Category: guests

Sensoria Fitness 0

Popular Wearable Tech Trends for 2015?

Would you buy a wristband that continuously purifies the air while you are running? If you like gadgets like this, you are going to love the following ideas. A few of these gadget ideas could possibly make an appearance in the future, so keep your eye out for them. However, some of these devices are already on the market. A Wristband Unlike Any Other Alexandr Kostin, an inventor, designed an air purifier that can be worn on your wrist all day long. You can wear this device while running, or use it while taking a stroll through the mall. The technology behind this wristband is similar to a regular air purifier. It vacuums up the polluted air within its range, and releases the freshly filtered air back into the area. Alexandr’s design comes with a refillable carbon filter and a rechargeable battery. An Anklet to Track Your Running...

Using a Legacy Screensaver in Windows 7 0

Using a Legacy Screensaver in Windows 7

Back in my Windows days, my favorite graphics program was Vueprint and my favorite sceensaver was its associated screensaver. Vueprint is small–less than a meg to download–fast, and versatile. For lighweight editing, such as resizing, cropping, and simple color adjustments, I found it unmatched in either the Windows or the Linux world. (The closest thing I’ve found in terms of lightweight and fast for Linux is XNView, and it’s not very close.) I decided to see whether Vueprint was still around, and it was. Ed Hamrick, its creator, is no longer developing it; he is concentrating on a sister program for scanners called Vuescan, but Vueprint is still available for download. Furthermore, it is now free as in beer; a registration code is published on that same page. It works just fine on Windows 7. However, when I tried to install the screensaver, nothing happened. It stalled because...

Free Commander File Manager for Windows 0

Free Commander File Manager for Windows

I’ve been learning my way around Windows 7. So far, there’s not much to learn, but I’ve been chaffing under the “libraries” overlay in Windows Explorer. So I went looking for some new file managers. Back in the olden Windows 3.1 days, I had Windows File Manager configured to show two panes on startup. When Windows File Manager morphed into Windows Explorer, that was no longer an option. For a long time, I ran a commercial program called Power Desk, which was what Windows Explorer should have been and worth every penny I paid for it. I found two freeware file managers worthy of consideration. One of them is Free Commander; the other, File Organizer, will be the subject of a future post (there apparently is at least one other shareware/commercial program called File Organizer). Free Commander by default offers a split vertical view: Each pane can be...

Where Has Frank Been? 0

Where Has Frank Been?

My previous post has been my first post here in weeks. I have not abandoned Geekazine, but I am in a semi-hiatus. I have decided to study for some certifications and this has taken away, not the time to write posts, but the time to research for posts. And I don’t think many readers would be interesting in the finer points setting up LVGs in CentOS. But I shall be back from time-to-time.

Setting Up My New Lenovo ThinkCentre M90Z 0

Setting Up My New Lenovo ThinkCentre M90Z

I had been warned that FedEx was on the way. The package arrived yesterday. I waited until both of us were present to open it find a Lenovo ThinkCentre M90Z, from a benefactor (I don’t know whether he wants to be named–I will leave that to him). So I was up until much later than I am used to setting it up. I love setting up a new computer and I had been wondering for some time what strategy to adopt to learn Windows 7 without spending gobs of money, so this was double the fun. I took it up to my computer corner and dug out a hub and couple of cables, since the existing hub was full; the box has built-in wireless, but I prefer cables when I can use them. I moved the printer to another location to make room on the walnut desk I...

Autism App for iPad under Development 1

Autism App for iPad under Development

I’ve been really deep into geek and haven’t had the time to post here the past week. I’ve resurrect my old P3, threw a third hard drive into it, installed CentOS, and am working on making it dual boot with the existing Slackware system. But this report from one my local televisions stations caught my eye: A local father with an autistic son is developing a iPad app for use in reaching and teaching autistic children; he got the idea from observing his son’s fascination with the Angry Birds game: Joe Hill’s autism app idea is not the first, but here’s what makes it unique: – His concept for interactive flash cards using the camera on thie iPad 2. – Parents can take pictures of people, toys, juice, anything specific to an individual child. – When the child touches the screen a voice will say the word and...

From the Karma Dept.:  Microsoft Accuses Google of Unfair Practices

From the Karma Dept.: Microsoft Accuses Google of Unfair Practices

Turnabout, as reported in the Seattle Times: Microsoft plans to file a formal antitrust complaint Thursday in Brussels against Google, its first against another company. Microsoft hopes that the action may prod officials in Europe to take action and that the evidence gathered may also lead officials in the United States to do the same. It should be interesting to see how this turns out. Google has certainly gotten big–some feel, uncomfortably big. I try to avoid using Google stuff simply so as not to feed them any more information about myself than I already have. I use Startpage for my default search engine, rarely use Gmail (using my Android G1 necessitated a Gmail account), and never use Google Docs. I do use the calendar and occasionally use Google Maps. I don’t refuse to use Google stuff when it is the best alternative because, by and large, they...

Installing CentOS on Virtual Box, Part 4:  Reboot 1

Installing CentOS on Virtual Box, Part 4: Reboot

This is the fourth part of a series. Part One – Installing CentOS goes through the initial installation and settings of the Virtual box. Part Two – Installing CentOS talks about how you should configure the Hard drive. Part Three – Finishing the Install covers the other choices made during installation. After I rebooted and logged in with the root password that I created during installation, CentOS presented me with a dialog for fine-tuning choices, most of them related to its mission to serve as a server. Authentication–In a network, there are several different methods for managing passwords and rights. Firewall–adjust security levels, white and black lists, and the like. Keyboard Configuration–that is keyboard language choice. Network Configuration–choose network interfaces in a machine with multiple interfaces. System Services–choose services to run at startup. Timezone Configuration–select timezone. X Configuration–set multiple monitors, display resolution, and the like. I selected “Exit,”...

Installing CentOS on Virtual Box, Part 3:  Finishing the Install 1

Installing CentOS on Virtual Box, Part 3: Finishing the Install

This is the third part of a series. Part One – Installing CentOS goes through the initial installation and settings of the Virtual box. Part Two – Installing CentOS talks about how you should configure the Hard drive. Now that the hard drive configuration is set, CentOS asked about networking. I accepted the defaults through the three dialogs. First, to configure the adapter. Second, to choose between DHCP or static ip address. Third, to select the computer name. I felt lazy, so I left it blank; had I named it, I likely would have named it mackerel or flounder or blowfish, since I name my computers for sea creatures. Next, CentOS asked me for my timezone. As is common in Linux distributions, time zones are identified by major cities, not by GMT +/- questions. After that, it asked me to establish a password for the root (administrator) user:...

Install CentOS on Virtual Box, Part 2: Configuring Hard Disk [How To]

Install CentOS on Virtual Box, Part 2: Configuring Hard Disk [How To]

Part One is here. Once the language and keyboard are selected, CentOS examines the hard drive. In my case, the hard drive was empty unallocated virtual space: Next it displayed a confirmation dialog. Had I had more than one partition, as I might have if installing to a real machine, as opposed to a virtual one, it would have allowed me to select which partition to blow away. In this case, only one selection was possible: This was followed by yet another confirmation dialog giving me one last chance to back out. After that, CentOS offered me a chance to review and modify the partitioning layout. I selected “yes,” not because I intended to modify anything, but so I could have this screen shot: CentOS and Fedora use a Logical Volume Management (LVM) scheme for partitioning. The top three lines identify the logical volumes. No, I don’t understand...

Installing CentOS in VirtualBox [How To] 3

Installing CentOS in VirtualBox [How To]

This is the first of several posts on installing CentOS in VirtualBox. Even though I am using a virtual machine, the same procedure would apply to a full computer installation. I mentioned CentOS in my series of Fedora posts: It is a free implementation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). I decided to mess with CentOS because I have decided to study for Red Hat certification, which requires me to know RHEL backwards and forwards and CentOS is the closest thing to RHEL without a licensing fee. I’ve spent much of the last week buried in a book about Red Hat certification (if I actually take the test, I’m betting I’ll be the oldest person in the room, but that’s another story). Although it is billed as an enterprise OS, CentOS is also quite easy to configure for personal use. This picture shows the settings of the virtual...

Fun with Windows Command Line Directory Navigation 0

Fun with Windows Command Line Directory Navigation

Note: When I was writing this, I could not get the backslash character to display, so I use [backslash] to represent it in the text. I am not new to the Windows command line. Back in my tech support days, it was frequently faster to tell callers to click on the menu, click on start, type “cmd,” click “Run,” type in a command (frequently it was ipconfig /all) and tell me what they saw rather than walk them through opening a bunch of windows one after another. I was reading up on tricks for navigating the Linux command line and I wondered whether they would work in Windows, so I fired up my XP box for some testing (it’s the only Windows machine I have). I already knew about using wildcards in directory strings. This picture shows using wildcards to navigate from C:[backslash] to my My Documents directory....

Malware Removed from the Android Marketplace  (Updated)

Malware Removed from the Android Marketplace (Updated)

The BBC reports that about 50 virus-infected apps have been removed from the Android Marketplace. Apparently, the authors of the malware took legitimate apps, injected them with malware, and then republished them under under a different name from the legitimate author. From the story: The virus-laden apps were discovered by a Reddit user called Lompolo who realised that one program was listed under the name of a publisher he knew had not written it. He found that the app, which let people play guitar on their handset, was the same as the original but for a name change and some virus code buried within it. Lompolo said the rogue apps had been downloaded between 50,000 and 200,000 times since they were placed on the Marketplace. Unfortunately, the article did not have a list of the infected apps, which have already been removed from the Android Marketplace. If I...

Podracer Podcatcher for Linux 0

Podracer Podcatcher for Linux

The two heavy-weights of podcatchers in the Linux world are GPodder (a graphical program) and bashpodder (a command line program with an optional GUI front-end). Almost as long as I have been listening to podcasts, I’ve been using Podracer as my podcatcher, but I have never heard of anyone else who uses it. I find it ideal. Podracer is a small (14kb) script. In the true Unix spirit, it does one thing and does it very well: It downloads podcasts. It does not transcode media, it does not sync with devices, it just downloads. Podracer is available at Sourceforge, but there is a good chance it is in your distribution’s respositories. Here’s the listing for it in Ubuntu’s Synaptic Package Manager: It installs to the /usr/bin directory. To run it the first time, change to that directory, then issue a command from the command line: cd /usr/bin ./podracer...

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box #4:  A Short Tour of Fedora 0

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box #4: A Short Tour of Fedora

Part one is here; part two is here; part three is here. I am not going to spend much time talking about the programs included with Fedora, it’s a fairly standard assortment. Instead, I will look at some of the workings of Fedora. I will note that, when I said in the third post of this series that an office suite is included, I goofed. It may be included in the DVD version–I had trouble finding a list–but was not in the CD version I installed. By default, Fedora comes with the Gnome desktop environment. Any other Linux desktop or window manager may be installed along side Gnome and used at any time. The Gnome menu resides on the top panel is divided into three parts and rests at the top of the screen, though it may be moved to the bottom or either side. This picture shows...

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box #3:  Completing the Installation and Starting the New System.

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box #3: Completing the Installation and Starting the New System.

Part one is here; part two is here. After formatting the hard drive, Fedora begins the base install. Once that’s done, it asks what type of installation you want: Any one or all of these items can be installed later: Graphical Desktop installs GUI along with a standard package of software, including an office suite (whoops!), browsers, file managers, media players, and the like. Software Development installs programming and testing tools and libraries. Webserver installs Apache, PHP, PERL, MySQL, and server utilties pre-configured to work together. Minimal is just that, mimimal: a command line environment with no GUI. I selected “Graphical Desktop.” The “Repositories” list at the bottom of the screen points to where on the internet Fedora will go to get additional software. The “Installation Repo” will be sufficient for almost everyone. Once I made my selections, I wandered away and did something else until Fedora prompted...

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box #2:  Booting the CD and Preparing the Installation.

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box #2: Booting the CD and Preparing the Installation.

Part one is here. In Virtual Box, you can link either to a physical DVD/CD drive and boot from a disk or link to an image of the CD (*.iso) and boot directly from the file. (Note: If you do the latter, you must later unlink from the *.iso file, just as you must remove a disk from a physical boot drive). In this case, I inserted a physical CD and told Virtual Box to start the virtual machine. Fedora first asked me whether to do a disk check, although I found the wording (“media test”) a bit obscure. Had I been installing to a real hard disk, as opposed to a virtual one, I would performed the test; as it was, I skipped it. Clarification, 2001-03-17: The wording was so obscure that I complete misunderstood it. It referred to testing the validity of the installation media, in...

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box

Installing Fedora in Virtual Box

This is the first of a series of posts about installing Fedora Linux. Fedora is the free version of Red Hat Linux. It also serves as a testing ground and communication pipeline to the larger Linux community for Red Hat. The Fedora project was formally separated from Red Hat under the name “Fedora Core” (now simply “Fedora”) in 2003, but the Red Hat company sponsors and benefits from the Fedora project. Fedora is free and open source. Red Hat is open source, but not free. Red Hat has a large presence in the enterprise market; the current commercial release is called RHEL (for Red Hat Enterprise Linux) v. 6. The current release of Fedora is v. 14. Note that the version numbers for RHEL are not coordinated with the version numbers for Red Hat Linux/Fedora Core/Fedora. When you pay for RHEL, you pay for support. It’s a business...

Squeezing Lenny:  Updating Debian 5 to Debian 6 1

Squeezing Lenny: Updating Debian 5 to Debian 6

The big news in the Linux world last weekend was the release of Debian 6, named “Squeeze.” It’s been in the works for two years. (Debian releases are named after characters in the original Toy Story movie.) Debian is one of the three granddaddies of Linux (the other two are Slackware and Red Hat); most distributions are described as “Debian-based,” “Slackware-based,” or “Fedora-based.” Ubuntu, for example, is based on Debian. It is also huge; a full installation set of disks takes up eight DVDs or 52 CDs. (That’s why the net install, which I described in a series of posts starting here, is popular.) I wanted to upgrade my Debian computer, a Dell Dimension P4 with 4 GBs of RAM, which doubles as my home file-server, but I did not want to play 52-pickup with CDs, so I went hunting for instructions as to how to upgrade on-line...

Firestarter Firewall for Linux:  Policies 0

Firestarter Firewall for Linux: Policies

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSThis is the second of two posts about the Firestarter Firewall for Linux. The first, which includes download information, is here. The main Firestarter interface includes tabs for Status (discussed in the previous post linked above), Events, and Policy. The Events tab shows connection attempts blocked by the firewall; it can be refined under Edit–>Preferences–>Events. Most users, to the extent that they spend any time in the interface, will spend it configuring policies. By default, Firestarter is “permissive” for outbound connections, meaning that all outbound connections are allowed, and “restrictive” for inbound connections, meaning that no inbound connections are allowed. This is just fine for email, websurfing, and other day-to-day computer usage.* However, if you wish to use the computer as a server to allow other computers from both inside and outside your network to connect, you need to tell the firewall...

Firestarter Firewall for Linux–First Run 1

Firestarter Firewall for Linux–First Run

This is the first of two posts on the Firestarter firewall for Linux. See the note at the end of this post for information about getting Firestarter. Firestarter is the easiest Linux firewall front-end I’ve found. I’ve used it off-and-on since I loaded my first Linux box almost six years ago. Unlike many Windows firewall programs I’ve used, it doesn’t nag; doesn’t display useless messages; and, being free and open source, doesn’t ask for money for upgrades. It just sits there and works. I use the term “front-end” because firewall capability is built directly into the Linux kernel; it’s called “iptables.” Linux “firewall” programs do not run the firewall. Instead, they configure the already-existing capability, including setting it to start automatically; the kernel actually “runs” the firewall. When you first run Firestarter, a wizard starts. After a welcome screen, it asks you to select your network connection (generally,...

Basic GIMP:  Preparing Pictures for the Web 0

Basic GIMP: Preparing Pictures for the Web

The GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is the flagship of Linux and open source photo editing programs. (A windows version, which I have used, though not recently, is available at Sourceforge.) The GIMP is free and open source; there is no charge for installing and using it. The GIMP is a powerful, complex program which I’ve heard compares well with Photoshop. I cannot speak to this, since I have not used Photoshop, but I have used Paintshop Pro extensively on assignment, and the GIMP is easily equal to it. The GIMP, though, is not easy to figure out. I don’t believe that there really is any such thing as an “intuitive” interface for a program, in the sense of “easy to figure out at first glance.” “Intuitive” means “easy to remember.” The GIMP offers so many options that it is neither easy to figure out nor easy to...

Brute Force in the Cloud 0

Brute Force in the Cloud

Reuters reports that Thomas Roth, a computer security consultant, has used rented computers for a proof-of-concept brute force attack on wireless networks. An excerpt: Thomas Roth, a computer security consultant based in Cologne, Germany, says he can hack into protected networks using specialized software that he has written that runs on Amazon’s cloud-based computers. It tests 400,000 potential passwords per second using Amazon’s high-speed computers. (snip) Roth will distribute his software to the public and teach people how to use it later this month at the Black Hat hacking conference in Washington, D.C. He said he is publicizing his research in a bid to convince skeptical network administrators that a commonly used method for scrambling data that travels across WiFi network passwords is not strong enough to keep crafty intruders from breaking in to networks. The historical pattern on marketing in the computer industry has been sales first,...

Internet Explorer: “We’re Number Two” 0

Internet Explorer: “We’re Number Two”

Firefox has passed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in browser usage in Europe. From the San Jose Mercury-News’s Silicon Valley dot com: Breaking a decade of global dominance, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in December lost its spot as the browser with the majority of page views in the United States and surrendered its long-held place to Mozilla’s Firefox as Europe’s most popular browser, according to data released Tuesday by the web analytics firm StatCounter. The story goes on to point out that Firefox has not so much gained as Internet Explorer has waned, saying that Firefox has remained flat and the big gains have been by Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome. I suspect that much of this has been fueled by the sales of Apple’s iGadgets, which would naturally boost Safari usage, as the iPhone and iPad include Safari as the default browser. Apple created a new market for Safari with...

Internet Explorer Vulnerability Reported 0

Internet Explorer Vulnerability Reported

The BBC reports that Microsoft has announced the existence of a vulnerability in all versions of IE. From the article: The bug revolves around the way that IE manages a computer’s memory when processing Cascading Style Sheets – a widely used technology that defines the look and feel of pages on a website. Hi-tech criminals have long known that they can exploit IE’s memory management to inject their own malicious code into the stream of instructions a computer processes as a browser is being used. In this way the criminals can get their own code running and hijack a PC. Microsoft has produced updates that improves memory management but security researchers discovered that these protection systems are not used when some older parts of Windows are called upon. The story goes on to say that Microsoft, while it is working on a fix, recommends using the Enhanced Mitigation...

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