Well, that didn’t take long! I have switched both my primary laptop and my Raspi to a Debian based distro. On the laptop I am running Linux Mint 15 and on the Raspi I am running the more widely used and supported Raspbian Wheezy OS.

I will then run RHEL/CentOS/Fedora in VM’s for when I need to refer to them as part of my LPIC 1 cert homework. I’m pretty sure I spend more time switching between different distro’s than actually learning anything useful! Hopefully I will stick with this setup long enough to finally obtain my LPIC 1 certification… We’ll see!


Checking out Pidora

I am going to utilize the Fedora Spin for Raspberry Pi, which is suitably named Pidora. I am going to be running my home infra solely on RedHat (or CentOS if I choose to not pay) for the backend and Fedora as my main computer. All instances of Debian-based distro’s wil be run in VM’s for educational purposes.

The plan is to utilize the Pi as a 389 Directory Server as well as a NAS device with the eventual goal of having an Active Directory like setup for the home computers to securely share data and run backups while guest devices that are not part of the directory will be cut off from the important data.


Fedora 19 bug – Resolved!

I ran a bunch of software updates today, one of which involving an Intel graphics update, and rest assured the blank screen is no more!

Fedora 19 bug

This bug is actually not just related to Fedora 19, but was actually introduced back in version 15. You can get through the installation just fine via the Live CD, but once you boot into your newly installed Fedora OS the screen is blank and pressing the brightness buttons on the keyboard has no effect. If you put a torch (or in this case my iPhone’s camera light) up to the screen you can just about make out the login screen. So, using the tab key to navigate your way to the username and password screen you can successfully login and once you’re in the brightness buttons on the keyboard work and voila! you can see again.

Well, it looks like this problem is specific to the HP Pavilion dm4 notebook. Bloody typical, eh?! Of all the laptops in the world I happen to have this one ha ha! Ubuntu works just fine, so it’s clearly a Fedora thing. Anyway, I just signed up to and will start contributing to the following report:


Inspired by FJ1200’s triple Mac boot of 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 using rEFIt I decided to triple boot my HP Pavilion. It is now running:

  • Fedora 19 – KDE Spin
  • Windows 8.1
  • Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS

I am about to be outdone by FJ1200 as he is planning to quadruple boot his Mac, so I am thinking of adding another distro to my list, but which distro I have not decided yet :-) PC-BSD perhaps?



Raspi Project #2

I previously setup my Raspi to be a home NAS server hooked up to a Western Digital 3TB external hard drive. Well, since I purchased my own domain I am thinking of hosting my own web server, which will be hooked up to the same 3TB that I used for NAS project. The plan is to also use SSH to upload files using scp (secure copy) as well, so in addition to installing Apache I will also be installing OpenSSH Server.

The goal is to not have a super fast and responsive website/online storage solution, but just to have a place I can store all the things I need both while on the LAN and when outside of my home network.

The main reason for doing this is to be cost effective, so I can live with slower transfer rates when it comes to saving a bunch of money. Solutions like Dropbox start at $9.99 per month for 100GB of storage, so roughly $120 per year. iCloud is $100 for 50GB and it’s not like iDisk, so no “real” storage, Google Drive is $60 for 100GB and SkyDrive is $50 for 100GB per year. Well, my domain was $12.99 and for a DNS provider it will be $25, so $37.99 per year, but I will have 3TB’s of storage to play with and no limit on the size per file being transfer (I believe Box limits you to 250MB per file unless you pay north of $100 per year).

So, what are the downsides? Most people would say the maintenance, but I actually enjoy maintaining servers so that is not an issue. The only real downside is that I will not have any of the nice and pretty little fluffy apps the other cloud storage providers have made available to their customers. To begin with I’ll be mostly uploading & downloading files using the scp command, but as time goes on I’ll look into making it more user friendly, so eventually my family can access photos and video files on there without having to use the command line :-)


School Tech Part 2: Windows XP Deep Freeze

 With Microsoft Announcement that XP will be unsupported on April 8, 2014 of next there leave a lot of older systems out that are underpowered for Vista and Windows 7/8. Net Books are lightweight to begin with and in most cases can barely run the OS that they where shipped with. These machine are good candidates using Linux to get some new life. However, sometimes the technical know how and resources prevent that from happening and the end user needs to use XP.

 This is a quick post regarding software called “Deep Freeze.” My Brother, A high school teacher, in the Midwest is using 10 Dell Net books with windows XP in his classroom. This may not be a perfect fit but I want him to know about the software and have the information available.

 When I attended the Community College of San Francisco. The IT department that managed the computers in the Lab needed a way to have the computers in a known state. The hard drives were prepared for a Windows 2003 class. At the end of class they needed a way to revert the PC back into that know state at the end of the class to prepare for the next class. The Software that they used is call “Deep Freeze.” this Software is now free (shareware) and can be downloaded here

The software works like this. Install XP. Install Updates to XP. Install OpenOffice and all other apps and updates. Install current flash and JAVA, a modern browser like Chrome or firefox. Then install Deep freeze. When configured and enabled (Disclaimer: I have not installed this software yet) your system will retain the static snap shot just created. All changes you make while the PC is on will be forgotten the next time you reboot. Your machine will be (most likely) an internet Kiosk. A ground hog day in XP land. Everyday will be the same from the Operating system point of View. This may not fit most people needs, but thought it would be a perfect time on April 6 2014, to created that Golden XP image with all of the updates and freeze it. When a virus hits reboot.  when my grandkids ask i’ll power it on and show them what it was like…. ok maybe not.

Another Disclaimer: Vitalization technology rendered this technology obsolete. This same concept is found in the virtual environment as the “undo” disk.  and i’ll show my grandkids a virtual machine of XP


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