Updates from August, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • John Cartwright 9:30 PM on August 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , jobs, , NeXT, ,   

    Steve Jobs leaving quite a legacy. 

    After co-founding Apple computers corporation in 1976, Steve Jobs he helped create the whole personal computer revolution and enable homes and schools to have simple and easy to use computers that revolutionized the world of education and home businesses. In the year of 1984, he once again revolutionized the world of personal computers with the development of the Macintosh computer that was the second computer to use a mouse and a Graphical User Interface, the first was the Xerox Star system in 1981, that featured a monochrome screen and a mouse and icons on the desktop.

    The rise of Microsoft with their Disk Operating System and then Windows 1.0 was a worthy contender, but judging by the rabid fanboyism displayed by Apple users, the Apple hardware will not be going away anytime soon. After leaving Apple corporation in 1985, Steve Jobs ran a computer company named NeXT, the NeXTSTEP operating system was the seed that became MacOS X and NeXT also founded evolved into the iOS operating system that is present on Apple corporations mobile devices, such as the famous Apple Iphone. Steve Jobs ended up purchasing a small animation company named Pixar that went on to be a very famous animation company and making breathtaking quality computer animation. Pixar was sold to Disney corporation for US$7.4 billion.

    Movies these days would not be the same without the incredible detail they can generate these days and Pixar are at the forefront of computer graphics. Weta, who famously worked on the Lord of the Rings films are also a premier company, but they are more special effects rather than wholly computer animated movies. When he returned to Apple in 1997 the company was in a slump with a mediocre product line and reputedly only months from bankruptcy. Fourteen years after this major event, Apple corporation is an extremely profitable company, the major contender and trend setter that are designing extremely stylish computers and deploying the extremely successful Itunes music service for the Ipod music player. Allowing anyone to purchase music and have the track or album on their music player as fast as their Internet connection will allow.

    This is the legacy he leaves, having re-built the struggling Apple corporation into the gigantic revolutionary monster it is today. The latest device, the Ipad and the Ipad2 is currently selling like hotcakes and there are rumors that Apple are intending to re-invent the television, this could take the form of a television connected to the Internet that can download movies and television shows from the Itunes store, but we will have to wait and see what happens with that.

  • John Cartwright 10:33 PM on August 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Useful Linux/UNIX commands. 

    There are many useful Linux commands that are fun to use and can do some very cool things.

    cat mysongpart2.mp3 >> mysongpart1.mp3

    Using /bin/cat to append the second part of a MP3 file onto the first part, making one large file that will play seamlessly from part one to part 2.

    vmstat -a -d

    Displaying information about the reads & writes performed by your disks. Example output below.

    lovecraft@Shothoth ~ $ vmstat -a -d
    disk- ------------reads------------ ------------writes----------- -----IO------
    total merged sectors ms total merged sectors ms cur sec
    sda 170 3 1384 328 0 0 0 0 0 0
    sdb 1532 4161 46414 4180 17 0 136 36 0 2
    sdd 27106 616234 4305488 79824 4013 282825 2294704 1908904 0 79
    sde 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    sdf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    sdg 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    sdh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    sdi 60148 58426 3337678 297136 86521 613992 5600520 3695032 0 473
    sr1 40 0 160 140 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    loop7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    sdc 748 10451 34111 18732 5502 1486 1210206 24203200 0 212
    lovecraft@Shothoth ~ $

    Showing all logged in users.


    Example output below.

    lovecraft@Shothoth ~ $ w
    22:29:54 up 1 day, 1:30, 4 users, load average: 0.14, 0.27, 0.23
    lovecraf tty2 Sun21 6:39m 0.80s 0.79s -bash
    lovecraf tty3 Sun21 25:29m 0.16s 0.15s -bash
    lovecraf tty8 :0 20:35 15:30m 2:43 0.20s gnome-session
    lovecraf pts/0 :0.0 22:15 0.00s 0.29s 0.00s w

    Deleting files from within a tarball. Excellent tip here: http://www.thelinuxdaily.com/2011/08/remove-a-file-directory-from-a-tarball-without-extracting-first/.

  • John Cartwright 8:51 PM on August 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: kill, , , , tasklist, tskill, , windows7   

    Killing a running task in Windows 7. 

    Windows 7 command prompt.

    Windows 7 command prompt.

    Killing a running task UNIX style in Windows 7 is very easy indeed, the tasklist command makes this just as easy as it is in UNIX/Linux.Just type tasklist in the command prompt and it will display a list of running processes. Then look for the PID of the process you want to kill and type tskill followed by the PID of the process and the offending process will be killed.The screenshot to the right shows this in action. Sure, you can press Ctrl-Alt-Del and use the graphical task manager, but this is another good way to manage processes. Just as useful as the ps ax and kill commands in UNIX.

  • John Cartwright 3:49 PM on August 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: khan, kirk, programme, , , , sulu, , uganda, , zefram   

    Ugandan space program is underway. 

    Aircraft under construction

    The Ugandan space program is all set after the announcement that space enthusiasts in the third world country are constructing a space shuttle that they are planning to put into space within six years. How they are going to actually get this contraption into space is a good question, The whole thing looks to be far too rickety to make even warp 2. The Star Trek Corp of engineers would condemn this design on the spot. I wish I knew how they intend to actually overcome the gravity of the Earth and lift this into orbit. The intention is admirable, but they want to simulate a low gravity environment by putting a jet engine aimed upwards in a tunnel and putting a person over the exhaust of the engine and they will be lifted up. And roasted alive. It is better to use a pool of water and put someone in a space suit and they do the work underwater and it simulates zero-g. it is hard to take this seriously when the backyard operators in the picture are building a craft that resembles the Scaled Composites craft they must have seen on television and thought to themselves that they would want to try that in their country. The craft in the picture above is actually a aircraft, but they are working on a space programme, so the intention is to get to space and the Ugandans are not going to give up until they meet that lofty goal.

    Enterprise NCC 1701

    Enterprise NX 01. Predecessor of the NCC 1701.

    How long will it be until they have Starships? The Zefram Cochrane of the future might come from Uganda or maybe not, maybe this is a scam to weasel money out of gullible investors and not a worthwhile venture that will result in Africa going into space. The Chinese are more likely to go to space and it is not too likely that a poor African nation with not much in the way of the needed infrastructure to support a space programme. Sure there was Spacehip One, but that had much more money behind it and was not built in someone`s backyard. But I will wait and see what becomes of this plane and maybe it will evolve into a cool spacecraft, they might know what they are doing after all, but if I wanted a spaceship of my own it would be a warp capable ship like the Daedalus from Stargate Atlantis. With a warp drive installed, it would be able to reach Alpha Centauri in no time and enable exploration of the Milky Way.

  • John Cartwright 6:16 AM on August 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , red hat, ,   

    Linux is 20 years old today! 

    The best thing about Debian at the moment is not that the Unity/Gnome3 desktop is in absentia, it is that it is the most stable and secure distribution of the Linux operating system. I have used other distributions of Linux and I am promoting Ubuntu quite a bit even though I am not running that distribution at all. Debian is the father of Ubuntu and Linux Mint and they it does not have any of the horrible quirks of Ubuntu like the bloated and demanding Unity desktop interface, that is too much like Mac OS X. It would be better in Unity if you could have a more Mac like dock on the bottom of the screen instead of the vertical bar on the left. Apparently you hold down the ALT key to customise the toolbars on the Gnome 3 desktop, but that is not as intuitive as the old Gnome 2 desktop where you right-click on the applets and you can move them around. But just install Xfce and that can replace Gnome perfectly well, I am sure that Xubuntu will still be around and will be quite adequate for the task of providing a usable Linux desktop with a very easy to use desktop interface.

    In other news, it is 20 years ago today that the Linux operating system was born, 20 years ago when Linus Torvalds posted the famous message to comp.os.minix telling the world that he was working on a small project that would not be big and professional like Minix, but was just a hobby. Who knew how popular this free operating system would turn out to be. With large companies like Red Hat behind Linux and the enormous popularity of the Ubuntu distribution, Linux has moved ahead into many arenas with many websites on the Internet like mine powered by Linux and Apache, the free operating system is a very good and reliable alternative to the Windows Server operating system from Microsoft. The first Linux distribution I used was Red Hat 6.2 and that was when I had Windows `98 on my computer. I was amazed at the hardware support in Linux and the software such as the Gimp that allowed me to edit pictures and the overall quality as well as the fact that countless re-boots were not needed to install Red Hat compared to Windows.



  • John Cartwright 6:17 PM on August 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , dialog, , , ,   

    Windows 8 copy and move operations to be overhauled. 

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    If you don’t see a video here or can’t play it, download it here: High quality MP4 | Low quality MP4

    The copy and move operations in Windows are to be repaired, previously in Windows the copy and move operations were quite hit and miss with the dialog printing varying estimations of the remaining time for the operation. This has fueled many jokes over the years and it is time that they started to fix this. The file dialog to the right is showing what will appear if there are some files in the destination folder with the same file-name as the copied files.

    Figure 6 - Conflict (more details)

    But what will happen if there are 500 files being copied? Then you would have to scroll down through a huge list of files checking the ones you want to replace. it would be good if this could wait until the end after all of the other files have been copied across and then prompt the user to take care of the files that had conflicts.

    Then you would not need to sit in front of the machine for hours babysitting the copy operation. The best ideas are the simplest and a setup like that would make the most sense. Users hate having to take care of a copy operation conflict halfway through the task. And I agree that a squared off theme would be a good idea as well, and keeping the option of the Windows classic theme in Windows 8. The MONAD CLI interface that was planned for Windows will stay as the Windows Powershell, providing a very powerful command-line interface for Windows administration. hopefully Microsoft can improve Windows and make it actually worth using. The stability and security of Windows 7 is better than the Windows releases that have preceded it and hopefully in the future the Windows operating system can only get better.

    MSDN Blog post: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/08/23/improving-our-file-management-basics-copy-move-rename-and-delete.aspx

  • John Cartwright 7:39 PM on August 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Fedora 16 Alpha released. 

    Gnome 3 shell.

    Gnome 3 shell.

    The Alpha release of Fedora Core 16 has been released with Gnome 3.1.4 and it is not impressing anyone so far, the Gnome 3/Unity desktop is a step backwards compared to the Gnome 2.30 desktop that it is gradually replacing. The CPU and graphics grunt required to work compared to Gnome 2 and Xfce is much greater, and even if you installed the KDE 4.7 desktop that is not much better either. The Gnome 3 desktop uses GTk 3 with all new Cascading Style Sheet styled configuration files for the themes instead of the XML used in the older GTK 2 themes. I have tried Gnome 3, Unity and KDE 4.6 and I am not very happy with any of them, Gnome 2 on GNU/Debian Linux 6.0 is far faster and more reliable than the newer desktop that needed far more work done on it before we saw it first in Ubuntu 11.04 and also in the Fedora 15 distribution that included the Gnome 3 desktop, with far less customisation options than the Gnome 2 desktop that has thousands of themes available for it on Gnome-look.org. You are better off running Gnome 2 or Xfce for your daily desktop usage, as it seems that Gnome is going downhill these days.

    The Gnome 1.0 and then the Gnome 2 releases where awesome, but now they just want to create something that is inferior to the excellent desktop environments they have created before? But as I said, you can just run Xfce or Lxde and run a very fast desktop without any bloat and wastage. Many of those who have tried the Fedora 16 desktop have gone back to Windows 7, as that is a more intuitive and useful user interface than the horrible Gnome 3/Unity example. The Linux desktop is going downhill and we need to do something before every distribution goes down this road. The Gnome 1.0 environment was very good compared to the Windows `98 operating systems desktop from Microsoft corporation. The menu was very intuitive and the whole experience of using it felt very natural, just like Windows `95 in many ways. Even the Windows `95 user interface is better than what the Gnome team are putting us through right now, I can not believe that they think this is a good idea to move away from the relatively sleek and powerful Gnome 2 interface they developed and moving to Gnome 3 that is far inferior in every way.

    Gnome 1.0 desktop. 1999.

    Gnome 1.0 desktop. 1999.

    The Unity interface is just copying the Mac OS X desktop environment and not coming up with anything that is original at all. I thought that is Linux had the Windowmaker, Blackbox and Fvwm window managers, we could create something unique but sadly they are just wanting to copy everyone else instead of just updating the older and better Gnome 2.

  • John Cartwright 2:13 PM on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , gedit, , ,   

    Converting a comma delimited file to newline delimited. Using sed to perform the conversion. 

    Gedit search and replace dialog.

    Gedit search and replace dialog.

    The search and replace dialog in Gedit. I have used this to convert a comma delimited file to a newline delimited file. I had saved a huge long list of IP addresses that I had to put into the banlist on my forums, and the list was comma delimited, but the latest PHPBB software will not accept that and it has to be newline delimited. Therefore I used this to convert the list to a newline delimited format and then it worked perfectly. Putting the banlist into your PHPBB forums will cut down on a massive amount of spam that would normally overwhelm your forums. The ability to convert an entire file from one format to another with one command is why this tip is so useful.

    This can also be achieved by typing this in a terminal emulator window.

    cat banlist.txt | sed s'/, /\n/gi'; > banlistnewline.txt

    Using sed makes this very simple. This is why the Linux shell is so powerful, the many commands you can use to manage text files and redirection as well as the power of sed and awk make the Linux shell very useful indeed.

  • John Cartwright 7:21 PM on August 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Fluxbox window manager. 

    Just finished rewriting the kernel compilation page on my website to give instructions for building a vanilla kernel source package on Debian Squeeze. This needed to be done, the information there was dated and needed to be replaced. Having up to date information is a good way to keep your visitors coming back.


    I am using the Fluxbox window manager now complemented by the Tint2 toolbar and the Network Manager applet for managing wireless networks. This style of desktop is lightning fast and sleek. The memory usage is very low and everything is very fast and responsive. That is very important when you are fed up with the memory usage of the Windows 7 desktop and even Gnome 2 can be a little slow sometimes and a change is desired.

  • John Cartwright 10:06 AM on August 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Forums updated and Debian bootloader fixed. 

    I have updated the look and feel of my forums at Linux Forums. The theme has been changed to better suit the topics on the boards and I have added a giant list of spammer Internet Protocol addresses to help stop the spam I was getting. This will make a difference if I can make it easier for users to register and post messages without too much hassle. If I get any spam now I can just ban the user and then they would have to re-register on the forums to spam again. I hope I get some people posting and then they will really take off. I had to reinstall my Debian bootloader after an accident with my Debian hard disk and I ended up installing Lubuntu 10.10 temporarily and then after booting into Debian from the Lubuntu boot menu I ran this command: sudo grub-install /dev/sda and the Debian bootloader was re-installed. I have re-booted to test the new bootloader and it works perfectly, now I can remove Lubuntu and keep Debian 6.0 around as it is the best version of Linux with the Debian Stable packages. Coming back to the Debian bootloader installation, use sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda to list the partitions on the target hard disk to make sure it is the right one before you install the bootloader into the boot sector.

    FDISK /MBR is the command used on Windows to do the same thing, if it gets corrupted. But Debian runs better than Windows and is more secure to boot. But if you have any questions to ask me, then feel free to post in the forums and ask me and I will get right back to you and give you the answer you are seeking. I am reading an article in the Pc Authority magazine about the new Ubuntu 11.04 release and the writers thoughts on the new Unity interface. It has copied the MacOS X interface, but someone said that the Windows 7 interface copied the KDE4 interface as well, I thought that KDE was copying Windows. There was an option in KDE 3.5 to set it up to look exactly like the MacOS X interface and this worked very well, but now KDE is seemingly fixed in the style of Windows 7 and is quite bloated compared to the KDE 3.5 and 3.4 releases which were usable on lower specced machines. But the Unity interface and other features missing from Ubuntu 11.10 have put the final nail in the coffin for me, the alpha release of Ubuntu 11.10 was missing the font configuration panel from the System Settings window, how are you supposed to configure the fonts appearance on a LCD panel or a CRT without it? Do you use the Gconf editor instead? :(. Although there is the Gnome Tweak tool available for Ubuntu 11.10 that does allow customisation of the fonts and the Unity theme. You may receive instructions on how to install this tool here:


    This might make using Ubuntu 11.10 a little easier. Having to install a third party tool to configure the fonts and Unity theme in a very popular distribution like Ubuntu is brain dead. In Windows 7 you have the Control Panel where anything you want can be configured. Why does Ubuntu lack this? No wonder I moved to Debian Squeeze and Gnome 2.30.2.

  • John Cartwright 2:30 PM on August 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Adding your user to the sudoers file on Debian. 

    If you want to be able to use the sudo command in Debian to do superuser tasks as your normal user, then you need to edit the /etc/sudoers file to look like this. Use the visudo command to do the editing of the /etc/sudoers file, this will make sure the file is properly edited without errors before it is saved. in this example on Debian 6.0 I am using the username lovecraft and I have added myself to the /etc/sudoers file to be able to use sudo but still requiring to system to ask me for a password.

    # /etc/sudoers
    # This file MUST be edited with the 'visudo' command as root.
    # See the man page for details on how to write a sudoers file.
    Defaults	env_reset
    # Host alias specification
    # User alias specification
    # Cmnd alias specification
    # User privilege specification
    root	ALL=(ALL) ALL
    lovecraft ALL=(ALL) ALL
    # Allow members of group sudo to execute any command
    # (Note that later entries override this, so you might need to move
    # it further down)
    %sudo ALL=(ALL) ALL
    #includedir /etc/sudoers.d

    The members of the group sudo can execute commands as root, and I could have added my user to this group, but I preferred to do it this way. using sudo requires you to have a very strong password on your normal user account as well as your root account unless you disable it with this command: sudo passwd -l root. This is how Ubuntu is set up, the root account is disabled and the sudo command is used to do superuser tasks. But you can set a password for the root account on Ubuntu by typing sudo passwd root.

  • John Cartwright 3:48 AM on August 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bang, big, fay, , king, kong, , , unreal, wray.mummy   

    Big Bang Theory & old movies. 

    Penny walks on stage towards Shledon, the audience is snickering”What are you doing Sheldon”

    The audience bursts into laughter

    “Oh nothing, just installing some RAM”

    The audience is falling over now, punching themselves in the stomach from laughter


    The laughter dies down a bit

    “I just upgraded my OS to 64bit, it can handle more than 3 gigabytes now”

    At this point the audience becomes a single entity, their laughter merging, building, it creates a black hole and rips a hole in the time space continuum.

    “Hey Sheldon, wanna see the new Harry Potter movie?”

    The audience chuckles nervously

    “No, Harry Potter is for children. I prefer realistic and dramatic films, such as Star Wars.”

    The audience laughs heartily

    “Luke, I am your father!”

    The audience begins laughing so hard they burst into flame and their lungs explode. They start pissing themselves from laughter, which fails to put out the flames but makes everything smell like burnt hair and urine. An older gentleman has a heart attack and dies on the floor, burning and covered in piss. The earth trembles below the studio, opening a gaping crack into the underbelly of the earth. Several members of the audience are dragged into the blackness, laughing so hard blood spills from their mouths as they descend into the molten core of the earth, smashing into the rock as they fall. The continued laughter echoes off the rock, causing the largest known earthquake in history, crippling the powergrids of several of the world’s major cities, plunging humankind into darkness for weeks. Martial law is called into effect as the riots increase in size and aggressiveness. As food begins to run out, half of the world’s populace is dead, with the survivors now resorting to cannibalism and subsistence farming.

    “Hey Sheldon, what are you doing?”

    The audience chuckles lightly
    “Not much.”

    Several audience members faint and are carried to the hospital.

    “Oh, ok then.”

    Burbank is rattled by explosions of nuclear magnitude. Somehow, though, the studio survives. Several audience members are walking on the ceiling. Another several have hung themselves from the rafters, unable to cope with not having the oxygen to laugh forever. Still others have been drawn and quartered, to be displayed outside of the studio gates.

    “Hey, Sheldon.”
    The audience laughs loudly.


    The audience explodes into laughter. The building shakes slightly, and paramedics are put on standby (with earplugs in). The cast stands around awkwardly for roughly 5 minutes for it to calm down, each battling the urge to laugh.

    “Windows 7.”

    The paramedics are pre-emptively deployed. The audience scream in laughter and the building starts rattling uncontrollably. Blood runs from most audience members noses and eyes as their brain haemorrhages under the hilarity. Urine streams down the legs of most people as janitors hastily attempt to mop it, to no avail. The vibrations trigger an earthquake that causes huge amounts of damage across California. The earth stops orbiting the sun, and immediately plummets into it’s fiery depths.

    Some funny Big Bang Theory transcripts. i got these off another cool website, and thought I would put these together to make a funny posting for my visitors. I do not watch the Big Theory, I prefer to watch Star trek and Stargate Universe, but now that the adventures of the crew of the Ancient`s spaceship has been cancelled, what else will they replace it with? Shows like this are what make television bearable, even though television is becoming unbearable with thousands of reality television shows that are scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas, I miss the old Big Brother shows with the contestants packed into the Big Brother house and a weekly elimination until the last victor remains to take the million dollars. What happened to that? Now there are a heap of renovation shows and cooking contests, but no Big Brother!

    And movies like transformers 3 are truly terrible as well, the action sequences is all that drives the film, just lots of explosions and shooting, nothing like the classic films such as Citzen kane and the original King Kong, which was re-made by Peter jackson, but it was not as good as the original. Fay Wray is truly beautiful in that film. The original versions of any films are always the best, no re-make can do them justice by any means whatsoever. The classic version of the King Kong movie has an incredible quality to it that the modern films lack. I am not sure what it is, but any modern film is lacking any true film making talent and dispensing more violence and horror instead of truly scaring the audience.

    The Curse of the Mummy`s Tomb is a film that I saw when I was a child and it truly scared me.  Nowadays they have too much blood and decapitations instead of horror, such as the horrid descriptions of twisted torture dungeons in the works of Edgar Allen Poe. The Pit and the Pendulum is a classic piece of horror fiction and the stories are sometimes very psychological and get under your skin. The Saw films and Cloverfield are not scary at all, the former film is just mindless brutality and the latter has only one redeeming feature and that is the monster is not shown as much as in other films, the hand-held camera work is very annoying though. I have heard they are planning a movie of the Smurfs, that is shaping up to be just as derivative and cheap as many other films released these days. And also quite satanic. http://www.cuttingedge.org/ce1021.html

    At least the Shrek films had many pop-culture references that were very entertaining to see. but Hollywood needs to lift their game and make some better films to entertain the older viewers that are too weary of execrable films like Avatar. Sure the visuals in that film were awesome, but the floating mountains reminded me of the Unreal game from 1998. That had the same sort of floating mountains except they were about 180,000 feet above the planet. And you could still breathe… Doom was a very good game, but the visuals in Unreal blow it away. Especially running at 1920×1200 pixels resolution on a modern machine. It is the best looking 90`s game around.

  • John Cartwright 9:23 PM on August 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chgrp, chown, , , folders, , ,   

    Moving folders to your home directory. 

    I recently had to move some folders to my home directory on my Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 installation as the root user and I then had to change the ownership of the folders and the files within to my current user.

    For example I copied the ~/.themes folder to my home folder and I had to change ownership to myself, so I used this command to change ownership to the lovecraft group which my user is a member of:

    [email protected]:/home/lovecraft# chgrp -R lovecraft .themes/

    Then I had to change ownership of the files to my user:

    [email protected]:/home/lovecraft# chown -R lovecraft .themes/

    After these two commands executed as the root user the folders and files belong to your user and you can get access to them without any problems. That is how simple it is to move folders to your home directory and change the permissions and ownership of the files. Type man chown and man chgrp to get more information.

  • John Cartwright 4:12 PM on August 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 40k, doom.linux, , minix, Sinclair QL, ultramarines, warhammer   

    Linux anecdotes 


    Some very interesting Linux anecdotes on this website, stories from the very early days of the Linux operating system, before we had the easy to install Linux distributions we use today. Apparently Linus Torvalds is/was a Doom fan and spent a lot of time playing that game as well as Prince of Persia. I guess many, many people have played that incredible game over the years. I have played around with the old linuxxdoom source code and managed to run that on a 256 color X11 session. But the sdldoom port is easier to get running on a modern PC. Nowadays there are source ports like Zdoom that can be compiled on Linux. I am reading through this book: The Ultramarines Omnibus by Graham McNeill, a story that follows a team of Warhammer 40K Ultramarines in their struggle against many evil foes and the struggles and glorious battles they fight.

    The Ultramarines Omnibus [Book]

    I recommend this book to any fan of the Warhammer 40K universe and even though I have never played the tabletop game or anything, I find this a riveting read with the weapons and history of the Emperors finest soldiers described with amazing detail. If you are a fan of the Warhammer universe then definitely grab a copy of this book, it is well worth the read.


  • John Cartwright 7:01 PM on August 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anonymous, , , , hackers, ,   

    Facebook to be taken down on the 5 November? 

    A look at the fully-packed racks inside a Facebook data center facility.

    A look at the fully-packed racks inside a Facebook data center facility.

    The unrest in London is continuing with no respect shown for the property and businesses that are looted and torched without no consideration for the damage caused to the formerly peaceful suburbs. But the cleanup is beginning and hopefully the Olympic city can recover from this horrible catastrophe.

    In other news, the anarchaic group Anonymous have pledged to take down Facebook, but it remains to be seen how they will manage this. Facebook is like Google, spread across many server farms, it would take a huge attack to shut down this website, not that it would be a bad thing, with all of the privacy violations and the fact that the status updates of every user is open for anyone to read. [http://www.youropenbook.org] Facebook is distributed across 30,000 servers, putting it near the top of distributed websites, only Rackspace, 1&1 Internet and others rate higher. But if this is carried out it will surely backfire and spark calls for more Internet censorship and stricter controls on Internet usage by the masses. but if the popular social networking website even went down, I am sure it would be back up again in no time. And even though there are alternatives like Google+, I prefer Facebook as it works in older browsers. I am using Firefox 3.5 on Debian Stable and Google+ will not work in that old browser at all. There is Firefox 5.01 available, but the 3.5 release has less bugs. Debian Stable 6.0 is better than Linux Mint 11 after all, the Gnome 2.30 desktop is faster and the software is older, but it has had the bugs worked out and I have no problems with any of my hardware. That is why I have the Debian swirl logo on my title graphic. I am promoting the excellent free operating system subliminally.

    More information: http://www.debian.org.


  • John Cartwright 7:28 PM on August 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , looting, organised, , ,   

    London riots organised on Social Networking & Smartphones? 

    A man stands next to a burned-out van after riots on Tottenham High Road in London on Aug. 7, 2011.
    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2087337,00.html#ixzz1UWHPRGRK

    The horrible violence in London, that has made the city look more like Iraq, has been blamed on Social Networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Will this cause more censorship of the Internet? The mindless terrorist gangs that are burning down buildings and torching cars are just fanning the flames of more government restriction of the Internet and do not care about the damage to property and lives at all, they are robbing defenceless people in plain sight and believe they are above the law, but will it become necessary  to send in the army and take down these people with CS gas and even rubber bullets?. This is a huge stain on the Olympic city with just over a year to go before the 2012 Olympics. The riots started over the weekend seem to have been sparked after a peaceful protest outside Tottenham’s police station over the fatal shooting of local man Mark Duggan, killed during an alleged gunfight with police on Thursday, was reportedly hijacked by thugs and looters. Going back in time to 1985, there was a police raid on the home of a Caribbean woman, Cynthia Jarrett resulted in her death. this has fermented hatred of the police and ever since a notorious riot on the Broadwater Farm Estate, the public in the area have harboured a hatred of authority, which has come to a head with the latest riots perpetrated by disenfranchised youth in the area.

    Burning building in London.

    Burning building in London.

    There is no end in sight to the riots and the destruction is seemingly without end, and as I have said before, the Olympic city is burning and shop-fronts have been broken into and looted with no regard for the costs of cleaning up the mess. More information here: [http://ratevin.com]. This link gives more information about this continuing story.

  • John Cartwright 5:44 PM on August 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Linux is getting bloated. 

    Is there a real reason the Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint & Fedora have to be so bloated? The Debian distribution is very fast and usable compared to the Ubuntu distribution that has moved from the Gnome 2.32.1 desktop environment to the Unity desktop that has created some controversy of late. The Ubuntu 11.10 release features the same Unity desktop as the 11.04 release, but it has dumbed down the user interface too much, the ability to configure font appearance has been removed and this is not good unless the font appearance is automatically set for either a Liquid Crystal Display screen or a Cathode Ray Tube. There is a screenshot of the System Settings panel here: http://iloveubuntu.net/software-sources-are-now-integrated-system-settings-oneiric-ocelot. Hopefully they will restore this in the last 11.10 Ubuntu release. Linux really needs just one unified and attractive desktop for every distribution, possibly just one quality Linux distribution that can bring all the quality of Linux to users without the heavy load on system resources that Unity and KDE 4.5 bring with them. The Mageia Linux distribution has the KDE 4.6 desktop, but implements it in a way that makes it feel like KDE 3.5, and not like Windows Vista. I do not understand why Ubuntu wants to copy the MacOS X desktop so much, and KDE wants to copy the Windows Vista look. The Linux developers need to create a proper Linux desktop that someone unfamiliar with Linux can sit down at and use without much tutoring beforehand. As expressed in this excellent posting here: http://www.jonbirge.net/2008/02/why-linux-may-fail-on-the-desktop/comment-page-1/, the Linux operating system needs to standardise one one sound system, either Alsa or Pulseaudio, not have two on the same system that are sometimes competing with each other.

    There are examples online of software like Skype that will not play sound, when other software such as Banshee and Totem will play sound just fine. There is a fix here: http://funwithlinux.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/fixing-skype-audio-problem-on-ubuntu-904/, but this should not happen in the first place, if Skype could automatically detect the sound system and save the settings in ~/.config/ but it takes some fiddling to get this right. the fix for the microphone problem here: http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=346401, this should help out those who are having problems with sound in this application. I am running Debian 6.0 after trying out Linux Mint 11, that is not as fast as the Debian distribution when using the Gnome 2.30.2 desktop in Debian stable. As long as I am not using the Debian Unstable branch, I will not have any problems.

    This is my /etc/apt/sources.list. Debian Stable is the best.

    [email protected]:/home/lovecraft# cat /etc/apt/sources.list
    deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.0 _Squeeze_ - Official amd64 DVD Binary-1 20110205-18:15]/ squeeze contrib main
    # deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main contrib
    # deb-src http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main contrib
    # deb ://volatile.debian.org squeeze-updates main contrib
    deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ squeeze main
    deb http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ squeeze main
    # deb-src ://volatile.debian.org squeeze-updates main contrib

    Setting console fonts in Debian.

    I have also set up my console font to be larger and easier to read.

    [email protected]:/home/lovecraft# cat /etc/default/console-setup 
    # Change to "yes" and setupcon will explain what is being doing
    # Setup these consoles.  Most people do not need to change this.
    # Put here your encoding.  Valid charmaps are: UTF-8 ARMSCII-8 CP1251
    # ISO-8859-1 ISO-8859-2 ISO-8859-3 ISO-8859-4 ISO-8859-5 ISO-8859-6
    # ISO-8859-7 ISO-8859-8 ISO-8859-9 ISO-8859-10 ISO-8859-11 ISO-8859-13
    # ISO-8859-14 ISO-8859-15 ISO-8859-16 KOI8-R KOI8-U TIS-620 VISCII
    # The codeset determines which symbols are supported by the font.
    # Valid codesets are: Arabic Armenian CyrAsia CyrKoi CyrSlav Ethiopian
    # Georgian Greek Hebrew Lao Lat15 Lat2 Lat38 Lat7 Thai Uni1 Uni2 Uni3
    # Vietnamese.  Read README.fonts for explanation.
    # Valid font faces are: VGA (sizes 8, 14 and 16), Terminus (sizes
    # 12x6, 14, 16, 20x10, 24x12, 28x14 and 32x16), TerminusBold (sizes
    # 14, 16, 20x10, 24x12, 28x14 and 32x16), TerminusBoldVGA (sizes 14
    # and 16) and Fixed (sizes 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18).  Only when
    # CODESET=Ethiopian: Goha (sizes 12, 14 and 16) and 
    # GohaClassic (sizes 12, 14 and 16).
    # Set FONTFACE and FONTSIZE to empty strings if you want setupcon to
    # set up the keyboard but to leave the console font unchanged.
    # You can also directly specify nonstandard font or console map to load.
    # Use space as separator if you want to load more than one font.
    # You can use FONT_MAP in order to specify the Unicode map of the font
    # in case the font doesn't have it embedded.
    # FONT='lat9w-08.psf.gz /usr/local/share/braillefonts/brl-08.psf'
    # FONT_MAP=/usr/share/consoletrans/lat9u.uni
    # CONSOLE_MAP=/usr/local/share/consoletrans/my_special_encoding.acm
    # You can also specify a screen size that setupcon will enforce.  This can not
    # exceed what the current screen resolution can display according to the size of
    # the loaded font.
    if [ -f /etc/default/keyboard ]; then
        . /etc/default/keyboard

    Just edit the /etc/default/console-setup file to match this example then install the kbd package thusly: apt-get install kbd to install the console-setup utilities. Then type /etc/init.d/console-setup restart on the text console as root to reload the new settings. The default font on my screen was way too small and this fixed this easily.

  • John Cartwright 12:40 AM on August 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 20 years, berners-lee, , , , www   

    The world Wide Web turns 20. 


    The WWW turns 20 years old today. The project that started with one web page has grown to countless websites and countless files hosted on web servers all around the world. Nowadays with China sealing themselves off and creating their own separate Internet with their own content to protect the people from the horrible influence of Western Internet content, their is a huge digital divide forming on the formerly open Internet.

    Tim Berners-LeeThe historic NeXT computer used by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, on display in the Microcosm exhibition at CERN. It was the first web server, hypermedia browser and web editor.

    This is the future of our Internet as well with the current debate about Internet censorship to protect people from pornography. But they just want to censor the web and restrict free speech instead. The Internet, originally constructed to be very reliable and to survive a war, it interprets censorship as damage and routes around it, hopefully sense will prevail and the Internet censorship bill will not pass through the Senate. The first web browser was the NCSA Mosaic browser that was released in 1993. This was available on PC`s and Apple Macintosh computers.

    Happy Birthday x3 WWW!

  • John Cartwright 9:34 PM on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , migration, , ,   

    Useful *nix information and links. 

    Windows 95 shutting down.

    Windows 95 shutting down.

    Linux is not Windows. http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

    This is a very good web page that explains the fundamental differences between Windows and Linux. There are many fundamental changes you need to make when making the switch from Windows to a Linux machine, the major changes difference is that Linux is not as susceptible to viruses as Windows is. and that it is by design more secure and very reliable. Something like Debian Stable is one of the most secure and stable operating systems you can install.

    http://rjy.org.uk/ Very good blog website and a fellow Linux user.

    http://hub.opensolaris.org/bin/view/Main/ The OpenSolaris UNIX distribution. A free distribution of the Solaris UNIX operating system. Downloads here.

    http://www.freebsd.org/ Another free UNIX distribution. The Gentoo portage system was copied from the FreeBSD ports system.

    http://www.securitronlinux.com/linux/lc/ My Linux PDF repository.

    We have moved on a long way since Windows `95 and `98. This screen will be very familiar to those that have used this very old and decrepit operating system. I used this a long time ago, then I tried Redhat Linux 6.2 and I was blown away by the quality of the operating system compared to Windows `98. The Gnome 1.0 and Sawfish desktop was something else. The screenshot below is of the Redhat Linux 6.2 Gnome 1.0 desktop with the Netscape 4.72 browser open and showing the Redhat 6.2 documentation welcome page. A long time before Firefox and even before Mozilla, there was the Netscape Communicator browser, which was a good alternative to Internet Explorer. The release of Internet Explorer 4 brought the Active Desktop and other new features, but it was a bug prone and insecure load piece of software that brought a new version of IE, and brought many more variants of malware than ever before, although Windows `98 did that too. Getting back to Redhat 6.2, the screenshot below shows a very different Gnome desktop than we are used to seeing today. The LCD look for the clock is very nice indeed, I wish you could get this style of Gnome desktop today as well as the Unity interface.

    Redhat Linux 6.2 desktop.

    Redhat Linux 6.2 desktop.

    http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=133624 A very good icon set that includes older styled icons for Gnome.

    But the Unity/Gnome 3 interface is here to stay whether we want it or not, sure someone could fork the Gnome 2.32 code and maintain their own version to deploy to various Linux distributions but will that ever actually happen?

  • John Cartwright 4:01 PM on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2TB, , , external, , , western   

    New 2TB external drive. 


    Western Digital Elements 2TB 3.5" Desktop External Hard Drive

    Pic from Newegg.com

    Just got a 2TB external hard drive to backup my machine, it made a huge difference being able to copy everything off my 500GB hard drive and make some more space for other files. This is the amount of space I have now, and it is very useful as I might want to install something else on the disk, now that I have removed all the stuff that was clogging it up and moved it to a new home. I had a 320 Gigabyte one, but it got lost, this one is a lot better and much bigger too. it is a 2TB USB 2.0 external drive with a 3.5″ disk drive inside that has about 1800 Gigabytes free after formatting. I recommend getting a drive like this of your own and backing up all of your files. Peace of mind is yours once all of your data has been backed up safely. Those of you using MacOS can download this driver here: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/26288/ntfs-for-mac-os-x That will enable read-write access to NTFS partitions from a Macintosh computer. Of course, Linux has no problem with that.

    [email protected]: ~$ df -Hla
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sdb1 259G 4.8G 241G 2% /
    proc 0 0 0 - /proc
    none 0 0 0 - /sys
    fusectl 0 0 0 - /sys/fs/fuse/connections
    none 0 0 0 - /sys/kernel/debug
    none 0 0 0 - /sys/kernel/security
    none 907M 869k 906M 1% /dev
    none 0 0 0 - /dev/pts
    none 918M 1.5M 916M 1% /dev/shm
    none 918M 320k 918M 1% /var/run
    none 918M 0 918M 0% /var/lock
    /dev/sda2 160G 55G 106G 35% /mnt/windows7
    /dev/sdh2 249G 19G 230G 8% /mnt/moremedia
    /dev/sdh1 252G 110M 252G 1% /mnt/media
    /dev/sdb2 107G 204M 104G 1% /mnt/Files
    /dev/sr0 4.3G 4.3G 0 100% /mnt/cdrom
    /dev/sdb3 124G 27G 92G 23% /home
    binfmt_misc 0 0 0 - /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc
    /dev/sdc1 2.1T 81G 2.0T 5% /media/Elements
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