Saturday, August 29, 2009

Useful Linux Commands

A place to post useful Linux operations in case of organic memory failure:

Convert audio files with bitrate (-b) and sample rate (-ar) options:
avconv -i input.wav -b 64k -ar 41000 output.mp3

Determine which services are running:
service --status-all

Determine Distro Release Version:
lsb_release -a

Store a data CD on your filesystem (this is not one I forget but it pertains the following):
dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/some/dir/data.iso

Mount your virtual data CD:
sudo mount -t auto -o loop /some/dir/data.iso /mnt/vrtl-cd

Check your Linux software RAID status:
cat /proc/mdstat

Ext3 Filesystem Check
sudo umount /SomeFileSystem
sudo screen fsck.ext3 -v -f -p -D -C0 /SomeFileSystem

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stop Windows Messenger in XP Pro

Windows Messenger. So annoying. Disabling it from starting is a wonderful thing. Here's how:

Use the Group Policy (gpedit.msc) snap-in to turn on the Do not allow Windows Messenger to be run option.

  • To use the Group Policy snap-in, you must be logged on to the computer using an account that has administrator permissions.
  • This method prevents programs that use the Messenger APIs from using Windows Messenger. Microsoft Outlook 2002, Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and the Remote Assistance feature in Windows XP are examples of programs that use these APIs and that depend on Windows Messenger.
To turn on the Do not allow Windows Messenger to be run option, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
  2. In Group Policy, expand Local Computer Policy, expand Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand Windows Components, and then expand Windows Messenger.
  3. Double-click Do not allow Windows Messenger to be run, and then click Enabled.
  4. Click OK.
  5. On the File menu, click Exit to quit the Group Policy snap-in.
Thank you Microsoft KB!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Pick Up The Pace

No, not the Picante sauce. I much prefer Arriba! Fire Roasted Mexican Red Salsa (gallon size!) that my wife found at Costco. Just heat it up a little in the microwave and Mmmmm! Awesome.

I made my own "fire roasted" salsa by roasting all the veggies on the grill once. It was great. A friend of mine said I should bottle it up and sell it. Guess Riba Foods beat me to the punch and they appear to be based in Texas, so of course they are authentic ;-)

Ok, where was I? Oh, no blogging in a long time. And a lot less tech blogging for a while. Lame. Excuse? No broadband at the house. No one would run cable, DSL or anything out where we moved. I was stuck with a super-expensive and quite slow (by the standards I was used to at my previous residence) Sprint "air card". It was expensive, and painfully slow but it served it's purpose (kept me on-line for work—on my dime).

But now, by some miracle (and someone in my area with connections at AT&T) we have 3Mbit DSL! Yes! No, it's not the 6Mbit I was getting at the old house (sighs heavily longing for those days) but it makes downloading Linux distros a whole lot easier! I think we are capped at 2.5Mbit as it kept dropping when we were getting 3+, disappointing but still much more usable then what we had.

Now if 4G lives up to expectations, I may return to the air card thing...

Things I want to start posting again:
  • Linux stuff: Distros, How-To posts, Reviews, etc.
  • Windows stuff: Tips, Tricks, FIXES
  • Miscellaneous Tech Items
  • Basically the things I used to post about
We'll see. For some reason I don't seem to have as much time & energy as I used to. Weird. But I'll try for the two to three people who read this blog, "thank you for your support." (Now there's an old quote, Ha! Wonder how many people would remember where it came from.)

I used to really like writing. I really don't know if I am any good at it, but you be the judge.