collideoscope

addicted to the future
 

Easy Remote Colonization

March 16, 2011

Now that I’m managing a few linux servers (personal, not work related), I’ve found it handy to have automatic login via ssh-keys. At first it wasn’t so bad copying keys up to the server, but when you have 5 or so, it becomes a bit tedious (especially when I can never remember things). I’ve found a script to automate the process from StackOverflow:

#!/bin/bash
if [ -z "$1" ]; then
	echo "colonize.sh by Brian Enigma "
	echo "Function: copies ssh public keys to remote machines for passwordless login"
	echo "Usage: colonize.sh @"
	exit 1
fi
KEY=id_rsa.pub
STORE=authorized_keys
CONTENT=`cat ~/.ssh/$KEY`
echo "Attaching key to authorized_keys file"
ssh $1 "mkdir -p .ssh && chmod 700 .ssh && touch .ssh/$STORE \
	&& chmod 644 .ssh/$STORE \
	&& echo '$CONTENT' >> .ssh/$STORE \
	&& rm -f $KEY"
echo "Complete!  You should be able to log in without a password now!"

Note that before this works, you must have generated your keys on your local box first:

ssh-keygen -t rsa

Essential Ubuntu Applications

November 10, 2010

General list of apps I use on my Ubuntu desktop:

thunderbird – great email client
banshee – quite possibly the best music/media player out there
vlc – this can play any movie you throw at it
transmission-daemon – great for running transmission when you aren’t logged in to the machine
ushare – unpn/dlna media server – works great with xbox 360
filezilla – personal favorite ftp client
pidgin – empathy sucks
gnome-do – this helped me transfer finger memory from OS X
gparted – I am a storage guy – I format and look at things.
ssh – is there anything ssh can’t do?
ubuntu-restricted-extras – youtube is boring without flash
xchat – for when I’m feeling extra creepy
vpnc – great cisco compatible vpn client
network-manager-vpnc – makes it guiful
ttf-droid – I love the android font
audacity – I cut up mp3s too
terminator – awesome terminal app

E71 Thoughts

August 25, 2010

I’ve had the E71 for a few days now and I find it to be one of the best phones I’ve used. It is interesting to me coming from a G1 and previously an iPhone, but clearly the E71 was designed to be a communication device, not “something to play games on and maybe make phone calls” like the iPhone or G1. Here are some of the “required” apps I have installed: Putty, Trill (Twitter client), Wordmobi (WordPress blog client), Skype, and finally JoikuSpot (wifi-hotspot). I’m still looking for other must have apps and will hopefully find more good stuff to share.

Accessible Notes

August 12, 2010

OpenNote is a modified WordPress theme that is designed to be used for a private “notebook” site. I wanted a place to keep notes and other bits of information handy, but did not want to use any third party services such as Evernote because I wanted to keep it under my control. I had been using my hacked W2+ installation, but I needed functionality to better handle files such as pdf and Word documents. WordPress is extensible and reliable enough that it works nearly everywhere and there is an official WordPress application for nearly every phone so that makes adding content a snap from anywhere. I hope you enjoy the OpenNote theme and you can download it from the OpenNote Project page at erickiel.com. Let me know what you think!

I love Ben

August 5, 2010

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin

Squid going for a walk

July 29, 2010

squid going for a walk

Thoughts On Ubuntu 10.04

May 5, 2010

I’ve had the latest version of Ubuntu installed for a few days now and I believe I can sum it up in one word: polished. This release has been the most stable and least troublesome yet. I’ve noticed that 9.10 my wireless connection would take ~10 seconds to connect, in Lucid it is nearly instantaneous. The boot time is considerably faster which is saying a lot as the boot time was slashed from 9.04 to 9.10. The new “me” menu is a nice addition and the overall look and feel is very nice. I must say, I was a bit confused about why they moved the minimize, maximize and close buttons to the left though, but after a day or so, it becomes second nature to mouse over to the left. Also, since the release, Mark Shuttleworth has detailed some new plans for Window Indicators which I think will be interesting. It is good to see some innovation and I think this can only be a good thing for Ubuntu.

While this is all nice though, some of my favorite apps still do not have proxy support which is very frustrating. I wish I knew why there is no proxy support with these apps that should support a global proxy since the primary reason they exist is to utilize an internet connection. Empathy is a perfect example of this – why would you replace a long-standing application with good plugins and active development like Pidgin with Empathy? I believe that if you are replacing something, it should have the same or more features. What is even more frustrating though is that some of these apps such as Gwibber or Banshee don’t even tell you they can’t connect.

Despite the proxy issues, which are minor and just annoying, this is a great release. Practically everything works as expected and I think this will be a great LTS release.

Essential Android Apps

April 23, 2010

I have to say this first since I’m looking to get a new phone shortly, but I love Android. It is open, stable and not too irritating. However, the fact that I have to use a Google account to use the phone is very annoying. I’ll say that I’ve grown a little apprehensive about what they collect, but I’ll save that for another day. But like I said, I do like Android and the fact that I can do whatever I want with it. Right now I’m using an unlocked G1 running Cyanogenmod and this is what I consider essential apps for Android in no particular order:

Beem: great Jabber client – since I’m moving away from Google, this is a great alternative to the built in Talk app.

Seesmic: nice and fast Twitter client. I used to use Twidroid, but I found that it was just annoying with the constant notifications, but that is just me.

Advanced Task Manager: great for killing Twidroid.

Aldiko Premium Boookreader: tons of free books to download here. I recommend Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. I read the entire thing on my Big Brother phone.

Astro File Manager: handy for poking around the SD card.

BeamReader: best PDF viewer I could find.

CM Updater: upgrade your ROM with ease.

Shazam: music tagger – I love this so I can identify songs that I’ve never heard of before. Try it at Old Navy.

Wireless Tether for Root Users
: This allows your phone to be a wireless access point. Handy for when your hotel wants to charge you 15.00 a day for internet access.

ConnectBot
: Awesome SSH client – this even allows port forwarding.

Transdroid: this lets me monitor my linux distro torrents from the comfort of my couch. Also scans barcodes and searches for applicable torrents.

Did I miss any must-have apps? Let me know!

HOWTO: Add HFS, HFS+ and NFTS support to gparted

April 19, 2010

In case there is ever a need to format a disk with HFS or HFS+ (OS X native disk format) or NTFS in Ubuntu, you can add the following packages to your Ubuntu 9.10 system to add support for gparted:

HFS – hfsutils

HFS+ – hfsprogs

NTFS – ntfsprogs

You can install them all in one shot too:

apt-get install hfsutils hfsprogs ntfsprogs

Also, if you don’t have gparted installed, that is easy as well, just run the following:

apt-get install gparted

App Lockdown

April 14, 2010

Sometimes I just don’t get it. I know that Apple is the darling of the consumer electronics industry, but I don’t think consumers know (or more likely, they don’t care) about what they are buying into. I’m sure the user experience on the iPad is amazing, but I’ve played with iPhones (I used to use one – both the first gen and a 3G) and I know that my expectations and needs will not be met. As a hacker (in the tinkering sense) at heart, I have a need to own the hardware I use. I want to know how it works and change it. This is primarily the reason I switched to an Android based G1 – I knew it was totally hackable and if I don’t like something about it, well, I can fix it.

The iPad, on the other hand, is a totally closed system unless you jailbreak it (which is a nice idea on paper, but a miserable and painful experience). What frustrates me most is that there are endless possibilities from amazing developers out there who can write amazing apps, and it all comes down to Apple saying yes or no as to whether or not it gets accepted into the store. This is not a free market system. If I were a developer, the iPhone/iPad platform is absolutely the last platform I would consider developing for. Joa Ebert sums it up best though: It is as if Apple is forcing musicians to use Garageband as the only tool to create their music. I think a better example for consumers is like being forced to shop at Wal-Mart for everything.

 
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