Monthly Archives: January 2007

The Future as History

The Last Question (TLQ) is a short story by one my favorite authors of all time. Isaac Asimov has a talent for writing fiction about the future that reads like a historical novel. Out of the several thousand works by Asimov, TLQ was his favorite. In addition, TQL is probably the best example of his writing style; a style where the plot is driven not by the characters or the color of his writing, but by the very ideas woven through his themes. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do.

JBoss and OpenSuse

JBoss is the worlds most popular (and least complex) J2EE server. Recently I wrote a tutorial on getting JBoss working on OpenSuse 10.2 for a client of mine. The tutorial is NOT complete because the packages built by JPackage are primarily intended for Redhat systems (even though they are suppose to be distribution agnostic.) I will update it, in a couple days, with the changes I applied to get it working but I thought someone might find the information useful enough in its present form.

Two for Tuesday

Got a couple links I will need to use for a client tomarrow:

  • X cygwin — Cygwin is a tool that provides some Unix functionality on windows. XCygwin adds an X server to the cygwin package, allowing for remote connections to Unix machines GUI enviroments.
  • FTP Install of Suse — Installing Suse via FTP is very useful but takes a little configuration know-how. I threw together a quick how-to on setting up an FTP install server for Suse, complete with firewall configuration. It also includes some information on using the install server as a general purpose FTP server as well.

Smart SUSE

Any of you who have started using OpenSuse regularly, are probably familiar with the SMART package manager. SMART is very similar to apt and yum (thankfully it closer to apt in both speed and intelligence.) The SMART link above points to a susewiki article telling you how to install and configure SMART. Suse uses yast (great for system configuration but god awful for package management) and as such it takes some work to get SMART running. The article is fairly straightforward; so I decided to make it easier to do by creating a shell script to do the work for you. simply needs to be downloaded, made executable (chmod 755, and run from the command line as root (su -c ./ Answer yes to any questions and your done. Here is what you will get: a working SMART setup, the default package repositories, a KDE service menu for any RPM packages, a system tray applet to monitor for package updates, and a working SMART GUI for installing new applications.

Currently the script works for Suse 10.2 on 64bit and 32bit systems. I will add more Suse versions if there seems to be interest.

Drink Up

I have added a section to VAULT Stuff. My wife and I like wine, but we have a tendancy to forget which ones we like and which ones we have had. I started using a program called Tellico to manage collection lists. One of the options it has is to generate reports and because KDE is network transparent (it saves files over ftp, ssh, smb, nfs, etc.. as if they were local) I can automatically save these reports to the website. Hope someone finds these useful… but if you don’t, I do.

Link Rhapsody

Here is a dump of my home computers bookmark folder.

  • Version Control with Subversion — The subversion… ahhh.. version… of the now infamous CVS bible “Open Source Development with CVS“. Sure to be a classic as well.
  • Writing Shell Scripts — A really handy online guide to writing bash scripts. Topics include command usage, programming, flow control, input/output, etc..
  • University Podcast Collection — a listing of all the free podcasts from major universities. Presented by Open Culture. Might as well get smarter while listening to your iPod.
  • 55 CSS Techniques — a great list of useful css tools for web development. Rounded corners, drop shadows, and no-image tabs; just to name a few
  • DTI Data — The industry leader for data recovery. No cheap, but easily the best. They also provide a couple limited free tools for personal data recovery. Don’t ask why I needed to post this link.
  • 99 Lisp Programs –because Lisp is so cool and examples are the best way to learn. Great for developers with no Lisp experience.
  • Web Pages that Suck — a list of the most common web design mistakes.
  • 202OK — Several thousand online books. Split out by subject.

Bad Software. By Design

Is it just me, or has every other .Net program, with an option to install onto a network, now require everyone to have full control of some random directory on a network share? I am starting to wonder why I bother with a network security policy.

Cleaning Up the Bookmarks Folder

Just a couple links for the day:

  • Linux Security Tools — is a list of some of the best security tools for Linux. The article also includes information on how to use the tools.
  • NRA-ILA FBI Study Results — breakdown of gun deaths, gun ownership, and the results of concealed weapons laws by the FBI for 2005. Reference material for gun control discussions.
  • 10 Steps to Security — article that breaks down how to perform your own security audit.
  • Subversion Manual — Red Been has the definitive guide to using, configuring, and managing Subversion, the VCS replacement for CVS.
  • Suse Server Configuration — A step by step tutorial on getting a functioning Suse Linux server running. When completed you should have MySQL, Apache, POP/IMAP, DNS, an FTP server, Webalizer, and more. In fact the system should be able to install a web-hosting control panel interface (i.e. cpanel or ISPConfig.)
  • SLES SDK Images — One of the HUGE complaints I have had about Suse Enterprise Linux is the lack of developers tools. Well, evidently Novell provides additional development tools via an “extra” DVD. It includes some other minor software packages like subversion, mod_Perl, and MySQL 5. Why this wasn’t shipped with the box (or for that matter even mentioned in the software documentation) will never be known, but it has proven useful.