Friday, March 17, 2006

Gadgets & Technologies to Keep an Eye On

Gadgets & Technologies to keep an eye on:
USB over wireless w/o software - Belkin's $130 CableFree USB Hub
Indoor signal strength repeater for cell phones - Spotwave Wireless' $400 Zen system
RGB LED television - AKAI PT52DL27L and PT42DL27L
The beginning of the end of DLP TVs?,1759,1909038,00.asp?kc=PCYH105129TX1B0001084

Combine a live CD with a USB hard drive as a "persistent home", the excellent hardware detection abilities of Knoppix, but choose your own desktop. That is GRML Linux.

Here's what I did:

Created a spare 6 GB partition on my USB external hdd at the end of the drive
Booted off the CD

apt-get update
apt-get install grml2hd
grml2hd /dev/sda2 -mbr /dev/sda

Sometimes you're on a *nix box & have no idea what kernel version and/or distribution it's running. The following commands should help shed some light on the matter:

uname -a
cat /etc/*release
cat /proc/version
echo $OSTYPE

Put those old pentiums to use... Xfce4 is a nice thin desktop.

"The aim of the Xubuntu community project is to provide a nice Ubuntu desktop experience (even on older hardware) by using Xfce4 as the desktop environment and GTK+ 2 applications wherever possible."

Fast-booting Knoppix LiveCD does it in 60 secs

1 U, 400GB RAID 1 for less than $1500
(Turns out this wasn't _real_ hardware RAID - yech. I ended up using software raid with Debian.)

Overview of dmraid source package
"has not yet entered testing"
$199 - only moving parts are fans. See the link at the bottom of the story.

I spent $144.97 (including shipping) on some parts from

An Antec mid-tower case w/450w psu & old faithful NEC DVD burner...

Security, Windows Vista, and the Consumer

"If you, the consumer, have purchased an application for your computer that Microsoft breaks in the name of security, it will be your responsibility to recognize that this has happened, seek out your publisher, figure out how to manually download and install the necessary patch, and prove that you’re a legitimate owner of the software. Why? Because Microsoft prevented your software publisher from automating any of this for you. Microsoft is relying on your fear of security threats and ignorance about how legitimate software needs to work to deter you from trying to consume non-Microsoft software and services."
Computer Power User March 2006 • Vol.6 Issue 3 Page(s) 14-15 in print issue Bronx Cheer For Vista Security! by Alex St. John

Additional interface for crossover cable on Gigabit ethernet card:
ifconfig eth1 inet up netmask broadcast
route add -net netmask gw dev eth1

Windows XP/2000 Commands and Tools

Configuring Apache for Maximum Performance LG #123

I revisited my music account & charged $15 to the balance. That ought to tide me over for a few months. uses a pay-by-the-megabyte pricing model and offers more formats/options for downloading my music tracks than iTunes. I usually pay 12 to 18 cents per song for variable bitrate 192 Kbps encoding.

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