Ubuntu kiosk based on 9.10

Updated 05/24/2011: Click here for the newest kiosk build based on Ubuntu 10.04.1.

Below is a the link for a kiosk build of Ubuntu based on 9.10. This build is a specific configuration of Ubuntu that will automatically login as a kiosk user. The kiosk user's xsession consists only of a single Firefox Window.

Be sure to see the FAQ at the bottom.

Fckeditor doesn't work in Drupal

When installing the fckeditor module in Drupal on some host configurations, probably centos and Apache, this error may occur when browsing for files.

The server didn't reply with a proper XML data. Please check your configuration.

The clue to this error, at least on centos, is in /usr/local/apache/logs/error_log:

[Tue Mar 16 21:20:06 2010] [error] [client xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx] SoftException in Application.cpp:601: Directory "/xx/xx/xx/xx/sites/default/modules/fckeditor/fckeditor/editor/filemanager" is writeable by group

Tim Bray on Apple

The big thing about the Web isn't the technology, it's that it's the first-ever platform without a vendor (credit for first pointing this out goes to Dave Winer). From that follows almost everything that matters, and it matters a lot now, to a huge number of people. It's the only kind of platform I want to help build.

Apple apparently thinks you can have the benefits of the Internet while at the same time controlling what programs can be run and what parts of the stack can be accessed and what developers can say to each other.

I think they’re wrong and see this job as a chance to help prove it.

The tragedy is that Apple builds some great open platforms; I’ve been a happy buyer of their computing systems for some years now and, despite my current irritation, will probably go on using them.

Insulating floors via a crawl space

We noticed shortly after moving in that the house was very drafty. We had the windows replaced, and I did my best to seal a crooked front door. We even replaced the skylights, but nothing we did alleviated these sometimes very cold drafts.

The home inspector noted that the insulation had dropped from the floor onto the floor of the crawlspace. This was due to the use of metal rods, or "tiger's teeth," which are no longer acceptable according to Washington State building code.

dropped insulation in crawl space

Bash script to measure bandwidth

I wrote a bash script to measure the amount of bandwidth, and to count the number of connections to the server, and used cron to run it once an hour. The results are written to a log. It works nicely, although I'm guessing my math is off a bit in calculating the bandwidth.

This was made to keep an eye on our web cam at my place of employment. It measures the bandwidth over 30 seconds during the run.


CONN=`netstat -nt | awk '{ print $5}' | cut -d: -f1 | sed -e '/^$/d' | sort -n | uniq | wc -l`
DATE=`date '+%D | %r'`

Google to test ultra high speed networks

Google has announced it's intent to build a number of high speed networks in the United States. And by high speed, they mean 100 times faster than what is available today.

Google's vision is to have a nation-wide network of one gigabit fiber to the home connections with a choice of service providers. Google says it's "goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better, and faster for everyone."

If it creates competition for Comcast and to a lesser extent Verizon, I'm all for it.

Ubuntu Linux behind the making of Avatar

Weta Digital, co-founded by Peter Jackson, is a digital visual effects company that worked on the flora and fauna of Pandora in the wildly popular movie Avatar.

Jordanopensource.org is reporting Ubuntu Linux is the core OS that runs on their massive 4,000 server, 40,000 CPU farm, one of the most powerful in the world. Imagine the cost savings on licensing alone.