Linux, Food, and Kilts: What more could I ask for?

Fireball? In the bowel of the ship? NO!!!!

Friend's mostly
Linux Peng
Hello.  I am Technonick.  I make posts about stuff with food and computers and barbequeing and working and school.  But I want to know who actually reads what I write.  If you are interested,  please friend me.  Some of my posts are open to the public,  some are friends only.  So if you want to read the friends only stuff, friend me.

Freedom the bunny
Linux Peng
"TAMPA — About a year ago, a little brown bunny moved into a green bungalow on W Lambright Street in Old Seminole Heights, down by the Hillsborough River. She stayed inside at first, safe from growling dogs and taunting raccoons and the 8-foot gators the river deposits on its banks.

But one day she began to venture out. The bunny was scared at first of her neighbors, friendly though they were. A flinch would send her running, a blur of ears and dust, but soon she began to settle in and eventually she developed a daily routine....... "

read the rest of the story.

Email Relay in the modern era
Linux Peng
Egypt Egypt Egypt.... I'm really tired of hearing about Egypt. I understand what is going on, but do I have to hear about it every 5 minutes? Even on PBS?

Well all this Egypt talk has me thinking about what happens when someone has the keys to the Internet and shuts it down. In Egypt, Mubarak was able to really limit access by having close ties to the four major ISP and just telling them to "SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING!!"
Here in the US, there is a call by our wonderful congress-critters to give the president the ability to shut the Internet down with a switch. Really? Are you kidding me? From a regulation perspective, we saw how easily it was to get government monitoring in place at the major distribution points of the Internet. Carnivore with it disturbing name is the system used by our government to monitor email and electronic communication. Isn't that neat? No. It's scary. Orwellian scary. Even if Bruce Schneier thinks it's ok, I think it's bad. Add to that the ability to shut down the Internet and you have yourself the ability to do some scary Fascist shit.
Cory Doctorow has some great techy type of writing that talks about what would happen if sysadmins were one of the few people left after a world wide attack that brought civilization to it's knees by a global terrorist attack using airborne biological agents. In that story the sysadmins are saved because they work in server farms with their own power (generators), filtered air and small food supplies. They have control of the Internet and try to begin rebuilding civilization after a large percentage of the population is wiped out.
How would that even happen if the leaders of our land had control of the Internet when the crisis first emerged? I mean, think about September 11th, do you thing George Bush would have shut down the Internet immediately after the attack? How long would it have been down? Hours? Days? Weeks?

Ultimately I think that this demands that someone come up with a way to deal with this. Wireless mesh networks are an emerging technology that may offer a solution. But to be honest, WMN's seem like they are designed with the idea that a connection out exists. It looks like in Internet Kill Switch scenarios that no connection to the Internet may exist for days.

I hate Facebook
Linux Peng
I wanted to become an early adopter of Diasporia, the alternate secure private social networking tool. I wanted to be smug that I was using something that was better than Facebook. Something that kept my privacy private instead of whispering that it was secure but ultimately running away with my information, selling it the highest bidder or rolling over for government powers that be. Who I talked to, my social networks, what I do and who I do it with. My likes, my dislikes.... compiling mass amounts of data on me and everyone else.
And if the next terrorist attack happens, how the government would immediately want access to that data and to determine who was involved and to decide who is a traitor or who supports the homeland. Who amongst you is a traitor.
I wanted to point my finger at you all and say, "Nana, See I told you so. I warned ye, but did you listen?? No!"

And this year I realized, I'm missing out. I'm missing out on all the good gossip. The social networking. Diasporia hasn't delivered on it's promises. I'm isolating myself because I just want to say, "I told you so." Meanwhile, I get on websites on a regular basis and give out gigabytes of information about myself. Blizzard, fark, and ten other sites that I log into each day that could easily tell exactly what was going on. Not to mention the terrifying Google who I have multiple email accounts with, phone numbers on and work.

It's all very evil. I worry about what the future will hold. About the potential for civil liberties being taken away because we looked at the wrong site, or have the wrong interests or wrong friends. Because I am different. I worry that my liberties will be in jeopardy because I made myself a target. Sharing my private thoughts all in one place that can be traced back to me.

But today I opened a new account on Facebook. I set all the settings I could find to the maximum amount of privacy. I determined I would not make friends with everybody. Only the people I feel I am missing out on. Aunt Suzy, fuck off, I don't want to hear about how God is working in your life. I'm not friending you. You will not find me. Mom and sister, nope. Weird guy from high school who now has a band and wants me to buy his albums, go away.

Excuse me, I have to go sit in my corner now with my tinfoil hat and cry myself into complacency.

Why Facebook is evil
Linux Peng
Yes, Facebook is evil. Here are few reasons why:

Great video (and site) from 2006

May 2010 Business Insider article 10 Reasons to Delete your FB Profile

Wikipedia page of Criticism of Facebook

I think this link best describes the problem with Facebook:

"Why can't privacy and connectedness go hand-in-hand? That's the question being raised by those behind the new Diaspora project, an ambitious undertaking to build an "anti-Facebook" - that is, a private, open source social network that puts you back in control of your personal data."

Yeah, Diaspora is still early in development. Yeah it's not ready. But why would you continue to use something owned by an incompetent corporation, who is run by people who are not looking out for your benefit at all? Who are actively using the information you are providing them, to make money hand over fist in any way possible? They own everything you ever submitted to them.
And on the other side, you have this project that will be ready in less then a year. When it's ready, it will be more secure than Facebook. It will owned by no one. You will have control of your personal information, no one else. Your pictures will not be owned by anyone else.
Why do you have a Facebook account again? Because "all your friends are doing it?" My Mom used to warn me about that logic.
Me? I'm patient. I wait for Diaspora. I'll give money to the cause. I'll try out the software and give feedback. But what I won't do is continue to support a corporation that is evil. That has no inclination of "not being evil." And will always look out for it's own interests over mine.

Linux Peng
EasyBloom Tells You What Plants Will Grow or Why Your Plants Are Dying—Indoors and Out [Stuff

Like the benefits of plants in your workspace but don't have the greenest of thumbs? EasyBloom is a clever USB gadget that measures sunlight, temperature, and other variables to help you figure out what plants will go in the space you've got. More »

Causes that I care about
Linux Peng
I admire my wife because she has her causes that she is very passionate about. She cares about Postpartum Depression, the death penalty and tiny Eastern places where people are repressed (Burma/Tibet). And yeah I care about those things, because she talks about them, but those are not my causes. Those aren't things that I think about on a regular basis. Read more...Collapse )

Linux Peng
The election results have me down. Sure Jerry Brown won, but Prop 19 didn't pass. Fiorina didn't make it the Senate, but the GOP has control of the House. Meh.

That has me down. I think life has me down. The future tends to make me positive, even though the immediate future looks like crap. So, I have this little hobby of collecting talks from the Internet about how gaming and marketing manipulation will change the world. Ted released a new talk, on this subject, so I thought I'd post the videos (including this new one) that are most interesting:

Read more...Collapse )

Setting up a Linux Backup Server part 1
Linux Peng
While I want to rant wildly about the stupidity that is Linux Planet: Arch Linux Backup Server article. I won't. I won't tell you how dumb it is that it takes two separate pages to get to the point of network access. So let me try to help out.


1 - Unused machine (preferably a Pentium 3 class machine with gigabit connection.)
1 - A large drive that is compatible with Unused machine (maybe two drives if you want to set up raid 1)
1 - A wireless router, preferably one that uses the Tomato firmware (I will be using Tomato in my example.)
1 - Ubuntu Server disc to install. You should use the 10.04 LTS version.

That's it. That is all that is required. Let's talk about why we make these choices:

Unused machine: We want at least a P3 processor because this machine will be used to do the backups. The OS shouldn't be that resource intensive. The things that are most important in a small network is to have a big disk (maybe redundant ie RAID 1) and to have a snappy network, thus the recommendation for gigabit.

Large drive: Well that is self explanatory. We need a big disk to store our backups on.

Wireless router: We are (hopefully) not going to be using the wireless to backup our data. It's far too slow. We want to backup across the wires because it will be much faster. With the size of your disk that will be backed up in the hundreds of gigabytes, we want to using wired speeds. Wireless will likely be too slow. So, you'll need to plugin to be backed up.
The reason I recommend the Tomato based router is that the setup is super easy and you can easily assign a static ip address to clients that get their ip via dhcp. So you find your ip in the Device List, and you make the address that it assigns the same ip each time. Look at this simulator for an example. It's that easy.

Let's get down to business.

Step 1: Install Ubuntu Server
We're going to Install Ubuntu Server on this machine. Obviously you will need a monitor and keyboard to get this all set up, but once it's all done, we'll get rid of the monitor and keyboard. We'll use either ssh or a web console to administrate our backup server.
This is a good example of Ubuntu Server install. When you get to the part about server type, you want to choose only ssh. Nothing else will be needed. Maybe if I have time later, I'll put together something better than that video, but for now that should be enough to get you started, especially if you are using just one big disk in the server. Use the whole drive.

Step 2: Router
In the router, you should now assign a permanent ip for your backup server. At this point you want to make sure that your backup clients have a permanent ip as well.

Step 3: Run server headless
Shutdown you backup server, remove the monitor and keyboard. Then reboot it and verify that it's on the network via ping from a machine with a monitor and keyboard.

ping 10.0.0.X

Where X is the final number in the ip address.

Step 4: Backup server software (to be continued)

Teenage boys and FPS
Linux Peng
I play Urban Terror. It is an "old school" FPS based on the Quake 3 engine. It's selling points are:

1) It's free
2) It runs on older computers
3) Is Linux compatible
4) Hollywood-esq FPS with real life weapons

In playing Urban Terror (or UrT as it is called) you learn about modern rifles and handguns. And you learn tactics and quick thinking strategy. I like it. It's great to run around shooting your opponents before they shoot you. It relieves stress.

Last night I was playing before it was time to retire to our bedroom. Now most times you have a wide variety of ages playing. There are 13 year olds and I've seen people as old as early fifties gamers. Women also play (there are many who kick my butt regularly) FYI. But mostly the game is populated by teenage boys. So you get a lot of chatter about what teenage boys talk about. Most times I ignore it, but sometimes I try to be funny. Here's some of the conversation (my apologies to veterans of foreign wars in advance):

UrT Teenage boy 1: What is your favorite part of a woman's body?
Random player: butt
Random player: breasts
Me: Knees
Random player: knees???
Random player: Why do you like a woman's knees?
Me: Because knees always stay firm and supple.
Random Player: I like feet.
Me: A good pair of toes are perfect on a woman.
Random player: How many of you have a girlfriend?
Me: I don't. I'm married.
Random player: I bet your wife has sexy toes.
Me: No. She doesn't have toes.
Random player: ???
Me: She lost them in the war.
Random player: In what war?
Me: Iraq. She's a vet, lost her toes in the war.
Me: I miss women with sexy toes.


Log in