Thursday, December 20, 2007

Century Media Podcast October 2007

Century Media Podcast 10-07 hosted by Tim Binder

This is the first metal podcast that I've listened to. This is a great way of hearing new bands. If you like metal, this one has a lot of great new metal to check out.

1. In this moment - Beautiful Tragedy
A fantastic song, strong yet pretty female vocals but she can let out a scream too. This song could make the radio, very catchy. They're on the road with Ozzy and Rob Zombie.

2. Firewind - Falling to pieces
Great melodic metal from Gus G.

3. Himsa - Big timber
A little similar to Arch Enemy and In Flames. Death/Scream vocals with melodic guitars. Pretty good tho.

4. Divine Heresy
Death/Screams with Clean vocals. Same guy I think. Good band, a good mix of heaviness and melody.

5. Arch Enemy - Blood on your hands
One of my favorite bands. This is off of the new album Rise of the Tyrrant. Amazing album, much more in your face than Doomsday Machine though I liked DM as well.

6. The agony scene - Barn Burner
Fun song, reminds me of a cross between metal and punk but not thrash.

7. Unsure of the artist - song: I will never let you down off of the awakening

8. Shadows Fall - Crushing Belial

9. The agonist - Business suits and combat boots
Great song!

10. Suicide silence - the prince of beauty

11. Nuclear Blast All stars - Disfunctional hours

12. Gotthard - Master of Illusion

13. After Forever - Energize me
Another of my favorite bands, great song, get their new album if you like Nightwish or Power/symphonic metal

14. Behemoth
Fantastic guitarists the hard core brutal black/death metal isn't my thing usually, but this band is pretty good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Three successful Slackware 12 installs

Two of my machines used to run Fedora Core 8. One is a Compaq laptop 32 bit system, the other is an AMD 64bit (non dual core) chip. I had quite a few problem with Fedora, as I stated in KPLUG emails between myself and Carl. When I started with Linux, my first distribution was Slackware ( 3.5 I think). I decided to try the latest (Slackware 12) on both of these machines and install it on my Mothers HP laptop.

Slackware still has the same text install, partitioning the disks is still done manually before setup is run. Although, after it installed and rebooted, I was anticipating a lot of manual configuration with the sound cards and video. To my amazement I only had to run alsaconf to configure my sound card on both machines, my laptop has an ATI video card which required no extra configuration.
The NVIDIA card in my Moms laptop wouldn't work with the standard VESA driver or nv but it did find the NVIDIA card on my desktop. I downloaded/installed the drivers from nvidia and added nvidia into /etc/X11/xorg.conf and X came up. I did run into the disappearing mouse cursor on both machines that have the NVIDIA card, but adding Option "HWCursor" "Off" brought the cursor back and adding under input device:

Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"
Option "Buttons" "5"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

allowed me to use the middle scroll button on all three machines. My MP3s play, and Amarok doesn't lock up my system anymore. Not as much configuration as I thought I'd have to do, or as much as I used to do with older versions.

I have a DLink DWL-G122 wireless USB device, I don't use it at home anymore, but for the December meeting, I wanted to have wireless on my laptop. I searched for the card model # and the REV B1 and found open source drivers for Linux. It was a painless installation, I loaded the module and the light on my NIC came on. I don't have access to a wireless network at the moment, so I'll have to wait until the meeting to see if/how well it works on a network.

CDRoms, USB drives and other removable devices have to be manually mounted, which is something I'm used to with Slackware, until I figure out how to set it to auto-mount when inserted. I did have a little trouble with the HAL daemon using all my CPU and grinding my system to a halt on my laptop. I stopped the daemon and took the executable flag off the rc script and the problem has stopped. Something I need to look into though.

I haven't yet tried:
USB HP Scanner (It's a few years old 3400 I think, it worked with Fedora)
Built in USB Card Reader (Desktop)
2 Digital Cameras (one Kodak 3600 one HP)
HP Photo Printer (can't remember the model)
Logitech USB web cam Quick cam I believe

We also have 2 printers, one older HP laserjet BW and I have an HP color laserjet 2600n, both work great with Slack.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Slackware vs Fedora

This really isn't a debate on which distro is better. Just which one I prefer. I had Fedora core 8 64Bit installed on my desktop. And the 32 bit version on my laptop. One of the main functions of my desktop is to play mp3s with Amarok. Using Fedora, Amarok would lock up on me, and the OS was slow too. Waaaay too slow. Fedora doesn't play mp3s by default, you have to tweak it to get that functionality (because of legal issues).

Desktop: AMD 64Bit processor (can't remember the model, but not the dual core), 1.3Gig RAM, 250Gb HD

I'm going to give a presentation on Amarok and mp3 players to my local Linux User Group on December 13th.
So I need to be able to play mp3s with Amarok on my laptop for this presentation. Fedora refused, I did exactly the same thing on my laptop as I did my desktop. Still no mp3 playback. It played OGG and FLAC, but not mp3. It was also very slow.

Laptop: P-IV 2.4Ghz, 786M RAM, 120Gb HD

In my frustration, I decided that Slackware was good enough for me before, I'll install it on my laptop. I haven't run Slack on this laptop before...Slack can be a pain to get hardware configured. It's not like Fedora or Suse, it doesn't always auto-find everything for you. It won't automount USB sticks or mp3 players, that has to be done manually.

Slackware installed beautifully, configured X fine, I didn't need to tweak xorg.conf to get the video settings right. I just ran alsaconf and it found my sound card immediately. Amarok loaded up nicely, doesn't crash or hang, and the system is FAST!

I installed Slackware on my Desktop last night...Didn't get a chance to play too much, it installed, and rebooted in under 15 minutes =]
Again, it configured my video properly, used alsaconf for sound and it worked like a charm! I have no idea why in the world I ever strayed away from Slackware in the first place. It was my first distribution (Slackware 3.5) and I'm back to it again =]

Even more computer stuff

I hooked up my new DSL modem, it has PPPOE in the modem, plugged it into my switch, hooked my new server into the switch and everything seemed to work well. I've totally changed my network, rather than going through one computer to get to the net, we all go through the modem. I had to change IP#s on everyone's machine, my internal network was 192.168.1 but my modem is 192.168.0 which is no biggie, easy to do.

I can't run my home webserver this way, but my torrents are a lot faster since there is no firewall. I'm debating on just leaving it this way, or setting up a router just after the modem to send all web traffic to the one machine. But, on the other hand, I could just run an intranet web server instead. I also can't ssh into my machines at home...I'm not sure if that's all that important either.

Another thing I'd like to do is setup a SANs, a hard drive (networkable) enclosure and put a few HDs in there to store stuff. I have 2 computers as file servers right now. I could do away with both of them if I get one of those. I don't want a USB drive, I want all the files accessable from any computer on my network.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Computer stuff

I just appropriated a new (to me) computer from my job. They love to just "dispose" of their older computers so if it's worth it, I take them home and put them to good use =]

I "appropriated" a Dell server, 2.8GHZ HT machine with 2 40 gig HDs and a Gig of RAM. I thought this would be a good time to replace my Linux server which is a 1.2Ghz PIII. This server acts as a firewall/gateway for the other computers on my network. It's also my webserver which isn't always up, but I'll get into that later.

I have DSL at home (6M/768K) which isn't bad, it's pretty quick normally, with a dynamic IP# and I use a Dynamic nameserver to get my address. I use Roaring Penguin's PPPOE software to connect, which works great, but my problem lies when my IP# changes and I lose my name on the machine. It's difficult to get it back again, I've written scripts to try to bring the name back to the current IP# but it always wants to hang on to the old IP. I'm hoping with this new modem, and a new server, I might be able to get this to work right. If I'm still having no luck, I'll call the TELCO and get a Static IP ($5/mo extra) and use that instead. Here is one script I use



EXTIP="`/sbin/ifconfig $EXTIF | grep 'inet addr' | awk '{print $2}' | sed -e 's/.*://'`"
HOSTIP="`/usr/bin/host | awk '{print $4}'`"
#TIME="`/bin/date '+%m-%d-%Y %w %T'`"

if [ "$EXTIP" != "$HOSTIP" ]; then

NPID="`ps aux | grep noip2 | grep nobody | awk '{ print $2 }'`"
/usr/local/bin/noip2 -K "$NPID"

exit 0

Now this bash script gets the IP#s of my ACTUAL IP and the one that's attached to and compares them, if they're different, it tries to get it attached to the new one. This script isn't working right. If I get this to work, I'll post what I did.

DSL Modem trouble

I fix computers as a side job (UTT). I thought it would be good to blog about this, maybe I can remember in the future how I fixed something! =]

I went over to a friends house to fix his computer. He said he had no internet connection. He has DSL with our local TELCO and the old Westell modem that doesn't have the PPPOE in the modem. He had contacted tech support twice already. I fiddled around with it and figured out that he was getting a connection. I could ping in DOS, do a correct nslookup even ftp into my machine at home. But, the problem was that he had no web browsing capabilities.

I did an ipconfig /all in DOS and noticed that his netmask was which is incorrect. It should have a 0 as the last one. I contacted tech support yet again, got to the 2nd tier and they said he had a good connection, they even went so far as to suggest I reload his entire computer to it's original format. Ugh, no way...That takes hours. I had a feeling that the modem was at fault. It just so happened that I had a newer modem in my car. Another friend had given it to me ( I also have the old Westell modem at home), so I hooked it up, logged into the built in webserver and plugged in his login info, and BEHOLD!!!! It works great now. I managed to scam another free modem for myself from work, so I can try it at home.

I dunno if anyone will benefit from this, but it was interesting, because AT&T said that is WASN'T the modem. But that netmask was really suspicious, and the settings weren't hard coded in the networking settings. It was all supposed to be DHCP. So the address wasn't set by us...It was getting the wrong one from the TELCO. Probably going to be one of the last times I call for tech support. I don't for my personal (they don't support Linux), I just go with my gut feeling =]


Monday, September 24, 2007

First Post!

Just created this account. I wanted to test this out by posting one blog and see how it looks.

As you can tell from my blog title I am a Dream Theater addict. I love Progressive, Symphonic, Norwegian Black, Melo Death, NWOBHM, Thrash, Traditional, Glam, Technical, pretty much most semi-melodic forms of metal. I own a 60GB Creative Labs Zen that I'll probably wear out by next summer. It has to be the neatest gadget I've ever owned!

I also love to cross stitch and make plastic canvas stuff. I do a little sewing and hand embroidery.

I try to do a lot of home improvement projects as well.