Thursday, December 31, 2009

JDownloader - An Excellent File Downloader

Need a good tool for downloading files from Rapidshare, Megaupload or other file sharing sites?
Try a program called jDownloader. It's free and because it's written in Java, it's not platform dependent.
That means it will run in Linux, Windows, Mac or any other OS that has Java installed.

You can go to the site found here;

Download the installer that matches your OS. You will also need the Java Runtime jre installed.
If you have Ubuntu you can get it through the repositories. Other OS's can get it from Sun's website here;

When you unzip the downloaded file in Ubuntu you will have a folder with many files in it.
The one you want to use is the one named jDownloader.jar
Right click on it and select Java Runtime Environment as the launcher.
You will be greeted with a configuration screen. It will also ask  if you want to install apt-get in your Firefox browser so it will automatically grab the links you selected and add them to the link grabber section of jDownloader.

I'm not going to provide support for this software. That can be found in their forums.
What I will provide is some basic info to make your life easier.
If you don't have a premium membership to Rapidshare or any other file share site make sure you set the number of maximum connections for each site to 1.

You may also set your maximum simultaneous downloads to 1.
You also have the option to set your download speed plus many other options although the above are the most important.

Below is a screen shot of my linkgrabber screen. It has all the links for my 20 in 1 multiboot DVD ready to be added into the download section.

So what can jDownloader do for you?
It can automatically grab selected links and add it into your linkgrabber screen ready to be downloaded immediately or later on.

No need to sit and wait in between downloads because of mandatory wait times. This software does it for you! It also grabs the captcha codes like at Megaupload and puts them in for you.
And after the download is finished, it extracts the file from the rar or zip file.
It also has the ability to download protected links like those being circulated in several forums.
JDownloader supports hundreds of file sharing sites.

You cannot believe how much this software improves life for non-subscribers of file sharing sites.
I add the links and start it before leaving for work and depending on the size of file and speeds, it is usually done by the time I get home.
No more wasted time watching the pc waiting for the 15 minutes to be up so you can start the next link.
This software does the waiting for you.
No more typing in the captcha code. jDownloader does it for you.

Make your downloading life easier and give jDownloader a try.



Linux 20 in 1 Multi Boot Has Arrived

New direct download links below! No waiting or membership required.
My newest 20 in 1 multiboot DVD is now ready for download. Let's start the new year celebration early!
I'm sorry about the delay but I wanted it tested by several sources before I released it.
As with any live distro, there are always some pc's that won't be able to boot and run a specific distro.
And unfortunately, you may come across a few in this release that will not boot.

Specifically Mint. For some reason Mint is very picky about hardware. During testing about 1/2 the pc's it was tested on could not run it. This is only one distro however. There are 19 others to choose from and many of them have boot options in the menu that allows a user to choose from several video modes that will allow even the older pc to run it. If a distro won't boot in a high end video mode try the vesa or safe graphics mode found in the sub-menu. I also enabled the feature to append commands to the boot script by pressing the Tab button.

Now for a run down of the distros included in this release. There is a wide variety of distros that I included as to give you an idea of what is out there other then the mainstream distros.
That said, here is what I have included;

Mint 7, CDLinux, xpud, NimbleX, Backtrack 3, antix, Austrumi, GeeXboX, MacPup, Netboot, Slax, Slitaz, TinyMe, Tiny Core, Wolvix, NT Password Recovery, Clonezilla, Parted Magic, Free Dos, Memtest

That should be a large enough variety to showcase all the different distros and their strong points.
Some notes about these distros. You may find that some of them don't have immediate internet access.
If you look in the software menu of the running distro you should find a program to configure you network connection or you may also see a wizard. Using one of these should allow you to connect to the internet but not guaranteed depending on type and age of the network card. Wifi was not tested so this will be something for you to check out.

I also want to comment on one distro in particular. That being Tiny Core. At 10 megs it is the smallest and also the fastest distro on the planet. Because of it's size there is no software included. But you can download and install it from within the distro very easily. Open the software window. You will see it is blank. Click on connect from within that window and it will connect over the internet to its repository.
A list of software will appear from which you can choose what you want to install.

New Links!
Thanks to Greg for his gracious offer to mirror my links on his dedicated server.
No waiting time between links and for those with good connections you can download the Iso file in one download. He also took the time to create a
MD5Sum text file so you can verify your downloads.
Please take the time to say thanks to Greg by dropping by his blog at:

or you can leave a comment to him below in the comments section.
Here is the newest links to my files;

I will also keep my Rapidshare links available here for downloading my 20 in 1 Linux multi boot DVD;

There is an excellent piece of software available for Windows and Linux users that makes downloading from Rapidshare and other share sites a breeze. It's called jdownloader and I will be doing an article on how to set it up in a few minutes. So look for my newest article on it.

Hope you enjoy this newest release and any feedback is appreciated.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Linux 20 in 1 Multiboot DVD

Latest News UPDATE!!!

 The links have been posted in my blog post found here;


That's right! A 20 in 1 Linux Multi-Boot DVD. I'm putting the final touches on it right now.
I've packed in a lot of goodies and added a custom menu and sub menus. I've learned some new techniques since making the last multi-boot DVD.

I bet everyone thought I was dead or this blog was dead. Far from it! I have much more to add in the near future. I got the urge to create one of the largest (in terms of distros) multiboot DVD's and I was spending all my free time on it. Now that it's finished, I can continue adding other goodies to my blog.

Now for the technical portion and specifics. I will be uploading the links to Rapidhare. Expect to see them within 5 or 6 days. I have a few people still testing it and I won't upload it until I get thumbs up across the board. There will be 40 files. 39 of them will be 100 Mb and the last one is 65 Mb.

As for the distro list? Here you go;
Mint 6, Knoppix 5, Slax, Feather, DSL, Puppy, Astrumi, Slitaz, TinyMe, Tiny Core, Backtrack, xpud, antiX, NimbleX, Insert, NetBoot, Clonezilla, NT Password Recovery, MemTest, Free Dos.

That's a lot of computing power packed into one DVD. I decided to use Knoppix 5 rather then the newer releases as version 5 packs more software into it then the newer versions. Most of the other distros are the newest releases. I tried staying away from versions that were beta or 'cutting edge' as I wanted a stable DVD.

I'm including 2 screenshots of the main menu. When I post the links for the DVD I will also include a few screenshots of the sub-menus.
Here is the main menu layout. Had to do 2 screenshots because I used isolinux for my menu config and not all the distros fit in the window. You need to scroll up and down using the arrow keys on the keyboard.


I will add a post with the links to this DVD in 5 or 6 days. It will take some time to upload all the files as my ISP has serious issues with allowing us paying users to have more then a few 100k in upload speeds.

Hope I'm not the only person excited about this DVD.


This project is on hold until I can sort out some of the issues I have encountered in Mint and Karmic Koala. Those issues being file permissions being changed to root during the burning with k3b and problems with checksums and the inability to create a proper iso file due to the "the size can't be determined" bug I have encountered in Karmic.

Thank you for your interest and patience during this time. I am working on getting this completed as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Random Ravings

I'm still alive and well. Just extremely busy with work and real world stuff.
To be honest, I haven't had any time to play with my computer so that I can blog about it here.
But I do have some rants and thoughts I figured I'd share with you.
Most of it has to do with (Gasp!) Windows. Like that's breaking news. LOL!

I've had numerous people contact me over the past few weeks with questions and concerns.
They are all Windows users. Many questions concerned the new Windows 7 being released shortly.
Questions like what version would be the best? Will my system run it? How much and how hard will it be to upgrade?

UGH! All those that I spoke with will be able to run Win 7 as they have systems built by me and I had the foresight to build them with over kill because I figured the next gen Microsoft OS would probably want more power then what Vista required. Although we now know it won't.
But I made sure to max those systems out so they won't have any future upgrade problems.

Price and upgrade is another matter though. As I said, these were custom built systems and the customers all have Vista Ultimate installed at their request. At the time they wanted the latest cutting edge OS that Microsoft offered. Now it's going to bite them in the A$$ royally!
For a comparable version of Windows 7 they will be shelling out close to $200 for the upgrade version. This is after they already shelled out almost $300 for Vista Ultimate that was lackluster at best and surely wasn't worth the price.

But the upgrade process that they will have to go through because they are using Ultimate is the biggest disaster since the Titanic. If you have Ultimate installed you will need to back up all your files and documents, hope you have all your original software and then you will need to do a fresh install of Windows 7.
That cold hard fact right there turned off most of my callers. They said they didn't feel comfortable or wanted to go through all the back up and installation process.

Way to go Microsoft! Make more people unhappy. Hopefully they will finally see the light and realize Windows isn't the only OS in town. But this post isn't just about bashing Microsoft or Windows 7. Or is it? LOL! Let's continue.

Tonight I had a co-worker's son call me. He is building a new computer and wanted some feedback about quality motherboards and video cards. He is planning to run the Adobe Creative Suite. Poor kid is an aspiring graphic artist and spends his every penny on software and computers. Good thing he still lives at home. LOL!!

I took a quick look at the system requirements for the version he had.
Nothing outstanding. He will still be using XP since his version probably won't run on Windows 7. Only concerns was a quality video card which he can grab for around $140.
Asked him why the new computer. He said he is building it so when he can afford the newest Creative Suite version that runs in Windows 7 he will upgrade. I then upped his video card recommendation to a $200+ unit. So much money tossed into hardware and software every few years just so we can be functional and up to date? Give me a break!!

I guess what I'm really getting at is that for my needs and comfort zone, I'm more then happy using Linux. And NO!, I'm not some couch surfing, email forwarding casual user.
I have my hands in many projects when I have the time. I like making graphics, creating my own music, create my own bootable OS disks and probably do more then most users would ever get their hands into.

And when I was using Windows I was not what you would call a legit software user.
Anything coming my way was welcome. But you finally get to a point where you have had enough. Hours of hunting, removing viruses from some of the non-legit software, burning the stuff to Cd's or DVD's.
Using Linux is like a dream. I need software, I just need to do a few clicks.
And software is updated automatically. No need to find the latest and greatest all the while hoping it's not filled with viruses.

I have a good chuckle when I hear people saying they need to upgrade their Ram because the 1 or 2 Gigs may not be enough for what they want to do. I enjoy watching their jaws drop when I tell them my PC only has 512 Megs of Ram.
Nor do I have a dual core CPU. Why should I? For what I do on this computer, a single core is all I need.

And soon the newest version of Ubuntu and Mint will be available. Won't cost me a dime and the upgrade will be much easier then what Vista Ultimate users will be put through. Also will work without having to update my hardware.

I learned a long time ago that when installing Linux, you put your Home directory on a separate partition. That way if something ever goes wrong with an update or you want to install a pre-release version all your data and files are still safe and sound. Let's see Windows do that!

And speaking about keeping data safe. How about that T-Mobile fiasco with their Sidekick phone and the servers owned by a Microsoft company? Microsoft tries implementing a new database strategy and looses all the data on both the main server and the back up.
Hey Bozos! Next time you may want to try it with the back up server disconnected just in case your new strategy eats all the data.

Cloud computing. Hah! All these companies can sucker you in and tell you it is the latest and greatest. It is the wave of the future. But just how safe is your data. The above Sidekick fiasco is just one example. How about questions like "where is the server located?" "How secure is the facility?" "Who at the facility has access to my data?" (That's a biggie).
Or how about the $100,000.00 question?
If my data is lost or compromised, who is responsible and what recourse do I have?

All those questions are legitimate and must be answered before you can even trust your data to the cloud.

Well, I'm done ranting and bashing.
Got to go. Remember, keep your eyes and ears open. Think outside the box and ask plenty of questions. It's the only way to learn and stay safe.


Friday, September 25, 2009

The Beatles - Yellow Submarine

Your not going crazy. This post is not about Linux or any other OS.
It's about I need your help or maybe I'm going crazy.
Back in the day, the Beatles songs were all over the airwaves. Every radio station was playing them. And one song sticks out in my mind because I can't find it or any info about it. That being Yellow Submarine by the Beatles.

But not the versions I keep coming across. I'm not that crazy or dense! LOL!!
The version I remember sounded like all the others I came across except for one part.

In the easily found version there is a part where you hear the sub noises and crew talking through the intercom with the final words of Tip it! Tip it!

The version that was played over the radio and on the juke boxes in my area had the words Dive! Dive!

Now I don't know if that was some kind of local area remix or if we have had the originals polluted by re-issues and re-masters and I haven't come across the true original?

So I am asking for your help. If anyone knows what album or release that version of Yellow Submarine is from, I sure would appreciate a shout in the comments section.

And thanks to any who can help me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Made The Switch

I recently made the switch. No! Not to Windows 7 !!!!
I switched to Mint.
I have been using Ubuntu since Edgy and became a full time Linux user since Feisty.
As good as it is, I needed a change. Not so much a full distro change but more of a look and feel change.

I had some help with this decision. I was trying out ReneL's new multi-boot DVD which contains Mint (Both Gnome and KDE) along with all the Ubuntu versions, SysRescue and TinyCore.
In case you haven't been following the comments in my blogs and missed it, you can get the torrent from here;

I will also be posting a new article about it and hope to put up some RS links to it.
Now about Mint.
After I installed it I realized that the look was very different. Instead of 2 task bars, there was only one. And that was at the bottom of the screen. I know I said I wanted a new look and feel but I'm so accustomed to having the task bar on top I switched its position.

The install and updates along with additional software installs took about 2 hours.
And thanks to Linux keeping all your personal files in the Home directory along with the ability to have your Home folder loaded into it's own partition, my documents, bookmarks and email were all ready and waiting for me.

So now I will be using Mint until I tire of it and switch to another distro.
But I still have my back up computer that currently has Vector Linux on it that I also use.
I enjoy variety and thankfully Linux provides me with plenty of choices.
Maybe I will just have to set up a multi-boot on my back up computer and install TinyCore next to Vector just for the fun of it.

BTW..... As with all the Debian distros, Streamtuner also needed to be patched for the Shoutcast bug. Mint may look different but it still has it's roots in Debian.

Until next time.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Look At DVDStyler (Mini Review)

Recently I came across DVDStyler to make DVD's from some video files I have.
This is my second time trying this software. My first encounter with DVDStyler was a not very successful. But that was back in the Feisty Fawn days.
Today I take back what I said back then about DVDStyler.

I'm using version 1.7.2 and have had no real problems except for the few I will mention in this article.
It is available for Linux and Windows users which is a major plus for open source software.

The layout is simple and easy to navigate. It uses category tabs on the left to pick backgrounds, buttons and files. It's all drag and drop and allows customizing the size, color and font of the buttons and any text you add such as titles.

It converts almost any file fairly fast and allows auto-chaptering and multiple video files. Just add the file to the time line at the bottom and pop in a few sub-menus. Add text, images and frames by right clicking on the screen and make a selection from the menu.

It also offers options to choose the video aspect ratio, video bitrate, audio output of mp2 or ac3, NTSC or PAL formats. Many features but not overwhelming that it will confuse the new user.

I've been using DVDStyler to create a DVD disk and have it save the resulting disk as a ISO. Then I open the ISO with VLC media player to check it. Once I'm satisfied I burn the ISO to a DVD with k3b or you can use the burner of your choice.

The only drawbacks I have had with this DVD creator are as follows:

Background selection is minimal. This can easily be fixed by adding in your own jpg background files using root access to the DVDStyler folder.

The selection of buttons is also minimal. The buttons are svg graphics so they can be scaled to any size with out loosing clarity. Finding additional svg graphics can turn into a scavenger hunt.

When adding a sub-title (srt file) I thought I had figured it out, details and help are sketchy for doing this, but when running the conversion I received an error saying it couldn't find the font file. After a few hours of trying to find a fix I ended up using avidemux to integrate the srt file into the video then used DVDStyler to create the DVD.

I use the restricted extra codecs on my 'nix box but haven't been able to successfully convert DivX avi video files. For this problem I use WinFF to
convert the avi to a DVD compliant mpeg. That way DVDStyler doesn't have to re-encode the video file. It only needs to turn it into the vob and ifo files which only takes 10 -15 minutes depending on the file size.

That said, I have been very happy with the ease and quality of DVDStyler.
It has done what I needed it to do, is easy to use and is faster then most video converters and dvd creators.

Whether you use Linux or Windows, you should do yourself a favor and try out DVDStyler. You may be pleasantly surprised.
And in case you missed the text link you can find it here;



Monday, July 20, 2009

Streamtuner Shoutcast Plugin Oddity

I have to really wonder if the continuing Shoutcast problem in Streamtuner is in fact caused by the Ubuntu kernel.
I ask this question out loud after installing Vector Linux which is based on Slackware using Linux Kernel version

After I installed Vector Linux on an older 1 Ghz computer I saw that Streamtuner was preinstalled. Curious as to whether it would work properly or not I fired it up.
To my surprise, not only did the Shoutcast tab work perfectly but Punkcast and plugins were installed and working properly.

Now it is possible that the good people involved with Vector Linux may have patched the plugin or it may be the latest Streamtuner release works as it should in Vector while still causing problems in Ubuntu.

I've also read that other distros don't have problems with the Streamtuner Shoutcast plugin that was recently released.
Yet it seems most Ubuntu users are still having problems with it.

I plan to take a look at the Vector install and the plugin they are using in an attempt to put this to rest once and for all.
I like Streamtuner and have not found anything that compares to it. So I'm not going to give up the fight to get this fixed properly.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Multiboot Links

I've gotten many requests for some multiboot links and info so I gathered up a bunch of the best from my library.

I used the info to learn how to make my TaZMAn's 15 in 1 Multiboot DVD.

Since I built that DVD some new software and scripts have been released that make this task easier. Two that immediately come to mind are Unetbootin and the script I posted earlier that will create the Cd/DVD for you.

So without further fanfare here are the links and I hope they help all of those who want to create their own multiboot disk.

Creating a Multi-boot DVD

Bootland Forum


LiveCD Creation Resources

Create a multiboot CD

Multi-boot 30+ Operating Systems with just the ISO, no Disks

Repository of Distros


Super-Disc: Multi-Boot Project CD/DVD Using ISOLINUX

Multiboot DVD with Isolinux
Look on the last page for Jotnar's post
You want this article he posted;
Chris D'Hondt- Changes to Support Multibooting Linux Live CDs on the Same Disc


This just in from Mufaizal. A pdf file that explains how to make a multi-boot Linux disk.

Thank you Mufaizal.



Sunday, June 7, 2009

Computer Repairs - Texas Style

Last year, in it's infinite wisdom, Texas passed a law affecting all Computer Techs and computer repair shops.
Seems that in order to continue business as usual the tech will now need a Private Investigator license or face 1 year in jail and up to a total of $14,000 in fines.
And if the customer knowingly takes their computer to an unlicensed tech, they also face the same fines and jail time.

Excuse the following rant....................
What!!!! Are They #@%*&%$ NUTS!!!!

Do they realize the ramifications and repercussions from this idiotic law?
Do they really care or were they scammed by the Texas Private Security Board.
This Board is nothing more then a cartel using every sneaky move in the book to protect their archaic and technology unsavy members.

It seems that even repair shops like the ones in the big box stores that starts with a G got letters from the board to cease and desist until they come into compliance.
Oh yea! I can see them sending their techs to college so they can get a 4 year criminal justice degree or spending 3 years as an apprentice of a licensed P.I.

Or how about the neighbor down the street that does repair work for cheap.
Besides being an unlicensed business, he is now operating without a P.I. license.
In Texas that could very well mean the electric chair.

And what about the consumers? Think the cost for education, licensing and yearly dues aren't going to be passed on to them?
Okay Sir. I installed a new anti-virus program for you. The software is $50 and the labor is $700 for a total of $750.
Oh! I forgot that I also need to add $10 to your bill to cover the cost of my license renewal. So that will be $760 and have a nice day!

If you care to wade through the whole messy details you can follow the link below to a page that documents all the gory details being used in the pending lawsuits.

Mandated Computer License

And should you happen to be a resident of Texas, I urge you to write you representatives and governor urging them to abolish this asinine law.
Because in the long run it will ultimately be you, the consumer, that pays the ultimate price for your government's stupidity.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MultiBootin With UNetbootin. A Multiboot Flash Drive Tutorial

I have found that it is fairly easy to make a multiboot flash drive using UNetbootin.
A bit of time, moving files and some simple edits to the syslinux.cfg file is all that is needed.

I'm going to give a short tutorial on how to dual boot Mint Linux and Puppy Linux.
This is done on a 1 gig flash drive with only one partition.

Assuming you already have UNetbootin installed insert your flash drive.
Make sure that any data on your flash drive is saved elsewhere as UNetbootin will wipe it all out.

Start UNetbootin and from the drop down list select Puppy Linux.
The only version available should be the 'Latest Live' version. Select it and then choose the proper destination drive for the flash drive.

After it is finished downloading and configuring Puppy it may be a good idea to try it out by rebooting your computer with the flash drive still installed. If your Bios is configured properly to boot from the flash drive you will see Puupy boot up, ask some questions about hardware and screen resolution then boot to it's Desktop. Once you have verified that it works, reboot your computer with the flash drive removed.

Now that you are back in your computer make a folder on the Desktop or anywhere else you prefer and name it something like USB Puppy.
Insert your flash drive, open it, select all the files and copy them over to the new folder you just made. Now delete all the files on the flash drive. It's time for step 2.

Open UNetbootin and select Mint Linux. Choose the flash drive for the destination and start the download. After it is done you will again want to test it to verify it is working.
When you are satisfied that all is working properly boot back into your main system and then insert your flash drive once again.

Open the flash drive to reveal all the files and folders. Now open the first folder you created named USB Puppy. I resize both windows so they are visible side by side for easy transfer.
In the Puppy folder select all the files except those that have duplicate names in the flash drive containing Mint.

These are the file names you do NOT want to transfer over;
vesamenu.c32, ubnpathl.txt, ubnkern, ubninit, ubnfilel.txt, syslinux.cfg, ldlinux.sys

You could also select all then tell the file manager to skip the files that already exist but I don't like taking a chance that a file may get overwritten or corrupted.

Now that you have all the files from the Puppy folder copied to the flash drive it's time to add the Puppy Linux entry into the Mint syslinux.cfg file. It really is painless! :-)

Open the syslinux.cfg file in the Puppy folder with your favorite text editor.
This is what you will see;

default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit pmedia=cd

label ubnentry0
menu label puppy
kernel /vmlinuz
append initrd=/initrd.gz pmedia=cd

All we want is the last 4 lines of this file (In Bold). Select this portion and copy it.
Now open up the syslinux.cfg file for Mint which looks like this;

default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper quiet splash --

label ubnentry0
menu label Start Linux Mint
kernel /casper/vmlinuz
append initrd=/casper/initrd.gz file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper quiet splash --

label ubnentry1
menu label Start Linux Mint in compatibility mode
kernel /casper/vmlinuz
append initrd=/casper/initrd.gz file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper xforcevesa ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw noapic noapci nosplash irqpoll --

label ubnentry2
menu label Memory Test
kernel /isolinux/memtest
append initrd=/ubninit

label ubnentry3
menu label Boot from local drive
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit

Now place your cursor in between the section that starts with label ubnentry1 and label ubnentry2 and paste the entry from Puppy between them. I use the Enter and Delete keys to make this new entry conform to the format of the other entries. Makes editting easier.
Now before we close and save this file we need to correct some of the label entries.

Notice that each new entry starts with label unetbootindefault then continues with label ubnentry0, ubnentry1, etc. until we get to the entry that contains the new Puppy info.
That one says label ubnentry0 but we already have a label ubnentry0 that points to Mint.
So we take the last entry numbered 3 and change it to 4. Then change entry number 2 to number 3. And finally change the label for Puppy from 0 to 2.

The final syslinux.cfg file should look like this;

default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper quiet splash --

label ubnentry0
menu label Start Linux Mint
kernel /casper/vmlinuz
append initrd=/casper/initrd.gz file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper quiet splash --

label ubnentry1
menu label Start Linux Mint in compatibility mode
kernel /casper/vmlinuz
append initrd=/casper/initrd.gz file=/cdrom/preseed/mint.seed boot=casper xforcevesa ramdisk_size=1048576 root=/dev/ram rw noapic noapci nosplash irqpoll --

label ubnentry2
menu label puppy
kernel /vmlinuz
append initrd=/initrd.gz pmedia=cd

label ubnentry3
menu label Memory Test
kernel /isolinux/memtest
append initrd=/ubninit

label ubnentry4
menu label Boot from local drive
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit

Now close and save this new modified syslinux.cfg file.
Close all open folders, reboot your system with your new multi-boot flash drive still inserted and try it out. If you did it right you should now be able to access either Mint or Puppy and use them in 'Live' mode.

Before I go I want to leave you with some ideas, thoughts and tips.
This tutorial is not the only method to create a multi-boot flash drive nor may it be the fastest or easiest. But this is the way I first tried it and with this method I had success.

Not all distros will be multi-bootable in the same manner. If two distros have the same kernel or boot loader name you will have conflicts that will cause it not to work.
One method to get around this would be to either use 2 partitions or put them in seperate folders. I have not tried this nor am I saying these methods will work. I'll leave you to try it and experiment.

Don't feel that you are limited to just these 2 distros or that you can only have 2 distros for a multi-boot flash. Since I first tried this experiment I have also added Clonezilla to the drive giving me the option to boot to one of three distros/software.

Some flash drives may not be compatible with the Bios and will not boot.
I have some 2 Gig flash drives that won't work yet my 1 Gig flash drives from the same manufacturer works. So if it doesn't work the first time try a different flash drive.

I will not hold anyone's hand or walk them through these procedures. Learning computers and new ideas requires the user to try it and possibly fail until they have success. I have found that this works the best when teaching people new ideas or techniques. Call it tough love or whatever. It works!

Finally I need to make a comment on hidden files. Some distros have them, others don't.
Puppy doesn't but Mint does. I could have had you install Puppy then moved Mint over to the flash drive. But in order for Mint to work properly you would need to choose Show Hidden Files from the View button and make sure that you copied these over to the flash drive as well as the main files.

Hope this mini-tutorial helps you into your journey of multi-boot flash drives.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

UNetbootin - Boot Distros From Flash Drive

UNetbootin is a great free program that is available for Windows and numerous Linux Distros.

It allows you to boot your computer from a flash drive that has a pre-installed Distro or App on it.
Your computer needs to both boot from USB and recognize the flash drive as a USB Hard Drive. You will need to access your Bios and set it to boot from the USB port.

UNetbootin can either use a supported distro ISO file that has been saved on your hard drive or you can select a distro from the drop down box and it will download and configure the flash drive for you.

I've tried several distros found in the drop box with much success. The only distro I had a problem with was Slax. Not sure why I had a problem with it because I have used Slax in a 'Live' environment on this system before with no problems.

I'm planning to use UNetbootin to make a multi-boot USB flash drive.
I figure that if I use one larger distro like Mint, I can still get 2 or 3 smaller distros on a 1 gig flash drive.

I have several larger flash drives in the 2, 4 and 8 gig varieties but my system won't properly recognize these flash drives during the boot process.
So until I get a chance to find a work around like partitioning the larger flash drives into 1 gig partitions, I will stick with the 1 gig variety.

I don't see much of a problem setting up a multi-boot flash drive.
I'll install the distros one at a time. When one is installed I will copy the contents of the flash drive and save it on my hard drive then wipe the flash drive for the next distro.
Then I will install the 2nd and 3rd distros doing the same as the first between each download.
When the last distro is downloaded and installed on the flash drive I will copy the contents of the previous installs onto the drive one at a time.

The boot loader used is Syslinux which is easily modified to include the boot info needed by the other distros.
If I can get the larger flash drives working by setting up multiple partitions then I may need to use grub with a modified loader and menu but for a simple 1 partition drive Syslinux should be fine.

I'll update my blog with the results once I'm done playing.
I need some premium playtime and this project will be just what the doctor ordered.

Check my May 12 entry for a mini tutorial on making a multiboot flash drive using UNetbootin.



Health Records Stolen And Held For Ransom

I came across an article about the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program database being hacked and being held for a $10 Million (U.S.) ransom.
Supposedly the hacker(s) also deleted the database backups.

See the story here;
Virginia PMP Hacked

The above link also has a link to Wikileaks that has a copy of the ransom note left on the PMP site.

A new story has now emerged from the agency in charge of the PMP website and database denies the claim that the database backup has been destroyed.

Agency Denies Claim Database Was Destroyed

As I was researching this story I came across another story that deals with a break in to the Berkeley University database that stores the student's health records.

Berkeley Student Health Records Compromised

This attack happened over a 6 month period before the administrators realized what was happening! A 1/2 year of not knowing your server has been breached? That sounds like a huge case of incompetence!

Now I have to ask myself a question as should you.
Where the heck is the security?
And what are they doing? Sleeping?

Then you have that nonchalant attitude like the one found in the Agency Denies Claim Database Was Destroyed link;

"acknowledged a data breach of it may have occurred but refuted the notion the database had been wiped out by the unknown attacker."

A data breach may have occured?
Geez! The FBI is involved. I'd say that it did occur. And I'm willing to lay odds that the database backup was destroyed. Makes you wonder whey a backup was so conveniently accessible from the main server. Bet they stored it on the same hard drive!

And what about all that patient info that is supposed to remain confidential?
Who is going to pay for the damages to these people's credit ratings once the perpetrator decides to sell all that info?
What about all those Social Security numbers that can now be used for identity theft and fraud?
Who's going to foot that bill to protect the patients?
Patients that had absolutely no say in how their personal info was used or how it was stored and safeguarded.

I'm willing to bet that due to budget cuts either most of the IT staff was laid off or the whole operation was sub-contracted to the lowest bidder.
Some bean counter decided that the best way to increase the bottom line or cut the budget would be easily achieved by cutting or subbing out the security staff that was hired to protect our confidential data.

This scenario has been repeated over and over. Increasing the bottom line takes precedence over security and IT departments.
I have also encountered people who have graduated with a degree in computers that don't know squat about network security. But they sure now how to set up a network connection using dhcp or email accounts!

Sorry if I may have offended some System Admins out there but when a graduate from a school that has a MCSA comes up to me asking about how a firewall works or if I can format a hard drive for him, I have to wonder just what the hell they are teaching at that school and how the students are passing those MCSA tests!

Maybe it's time that our schools and institutions start teaching ethical hacking courses so that they can start protecting our networks better.
And let's keep the bean counters in check and prevent them from raiding out IT staff.
Make companies and government accountable.
Huge fines and penalties for any company or government entity that allows our data to be compromised. And the monies from the fines go to the people who's info was stolen!

Oh! And I must make mention that the Virginia PMP was running on Windows Server 2003. Berkeley uses several OS's including Open BSD, Solaris, Fedora, Red Hat, Debian and Windows Server 2003. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the student's health records were stored on a Windows 2003 server also.
Windows: Safe, Secure, Fast. NOT!

I won't even get into the hacking of the power grid.
I may end offending even more people and then have the G-Men knocking on my door.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm Still Here

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Been very busy the past few months.
Went back to school and got my computer certification.
Also started a new career with a company that has plenty of business and future potential. Very excited about this opportunity.

And check this out. They use Linux for some of their computer work!
I'm in heaven!!!

Also have built 2 custom computers for a customer.
Nice systems running the newest AMD Phenom Quad Cores with Nvidia 9800 video cards.
Both systems are housed in the very impressive Antec Nine Hundred case.
The only pitfall of these cases is that the power supply sits on the bottom and there is no wire trough or cable management system in these cases.
And a modular power supply is a must!

Then there are the usual computer repairs.
Had 2 last week that were as different as night and day.
One was a Linux based system and the other was an XP system.

The customer that had the Linux system said something happened that broke his network connection. He thought it may have been an update that was the problem.
He dropped it off and I checked it out. Hooked it up to my network and had a working connection.
So I call him up and ask if he has a second computer.
He tells me that he does. So I have him hook the second computer to the network cable that the Linux system was using.
No connection.
Turns out the network cable went bad.
Simple fix. All finished.

The XP system is another story.
The computer was totally infested.
Zango, WinFixer, Virtumonde, Codec Virus and numerous others.
Apparently the customer's children downloaded a mp3 file and when they tried to play it they got a pop up saying they needed to download a codec to play the song.
That was the beginning of the end.
The system downloaded a trojan.

Then they were online and a pop up appeared saying the system was infected and they could fix it by clicking on the button.
That pretty much ended the last bit of life in the computer.
It was the WinFixer virus.

Other stuff that was downloaded then proceeded to disable the firewall and antivirus software.
A check of the system logs showed that the Guest account became enabled and was given Admin permissions. It also changed group policies to deny the actual user access to msconfig, regedit, installer and other tools.
It also changed the host file, enabled remote desktop and added in a network redirect hook.

Took me several days using multiple tools to clean it all up and get it back to a normally operating XP system.
Even now I still have reservations as to whether I have all the permissions and policies back to where they should be.

I've joked numerous times about switching back to Windows.
Trust me, after going through all of the above to fix an infected XP system I can promise you that I will never use any Windows OS other then in a virtual environment.
And if I become insane enough to use Windows as a primary system just shoot me!

I also think I may be popping in at Spedman's house.
He is building a Mame arcade system based on an older AMD 750 Mhz CPU.
He called me the other night wanting to know why Puppy Linux wouldn't install properly. Rather it installed but the boot loader would always error out on a reboot with a "Drive Not Found" message.
So I guess I'll pop in one night and see what the menu.lst has in it.

And finally I will be doing a lot of self study so that I can continue on my certification journey.
Plan to take my Security+ and Linux Certification tests.
Will take the Linux test last as I have heard they are planning to update the test shortly. Will need to see what they plan to have in the new test. The current test is 5 years old and is pretty much out of date by today's Linux standards and features.

Hope to see some of my friends around the forums in the near future.
Right now my new career gets priority on my available time.

See ya around!


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Making The Switch

I'm switching back to Windows.
I gave Linux a shot for a long while but have no choice other then to switch.
I've found that I am missing out on so many features not available in Linux.
And all that quality software available for Windows is helping my decision.

Linux is good for many tasks but still leaves me wanting more.
I mean that I miss Nero, Irfanview, UltraIso, Nlite, Fruity Loops, Photoshop, DVD Architect.
Now those are some good software titles and allows you to do plenty.
In Linux all we have is stuff like k3b, Iso Master, LFS, LMMS, Xara, Gimp, Cinelerra and Kino.

Also when I switch back to Windows, I won't have people staring at me like I'm some kind of outer space creature every time I mention Linux.
It's hard enough for some people to understand Windows terms. Tossing out Linux terms like sudo, gedit, fstab, modprobe can really confuse them.

Then there is the way the Linux file system is arranged along with the folder names.
Most Windows users will know what you mean when you mention folder names like Documents, Windows, System32.
But try using folder names like etc, dev, mnt, usr or lib. It's way out there for most Windows users.

For some reason it's harder for people to remember 3 letter folder names then it is to remember long folder names like Documents and Settings or My Documents. I need to get back to those long folder names. It helps with the memory exercises that can prevent alzheimers.

And there are many other extras that come with using Windows.
Stuff like what is going to happen on this date.
That is why I decided to switch.
To fully understand my reasons for this post and change of OS's, I strongly urge you to read this page;

The Facts

It will explain everything.


Friday, March 13, 2009

One Crazy Ride!

Either they are crazy, stupid or both!
And that bull is really PO'ed. LOL!!

Warning! Some foul language in video.

Popular new ride at the TEXAS state fair


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Some Changes To My Blog

I'm sorry to say that there are some minor changes to my blog.
The past few days I have had a problem with a poster from China that insists on posting spam in the comments box.

I could just keep comments open and delete them on a daily basis but unfortunately at this time my schedule is too full for me to take the time deleting comments on a post by post basis.

Therefore I have turned comment moderation on and can review and approve/disapprove comments as a whole.

Sorry for this to happen but I will not have my blog turn into a spam server.
Thank you for your understanding and be assured that all comments submitted and pertaining to the subject will always be approved.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

15 in 1 MultiBoot Linux DVD With Links

Just finished up a multi-boot Linux DVD that contains almost everything a user could need.
I previously had said I wasn't going to make any more multi-boot disks but this was done on a challenge. Someone made a comment to me that it couldn't be done because of conflicts between distros with the same kernel names.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I like a challenge.

So I made this DVD and now the bug has bit me.
I have already started working on another disk that will also include an XP Pe environment. I don't use any special software to make these disks other then a hex editor, iso master and my archive reading software.

I do test my projects in VirtualBox before I burn the final product. Saves me money on DVD's when I screw up which is bound to happen.
For the record this multi-boot contains several major distros and numerous utilities.

One of these utilities allows me to install from a list of several major distros using the DVD and an internet connection. A virtual 6 in 1 by itself as I can choose which Linux distro I want to install on a computer and not need the specific disk.

The list is as follows:

NT Password and Registry Editor
PING (Partimage Is Not Ghost)
Parted Magic
Net Boot
Trinity Rescue Kit
Balder Dos / FreeDos

So I'm still alive and very active.

Here are the links

I have finally gotten the files uploaded to Rapidshare.
There are 15 Rar files and 1 How-to text file.
The links can be found here;

15 in 1 Links
Unrar all 15 files. This will create 1 Rar file. Unrar that file and you will have a DVD Iso that can be burned to a blank DVD.

Instructions on how to unrar, burn and modify the Iso can be found in the How-to text file.

Also feel free to pass it around, host it as a torrent or whatever. It's Linux, Open Source and free for all.


Check out my new 20 in 1 Live DVD found at my blog post here;
20 in 1 Multiboot Live DVD



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tabbed Nautilus In Ubuntu 8.10

Tabbed browsing in Nautilus is a dream come true.
While this may be old news for many readers it was recently 'discovered' by me in an accidental way.

But now I'm hooked. It's like tabbed Firefox and makes copying or moving files a breeze.
Open Documents then a new tab for Pictures.
Right click on a picture file in the Documents folder, tab over to the Pictures folder and paste!

And yes! Sometimes I'm a bit slow.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Add Custom Functionality To Nautilus

I came across this web page that explains how to add custom functionality to Nautilus.
By adding the Nautilus Action Package from Synaptic you can essentially create your own custom scripts that will show up in the right click menu.

It's not that hard to use and they provide a link to a web page filled with pre-made action scripts.

The page with a small tutorial and links to the pre-made scripts is at the link in the title or here;

Customize Nautilus



Google Messes Up Blogger Posts

I have noticed this problem several times including tonight.
If you post two articles within so many minutes of each other then do a Google blog search of the second article, the first article appears in Google.

Case in point.
Tonight I first posted an article on 2 programs for data and photo recovery titled "Data and Photo Recovery With TestDisk".

Then I published a post about the top 60 Ubuntu themes titled "60 Best Ubuntu Themes".

Next I went to Google, clicked on the Blog section and put in the following search term;
60 Ubuntu themes.

The results bring up my previous post about data and photo recovery and not the Ubuntu themes.

Try it for your self.
Or you can check this link;

Google Search Results

I have no idea why this is happening but I do hope Google fixes this bug.
And I'd like to hear from others that have had this problem.
I don't think it's an isolated case.



Strange Happenings In Firefox

I use Firefox. I also use the password manager along with the password exporter plugin.
But the other night I was in a panic. I recently signed up at a few new sites and didn't export my newest password list.
And when I went to a site that I've been a member of for a long while my user name and password didn't appear!

And when I went to view my password list inside Firefox, it was empty!
Uh Oh! Now what?

So I take a look around Google and see there was a bug due to a problem with a Linux file. But that bug was a bit old and all was supposedly fixed.
I also came across some articles that mentioned what files stored the user names and passwords. The data would be encrypted but I figured that I could try a few things with them.

First, I could check the file sizes and verify if indeed they held my data or where actual zero byte toast.
Secondly, I figured I could save a copy elsewhere, reinstall Firefox then put these files back in place. This solution didn't thrill me because I felt that the encryption was based on an algorithm generated when Firefox was installed.
But I was willing to give it a try since I did have the key file.

So I copied the files to a new location, saved off my bookmarks and was ready to uninstall Firefox. But something told me to try a reboot first.
So I rebooted the computer and sure enough, my user names and passwords returned. I immediately exported the list just in case it happened again.

And it did! The following evening I had it happen again. Funny thing about all this. Both times it happened was at the same forum. Both times I went to log in at the same forum and both times I temporarily lost my user name and password list. Hasn't happened since but I now make sure to export my password list every time I sign up at a new site.

And if you are wondering about the reputation of the forum and possible games by the owner. Uh-Uh! Not there. It is one of the strictest forums I have ever been a member of.
Don't even think of asking how to recover your lost Windows password or anything else like that. Not allowed.

And in case you were wondering about those 2 files?
Open you home folder and view hidden files.
Now look for the .mozilla/firefox folder.
Open the abcxyz.default folder were abcxyz will be some mix of letters and numbers created when you installed Firefox.

Now look for the key3.db file. This is the encryption file.
Now grab the signons3.txt file. This contains your user names and passwords.



60 Best Ubuntu Themes

60 Ubuntu Themes!
While some of us may argue that these are the 60 best themes, one thing you can't argue about.
They are all displayed on one page and can be downloaded from the included link below each screenshot.

If you want some new themes then this may be just what you are looking for.

60 Themes



Data and Photo Recovery With TestDisk

TestDisk and PhotoRec are 2 high powered, open source recovery tools that will run on many platforms including Linux, BSD, Windows, Mac, Dos and several other OS's.

Test Disk will recover lost or deleted files, recover lost or damaged partitions and rebuild damaged filesystems.

PhotoRec can recover pictures and files from digital camera memory, hard drives and Cd/DVD's.
It ignores file names so it can retrieve files from severly damaged file systems.

You can get more details and download them from here;

Ubuntu users can download it from Synaptic by doing a search for testdisk.
The repository package contains both titles.

While at their site you may want to also check out their cmos and NT password recovery and changer.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Games For Linux and Other PC's

Everyone enjoys games. Some more then others and then there are the hardcore gamers. And it seems that the lack of games is what is holding Linux back.
Can't say what category these games will fall into but they are all worth a look no matter what your gaming status is.
In this article I will provide you with 3 web sites and include a brief overview of each.

First on the list is the Spring Engine project.
Spring Project

Spring is a project aiming to create a new and versatile RTS Engine.
It is available for Linux and Windows as well as OSX however the OSX version is still in rough form.
For the Linux platform they have source code as well as packages for Ubuntu and several other popular distros.

They also have mods for their engine though many of them are still in development. All in all it is worth the trip to their site to check it out.
It is also a web site to keep an eye on for future developments. They seem to be a very ambitious crew and if they get enough interest and help we may see some very interesting and entertaining games coming out of there for years to come.

Next on the list is more of a game mod web site then a game site. But you have to ask yourself "Aren't all games just a mod of an older game?" Well, kind of. LOL!!

The above link should take you the Linux section.
There you will see the newest articles and below it a list of games and mods.
As with the above Spring Engine web site, many of the releases are still in testing but most should be released in the next few weeks.

One game I downloaded and tested was called Smokin' Guns. A recreation of the old Wild West, I was first given the job to protect the bank from robbers and later on I became a bank robber.
Considering the lower end specs of my computer, this game played fairly well and the graphics were pretty good. And all I had to do was make sure Wine was installed because the launcher is a Dos executible file. Click on it and the game begins. No install needed. Nice game and portable! What more could you ask for?

So go to Moddb and take a look around. Besides games they have plenty of mods for other games including a few that I saw for Crysis. HUH!?? LOL!

Finally we are going to turn back the clocks to the days of Dos.
The days when games were simple and prices were cheaper. (GRIN!)


Earlier today I was checking it out but unfortunately it is offline right now. Hopefully it's a maintenance issue.
DosBox allows you to play your old Dos games on your computer. It's available for as source code for independent platforms and Linux, Windows installer and a Mac version as well.

The website has a complete database of Dos games that lets you see if and how well your game will play in DosBox. While Dos games aren't bleeding edge there are many of the older titles that have a type of cult status and can still be enjoyed today. That is if you haven't tossed all those old floppies.
Speaking of floppies.... Hope you have floppy drive in your computer so you can load all those games into DosBox.

So there you go. Games are available for Linux and it looks as if many more will be emerging in the next few weeks and months. They may not be titles like Crysis or COD4, but many have good game play and are based on either the older and highly regarded Quake / Doom engines or the new Spring engine.

Now go and play some games!
And remeber.........Enjoy!


New Digital Rights War On The Horizon

I was reading an article found here;

Seems a new consortium of entertainment, retail and IT companies that want to set new standards to transform how consumers buy, access and play digital content.

Apple is against this new gang of thugs and I applaud them for putting up resistance.

A quote from the article;
DECE President Mitch Singer, who is the chief technology officer for Sony Pictures, told the BBC. "All of the companies in this consortium realise if we can do this and do this right we have the potential for a very large market."
What this translates into is they have the potential to make huge amounts of money while squeezing what little consumer rights that are left out of existence.
They want full control over what you can hear or watch and when!

And what about compatibility?
How much DRM can a device take. Especially an older device?
The correct answer to any problems with their DRM on my older devices is not "Well you need to buy a new device."
No! I will not go out and buy new hardware just so it works with your restrictive and most likely performance hindering DRM!!!

I also have this question I would like to pose to the industry and the consortium.
Over the many years of purchasing audio and video media I have amassed the following;

Over 300 '45 records
Over 800 LP's
Approx. 500 audio cassettes
Approx. 200 to 300 VHS and Beta video tapes.

In the audio category I have probably purchased a song at least two and possibly three times.
I have purchased many video titles that I can no longer watch because Sony was greedy and would not license the Beta format to other companies and that format was killed off.
That leaves me with the rest of my video collection that is in VHS format and is being phased out in favor of digital media like DVD's and BlueRay.

Since I have already purchased all this media (Many more then once!) should I not have access to this DRM protected content I already purchased for free?
If you would like, I would be more then happy to drag my whole collection into each and every CEO's office of every company in this consortium to prove that I already bought the rights to listen to it when I want to and where I want to!
And I won't leave until we have a complete inventory of what I own so that you can't say I don't have the right to listen to or watch it in the future.

How much do you expect a consumer to take until they say "ENOUGH!"
Implementing this type of restrictive protection will cut down your profits even more then what they already are in this weakening economy.
History has shown that consumers don't want DRM and Apple has proved this with sales figures since dropping the DRM on their music.


Linux Will Never Beat Out Windows

You read the right! Linux will never beat out Windows.
But before you start throwing rotten vegetables or shoes at me, read on.

I was chatting with a friend the other night telling him that I was looking for a different Linux distro to try out. Would probably dual boot it and if it worked well and grabbed my attention it may become my main distro of choice.
I told him that Ubuntu was boring.

So I went into my 60 gig stash of Linux iso's and grabbed a few that I felt may suit my needs. Burned them to disks and began my journey.
Tried Mandriva, Sabayon, Wolvix, Mepis and a few others.
Nothing! Had that same feeling that I have with Ubuntu.

What's going on? Why this sudden boredom?
I sat in front of the TV for awhile, my mind bouncing back and forth between the show and why I felt the way I did about Ubuntu.
After about an hour, I realized why I felt this way.

For all the years I had used Windows I was always hands on. Doing updates, checking security, firewall settings and logs, running antivirus and spyware scans, defragging the hard drive and a whole host of other tasks that became the normal routine with using Windows.

Now that I am using Ubuntu, I no longer have this routine. All I have to do is turn on the computer, log in and do what I intended to do when I first sat down in front of the computer.
Oh I check the firewall and tripwire logs once in a while but they always display the usual traffic or change log notes.
I don't have to update my antivirus or do scans. The only time I scan a file is if I'm sending it to a Windows user.

So now I know why I got that bored feeling. I no longer have to be a hands on 'stuck in a routine' computer user. Ubuntu and Linux as a whole takes care of all that for me. Check disk happens every 25 or so log ins. The hard drive doesn't need defragging. I no longer need to clean up the registry because I uninstalled 1 or 2 software titles.

I guess if you want to say that all the things you need to do in Windows to keep it safe and functional could be called exciting then using Linux could be called boring.

And that is why Linux will never beat Windows. Linux doesn't have that 'excitement' factor. Instead it offers me a secure and stable computer that has done everything I have asked it to do.
I have done graphics, video editing, dvd production, cateloguing my mp3 library, surf the internet, email and much more.

The only difference now is that my productivity has increased as I no longer need to spend time making sure everything is safe and updated.
Yep! Linux will never beat Windows in this way and I'm glad that I am finally bored.

Guess I'll stick with Ubuntu for a while longer! :-)



Friday, January 9, 2009

What's Wrong With Our Economy? Read This!

Okay, this isn't Linux related. It's more of a protest / rant post.
With unemployment in the U.S. at a staggering 7.2%, meaning that 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008, you have to start looking at some numbers. Certain numbers will tell you what is wrong with our economy.

Numbers like those found here at Forbes.

The latest compensation figures for the top 25 CEO's.
These figures were published 4-30-08 and are based on 2007 year end figures.
So let's go and add them all up.

Seems that the total compensation for a years worth of work by these 25 CEO's is worth $1,884,140,000.00!
That's one billion eight hundred eighty four million one hundred forty thousand U.S. dollars per year!!

Now I know that a CEO works very hard for the company that hired them (Or is supposed to but that usually takes additional bonuses and incentives) but let's take a look at some other numbers.

If we take that CEO compensation total and used it to create $50,000 a year jobs we could employ 37,682 workers.
If we spread these jobs across the 25 companies that paid out these salaries, each company could employ 1507 workers.

As I said, a CEO works hard and needs to be a good leader for the company but are they really worth as much as 1507 employees making $50,000 per year?

I'll let you make that decision.

Another page found at Payscale mentions a 2004 study that shows the growing gap between CEO's and the average worker.
In 1970 a CEO made about 25 times as much as the average worker.
In 2000 that gap grew to 90 times as much and depending on bonuses and stock options that gap reached 500 times as much!!!

I'm sure there are many readers who have known co-workers that have worked 20 or 30 years at a company and knew more about the business and what good decisions to make. Those are the ones who would make a good CEO and I'm sure they would be more then happy with a $1,000,000 (1 Million) a year pay rate.

So as our government runs around scratching their asses and thinking that a $1,000 tax break will fix things I got news for them.
That's like trying to put out a blazing inferno with a squirt gun.
That tax break wouldn't even cover most families expenses for 2 weeks.
They are out of touch with reality as are the corporations with their CEO pay scales.

Trim the greed and the fat by starting at the top. Then and only then will the economy slowly turn around. And finally I have a secret to tell you.
No one will admit to it and many will deny it but check the facts and figures from your history books.
This ain't a recession! It's a depression!

Only this time the government ran to the rescue of the banks. Had they not bailed them out (I'm still waiting on an accountability report as to where my money went. Can you say bonus?) we would be seeing pictures of 1929 all over again.
Remember. You heard it here first.

Good luck to all.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Backup Your Gnome Settings With yourgnome

yourgnome is a small easy to use script that lets you backup and restore your Gnome settings quickly. Note that it does not backup the actual installed software, rather the Gnome settings that took so painstakingly long to tweak.

Used in conjunction with the software list backup script found elsewhere on my blog, you can quickly restore a new install to the way you previously had it.

Some of the items that yourgnome backsup are as follows;
All your themes, backgrounds you use settings, gnome-panel settings, bluetooth-manager settings, evolution settings, file-roller settings, gnome-screensaver settings, gnome-session settings, gnome-terminal settings, gnome-volume-control settings, metacity & compiz settings, update-manager & notifier settings, totem settings, network configuration set by Gnome, screenlets and much more!

It processes all the settings then creates a tar.gz package that you can tuck safely away until you need it for yourgnome to restore the settings.

You can check out and download yourgnome from the developers page found here;

Again, I must thank Rok for telling me about this great script.