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Flash, Kongregate, Web browsers and evil dependencies

It seems that for some reson, Firefox (or Conkeror (and from that I reson any xlrunner based browser)) running on Arch Linux x86_64 will not run the Kongregate (www.kongregate.com) flash api that they inseart to their games. However, using midori they all run fine. So the obviouse answer is to install midori, or, if I don't like midori enough for every day useage, install it, and only use it for kongregate.com. Personaly I don't like midori at all, and thus I am using Conkeror to write this blog. But this leaves me in the uncomfterbal situation of having aproximatly 5 browsers install. I have Conkeror for my every day browsing, Firefox for the extensions I can't do without and midori for playing games. I also have konquor for some reson (I don't mind especialy, I love kdemod3) and a couple of other browsers that I was playing about with, trying to get them to comile, and I cba to find the relevent files and remove them now, 6 months down the line. I know, it's shadmin, but it's how I've lived my life so far, and I see no reson to change. But anyway, back to the question. Like president kennedy when it came to the cuban missile crises, I have 3 choices, all of wich leave me unsatisfied. I can continue doing what I do now, using 3 browsers, and adding more as I see fit, thus gradualy losing controll of my machine, and giving the power over to the beast that is dependency tracking, or I can only use one browser, Conkeror, thus missing out on many of the firefox spesific extensions and using a site that isn't kongregate for flash games, or finaly, I can go and mone at adobe or whoever is responicble for the firefox-kongregate incompatibility (kongreagte blame adobe) and see if it gets patched. My current feeling is the first, as I'm lazy, the second one will never happen (I love kongregate and xmarks) and the third will probabaly be done by someone somewhere (I know, not the right attitude, but who cares). Also, out of my pick, Conkeror, Firefox, Midori and Konqueror, which do people like. I never could get into Konqueror, as I felt it was a below standard web-browser, and a below standard filemanager. Someone, please prove me wrong.

 

Promoting Linux in a strictly Microsoft company

I thought I might write a post on my fight to bring Linux to my Windows-oriented colleagues.

About 3 months after I started working where I work now, I got permission to install Linux on my work laptop since we all worked with virtual machines anyway and windows wasn't an actual requirement. So I installed Ubuntu.

Later we switched to a terminal server running on VMware ESXi, which I understand also uses the Linux kernel.
They tried Microsoft Hypervisor first, but it was a big fiasco.

Not long ago I convinced the tech guy to let me write something in PHP (instead of the usual ASP.Net) and run it on a Linux server. He was quite positive about this, since one of our clients has started using Red Hat and he does some system administrative work there, so he tought it'd be useful to use a Red Hat-based distro, which ended up being Fedora 10.
Since then he has gone mad with the Linux disease. He discovered how easy it was to use ISPConfig for managing websites we host, run a DNS server and an FTP server. So He set up another Fedora 10 server as a backup DNS server and later also installed a backup server with OpenFiler, which is based on Cent-OS, so another Red Hat distro.

I frequently have discussions with another colleague of mine and he's a big microsoft fanboy, but soon I will be able to ask him "If Microsoft and Windows are so superior, why do all our servers basically run on Linux now?". Just a little more and we will have more Linux-based servers and perhaps also clients and slowly but surely they will realise the awesomeness of Linux.

 

UID 1979 signing in

To kick off this blog, I would like to start with a general observation about online communities.   After all, that's what Linux and OSS help us build, right?  Vibrant and active online communities are just one result of open-source thinking. 

 The backlog of my story reveals that I once dreamed of being a writer.  So big was this dream, in fact, that I can pretty much say that for as long as I've had my hands near any variety of writing instrument, I've been "in the middle of" some big breakthrough as a writer: technical, scientific, literary, or otherwise. And for as long as I've been able to go "online," I've sought communities where I can mold and shape the bits of these "breakthroughs" into tangible, manageable bytes.

Excluding the graphing calculators I had through middle and high school, the first real computer that I was able to call my own was an Acer Aspire. It was a gift from a relative. The monitor was thick and heavy and pixelated, and I obtained it during high school, somewhere in between my sophomore and senior years.

My AP English teacher once posed the question to our class: "Do you think that we've reached a sort of creative impasse in our thinking? Have we come to the end of new ideas? Has every great plot already been written? Has every imaginable human struggle already been imagined?"

"No," I answered, firmly. "Definitely not. Technology will change humanity."

And it did. Materializing with the theory of Moore's Law and extending into the fuzzy tail of cloud computing today, there's no doubt that societies have become more advanced and even more capable of advancement.

But back to high school.

Eventually I got a dot-matrix printer so that some assignments could be completed at home.  Yet all the while, all I could think about was how much my computer and printer sucked and how the ones at school were so much better.  And cooler.

(Granted. The computers were *not* as cool as the Apple Macintosh computers I'd left behind at my high school in Florida when I'd been working as a wee freshman on the yearbook staff.)

But keep in mind, at this point in the story, this is still is a 15 year-old's thinking.

Today I'm 29, and it's almost bizarre to think about how I've been on this planet for *almost* twice as long now.  Indeed.  When linux.com relaunched and I signed up, happy to have a new place to write and share ideas, I was also very happy to discover that the decidedly nifty prime number of 1979 would be mine here.  

(To Be Continued == TBC)

 

My Linux history, future and this blog

Like everyone else, I'll start this blog with "this is my first blog ever!"

 Now, I'm not a complete stranger to Linux, but I'm certainly not a guru. I got my first impression of Linux from my older brother who was using it once, now he's back to Windows. I had seen Linux couple of times, and I was seeing news and so many good things about it and I wanted to try. I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04 and it was good.

It was so easy to install compared to Windows XP that I was amazed. It was so easy to install software, it knew everything about all my hardware! I din't have to use anything like those cd:s full of drivers I had stored for a reinstall. It was a dream come true, but I'm not going to admit that I was, or that I'm now such a geek that would dream about some operating system.

I have tried a lot of distributions.  I've tried LFS, INX, DSL, *buntu, Elive, OpenGEU, Sidux, Gentoo, SourceMage, Crunchbang, Fedora, Mandriva, Linux Mint and more. I haven't really used those .rpm using distributions too much, with no good excuse.

I haven't been a part of any meaningful development, but I will be developing something someday. I'm studying programming, so it would be a waste if I'd not help everybody after I'll get some actual skills. I think that I want to  learn C/C++ and python for starters.

I'm a huge fan of wearable computing. I've been reading a lot about it and I will soon start building one of my own after I have finished the part where I should plan everything. I have also decided to build a distribution for it, using INX-like menu based interface without normal graphical interface. I'm amazed how I can see wearable computing almost dying, when it should be flourishing because everything is so small and powerful today. I can't believe the only mentions about wearables here are from old Linux documentation.

This page seems to be lots of fun.

 

First post!

Hi this is my first post in this new blog, I really like the new linux.com so far and I'm looking forward to see how it will develop...
 

SysAdmin Rant #1 - Documentation

   Document, please for the love of God, why the hell is there admins and I.T. guys out there that still do not document!  I mean WTF.  Do they realize how much of a pain in the ass it is to arrive at an Enterprise Company and not have any documentation to go off of?  

   9/10 of all the businesses I have worked for have little to no documentation.  Most of the time it's the admin who claims, "why do I need to document,it's in my head." This frustrates me so much!  

  Most of these business that don't have documentation, ask me to then provide Documentation for them, although it gets old, this actually helps me to learn the infrastructure  very quickly.  

 

Greetings!

Awesome!! So I finally started a Linux blog. The goal here is to promote Linux through use, projects, and general discussion.

 Ive been using Linux for about 3 years solid (5 off and on). It really hit me when I started Linux From Scratch (on the 6th attempt). From there I switched to Ubuntu (and some of its off shoots like LinuxMint) and dabbled in Fedora.  I got bored over a weekend and started messing with Slackware recently. 

After working as a Windows Administrator for a 3 years, I needed a change of pace. Having a tight budget, I switched from Windows Server 2003 to Ubuntu Server Edition and Mac OS X. I know, Mac, but say what you will, I love it. 

 I plan to use this blog to document some of the things Ive done with my Linux boxes.  Now, I don't plan to rewrite the book on Linux and some of its packages by any means. Ive found some really good tutorials out there on various things but rarely do I find everything in one spot. Here I hope to do that at best. 

 Feel free to contact me, I'll get back to you ASAP. Remember, Linux is a community driven project so feel free to send me stuff (like tutorials, docs, etc) to keep it going. 

 --Nick

 

Pure Magic ...


Well it seems like magic ... rebuilt my system from scratch with PCLinuxOS 2009.1 in just over 3hrs!!

For some reason i was getting 'dead.letter' mail advising the possibility of intruders ... and since i do not have the expertise to follow through with investigating the situation i just 'bit the bullet' and rebuilt the system.

What makes it easy and quick for me now [it has not always been this way] is that i have a 'master log', or time line, of what i do each time. So it now is just a matter of reinstalling the 'live CD', and working my way through the historical time-line to reinstall and configure the software i use.

So it is NO 'biggie' now days.

One thing that makes it all straight forward is that i DO NOT store any dynamic data on my localhost ... unless it is 'throw away' stuff. All serious data is stored on another pc [WIN XP] and is backed up automatically from there to an external Maxtor 640gig HD.

So because data is never an issue, i can reformat my localhost at the blink of an eye knowing i am only dealing with system stuff.

Remember i am NOT proficient with shell commands ... so all this is done via gui.

HOWEVER, i can do it even faster, as after i rebuild from scratch i then use a piece of software named CLONEZILLA, which i had previously downloaded the ISO and burned it to CD. This is a bare basic program that allows you to take a 'snapshot' of a partition and save it to disk. THEN, when i want to 'rebuild' localhost it is simply a matter of re-storing that partition image via CLONEZILLA .... takes no more that 10mins.

I find this and EXTREMELY useful method of restoring sensibility to my system should it go haywire .... it allows me to test untried software without worrying if it will 'mess up' my system ... because if it does i simply restore the master image via CLONEZILLA ... and bingo ... am back to known territory again.

If the piece of software i 'try out' does the trick and i like it, i simply add it to the 'time line' or 'master install log' i keep, and when things get to a point where synaptic is doing an upgrade, i simply restore the last CLONEZILLA image, work my way through the 'time line', upgrade through Synaptic, and make a NEW 'master image' of the partition, to fall back to should i need it.

For the first time i actually feel in 'control' with Linux ... and NO WAY could i be considered as a GURU, NERD or even on that pathway!!

So im *smiling*

 

My Favorite Linux Distribution

Since I have been running Linux for over a decade, I've had the opportunity to use a variety of different distributions.  From roll-it-yourself Slackware installations to 
 

Asus Eee PC and Easy Peasy 1.1

My mother needed to have open heart surgery this week and I needed a quick, no hassle way of staying connected to work. My surfboard sized Toshiba is a great semi-portable desktop replacement, but it isn't really well suited for adhoc Internet access, email and document processing in the hospital.

 I have seen the rave reviews of the Asus Eee PC 1000 hardware for a while, and for $500 delivered overnight from New Egg I felt like I could take the risk on it. I am a Debian guy and need to have something similar in capability to my regular laptop load, so while I was waiting for the overnight delivery I poked around for Debian or Debian-based distros for the Eee PC. I found the Easy Peasy site and downloaded the iso.

 After the little box arrived via FedEx, I grabbed it and the disk and shot off to the airport. The install was slick and the hardware all worked out of the box. I was able to grab some free WiFi at the airport with a click of the mouse and dropped in my openvpn keys for access to work. In no time I was up to date thanks to apt and productive as I needed to be.

I expected the keyboard to take some getting used to, but honestly my fingers found all the right keys with no problem at all. I also expected to be frustrated with the performance and the small screen size, but it is very responsive and the bright display has crisp letters that make using it a pleasure.

Every time I've taken it out to check mail or work on some code, the looks have been really amusing. People just don't believe a full powered PC can live in such a small case. Of course, I'm 6'1" and have a large, wide frame, so they could be just chuckling at the contrast in sizes.

I have to hand it to Asus and Easy Peasy. This system was exactly what I needed and worked far beyond my expectations. I now intend to make this system part of my normal work flow. It's nice to leave the system idling silently for communication like email and IM while I work code on my larger and more powerful laptop.  If you've been sitting on the fence about netbooks, it's time to try this one out.

 

Joined Linux.com

This's nice place.
 
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