Linux Blog

Reasons Why You Should Jailbreak YOUR iPhone

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:10 am on Wednesday, January 28, 2009



I’m pretty sure that most Linux users understand what jailbreaking the iPhone is. For those that don’t in short its a way of breaking the restrictions Apple put on your phone, which allows you to escape the sandbox and do more with the phone.

Sure, jailbreaking may void your warranty (or may not) but why would you want to do it? Well the first and foremost reason is freedom.
Some of the greatest organizations in the open source industry were spawned from the inability to work with a particular device. I think jailbreaking your iPhone is similar to this, while the tools are so easy to use that any one can do it, jailbreaking your iPhone gives you the freedom to do what you want with it and this is what its all about right?

Bash. We all know that Mac OSX is based off of BSD and it just so happens the iPhone is too. By jailbreaking your phone part of the default installation (depending on how you do it) is a terminal with a bash shell. Most Linux users should be right at home here with utilities like apt-get, aptitude and ping.

Perl, Python, Java, PHP. These are some of the languages that you can configure to run on the iPhone. Sure, they may need some tweaking (especially Perl.) But it can be done. Who said iPhone development had to be done in Objective C?

Along with the Bash shell comes the Open SSH package giving you the ability to SSH into your phone, should you choose to install and configure. This can come in very handy for the Linux hacker. The ability to pretty much manipulate your phone however you want is a great reason to jailbreak.

You’ve always wanted to be able to record video right? Well you can, that is if you jailbreak and install an application. While the video quality is not exactly up to par its better than nothing. You could even turn your phone into a robot if you wished.

Also, do it because the Woz says so. Well, actually he didn’t explicitly say to do it, but apparently he does advocate it and “hacked” some chick called Griffin’s phone. So come on, be that “Throbbing brain with a tie” and jailbreak your iPhone.

If Windows Sucks, Why do people use it?

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:34 am on Wednesday, April 2, 2008

As you may know from previous posts I read Garry Conn‘s blog on a regular basis. When he wrote an article on Microsoft Windows I couldn’t help but comment. You can read the post in full here.

Below is one of the comments I left for him. I think I covered everything but you should check out his post and chime in your thoughts. If you have any questions as always you can leave me a comment and I will answer them. I’ve added links in this post to highlight everything I mentioned to make it easier to find what I’m talking about.

Hey there,

Ubuntu is probably the best for new new users. There are different flavors to choose from this too. You have Ubuntu which ships with Gnome, Kubuntu which is KDE based and Xubuntu which has Xfce. I like Xfce because it is light weight but it doesn’t have the best file manager. Therefore I would recommend Ubuntu. I think that the setup is a little easier now, it has automatic partitioning and all of that.

One advantage to Mac OSX / Linux while running Firefox is that you only get 1 instance for Firefox. Open it up on Windows (Even when you press CTRL+N for a new window) you get a separate Firefox instance taking up resources. This is not the case with Linux or OSX, it runs off of the same process which means it uses less resources.

Ubuntu has a nice program called Automatix which is great to install stuff like Video Player Plug-Ins and PDF readers.

The only thing you will have trouble with Garry is Photoshop. There is NO Photoshop for Linux. Some may argue that The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the replacement but it is far less sophisticated and difficult to use for the Photoshop user. I have got older versions of Photoshop working with Wine but they are a little buggy and sometimes crash, which is understandable since .exe files were never suppose to run on Linux.

You can use Pidgin for your instant messaging and it supports AIM, Yahoo, GTalk, Jabber and a bunch of others. That knocks out a couple of applications if you were to install each of them on Windows

Grahpics support is one of the things that really needs to be set up properly to enjoy Linux. The easiest to install by far is the NVIDIA graphics driver, I always try and make sure my hardware has a GeForce video card for this reason. ATI has some well supported 3d accelerated cards but all of the GeForces I have used have been much easier to set up.

I like my Toshiba Tecra M2 and Linux runs great on it. Mostly everything works with the exception of the SD card reader, Infrared and Modem, but I don’t use those and they apparently can be made to work. I have suspend when I close my lid and can also use Hibernate if I wish.

For my Windows Apps I can run VMWare and Windows XP and you could not tell the difference from running Windows on bogged down machine in my opinion. I showed a professor Office 2007 running in a full screen Virtual Machine and he was amazed at how much quicker my Virtual Machine was then the 2.6GHz+ with over a gig of ram computers in the Lab. I have a 1.7GHz with 768MB of memory. So you could probably run Photoshop in that, I’ll try to get a video cast up some time if possible.

Again, Linux isn’t for everyone. It does break and its quite possible that when it breaks that you could spend a lot of time Fixing it. I have had it break right at the most inappropriate times but, at least I could fix it without having to reinstall everything which it seemed like I used to do on a bi-monthly basis before.

Hope this answers more of your questions.

- Owen.

Possibly the Fastest 1U Linux Server Ever

Filed under: Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 5:58 am on Wednesday, January 16, 2008

eRacks is one of the links that appears in the Google ads on this page. It just so happens that I have experience with eRacks. They have some awesome servers available. I believe they may have the fastest Linux server in a 1U package available for delivery. I’m sure you could custom build something your self, but for the price they are well worth checking out.

My configuration was a TwinServe box, which is basically two computers in one so this may be cheating a little. Anyway, I configured it as follows:

1U TWINSERVE chassis, for dual systems, 900W PS
TWINSERVE dual X7DBT dualCPU Intel Xeon 5300/5100
CPU’s for motherboard 1: 2 x Intel Xeon Quad-Core E5365 3.0GHz 1333FSB CPU Add $2945
CPU’s for motherboard 2: 2 x Intel Xeon Quad-Core E5365 3.0GHz 1333FSB CPU Add $2945
16GB of RAM for each Motherboard
4 1TB Drives (Two for each motherboard)
Debian Etch Preinstalled
and a $25 donation to the OpenSSH Project

Total Price: $13855.00 before taxes shipping and handling. For the price, I think its a steal. Thats two quad core 3.0GHz CPU’s in each motherboard, so (3.0GHz * 4)2. 24GHz per motherboard for a total of 48GHz. 32GB ram, and 2TB of raid+1. This is basically the same thing the Mac’s have in their Mac Pro’s except this is in a 1U Chassis, and there is two motherboards. I configured a Mac Pro, just to see what kind of price they offer, and for comparison. I mean there is no denying that the Mac Pro’s are sexy, but is the cost worth it? Now, I configured these the same, 3.0GHz, 16GB Ram (One Motherboards worth) and two 1TB HD’s. I didn’t want the extra crap that Apple bundles in such as the MightyMouse, Apple Keyboard with Mac OSX and the Superdrive because this is a server. We don’t need any of that. Now, one thing that Apple has our system beat on is the graphics, but again note this is a server, but the graphics could be updated if needed. So, the final thing other than looking at how pretty the case is was the price. To my Amazement it wasn’t too shabby the cost only $8849 but then I remembered that the box I configured was this times two. So to compare Penguins to Apples we would need to double that and add taxes for both of them. Shipping is free so the grand total is: $18,892.62. This is quite a price tag and also a hefty package. Here is the Dimensions for each case:

  • Height: 20.1 inches (51.1 cm)
  • Width: 8.1 inches (20.6 cm)
  • Depth: 18.7 inches (47.5 cm)

The size of the eRacks is a tiny 1U meaning 1″ High X 19″ Width x 705mm Deep. There are so many specs to play with and they are dirt cheap. Take a look at the page, you can find the Twin Motherboard Servers under the special purpose website on their website.

I’d have to get a massive loan to afford something like this. A loan larger than my car payment, but you never know maybe when my cars paid off I can get one. At least I wouldn’t have to finance the $18,000 that Apple would charge me, that would be crazy. $414 a month for the apple with an interest of 5% over 4 years, or our double spec system with the same loan terms for $319.07. A difference of $4556.64 for both of them. That’s one third the cost of another double motherboard dual quad core server. I wonder if by the time the loan would end if I would need to buy another computer or not. Interesting concept but I don’t know if I currently need 48GHz of computing power right now.