Linux Blog

It’s August Already?

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 11:16 am on Friday, August 7, 2009

What’s up folks? I can’t believe that it’s already August. It seems like forever since I’ve updated the site, although in reality it has only been two weeks. I do have a bunch of content to write up, and some new features to implement to the site. As always if any one has any news, ideas for articles, wants to write some articles get in contact with me.

Some one told me that people like free stuff (who doesn’t?), so I’ve lined up some giveaways that some of you might be interested in. Atleast I hope so.

Tune in next week for more information!

Amazon Associates Account Suspension for all in NC?

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 9:00 am on Friday, June 26, 2009

Not that I use Amazon Associates a whole lot, but I got this message from them saying that I can no longer get referral fee’s from Amazon.

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 26, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor. As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to or after June 26. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date.

Please be assured that all qualifying referral fees earned prior to June 26, 2009 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with our regular referral fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of June 26, 2009, any final payments will be paid by September 1, 2009.

In the event that North Carolina repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our Associates program to North Carolina residents.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s website is, and additional information may be obtained from the Performance Marketing Alliance at

We have enjoyed working with you and other North Carolina-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

Best Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

I have no idea what the “tax collection scheme” is but I’d like to know more about it. Going to the websites they recommend doesn’t really help me as I don’t want to scan through pages just to find the answer.

To me it seems like it would be a good idea for them to reject, as what is stopping an LLC from registering in another state and using the service? If anyone in NC relies heavily on associates this could prevent them from operating, perhaps forcing them to relocate to another state, taking any business and therefore taxes elsewhere. I’m just a small player, I might have got a few referral sales (not from this site) but for those that do heavy affiliate marketing, it might have an impact. This is just on the client side, I’m wondering if it would affect any of the service side. A lot of money is made through services like this, for example Google, so I can see why NC wants a piece of the pie and apparentelly Amazon doesn’t want to pay. I have had no notice from other services.

Oh well, we’ll see how it pans out.

Snort IDS Introduction

Filed under: General Linux,The Linux Blog News — at 4:15 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2009

I haven’t posted here in a while so here is a presentation that I did at a local security meeting about the Snort IDS. Not much on its own but gives an introduction on Snort with a few slides about IDS’s a few on writing Snort Rules. On the demonstration slide is where I did a demonstration that didn’t exactly go as planned. I swear it worked at home using Nikto, but its all good since I had a friendly crowd. The additional resources slide shows some great resources for learning about the Snort IDS. So hit my document on scribd!

Regurgitated Writing

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 11:39 am on Friday, May 22, 2009

I haven’t written anything recently, mostly because I’ve been reading a lot of other peoples blogs. I’ve wanted to write, but I don’t want to write what you can read else where. For One, its rather annoying to me, when my RSS feeds are stuffed up with the same regurgitated news, so I’d assume its annoying for you guys. The Second reason is I don’t want to waste my time writing something that only a few will read.

Along those lines, I’ve been pretty busy with personal stuff. I do have a ton of ideas for content, I just can’t conceivably write them all. I don’t know maybe my flame is burning out, or perhaps I need another vacation. Anyone want to do some writing?

Linux Users are Lazy

Filed under: Linux Video Tutorials,The Linux Blog News — at 7:57 pm on Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some one told me once that all of the good system administrators are lazy, I believe this but I also think that Linux users are lazy. While I’m not a full time systems administrator, I am a full time Linux user. I sometimes think that I’m so lethargic that I don’t have the energy to turn on a light switch. Hence why I did this (youtube video)

If you couldn’t make it out from the crappy iphone video, it’s my house, I show the circuit, turn the light off, walk in the closet and walk back out again. It’s a rather simple circuit consisting of a switch wired to a halogen light I brought from Ikea. In true open source fashion, if any one is interested in this, let me know and I’ll share how I did it if you can’t figure it out.

New Server – New Look?

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 2:01 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I’ve been wanting to redesign the site for a while, but never really got around to it. I hate to add something else to my to-do list or “goals for this year” but I think its necessary since I’ve knocked a couple of them off the list already. Problem is, I finally just got some page rank from Google after them giving me a big fat zero for a couple of months. I’d hate to redesign it and have it all vanish again, then again it could be good since I’d get to clean up the code some. I’ll get some mock ups done, then post them and see what people think. As far as content goes, I’ve been gathering subjects and am going to write a bunch of them soon, that way you won’t have to read News about the site that no one but me really cares about. Until next time, yea… I can’t think of anything catchy today.

Hey, The Linux Blog has Moved Servers!

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 6:03 am on Monday, April 13, 2009

Host GatorJust a quick update to let everyone know that The Linux Blog has moved servers. The hosting company I moved to is Hostgator. I was skeptical to move, since I was hosting it off of a shared dedicated server set up with cpanel/WHM reseller accounts, but I think that this will be better in the long run. For example: the price is right, it is faster and I do not have to worry so much about the system administration and hardware upgrades / failures. I get just about as much bandwidth with all the features I got before and a few extra that I couldn’t afford thrown in. All for about the cost of licensing cpanel and whm on their own. The only down side is the little amount of disk space, but if you decide not to be a reseller, you will be fine since they do an unlimited account (just check the fine print as I did on this one.) The really nice thing about the move is the hardware it runs off of (this is from cpanel and verified via ssh)

Processor #1 Vendor: GenuineIntelProcessor #1 Name: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           E5405  @ 2.00GHz

Processor #1 speed: 1994.900 MHz

Processor #1 cache size: 6144 KB

So, Dual Xeon Quad cores that you see above, which equates to quite an amount of CPU power, roughly 16GHz with all cores combined. It has I believe 8GB’s of ram and a ton of disk space which happens to be provided by scsi disks. Hostgator have servers in each of’s data centers, I could go on about them all day but if I were you I’d check their website, its all under the “Company” link at the bottom of the page. You might see some banners up around here from now on and you’re probably smart enough to figure out the rest.

If you’re reading this that means you’re reading it off of the new server. Hopefully all went well and it loaded a little quicker. I’m hoping that there wasn’t any disruption of services, there wasn’t for me except for e-mail services but I think that has something to do with the DNS on the server I was sending the mail from (the old one.) Anyhow I hope you enjoy and if you’re in the market for a new web host use my Hostgator links!

Open Source Stickers

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 4:13 pm on Monday, April 6, 2009

Open Source StickersEveryday that I browse the internet I usually bookmark a ton of stuff, well today I’m posting one of those things that have been stuck in my bookmarks for ages.

Everybody loves stickers, but these stickers are special because they’re all open source related and you have to make them yourself. There are two volumes each with at the least a metric ton of stickers in them. I browsed through them and found some I really liked. I don’t have a sticker maker but they print well on a colour laser and  look great stuck on my wall at the office. I guess its a good thing I don’t have a sticker maker, nobody likes sticker mildew.

Homemade Bench top Power Supply

Filed under: Linux Hardware,The Linux Blog News — at 1:06 am on Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homemade Bench Top Power Supply

I’ve always had an interest for electronics and recently I’ve been exploring my interests more. Last week I sorted through my tub of parts and placed them in individual draws. It took a good while to sort everything but I think it was worth it. I’ve seen power supplies built from PC power supplies before so I thought I’d build one my self. Thing is, I never really got around to it.

Yesterday I was feeling rather ambitious and decided to make a bench top power supply for small electronics. All the sites I found I have lost, so I kind of made it up as I went along. Most of them used ATX power supplies that are readily available, but I opted for the easy way out and used an AT with a hard on/off switch. At first this was the only reason I used it, but there are more advantages to using a AT over an ATX power supply for an external power supply. Firstly, it was cheap, well free actually. I took it from a PC that I had modified some time ago. I have a box full of AT power supplies in storage that I’ll get to some time and replace it. But I won’t be using the PC it came out of for a while, mostly because I have toaster ovens that are faster. Another reason it is better than a ATX is it has less voltages. The only voltages listed are 12v, 5v, -5v (7v) and GND. They vary in amps but are sufficient for what I will be using it for. It made it easy not to screw it up since there wasn’t many wires.

To make it was really easy. I took the top off. Drilled 4 holes in the case and inserted the insulated terminal, checking to make sure they didn’t ground out on the case. Cut most of the cables, leaving a couple of molex’s hanging out just in case I need them. I then soldered the remaining wires to a terminal by voltage (Yellow +12, Red +5, Red +/-5, Black GND.) It might not be the prettiest of them all, but I think it will do its job well.

Academic Earth – Go Learn something.

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 1:12 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some one (and I’m sorry if I’m breaking some sort of twitter code here) but I can’t remember who tweeted about this website called academic earth ( The concept is simple, go there and you can watch video’s or lectures from some famous professors. I watched one on physics, but could not finish it. My thoughts through out this entire video were something as follows:

“This is a college course?”
“This is a college course at MIT?”
“This guy is nuts”
“Why are they using overhead projectors.”

So my time at MIT didn’t go very well, but atleast I didn’t pay for it. Anyway maybe you’ll do better. Head over to and watch some videos. Let me know if you find anything particurly interesting relating to technology – The introduction to robotics was cool, although I don’t think we should be teaching our students how to make killer robots.

DFD Today

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 12:48 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No, not Dataflow Diagram. Document freedom day. Undoubtedly you’re are aware that it is today, given the amount of press it has got and what a good cause. I was thinking about how I could participate in Document Freedom Day. A few things came to mind. The first was was:

“How about I save all my documents in .odt, that will teach them.”

No go on that one, I already do that because I’m too lazy to save into .doc. I also call the “open source” people out on it when they ask me to save as .doc because it “works on Windows”.

“I could translate all the .doc’s and .docx’s on the file server to an open format.”

Well, my wife just lost her job, I don’t need to lose mine too, although it would be hilarious and it would raise awareness.

Too bad, I’ll have to do nothing this year, perhaps next year I can join the celebration if there is a “Team” in my area. They should really make it a Friday. I’d totally go out and down a few beers in the name of document freedom.

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