jacob's blog


One of the many things I love about Linux, and Ubuntu in particular is the ability to install pretty much everything you need from the package repositories, including all the development tools you could ever need.

With other operating systems, you have to purchase or download the software, then install it. Updates are made easy as the updater checks for updates for all software installed via the repositories, vs other operating systems who only update their own. Do you ever need to go outside the repositories? I rarely do (maybe once or twice out of hundreds of installs).

Linux conversion: Vicky

Vicky brought her Petri dish, I mean Windows XP box to my place because it had been running very, very slow, she had notifications telling her to buy anti-spyware software, and she couldn't do anything on the internet.

She had one of the worst virus and spyware infestations I had seen in a very long time. It was really indescribably bad.

Linux conversion: Michelle

Michelle had come to me a while back complaining about her *gulp* Windows 98 machine. Both the operating system, and the machine itself, were very slow. But she didn't see why she had to buy a whole new machine, and/or upgrade Windows just to use the computer for what she used it for.

Michelle used the computer for surfing the internet, playing simple games like solitaire and instant messaging.

I suggested that, rather than spending $500+ on a new virus box, she let me install Ubuntu Linux instead.

Operating on a subset of files

One of the many powerful features of the GNU/Linux command line is the pipe character. The pipe character, or | is used to pipe the output of one command to the input of another command. For example, if you wanted to view all of the lines in a log file that have the number 500 in them (as I did on today on an Windows box), you could use this:

$ grep ' 500 ' file.log | less

Linux and open source software advantages

GNU Linux, and open source software as a whole, have great advantages to the community of people that use it when compared to closed source, proprietary software. Two of these advantages are the ability to communicate directly with the developers to request features and report bugs, and the ability of the project to live on because the development is not dependent on a company.

Migrating coldfusion: data sources

I didn't find a whole lot on the web about this, aside from http://www.petefreitag.com/item/68.cfm. When migrating ColdFusion MX 7, it is good to know that the settings, including data sources, are stored in *cf_root*\lib in neo-*x*.xml files.

For example, all of the data sources can be found in neo-query.xml. If you're migrating a server to the same version of ColdFusion, I don't see why this wouldn't work. You should be able to save the old file(s) on the new installation and drop the new file in there. I would shut the service off and start again when finished.


Sound not synchronized when creating a DVD using tovid

When creating a DVD using tovid/todisc, I have found that on one .avi movie I tried to convert, the sound was out of sync by more than a few seconds.

To fix this, I used the -ffmpeg switch when converting using tovid, which uses a different method of encoding. Strange that it's not the default as it was much faster and seemed to produce a better outcome.

Linux tips: bash history

One of the most powerful features of the bash shell is the command history . Using the up and down arrows, one can recall the commands typed previously into the shell, edit them, and execute them again, even after rebooting your computer or closing the shell window.

You can also dump the entire history file by typing in the command history. Much, much more can be done using the bash history. These functions can be explored by reading the manual page.

$ man history