Linux Blog

Ubuntu Unleashed 2010 Edition Review

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:36 am on Monday, January 25, 2010

Irritated with my Desktop after an upgrade gone bad and an incident with the nvidia noveau driver that left me x less, I decided it was time to re-install. I turned to my bookshelf to find Ubuntu Unleashed 2010 Edition. Normally by the time a book hits my shelf the material is outdated, not necessarily useless, just not the most up to date. This is an exception. The Ubuntu Unleashed 2010 Edition was updated with an Ubuntu 9.10 DVD and a “Free Upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04″ which I found out that if you buy the book before the end of 2010 you can get an upgrade kit in the mail.

So, I pop the DVD in the drive and start the installation. Nothing new here for anyone that has installed Linux or Ubuntu recently; for those that haven’t, it was a pleasant surprise to see that it actually detected my high resolution monitor and used it to its advantage. It really is strange to not have to squint at an installer. The first chapter covers the step by step installation in more detail which is relatively short and easy to follow. Most people should not need to read this if they are familiar with installing an operating system but it I think it is good to have it there. Just don’t let this first chapter prevent you from looking further into this book. After putting the DVD in and getting it started, I found myself reading the book through the entire installation; which for some reason got from 0-90% quickly, then took the majority of the time in the 90% range, but I’m not complaining.

The Authors really did a good job of writing in an understandable language and organizing the book in a logical format. I’ve found myself flipping through and finding many golden nuggets of information. I personally would not have picked this book up because of the title, since I’m not a big Ubuntu user. But Ubuntu Unleashed 2010 edition is packed full of information, 32 chapters and a hefty appendix to be exact. It is not all Ubuntu – specific either, meaning most of the content should work on just about distribution. This book would not be rendered useless if you don’t decide to go the Ubuntu route. I recommend taking a look at the contents and buying this book, as I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the topics it covers. I think it would be a great book for someone that is interested in Linux in general, it reads well but can also be used as a quick reference. I wish I had a book like this when I was getting started, it would have saved me a whole lot of time and effort. I have set aside some of the more advanced chapters and made a note to read later.

Other reviews I’ve read have said that it has too much terminal use in it, which is something Ubuntu is trying to eliminate. While this may be true, if you want the most out of your Linux distribution, the fact is you will at some point use a terminal. Commands are less likely to change as much as graphical interfaces. Although some things may be slightly outdated I don’t think that this book should be re-written, as it is in the nature of open source and technology to change. If you keep this in mind I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with it.



Fedora 9 Thunderbird Update Fix

Filed under: Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:01 am on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fedora 9 Thunderbird
While updating a Fedora 9 installation I ran across an error. The error was with the Mozilla Thunderbird package that I use on a regular basis.
The error looked like this:

 Running Transaction
Updating       : thunderbird                                                                                                                                                  1/2
Error unpacking rpm package thunderbird-2.0.0.19-1.fc9.i386
error: unpacking of archive failed on file /usr/lib/thunderbird-2.0.0.19/dictionaries: cpio: rename

Obviously any fix that I implemented couldn’t loose my mail. The problem was with the dictionaries more specifically the /usr/lib/thunderbird-2.0.0.19/dictionaries file. The error is not very specific but lets us know its having trouble unpacking the archive and ends with cpio: rename. So here is what I did to solve the problem:

 cd /usr/lib/thunderbird-2.0.0.19/
sudo mv dictionaries dictionaries-old

Thunderbird data is stored in ~/.thunderbird it is advisable you make a backup of your mail if it is that important to you. I didn’t since this directory is a library directory and all of my mail can be downloaded again with imap. If you use pop you may want to consider doing a backup. After doing this it fixed Thunderbird and I’m all up to date. Horray!

Let me know if it worked for you and I’ll let you all know if there are any problems.

Comment spam vent and an idea to combat it

Filed under: General Linux,The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:48 am on Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ok I just have to vent a little. Spam Spam Spam. Spam bots and blog spammers in general are stupid. Why would you spam a site that doesn’t even have comments on blog posts? I don’t get it. I would love to get my hands on the code of these spam bots to see how they are working. It would be so simple for them to actually load the page and grep for the comment link. That way they could stop wasting mine and their time by spamming this site. All comments are marked as spam at the moment since that’s all I’m getting. If some one wants to send me a comment they could go trough the trouble of creating a <FORM> to send one but I think they would just send me mail at owen -at- <thelinuxblog.com>. This generally means that I can delete all of the comments I get as I doubt any one is really going to create a form just to send me a comment.

IP addresses are being recorded and I’ll continue to monitor the situation. Eventually I might do a security scan on repeat offenders and let the ISP of the host know what’s what. It would be nice to catch the spammer but I will settle for the knowing that the owners of the Zombie PC have been warned about the consequences and might send their computer in for repair.

After writing this post I have an idea for a Linux Blog project. The Linux Blog can be the first to submit data. Basically I propose a plugin for WordPress that would monitor comments and send the IP’s of those that were spam (either flagged manually or automatically) to a host. This host would log all of the IP’s submitted and when appropriate take action against them.
This reminds me of a project that I saw a presentation on at CarolinaCon 05. Except this project was targeted at bot nets and aimed to be malicious back or ban the host / subnet completely. This would not be necessary for this project; just a simple mail merge application written in Linux would work.
I suppose the real first step is to see if this application already exists. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this.
I guess I need to come up with a quirky name for the project and a plan. It goes without saying that the platform will be Linux and will use open source applications to achieve the final goal. Once research has been done I can either try to add it to my never ending list of projects to complete or find a team of developers willing to work on it.