Conserve power!

•April 22, 2008 • 4 Comments

By the way. happy earth day everyone. I’ve seen all the little changes take place today such as wearing green shirts and Google doing it’s normal logo change. Every day should be earth day though as we have a crisis that everyone is basically ignoring and I guess I’ll talk to the computer users here on power consumption.

We geeks all want power ( :mrgreen: ), but we need to draw the line somewhere. I know I spend multiple hours on computers each day; but I at least turn mine off at night. My computer takes more than double the annual usage of power my refrigerator uses (and we actually tested) which is rather alarming.

I know multiple people (shh) who keep their computers on for days on end which I find… erm… anyways. Just find some way to keep your power on everything low today at least. Lose your uptime and get some downtime for awhile. It shouldn’t hurt.

Anyways, I’m turning off mine three hours early today which may make a minute difference, but if everyone does that for one day, think of the energy saved. Well, before you guys start thinking I’m a tree hugger, I’ll just leave you with those words in mind and the option to make a small change.

See you around,
nikoPSK

CellWriter recognizes writing

•April 21, 2008 • 4 Comments

CellWriter requires me at least to use a tablet (I have one tucked away in my cabinet) and improve my handwriting. It’s a nice application and I need to use it fully by means of looking through my drawer for my nice Wacom.

When I first fired it up I got a nice introduction regarding it’s core aspects and telling me it must first learn my handwriting. It then presented me with a grid of all the standard characters (other languages can be used too) which I drew into so it could figure out the way I “wrote” letters.

Once done that grueling task with my mouse (it’s like writing with a bar of soap… 🙄 ), I was presented with a one by eight grid or cell which would lengthen once I added the maximum amount of letters. I had to go back a few time to reteach it my writing (or have it “record” my writing) due to the already sloppy writing I own.

It stays focused once you have it open and will send itself to the tray if you want it closed/ out of the way. You hit enter (the button or key) to have all the text forwarded to the focused window’s text input area.

Aesthetically it’s pleasing which is nice since I’ve seen a few applications that function quite nice but don’t look too good. I applaud their efforts and think this will be quite useful to many in the upcoming days.

It looks cool when inputting, and is “kJeSOhe” (my attempt at writing awesome really fast with my mouse) for those of you that deem it fit. I’ll stick to the keyboard and mouse for now, but for shorter tasks I may use this. I recommend you try this with at least your bar of soap to test it’s abilities.

Download:
http://www.getdeb.net/release.php?id=2021

Have fun and enjoy!
nikoPSK

Trying the Ubuntu 8.04 release candidate

•April 20, 2008 • 4 Comments

Hardy is so close to final; but for now I have my Ubuntu 8.04 liveCD release candidate to play with. I never installed any hardy alphas since I knew I’d have to grab the final anyways, but this leaves me drooling for the stable version due in four days.

I actually got the CD image via a torrent today (using deluge, not transmission 😐 ), since the direct download servers were probably being overused. It was very fast, almost seven times as fast as the previous… Anyways, I’ll announce the new features right now.

There is now Active Directory integration which “enables seamless integration of Ubuntu within an Active Directory network”. iSCSI support has been fully added into the kernel, there is memory protection which will defend (more so than normal) against malicious code, the new and improved firewall and the latest Linux kernel.

There is a bunch of new artwork as well, which I greatly enjoy and a few other features I covered in the other alpha “reviews” I did. Inkscape (my favorite!) has been introduced into a new version and a new utility which enables you to see the hard drive checking status while starting up. It replaces the text counterpart and is in the form of the Ubuntu splash screen. You can also now choose to not check the disk by pressing escape.

It comes with the Firefox beta five now as well. It comes packed with a bunch of new features and leaves me waiting for the final release of it too. All I can do now is play around with it (although, I still don’t like the Firefox theme for Linux).

Hardy heron has come far in the past while, and Ive been keeping a steady eye on it. I highly recommend that you give this a try (liveCDs are useful) and add your insight somewhere. After this, I want to see some Ibex!

Best,
nikoPSK

Grab them while they’re hot!

•April 18, 2008 • 6 Comments

Just a little bit ago, Ubuntu’s ShipIt service started taking requests to pre-order versions of Hardy Heron from those who want them. I tried ShipIt awhile back and was happy with what I got. I seem to like labeled CDs better than burned ones with “Ubuntu version” scribbled with permanent marker.

They come in a nice paper envelope (lined with bubble wrap!) reading “Canonical” on the front. You get very nice artwork on the front of the CDs as well. I ended up giving away one of the two I ordered, but that’s all the better and I recommend you share yours too.

I also enjoy the stickers, although they don’t look good with my black case. I keep them and brand other things than my computer 😛 . You’ll want to hurry to grab these as requests will be piling up in the upcoming days.

Now, this is all absolutely free; but you might have to wait (generally four to six weeks) to receive your CDs. I keep thinking it took longer, but I was hallucinating because I kept wondering when they would come.

You’ll need a Launchpad account to sign in to ShipIt and request your Herons and also you’ll need to fill in your personal information so they can put it on your doorstep.

Now, there may be a few changes from the beta everyone is using, or maybe a whole bunch. We’ll see by the release candidate and I’ll enjoy it all by final. I hope you guys have fun waiting for your CDs ( 😆 ) and maybe burn off a makeshift CD for now.

Get your Ubuntu CD:
https://shipit.ubuntu.com/

Best,
nikoPSK

Rarcrack cracks compressed file’s passwords

•April 16, 2008 • 5 Comments

Well, obviously 😛 . It is a very useful application for those of you who want to feel more elite than you already are (and this is for Linux only, so you have to be at least minimally elite already) or have a file you received/ torrent you downloaded but can’t get the password anywhere, you may want to check this out.

It can crack up to 12 combos of either letters, numbers or both. It starts off by trying all the two letter combinations and then moves it’s way up until the final 12. It can take a while to move up from three to four to five etcetera combinations, but you can specify a starting number of characters to try which can save considerable amounts of time.

My friend David sent me a file with special characters which couldn’t be deciphered by Rarcrack thus rendering it useless for files as such. It at the moment (or from what I’ve noticed from it’s probing feedback) doesn’t try things such as the underscore which could also render it pointless with certain files.

It is run from the command line and I like the output it relays to you so you can see it’s progress and will give you the final correct password after it finds it under the words “GOOD” 😀 . It creates an .xml file with a little bit of info on Rarcrack and the encrypted file that it broke through.

To install Rarcrack, you’ll need to head on over to it’s page at Sourceforge which I’ll add at the end of this paragraph. You just need to grab the g-zipped file right here and extract it to wherever (I’d suggest putting it in the home folder as you need to keep the folder) and then run the following instructions:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/rarcrack/

Once done, open up a terminal window and change your directory to it’s containment then run make. It will compile and possibly output a “warning”, but you can ignore that. After that just install it with sudo make install.

To get a feel of what it feels like to watch a file get decrypted, just test out one of the three file types it can decrypt (.rar, .zip, .7z) by running something like the example I’ll provide below in the directory the file is in:
rarcrack something.rar

You can add certain subcommands which can be found by typing rarcack –help, my favorite being threads which specifies the starting number of characters to work up on greatly saving time.

Well, I do hope you enjoy this and play around although a few features limit how well and much you’ll be using it and for what. The current release is 0.2 so expect a lot more coming up soon as the developer upgrades this.

Enjoy!
nikoPSK

APTonCD, install packages anywhere

•April 13, 2008 • 4 Comments

For those of you who have Debian based system not connected to the internet somewhere and would like to grab packages easily, for others who do multiple reinstalls occasionally and are tired of always downloading files over and over or those who have their system tailored with packages here and there but need to (for some reason) wipe and start over, APTonCD is for you.

It will find all the packages you’ve install with apt-get and list them for you to choose all or most of the ones you want. Then will burn your custom repository to a DVD or CD which you can bring anywhere you want so that you can install to any machine without downloading. It can also just create CD images.

Although, I wish I could just enter the .deb name and APTonCD would grab it for me rather then myself having a locally stored package… but oh well. It does everything nicely and I didn’t encounter any errors during the burning process which is great too.

I must say, it’s a great application; but there are a few things I would enjoy to be added. I enjoy having an easy repository and it will make my life easier especially with the script I’ve been working on to bring Ubuntu up to my standards on a fresh install.

To grab APTonCD, you can just do a simple install with the command I provide and then you can get started with the application by heading over to System -> Administration -> APTonCD. You should be able to find your way around from there.

sudo apt-get install aptoncd

Well, I honestly hope you enjoy this and that it aids you or a buddy in some sort of way. I was looking for a nice piece of voice recognition software, but I couldn’t find any good ones 😦 . I should have quick Gimp tutorial in the near future and if you haven’t noticed already, I added some “badges” to my sidebar for applications I widely endorse.

Best to you all,
nikoPSK