jacob's blog

Housing bailout - Get ready to pay up

The Democratic party, not unlike than the Republican party, is becoming more and more extreme.

As the housing correction churns on and housing prices fall to where they should be, the government is considering legislation to purchase these bad debts, these mortgage securities, taking them off the books of the financial institutions.

Recovering deleted system files and reinstalling packages on Ubuntu

I ran an installation program using sudo that, after asking where the current version was, which was /usr/bin/, completely emptied that directory.

This should be a reminder that, as secure and stable as Linux is, it is still susceptible to user error and bad software.

For those that do not know, /usr/bin/ is a very important directory in which many if not most of the important system programs are stored. This is the equivelant of deleting the System32 directory in Windows.

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Creating zip files using ColdFusion 7

Here is the code to zip multiple files and compress them using ColdFusion and Java. I tested it using two picture files and two text files.

Linux games: Open Arena

One of the complaints many users have about Linux is that it isn't for gamers or lacks decent games. Linux has hundreds if not thousands of games, but it is true that major game manufacturers, as most hardware manufacturers, ignore the penguin.

Being an old school Quake III Arena addict, I was very excited to find OpenArena in my list software I can add or remove from Ubuntu's repositories. OpenArena is based on id Software's GPL id Tech 3.

Mayor Nickels has lost his mind

In an effort to promote being "green," the Mayor of Seattle is closing neighborhoods to car traffic for an afternoon. These are dubbed car-free days and are supposed to promote walking, biking or taking mass transit.

"I think it promotes awareness of whatever we're promoting awareness of," said resident Thomas Hubbard.

Yes...what he said.

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The watch command in Linux

A very neat command I learned about today is the watch command. This command line program executes a command periodically and shows the output in full screen. If you've ever used the top command, it's the same concept, but you can use any command.

For example, the command sudo watch cat /proc/meminfo will display the current memory information, updating it every two seconds by default, until the ctrl + c combination is pressed.

Finally splurged and bought a new computer

After realizing my current processor and motherboard was ordered over three years ago, and my current processor, an Athlon XP 3200+, was originally manufactured in 2003, I decided to build a new computer. It has taken me two months to decide what I wanted and to get the funds budgeted, but I finally ordered it tonight.

I purchased the case, an Antec Sonata III 500, over a year ago. It's an expensive case, but one of the best as far as silence and style goes.

Podcast ordering in Amarok

In Amarok, under KDE 3.5, podcasts seem to be in a scrambled order. They definitely aren't in the order the author of the podcast put them in. This is a known bug and is going to be fixed in the next version of Amarok due out very soon.

As a temporary work around, I am using Firefox's ability to subscribe to XML feeds and have associated MP3 files with Amarok inside Firefox.

Using smart monitoring for drives on Ubuntu

SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a technology that implemented by most hard drive manufacturers that records pertinent information about the hard drive, to the hard drive, which aids in the prediction of a failure.

Linux has tools available that harvest that data, perform tests and aide in the prediction of drive failure. Normally, the bios will prompt you if SMART detects a problem with a drive, but you have to reboot in order to get that prompt and many Linux users don't reboot often.

To install the packages under (k)ubuntu, use:

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