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Enigma machines and the second world war

UK Snubs Support For Home of WWII Enigma

I usually don't post news and neither rumours, I prefer to keep this blog as geekly as possible but when I've read this article I was so disappointed and I've decided to report it as well, please follow other posts if you're interested in tech things.

I'm a retrocomputing maniac, I love old mainframes, computers and each piece of equipment that represents the latest technology (of the period), I also love history and when technology meets history you'll ever find a retrocomputing guy

Enigma was one of the key factors for Second World War (from my point of view), a device with some aura all around, a mix between technology and magic. There were exaggerating things around it, from films to strange stories but it's nice and happy to talk about it.

Since this device is one of my favorites I was angry after reading this article so I've decided to share with you. 

 The article is here:
http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/uk-snubs-support-for-home-of-wwii-enigma--939

What do you think about it ?

 

 

Titling...

Linux.com testing blog service.
 

Templates in Aptitude

Small trick with aptitude, package manager in Debian-based distributions.

Aptitude's search understands some templates in search. Several of them:

~ntext -- all packages with name containing text

~dtext -- with description containing text

~i -- installed packages

~c -- removed (not purged) packages

~N -- new packages in repository

~U -- upgradable packages

~Dtext -- packages depend of packages text

~Rtext  -- packages that depend of text

| -- OR

! --  NOT

 _____________________________

Case studies:

aptitude purge '~c' -- purge all removed packages

aptitude search ~neclipse -- search all packagse with name containing   eclipse

aptitude search '~i(~nfirefox|~niseweasel) ' --all installed packages with 'firefox' or 'isewease' in package name

aptitude search '!~i~dkde'  -- not installed packages with 'kde' in description

 

Tips and Tricks for the openSUSE News

Hi

 I am writing the section in the openSUSE News and I am searching for some nice articles about a good solution how to configure a tool or some usefull code snippets. 

So if you have some nice ideas, write a usefull article or talk to me first and then send the article to me and I will try to add it into the News.

 Contact: go to my homepage and there is a contact section, how to contact me.

 

Sebastian 

 

Everyday with Linux

I have tried blogging several times before and it hasn't been a big success, because I usually have so many things going on that I never find time to update them regularly.  I even had a blog before they were called blogs, where I kept notes about Linux and other computer related things.

But I really like the idea of having a blog on Linux.com, I think it has a certain coolness about it. So I am going to try to blog things here more regularly.

I use Linux every single day.  I have Linux installed on 5 desktop machines here on my desk, that I use for testing: a Dell Inspiron that came with Linux pre-installed, an AMD64 machine, a PowerPC Mac mini, an Intel Mac mini, and an old machine that just happend to be sitting around.  I have Linux on my laptop.

I have an older machine at work that I do all of my web browsing, e-mail, play music, edit audio, etc. on.  Unfortunately, I have to have a Windows machine at work because there is one program that is essential to my work that only runs on Windows.  But everything that can be done on Linux, I do on the Linux machine.

So my plan is to blog about my experiences with Linux, both good and bad.  I also plan to link to other Linux related things that I find interesting.

 

 

hello world

here i am! our first linux.com blogpost...

 

hell yeah!

 

Hello Linux.com

Hello Linux.com.
 

Xen DomU clock issues

I just setup a Xen DomU (Debian Lenny) and found that when I tried to live migrate it between hosts, any pings would just hang.  I found my logs filled with clock warnings about going backwards in time.  Here is how I resolved this.

Read more... Comment (0)
 

Dual Boot Setup Headache and Warning

December 6, 2008 was an important date in my life. That evening we had a launch party in New York for the start up I'd been working with since September. More significantly, it was my last day with a Windows computer in my home. In reality, I was supposed to be getting doing a dual boot installation so my family could continue to use the Windows software they were accustomed to, and I could play around in Linux world. All on the same computer. It seemed so simple.

The directions were in front of me, printed out from the Internet several days before. I hardly needed them, though, as I had read through them again and again as I struggled to work up the nerve to do the installation. The whole process took less than half and hour, but as I rebooted a problem appeared.

When a standard PC boots up you see BIOS working.  What was supposed to happen was that I would see an option to log into Windows or go ahead and boot into Ubuntu, which was the new default. That option appeared, but no amount of key-tapping would make it change. Time and again I rebooted, only to be sent -- after a brief wait -- into Ubuntu.

Scouring the Internet and trying different tricks got me nowhere. Folks on the Ubuntu forums were very kind and tried to be helpful, but this was a no-go.

My wife managed to pull me away from the computer to get ready for the launch party. We had a very good time, but the computer problem at home gnawed at me.

We got home late, and I stayed up even later. By the time 2:30am rolled around I had accepted the inevitable and we had a full Ubuntu installation on our computer. I was glad I'd backed up our personal folders of documents and pictures.

It took a few days to realize completely what had happened, but now it is crystal clear. Our computer does not have any PS2 ports. Instead, the keyboard and pretty much everything else uses UBS connections. The version of BIOS on this desktop doesn't recognize USB ports, so the keyboard fails to be identified and cannot be used in BIOS. Since the average user would never have any reason to be poking around in BIOS, this normally wouldn't be a problem. Neither Windows XP nor Ubuntu 8.10 have any problem with USB keyboards.

So, if you are thinking about setting up your computer for dual boot Windows/Ubuntu use, take a closer look at your hardware and at BIOS. If you have USB ports only for the keyboard and if you see the magic words "keyboard failure" anywhere as your computer boots up, don't try a dual boot install.

That said, now that I've learned my way around Linux to some extent, I wouldn't want to go back. I've done maintenance on friends' Windows computers since switching to Ubuntu and have been shocked at how shoddy Windows looks in comparison.

Note: This post originally appeared on my blog, Igneous Quill.  Some minor editing to the text was made for this Linux.com post.

 

Convert a .svg file to a .png in Ubuntu

Install ImageMagick for converting:

sudo aptitude install imagemagick

Convert the image with antialiasing:

convert +antialias image.svg image.png

 Confirm that the file is indeed a png:

file image.png

 

Xen: Create a Jaunty DomU using xen-create-image

These are instructions for creating an Ubuntu Jaunty DomU on Debian Lenny Dom0 using Xen 3.2.1 that comes with Lenny.  I'm installing into an LVM rather than using a file image.  See this HowtoForge article for background of my particular setup.  This tutorial assumes you're working from a similar setup with an iscsi target and LVM-based VMs.

 The reason I'm posting this is because I had such a hard time finding some combination of tools that worked correctly to do this.  I tried a few options but had little success:

  • debootstrap - Didn't seem to work with Jaunty at all.  It would just crash
  • vm-install - Doesn't support LVM-based VMs by default, but there is a procedure for converting the qcow image to an LVM
What I found is that I could find no way of creating the LVM-based VM in Lenny.  I actually had to create a sid instance first and then install my open-iscsi and xen-utils into the sid VM, then use SID to populate the VM. 

Perform the following actions in your SID vm or workstation

Note:  You'll need your /etc/xen-tools/xen-tools.conf setup like the instructions in the HowtoForge article (things like gateway, netmask, broadcast, passwd, fs type, install-method, etc).

Whenever I would try to build the vm with the default partitions, it would always fail.  For some reason the resulting vm would have an fstab that shows something like sda1 and sda2 instead of xvda1 and xvda2.  I had to create my own partition scheme before anything would work right.  Here's mine:

$ sudo cat /etc/xen-tools/partitions.d/with-data
[root]
size=4G
type=ext3
mountpoint=/
options=sync,errors=remount-ro

[swap]
size=512M
type=swap

[data]
size=4G
type=ext3
mountpoint=/data
options=nodev

 You will need to create a symlink for jaunty so that the option is recognized at the command-line. 

$ cd /usr/lib/xen-tools

$ sudo ln -s edgy.d jaunty.d 

Now, finally, you can create the image.  This step may take some time

$ xen-create-image --hostname=myserver --dhcp --lvm=vg_xen --dist=jaunty --mirror=http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu --size=4Gb --memory=512Mb --swap=512MB --arch=i386 --partitions=with-data

 Since you're building the LVM on a different machine than it will eventually run on, you'll need to  copy the resulting xen config to the correct server:

$ scp /etc/xen/myserver.cfg root@realhost:/etc/xen/

That should be all you need to get this working.

 
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