Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Raspberry Pi

Credit card size linux computer Raspberry Pi sells out almost immediately upon launch overwhelms sellers.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/29/tech/raspberry-pi-launch/index.html

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cut the cable.

The times and technologies are getting closer to an all on demand entertainment interfaced life.

I have had a Roku box for over a year now and was very surprised how many new channels are now available.
We have had Netflix set up on the Roku since we first bought it and I tried Hulu for a while, but I didn’t really think there was much more available.

I found out that there are hundreds of new streaming channels out there now, quite a few free ones also.
I stumbled onto HBOGO and found out that since I have a subscription through Dish TV, I can get HBOGO for free through my Roku box. While I was setting up the HBO feature on the Roku box I found the “ Channel Store” search feature on the Roku that I really wasn’t even aware was there. I also found free showtime shows were also available.

It looks like that more and more channels will be showing up on Roku and other set-top boxes to the point where you will be able to get all your programing from them. There are four big internet boxes out there now, Roku, Boxee, Apple TV and Google TV.

Internet box TV technology is maturing and gaining popularity. The only problem I can see with it is the big cable and satellite companies will probably find a way to stop the progress, as is already happening with
Boxee clashing with cable companies over FCC encryption regulations. There is a lot of big money in getting entertainment content to your TV set.

So stay tuned.

100 linux games!

Top games for linux.


For more details see: http://www.cahilig.net/2011/07/29/100-best-free-and-high-quality-linux-games

Your own inTRAnet.

Preface:

    One of my biggest gripes is the kids who brag how they can break into or circumvent security systems at institutions such as schools. Being a former tech/administrator at a school makes me very sensitive to this issue. I must admit a bit of hypocrisy, since as an instructor at a previous institution, I had to do just that to get materials I needed to teach a class. Actually I did have the authority to do it. If these kids want to play hacker why not do it to their own stuff and leave everyone else alone. Maybe if they have to set up their own system, they might have a bit more respect for all the hard work that goes into the internet.

    That leads me to the second issue. Government agencies and other Holy institutions are threatening to cut off or hide the internet from the public at their discretion. Will you still be able to operate your network if the internet so allegedly locked down. Technically it will not be locked down, but the internet phone book aka Domain name servers will hide the data needed to convert a URL (i.e. www.google.com = 74.125.227.142) to an ipadress or sort of computer network phone number. The second part of this is if you get your local computer phone numbers from the internet, will your network also go down so to speak if the internet is locked down?  Most home routers properly set up will avoid this.

The real story:
 You can actually set up your own network independent of the internet and be completely autonomous. Some people might call this a sandbox. Well if the hackers want to play they need to be in a sandbox or intranet. Your network should be able to turn into a sandbox if needed to also. To make a long story short, I did an instructable to help people do just that. You can find it at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Your-personal-intranet-Part-1/

---------------------------------------------
$ dig www.instructables.com

; <<>> DiG 9.8.2rc1-RedHat-9.8.2-0.2.rc1.fc16 <<>> www.instructables.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 58222
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 4, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;www.instructables.com.        IN    A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.instructables.com.    2274    IN    CNAME    a.prod.fastly.net.
a.prod.fastly.net.    11100    IN    CNAME    prod.fastly.net.
prod.fastly.net.    16    IN    A    199.102.47.71
prod.fastly.net.    16    IN    A    199.102.47.72

;; Query time: 15 msec
;; SERVER: 192.168.1.1#53(192.168.1.1)
;; WHEN: Sat Feb 25 00:08:00 2012
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 116


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Original open source touchpad?

Update: We installed the firmware for the Chumby 8 and now we have a built in browser with a on screen keyboard.


More details at:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-touchpad-part-II/

Found that my Insignia Infocast aka Chumby will use a usb ethernet adapter and I do not need to use the wireless all the time. Cool!

 


At least with my unit, the third party browser does not start up in full screen mode. Also wanted some local choices not on the internet for me to access quickly.  You will want to put this html file in the same directory as the debugchumby file. You will probably have to use the browser “open file” to find out where the html file is so you can change the debugchumby file so it relfects the correct location.
debugchumby (Change from www.chumby.com to your file)

[code]



...

...
?td clas="numbor">
?td clas="contont">while [ 1 ] ; do?/tr>


  /mnt/usb/demos/browser/browser -qws 'file:///mnt/usb-5AB6-D41C/start.html'

done
 [code]

start.html
{code]
<html>
<head>
<script>
function changeScreenSize(w,h)
{
window.resizeTo( w,h )
}
</script>
</head>
<body onload=”changeScreenSize(800,600)”>
<h1> Choose your server:  </h1>
<hr>
<br>
<center>
<a href=”http://oesrvr1″>oesrvr1</a>
<br><br>
<a href=”http://typo1″>typo1</a>
</center>
</body>
</html>
[/code]

Choose your server:



oesrvr1
typo1

Monday, February 20, 2012

www.kickstarter.com - Changing The Way Games Get Made

www.kickstarter.com has already made a huge difference in getting promising board games published. Games like Alien Frontiers, D-Day Dice, Eminent Domain, and Zong Shi have seen / will see the light of day because of kickstarter.com.

Now kickstarter.com is freeing some of the best computer game developers from the publishing studios. Double Fine has raised over 2 million dollars via www.kickstarter.com towards it next adventure game. ArsTechnica has an interesting article on this new trend: Publishers beware: Can other game developers copy Double Fine's Kickstarter millions?

Kickstart will allow some really innovative independent game developers to open up and do some great work. What is chump change to a large game producer is a gold mine to the independent developer! My only fear is fraud or incompetence will sour the pool of potential people funding kickstart projects. Still, in the board gaming community, it doesn't take a whole ton of cash to get a game printed and out. I know several good board game developers that are getting good games out that would have probably never seen the light of day. Hopefully, the computer gaming field will follow suit.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Virus Rescue Disks

About a year ago, I started a volunteer computer repair program at the college. I am fortunate to have two very skilled lab assistants that have it humming along nicely. We have the opportunity to work on student computers that are so infested with viruses that it is impossible to boot from the infected computer and run an anti virus program. (Our record holder had over 22,000 infected objects on it!) Often we pull the disk drive and hook it up as a data drive on another computer to clean the viruses. You see, booting up an infected operating system disk makes it much harder to clean the drive.

For the typical home user this is beyond their skill. However, you can use a boot-able CD virus scanning rescue disk instead. Here are four of the best virus scanning rescue disks.

1) Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 - Best user interface, has an update button to get the latest virus database updates.
2) AVG Rescue CD - The user interface is not as slick, but it too has an update button.
3) F-Secure Rescue Disk Spartan interface, has an update button, runs slower.
4) Avira AntiVir Rescue System Good interface, but the update button rarely connects to the internet to get those updates. This is not a problem if you run it the day you download it. Avira updates the disk each day.

Which one should you use? Several! When cleaning viruses, like going to the doctor with a serious illness, you want a second and probably a third opinion. Once several different virus scanners are showing clean, you are probably OK.

Build your own web server software.

You can download the source code from IBM. Link is below.

$ mkdir nweb
$ cd nweb

Download and extract the tar file
$ tar zxvf es-nweb.tar

Compile
$ gcc nweb.c -o nweb
(Compiles quickly)

nweb port [directory} and run in background:
(I just used the current directory for testing)
$ nweb 8181 . &

Point to it from a browser. Actually I used the web directory on my existing web server to see what I would get.).





IBM suggests.

 
$ mkdir /home/nag/webpages

$ cd /home/nag/webpages

$ cp /tmp/nweb.tar .

$ tar xvf nweb.tar

$ ls

client.c

index.html

nigel.jpg

nweb.c

nweb_AIX51

nweb_RedHat9_pentium

nweb_SuSE_SLES8_PowerPC

$ chmod ugo+x nweb

$ chmod ugo+r *.html *.jpg

$ nweb 8181 /home/nag/webpages &
More information here and the download at:
https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/systems/library/es-nweb/index.html

Build your own web server software.

You can download the source code from IBM. Link is below.

$ mkdir nweb
$ cd nweb

Download and extract the tar file
$ tar zxvf es-nweb.tar

Compile
$ gcc nweb.c -o nweb
(Compiles quickly)

nweb port [directory} and run in background:
(I just used the current directory for testing)
$ nweb 8181 . &

Point to it from a browser. Actually I used the web directory on my existing web server to see what I would get.).





IBM suggests.

 
$ mkdir /home/nag/webpages

$ cd /home/nag/webpages

$ cp /tmp/nweb.tar .

$ tar xvf nweb.tar

$ ls

client.c

index.html

nigel.jpg

nweb.c

nweb_AIX51

nweb_RedHat9_pentium

nweb_SuSE_SLES8_PowerPC

$ chmod ugo+x nweb 

$ chmod ugo+r *.html *.jpg

$ nweb 8181 /home/nag/webpages &
More information here and the download at:
https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/systems/library/es-nweb/index.html

Friday, February 17, 2012

Top 5 iPad/Kindle Fire Issues

Although the Kindle Fire and iPad are selling by the GAZILLION, all is not perfect. Fixya lists the top issues with each: Top 5 iPad/Kindle Fire Issues.

Meanwhile the Kindle Fire vs Nook Table competition has been heating up. Barnes & Noble has a $50 coupon code to bring the price of its tablet even with the Kindle Fire Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet Priced at $200 Today After $50 Coupon Code.

Regardless of which is better, the Nook versus Kindle competition has set the new price point for the Non iPad tablet: $200-$250.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Replacing an MSWindows Network, Part 1

Update: Due to all the allegedly questionable software patent lawsuits, I am putting this project on hold.

Normally I do not discuss proprietary projects, bit I think it is time we start replacing proprietary projects with open source. Here are a few topics we plan to delve into. In part 3, we will put it all together.

Forked-mt-daapd – itunes server
http://www.instructables.com/id/Your-personal-intranet-Part-1/step6/Router-3/

Clamav (part 1 of 2)
http://www.instructables.com/id/Minimal-viruscan-of-MSWindows-media/

Xrdp – rdp server.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Using-Thin-Clients-a-quick-way-with-Debian-linux/

ltsp
http://www.instructables.com/id/Another-almost-free-computers-thin-client-set-up-P/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Another-almost-free-computers-thin-client-set-up/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Part-III-LTSP-Maintenance/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Ltsp-clustering/

gPxe/iPxe remote boot
http://www.instructables.com/id/Almost-diskless-boot-from-a-web-server/

For Touchpads and etc.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-for-your-own-private-cloud/

Other:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Your-personal-intranet-Part-1/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Your-personal-intranet-Part-2/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Starting-your-linux-box-remotely/

To do:
Samba 4 – active directory. (still under development)
Freenas – file server and san (iscsi and aoe) support
Trk and Clamav (part 2 of 2 - server side). – Anti-virus
Clonezilla/drbd and Fog – System duplication.
Clonezilla/drbd – thin client server
Puppet – system management
Mono – language development
Replacement workstation.

Monday, February 6, 2012

XBMC running on Raspberry Pi


Media center running on an alleged under 50 dollar Raspberry PI device.  Software is freely available. http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/571




Friday, February 3, 2012

Tom's Hardware

Tom's Hardware has an interesting little article showing some of the greatest PC failures:

In Pictures: 16 Of The PC Industry's Most Epic Failures

The ones that stand out to me are
Rambus RAM
The IBM "Deathstar Hard drives"
DigiScents iSmell
Intel's 64-bit Itanium CPU - the "Itanic"

Anyway, It was a nice trip down memory lane. What would you add to this list?