Tag Archives: linux

UNetbootin – Create Linux & Utility Bootable Flash Drives

Out of blank CDs? Is your burner giving you nothing but coasters?

With UNetbootin, you can download almost any of the common Linux distros or  various utilities such as NTPasswd or SystemRescueCD, all from within one small program, and create a bootable USB flash drive. It also works with any GRUB or isolinux based CD image.

Not only does it automatically download the distro of your choice, but it also provides version history, and builds for x86 or x64.

Cheese with that Whine?

If you are reading the blog of a Microsoft developer, you shouldn’t be surprised when he posts examples using Bing. While I’m all for open source, and convincing people to switch, an MS blog probably isn’t the place to complain that Bing throws a warning in Konquerer and that Google Maps “just works”, especially when Bing works fine in Firefox, and the only reason you’re seeing that warning is because you are using a somewhat niche browser (yes, I realize that it’s essentially Webkit, and that if Chrome and Safari work, then it should, too).

As he responds to one of the comments – “If I link to Google, people scold me for not linking to Bing. And now, if I link to Bing, people scold me for not linking to Google. …  I guess the only safe thing is to not link to anything.”


Sony Drops Linux Support on Slim PS3

With the release of the PS3 Slim, Sony has announced that the new SKU will no longer support the ‘Other OS’ install option. It is going the way of PS2 support before it, and being cut in the name of cost savings. Sure, Linux on the PS3 was crippled under a hypervisor which prevented direct access to the GPU, but it still marked a step in the right direction for opening up a nice hardware platform to the masses for something besides games & movies.

This change, fortunately, does not affect existing PS3s, but raises the question – What if one day for some reason, Sony just decided that they aren’t including the hypervisor anymore in firmware updates? Would those of us with Linux installed have any way of pulling that data off the drive?

Ubuntu Media Center PC

I finally had it with Vista on my media center PC. Slow startups, it never saved my resolution for the TV correctly, and frequently locked up while loading videos. It’d been a while since I tried Ubuntu (normally I use Fedora), so I decided to load up Jaunty and see how it worked.

First, the bad. It did not load the accelerated drivers for the Intel onboard video. While it sucks for 3D, it was more than enough to run XBMC smoothly under Windows. Under Ubuntu, videos would play fine, the interface was just dog-slow. I could’ve researched and fixed the problem, then I remembered I had an old GeForce 4 that Vista didn’t support. I slapped that in there, loaded up the nVidia drivers, and XBMC ran smooth as butter.

Now, the good. Wireless. Freaking amazing, I did not expect it to work right after an install with a Linksys WUSB54GSC I had, but after logging in, I was presented with a list of wifi networks, and connected to mine with no problems whatsoever.

There was some Samba weirdness. For some reason, it initially only showed my other Windows PCs, and my OpenFiler server didn’t show up in the Network list at all, even though they were all in the same workgroup. Changing my workgroup settings seemed to fix that.

On the whole, I’m very satisfied with how XBMC on Ubuntu turned out to be.

Rebuilding Software RAID5 on an Atom

The replacement drive for my 1TB RAID5 finally came in last night. I had never actually had to do a rebuild with the md toolset before (I’ve always had hardware support in the past). I wasn’t able to find any rebuild option in OpenFiler’s web interface, so I ssh’ed in.

First, I looked at the partition structure of one of the remaining working drives with fdisk -l /dev/sdd, then I matched this partition setup on the replacement drive. Then I added the new drive back into the array with mdadm /dev/md1 -a /dev/sde1, and monitored the rebuild process occasionally by looking at /proc/mdstat.

The total time for the array rebuild was just shy of 4 hours and 30 minutes, on an Atom N270.

Hacking the Panda GateDefender 8100

The Panda GateDefender 8100 is a Linux-based filtering, AV, and intrusion prevention system.  The system I have to work with has a P4 3.4GHz CPU, 1GB of DDR400, and an 80GB SATA drive.  It has one available PCI slot, 2 unused SATA ports, and a CF slot.

While you can get a display on the VGA connector, its not an actual console. To get a console, you’ll need a serial cable. Open up a terminal emulator and set the port to 57600,8,N,1, then power on the machine. To get into the BIOS, press the tab key when prompted.

If you look at the motherboard, you’ll see JP1 is labeled CMOS Reset. I’ve tried this, and it did not seem to actually reset anything, nor did JP8 (NMI) or JP2 (???). I used a tool called CmosPwd to recover the actual password (its ‘adnap17’).  Once in the BIOS, you can move on to getting more access to the box.

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Replacing Faxmaker with Hylafax+

Faxmaker is an excellent product that I work with, but it is also expensive. When I ran into some issues with my Faxmaker server (I think it was more modem driver issues, but whatever), I decided to investigate other options instead of renewing/upgrading. That’s when I came across Hylafax+.

My workplace uses Faxmaker for 3 things: email-to-fax, fax-to-email, and PDF-to-fax. After some reading, Hylafax will do all of this as well, so I’m going to document the entire conversion process.

For now, I’m going to cover my initial setup of Hylafax to use a MultiTech MT5634 modem board to receive incoming faxes and send them to users as a PDF attachment.

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