Thursday, March 29, 2007

Swim Across the Atlantic ocean - Says google maps

Click on the title for the link or below. Google maps Instructs you to swim all 3,462 miles of the Atlantic if you want to get from south London to London bridge. I hope people Don't rely on google maps like they do their tomtoms!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I ♥ Linux!

The OS (and its supporting applications) are evolving, improving and taking on a life of their own. As Neil Stephenson said in his essay "in the beginning was the command line" Linux is like a tank, describing this tank as "like the M1 tanks of the U.S. Army, made of space-age materials and jammed with sophisticated technology from one end to the other. But they are better than Army tanks. They've been modified in such a way that they never, ever break down, are light and maneuverable enough to use on ordinary streets, and use no more fuel than a subcompact car." Why is it that I'm having yet another "sliced bread has nothing on this" revelation? Due to the combination of these technologies/applications:
  • SSH
  • screen
  • bittorent
  • apt-get
How else would I be able to (from work) install an application on my home computer and tell it to download something for me over the internet (even if the net connection is too slow for GUI stuff) . It was done and downloading in under 3 mins! All 4 aps can be googled for. The bittorent guide I used was: BitTorrent for Linux I'm sorry but until Vista is posix compliant and has an effective SSH client and apt-get... oh and runs on the old P3 I have in the corner I'm not interested. Whenever I do something at the command line (therefor I can do it over SSH) I hear music from snap! "I've got the power!" Oh and for those who are wondering about the torrent it is a legitimate one.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ubuntu helping in the fight against AIDS

From the article:

iDart, or the intelligent Dispensing of Antiretroviral Treatment, is a pharmacy system written in Java that is used at antiretroviral (ARV) pharmacies. Initiated in 2004 as a partnership between Cell-Life and the Desmond Tutu HIV foundation, iDart is in use as five different locations around South Africa aiding in the treatment of over 8,500 HIV+ patients.

Cell-Life announced that it has created an iDart-in-a-box system which was originally implemented and distributed as software for Microsoft Windows. Due to issues with reliability and security, Cell-Life has decided instead to do a complete system utilizing Ubuntu Linux. The iDart-in-a-box includes a mid-range PC, a Zebra label printer, an HP DeskJet report printer, barcode scanner, a UPS and a GSM modem. The cost for this system lies within the hardware as there are no software licensing costs, and one of these systems can be purchased for approximately R10,000 (1,350 US$)

Cell-Life plans to further its commitment to supplying community health clinics with systems that work, all of the time, and with Ubuntu.

To read more about this story please view the entire article at Tectonic. To learn more about the iDart-in-a-box please review the iDart system overview and feel free to download the software as well.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mr. FixIt

Another weekend where I have been fixing computers for people. busman's holiday :) I have managed to rid a vomputer of a lot of viruses. someoen uninstalled their anti virus software as suggested by their ISP!!!! Aparently due to the internet connection being poor! Dick head at the ISP! This was a case of install Anti virus software and run it. install spy bot and run it... but the one thing that didn't go (it even ran in safe mode!) was an irritating bit of spyware ware called "System Alert popup" (that's what it was in Add/remove programs under. The solution included booting safe mode and running two things:
  1. ATF Cleaner - To remove all temp files... always handy.
  2. SmitFraudFix - An anti spyware application which removes a collection of specific and anoying spyware applications. Not as many as spybot/AdAware but gets some nasty ones they cant.
If you want to know what to do:
  1. Download software.
  2. Extract/Install software normally (if possible). You may need zip genius for zip files.
  3. Reboot into safe mode.
  4. Run ATF Cleaner. - Clean all temp files
  5. Run SmitFraudFix - Just chose option 2. and say yes (y) to registry.
  6. Restart normally
And your done. Took ages to find that one out :( The last thing I had was a computer where the clock had gone wrong (BIOS battery died and the computer had been unplugged for a while. The simple solution was to go to the GMT site. They have a fantastic application for setting your windows clock using NTP.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Microsoft says " has security problems!"

Its a fact. Microsoft IE7 told me that has security problems: Screen grab of IE 7 This image has not been edited in any way (other than being cropped). If you look closely you can see that Microsoft recommends you don't continue to/go to this site.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Nyble of unix bits

Don't have time to write the full 8 bits worth of details or add a page to my website so I'll jot notes down here.


IP scanning and other such things under Linux can be done using nmap. This is my command line to look around my LAN for hosts, who they are and what (if anything) they offer:
nmap -A>nmap-output.txt
It stores the output in a handy text file.

Disk space

In most cases this command will tell you how much hard disk space you have:
df -h
I found my root directory was rather full looking. The command to use to see what is taking up the space is:
du -h --max-depth=1 /
changing the forward slash on the end for the directory you are interested in. or you can change the --max-depth option.

This allowed me to quickly see that I had just under a gigs worth of log files, many of which I didn't need (I know my samba had issues which it logged once every 20 seconds for a while) and so was able to delete them.

BTW a nyble is:

Monday, March 05, 2007

Surviving the first day of Windows XP

Although somewhat out of date this advice is good for anyone with a computer with XP on it... And I'm sure it will apply to MS Fista too:

Quit downloading everything in your email. If you don't recognize the name, delete it.
Don't click "Yes" to every security certificate. You should accept Microsoft's, and that's it.
You don't require new cursors or smiley programs for your emails. The new "Hyper-Exelent Surf 3000 Toolbar by Lucky 88 Company" is not going to make your life easier. Likewise, if you want to know the weather, look outside or in your local paper.
PC Cleaning programs from pop-up ads don't work. Actually, anything advertised on the Internet should be considered fraudulent. (Yes, even "those" pills. They're just bull semen and corn starch.)
Get your programs from sourceforge, not from the first link on Google. Make sure that Spybot and Mike's adblocking are installed on your machine.
The people who write viruses have anti-virus programs to test their work on.
For the sake of whatever god you believe in, get a hardware firewall!
Run ShieldsUP! from to make sure that you're invisible.