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  • John Cartwright 11:48 PM on January 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Quad monitor wallpapers for your Linux or Windows desktop environment. 

    Multiwall 7680×2160 pixels wallpaper.

    https://i.redd.it/mop3bruh706y.jpg.

    Collection of sci-fi quad monitor wallpapers. These are ideal for a Linux desktop with 4 monitors.

    [7760×1440] Sci-fi and Landscape – Larger Collection & More user friendly resolution.

    Collection of high-res, (12764×3590 pixels resolution) panoramic photos. Best quality for multiple monitors.

    [12764×3590] Here's a few high resolution panoramic images I've taken over the years! [OC]

    Over 30 7680×1920 wallpapers.

    [7680×1440] A collection of 30 triple monitor wallpapers. Would love more in comments.

    Apollo moon landing. 7740×2454 pixels.

    https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a16/a16pan1240222dmh.jpg.

     
  • John Cartwright 2:41 PM on January 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , sysstatfs   

    The statfs64 function does not seem to work and this is very annoying. 

    There does not seem to be a good way on Linux to get the free disk space of your / partition with a C function. This is very annoying. I tried to update my system information program with a simple function that shows free disk space with C and I could not get the statfs64() function to work properly. I guess there is another function that is available that I need to find. Unless I use boost, that offers a function that I could use. Anyway, this is only a minor setback, I will get this working very soon. I guess I could use execl() and a proper Linux command within that to get the same information. That would work very well. But programming on Linux really is very good. I worked out how to add a remote github repository to my local machine so I can push changes up to the repo with the command line. That is the way to do it properly. That is why the Linux command line is so useful. I am sure this would work with the Windows 10 bash shell as well. Then I could do programming on Windows 10 and push the changes to a repository.

    I have not used Windows 10 for quite a while, but I am sure it has undergone quite a few changes since I last used it. Using the Linux command line on an actual Linux system is the way to go, this gives good access to many manual pages and a fast responsive Fedora 25 system. That is the advantage it has over a Windows system.

     
  • John Cartwright 1:06 PM on January 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    How to save an image from a Facebook post when right click save will not work. 

    It is annoying when you wish to save an image from a Facebook post and this will not work. But this is actually very easy using Firefox. Just right click on the image and select Inspect element with Firebug.

    Inspect the image with Firebug.

    Inspect the image with Firebug.

    Then drill down through the code until the URL to the image is found, just select all this code and then CTRL-C it.

    Selecting the image URL.

    Selecting the image URL.

    This is what it should look like. Open this in a new tab and then save the image. This should also work with Chrome if you select Inspect element.

    https://external-syd2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=AQDssBuKBpquXHhV&w=450&h=236&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmyfreshnews.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F01%2FScreen-Shot-2016-12-30-at-11.04.46-AM.png
    

    That is how easy it is to do this.

     
  • John Cartwright 9:56 AM on January 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arc, , , ,   

    Install the arc Gnome shell GTK3 theme on Fedora 25. 

    The arc Gnome Shell theme is a very nice theme for the Gnome Shell desktop. This is how to install this theme on Fedora 25.

    Firstly, download the theme this way.

    [[email protected] Desktop]$ git clone https://github.com/horst3180/arc-theme.git
    Cloning into 'arc-theme'...
    remote: Counting objects: 10466, done.
    remote: Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done.
    remote: Total 10466 (delta 1), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 10462
    Receiving objects: 100% (10466/10466), 9.98 MiB | 525.00 KiB/s, done.
    Resolving deltas: 100% (7301/7301), done.
    Checking connectivity... done.
    

    Then install the prerequisite packages before compilation.

    [[email protected] Downloads]# dnf install gtk3-devel
    

    Then we may setup and compile the theme source.

    [[email protected] Downloads]$ cd arc-theme-master/
    
    [[email protected] Downloads]$ ./autogen.sh
    
    [[email protected] Downloads]$ make
    
    [[email protected] arc-theme-master]$ su
    Password: 
    [[email protected] arc-theme-master]# make install
    

    Now select the theme in the Gnome Tweak tool and we are done.

    Selecting the arc theme in Gnome Tweak tool.

    Selecting the arc theme in Gnome Tweak tool.

    That is how easy it is to install the theme on Fedora. And it looks good too.

     
  • John Cartwright 8:09 AM on January 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , exclude, , ,   

    How to backup your home directory easily with the rsync command. 

    How to use rsync to backup your home directory or whole system and skip directories that are not required to be backed up.

    This simple rsync command will backup the contents of your home directory to a folder on a removable drive. This command will exclude various system folders if you wish to backup the / partition instead.

    rsync -avh --progress --exclude {"/dev", "/lost+found", "/media", "/mnt", "/proc", "/run", "/sys", "/tmp"} /home /mnt/mounts/jason/My\ Stuff/backups/
    

    Another way would be to have the excluded folders in a list in a text file and specify the file name in the command. You do not need to backup everything in every directory anyway.

    rsync -avh --progress --exclude-from "exclude-list.txt" /home /mnt/mounts/jason/My\ Stuff/backups/
    

    This command did have problems with copying over all file attributes, but this could be due to the fact that I was copying files from EXT4 to NTFS. But all files were backed up and that is what matters.

     
  • John Cartwright 2:27 PM on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , building, place, ,   

    How to spawn a randomly placed building in Arma 3. 

    This simple code for Arma 3 will spawn a randomly placed HQ building within the area of the mkr1 marker. This is a 4000×4000 marker placed on the map. This gets a random safe area and places the building within the area of this marker.

    _mrk = "mkr1";
    _area = markerSize _mrk;
    _nul = _area pushBack markerDir _mrk;
    _nul = _area pushBack ( markerShape _mrk isEqualTo "Rectangle" );
    _pos = [ _mrk, _area ] call BIS_fnc_randomPosTrigger;
    
    _randPos = [_pos , 0, 1200, 12, 0, 0.3, 0] call BIS_fnc_findSafePos;
    
    _cargo = "Land_Cargo_HQ_V1_F" createVehicle _randPos;
    
    _randPos14 = _cargo getRelPos [9, 12];
    
    _mg13 = createVehicle ["O_GMG_01_high_F", _randPos14, [], 0, "CAN_COLLIDE"];
    
    _mgguy13 = [_randPos14, EAST, ["O_Soldier_F"],[],[],[],[],[],232] call BIS_fnc_spawnGroup;
    
    ((units _mgguy13) select 0) moveInGunner _mg13;
    

    This code will add a marker that will show the actual location of the HQ building.

    _marker = createMarkerLocal ["opfor_hq.", position player ];
    _marker setMarkerPos _randPos;
    _marker setMarkerShape "ICON";
    _marker setMarkerColor "Default";
    _marker setMarkerType "loc_Bunker";
    _marker setMarkerText "HQ.";
    

    Use this cool code to spawn a radio tower with a machine gunner guarding it.

    // Spawning the radio tower.
    
    _randPos2 = [_pos , 0, 1200, 10, 0, 0.3, 0] call BIS_fnc_findSafePos;
    
    _tower = "Land_TTowerBig_1_F" createVehicle _randPos2;
    _tower setVectorUp [0,0,1]; // Make sure the tower is not leaning.
    
    _towerbox = "Land_spp_Transformer_F" createVehicle _randPos2;
    _towerbox setVectorUp [0,0,1];
    
    _towerbox2 = "Land_TTowerSmall_1_F" createVehicle _randPos2;
    _towerbox2 setVectorUp [0,0,1];
    
    _tower setVehicleVarName "tower1"; tower1 = _tower;
    
    _genny = _tower getRelPos [7, 9];
    
    // Spawn a random minefield around the radio tower.
    // *********************************************************************
    
    _initialPos = getPos tower1; // Pos of tower.
    for "_count" from 1 to 50 do {
    	_minePos = [
    		(_initialPos select 0) + ((random 80) - 40),
    		(_initialPos select 1) + ((random 80) - 40)
    	];
    	_minen = createMine [
    		"APERSBoundingMine",
    		_minePos,
    		[],
    		0
    	];
    };
    
    // End mine code.
    // *********************************************************************
    
    _minefield = "Land_PowerGenerator_F" createVehicle _genny;
    
    // Spawning a MG guy near tower.
    
    _randPos3 = [_randPos2, 1, 60, 3, 0, 20, 0] call BIS_fnc_findSafePos;
    
    _mg = createVehicle ["O_HMG_01_high_F", _randPos3, [], 0, "CAN_COLLIDE"];
    
    _mgguy = [_randPos3, EAST, ["O_Soldier_F"],[],[],[],[],[],232] call BIS_fnc_spawnGroup;
    
    ((units _mgguy) select 0) moveInGunner _mg;
    

    I hope this code is useful to someone who is building a scripted mission and wants randomly placed assets for the players to capture.

    One more piece of code. This will spawn enemy supply crates in random positions in random buildings around the Cargo HQ.

    _houseList = getPos _cargo nearObjects ["House",600];
    {
     _c = 0;
     while { format ["%1", _x buildingPos _c] != "[0,0,0]" } do {_c = _c + 1};
     if (_c > 0) then
        {
           _ranNum = floor(random _c);
           _crate = "Box_East_Support_F" createVehicle [0,0,0];
           _crate setPos (_x buildingPos _ranNum);
        };
     sleep 0.123;
    } forEach _houseList;
    
    Czech beer billboard in fallujah.

    Czech beer billboard in fallujah.

     
  • John Cartwright 1:44 PM on January 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: castle, , ,   

    The Most Accurate Hacking Scene Ever. 

    From “Castle” Season 8 Episode 8.

     
  • John Cartwright 10:21 AM on January 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cnn, fallout, gucifer, ,   

    CNN uses Fallout 4 hacking screenshots in news article. 

    Fallout 4 hacking screenshots in CNN video.

    Fallout 4 hacking screenshots in CNN video.

    CNN have used Fallout 4 hacking screenshots in a news article about the Russian hacking scandal. This is very funny, they would think that people would not recognize it and just think it is real “hacking”. There is not guarantee that Russia even did this, IP addresses can be spoofed and this means that the attack could have come from anywhere. But they have a video up on the website that shows the anatomy of the attack. Gucifer 2.0 was mentioned in it. He is a famous Romanian hacker and computer expert. But Trump might reveal some more information about the Russian hacking after his inauguration soon. Hopefully he will not use video game footage as proof. The Fancy Bear cyber-espionage group was mentioned in the video as well, they are a Russian threat actor that has carried out cyber-attacks worldwide. They created the XAgent malware payload that is used with phishing attacks to get into target machines. The XAgent app runs on IOS7 iPhones and runs in the background with no icon. This steals data from the phone while the user is unaware. A good argument for not installing unknown and strange apps on your phone.

    Actual Fallout 4 hacking screenshot.

    Actual Fallout 4 hacking screenshot.

    But I prefer Android. That is relatively secure and does not allow the installation of pirated or unknown apps unless you allow it in the settings. Still, a good idea not to pirate apps, they could have malware in them. This is just like the news networks using Matrix code pictures to demonstrate computer stuff as it looks scary and high-tech to viewers. Here is the actual CNN news article. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/29/politics/russia-sanctions-announced-by-white-house/. 1:00 into the video is where the Fallout 4 footage is. This is very funny to see, like the time they used Arma 2 footage in a news video that was purported to be real war video. That was an ITV piece, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQuglSbXeVo. This does sort of look real in 160p quality. But not in HD. And Chernarus is not Northern Ireland.

     
  • John Cartwright 10:32 AM on January 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: creepy, , scary,   

    Creepy wallpapers for your Linux desktop. Good new look for 2017. 

    There are quite a few creepy and scary wallpaper options for your Linux desktop. I am going to present a few here that are good for fans of urban exploration.

    Prypyat town center abandoned after the accident.

    http://www.unknownworld.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Town-Centre.jpg.

    A bird's eye view of the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine

    Very creepy fog picture.

    The fog

    Creepy looking sewer photos. These are taken by using a long exposure and then using a flashgun to light up the area.

    Macro drain, Bradford, UK

    Old abandoned church in Ireland.

    Part Two: Ruined Church in Ireland (Interior)

    The Upside Down

    Very old sewer tunnel photograph. One of the oldest sewer systems in the world.

    Cloaca Maxima – one of the world's earliest sewage systems, constructed c. 600 BC in Rome [1800×1200]

    Old mental asylum.

    http://www.lamag.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2015/09/MG_4108.jpg.

     
  • John Cartwright 12:51 PM on December 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Linux Mint website compromised once again. This website is really insecure. 

    The Linux Mint website has been compromised once again. This means that if you download a Linux Mint ISO, it would not be safe to use until this is fixed. The information is here: http://pastebin.com/raw/ZMAqGsyp. This is not a good look for this Linux distribution. That is why I am using Fedora Core 25 instead as the Fedora community run a more professional establishment and the distribution is higher quality. NSA Selinux provides a lot of security as well as up to date kernels.

    Had a good password on the database though, but that does not matter if it is easily accessible by a simple attacker who can access the website`s files and get the db-config.php file. Website is still going though, so I guess they have not bothered to announce this. I am sure it has been fixed by now, but the fact that this can happen at all is concerning. Hopefully Clem will fix his security eventually. He is using Securi proxy, but a lot of directories on his website are still accessible when they should not be at all. Hiring a penetration tester to check his website would be a good idea.

     
  • John Cartwright 1:15 PM on December 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Useful TOR hidden links for studying computer security. 

    Cryptoparty handbook.

    http://crypty22ijtotell.onion/handbook/index.html. A book about keeping safe online and maintaining anonymity if required.

    Soylent news. Slashdot styled news website.

    http://7rmath4ro2of2a42.onion/.

    NetSec WIKI page.

    http://netsec7moavvkprc.onion/Main_Page.

    Very old CRT terminal.

    Very old CRT terminal.

    My Secret World Tech blog.

    http://32avzir6unmcg2y2.onion/.

    Debconf Annual Debian conference website.

    http://gmi5gld3uk5ozvrv.onion/.

    CyberGuerrilla Anonymous Nexus.

    http://lu4qfnnkbnduxurt.onion/. Anynymous and secure communication options for the TOR network.

    The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions and answers pertaining to the Debian distribution.

    http://sejnfjrq6szgca7v.onion/doc/manuals/debian-faq/.

    Flashlight. Good TOR news website.

    http://kxojy6ygju4h6lwn.onion/.

    Shadowlife news blog.

    http://bwbvcvmbpnan6xsd.onion/.

    Tin hat news and tips blog.

    http://qza32xuddl3guikc.onion/index.html.

    Not Evil TOR search engine. This is the best TOR search and very good for finding information on TOR.

    http://hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion/.

    Your only chance to access the Marianas web Is this real?

    http://chanceaxm2eaygkx.onion/.

     
  • John Cartwright 10:05 AM on December 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , manual,   

    Getting started with Linux. The first steps. 

    The Linux virtual terminal in action.

    The Linux virtual terminal in action.

    Getting started with Linux for the first time is intimidating if you want to use the Linux command-line and you do not know the commands to use the prompt to its full potential. The best way to get aquainted with the Linux system after installation is to open the Gnome terminal or the Konsole and type man intro. An excerpt from this manual page is shown below. This manual page will give you a quick introduction to the BASH shell or Bourne Again Shell, this is the default shell prompt for Linux, there are others such as the sh shell, as well as Ksh, Zsh and Csh, but the Bash shell is the easiest and most common shell used by Linux distributions. If you wish to type a command such as cat myfile.txt you do not need to type the whole command. You may type: cat my[TAB], i.e type cat my then press the TAB key to auto-complete the command. Once you get used to using the TAB key to auto-complete the commands you are typing on the Linux command line the process will become very fast indeed. Using TAB will show a list of possible completions of a command making it clear what you need to type. You may also use wildcards, i.e typing ls DS* in a folder full of files will show a listing of all of the digital camera pictures that are in the folder. or ls -l *.jpg to list all of the jpg files in that folder.

    INTRO(1)                                                    Linux User's Manual                                                    INTRO(1)
    
    NAME
           intro - Introduction to user commands
    
    DESCRIPTION
           Section  1  of  the manual describes user commands and tools, for example, file manipulation tools, shells, compilers, web browsers,
           file and image viewers and editors, and so on.
    
           All commands yield a status value on termination.  This value can be tested (e.g., in most shells the variable $?  contains the status  of  the last executed command) to see whether the command completed successfully.  A zero exit status is conventionally used to
           indicate success, and a nonzero status means that the command was unsuccessful.  (Details  of  the  exit  status  can  be  found  in
           wait(2).)  A nonzero exit status can be in the range 1 to 255, and some commands use different nonzero status values to indicate the
           reason why the command failed.
    
    NOTES
           Linux is a flavor of UNIX, and as a first approximation all user commands under UNIX work precisely the same under Linux (and  FreeBSD and lots of other UNIX-like systems).
    
           Under  Linux there are GUIs (graphical user interfaces), where you can point and click and drag, and hopefully get work done without
           first reading lots of documentation.  The traditional UNIX environment is a CLI (command line interface), where you type commands to
           tell the computer what to do.  That is faster and more powerful, but requires finding out what the commands are.  Below a bare minimum,
           to get started.
    
       Login
           In order to start working, you probably first have to login, that is, give your username and password.  See also login(1).  The program login now starts a shell (command interpreter) for you.  In case of a graphical login, you get a screen with menus or icons and
           a mouse click will start a shell in a window.  See also xterm(1).
    
       The shell
           One types commands to the shell, the command interpreter.  It is not built-in, but is just a program and you can change your  shell.
           Everybody has her own favorite one.  The standard one is called sh.  See also ash(1), bash(1), csh(1), zsh(1), chsh(1).
    
           A session might go like
    
                  knuth login: aeb
                  Password: ********
                  % date
                  Tue Aug  6 23:50:44 CEST 2002
                  % cal
                       August 2002
                  Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                               1  2  3
                   4  5  6  7  8  9 10
                  11 12 13 14 15 16 17
                  18 19 20 21 22 23 24
                  25 26 27 28 29 30 31
    
                  % ls
                  bin  tel
                  % ls -l
                  total 2
                  drwxrwxr-x   2 aeb       1024 Aug  6 23:51 bin
                  -rw-rw-r--   1 aeb         37 Aug  6 23:52 tel
     Manual page intro(1) line 1 (press h for help or q to quit)
    

    There is a hypertext copy of this manual page here: http://linux.die.net/man/1/intro.

    This is a very good way to learn the basic commands to navigate around your UNIX/Linux system with the command line. And my Linux PDFs here: http://www.securitronlinux.com/lc. You can even type man man to learn about the man command and how it works. A manual page that has 1 at the end, for example ls(1) is a command manual page. A manual page such as printf(3) is a manual page for a programming function. Sometimes a command and a function like printf() share the same name, in this case type man 3 printf to access the desired manual page.

    To list a folder like in DOS, type ls -la to list the files vertically. If you type ls -hula, then the file listing will use kilobytes and megabytes instead of bytes in the filesize column.

    Creating a zip file containing a file with the Linux command line is very easy. Just use the zip command that should be included with your Linux distribution. The -8 parameter is to increase the level of compression applied to the file. You can use -9 for even more compression.

    [email protected]:~/Documents$ zip -8 phobos3.zip phobos3.wad
    updating: phobos3.wad (deflated 64%)
    

     
  • John Cartwright 10:13 AM on December 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Updated with new theme. I hope this looks better than the old one.

     
  • John Cartwright 4:10 PM on December 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Crack a Fedora 25 password with john the ripper easily. This is fun. 

    To crack a Fedora Core password hash easily, the john the ripper utility will come in handy. This allows cracking of Linux passwords without much fuss as long as the password is in the wordlist.

    Install the utility.

    [[email protected] Documents]# dnf install john
    

    Then it is necessary to make a copy of the /etc/shadow file in a directory like ~/Documents, this will make it easily accessible. Just make sure your user has permissions to read it.

    [email protected] Documents]# cp /etc/shadow /home/jason/Documents/passwords
    
    [email protected] Documents]# chown jason passwords 
    
    [[email protected] Documents]# chgrp jason passwords
    

    Now the password cracking can begin.

    [[email protected] Documents]$ john passwords -wordlist=rockyou.txt
    Loaded 2 password hashes with 2 different salts (crypt, generic crypt(3) [?/64])
    Press 'q' or Ctrl-C to abort, almost any other key for status
    mypasswordissecure        (jason)
    1g 0:00:00:11 0% 0.08857g/s 323.1p/s 331.6c/s 331.6C/s 7895123..bloody
    Use the "--show" option to display all of the cracked passwords reliably
    Session aborted
    [[email protected] Documents]$ mc
    
    [[email protected] Documents]$ john passwords -wordlist=rockyou.txt
    Loaded 2 password hashes with 2 different salts (crypt, generic crypt(3) [?/64])
    Press 'q' or Ctrl-C to abort, almost any other key for status
    302c64&*(        (jason)
    

    The password was cracked, this password is not very secure after all. This is a very easy way to get Linux passwords, instead of using oclhashcat. Although that is good too. Cracking a Debian password with oclHashcat is doable and fun too. http://securitronlinux.com/bejiitaswrath/how-to-crack-a-sha512-linux-password-hash-with-oclhashcat-on-linux/. This is easy as well, but requires more setup and preparation.

     
  • John Cartwright 3:15 PM on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , business, privatised   

    Privatization in the public sector, why is it necessary? 

    The global phenomenon of privatization was embraced around the world during the 1990s by all forms of government with disparate political aims, with Australia “setting the pace for privatization around the world” (Mead and Withers, 2002, p. 7). Privatization can defined as the “full or partial transfer of ownership of public assets to the private sector” (Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin, 1997, p. 1). As shown in Figure 1, Australia has had one of the most extensive periods of privatization among OECD countries from 1990-1997. The two fundamental justifications for privatization over the last two decades have been: the generation of revenue, crucial to government investment and the containment of public debt, and the improvement of the performance of the firm or business, crucial to a prosperity of the firm and the satisfaction of consumers.

    One major beneficial outcome that drives privatization is the belief that a private enterprise will operate more efficiently, at the benefit of consumers. Private enterprises have more incentive to operate efficiently, as firms strive to achieve the major goals of a business of profit maximization, meeting shareholder expectations, increasing market share, maximizing growth, participating in satisfying behavior and minimizing costs. The privatization of Victoria’s public transport system, first implemented in 1999 under the Kennett-Liberal government, corroborates with this theory of self-interested private enterprise efficiency. After the incumbent system was found to be “deficient”, private ownership was seen as a “better way to provide the service” (Kennett, 2007). This particular policy of privatization precipitated many economic and social benefits, such as a strong increase in patronage, with train patronage rising by 37.6 percent and tram patronage rising 25.5 percent respectively according to a 2007 report titled Victoria’s Public Transport: Assessing the results of privatization. Other economic and social benefits include improvements in reliability and punctuality of the public transport service, increase in the amount of services provided, and an increase in the amount of vehicles in the system.

    Privatization is also seen as a major source of government revenue. Government revenue from privatization, such as the generation of approximately $55 billion worth of government revenue received during the period of 1988-2007, has proved to be vital to the reduction of forever-accumulating public debt and the investment in infrastructure. The main reason for privatizing Telstra, other than for the deregulation of the Australian telecommunications industry to provide more competition in the market, was to raise funds to pay for the abundance of public debt in Victoria. The privatization of Telstra raised $14.3 billion. The ability to readily pay off public debt will lead to an increase in economic activity as governments are able to inject more money into the economy, as governments will have more money to allocate to expenditure and investment.

    Major issues involving privatization include privatizing a natural monopoly, reduction of scope for public input, and the potential for corruption. The privatization of a government owned monopoly can only result in a privately owned, ungovernable monopoly – this is detrimental to the overall rationale of privatization as competition is the main contributing factor to an efficient service. Furthermore, the privatization of a government owned business equates to the minimization of scope for public influence, as the public can’t influence the actions of a business through parliamentary election or through government representatives- which was formerly possible in the case of a government owned business. The epitome of the issues associated with privatization was the privatization of the government owned Australian Wheat Board (AWB) in 1999, which saw the creation of the privately owned Australia Wheat Board (International) Limited (AWBI). The AWBI secured a “statutory monopoly”, additionally becoming “corrupt and incompetent” through the payment of kickbacks to the oppressive regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (Kohler, 2007). These issues inevitably raise damaging consequences on the economy, such as the obvious abuse of market power, leading to an insufficient allocation of resources across the economy.

    Australia’s extensive period of privatization over the past two decades is primarily accredited to two main economic schools of thought. Firstly, the fact that privatization will create extensive amounts revenue, which will be typically be allocated to the containment of public debt. Secondly, the belief that a private enterprise will operate more efficiently than a government owned enterprise.

     
  • John Cartwright 8:45 PM on December 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apple2, , , , xscreensaver   

    How to have a retro looking terminal on your Linux desktop. 

    To get a retro terminal for Linux that looks like an Apple II using an RF adapter to connect to a TV, use this command. This uses the xscreensaver hacks to provide a nice alternative to the boring mate terminal and xterm.

    /usr/lib/xscreensaver/apple2 -text -fast -program /bin/bash
    

    This is what I get when using this example, I just wish it could look like a curved CRT screen or a very old virtual terminal connected via serial.

    Linux terminal that looks like an Apple II using an RF adapter.

    Linux terminal that looks like an Apple II using an RF adapter.

    This video shows a demonstration of a VT320 terminal connected to a Linux machine. This would be an interesting way to access a Linux server machine. Need a way to have it as a fullscreen terminal and use it on a CRT monitor and it would be complete. But an orange background would be the best. Just like the terminal in the video.

    There is also cool-retro-term. This is a terminal emulator that looks just like a CRT terminal.

    Find installation instructions for Fedora 25 here.

    http://software.opensuse.org/download.html?project=home%3AKAMiKAZOW%3AFedora&package=cool-retro-term.

    Use these commands as root to install this package.

    dnf config-manager --add-repo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:KAMiKAZOW:Fedora/Fedora_25/home:KAMiKAZOW:Fedora.repo
    dnf install cool-retro-term
    

    This is what cool-retro-term looks like running on my Fedora 25 desktop. Very cool app. This is how to get a retro lookalike UNIX terminal on a modern Linux desktop.

    Cool-retro-term running on Fedora.

    Cool-retro-term running on Fedora.

     
  • John Cartwright 9:58 PM on December 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1.0.evolution, 2.2, back, , , , , ,   

    A look at the evolution of the Linux desktop through the ages. Specifically Red Hat Linux. 

    The Red Hat Linux Gnome desktop 1.0

    The Red Hat Linux Gnome desktop 1.0. This is a very old version of Gnome.

    The Linux desktop has undergone a significant change in layout since the earliest days of the Gnome desktop that we saw on Red Hat Linux back in the day. Those were the days of dial up Internet and 14″ monitors that were far smaller than the massive computer screens that we have now. And the ease of installation is improved. although installation of Red hat Linux 6.2 was very easy; the configuration of Xfree86 was not always much fun compared to now when we have Xorg which will auto-detect hardware and set up everything for you upon loading the graphical interface. The old Red Hat Linux interface was made to resemble Windows `95. And it was quite a clean and usable interface that was fun to use and attractive. This screen-shot of the Red Hat Linux 9 desktop shows a similar look; the clean and attractive desktop is the same as the older Red Hat screen-shot on the top of this page. The wallpaper is even the same style. RHEL is the current implementation of the old Red Hat distribution, but the Fedora Linux distribution is the free version that has Red Hat support and has a large community behind it that supplies patches and support websites to help out users of this distribution. The latest RHEL 7 distribution will feature the Gnome 3 desktop instead of the Gnome 2 desktop that has been a feature of this distribution until now.

    Gentoo Windowmaker desktop.

    Gentoo Windowmaker desktop.

    It is good to see that the Red Hat company maintain their branding as their products evolve. Sure the newest Red Hat desktops are slightly similar; but the Red Hat Enterprise products still keep the same Gnome desktop that the older Red Hat Linux products used. This is a sample screen-shot of the RHEL desktop. RHEL is the current implementation of the old Red Hat distribution, but the Fedora Linux distro is the free version that has Red Hat support and has a large community behind it that supplies patches and support websites to help out users of this distribution. The latest RHEL 7 distribution will feature the Gnome 3 desktop instead of the Gnome 2 desktop that has been a feature of this distribution until now. Of course, this was only a matter of time; the Gnome 3 desktop is the next stage in the evolution of the Linux desktop; this features a touch interface with an applications menu that shows a whole screen full of large icons separated into categories that allows you to select the application that you are interested in. Older Linux desktops like FVWM 95 and Afterstep took a differing route; one was emulating the Windows `95 desktop and the other was copying the NextStep desktop.

    Nowadays; the desktops are copying the Macintosh OSX look. This is not the best thing; it is better to focus on usability than whatever desktop layout you can copy. That is why people still use the old Xfce desktop and other simpler window managers like Awesome WM and Openbox. That is the natural thing to happen though. The touch screen interface is a fad due to the Android and IOS devices with touch screens and all of the touch screen interfaces in movies like the Avengers and Iron Man. iron Man even used a holographic interface with projected holograms that can wrap around your arm and can be “picked up” and moved around. I am not sure how that is supposed to work; but maybe in the future we will have holographic computer interfaces. But moving your arms around for ages to operate a computer interface all day would really be tiring. I have seen a large computer monitor that was a touch screen; but that would be too tiring to use for long periods without getting very sore indeed. People do not want to use a Minority report interface waving your arms around to navigate the interface. How would you write a long thesis on such an interface; or on an on-screen keyboard that provides no tactile feedback to your keystrokes like a real keyboard?

    Thank god for the desktop PC and laptops that actually have a real keyboard that is actually usable and the form factor that actually makes sense. The Linux Mint MATE desktop that mimics the Gnome 2.32.2 desktop in intimate detail is a godsend when installing desktop Linux these days; I use it with dual monitors and it works a treat. I did take off my second monitor for a short time; then I put it back on again; I really cannot cope without it. The only problem is that when I have Youtube running in full-screen on one monitor and I do something on the other monitor; it will switch out of full-screen. But that is a minor bug. The MATE desktop is the reason I formatted over my Ubuntu 12.10 installation and installed Linux Mint 14 instead. It really is that good. I remember installing the Gnome 2.10 release from source code on an old Zenwalk machine that had Xfce installed and it worked a treat. That was back in the days of kernel 2.6.12 and that was quite a good Linux distribution. The KDE 3.4 desktop was another good Linux desktop interface; before they disabled the file management ability of Konqueror and implemented the Dolphin file-manager instead. But a KDE 3.4 desktop was very fast indeed. KDE 2.2 was even better; wih a great range of packages and utilities that came with it. The Trinity desktop project is an open source project that is bringing the KDE 3.4 desktop back in 2012-2013.

    This is an interesting project; I would be very happy if someone made a PPA available for Linux Mint 14, I would be installing that right away. One thing I miss is the old KDE World Clock that would show the area of a world map that was illuminated by the sun. Now that is a Plasmoid, but it should be a fully functioning application for the KDE 4.9 desktop. They have done some things wrong when the moved from 3.5 to KDE 4.0. But the main thing they did wrong is the release of the KDE 4.0 code into the wild before it was ready for the mainstream. This meant that a lot of Linux distributions like OpenSUSE and Ubuntu deployed the KDE desktops before the code was optimized and this resulted in performance degradation on people’s desktops. But overall the advent of the MATE desktop as well as the presence of Xfce and Lxde provide sane alternatives if you do not like the Unity and Gnome 3 interfaces that are prevalent these days. They show the Unity interface on television these days; but the computer interface in the TRON Legacy movie was better; that was running on a variant of the Solaris UNIX operating system. I wish that Encom was really selling their operating system; I would get a copy and be happy to try that out. As I love UNIX; I would be right at home. I have found an interesting PDF file here: http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/teaching/courses/cp1/unix.pdf this contains a listing of UNIX commands and this will be very interesting to any Linux user.

     
  • John Cartwright 9:25 PM on December 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 25, , ,   

    Just installed Fedora 25 to replace Ubuntu. 

    My hard drive with Ubuntu 16.10 failed, so I decided to install Fedora 25 instead. This Linux distribution has the advantage of NSA Selinux that greatly improves security. And the Gnome desktop is very fast and good looking to boot. Adding the RPMFusion repositories to Fedora allows the installation of restricted codecs and associated software such as mpv and audacious. Way better than Windows 10. that has had WIFI failures associated with a recent update. That is really bad. Fedora installs updates easily with the dnf update command and there are no problems. The mpv movie player works perfectly on Fedora Core 25. Even my Turtle Beach PLA headset works out of the box. I just had to tell Fedora to select it as the default playback device. But Linux in general works so well on modern hardware, there is not the need to download and install drivers, it will just load a kernel module. I am using a Gnome desktop with an Nvidia card and I did not have to install the Nvidia drivers. it just worked. With the Fedora Live DVD and the freshly installed distribution. We have come a long way since the first Gnome 1.0 desktop and now we have automatic setup of device drivers and everything just works.

    That is a good future for open source software. Install the RPMFusion repository by running this command.

    su -c 'dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm'
    

    Then run dnf and update the package repositories.

    # dnf update
    

    Then the installation of software may proceed.

    # dnf install mpv mplayer audacious audacious-plugins
    

    This is how easy it is to setup restricted software on Fedora 25. To list all gstreamer packages, run a command like this.

    # dnf list gstreamer*
    

    Here I am listing all mplayer packages.

    # dnf list mplayer*
    Last metadata expiration check: 1:12:09 ago on Sun Dec 11 20:09:30 2016.
    Installed Packages
    mplayer.x86_64                                                   1.3.0-4.fc25                                             @rpmfusion-free
    mplayer-common.x86_64                                            1.3.0-4.fc25                                             @rpmfusion-free
    Available Packages
    mplayer-doc.x86_64                                               1.3.0-4.fc25                                             rpmfusion-free 
    mplayer-gui.x86_64                                               1.3.0-4.fc25                                             rpmfusion-free 
    mplayer-tools.x86_64                                             1.3.0-4.fc25                                             rpmfusion-free
    

    This way, we can easily see what is available for Fedora.

     
  • John Cartwright 10:23 PM on December 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dwarf, , ,   

    New exoplanet discovered 32.7 light-years from Earth. 

    Astronomers have discovered a new exoplanet that is 37.7 light-years from Earth. And it is a very short trip too, at 50,000,000 miles per hour, an intrepid space traveler could reach it in 43.86 average Gregorian years. That is not long at all. At 8000,000,000 kilometers per hour, our space travelers would reach it in 4.412 average Gregorian years. But we do not have the technology to reach that massive speed, and a grain of sand hitting the ship at that speed would destroy it. 8000,000,000 kilometers per hour is 2.222×10^6 km/s or 7.4x the speed of light in a vacuum. That is an impossible speed. The spacecraft would travel 1 kilometer in 450 nanoseconds. Impressive. Even 500,000,000 miles per hour is 0.7456x the speed of light and it would require immense amounts of energy to sustain this velocity. And they say it is “only” 32.7 light-years away. If the space travelers are in the Starship Enterprise E, then this is no problem. At warp 7, it would take 18 days to get to the new exoplanet in the Enterprise E. So Jean Luc Picard would be the first to see the new planet and explore the surface with some unsuspecting red-shirts. Then they are picked off one by one by the monster in the jungle.

    Apparently, the planet is outside the habitable zone of its star, it might be too hot for life. At five times the mass of Earth, the gravity would be higher than Earth and this would make walking on the surface harder. This planet is orbiting GJ 536, a red dwarf star. This would give the planet`s surface a blood red hue. Very sci-fi indeed. This would be quite different than Earth with a yellow dwarf star. But this planet will not be visited until we have some sort of warp drive technology. The em-drive is promising, but this would only work if you could continuously accelerate until the craft was traveling at a very high speed to reach the planet in time. But there are some amazing things in the wide universe that are waiting for us to discover them and we really should get started.

     
  • John Cartwright 5:00 PM on December 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Operating Systems. What are they? 

    The operating system runs on a computer and is the interface between a kernel and the user. The operating system allows you to do something useful with your computer. Without one it would boot up and then you would be able to type on the keyboard and move the mouse but nothing would happen. Computer hardware resources are managed by the operating system, it makes possible for programs to communicate with the computer hardware. The operating system kernel is the actual intermediary between the computer hardware and the software. This handles the loading of device drivers to enable hardware to function when it is plugged in. A multi-tasking operating system is one that makes it possible to run multiple tasks on the one operating system. A multi-user operating system is typically used on a network; this allows multiple users to login to a server and make use of the computing resources at one time.

    An operating system is used to allow users to make use of a personal computer as a workstation. This enables the installation of software to make use of the computer for various tasks, such as word processing; and graphics manipulation. Linux is built upon the kernel. This is the interface between the hardware and software. The rest of the operating system; the command-line interface and the GUI runs on top of this and allows the user to make use of the computer. Microsoft Windowstm uses a kernel as well; this also allows the operating system to load drivers and manage hotplugging of hardware. The Linux kernel uses kernel modules that are drivers that are loaded when new hardware is detected; this then allows the hardware to work. Some hardware such as ATI 3D graphics drivers is installed manually after the hardware is installed in the machine. This then builds the actual ATI driver for the particular Linux kernel that you are running.

    Components of an operating system
    What components does an operating system have?

    The main components of an operating system are as follows.

      Kernel.
      Bootloader.
      Device Drivers.
      Interrupts. Running certain code in response to an event.
      Executing programs. Allowing compiled code to be executed on the system to load an application into memory.
    Three types of operating systems.
    What are the differences between them?

    Batch operating system.

    This is an operating system that runs a series of tasks in batches. This saves time when the operating system is asked to perform many tasks within a certain time period.

    Real time systems.

    Real time systems. A real time operating system is designed to handle events as they occur. This is suitable for machinery control and other deployments that require instant responses to user requests. For example; an air traffic control system that has to show the positions of aircraft in real-time to prevent accidents.

    Multitasking operating systems.

    A multi-tasking system allows the execution of multiple processes and tasks simultaneously. This is required for modern computer systems that run many processes and programs at once to make the computer useful for users who would be running Word; Firefox and maybe a music player at the one time. Each process is given a portion of the CPU time so that they can run alongside each other. Each process is still only running one at a time; but if one process is temporarily stalled; then it gives another process a chance to run. This means that a Hyperthreaded or multicore CPU is more efficient than a single core CPU.

    The dual and quad core processors that we use these days are much more powerful than the older Pentium IV Hyperthreaded CPU that was powerful for its time; but a modern quad core i7 CPU is more efficient. Clock speed alone is not the determining factor in selling a CPU. A modern 2.6 GHZ CPU is still more powerful than a 3.06 GHZ Pentium IV CPU from 2003. Efficiency is important for a modern CPU; this allows it to manage many running threads easily.

    That is how a multi-core system works; the many cores working together allow a multitasking operating system to perform smoothly and quickly.

    Installing and licensing Windows 7 for 50 users.

    The best way to license Windows 7 for 50 users is through a volume licensing scheme. A full volume license for Windows 7 will allow 50 users to make use of the Windows 7 operating system on all computers. The Enterprise, Ultimate and Professional editions of Windows 7 are the best candidates for volume licensing. Purchasing new computers and copies of Windows 7 with each one is a good way to enjoy the benefits of software volume licensing. Using Software Assurance to create a volume license to cover the whole site will allow 50 computers to be installed with a copy of Windows 7.

    There is a three year outright purchase. You own the software after three years and continue to pay for Software Assurance to keep the deal going. There is also the opportunity for a three year rolling rental of the software. This is cheaper; but you do not own the software. This means that if the license expires you must give up the software. The outright purchase of the software would make the most sense; you have the keys available and you can show them in the case of a software licensing audit. Purchasing an Open Value Subscription (OVS) license for all of the computers would be the best way to make sure all of the machines were covered. There are benefits in terms of extended hot-fix support; new version upgrades and training vouchers, (1,2) per 50 licenses that may be put towards MS approved training courses. This would be helpful if staff training was required and a certification or two would help them in the workplace. The Software Assurance method is easier than purchasing OEM licenses for 50 computers. That is an option; but Software Assurance has many benefits as outlined above.

     
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