Sep 05, 2013

I have been experiencing problems with Linux Mint on my laptop. Recently it started running being very slow. It could be my hardware, but I decided to try a different OS first. I was going to install Ubuntu since it has been running rock solid on my desktop, but I have been reading many good things about elementaryOS so I decided to give that a try. Also I found out my laptop hardware supports 64bit. I did this by typing the command sudo lswh and under cpu settings if it says "width: 64 bits" then your system supports 64bit. As as result I decided to download the 64bit version. Of course working with computers nothing goes smooth the first time. I downloaded the iso from bittorrent and burned it to a cd (I was happy to find out it fit on a cd and did not require a dvd like most OSes these days). I made it half way through the install and it failed. Ok, that has happened to me before, usually as a result of a bad cd burn so I created another bootable cd and the same thing happened. Ok, this is starting to suck, so I decided to download the iso directly from and instead of using a CD-RW I used a CD-R and the third time was a charm. After the install I was presented with a very simple, but beautiful interface. I can tell they "borrowed" many design ideas from apple. The bottom icon tray/dock is identical to OS X and so is the application menu. These are perfectly fine with me because one thing I like about OS X is how clean and functional the design/layout is.

Anyway it always takes me awhile to setup a new machine and this was no exception. I documented what I did for the benefit for others and for myself when I do this again.

Here are the steps:



Jun 01, 2013

Here are some items I have been saving since my last post:
||/ Name                  Version       Architecture        Description
ii  ubuntu-desktop     1.287         amd64                The Ubuntu desktop system

druryj@ubuntu:~$ sudo dpkg -l ubuntu-desktop
No packages found matching ubuntu-desktop.

druryj@ubuntu~$ sudo dpkg -l | grep linux-server
ii  linux-server        Complete Linux kernel on Server Equipment.



Mar 29, 2013

Here are just some random things I have saved since my last blog post that I thought where worth posting:



Feb 21, 2013

This week I have updated this site everyday! It was mostly the linux reference page. I am going to start on a reference page for Perl next. Actually I already started it, but do not have enough content yet to upload the page yet. After Perl, I will probably add pages for regular expressions and bash. I also have quite a bit more Vim stuff to add which I will be doing in between.

Anyway, as I said in my previous post I recently purchased an SSD drive for my laptop and had to reinstall Linux Mint. I really like the new version (14), but I did have some difficulties with my Broadcom wireless card (BCM4311), so here is what I did to get it working:
  1. Install the proper software: sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
  2. Check if the driver loaded with EITHER of these commands: lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net and/or inxi -N
  3. Enter all of these commands to turn the driver on: sudo modprobe -rv wl; sudo modprobe -v wl; sudo modprobe b43
  4. Add just "b43" (no quotes) to /etc/modules so wireless is enabled on bootup. This is what my /etc/modules currently looks like:
       # /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
       # This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
       # at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with "#" are ignored.
I also received a new desktop for work and decided to install Ubuntu 12.10 on it (so I can have a little diversity from Linux Mint) and I used the default Unity UI and I have to say I do not mind it at all. I am not sure why people detest it so much, although to be fair I think when it was released it had a lot of bugs, but in general I feel people hate change when they are use to something (remember how everyone freaked out when Facebook changed their UI a little bit?). There where a few minor things I did not like, but I was able to resolve them with a bit of google searching. It has been very stable so far, very few problems.

For a long time I wanted to write about an experience I had with the TSA (everyone's favorite 3 letter agency). I do not travel as much these days as I use to, but I do not recall ever having problems with them and the ones at my small local airport are always very nice and professional. I even had a very positive experience in which I left a neck pillow at the checkpoint and then 20 min later a TSA agent was in my boarding gate asking if the pillow belonged to anyone. We where the last gate in the airport and I realized he must have went to every gate before us to find the rightful owner. Granted it is a smallish airport and I am sure if it was a larger airport he probably would not have done that, but I was very happy he did because if I recall correctly, I was going to be on an international flight and that neck pillow is what stands between me getting some decent shuteye or being miserable for a few days until I get caught up on sleep. I have now posted positive experiences about TSA and Comcast's customer service on this blog. Hopefully I do not get my geek card revoked.

If you are in the market for a home security system, I really like SimpliSafe. It is very easy to install and their monthly monitoring fees are WAY cheaper then the bigger name companies. I am not affiliated with the company in any way, just a happy customer. Also if you like their Facebook page you can find some 10% codes. That is what I did and I think I saved roughly $50.



Jan 06, 2013

Hopefully everyone had a good holiday. I am trying to be more productive this year which includes updating this site more. I just added a section to the Linux reference page on tmux. If you like screen, you will love tmux.

I recently purchased two SSD drives. A SanDisk Extreme 120 GB for my Dell laptop I run Linux Mint on and a OCZ Technology 128GB for my wife's Macbook Pro. They both have made a HUGE performance difference. It is amazing how fast my Dell boots up now.

As a result of installing the new drive, I installed the latest version of Linux Mint, 14 and it seems to be the most polished and bug free version yet. I was using xfce previously and liked it, but decided to give Cinnamon another try again and so far it has been great.



Oct 19, 2012

Here is something I posted on another site which was quite popular. It has to do with productivity. I will be posting stuff about productivity and motivation on here also. I know I have struggle with this in the past. Anyway I was not happy with my productivity at work. I knew I was not being as productive as I could be and eventually it would catch up with me with negative consequences. One thing that I started doing is working in 30 minute blocks and then taking a 5 minute break in between. During those 30 minutes I set a timer and if at anytime I do something other then work (ie. go to the bathroom) I pause the timer. I keep track of how many blocks (on a sticky note with a single slash representing one 30 min block). I do this each day and record the total in a Google spreadsheet at the end of the day. I then record the average for the month in the spreadsheet also. When I first started doing this I could not believe the amount of time I was only doing strictly work related stuff. As a result of doing this I have since double my work productivity! It has worked so well for me my wife and I have started having our son use this technique, who is in 7th grade and doing school online from home, because he was getting behind in his schooling and he would probably be labeled as an ultimate procrastinator. To keep track of the time, I use the Chrome app Timer and occasionally I have to use Firefox and for that I like the app Tea Timer. Both are very simple and get the job done without too many options. If this technique sounds familiar, it is very similar to the Pomodoro Technique , which is what I started out with but customized to fit my needs. I also keep track of the amount of time I spend sitting and standing because every other week I read something which states how bad sitting too much is. I know all of this sounds really anal retentive and time consuming, but I have tried many techniques (43Folders, Getting Things Done, and a few others). Something else I have done right after I started this technique is read the book The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play and funnily they recommend almost the same technique, although with additional steps. Right after that book I read Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength and I not only found it providing useful information, I found it very entertaining.

Well that is all for today. Take care.



Oct 14, 2012

Here are some updates regarding this site:
  1. Irongeekrecently posted videos of ALL the 2012 Derbycon talks which are awesome. I think Derbycon is the new king of the cons which is impressive seeing it is only 2 or 3 years old and is in freaking Louisville, Kentucky (which I have nothing against and is on my "to visit" list). So far, I have only watched HD Moore's excellent The Wild West talk but I plan to watch most of the other's over the course of the next month.

  2. I have been making frequent updates to the Linux Reference page. I will be doing the same on the Python Reference page this week (hopefully).

  3. Lately, I have been doing a lot of scanning using nmap and have learned some cool things it is capable of. I will post a Nmap reference page soon.

Here are some random things I've come across the interwebs lately that I have found interesting and have been wanting to share:
  1. I just found out about this interesting rsync like tool called Unison. It is on my todo list to try out and will share my experience here once I do. One of the best features I see as of right now is being able to sync between Linux and Windows computers.

  2. I love me some Dropbox, but the 2GB free limit is quite small when you have such a large collection of funny cat videos. Their next cheapest upgraded plan (100GB) is a bit expensive ($10/month) and plus now Amazon, Google, and Ubuntu (and I think even Microsoft) now give you 5 GB of storage for free. I decided to go with Ubuntu One because it provides the Dropbox like local folder, which I love, and they have clients for; Linux (obviously), Mac, Windows, Android, and iPhone, and I was able to upgrade to 20GB for just $3 month. Also if you are interested in Ubuntu One and want to hook a brother up with additional storage I would appreciate it if you would use my referral link. If you do, we both get an extra 500MB of storage. If you use Linux Mint as your OS, use this link to install Ubuntu One (currently under section 3. Applications -> a. Install Ubuntu One). The only other service which I would consider is Backblaze which offers you unlimited storage for the freaking ridiculous price of $5 a month! Unfortunately they do not have a Linux client.

  3. Codecademy now has courses for Python and Ruby (which just launched and still in beta). I am about half way done with the Python and I am happy they have it because I have not been doing much Python programming these days and I needed a refresher. I am also doing their Code Year track and currently on CSS. If you are interested in learning any of the programming languages/technologies they have available (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Jquery, Python, and Ruby) then I highly recommend it. It is the funnest (you get points and badges that don't mean anything but seems to stroke one's ego enough to make you want to progress) and best way I have ever learned a programming language. You will not be an expert in any of these languages once you complete each course, but you will know enough to be dangerous. Here's to hoping they add other languages (I personally would love these: C, C++, Objective-C, Perl, Lua, and Java).



Aug 27, 2012

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to update this site. Having a new one year old does not leave much time for much. I put up a new page for Drupal. Right now it is mostly Drush stuff. I hope to add more to it shortly.



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