Upgrading Ubuntu at work can make you rather unpopular, as the Internet bandwidth is fully utilised downloading all the updates to packages you have long since forgotten that you installed.
It also takes time, time that you should be working rather than upgrading your computer.
For these reasons I like to trickle download the upgrade over a day and only perform the actual upgrade once all the packages are ready, typically the following morning.
This is how I performed my low-bandwidth upgrade…
At work I needed a cheap laptop for a computer-illiterate user. Giving them Windows, would have meant that they would have had to keep up-to-date with Windows Updates, with all the potential issues that would cause, along with the need for malware protection. It would also have pushed up the cost, a laptop capable of pushing Windows along reasonably decently, would have cost a few hundred pounds at least.
Generally I would just have purchased a low-end Lenovo laptop and installed Ubuntu onto it, but I was aware that Ebuyer had recently launched an HP255 G1 Laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed for £219.99 inc. vat (just £183 if you can reclaim the VAT). Continue Reading
Anyone who has enjoyed the dubious benefits of working with IPSEC will find OpenVPN a delight, but what do you do with your client.ovpn file once you have it?
If you spend most of your time in a terminal anyway, then I would suggest just putting all your client.ovpn files into ~/.openvpn, renaming them in some appropriate way, and then using them simply by typing:
Nine months with my Novatech n1410 have reinforced all my earlier thoughts.
The power switch remains a momentary petty irritation, but the poor quality keyboard and intrusive trackpad are harder to live with. The wireless is pretty poor, but it generally connects fine and rarely actually causes me any problems.
But the Novatech remains a good-looking, lightweight laptop with a great battery life, and highly portable. And it was undeniably great value.
I thought that this Linux Terminal Command Reference from the Mint community was excellent. Having learned them piecemeal over many years, I was almost resentful to see them all listed together. Linux shouldn’t be easy, it should be knowledge painfully acquired through years of humiliation on IRC channels and mailing lists!
It is commonly said, at least in Microsoft circles, that Linux is free if you do not value your time. But is that really true, given the ease of installing and updating software under Linux?
Today I needed to install a Windows-only budgeting program called Profitplanner on our Windows 2003 server. This process was straightforward enough, just a ZIP download which needed extracting and installing.
Whilst the install worked fine, it warned that I needed to install the Microsoft Visual J# 2.0 Redistributable package, and gave me a link so to do.
Unfortunately the Download button on the Microsoft website would not work in Internet Explorer 8, forcing me to use Chrome instead.
After updating my Kubuntu Mythbuntu Home Theatre PC (see my old blog for details), it failed to boot into KDE, leaving me instead at a text login. Fixing the problem was not difficult, but I actually had problems finding the correct instructions, and all the instructions that I did find left out a crucial step. I thought I would write up what I did largely for my own benefit: Continue Reading
Further to my recent post on the subject, I have now found more information on the Barclays Corporate website:
To access Business Internet Banking you need four things present at the same time:
- A PC or laptop with the software that runs the smart card reader installed
- A smart card reader. This is a hardware device, attached to your PC that the smart card is inserted into
- A smart card unique to each individual user. The card will become “locked” if an invalid PIN is entered in excess of a pre defined number of times
- A PIN unique to each individual user.
Unfortunately the Software Requirements link, at the bottom of that page, states only that you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which I suspect is not the only software requirement!
The Barclays Personal On-line banking works with all the browsers, so if the same is true of the Corporate banking, then it is at least possible that I could install Firefox under Wine on Linux, providing only that I can get the smart card reader to work.
The difficulty would be if it needs Active-X support, which whilst theoretically supported under the latest versions of Wine, would make the proposition very much less likely to work.
I had never heard of fsniper until it was mentioned in a mailing list today, but it sounds excellent:
Linux.com :: Automatically process new files with fsniper
Now I am wondering if I can use it to prompt an rsync to sync our shared documents to our remote site, and it seems I could. This is a major headache for me, as we have two branches and a shared documents repository.
I have previously tried using Unison to synchronise between the branches, but this has created a lot of load on the master server, massively slowing down performance for all the users on the master server.
We are currently using apache2+webdav+svn but this is not working well for us. Potentially fsniper+rsync could work very well. It would clearly need to be running on both servers and I can see a potential clash if the two servers happen to try and update the same file at the same time. More thought is required, any suggestions – do let me know.
The links to the fsniper site seem to be outdated in both of the above articles, but it may be found at:
It doesn’t appear to be packaged for Debian, but I will probably compile from source and try it soon. More later!
For a long time I have noticed that the pace of development of rdesktop seemed to have slowed, and that the rdesktop-users mailing list had gone quiet. What I hadn’t noticed until recently is that there is now an alternative called FreeRDP.
FreeRDP is a fork of the rdesktop project that intends to rapidly start moving forward and implement features that rdesktop lacks the most.