Archive for Linux

Smart Home’s connected technology will help drive house sales reports that a smart home is more attractive to buyers, who are looking for value add services being integrated into their prospective purchase.

“Industry data suggests three areas of connected home technology will fuel consumer demand moving forward, including home theater, MRAV (multiroom audio/video), and energy management. These technology systems not only add attractive options for buyers, but can set a builder apart as cutting-edge.”

In this tight economy builders of new homes will need their properties to stand out, this akin to buying the car and getting air con, sat nav and cruise control thrown in for the same price.

Students in Tipperary Institutes new Computing degree in Smart Sustainable Energy will study this convergence, the associated technologies and develop their own unique solutions

I might buy an Iphone so I can install android on it

Bernie Goldbach reports on the fact that Android is running on the iPhone. This is great news as far as I am concerned and I am awaiting further updates.

Testdisk – a tool for data recovery for an external usb hard drive

My 120GB Western Digital external USB hard drive is dying a slow death. I have suspected for the past few weeks that there was an issue as it would be detected on a haphazard basis my Windows and Linux.Scandisk and chkdsk had revealed bad sectors and these had been patched so as to not to be used.

Yesterday morning it decided to not cooperate at all and refused to display its contents. I downloaded the Western Digital Diagnostic software for the drive and it confirmed my worse fears when it displayed a status of fail for the hard drive. Extended tests revealed numerous bad sectors.
Some urgent research was carried out a number of apps were downloaded and trialed. Diskgator looked promising as it was mentioned on a website as being free, it worked with the hardware, analysed the file structure and offered to restore the data if I purchased a single app for 69 USD. I decided not to and used stricter search filters to indentify an open source app.
TestDisk by CGSecurity caught my attention, the interface is ms-dos/linux which suited me fine, the app analysed the drive and detected that the boot sector was corrupt but the backup boot sector was fine. I instructed testdisk to copy the backup boot sector to the original which it did. The drive then appeared under windows and I am copying all the files I possibly can from the disk.
I think my trusty western digital drive’s days are numbered and after 2.5 yrs of hard labour it may soon meet its just reward in sector heaven.
Update – Recovery of data is ongoing, have decided to name the task Project Lazerus – bringing a usb external drive back from the dead.

O’Reilly Open Source Convention 2009

I have just watched a history of failure which was presented at the O’Reilly Open source conference. It is a great history of software and hardware bugs with some valuable lessons.

The open source conference contains a variety of talks, which can be accessed below.

Open Source Conference Dublin Sept 19th 2009

The OSSBarcamp will take place in DIT kevin street on Saturday the 19th of September. The schedule looks impressive

Some of the talks


Speaker: Laura Czajkowski

Notes: A brief introduction to the event


Talk Title: To be confirmed

Speaker: Jan Lehnardt


10:45 – ROOM 1

Talk Title: Teach Your Boss How to FLOSS

Speaker: Patrick O’Connor & Paul O’Malley

Notes: This talk, in 2 parts will show how to demonstrate the value of contributing to and using FLOSS in your organisation and then how to successfully integrate FLOSS practices into your organisation’s IT.


Lightning Talk 1

Title: Building an All-Island FOSS Community

Speaker: Brian Cleland


Lightning Talk 2

Talk Title: Creating Handsome Documents with LaTeX

Speaker: Russell Davies


Lightning Talk 3

Talk Title: InfoSlicer, a project for the Sugar desktop

Speaker: Laura Cowen


Lightning Talk 4

Talk Title: Collective of independent Sysadmins

Speaker: Halo Labs


Lightning Talk 5

Talk Title: to be confirmed

Speaker: Tim Bunce


Lightning Talk 6

Talk Title: How to convert a CMS to run separate sites from the same installation

Speaker: Kae Verns


Lightning Talk 7

Talk Title: Scaling LAMP technologies for large sites

Speaker: Mark Frawley


Lightning Talk 8

Talk Title: TOG: A Dublin hackerspace

Speaker: People of TOG


10:45 ROOM 3

Talk Title: Easy Parallel Programming with iPython

Speaker: Vishal Vatsa


11:45 ROOM 1

Talk Title: Gnome 3.0

Speaker: Jan Schmidt


11:45 ROOM 3

Talk Title: Growing Ecualyptus with Ubuntu

Speaker: Dave Walker


12:45 – LUNCH

13:30 – ROOM 1

Talk Title: Launchpad Features Tour

Speaker: Shane Fagan


13:30 ROOM 2

Talk Title: Automated Documentation

Speaker: Ana Nelson


13:30 ROOM 3

Talk Title: Topic to be confirmed

Speaker: Tim Bunce


14:30 – ROOM 1

Talk Title: Machine Translation and Translation tools

Speaker: Jim Regan


14:30 ROOM 2

Talk Title: Drupal

Speaker: Stella Power


14:30 ROOM 3

Talk Title: Topic to be confirmed

Speaker: Tim Foster


15:30 – ROOM 1

Talk Title: Landscape Server, easy managementof lots of Ubuntu boxes

Speaker: Aidan Carty / HEAnet


15:30 ROOM 2

Talk Title: Getting started with embedded ARM development on Ubuntu

Speaker: Frank Duignan


15:30 ROOM 3

Talk Title: Using Free Software Culture in an Internet-Free World

Speaker: Rory McCann

Managing your Ipod using Ubuntu 9.04 and Amarok.

With previous versions of Ubuntu I had no problem managing my Ipod using Amarok 1.4. Amarok is great for retrieving the cover art for your Ipod and transferring your mp3 to your Ipod. 

When I upgraded to 9.04 I noticed that Amarok had moved up to 2.0.x, this unfortunately was a retrograde step in funcionality. After 2 days of trying to make Amarok 2.0 and 2.1 work I eventually went back to Amarok 1.4
The problem with 2.X is that you cannot intuitively manage your Ipod as device, download covers or transfer music.
Fortunately helpforlinux had an article showing how to backdate to Amarok 1.4 and I now have Amarok 1.4 back and working
Add the PPA to your sources by creating a new file for the Amarok PPA:
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/amarok.list

Then in that new file add the following two lines:
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Add the key for the PPA:
sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver \

Now update your sources, remove Amarok2 and install Amarok1.4:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove amarok
sudo apt-get install amarok14

Enabling the rotating desktop cube in Ubuntu intrepid 8.10

When I upgraded from 8.04 to 8.10 I lost my rotating desktop cube effect.

This effect is managed by Compiz. The problem with compiz is that there are several flavours and versions of it. The native versioron is kde orientated. To install compiz and use the gnome interface etc you should install the following.

$ sudo aptitude install simple-ccsm

PEAP wi-fi ubuntu 8.10 Intrrepid, a work around

There is a documented bug with ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid regarding the use of PEAP, which is a encryption protocol for wireless.

The following will allow you to get around the problem

1 – use version 0 of PEAP
2- deactivate and reactivate the wireless subsystems/kernel modules as follows:
modprobe -r  b43 ssb wl
modprobe b43
modprobe ssb

Fix for flash audio not working in ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid

I recently upgraded to ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid), the audio for youtube would no longer work. It was necessary to install the alsa-oss and turn up the oss mixer via volume control
apt-get install alsa-oss

Always keep a system rescue cd close by

My ubuntu laptop wouldn’t boot probably this evening as the /etc/mtab was corrupt. On boot up it wouldn’t fsck and repair the root file system and ubuntu doesn’t allow you to easily enter single user mode prior to mounting disks.

Fortunately I had a 6 month old copy of systemrescuecd in my laptop bag. This allowed me to boot up a miniature linux os from the cd and run fsck on the root file system. Eventhough the /etc/mtab was corrupt /etc/fstab was able to tell me the dev id for /.

It pays to keep one close by as you never know when you will need it….