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.

Impressed with the PostgreSQL Installer

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:48 am on Monday, April 27, 2009

Until today I had never installed PostgreSQL from the Binary provided at postgresql.org since it’s pretty much always in some form of repository provided by most distributions. Today, for the first time ever I installed it and have to say I’m very impressed with the installer. I some what shuddered as I saw a “install shield” type installer interface, as my past encounters with these have generally tended to not work out so well. What I noticed about the PostgreSQL installer though was different from the “install shield”, it was BitRock. BitRock is a cross platform installer for “Windows, Linux, OS X and more…” as this was my first experience with BitRock with a Linux machine I have to say it was a positive one. It allowed me to install PostgreSQL with some custom components pretty effortlessly. While most won’t need to do a custom installation as PostgreSQL will probably be in a repository, its handy to know that the installer works.

BitRock does not appear to have a completely free license but they do seem to give open source projects a “free copy.” Not sure how I feel about this, but I guess if they’re out to make money then it could work for them. Apparentely it doesn’t take much to please me on a mundane Monday morning, I’d have been perfectly fine with a tarball and manual configuration but the GUI has brightened up my day. Thanks BitRock! Does any one else have any encounters or shocking experience with installers? What about BitRock in general?

Keeping your Firefox Bookmarks Synced

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:37 am on Thursday, July 3, 2008

Keeping your FireFox bookmarks synced between multiple computes is a great concept. We sync everything else from e-mail to contacts to music so why not keep our bookmarks in a central location? In this post I’ll describe the method I’ve been using without any problems for the past three months or so. Feel free to contribute how you achieve the same thing. The only requirement for me is that the bookmarks be cross platform, so I can log into any sort of machine that runs FireFox and view my bookmarks.

I looked into using sshfs to sync my bookmarks folder also, but this seemed like a lot of work. So I decided to scout out the online bookmarking services. There are the big ones like del.icio.us, Google bookmarks and then countless other smaller ones. The major ones looked promising, so it was difficult to choose one. The deciding factor for me was the actual FireFox plugin its self. The GMarks plugin for FireFox seems to be very stable and simple to use. It works well on Windows, Linux and MacOSX. It has an export feature and is based off of the Google Bookmarks service so I don’t have to worry about losing my bookmarks.

Check out: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2888 for more information and screenshots.

Linksys NSLU2 – A Great Linux Box

Filed under: Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 2:35 am on Friday, March 21, 2008

This is a piece of hardware that I have owned probably for about two years now. I thought that it had died therefore it sat in my box of unused computer crap probably for about a year and a half. The other weekend I took this little gem back out of this box and actually un-bricked it. It was a bit of a pain to get it working again from its unusable state. It would never boot up, never beeped. Just stopped with an orange light, I really thought it was toast. So I tried the redboot method (regular upgrade method would not work) and it actually went into redboot. After flashing its memory and reloading firmware I was able to get a some what working Linksys NSLU2.

Now thats over with, naturally after having Linksys’s NSLU2 back to its original state, I had to fix it again. That is install Linux on it. The Linksys NSLU2 already runs Linux so there are a few options on how you can get Linux on the Linksys NSLU2. I opted for the easier install this time which is Unslung. My theory with this was, it has a lot more packages then when I first saw Unslung and my Debian Installation was what bricked the poor little slug. So, now I have a great Linksys NSLU2 that is sitting serving up files and is available to run lightweight applications.

I highly recommend the Linksys NSLU2 to anyone wanting to play around with Linux. It is so easy to get started with and they can easily be picked up for under $100. You don’t need anything special to use the Linksys NSLU2. Windows, Linux, MacOSX and anything with a Telnet or SSH client will work. There are so many things that you can do with Linux on an NSLU2 the options are endless. What are you waiting for? Grab one today!

Linux Cedega Download

Filed under: Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 4:33 am on Thursday, March 20, 2008

There are a few options when it comes to playing Windows games on Linux. Cedega is a great tool to allow you to play these games under a Linux system. I was recently browsing around to find the Cedega Download from CVS instructions and found the normal source that I got them from no longer had them. I was wondering if it was an issue with Cedega but came to find out that there is an easier way then that now.

Check out: http://winecvs.linux-gamers.net/

You can download a script called WineCVS.sh This script allows you to freely check out the source code for Cedega and compile it. WineX and other versions of Wine are also included. I would highly recommend paying for Cedega if you can afford it, if not its worth a shot to use the Cedega Download utility.