine.

So i’m now happily working on an Ubuntu system at work. Yay

I’m coming to you tonight from foreign soil. sad but true. There has been a death, and it has caused a great disturbance (in the force that is). My laptop got together with my beer late sunday night, and well, it did not live to tell the tale. After intense drying exercises and surgical exploration it was determined that resuscitation was not only unlikely but not possible.

The Obituary

Today we must honor and celebrate the life of lilPenguin. A proud Dell Inspiron 600m, that enjoyed running Ubuntu and aiding in developing in PHP and Java among others. With 1.5 Gb of RAM lilPenguin would perform great feats with ease, and often outpaced many of the Windows opponents, if not in speed then certainly in nobility. Survivors include the LCD screen, Hard drive, and RAM who will undoubtedly miss him greatly. Favorite programs were Eclipse, with PHPclipse plugin, Firefox with FireFTP plugin and Pidgin.

lilPenguin met his end shortly before eight o’clock in the evening Sunday November 25, 2007. After a night of too much beer, he just couldn’t pull through. He did fight for life until around 9 when he finally gave up hope and passed with a sound that can only be heard when liquid comes in contact with a live circuit board. A surgical autopsy confirmed the findings and he was laid to rest in a cardboard box in the closed. Though lilPenguin can never be replaced, we can only hope that which ever machine succeeds him is at least half of the machine he was, and hopefully twice as fast. With all our thoughts and prayers we wish you well lilPenguin.

End of days


As of late I’ve been getting more and more interested in some of the open source licenses, specifically the Creative Commons, and the GPL I have been working on an open source project for openmissoula who works for economic fairness by promoting and demonstrating the used of Free and Open Source Software. So I’ve been learning about Stallman (gpl founder) and Lessig (cc founder). and i stopped by Hastings tonight to see if there were any books by Lessig, and they had none. At home, and slightly annoyed, it occurred to me that purchasing a book about the freedom of information, and the general idea of open source was not only an absurd idea but a little ironic.
GNUCCSo I pulled out a site from the memory bank, a good one, Free Tech Books and i did some looking and found just what i was looking for. A book by Laurence Lessig, and a book by Richard Stallman. I have used this site for other books, how to, code help and the like. Really a helpful site. There is a third entry entitled “Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing” it is licensed with the “Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License 2.0” and published by O’Reilly. O’Reilly will certainly allow you to read the book for free, but in order to download the book in pdf format you have to do it by chapter, and you must purchase ‘tokens.’ Irony.

Recently i mentioned that i’ve been working with openmissoula, a local non-profit, to create an online system that would allow a user to choose the type of legal form they want to create, fill out an online form, and have the system create the appropriately formatted legal form. it really works quite nicely, you may take a look. it is at the moment very rough… well you can just read the post from openmissoula. I was also asked to be on the board, and excepted, and so starts another adventure.

As of late i have been researching, playing and otherwise learning as much as i possibly can about: website analysis, online social networking as it relates to higher ed, and calendaring softwares suitable for higher education websites (both open source and otherwise). We have also been asked at work to set up a web server that runs linux and apache! exciting news, there may actually be some reason in the universe! (but don’t tell anyone) So i’m hoping to have a WAMP server up and running at work in the next couple of days, and then once the new LAMP server hardware has been purchased and they we get at least two deep trained in enterprise level support, we will be up and running (so like everything it will take time).

thought of the day: pay a programmer, not a corporation’s stockholders.

I Am A Sucker!

So i went out and bought an iPod Touch or iTouch….. and i have to say the thing is pretty damn cool. just like apple says, it just works, and is easy to maneuver. it picks up more wireless networks than my laptop, and i can drive around town and watch the wireless signals come and go (kind of scary how many we have) . and the Accelerometer works just like it should, only drawback is that it works only in select applications, but it works in all the important ones, Safari & iTunes.

Two very minor complaints:

  • No flash.
  • No VPN

other than that i think its just about the keenest thing ever! The UI is really intuitive, no relearning…..

And And i found it at costco for $10 less than i was going to pay on the apple website, and and and i didn’t have to wait 10 days for shipping.

In other news the Vikings managed to loose (not surprisingly) yet again.