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Why I switched to the Google Chrome web browser

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  • Thursday, June 10 2010 @ 07:03 pm EDT
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I have a netbook. It is slow. Firefox has a tendency to stall... just doing nothing apparent... on this computer. This tendency is most apparent on sites using javascript such as Facebook, Google Docs, etc.

I tried Google Chrome and it does not have this issue. On my slower computers I now use Chrome to help keep my web browsing a pleasant experience.

Proprietary Software

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  • Monday, May 17 2010 @ 12:05 pm EDT
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Dealing with proprietary software (especially buggy proprietary software, proprietary software where the company has disappeared and released no source code, proprietary software where the company has just decided to kill off the product for marketing reasons and released no source code, proprietary software licensing, proprietary software license key activation, difficult license renewal processes, license management servers that inappropriately lock the customer out of the software, etc.) can occasionally put me in a foul mood.

Over the weekend I found some images that are fitting for such occasions...

(Proprietary Software Toilet Paper)


(Proprietary Software in Quarantine)



NOTE: Images originally found at http://www.openstickers.com/ with the following license:
-----
Copyright 2006-2007, Javier A. Albusac Jiménez
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this book and associated files, to deal in the book without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the book, and to permit persons to whom the book is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or different versions of the book and inside images.
-----

Linux Home Theater PC - HTPC

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  • Wednesday, April 21 2010 @ 06:05 pm EDT
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Our digital media collection was ready to exceed the disk space of the old home file server. For the past few years I used a small, quiet, low-power PC to function as the home file server, print server, and staging/Intranet web server. This machine was powered by a Via C3 Samuel 2 processor and just couldn't keep up anymore. Most of the current Linux distributions are not compatible with that processor. I also wanted to get a faster computer in the house to make video transcoding less painful. I decided to solve all of these issues by buying an all-new Shuttle Small Form Factor (SFF) computer to be the file server and also function as our media player / HTPC (Home Theater PC).

Our home network consists of Linux, Mac, and Windows client computers. I bought a Samsung ML-2571N network laser printer for 70 dollars from http://geeks.com to eliminate the need for a separate print server computer. This printer is SO FAST and works with all three platforms. My Linux desktop computer has a color printer/scanner attached to it so if we do need to scan or print in color we just power on the desktop computer. Eliminating the print server functionality allowed me to put the new server in the entertainment center.

Our digital movies and music are now right there with the sound system and HDTV. The new machine allows us to watch full-screen flash video (such as Hulu.com). Video transcoding is about four times faster on the new server than my desktop computer (which I described in My Home Desktop Computer Runs Linux ).

Here are the specs of the new Server / Home Theater PC (HTPC):

irssi + dtach + Droid + ConnectBot to stay connected in IRC

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  • Wednesday, February 17 2010 @ 08:01 pm EST
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My favorite IRC client is "irssi" because it only requires a shell / terminal window to run.  I can leave it running on a reliable machine and logged into the IRC network for long periods of time. Staying logged into IRC allows me to catch up on recent activity in my favorite channels whether I am at home, at work, or on my Droid.

Many people use "screen" to detach from their remote SSH login sessions and re-attach from a different computer.  I found that screen has some quirks with irssi and tons of features that I do not use.  A simpler alternative to "screen" is "dtach".

Here is how I use dtach:

Serial Console Settings for IBM pSeries RS/6000

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  • Tuesday, February 16 2010 @ 05:10 pm EST
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I like to document things that seem to be harder to find on the Internet than expected. One such piece of information I needed the other day was the connection information for a serial console connection to an IBM pSeries server.

Step 1: Dig around in your server room storage bins until you are lucky enough to find a cable labeled "pSeries Serial" like this:



This special console cable plugs into the front of the server. I used a DB-9 serial cable of some variety to extend the cable reach.


Step 1 (alternate): Connect a DB-9 serial cable (possibly just a standard null modem cable) into the Serial 1 port on the rear of the server.


Step 2: Configure your terminal software (such as HyperTerminal on Windows) with the following settings:


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