Raspberry Pi

When the Raspberry Pi came out last year, i bought one. I had no a idea what i was going to do with it but i like tiny computers and i like linux so surely i needed one. Well its been setting in the box just waiting for me to open it. So now i finally have some time to play with it. I’m planning on getting it setup this week and see what all the fun is about.

Status Messages in screen

In the February 2011 issue of Linux Journal Kyle Rankin wrote an article called Status Messages in Screen. I’ve been using screen for years but never thought much about what it could do beside keep my shell open on a remote server. Well this article opened my eyes. I quickly dug in and start working on my .screenrc on my macbook. I was able to write a couple of applescripts to pull inbox counts from entourage and mail.app. Cool stuff i look forward to seeing what other useful info I can get in there since i do like to work at the cli a lot. Thanks Kyle.

Debian Boot Thumb drive from OSX

Last week I had a need to create a debian boot disk. The computer I needed to use it on doesn’t have a CD and I didn’t feel like purchasing a USB CD reader just for the purpose of loading debian, and I didn’t feel like waiting until I could go to down or have it shipped.

So I had to make a boot disk. I’ve done it in Linux several times before but never from OSX. So the commands aren’t exactly the same, here are my notes taken from a couple places on the web, which should serve as a reminder for the next time I have do to it.

First I downloaded the debian image I wanted to use from there site.
Next I stuck the thumb drive in the box.
from the termial (I use iTerm)
#diskutil list
mine was listed as /dev/disk1
#diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1
#bzcat debian.img | dd of=/dev/disk1
#diskutil eject /dev/disk1

It was a simple as that. To test i stuck it in my handy netbook and reboot and I was at the lovely command prompt. Then of course other things happened that required my attention so I haven’t gotten back to that project of getting the box installed yet.

Custom Weather Notifications with Growl

Last night I download Prowl on my iPhone and setup my growl to work with it. It’s very cool stuff together, i’ve been using growl forever.

Anyway tonight I was reading in this thread in the prowl forum where one poster is using growl notifications for weather. Not just any weather but really local weather. Now if you live in or around a big town, most weather apps are pretty accurate for you area. But when you live out in the sticks like I do, they are only close most of the time.

Anyway tonight I set up this excellent pair of perl scripts as outlined here from IBM: Develop your own weahter maps and alerts. Which is a very cool script that will allow you pinpoint your location. I used Photoshop to create the base map from the layers. Once followed all the instructions, some things are not exactly clear at first, but if your familiar with perl reading the code sorts it all out. I setup the notify scripts to send the messages to growl via the growlnotify command.

Now once that was all setup I created a simply bash script that would delete the old Radar overlay, pull the current Radar overlay needed and run the perl weather scripts. I then stuck that script in my crontab. So if I’m at my computer I get notified and if i’m away from my computer i get a push notification to my phone. Very cool stuff. Of course I could just look outside to see if it is raining 🙂

Virtual Machines – Year End Summary

I’m doing a little cleaning of the laptop hard drive today. I’ve got a ton of virtual machines loaded that I have played with over the past several months. I thought I would list them.

Fedora Core 6

Network Security Toolkit 1.4.2

Backtrack v1.0

BSD 4.0

Debian Etch

Debian Sarge

Ubuntu 6.10

Its been fun using these and some of them have went on to live in the enterprise.

Debian “etch” Linux

I’ve got a project that I’m working on that requires a good server back end. It’s been a long time since I’ve done much with Debian (except Ubuntu). So I decided to go cutting edge and load the “etch” release. To make it a little easier since I’m just doing some testing I loaded it in the free version of Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2004 on my XP laptop. The install went smoothly. The only problem that I had was that VPC 2004 on supports 16 bit color so I had to boot into single user mode and edit the X11 setting to change it from 24 bit in order to get a usable desktop. Although my project doesn’t require a desktop, I thought I would check that out anyway. I runs like a charm, I loaded up ssh server and can do my work from cygwin while it runs in the back ground. Now that I have a base machine installed, I can start working on my project with it next week.

BackTrack Linux

I’ve been wanting to try out BackTrack for a couple of weeks now. This distro is loaded, really loaded with all the security and network goodness you can think of. No more tracking down your favorite security tools and compiling and messing with dependancies anymore. This has them all (well all that I would use anyway). Its a live CD and is a easy as burn and boot. I haven’t even used a 1/4 of the tools loaded (haven’t need them all yet) and I can see this things getting a full install soon!

Sabayon Linux

Based on a suggestion from bullfrog, I loaded up Sabayon Linux this week. Its one of the slickest looking distro’s I’ve loaded in a while. I normally focus on server side installs, but this is one nice looking desktop. Super simple to use and lots of eye candy. I didn’t get beyond the basic desktop user things and I can say I would recommend this to somebody getting started in linux.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS

Whew what a day. Work is just crazy lately. I had just enough spare time today install Ubuntu 6.06 inside a VMware image. Now I can play around with a few things since my play around box is now in production. It was super easy and works great.

BackupExec 9.x Agents & Ubuntu 6.06 LTS

Yesterday I installed the unix agent for backupexec 9.x on the Ubuntu 6.06 server. It went off without any problems and in 5 minutes I had a backup running to the backup server. I wasn’t expecting any problems and I didn’t have any, now thats a good feeling.

I also did and apt-get for cvs. I like keeping all my config files for the servers on a CVS server. On this machine i’m keeping the samba files and the backupexec config files in cvs. A also keep a whole bunch of scripts from over the years on cvs. So when I install a new box all I have todo is checkout the scripts folder and have all my tools ready to go.

I’m very happy with the performance of this server. Its running on an old P4 machine that was one a Win98 desktop. I’m considering migrating some of the other servers to Ubuntu now. I’m planning on doing a mock up migration of one of them soon to see how easy it is. Maybe I’ll get started next week on it.