Updates from April, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • John Cartwright 11:08 AM on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , PSN, , ,   

    PS3 Other OS feature removed. Linux on the PS3 no more. 

    PS3 Cell CPU.

    PS3 Cell CPU.

    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.

    Sony FAIL.

    Sony FAIL.



  • John Cartwright 1:31 PM on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Playstation Network is a failure of epic proportions. 

    PSN Network story.

    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:

    • Name
    • Address (city, state/province, zip or postal code)
    • Country
    • E-mail address
    • 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.

  • John Cartwright 2:54 AM on April 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Windows 8 Build 7955 Milestone 3 Has Been Leaked. 


    Windows 8

    Windows 8

    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

    Size: 2.47GB (2,657,079,296 bytes)

    Filename: 6.1.7850.0.winmain_win8m1.100922-1508_x86fre_client-enterprise_en-us.iso

    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.

  • John Cartwright 10:43 AM on April 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    When planets collide. 

    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.

  • John Cartwright 1:26 PM on April 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Laptop maintenance. 

    IBM Thinkpad CPU cooler.

    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.

  • John Cartwright 3:52 AM on April 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    FizzBuzz Solution in C. 

    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.

    HFizzBuzz Solution in c

    FizzBuzz Solution in c

  • John Cartwright 7:45 AM on April 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Gnome 3 sucks? The new Gnome 3 desktop is quite different to the previous desktop. 


    Gnome 3 applications menu.

    Gnome 3 applications menu.

    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 dekstop & windows.

    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.

    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.

    • Richard Wicks 8:21 PM on January 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Try navigating to another virtual desktop.


      Seriously – Gnome 2.0 with Beryl was great. Move to a root window, hit the middle mouse button, and select your desktop by rotating it – or go to a panel, select the desktop.

      Now it’s move to the right, click Activities, move across 2560 pixels for me to the far right, select it. What a great idea to make it the furthest possible distance – across your widescreen monitor which is now standard.


      Thank you Gnome development team! You took an efficient to use desktop, and made it much much worse.

      Well, this was my try out of Gnome 3.X on VmWare to see what is available now that Gnome 2.0 is gone. I’m going with Mint. Dare I say that even Unity is better? I feel like washing my mouth for even thinking about saying that out loud.

      Why did you break a nice desktop? This isn’t more usable. I suppose if I were using a TABLET it might be better, but guess what – I’m using a computer. Tablets are toys. If I wanted a toy, I’d be playing with a stupid iPad, Android, or even Surface. I have an i7 with 32 GB of memory, 3TB HDD and a SUCK video card.

      You know what I want to use this machine for? *WORK*. You know, doing stuff to make me money, and there’s nothing more I love is an inefficient desktop to waste my time. WHEE.

      I know how to make this better, make a virtual keyboard and require everybody to use it with a mouse. That will be even BETTER Gnome Development Team.

      What are you trying to do anyhow? Did you realize you had a great desktop and wanted to sabotage it? Sure seems like it.

  • John Cartwright 10:27 AM on April 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Doctor Who’s Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane) Dies at 63. 

    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.

    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?


    This is my music playlist, with a heap of good tracks to enjoy.


  • John Cartwright 12:39 PM on April 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Google Chrome botnet? Fact or Fiction. 

    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.

    How to Install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) – Free Microsoft Anti-virus.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/SystemRequirements.aspx Microsoft Security Essentials. This is very good anti-virus and anti-spyware for Windows 7.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/FeaturesBenefits.aspx Features and benefits of Microsoft Security essentials.

    I have heard bad things about Sophos Antivirus so do not install that ever.

    Here is a thread that is discussing MSE vs Norton. http://www.sevenforums.com/system-security/81233-microsoft-essentials-vs-nortons-2010-a.html

  • John Cartwright 8:31 AM on April 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    OpenBSD Chromium browser port. 

    I have just found this and thought I would share this very useful information, a port of the Chromium browser for OpenBSD UNIX.


    This should be very useful for those who are using that browser and who want a fast web browser for their UNIX desktop.

  • John Cartwright 2:30 AM on April 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    China designing heavy lift rocket for Moon mission. 

    The Moon pierced with a rocket.

    The Moon pierced with a rocket.


    China are designing a heavy lift rocket that will be used for a manned mission to the Moon and beyond. America have been cutting back on their space program, but at least China the new superpower on the world stage can deliver a space program to rival NASA in 1969 when they went all hell for leather to the Moon to beast Kruschev. China have launched two probes to the Moon, the second one is currently orbiting the Moon taking high-resolution photographs. It may not be too much longer into the future when the Chinese have successfully landed on the Moon and we get to see some high-res landing footage for once. The NASA Moon walking footage is terrible, but this is the 21st century and we can take higher resolution imagery than we could in those days although the modified Hasselblad cameras used on the Moon had medium format film in them and that gives very high resolution. If the Chinese can send back pictures of the Lunar lander sitting on the Moon`s surface then it will shut up the people that say the landings where faked in a studio. Especially if they get photos of the footprints as well. At least they are not getting to the Moon in a capsule shot out of a giant gun like in the Jules Verne story From the Earth to the Moon. Although no human could withstand 22000 G of acceleration force, it still is a very good book. That is why I have included this picture, as it is a shot from the famous french film “Le Voyage dans la lune” A Trip to the Moon. This inspired the Smashing Pumpkins music video for “Tonight Tonight”, which is one of the best music videos ever. Who would not want to ride to the Moon in a dirigible? If China can launch 25 tonnes into Low Earth Orbit then they could easily launch a ship to reach the Moon. It is only a matter of time before we have a red flag planted on the surface of the Moon alongside the American flag. That will be a great day, Chinese people do not know about the Tiananmen square massacre but at least they would know that China went to the Moon. Google searching for the Tiananmen square on google.hk only shows idealistic pictures of the square, but if you add the date as well then you get some pictures of the protests.But if I was searching from within China I might not get even that. But I am sure if China went to the Moon, then the footage would be beamed all around the world in high quality.

  • John Cartwright 1:26 PM on April 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Supercomputers using Ubuntu. 

    Windows disk errors.

    Windows disk errors.


    Just reading on Ars Technica about the HPU4Science scientific computation cluster that runs Ubuntu server to provide supercomputing cluster services to it`s users. Linux is the one choice for high performance computing, with 92% of the worlds supercomputers running on Linux. Linux or UNIX is a much better choice for server computing than Windows, *NIX operating systems have more stability and security than any Microsoft Windows operating system from Redmond. They can not create multiuser systems anymore, as the person in the video below says, Windows 2000 was a true multiuser operating system, but nowadays they are creating single user operating systems instead. Ubuntu is free and open-source and easy to install on any computer and you can be browsing the internet and using Friendface or MySpace right away, although Linux Mint 10 is better if you want to get codecs working right away. The best thing about Linux is it is easier to get DVD playback working. I tried that on Windows 7 Ultimate with Windows Media Player 12 and I could play a DVD as it needed the DVD codec to play a DVD. That is annoying and I had to install VLC to play back the disc. On Debian I have libdvdcss and then I can play a disc with Totem or VLC perfectly well right away. And the Gnome desktop on Debian is faster than the Windows 7 Ultimate desktop with the Windows Classic theme. That is why Linux is better than Windows, it has more speed and the aforementioned reliability on it`s side.

    That is freedom for you, if there was no free software the world would be a very dark place, dominated by Bill Gates and the Microsoft Corporation with their annoying and bug prone software that is only a conduit for viruses. I only use Windows like the guy in the video, to run software that will not run on Linux. And Windows Media Center is very good for watching TV. Slashdot.org This is an inspiring story, High school students have sent a balloon up into the atmosphere to take photos of sites on the ground, it is awesome to see that some people are not afraid of science and are giving their students a proper encouraging scientific education which is sadly lacking in America at the moment. Video Footage This is a link to the video, showing a time-lapse of the balloon trip up to stratospheric heights. Pretty awesome too. America needs more scientific minds and less American Idol and Superbowl which is only a distraction from the real world of war and poisoned media that is brainwashing the sheeple to follow sports stars and singers instead of those who actually want to change the world for the better and effect scientific breakthroughs and maybe cure Diabetes or Cancer. That will a change for the better indeed, but most of civilization is too far gone to care, they will be tuning into the 3D royal wedding and applauding that instead of ending war and removing the bankers that are selling off America and Australia to foreign powers in China. America will collapse before any of the sheeple ever wake up. We need to bring back science to the forefront of society not Justin Beiber and Twilight! And in closing, if Ubuntu is good enough for supercomputing then no wonder it is so popular and widely used in the world today especially in Brazil. Embrace software freedom whenever possible eve if you are using Windows, you can use Libreoffice and vlc to play media if you want to, I will be using it to play my DVD’s as it does an awesome job.

  • John Cartwright 6:08 AM on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Windows 8 alpha build leaked? 

    Windows 8 Alpha build screenshot.The Windows 8 alpha build apparently has claimed to have been leaked on the Internet, although the screenshots show a version of Windows 7 just renamed Windows 8. But they did a pretty good job with a very late April fools joke I must say. Although there are sites that say that it just might be real, and it does not show too many new features, but it is only an alpha build retaining many of the Windows 7 elements and bringing in new ones like ISO mounting which you can do in Linux since ever. That would make working with ISO images much easier as you would not need third party software to accomplish that task. The ISO file is about 2.5 Gigabytes, but I am not going to link to that file on this website, but it is available if you look around the Internet. I hope that they keep the excellent security features of Windows 7 and also, they should have more features to encourage users to log in with a limited user account instead of as Administrator as that is not very secure, if you are logged in as a normal user you have more security and peace of mind, and you just need to type in your password when it is needed. The user interface should get an overhaul and look quite different to the Windows 7 interface that we know already. Microsoft must be quite upset with this leak, but it is not the finished product even though that should be on the torrent sites in no time after release as is the case with the Internet where piracy of Windows is a common thing. But that is part of the Internet and has always been that way. Windows 7 is a pretty good release of Windows and should not require too many changes to make Windows 8 good as they are re-using the Windows 7 kernel and updating it instead to add new features that were previously only available in third party software like the aforementioned ISO mounting, that will make Windows even easier to use. The WordPress site has been cracked into and some data was taken but not too much sensitive data was stolen hopefully. This reinforces the need for having strong passwords on your website and keeping up with security patches and updates for your server software and CMS. It does not matter whether your website is on the WordPress website as a hosted blog or on your own hosting, you need a strong password and good security practices to keep your precious website secure. Then you can sleep easily.

    Windows 8 desktop. But incidents like this do happen and afterwards you need to take stock and see what you have lost and what could have been modified on the server. Microsoft have a history of having software they are working on being leaked, this happened as the XP SP3 was given to testers and then it leaked onto the web. A 340Megabyte download of botnet goodness. I am sure there is a lot of well written malware and viruses inside that build. Windows Vista has been leaked online and available for download, but I am not going to link to that. Windows 7 is better than Vista anyway and has better features as long as you have the 64Bit Ultimate version rather than Premium or Basic. Windows 7 Ultimate has Windows Media Center which is very good for watching television on your PC as it has time-shifting, allowing you to rewind live TV and pause television as well like a PVR. Here is something else that I found on the web, a Halo Reach themepack [http://www.softpedia.com/dyn-postdownload.php?p=171085&t=0&i=1] for Windows 7. I just installed this and it is very good, but I wish it would theme the titlebars of the Windows differently. I think you need to patch a theme .dll to do that. The Emerald compositing Window Manager for Linux offers many good themes and allows you to make the Linux desktop look like Windows 7 with the aero theme. But getting back to the Windows 8 alpha leak, it gives us a chance to see some of the features they are planning in the new release and they are quite promising. There is a post here that gives a wishlist of new features that users want in Windows 7. [http://keznews.com/7303_Windows_8__Wish_List_of_Features_and_Functions] I wish they would stop reusing the original Windows code and code a whole new OS from scratch with more security and stability, no more registry that gets clogged up requiring a format and re-installation of the operating system. But that will never happen.

  • John Cartwright 11:57 AM on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    First man in space. 

    The first man in space was Yuri Gargarin who was born in 1934 the son of a carpenter, he went into orbit in 1961 beating the Americans and establishing the Soviet Union as a leader in the space race.Russian Sputnik Satellite. The Americans made it to the Moon, but the Russians were the first to make it into Earth orbit and also the first to put the Sputnik satellite into orbit transmitting it`s beeping signal into radio sets all over the world. That frightened the Americans who were afraid of Russian satellites that could launch Nuclear Missiles at American cities, although these never eventuated, the McCarthyesque fear of communism that was prevalent in the 1050`s and 1960`s. If it had not been for the Russians moving ahead as fast as they did to conquer space, NASA would not have been able to go to the Moon and then build Skylab and the International Space Station. I am not sure what is happening with the NASA return to the Moon, but I am sure that they will head back someday; if India or China do not get there first and plant their flags, I wish they would take more color photos of the surface in very high definition. The Clementine mission photographed the Moon in high quality and with color, the photos reveal a great deal of information about the surface of the Moon than ever before. We need another manned Moon mission, but that may not be happening nowadays with the current economic situation. America may be dying, but India and China are powering ahead and are set to take over the world very soon. NASA have talked about a manned mission to Mars, but that may not happen for a very long time indeed, I have read the Red mars book and the two sequels and they described a future like ours with environmentalists on Mars fighting to keep Mars the way it was and conflicting with colonists who were coming to Mars and traveling down the space elevator to the Martian surface.

    Aristarchus Crater seen from Orbiter. Those are very good books if you are wanting to read a good SciFi book series about a plausible future that ends with humanity traveling to the stars and looking for a new home. The Star Trek warp drive is another concept that has been used in many movies, but as I have said before, the warp drive does not have any real basis in current technology and it would require more energy to work than exits in the whole universe. The excellent book The Physics of Star Trek explains this very well indeed and is a must read for any Trek fan like me. Here is another good page that talks about the physics of Star Trek in great depth, discussing relativity and other factors that will affect anyone wanting to travel into deep space. And if there is time dilation, then their loved ones would be long dead by the time they got back to Earth as if you traveled to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy in an electromagnetic ramscoop space ship that was accelerating at 1g then you would get there in 50 years ship time, but 50,000 years would have gone by on Earth. That is something to think about is it not? if you never stopped accelerating, then you would reach the center of the galaxy in no time. The hard SciFi novel Tau Zero [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_Zero] deals with the consequences of a ship that could not slow down and passes through billions of years in seconds and sees the death and re-birth of the universe, truly a mind-blowing book by any means.The novel footfall [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footfall] was also a great book and also a must-read for any SciFi fan. I read that when I was a child and it had a great effect on me.

  • John Cartwright 10:21 AM on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    FVWM Crystal is the best Window manager. 

    FVWM Crystal Debian desktop. This is a screenshot of the FVWM Crystal desktop I am running on Debian Linux. This is the latest desktop I am trying out and it is the best so far, I was getting annoyed with the Enlightenment E17 desktop and I installed this instead and it is faster and very light on memory as well. Gnome 3 is far too demanding of system resources and it is good to use a lighter and faster desktop to enjoy you computer at it’s full capacity without any problems. Fluxbox is also a very fast Window manager and a newer version of the Blackbox window manager, with new features that are very useful for a modern desktop. KDE 4.6 will have many improvements to the way it is used, but it will always be inferior to the versions from 2.2 to 3.4 that were the best versions of KDE to be installed on your computer, The Windows 7 interface is much better than the KDE 4.5 desktop and is much faster than KDE nowadays and has many cool keyboard shortcuts. The Windows Key + Left & Right keys combination to move windows is awesome, it is about time that Windows included Compiz styled keyboard shortcuts to make using the desktop even easier. But there are always desktops like FVWM, Fluxbox or Lxde to move to once Gnome and KDE get too bloated. And that is the good thing about Linux, you have the choice to use a different desktop if you do not like the one the distribution like Ubuntu or Linux Mint came with out of the box. The point of Linux is freedom which differentiates it from the other OS that locks you into one environment. But Windows XP is still going strong even though it is quite dated and useless by now and practically abandon-ware status, but it is still popular. A huge majority of my visitors use Windows XP and I guess it works well for most people, but I prefer something more up to date and running Debian Unstable is actually very stable and very fast, faster than OpenSuse and Ubuntu.

    Windows 7 Ultimate with Microsoft Security Essentials is secure enough for day to day usage, I got the Cornficker worm on my machine and MSE stopped and removed the virus automatically. That is very good for a free product. Microsoft have got things right with that anti-spyware program that is for sure, it does an excellent job of preventing security risks to your Windows installation and stopping viruses in their tracks. Sure, Linux is more secure than Windows, but Doom Builder 2 will not run on Linux with Wine, so I need to run Windows to be able to run that. Another portion of my visitors run Windows Server 2008, that is not something I have run before, I have run Windows Server 2003 R2 and that was OK, but not as stable as Windows 7. I have used Windows since Windows 3.0 and I could not have imagined something as good as 7, Windows `95 was quite a good operating system and then I ran Windows `98 and I even registered my installation with Microsoft. Never again, I do not see the point of that, I would rather register as a Debian user as that is what I am running now and my website is about freedom after all, and Debian is a free operating system. If there had never been a Linux or UNIX operating system in the past and there was only IBM DOS and then Microsoft, the world would be a very sad place, without software freedom and free as in beer software, where the ingredients are easily accessible by anyone who visits kernel.org and downloads the Linux kernel source code, their would not be as many websites as their would be no LAMP servers like mine running WordPress and computers would be destined to run unstable and insecure Windows server software instead. That would be a very dark and dreary world to live in indeed. The world would also have been an interesting place if there had been no Microsoft Corporation and the current operating system in place of Windows was IBM DOS and the Geoworks GUI. That would be quite interesting and could spark quite a lot of discussion over which is the better interface. Geoworks even had AOL advertising on the desktop just like Windows `98!

    Windows 3.0 launched in 1990 and brought a whole new GUI to the computer desktop, with Windows that could be dragged around and resized. That was quite a cool thing even though the Xerox Star System had that type of thing in 1981 that had icons on the screen, a mouse, folders and Ethernet networking. If Microsoft had never eventuated, then that system could have been the computer of the present day. That would have been amazing to play Doom on such a machine in 1993 instead of playing on MSDOS 5 or 6.22. That would be incredible, but would the company that handled the Xerox system in 2011 have developed monopolistic practices by now or would they stay a good and just company like the Free Software Foundation? Maybe Microsoft are losing their relevance in these days of Cloud computing and increasing use of mobile devices to browse the web they need to innovate or be left behind and the solution to that is not to squeeze the competition out of the picture and then take over with your own product, they need to bring out something even more revolutionary for Windows 8 and Windows 9. but it is good to reminisce about the past and what we used way back then, I remember my first computer I used, it was a Trs 80 PC that was the first real PC I ever used and very good it was too.

    • Admin 8:44 AM on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Here is a page of information that might help you out, I would think Xinerama would help with that, but I have never used dual monitors before.


      Gnome is getting quite annoying to me as well, and therefore I moved to fvwm-crystal. Setting up dual monitors should be easier on Linux, but see if that helps you and get back to me if you need more help.

    • Dominique Michel 2:06 PM on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Nice to see your review of fvwm-crystal. The last versions add a lot of new and interesting features.

  • John Cartwright 9:06 AM on April 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , deckard, , , replicants, runner,   

    Blade Runner styled movies no longer made? 

    Blade Runner Deckard. After watching the Blade Runner movie I am wondering why we never see movies like this these days. Nowadays the movies showing the future never show it like the Blade Runner movie ever did. The dystopian future shown in the Blade Runner movie with the crumbling buildings and dark rainy weather is very different to the sterile and bright future shown in Star Trek. That series always shows the future where there is no trash laying around and everything is tidied and the green-keepers have trimmed the grass to perfection everywhere and the whole city is a picture postcard. We are in the year 2011 and our world is far from that idealistic picture of the future shown in that television series. We have oceans clogged with trash and plastic that is getting into the food chain, and the Gulf oil spill that released flesh eating bacteria into the ocean. We need to move away from the current disposable society we live in and clean up the planet if we want to be able to live here much longer. We are poisoning the planet and it is the only one we have to live on. But it is an awesome movie and has a good and wholesome message of love that is sadly missing in our modern world that is more focused on the sporting stars and Justin Beiber than any scientific achievements that could save us in the future. There is that 12 year old boy that is trying to disprove the theory of relativity. But the theory of relativity is fixed and it is an established fact and will not be disproved just like that. There is a speed that light travels at and it is fixed. You can not sidestep it and travel to the stars anytime soon, traveling at the speed of light requires infinite energy and that is something we do not have.

    Photons have no mass therefore they are easily accelerated to the speed of light, but a spaceship has mass and it can not travel anywhere near the speed of light and no technological achievement will help with this anytime soon, the Star Trek warp drive is also the stuff of fantasy as well as the countless “space drives” invented by science fiction authors to allow their characters to travel the universe. Some where quite inventive, but still strictly in the realms of fantasy.

    I love Star Trek, but I know that warp drive does not exist and is based on some pseudoscience that has no basis in the real world, it is just for entertainment like “Professional” Wrestling. Although it does have some great story lines and some interesting races, they are all humanoid and only differ with some stuff on their foreheads and skin color. Only once have they encountered a squid type creature, I am not mentioning the pure energy creatures, but they could have any form, so I am not mentioning them so much. Humans differ greatly depending on where on Earth they live, so beings on another planet with maybe a different atmosphere and maybe a lower gravity would look quite different to us here on Earth. A being living on Mars would look very different to an earthling due to the lower gravity which is 1/3 that of Earth. The amount of radiation would be a factor as well, any creature living on Mars would be living underground to escape solar radiation including ultraviolet radiation. Apparently Nikola Tesla received a transmission from another planet, so there could be life out there, it is so far away that it might have died out by the time any transmission we sent in reply traveling at the speed of light would get there. The nearest star is 4.5 light years away and it would take the space shuttle 124,533 years to get to that star traveling at 22,000 Miles Per Hour. It would take 4.242 years to travel to that star at 99% of the speed of light, but as I have said, that speed is impossible to reach with current technology. We need to invent some whole new method of reaching speeds faster than light if we want to travel to distant stars.

    • Admin 6:39 AM on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That is a good point, the Star Trek series uses SciFi propulsion techniques beyond our capabilities, but it gives us the yearning to explore space and see what is out there.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • John Cartwright 5:34 AM on April 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , joining, , ,   

    Interesting /bin/cat trick. How to join mp3 files together. 

    I was playing around with /bin/cat on my FreeBSD laptop and I typed cat file1.mp3 > file2.mp3 and now when I play the file, and it finishes a song it goes on to the next song in the same file! This is pretty cool, But you can not seek on to the next song, you have to wait for it to come up. You could use this to concatenate a whole album into one file, although that would create a huge mp3 file.

    And I have updated my links page. http://www.securitronlinux.com/weblinks/.

    • bestautumnn 7:34 PM on January 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I highly recommend Avdshare Video Converter to convert MP3 to other audio formats, like converting MP3 to OGG, converting MP3 to WMA, converting MP3 to M4A, to WAV, FLAC, DTS, AIFF, etc.

  • John Cartwright 3:10 PM on April 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , story,   

    20 years of Linux. It has been a good ride. 


    Gyroscopically stabilized Chicken.

    The link above is to the Redhat 6.2 Linux distribution, the first version of Linux I used. It ran very well on a Celeron 600 with 64MB of RAM and integrated graphics. Linux has come so far since it was first released, the desktop has gotten even easier to use and with the release of Ubuntu, the Linux desktop has become a reality for more and more users all over the world. Some schools are even installing Ubuntu instead of Windows. I am downloading a CD ISO of Redhat Linux 6.2 and I will be posting screen shots of the distribution running in Virtualbox very soon. That will be very interesting taking a look back at the older Linux distributions and how far we have come in all this time. I will actually make a Youtube video of Redhat 6,2 running and show off the very cool software that came with it. There were good games for Linux back in the day, but now we have Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament original and UT 2003,2004 and Quake 3 and 4.

    There is a huge list of games for Linux and they are very good games, you can play the original Quake in the Darkplaces source port with greatly improved graphical quality and support for high-resolution graphics. Quake 4 has a native Linux client and a graphical installer. Linux is free of the malware and viruses that plague Windows systems and is almost as secure as the legendary OpenBSD UNIX operating system. There are HOWTOs that tell you how to write viruses for a Linux system infecting the ELF executable format used by Linux, I am not sure how many people actually have used that though, that is why you have NOVELL AppArmor or NSA Selinux installed to combat these sorts of viruses.

    But Windows is a target for malware and virus writers because it is so popular and has more security holes like Internet Explorer 6.0 which is still being used sadly. Even Internet Explorer 7.0 has a few bugs regarding CSS. Internet Explorer 9.0 is much, much better and supports just about all CSS and HTML 5.0. In the video I am linking to I am showing Internet Explorer running the ACID tests 1, 2 and 3 and it does very well, much better than IE 6 ever could. Getting back to Linux, there is also Wine, which I have used to run Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun perfectly well, and it can also run World of Warcraft although the setup is rather arcane and complex, but if you could run that game on a more secure and stable operating system then it would be worth all of the effort. It is disappointing that Unreal Tournament 2007 is not available on Linux, we will have to try running it in wine or contenting ourselves with the 2004 release, which is very good mind you, the 2004 version included drivable vehicles in the assault mode and flying craft you could man, which is very cool indeed.

    And as I said, it is a very good game for Linux along with Quake4. The first ever Linux distribution was MCC Interim Linux in 1992. The files of the distribution are still available and it was the first Linux distribution that was capable of being installed on a computer.

    I have included this video explaining the origins of the Linux operating system as spoken my Linus Torvalds himself. He wanted a free version of the commercial UNIX and so he coded the free Linux kernel and created the free open-source operating system we have today. I hate to think of what the world would be like without a free operating system that is free of viruses and free of the annoying Malware and Adware that plagues the Windows systems of the world. Windows 7 when used with a limited user account is very secure and stable, but Linux will always be more secure than the closed source counterpart. Despite the bully boy tactics of Microsoft that had the machines in the OLPC project running Windows instead of Linux, it has been decided that Linux is best for the job and with improvements to power management code it is perfectly suited for the task of running on a cheap and relatively low specification machine.

    FreeBSD is also good for running on a laptop, but they decided on Linux and that is fine by me as developing countries need all of the help they can get and a free and open operating system instead of a closed and unreliable Windows installation is what they deserve. Microsoft only care about their bottom line and not the consumer anyway, Windows 7 is not too bad at all, but Windows XP is practically abandon-ware by now and should not be used these days unless your machine is very old, and then you would be better off with Xubuntu. Nowadays there is ulitelinux that is a very minimal installation of Ubuntu that can run on older machines and give them a new lease of life. If you are using a ethernet modem to access the Internet like I am then you would not need to run Gnome in Linux and you could run Fluxbox or Lxde or even Blackbox and then you would hardly use any memory running such a sleek and fast desktop.

  • John Cartwright 12:45 PM on April 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    20 years of Linux! 

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