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Ouch! Bad Sync

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One of my favorite Firefox extensions I have been using for a year and a half is called Foxmarks. Foxmarks is a bookmark synchronizer that keeps your different Firefox installs all updated with the same set of bookmarks. For me there is nothing more frustrating than not having that one cool link you saved on your computer at home and for the life of me, can't remember how or where I got it to begin with.


My very first entry! ya for me!

Well this is my very first entry for my blog!

I'm going to try and keep this updated as well as I can. I also update a twitter account close to daily as I can...(more on that later).

I have been using Linux as my main OS for the last 4 1/2 years and I'm still blown away by how much stuff is out there. My current systems that I'm running are: Opensuse 10.3, Fedora 8, Backtrack 3(beta), Windows XP (at work).


Turning LiveCDs into LiveUSBs

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I use the SystemRescueCD a lot at work. My work study scoffed at me for actually running it from CD rather than a USB stick... because the USB stick is much faster. I bought a three pack of SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2GB USB thumb drives from CostCo for about $50. I followed the SystemRescueCD instructions and bingo it worked. Ok, it boots up a lot faster now.

So, now to apply it to Fedora and CentOS. Luckily Fedora has instructions. Following those instructions, I could boot Fedora 8 from USB.

I applied the Fedora method to the recently released CentOS 5.1 LiveCD and that worked too. I guess the same principle would apply to any LiveCD .iso you'd want to throw at it... including regular distro install media. They even have a program for Windows users.


Helena Linux Class

I went to sign up for the Linux class at the Helena Adult Learning Center. There was only one other person signed up with 6 minimum required. Looks like it's going to get canceled. I am very disappointed!


Indamixx, Mobile Linux DJ?

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Trinity Audio Group seems to have a really neat product on their hands called Indamixx. The hardware appears to be built by Samsung. Indamixx is a fairly small, mobile device that runs Linux and includes a nice suite of free audio programs for mobile live audio streaming.


February BozemanLUG Meeting Announcement

Rusty Conover volunteered to give a presentation this month.Here's the title and description he provided:

Using Linux-based Cloud Computing to achieve scalable web hosting

Web sites are becoming bigger users of bandwidth every day so its getting harder to build an infrastructure that is scalable enough to handle serving thousands of visitors in parallel, especially when they all want to stream your videos on their high-bandwidth cable modems.

To do this you're probably going to pay a lot of money for a large internet connection that will sit idle most of the time along with all of the servers you'll need to fill that pipe. It would sure be great to have that infrastructure without having to pay for it, physically build it and then run it. The great thing is you don't have to anymore.

I will explain how I have solved this scaling problem using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to allow InfoGears to have bandwidth on demand and achieve needed scalability for our applications and client websites without a large effort in a extremely cost effective manner.

I'll explain how to use Apache 2.2, BIND and some Perl to make everything work together and result in a solution that is simple to use, scalable and reliable. So if your interested in how to lower your hosting costs, decrease the load on your web servers or just how to prepare to handle things when your videos go viral this will be a presentation for you.

Wow, that sounds very interesting. Please pass this along to anyone outside of the BozemanLUG who you think might be interested.


Dell Promotes Linux on the Desktop

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Want to know why Dell is offering Linux on desktops and laptops for home and small business? They've made a video.

I like how they say that Linux is easier to use in some cases than MacOS and Windows... and in some cases not. They don't do too bad of a job.

Just in case you were wondering

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I think Lawrence Lessing does a great job with his explanation of why he is for Senator Obama... so much so, I'm sharing it.


Kernel 2.6.17 - 2.6.24 Security Flaw

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Just so you are aware... two days ago a bug was announced in Linux kernels 2.6.17 and above... that will give a local user root access. Here's info with the exploit code:

http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/27704/info

I have verified that the exploit compiles and works. I was able to get root on stock Fedora, RHEL and CentOS machines running the 2.6.18 or above kernels. Supposedly all distros running a 2.6.17 or later kernel are affected... even those running with the grsecurity patches.

I was unable to get root on an OpenVZ patched kernel but the exploit did cause a kernel panic that locked the machine I tried it on. I didn't want to crash any more machines so I didn't try any more. I've heard (but have not verified) that Linux-Vserver is affected on both the host node and inside of containers although exploits done within containers only get root of the container and are still trapped inside of it. Your milage may vary. Kernels prior to 2.6.17 are not affected. I hope vendors have fixes for this RSN... although I have heard that the current fix is not complete.

Update: The bug got fixed upstream late Sunday... and has found its way into a number of distro updates including Debian, rPath, Fedora, and PCLinuxOS. Red Hat, after the QA process, just released this morning (Tuesday). It seems that distros or kernel releases based on distro release updates will take a bit longer... CentOS and OpenVZ for example.

Update: 02/13/08 CentOS has released updated kernel packages.


Thunderbird now plays well with Firefox

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I had been a non-conformist in many ways with regard to installing my own tarball of Thunderbird and Firefox instead of using the packaged RPMs Fedora already built. I mainly did this because they are considered stable by Mozilla yet one version ahead of RPMs.

Late last year I had run into problems with my system dieing for various reasons and I had suspected Firefox. I knelt down and installed the RPM leaving the tarball version in place and changing my app links to point to the correct bin. Soon to follow was Thunderbird as well.


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