Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Slackware and wireless networking

This is something I've been afraid of for a long time. The thought of setting up wireless in Slackware used to make me shudder. Well, on Black Friday I decided to peruse the internet for a cheap PCMCIA wireless network card that "Works in Linux" and I found one on for just under 9 bucks. Yes, you read that right. Nine bucks. I also picked up a Belken wireless G universal range extender and my card is a D-Link G650 card.

I had troubles at first. I tried the madwifi drivers and for some reason I could not get it to work.
Madwifi wanted ath0 as the net name, and would for some reason add wifi0 which is a virtual device to my ifconfig list. That didn't work at all. The software compiled fine, installed ok, loaded up the drivers like it was supposed to, but for some reason, must have been something I was putting in the config files in /etc/rc.d that made it not work right.

So I popped in the CD with the net drivers and copied over the net5211.inf and the two .sys files from /Drivers on the CD. I ran ndiswrapper:
ndisrapper -i net5211.inf
ndiswrapper -l
ndiswrapper -ma
ndiswrapper -mi
and did an insmod ndiswrapper to load the module.
The tricky part was figuring out the config files in /etc/rc.d/
I finally figured out, after hours of screwing with it, that these lines:

## Pick up any Access Point, should work on most 802.11 cards
## ---------- END SECTION TO REMOVE ------------

Need to remain uncommented just like above in rc.wireless.conf

I added wlan0 into rc.inet1.conf and it worked! Now my network is a little strange. I have everything wired, running into my DSL modem except for my Mom's laptop in her house (same property, seperate houses). She has a net cable running into a wireless hub, and my repeater just connected to the hub at her place with no troubles at all. I'm typing this on my laptop using wireless! I can now take my laptop anywhere in the house or yard and use my computer.

Viva Slackware!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Operatika - The Calling

I'm a big fan of Symphonic Metal. I love bands like Nightwish, After Forever, Epica and Within Tempation so when I heard about Operatika I figured I give them a listen.

The members are:
Vocals: Slava Popova
Guitars: Bill Visser
Keyboards: Anna
Drums: Yuri Liakhovitch
Bass: tba

When a genre of music becomes popular due to several very good bands, bands that sound very similar come crawling out the the woodwork. Operatika is one of those woodwork crawling bands. I don't dislike their music, but there's nothing new and exciting with this band. The guitarist loves his sweep arpeggios, uses them to boredom in his solos. Their vocalist is good, she has a very nice voice, but the female opera vocals have been overdone. The music is average at best, they're a "been there, done that" type of band.

The track listing for "The Calling" is as follows:
1. Intro
2. Gladiator
3. Tears Of The Sun
4. Dark Horizon
5. Ice Queen
6. Life Saving Flame
7. No. 3/23 In A Minor
8. Mask In The Mirror
9. Secrets Of The Past
10. The Storm
11. The Calling
12. Last Quest

Life saving flame is the best track on the album IMO but it's still under par. The instrumental No. 3/23 in A Minor sounds like a blatant Yngwie Malmsteen rip.

If you are looking for good Symphonic Metal, pass on this one. Check out the other bands that I mentioned earlier or check out Symphony X.

Century Media Podcast for November 2008

Century Media Podcast for November 2008

I love this podcast. Very little talk and a lot of great music.

Host Tim Binder

1. The Haunted - Moronic Colossus
Great tune, The vocalist, though he's a growler/screamer, mixes up his vocals enough to make them interesting. The guitarist(s) are top notch, they don't over or underplay. Good song, I'm going to get more to listen to.

2. Cursed - 1917
Starts off very mellow for the verse then picks up a little for the chorus. The vocals are pretty good, he sings in a non-english language. I'd have to hear more from the band, this song doesn't grab me the way the first one did, but it's pretty good.

3. Poison Black - Left Behind
This is a pretty perky song, interesting vocals from what I can tell, although they're a little buried in the mix especially in the chorus. Good arrangement and orchestration.

4. Duff McKagan - No More
Verse Reminds me a little of The Stray Cats has a swing feel to it, very 80s sounding. The bridge at the end was the best part of the song. The verse get's a little monotonous after a few times through.

5. ????? - ????? (couldn't understand the band or song name can anyone clarify?)
Not thrilled with this song, female vocalist, power metal-ish with a celtic twist. The vocals are irritating, she doesn't have a full voice like Tarja, it's thin and sort of shrill. The death/growl vocals in the middle are better.

6. Helheim - Det Norrøne Alter
A Dimmu style dark, slow song with viking/black style vocals. I like this band a lot, I'm definately going to pick up one of their CDs. The chorus (?) is very well orchestrated, very church-ish souding. with an organ at the end, fantastic musicianship, great arrangement.

Erik the Viking's Top 5

7. Lacuna Coil - Heaven's Alive
I've always loved this band. Christina has a great voice, fits the music to a tee. They're a dark, dreamy, atmospheric, gothic sort of band. They have two vocalists, Andrea (male) and Christina. They mix up the different vocal styles well. This is a fantastic song, one of my favorites by them. They're coming out with a DVD soon called Visual Karma. Pick it up and grab a few of their CDs.

8. Candlemass - Lucifer Rising
These guys have been around a long time. Straight up metal, very old school. Good song, I like the vocalist, great set of pipes and great range.

9. Enslaved - The Watcher
Interesting song. The verse is very viking/black like, then the chorus breaks into clean layered vocals with a very haunting melody, very beautiful actually.

10. Burning the Masses - Gerascophobia
This song would make a great pit song. Very in your face, then backs off. I like the time changes, gives a good jerky effect to the song. guitarist is very good, very quirky style.

On the record - Stu from Into Eternity discusses their new album. The Incurable Tragedy

11. Into Eternity - Diagnosis Terminal
I love this band, seen them live twice, very quirky, twisted band. Thier new album "The Incurable Tragedy" is fantastic. They mix up the time changes, stops & starts with growling vocals and beautiful harmonies. If you're looking for a band that's really different, I highly recommend Into Eternity.

12. Turisas - To Holmgard And Beyond
Very good power/prog metal. The middle of the song reminds me of a soundtrack for an RPG game.
Excellent harmonies, seems to tell a story.

13. In this Moment - Forever
Female vocalist, she has pretty good power, nice vocal melody. I like the guitar melody line in the song, very catchy. this song was written to be played on the radio, very catchy and commercial.

14. Stick to your guns - Part of me
Not my cup of tea, devoid of any melody, and the riffs aren't all that interesting. The vocalist is the typical shouter. Nothing original here. Mercifully, the song was short.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Zen > than your ipod

I bought a Creative Labs Zen Vision:M a year and a half ago, it's a 60 gigger and I do so love my zen! Love it so much I decided to do a little cross stitch pattern stating so.

If you like it you can download the pattern here. Right click on the video and select "save as".
It's done in pcstitch format, I've included both the original file and the jpg of the pattern.
The graphic is a bit fuzzy, I don't have zoom on my digital camera but you get the idea. Feel free to change the colors to match your Zen :)

This is copyleft Creative commons share alike licence.

Felt Penguin Ornament

I am a Linux fanatic, I love any penguins that look like Tux. I was in Walmart a few years ago and found a penguin ornament. I bought it for my works tree then promptly made a design based on that.

This is a very rough draft of my penguin ornament. Use whatever colors and things you'd like to dress up Tux =]

What You'll need:

Felt, Black for the body, white for the belly, a goldish yellow color felt for the beak, red and white again for the hat and color of your choice for the scarf

Small google eyes. Not sure of the mm
12-08-06: 7mm eyes

A small white pompom


Cut out the body, cut 2. Attach the white belly to the body using DMC 310 one strand, folded in half, knot the end just like sewing thread. Refer to the picture in the same area you find the pattern.

Wrong sides together, sew the body together with black sewing thread leaving the bottom open to turn and stuff later. Make sure your stitches are small and as close to the edge as possible without missing any areas. Turn the ornament right side out and check for any missed areas.

Stitch the hat together wrong sides together then turn right side out. The hat base (the white square) fold into a long square then sew together with white sewing thread making a circle. Turn that right side out and glue that to the bottom of the hat. I use a hot glue gun because it seems to stick a little better. But be careful of your fingers, I've burned myself a few times already =] Also, using hot glue, attach the pompom to the end of the hat. This is the reason his hat is flat at the tip...To accomodate for the pompom.

Take two small eyes and glue to the top of his belly part. I use just craft glue for this.
Fold the beak into a triangle (in half) and using the hot glue, glue the beak just below his eyes. Again, be careful on the little pieces.

Glue the finished hat onto his head with the hot glue. You can also put some fiberfill (stuffing) into the hat for body, before you glue it tho. =]

Cut a 12" by 1/2" strip of felt whatever color you'd like and tie that around his missing neck above his arms and below his face. You might want to experiment with the width and length of the scarf. You can also cut the ends in strips to make a little fringe. Tie that around him, you might want to glue a small section of the back down, as well as underneath where it's tied just so it doesn't come apart. He'll catch cold if he doesn't have his scarf on =D

Stuff his body to the desired girth you'd like him to have. and sew up the bottom.

Attach thread or ribbon to the back however you'd like to.

I had some christmas buttons I bought last year, so I glued one snowflake to his hat, and a present to his hand. (fin). Embellish how you'd like to.

This pattern is release under the Creative Commons Licence Share Alike
licence...Copyleft of course.

Viola! You have a penguin ornament! =] Email me if you have any questions. gsmraxe[at]gmail[dot]com

Hail Satan!!!

I created a little cross stitch pattern for all your Satanists out there. Someone did one as a joke and had hearts around it. So, I modified it to replace the hearts (yuch) and put inverted crosses as it should be. It says "Hail Satan!"

If you'd like the original pattern for KG-Chart to modify it, email me at gsmraxe at gmail dot com and I'll send it to you.


KG Chart for Cross Stitch

KG chart for Cross Stitch is a fantastic little freeware program to create, edit and view Cross Stitch patterns. It has an export feature so you can export your patterns to PNG, JPG, BMP (evil), GIF or whatever you'd like. It's not as feature rich as pay programs, but it's fantastic to do your little graphs.

KG Chart

Download it and use it. It rocks.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Last Fm, What am I listening to?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

1968 Mustang

When I graduated High School in 1987 my Mom bought me a 1968 Mustang. Most of my friends were getting brand new cars, but we all knew that I got the best graduation present of all of us. Well, I still have her. A little info: 302cu, 4bbl Holley carb, custom exhaust, custom stereo, deluxe interior that includes a tilting steering wheel, floor and overhead console with map lights, disc brakes, turquoise interior is stock.

A few years ago I rehupolstered her. The seats were ripped to shreds, the carpet was gone except for underneath the seats. The carpet underlayment was gone. I had my feet on metal basically. So I decided to rehupolster the car myself. I went through my Mustang catalongs from Virginia Mustang, National Parts Depot and CJ Pony Parts Most everything came from Virginia Mustang, but I did have to order a few things from the other two places.

Some of the things I replaced:
  • Seatbelts
  • Seats and foam
  • carpet and underlayment
  • dash pad
  • instrument bezel
  • package tray
  • Door panels
  • arm rests
It took me 2-1/2 months to finish most of it. I still have a few things to do, like fix the backseat panels and get a new package tray. I tried to cover a cardboard one with vinyl fabric but it didn't work out the way I had planned (too bulky) but now they sell them covered.
I also stripped the rust off the seats and sprayed them with rustoleum or rubberized underspray along with the floor pans.

About a year later, I bought new rims and tires from CJ Pony parts. I got 15" MAG wheels R7 They look a lot better than the 66 hubcaps that were on there.

I also changed out the mufflers to a ultra-loud exhaust (already had hedders). I'm hoping to add bigger tailpipes when I get my tax refund check this year. They're 2-1/2" right now, I'm hoping to go to 4" with turn down tail pipes under the car to maximize the sound. I also added a custom stereo from Custom Autosound with two 12" subwoofers and a 500W power amp. The subwoofers are mounted on a board which is custom made to fit just behind my backseat and the power amp is mounted in the trunk. I also splurged and bought a 10 disc CD changer to bring me into the 21st century =P