Linux Blog

Remotely Changing Windows Volume

Filed under: Shell Script Sundays — TheLinuxBlog.com at 2:41 pm on Sunday, October 18, 2009

This is not really “shell scripting” but the end result is some more bash scripts in my bin directory so what the hell? It’s going in the shell script section because its Sunday. So what?

I like to listen to music on my Windows box while I work on my Linux box. Online radio and other sounds, just get in the way too much. One of the things I wanted to do for a while was remotely control my volume so I didn’t have to use my KVM to switch over to change the volume when ever anyone came in my office.

Its actually pretty easy to control your windows volume from Linux.

At first I thought, I’d create a dummy audio device, and some how map it over. Then I figured that was overkill and I’d try something a bit easier. I have SSH via Cygwin, so all I needed was a way to control the volume locally, and I could execute the command with SSH. Having no volume utilities jump at me when I looked through the Cygwin repositories I went to look for something else.

NirCmd is an awesome utility, giving me and other Windows users the ability to do things that Linux users may take for granted, you can read about it here: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/nircmd.html after installing it, and making sure that my corporate AV didn’t throw a hissy, it was just a matter of dumping some scripts in my bin directory and chmodding them so they would run.

Here is what they look like:

Volume Down Script: ssh windowsbox -l owen -C “nir changesysvolume -2000″

Volume Up Script: ssh windowsbox -l owen -C “nir changesysvolume 2000″

Mute: ssh windowsbox -l owen -C “nir mutesysvolume 1″

Unmute: ssh windowsbox -l owen -c “nir mutesysvolume 0″

Real simple, and the mute/unmute really comes in handy for when some one walks into my office.

uCertify Linux+ CXK0-002 Exam Preparation Material

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:03 am on Monday, March 16, 2009

How many people have ever considered getting certified in the Linux field? I’m sure there are a lot since there are a number of certifications available, RHCE, LPI, Novel/Suse and CompTIA’s Linux+ to name a few. Now, think of the number of study materials and exam preparation available for each of those. The number can almost be overwhelming.

uCertify have study materials available for a number of certification vendors. The vendors that are of specific Linux interest are CompTIA and LPI. Today I’ll be giving you my perspective on the Linux+ study material. I have already sat and passed the Linux+ XK0-002 exam and with the new one coming out pretty soon (Feb 17th was the Beta release date) I would recommend you take it too.

The first thing I did after downloading the uCertify preparation material was try and install it on Linux using wine. It failed on installation, but it may be able to work with some configuration tweaking and file copying. No time for that though, if your studying for an exam you need to get on it and start. So install it in a virtual machine or on a Windows box to save time.
uCertify’s interface is very easy to navigate and is organized well, it also has a clean interface which is easy on the eyes – great for those late night study sessions. The CXK0-002 exam has ample practice tests and study material. There are a number of methods of studying for the exam including:
Flash Cards, Study Notes, Articles.

There is not a large amount of text explaining theories and concepts in great detail but the study notes and flash cards are great at refreshing your memory and helping you remember what’s on the exam. The practice tests and assessments are pretty good but can be tricky – just like the real exams. Remember they are not only designed to make you pass, they guarantee it!

Probably the biggest question I have when studying for a certification is
“Am I ready to take the Exam?”
Most times, I opt for “no” and do more studying. The uCertify preparation engine takes the guess work out by giving you “tracking” features. Basically these features allow you to track your past test scores and take the practice test. It will let you know when you’re ready.

Conclusion
All-in-all I think the uCertify preparation engine with the CXK0-002 material loaded is a good method of studying for the Linux+ exam, especially if you are familiar with the concepts and terminologies outlined in the exam objectives. If you are new to Linux and are looking for the best all inclusive study material out there, I don’t think that you would want to use this alone. I’d recommend reading a book or using video training aimed at bringing you up to speed in addition to a good preparation material. uCertify’s preparation can definitely fit the latter’s shoe’s.