Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trickle on Linux

Yesterday, I wanted to update my Debian system and because it sometimes can take a while, I wanted to stream a movie alongside while the updates were being applied. Home bandwidth being what it is, I ended up having a stalled streaming connection – moderately annoying.

The fix? Trickle. Trickle’s a neat little app on Linux that allows you to limit the upload and/or download bandwidth available to any app. And it installs pretty fast too.

So from the linux prompt I hit:

$trickle -d 40 sudo apt-get upgrade

And voila, I could stream that movie while the system upgraded itself. And naturally, no reboots required. 🙂

Accounts, Passwords and software keys – keep them safe

And one of the simplest ways is to use Keepassx. It works on both Windows and Linux, is pretty easy to install and has the amazing feature of AutoType, where it can type in your passwords, once you unlock the app. So now, there are fewer excuses for not using stronger and stranger passwords.

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“Interesting approach to computer security” by Victor Bayon. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), downloaded from https://www.flickr.com/photos/formalfallacy/

Here’s a quick how-to on setting it up for use on your Windows machine! For Linux, RTFM 🙂

Meet the Pooch!

And so as I’m traveling and not carrying my laptop, I was starting to miss Linux. I couldn’t install it on my wife’s work laptop either, so I was left to ponder a different solution: Live USBs.

The concept is to install Linux onto a USB stick and boot using the USB. Now that’s all good except that most Live USBs are based on the USB model and by default may not include the ability to save between reboots. The missing feature is called persistence. And so that lauched me into a search for something that would work.

It turns out the major distros have something available that helps. I tried Debian first – but by default the WiFi wouldn’t work, and I had to wire myself up, which didn’t seem very feasible. I figured Ubuntu possibly would work too, but I’ve really grown not to like Ubuntu lately. After some poking around I found Puppy Linux! And I love this pooch.

Cool things:
1. It’s damn small – 175 MB
2. Persistence is available by default
3. Everything works Out of the Box!
4. Extending it is extremely easy and adding more utilities is no hassle

So, here I am with this amazing pooch and Tux!

Reading Murakami

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Enjoying the read but I still think Murakami is a prick for his constant  bourgeois brand name dropping. It might be descriptive, but still very annoying.

Pi or Beagle?

And following up on a thought I had a few weeks ago about a portable LDAP server, my good friend Philipp recommended that I check out Raspberry Pi. I’d somehow mistaken RP for a programming language! And lo and behold a new world suddenly opened up. I’m on day 1, so perhaps I’ll have more ideas after day 6?

And since one path leads onto another, I ended up trying to evaluate other options like RP on the market and here’s what I’m reading now.
http://siecje.blogspot.de/2013/05/beaglebone-black-vs-raspberry-pi-vs.html

Scrambled bits of research

One benefit of being part of a forum, as most forum users would know, is that one gets exposed to a ton of information. Today was quite interesting that way and I learnt about the following:

  1. Loopback devices – how to get a Virtual Hard Drive and possibly even boot from it (Linux) – http://wiki.osdev.org/Loopback_Device
  2. A free book that teaches you how to build a minimal linux installation:
    http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/
  3. A tool that’ll help you fix most of your boot issues:
    http://sourceforge.net/p/boot-repair/home/Home/
  4. A book on graphics programming:
    http://www.arcsynthesis.org/gltut/index.html
  5. A manual for Aptitutde (a bit out of date, but still useful, I’m sure):
    http://www.algebraicthunk.net/~dburrows/projects/aptitude/doc/en/index.html
  6. And since I’m thinking of setting up a dual-boot system on my machine (Debian and Ubuntu) how to install Debian from inside Linux:
    http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/apds03.html.en
  7. And since I’m super excited about minidlna, I was happy to discover that there’s a fork that does transcoding! I’m looking forward to getting that working on my system:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/minidlna/forums/forum/879957/topic/6765893

Next project for me is to figure out how to get all these projects I want done done!

Controlling app initialization order

I’ve been running into a regular problem with Squid proxy – I have to restart Squid for it to work. After putting in some thought I think I have a handle on the problem. When using wired connections, the ethernet is one of the first devices to be initialized. However,  WiFi ends up being the last device initialized. So perhaps I needed to just ensure that squid started after everything else was loaded. Easier said than done. I’ve been looking for an answer and now I hit upon this document!

http://www.tldp.org/LDP/intro-linux/html/sect_04_02.html

So first I need to figure out my runlevel.

who -r

gives me the answer. It’s 2.

So going into rc2.d I just change the filename from whatever it was to S25squid or anything bigger than my network manager 🙂

I need to test this on more than one machine to ensure that it’s working!