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SuSe Xgl on SUSE 10.1 for Gnome and KDE with NVidia Graphics Cards
Post date: May 12, 2006, 09:05 Category: Desktop Views: 6
Tutorial quote: Perhaps the most interesting eye-candy introduced to a mainstream Linux distribution is that of the Xgl 3D desktop environment. Naturally, when seen, it fosters the thought, "How can I do that on my own desktop?" I'll be honest with you, it's not quite as point-and-click as some of the other desktop niceties that we've discussed in the past, such as gdesklets or the gkrellm monitors. That in mind, if you're interested in getting Xgl installed and running on your desktop, you've found the right place. We'll take it a bit at a time and make sure we get you set up. First of all, I need to make sure that you are using this tutorial for a machine running either SUSE Linux 10.1 or SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, and that you have an NVidia video card. With that, let's get going.
Linux Automating the Login Script
Post date: April 17, 2005, 06:04 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 52
Tutorial quote: In a perfect world, you could spend a few weeks creating a system and the result would be a system that never required manual maintenance or modifications. Whether this ideal will ever be achieved is debatable, but it definitely won't happen in the near future. In the meantime, we still have to do things manually, even if only once in a while. When I must do things manually, I'm not usually happy about it. In fact, it usually means that there has been an emergency, so other people aren't happy about it either. In times like this, it is nice to have a consistent and efficient user interface on every machine. The information and examples presented in this article assume that you are using the bash shell. However, you can modify all of the scripts so that they work in other shells. In some cases, they might even work unmodified (like in the standard Bourne Shell [sh]). Other shells will also work, but they might have different methods for changing the prompt and creating command aliases. The principles in this article should be relatively easy to adapt to the shell of your choice.
Gentoo Tunneling the hard way: using slirp, pppd and socat
Post date: January 29, 2006, 08:01 Category: Network Views: 50
Tutorial quote: Every now and then you might come across a "bad" ISP. The one I have at home for example is dropping UDP packets ever so often when I try to play online games -- and it tends to drop random packets while I try to log onto a gameserver too which makes a certain game I like to play crash during the loading phase so it can't recover. I also heard of other ISPs blocking certain ports on external servers -- universities for example seem to like blocking p2p network ports and the school i was attending till last august blocked everything but port 80 for http -- including ftp which made even on-topic "research" a pita at times.
Usually there's three ways of working around this problem if "giving up" is not an option to you: a) change your ISP, b) use ssh to redirect ports, c) connect to an external VPN to route for you. a) can be tricky -- it's impossible if you're sharing the link with your parents and they insist on their email addresses or in the university/workplace/school scenario. b) will only work with single port/host combinations and for c) you will need a full-fledged rootbox idling around on the internet -- which tend to be expensive and "virtual servers" might not work because those often don't include tun/tap devices and/or kernel-level ppp support if you rent them and in case you rented them you probably can't fiddle around with its kernel to enable it (that was my problem at least). If any of this rings a bell to you, read on and discover method d)
FreeBSD Lightweight Web Serving with thttpd
Post date: November 30, 2005, 19:11 Category: Software Views: 79
Tutorial quote: The Apache HTTP Server is the most popular web server due to its functionality, stability, and maturity. However, this does not make it suitable for all uses: slow machines and embedded systems may have serious problems running it because of its size. Here is where lightweight HTTP servers come into play, as their low-memory footprints deliver decent results without having to swap data back to disk.

Similarly, these small HTTP servers are suitable to serve static content efficiently so as to allow Apache, mod_perl, mod_python, or even servlet containers to handle dynamic requests without tying up memory-hungry children to serve small images. In other words, these applications can serve as a complement to your existing full-featured web server, not as a replacement.

One of these servers is thttpd, a simple, small, portable, fast, and secure HTTP server. Among its features are support for the HTTP/1.1 standard, CGIs, virtual hosts, and IPv6. This article shows how to install and configure this software under NetBSD. I chose NetBSD not only because it is my preferred OS, but also because it has the ability to run on the most disparate old hardware, where thttpd shows its strengths. I had a Macintosh Performa 630 (a 68LC040 chip at 33MHz) running NetBSD/mac68k 2.0 with thttpd on top of it, serving pages to my home network nicely.
Linux Today's Linux screen capture technology
Post date: April 12, 2005, 14:04 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 42
Tutorial quote: "I'd like you to help me find out about video screen captures," said one of my editors a while back. "Sure, let me see what's available," I replied. He pointed me to a couple of Web sites to get me started, and here I am a few weeks later ready to share my findings. I'll discuss ways that you can make video clips in Linux, talk about their applications and shortcomings. I'll also cover suitable ways to view your masterpieces once they're recorded.

Video screen captures are useful for jobs like application training, computer instruction, or product demos. An example would be the little one-minute video I set up for my wife. She kept forgetting how to start up Mozilla Mail on her Windows 98 machine. I captured the mouse clicks and screen changes (in real time) as I ran through the process, saving it to a Macromedia Flash file. I then created a little Web page on one of my Apache servers, that described how to start Mozilla Mail and included a link to the Flash file. Instead of asking me how to do it, she can now just click on the video tutorial.
Linux Building a Linux video jukebox for an anime convention
Post date: November 25, 2005, 16:11 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 125
Tutorial quote: I wrote this little whitepaper a while back for Amy Zunk to document the function of the VideoKeg/VideoJukebox boxes. Documented here for posterity. The primary goal of the video keg was to build a reliable video box that was easy to transport with enough space to store 3 days worth of Anime fan-subs.

The secondary goal of the video keg was to make a home PVR system for video playback and time-shifting, along with a video arcade and perhaps a web browser. The tertiary goal of the video keg was to find an affordable hardware platform so that we could buy 4 of them immmediately to service the primary goal's need for 4 separate video rooms.

For a PVR, the machine neeed to be small, quiet, low-heat, and still fast enough to run the software video player and arcade games. For portability, we decided to go with a smaller mini-ITX style cube box.
Unix+clones Making Web Browsing Easy For The Tiny Screen
Post date: August 9, 2005, 15:08 Category: Network Views: 73
Tutorial quote: An avalanche of content will soon appear in the palm of your hand.

Tiny screens are showing up everywhere in PDAs and cell phones. Many are equipped with some form of network device and a browser, so it's not hard to see what's coming down the pike.

Late model PDAs, like my HP iPAQ 3715 no longer suffer from insufficient computing power, lack of memory or having to rely on pricey external 802.11b cards. The little machine is quick to boot up and can handle many daily business functions.

Even though it runs a version of Internet Explorer, jumping onto an access point and browsing web pages is fast and useful.

In this edition, I'll share my observations on things you might consider when converting LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) applications or web pages, for use on the tiny screen. I'll approach the issues from an iPAQ user perspective and focus on convenience and making the user's life easy.
Yellow+Dog Installing Linux on the Mac mini
Post date: May 11, 2005, 08:05 Category: Installing Views: 112
Tutorial quote: The Mac mini is an ideal low-cost, high-performance PowerPC development platform for numerous applications. Learn how to install and configure Linux on the mini. Future articles will add the software required to make it into a stand-alone multimedia appliance.

This short series of articles shows you how to take a conveniently inexpensive, high-end PowerPC® platform (specifically, an Apple Mac mini) and build it into a home multimedia appliance using Linux™. At the end of the series, you'll have a stand-alone device that can play slide shows of images, audio, and movies, and that is controlled and administered from another machine using a standard Web browser.

The PowerPC platform is very well-suited to this type of multimedia application, and the G4 with AltiVec used in the Mac mini is an exceptionally powerful and flexible choice. This first article introduces you to the hardware's capabilities and walks you through installing and configuring Yellow Dog Linux so you can delve into some application code in the next article.
Linux Three tools to help you configure iptables
Post date: May 25, 2005, 10:05 Category: Network Views: 90
Tutorial quote: Every user whose client connects to the Internet should configure his firewall immediately after installation. Some Linux distributions include firewall configuration as a part of installation, often offering a set of defaults configurations to choose from. However, to ensure that your machine presents the minimum "attack surface" (a measure of the number of vulnerable ports, user accounts, and sockets exposed to attack) to the predatory inhabitants of the Internet, you may need to do some manual configuration of your firewall. Here are three tools that can help.
The Linux kernel (version 2.4 onwards) contains a framework for packet filtering and firewalling using netfilter and iptables. Netfilter is a set of hooks inside the Linux kernel that allows kernel modules to register callback functions with the network stack. Iptables is a generic table structure for the definition of rulesets. Each rule within an IP table consists of a number of classifiers (iptables matches) and one connected action (iptables target). Iptables has extensive documentation that can be accessed online or by typing man iptables at the command line. Yet despite the depth of the documentation available for iptables, its complexity can be baffling.