Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Got A Virus In Ubuntu Linux

I was using Ubuntu Gutsy to surf the internet when suddenly this pop up appeared.

Oh My Gawd! I got me a virus because the XP Antivirus Online Scanner said so.
It says I have several trojans including a backdoor password stealing trojan and several serious spyware components. They are in my System32 folder.
It says to click on the Remove All button to clean up my system but when I click on it, nothing happens!
What am I gonna do!??????

Oh! Wait! I said I was using Ubuntu, not XPee.
I don't have a System32 folder. I can't execute exe files natively and because of how Linux configures user accounts, crap like this can't install itself without my permission and a password.

Ah, the stuff I don't miss using Linux.
No spyware, virus, trojans, hijackers or all that other crap that comes with Windowz OS's.

But what really scares me is that the above pop up looks like an official Windowz security alert window and that poor sap that believes it is real is gonna be royally screwed.
He won't be ''Fixing his system. He will be installing a form of the Winfixer virus.

I've had my bouts with this scourge of the internet.
When it first appeared the antivirus companies were about 3 days behind in releasing new database signatures to prevent being infected with this crap.
I lost over 100 Gigs of files because it downloaded another previously unknown virus which permanently infected many of my files.

I still get the occasional repair call for this crap.
Usually it is because the kids were on the internet, go to an infected web page or to a web page that is using an infected ad server and see the pop up.
They get scared thinking they did something that infected the computer.
They don't want their parents to get mad so they click on it thinking it will be fixed and the parents will be none the wiser.

Seems that is how much of this stuff spreads. Either by ignorance, fear or gullibility.
The fact that it looks like an official Windowz security window leads people to believe it is legit.

My all time favorite in terms of cleverness was the SULFNBK.EXE email scam.
It told users to check their system for that file. If they had it they needed to delete it because it was a virus. It wasn't a virus. It was a legit Windowz file.
People deleted it and were no longer able to use long file names.

A few days later another email appeared with a ''fix'
That fix was a virus.
Complete misdirection and confusion were used to distribute that virus.

So when you are tired of fighting and wasting time with spyware and viruses do yourself a favor and change over to Linux.
You will never regret it!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Create A Custom Linux Distro With NimbleX

I usually don't promote a distro especially when it's based on a non-Debian platform.
But NimbleX caught my attention for numerous reasons.
Based on Slackware, it seems to have a lot going for it.
RC 2008 has just been released and waiting on you to download and install it.
For those of you that don't want to change from what you are using you can install this on a virtual system such as Virtual Box or VmWare. Or you can run it Live or over a network.

What caught my attention was the multiple versions that are available.
You have the RC 2008 version that weighs in at a whopping 200 Megs.
Then there is the Sub-100 which is a shade under 100 megs and the NimbleX 69Meg edition.
The Sub-100 retains plenty of features for the average user whereas the 69Meg edition does not support multimedia or GTK. I will only recommend the 69Meg version for the true minimalist.

But it gets better! On the home page is a link to make your own custom version.
Right now it is based on the older 2007 version but once the final version of 2008 is released the customized version will also be 2008.

Did I mention install options? No? Well hold on because the author has given us plenty of choices.
First off you can run it as a live Cd. If you want to install it, there is an installer that allows you to install it to a hard drive, USB flash drive or even run or install it over a network.

System requirements are very minimal so this would be a great candidate for an older system. The requirements to use a GUI version are as follows;
Minimum Requirements.... CPU P2, Ram 128 MB
Recommended....... CPU P3, Ram 512 MB

I applaud the author for all the hard work he has put into this project.
Not only did he bring together a very functional and stable system, he packed it into not one but 3 different sized versions plus a customizable Cd to suit your personal taste.

That is a very refreshing view of trying to reach all types of users.
We could use a bit more of this.

So if your interested in checking it out or trying it go to his web site found here;

NimbleX Linux

And while your at it, see about throwing a few bucks his way.
He is having a fund raising drive to help him pay for his web hosting bill.
It's expensive to have the amount of bandwidth needed to provide users with high speed downloads.

Enjoy this refreshing compact Linux distro.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Organic Foods Price Gouging At Giant Markets

I know this isn't Linux related but as my blog says....My opinions. And this is more then an opinion.
It's a full blown rant and finger pointing post against the Giant Food Markets Corporation.

They are gouging prices on organic foods. And they are freakin' blatant!!!
They SUX!!!!

Here's the scenario.
Went shopping. Needed a bottle of maple syrup. No! Not Aunt Jo' Mammy. The real stuff. Pure syrup from the tree.

So I'm in the aisle where the syrups are. My wife says the only bottle they have is the 12 ounce bottle and it's $7.95
She doesn't want that large of a bottle or wants to pay that much.

I tell her I saw that same brand in the organic food aisle because it is a pure, chemical free food.
So I take a trip down to the organic aisle and look for the maple syrup I remember seeing earlier.

There it is! And it's the smaller 8 ounce bottle.
Let's see what the price is.....
No F#%@in' way!
$8.95 for that 8 ounce bottle yet that same syrup made by the same producer, in the same glass bottle with the same label except for contents size is a buck less and you get 4 more ounces or 50% more because it's not in the organic aisle!!!

So that's the big scam game that the Giant Food Stores are playing. And I'm sure it's happening at other stores also.
But I caught Giant Food Market red handed.
Say organic and we can raise the price through the roof.
Gouge the consumer for trying to eat healthy.
Scam him for all we can. Rake him over the coals because he doesn't want to eat that pesticide laden, hormone junkie, antibiotic drug addicted cow you try passing off as meat.

Giant Food Market. You should be publicly tarred, feathered and flogged.

And NO!
I will not remove this post no matter how much your liars er, I mean lawyers throw out their meaningless threats.

It's called free speech with an opinion.
That's my right and I will express my right every chance I get.

And if need be, I have world wide mirror access. So this post will never die.

P.S. Also, their seafood department has a horrible fishy smell. Anyone who knows about a seafood department or store will tell you that a clean facility with quality seafood will never stink!
Theirs does so I won't buy.


Remove Old Kernels In Ubuntu

I was asked to do a tutorial on how to remove older kernels from your system to save space.
I'm going to do it but before I go any further I have to post this;

Disclaimer and Warning!!!!
I will not be responsible for any damages incurred to your system by following this tutorial.
It is YOUR responsibility to carefully read and follow the instructions in this tutorial. It is also your responsibility to make intelligent decisions when deciding what kernels you will remove. Removing the wrong kernel version will render your system inoperable.

There! That legal nonsense is done.

The first thing you need to do is find out what kernel version you are using at the moment.
So open up your terminal and type in the following command;
uname -r

You will get a result that looks like this;

You can see that I am running version 2.6.22-15-generic

Write that down. Don't depend on your cranium memory because depending on how many versions you have installed, you can become easily confused on what version you are using and may end up deleting the wrong version.

Close your terminal and open up your Synaptic package manager.
Click on Search and type in Linux-Image
Your results will show you all the versions available and the versions you have installed will have a green box in front of those.

Carefully scroll all the way to the end as they are not all grouped together.

Now find your version and make note where it is in the list.
Look through the list for the kernel that is one version previous to the one you have installed now.
You also want to keep that previous version in case something goes wrong with your current version like during an update. That way you can boot into the previous version and try to get things fixed.

Now make note of the remaining versions. Careful! Don't mistake a version like 2.6.22-15.52 as an older version of 2.6.22-14.54

Once you have identified any other older versions in your list you can mark them for removal.
I do want to make a notation here about the packages in the list.
You will see at least one file that looks like the following;
Linux-Image-Generic and to the right under the Installed Version column you will see something like
If you highlight it, right click and check the Properties you will see it is about 56k in size.
Do NOT delete that file!
It is the header used by the kernel.
Deleting that will damage your system.

Once you are finished removing your old kernels it may be a good idea to reboot the system and make sure everything is working correctly.

Good luck and hopefully you had no problems during the removal of your old kernels.
I fulfilled a request and hope it helps many others.


Friday, July 11, 2008

wajig A Must Have Utility

I was looking through some websites for some info on cleaning up my Gutsy installation.
Read a few different pages about a program called deborphan. Even though Ubuntu's Synaptic Package Manager and apt-get remove do a good job of removing a software package and any dependencies that were required there are times that some files are left behind.
Thus you acquire orphan files.

Now deborphan does a great job of removing these left over files and I did install it.
But then I came across a utility that not only removes orphan files but does plenty more.
It's called wajig and it is a great all in one utility.

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like;

You can install it by doing a search for wajig in your Synaptic Package Manager.
I usually use the terminal with the apt-get install command but with this utility it may cause a problem installing it that way.

There are some dependencies that are required to use all the options.
The following list is not complete as many are already installed by default.
But if you want to have all the options make sure you either have or install the following packages;


Once you install everything you can start the utility by opening a terminal and typing in gjig
That's g-j-i-g

gjig is the included GUI for wajig so you don't have to run all the commands via the terminal.

If you want to see the complete list of commands for wajig type the following in the terminal;
wajig list-commands

For more info on wajig you can check out their web page here;
Wajig Web Page

So what started out as a mundane search for a utility to clean up some files turned into a gold mine of an administrator quality utility program.

Hope you enjoy this utility as much as I do and it helps keep your system clean and running at peak performance.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Use Any Desktop Manager In Ubuntu

So many people say the want to install Kubuntu or Xubuntu because they don't like the Gnome interface in Ubuntu.
So they go and download the iso, burn it and reinstall the O.S.
No need to do that.

You can install the KDE or XFCE desktop manager from within Ubuntu.
Then during boot up you click on Session and choose which desktop you want to use.
When you make the choice, the boot manager will ask if you want to make this your default manager.
Say yes and you will always boot into the desktop manager of choice.

So how do I download these manager's?
Easy. Open up the Synaptic Package Manager and do a search for KDE if you want the Kubuntu style of desktop or search for XFCE to grab the Xubuntu version.
Hey! Grab both and you will now have all 3 Ubuntu versions all on one computer!

You can check out how they look by going to their web sites.

KDE Screenshots Link

XFCE Screenshots Link

And if you want a bonus desktop manager you might want to take a look at Sun's Looking Glass project. Has many features similar to Compiz pertaining to the 3d manipulation of files.

You can find it here;
Looking Glass Link

You can view their video showing it's features. But be forewarned! It's Sun Boring Corporate idea of a video. It doesn't get good until 2:05.
Or you can view the embedded video I provided below from Xtreme Tech.
Near the end of the video they say that Looking Glass is not available at this time.
That's due to the age of this video. It is available from Sun's site.

So there you go!
You can now have 1, 2, 3 or even 4 different desktop managers all in one package.
Something a certain software company could only wish they could do.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Editing the Grub Loader Menu

You have your computer set up as a dual boot system and the list of menu items keep growing every time there's a kernel update.

You know that annoying look. That screen shows your Microsoft OS, Memtest and several kernel entries along with their recovery mode images.

Here's how to pare down that list.

Not properly following the directions below may cause your system to not boot.
Proceed at your own risk. I will not be responsible for any damages incurred by your inability to follow directions.

We first need to open up the menu list for emitting. To do that open up a terminal window and type in the following;

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Type in your pasword when prompted.

Now your menu list will open with the permissions needed to edit it.

Look for entries in your menu list that look similar to this;

## ## End Default Options ##

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-15-generic
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-15-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-15-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-15-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-15-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-15-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-13-generic
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-13-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-13-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-13-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-13-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-13-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, memtest86+
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin


What we need to do is comment out all the older kernels and their recovery mode entries.
I strongly suggest that you keep the 2 newest entries and their recovery mode entries.
Here's how;

In the above example we can see there are 3 kernel entries.
The newest being 2.6.22-15-generic and the oldest being 2.6.22-13-generic
We want to get rid of the 2.6.22-13-generic and the 2.6.22-13-generic (recovery mode) entries from the boot menu.

So we will comment those entries out. To do that we will use the ## characters to do the commenting.

When it's done it should look like this;

## ## End Default Options ##

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-15-generic
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-15-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-15-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-15-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-15-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-15-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic

##title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-13-generic
##root (hd0,0)
##kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-13-generic ##root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro quiet splash
##initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-13-generic

##title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-13-generic (recovery mode)
##root (hd0,0)
##kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-13-generic ##root=UUID=15024b26-e9da-497b-8744-ccfd6170eb84 ro single
##initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-13-generic

title Ubuntu 7.10, memtest86+
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin


As you can see, we put a ## in front of all the entries for the 2.6.22-13-generic kernel.
You need to do this to all the kernel entries older then the newest 2.
That way, should you have a problem with the newest kernel, you can boot into the next oldest one and fix the problem.

Now that we have that cleaned up, let's set the menu so that it doesn't keep adding new kernels to the list that we just cleaned up.

Here's what you need to do.
Look for an entry similar to this in the menu list;

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=all

We need to edit the last entry that says # howmany=all
Change the =all to =2

It should look something like this;

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=2

Now your list should never display more then 2 kernel versions along with the recovery mode links.

Close the menu list and select the option to save the changes.

Now for the moment of truth.
Reboot your computer.
If you did everything properly you should only see the 2 newest kernels listed in the grub menu and it will boot up properly when you select the kernel to boot to.

Good luck and enjoy!!!



Ya know that comments are open and welcome.

I see plenty of hits on my blog but not one comment except on my first two entries.

Feels like I'm writing all this stuff for myself.

Let me know if it helps you or if you have a different way of doing things.

Linux is open source and promotes sharing.
So let's share the ideas and opinions.


Edit The Menu

Your Applications Menu can be used to install or remove software by using the Add/Remove link at the bottom of the menu.

And that menu can be customized to add or remove listings and/or category.
You can even add a new menu to the main menu.

Here's how;

Place your cursor over the Applications button in the tool bar.
Now right click on it and from the menu select Edit Menus.
There you will see each category and software listed within it.
Place a check mark next to the software to have it appear in the menu. Uncheck it to not have it listed in the menu.

You can even move a software listing from one category to another using the 'Drag and Drop' method.
One word of caution;
When you drag a software listing from one category to another you are actually doing a Copy and Paste.
The original stays put and a new listing will show up in the category you dragged it to.
So you will need to right click on the original listing and delete it unless you want it listed in 2 categories.

You can even add new categories (Menus).
There are many options and tools available to fully customize the menu to suit your liking.


Clean Up Files

Sometimes we try a piece of software but later decide to uninstall it.
Most times when you uninstall a piece of software, all the dependencies that were installed with the package are also removed.

I say most times. But not always.

So here is a quick command that you can run in the Terminal window to clean up those stray packages.

sudo apt-get autoremove

The Autoremove command scans the dependency tree and if it finds any orphan packages it will remove them.

This is a quick and simple way to check and keep your system clean.


Open With Option

Quick tip for those new to Ubuntu.
You have a Mp3 file that plays with Amarok but you want it to play with VLC.
So how do you change the associations?
It's easy.

Right click on the file and select Properties.
In the Property screen you will see a tab marked Open With
Click on that tab and you will see a list of apps that can be used with that file.
Don't see the software you want to use listed?
No problem.
Click on the Add button and a list of installed software will appear. From there you can select the software you want to use.
If the program isn't listed you can use the Custom Command option found in the Add screen.
This will allow you to either browse to the app or enter the command used to open the app.

Some of the commands are as follows;

Title: Command
XMMS = xmms
VLC = vlc
MPLAYER = mplayer

You get the idea.

When you choose the app it is a global action.
If you choose VLC to open that Mp3 file then VLC will open all the Mp3 files on your system.

This tip is not limited to Mp3's.
You can use it for your pictures, videos, text files and any other files that you would open in a normal session.

When I download the pictures from my camera I have that image format set to open with F-Spot Photo Manager. Other images are set for Image Viewer or whichever software I want to use for that certain format.


The Telephone Tree

This story and concept is based on an article from the 2600 magazine.
Did I mention that I think 2600 is one of the best zine's for the money?
Well it is.

Okay, so here's the game.
Let's say you order something from a company that costs $20.
It's sent to you but when you open the package you find the item is broken.
You call the company to report the damage.
But you don't get a live person at first.
You have to climb the tree. The tree being the menu we all know and love when calling a company.
Press 1 for English
Press 2 for sales, 3 for tech support, etc. , etc.
You finally work your way through the tree only to be put on hold for the next customer service rep.
By the time you finally get to talk to a 'real' person you may have already wasted 20 to 30 minutes.

But the company already knows this. In fact they make a science out of it. They have statistics on how long a man will wait while on hold as compared to how long a woman will wait.
They are banking on you hanging up.
But let's say you hang in there and wait it out. You finally get a rep, explain the damage and expect immediate action.

Guess what Bubba? Your wrong. Action will be much less then immediate if any at all.
The rep informs you that they will need to send you out some claim forms and a return number.
So you give the rep all your info and hang up.
A week goes by, then two. Still no claims form.
So you call the company back.

Here you go again! Time to climb the tree.
Again you are put on hold for the next available rep.
If you are still hanging in there you probably now have over an hour of your time invested.
And if your trying to make these calls during your lunch hour, you can pretty much forget it because every other victim is trying to make that same call during their lunch hour.
But you hang in there because you either have time to waste or you are tenacious about getting an unbroken item you paid for.
Again the rep says you need a claim form and there must have been a mix up so they will make sure it goes out to you right away.

A week goes by, then two and finally.......
You get the idea.
The company is betting on you giving up and cutting your losses.
They saved themselves money by not having to pay for a replacement item and shipping both ways.

Meanwhile you are wasting time and money (time = money) trying to replace a 20 buck item.

The poorer people will usually be the one's cutting their losses. They are too busy working to stay on the phone a 1/2 hour or longer more then 1 or 2 times trying to get hold of a real person that will actually help them.
Whereas the corporate executive or rich person who has people working for them can have one of their workers do the phone call shuffle.

But like I said, the companies have statistics on all the scenarios and population.
They know the odds of having to send out a replacement even before they ship it to you.
So what can one do?
How can we fight back?

Well there is one way that may get their attention and get you some action.
Is it legal? I believe so. Although it may fall under some harassment or possibly the F'ed up terrorism law.

What you need to do is during the first phone call make it very clear to the rep that if you don't receive a claims form or replacement within a certain amount of days you will be taking action against the company.

Action? What action?
Legal action? Nope! That is even a bigger waste of time and will usually cost you more money.
What you need to do is enlist the aid of about 20 friends.
Give them the info they need to make a claim for that item including your shipping info.
Now pick a time that will be good for all who can spare a 1/2 hour or more.
Now at the designated time have all your friends call the company to speak with a rep.
What you can even do is split the group into 2 or 3 squads so they can make their call a bit after you and your squad have made your call.

The company probably hires a call center to field their calls.
But one thing every call center does is make notes of who called.
When they see that you have called in 20 or 30 times a day for two or three days you can almost bet that some action will be taken.

That action can be on of several scenarios.
You get your claim form.
You get your replacement item.
You get a summons to appear in court or a cease and desist letter from their corporate lawyers.

No matter. You got some action.
And maybe if enough people stand up for their rights and take action against these companies that will stoop to new lows for the sake of a better bottom line, this type of corporate crap may start to subside.

Don't take no for an answer. Stand up for your rights.
Remember that you spent your hard earned money to purchase their product that will generate a profit for the company.
Use you spare resources to waste their time and money.
That usually gets them to act so they can get back to increasing their bottom line.

And as always, you take full responsibility for any legal problems you may have by following this advice.
I will in no way be held accountable or responsible if you get hauled away as a terrorist or any other felony charge.

Thanks to Barrett Brown and his excellent article on Holding Actions found in the 25-2 volume of the 2600 magazine.


Hardy Heron Problems

I was hyped up! Ready to make the leap.
And I was going to do it without taking any chances.
I wanted Hardy and I upgraded.
But not in the usual upgrade style. Oh no. That can cause problems.
Nope! I saved off all my email and bookmarks along with my other files.
Then I formatted the hard drive saying goodbye to Gutsy and loaded Hardy.

And Hardy lasted only a few weeks. I'm back to Gutsy.
I couldn't take all the broken software, coasters burned with K3b, lock ups, high cpu usage and web sites that looked terrible in Firefox 3.

The list of problems was long. And the fixes were sporadic, uncertain or very labor intensive.
Wine didn't work along with several other software packages.
Playing videos or doing certain other chores on my system caused the cpu to load up to 100% and at times caused the system to lock up completely.

Watching videos in Firefox like at Youtube would cause Firefox to close unexpectedly.
I have always used K3b for all my burning needs. But it was impossible to use K3b because all it did was burn coasters. The cause of the coaster production line was due to a file K3b needed for speed sensing. The log files showed that K3b didn't have permission to access that file.

Numerous times my computer would stop responding.
Finally I had enough and last week I reinstalled Gutsy.
Was tempted to go with Etch but decided I had enough 'fun' in the last 3 weeks.
I needed something familiar and stable.

Ubuntu really pissed me off and dropped the ball big time with this release.
Had this been a new user looking to get rid of the MicroShaft shackles they would
have screamed all the way back to Bi$$y Boy thinking he really was the god of programmers.

Canonical needs to rethink their release schedule. Oh it sounds good, a new release every 6 months, but it is too aggressive.
Heck! I don't think many would have minded if this version was a few weeks late as long as it was less buggier. I can hear the board room banter the week before the release date.
"We have to ship on time otherwise we will look like we aren't for real."

Well shipping out an OS that acts like a beta version not only puts a blemish on your corporate image, it puts you on the same level as Microshaft and the crap they call an operating system.

Hardy is a Long Term Support (LTS) version.
To me that means it should be very stable at release time. It shouldn't be a Long Term Fix It As We Go (LTFIAWG) version.
And if this is what you expect to use to lure new users from Windowz, you blew it!

I'll sit back awhile and see what happens in the next few months.
But if it looks like problems still exist because everyone is gearing up for the next big 6 month release I will be looking for another flavor like Etch or other Debian derivative.

I still like Ubuntu and will continue promoting it albeit Gutsy and not Hardy.
Remember that people are looking towards Linux because of the crap being fed to them by MicroShaft.


Verizon Speed Test Lies

I decided to try Verizon's speed test found here;

They sure like to lie!
Why do I say that? Well th
e results are skewed to say the least.
Here's what I mean.

The results from Verizon's test page;

Download speeds seem a bit low considering I have a 5 Mbps connection.
The upload speed is way out of line. My ISP caps the max at 384 Kbps.

So I go to
This looks more like it should be;

To verify it, I go to

Here are the results;

:::.. Download Stats ..:::
Download Connection is:: 4817 Kbps about 4.8 Mbps (tested with 6144 kB)
Download Speed is:: 588 kB/s
Tested From:: (Main)
Test Time:: 2008/07/06 - 1:43pm
Bottom Line:: 84X faster than 56K 1MB Download in 1.74 sec
Tested from a 6144 kB file and took 10.448 seconds to complete
Download Diagnosis:: Looks Great : 9.53 % faster than the average for host
User Agent:: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20080625 Ubuntu/7.10 (gutsy) Firefox/ [!]

:::.. Upload Stats ..:::
Upload Connection is:: 356 Kbps about 0.4 Mbps (tested with 1013 kB)
Upload Speed is:: 43 kB/s
Tested From:: (Main)
Test Time:: 2008/07/06 - 1:46pm
Bottom Line:: 6X faster than 56K 1MB Upload in 23.81 sec
Tested from a 1013 kB file and took 23.322 seconds to complete
Upload Diagnosis:: May need help : running at only 76.89 % of your hosts average
User Agent:: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20080625 Ubuntu/7.10 (gutsy) Firefox/ [!]

Let's verify it one more time from here;

The results are as follows;

Download speed 4668 Kbps
Upload speed 364 Kbps
QOS 96 %
RTT 22 ms
Max Delay 113 ms

From 3 other testing sites my download range is 4668 Kbps to 4817 Kbps
and my upload range is from 356 Kbps to to 367 Kbps yet Verizon says
my Download speed is 2861 Kbps (2.86 Mbps) and
my Upload speed is 476 Kbps.

So what's the deal?
Why does Verizon cook the speed test?
I think I know why.
The download speeds are different because Verizon's packages have a max download speed of 3 Mbps.
They probably use a random generator to pick out numbers when the speed is near or over 3 Mbps.
In the case of the upload speeds, it is considered a low speed for their
specs (768 Kbps) so they juice the upload numbers to make it look
like you are uploading files faster then you actually are.
In this case, they are saying my upload speed is about 25% higher
then the max allowed by my ISP.

You can bet that if you call them up with speed issues they will direct you to their speed test site.
And I will also bet you a cup of coffee from my company's cafeteria (It's free!) that they won't even listen to you should you quote speed test results from other sites.

Ah! The joys of manipulating numbers.
It makes the customer feel good while he's getting screwed.