Monday, November 24, 2008

Path to l33thood

Again, just a random post, I think it's funny considering the examples at GNU/Fun
Here are 3 code snippets, all of them doing almost the same thing (parsing an argument string):

One year ago: http://ubuntu.pastebin.com/f29b96634
A week ago: http://ubuntu.pastebin.com/f2192e38b
and
Yesterday: http://ubuntu.pastebin.com/f1c3c0556

Also, in the first two examples, I use a function, evaluator_info(), that outputs help and version messages. So the code was a little longer because of the help information. In the third example, no such string is needed since 'optparse' automatically creates help messages based on the added options. Great!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I picked a lock.. sort of :D

Just like the title says, this evening I managed to pick a lock... This probably doesn't have any informational value to you, however since it's a pretty neat achievement, I thought it would be best if I wrote it down here.
Using instructions found on the Internet (starting with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pin_tumbler_lock), I opened an old pin tumbler lock (an Yale lock). The procedure was simple, I just applied some pressure to the Tumbler, and then drove a needle in and out stroking the pins until the were correctly aligned. I didn't do any text-book lock-picking, meaning that I didn't tried to find out what pin was opposing, and then tried to push it down and then move on to the next one opposing, I pushed the pins randomly. Now you might think that it was a freak occurrence. However, the interesting part is that I managed to open the lock twice. Of course it could have been just luck :)
By the way, in the title I mentioned 'sort of', it's because normally I would have had to apply pressure using a flathead screwdriver, however, since I'm a newb at lock0picking, I cheated a little and pressed directly on the part that goes into the door, in a real lock-picking situation this would be impossible since it implies that the door is opened...
In any case, I didn't knew it was this easy, my next move will probably be to purchase a simpler lock (Yales are used on almost any outside door so they aren't the easiest locks to pick), and try to actually pick it, instead of relying on lady luck.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An affair with Slackware

Remember the days when I used Debian because Ubuntu was boring? Well you have had to read most of my blog in order to do that, so I'll assume you don't remember and give a little introduction about why I don't think Ubuntu is the distribution for me. Now don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against it and IMO it's one of (if not 'the') best distribution out there. However, it is a bit too "point and click" if you know what I mean. At first, I was happy nice little list of packages in Synaptic, hot fiery effects in Compiz-Fusion, but then I realized that this is not the true GNU/Linux way. You don't learn anything about a particular package by simply running `apt-get install blablabla`. So I went and installed Debian and because I was in search of some nerd-thrills, I didn't installed the GUI. Long story short, although Debian was a great experience I didn't like it's old packages, so I went back to Ubuntu.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on the search for another distro that was easy to install and yet maintained as much as possible of the original GNU/Linux feel (note that although you may thing "Gentoo" here, configuring portage is too much a pain for me. Not to mention the long installation time of applications). Right, so I went forward and tried Slackware, or more precisely Slamd64. It installed, complete with a bundle of useful applications, everything from xchat to kde. I went forward and added my custom kernel, compiled firefox 3 (mind you, it compiled on first try. Now try that on an out-of-the-box Ubuntu :D)

Right, so I've been using slackware for almost three months now and I have to say I'm very impressed with it. I've stopped using KDE and I am now using Enlightenment version 0.16. I have compiled it from source along with its modules. It impresses me through its simplicity and through its power at the same time.

Another interesting feature about Slackware is that it enables you to customize every thing on your computer. Also it teaches you how to do things and how things work in a manner different from Ubuntu: in Slackware you do things manually while in most other desktop distributions you use tools that do the job for you. For example, I now understand a little bit more on how initial ram disk works because I custom compiled my kernel and had to create a initrd image for it. However, because my computer is 64-bit based, compiling and are running 32 bit software is somewhat of a pain. In general, shared libraries work, but in order to compile large projects such as Wine I need to install a lot of 32 bit compatibility libraries. Also flash player 10 doesn't work. That being said, I think I will go back to ubuntu for a while, or at least maybe I'll remove Slackware and try to install a new 32 bit distribution. I should mention that I have tried to do this in the past but either that distribution didn't start up or my hard disk contents couldn't have been read because my partitions are LVM, and somehow LVM partitions that are created on 64 bit machines are not a read by 32 bit ones... or something like that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

LHC - yet another opinion about 'the End of the World'

I have been kinda busy the last week, which is why I didn't wrote any new posts for my blog. But this LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is going to end the world thingy that I hear and read all over the news is starting to freak me out. DUDES! I don't think that not even 10% of all those who claim that this is the Apocalypse actually know what LHC does. I mean have they ever even read about microblack-holes or Hawking Radiation?
So, putting idiots aside, I believe that the world's not going to end. I'm not going to state all the reasons, because it'll probably be better if I just put the links so you can read about it too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_black_hole, http://thecircuit.mojohd.com/episodes/episode-6/ (the part when professor Michio Kaku talks about LHC is important).
That being said I should mention my own thoughts regarding the experiment. I'm quite excited because if micro-black-holes would be created, it would mean that extra dimensions exist and as prof. Michio Kaku stated, it is possible to bend space (using an extra-dimension) and thus create things like wormholes. Now, I've seen a documentary once, it was called "The Elegant Universe" and in it, things like wormholes were discussed and they said that space could be bent, but it couldn't be ruptured (according to Einstein). I'm not a physicist, so my understanding of these phenomena rather limited.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Intrepid Ibex Alpha 4

So, guess what? I have Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4; :yahoo: pretty awesome don't you think?
Well, it is and it isn't at the same time, mostly it isn't. The amount of bugs make using it a pretty nasty experience. That's because, at least in my case, few things work out of the box and you need to use a little good ol' "persuasion".
For example, the first thing I encountered was that system -> about ubuntu didn't work. In nerd terms, yelp can't parse the file /usr/share/gnome/help/about-ubuntu/C/about-ubuntu.xml because of another error in /usr/share/gnome/help/libs/C/legalnotice.xml. Commenting/deleting the problematic part in legalnotice.xml seems to solve the problem.
Next came the strong desire to install the graphics driver. I soon felt sorry for that attempt because after my first try, neither the monitor nor my GeForce 7300GT card weren't detected. Also, it seemed that instead of using the nvidia driver, Intrepid was using vesa. It probably took me 30 minutes in total of installing and reinstalling the 173.14.09 and 173.14.12 drivers before I realized that the problem was caused by a faulty generation of xorg.conf by nvidia-xconfig and managed to get hardware acceleration into my system.
Currently I'm working on the sound driver. I know there is a long history of sound issues, especially for me, since I have 2 sound cards (one onboard, and one usb). On hardy a simple asoundconf set-default-card solved it, but on intrepid, asoundconf fails with "ValueError: need more than 1 value to unpack" on line 348. So yeah, I do have some work to do before I get it to work. The reason I started using it, is because I'm looking forward to start participating in it's development and reporting bugs I think is a good way to start.

offtopic: today is the first day of Ubuntu Developer Week. It's also the first time I'm going to participate, so I'm excited to see how is it going to be.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Revolution OS: A documentary about Linux, GNU/Linux and it's evolution. Very inspiring and also educative IMO.
Enjoy

GRUB 2

The GRand Unified Boot-loader 2. A pretty fancy name wouldn't you say? Well here's the thing, in case you haven't tried it yet, I definitely recommend it. Although at first glance it may not seem too different from GRUB 1, the main advantage IMO comes in the form of Logical Volume Management (LVM) support. That comes in handy for example if your like me and want to try stuff out: new kernels, new distributions, new setups, etc.

Now before I continue my blabbering about how great can a Logical Volume(LV) boot partition be, I should explain what is LVM in the first place. To put it simply it is a method which allows you to change your partition's size (shrink/grow) on-the-fly and without worrying about creating gaps between the partitions on the hdd. Of course, if would be too much for my fragile fingers to write about, so I would suggest you google LVM up: the first 3-4 results should be of interest.

OK, now that you (presumably) know what LVM is, I would recommend you visit http://agemo.wikidot.com/tutorial:lvmboot . I'm using wikidot.com to host my tutorials simply because it is more efficient to write them there, where there is adequate support for that type of writing stile, as opposed to writing them here on blogspot, where they will just fill up space and won't be very pretty-looking.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Me is back

Well all I can say is a "hello world" world to everybody. Summer vacation is almost over so I'm starting to get back in business...
The great thing is that I'm now using KBlogger, an excellent application for writing articles and posting them to blogspot.com. Enough commercials and enough greetings. In order to mark the occasion, I'm going to post the first how-to on this blog. Pretty sweet if you ask me.
Here is How to install Ubuntu on an USB: http://neduard.wikidot.com/howto:usbubuntu
Currently it is in alpha stage, or something similar, however if you are interested in caring your personal system with you everywhere you go and not having to carry a cumbersome laptop, then you should definitely have a look at it.
In it I talk about what you should do if you want to have a working Ubuntu system that is installed on you pen-drive instead of you hard-drive.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Debian 4.0 + framebuffer = ...

Well, I managed to install the framebuffer on Debian, and now the console looks much much more sweeter.
In case you're trying to do the same thing as me, I'll give you some instructions on how to accomplish this:
Basicaly, you have to compile your kernel to support framebuffering, I compiled my driver within the kernel, however, I want to make it run as a module as soon as posibile. The options that you have to include are:

FB: Device Drivers -> Graphics Support ==> Support for framebuffer devices
VESAFB: Device Drivers -> Graphics Support -> Support for framebuffer devices ==> VESA VGA Graphics support
FRAMEBUFFER_CONSOLE: Device Drivers -> Graphics Support ==> Console display driver support (also select the VGA 8x8 and 8x16 fonts)

I would also like to mention that I spent a couple of days working out the fb so I don't know exactly what need no be done. I will post the complete instructions after I reinstall the sistem from scratch (I do this for the purpose of seeing exactly what needs to be done). The `userspace vesa vga support' was quite troublesome, so I left it out of the final make (I think that was the cause of the framebuffer failing).

LE (20th May) Well, even though there are 3 weeks until the summer vacation, it seems like ages away. Unfortunately, I had to revert to Hardy and postpone my Debian CLI adventure.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

Hello everybody, I've installed Ubuntu 8.04 last night and now I'm writing this post from w3m (just in case you haven't heard of it, it is a fully functional, text-based browser). You're probably thinking "wow, he installed hardy heron and now he's got video-driver issues", or "I knew 8.04 wasn't stable, guess this guy didn't".
The truth is, I have my GnomeDE running the gnome-terminal from which I'm writing, so.. no, I didn't crashed my system, or at least not my nvidia driver, the graphics work fine. But then, why am I using w3m and not Firefox? Again, you may thing "FF3.05b is rubbish, 2.0.0.11 was better" and again I say, no, that is not correct. FF3.05b works fine, almost. It has a small glitch regarding sound in flash and some nspluginwrapper crashes (although, I've gotten used to those by now).
So.. why am I using w3m anyway? It is because I want to install Debian, not only that, I want to go minimal, that means no windows (as in little boxes that appear on your screen, which can be moved, resized and most importantly are made of jelly (thanks to compizfusion of course)), no buggy Y! protocols that fail when trying to send a 1KB file, or that have problems even when trying to send an avatar to Y!'s servers, no icon lying on the desktop that is entitled "Dofus" (Dofus is a MMORPG, and I started playing it about 2-3 weeks ago, but because I'm f2p (free to play), I can't advance in level, so, until I buy a premium account, I'll have to stick with a lower level (which of course, sucks)) and 100% pure Linux thrills.

OK, enough introduction.
My first impression on Hardy was "hmm they did a nice job on this one", and I was actually surprised when Flash and more importantly Java worked on Firefox 3, right -out-of-the-box-. I think I got java to work on 7.10 but only once. I never succeeded in doing that again, guess I'm not out of the noob status yet. Next, some of the stand-out features were:
- the tracker (even though I stopped it back in 7.10)
- new burning software: Brasero. It's quite simple and clean, plus it supports multi-sessioning. I haven't tried to see if I can burn files larger that 4GB
- Firefox of course, with all nspluginwrapper and java working right out of the box. My only problem is sound in flash (although I think this problem has deeper roots). In terms of memory... so, so. With no tabs open it consumes about 23MB, the problem is, that as soon as I play 2 videos on youtube (5 minutes in total), the memory usage cilmbs to 58MB.
- 3d windows in compizfusion
- and a new little program called Hardware test (hwtest-gtk)

The only issue I have so far is the sound not working properly, Rhythmbox works, while Skype doesn't...
Oh, I didn't mention but I have upgraded to Ubuntu Hardy Heron from my previous Fiesty Fawn. This wasn't a clean install, that would have hopefully gone without problems.

In any case, I'm now backing up my system and tomorrow, as I've said, I will install Debian Etch with no X and enjoy the pure Linux experience.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bux.to is fake

Just as the title suggests, the PTC (paid to click) site, bux.to is a SCAM. I just hope this post is listed by google, so that people will know not to fall for this 'get ritch slow' fraud. I came to this conclusion after wating for 2 months for my money in vain. You can read in my previous post about bux.to so I'm not going to repeat myself. It is true that they managed to trick me, but that was also due to the way the actualy work:

Let's say you're a guy who has a site and wants to promote it because you don't have too much money, you choose bux.to as your advertiser insead of someone serious like google with adsense. In any case, you choose to give bux.to 19.10$ per 1000 member visits. If you do the math, you will start to get suspicious... That is because, 1910cents / 1000 members equals 1.91 cents per member, at a first glance it might seem ok, considering bux.to pays 1 cent per click for nonpremium members and 1.25 for premium ones. However, what happens when a reffered person clicks? let's say they are all non-premium (this is because bux.to pays them less). If a person who is reffered to another one clicks and ad, then it will recieve 1 cent and the refferer an aditional cent. That means that for each reffered click bux.to actualy pays 2 cents. Well how on earth can you pay 2 cents if you only have 1.91. That means that either alot of people are unreffered, however this doesn't result from the forum posting in which people talk about buying 100 refferal packs.
Now you may say that even though there are people who buy 100/500 refferal packs, there a few, and that there are a lot more persons who find out about this site on the net, and are unreffered. Ok, you're wright, that isn't a strong argument against bux.to, but consider this: why is bux.to encourageing *so much* reffering when it reality it actualy causes losses, what's does bux.to gain if it's users have many refferals? And it pays 2 cents to nonpremium members, but for premium ones it pays 2.5, sure the increase doesn't seem too big, but in reality is 25% more and consider that you have 100 premium members, reffered to another premium one, that's 59$ (2.5 cents payied per click - 1.91 budget per click) that bux.to has to pay from... from where actualy?
The answer is not from the money that is being paid for refferals, because the usualy turn out profits after a couple of weeks (ok, let's not be greedy and say months). Still, after a month those refferals will start generating losses so more money will have to be fed to bux.to. You might think that many people after a number of click stop. Trust me, that is only temporary. Suppose you get your money, are you going to keep it a secret? No, of course not! You're probably going to tell every body that bux.to is real and that it pays, and they will start clicking again.

Speaking of getting your money, the thing that led me to believe that bux.to was real was the clams of various people that said that it actualy paied (don't think I haven't searched for 'bux.to scam' or 'bux.to fake', but in spite of some claims of people not getting their money, there were others that said "it was the real deal"). I found out later that this is a tipical strategy: pay some, and those people will advertise you. Then, when someone sees their claim, they will tend to ignore all of the other evidence (this is a psihological thing, because actualy, you WANT for bux.to to be real, and you will look for any evidence supporting that claim, and ignore the rest).

I hope I haven't bored you, because as I'm writing this, I'm really starting to fall asleep so I hope you find this more interesting that me at this time.
Continuing with more suspitious things about bux.to, consider the lack of ads, around 15 per day and most of which are ACTUALY FROM THE SITE ITSELF. This is very peculiar, because even though bux.to has some losses as seen in my previous paragraphs, it pays you to view ads, but doesn't recieve any money for them, unless people who post on the forums saing "wow, I just got my 5123$ thank you so much bux.to", which I doubt. Speaking of forums, I don't know if you surfed them... there is a dedicated section for success stories, now I don't see that in serious buisnesses, like rentacoder or adsense. It's like a cheap comercial (you see some guy saying that he uses the shampoo for 10 years and has never got a speck of dandroff, when actualy he was taken of the streets (to keep the average-citizen look) and paied 5 bucks to say that). Also regarding the forums, if you haven't been cursed on a forum, try to post something like
title: I haven't got paied
contents: I have been waiting for 2 months for my money and I haven't recieved them yet
a moderator will suggest you get a ticket and send your complaint to the contact department.
after some time, post will apear with people saying that you are a !@#$ and a !@#$%^ because you haven't done that already, and that "bux.to is the best ^-^"
you might think that the complainer is me, no, I haven't posted on the forums, but I've seen how other people are humiliated if they do that.

Woha.. I wrote alot tonight, and I'm getting tired so I guess I'll end this article.
There are other things that should make you suspicious about bux.to, but in any case, if you decide you might get somehow lucky (although unlikeable), all I can say is DON'T give them your money, because you will regret it.

That was all folks, hope you enjoyed the article (or at least is wansn't too boring).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Anime

I always liked cartoon when I was little. Nowadays either I don't have time or I don't have anything cool to look at. No offense, but I don't like any of the shows that are aired on CN, I guess I''ve gotten used to The Justice League, Batman of the Future, Dexter (the old episodes), Tom & Jerry and so on. I know that what CN Romania broadcasts is different from what is being broadcasted in the US so the shows may still be aired there. In any case, even if I see an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, It will probably be one that I have seen 100 times and even If I like CCD, I'll change the channel because I'm bored (not to mention that new episodes of these shows are rare, but not inexistent. I don't get why CN Romania doesn't broadcast them more often).


Ok, that being said about CN, I should focus my attention on the subject that this post is about, and namely animes. I started with Dragon Ball Z a year ago, but unfortunately after the first 200 or so episodes, things kind of get predictable, also the thing that bothered me was Goku's continuous evolution, becoming stronger and stronger until the producers just couldn't give him more special powers. Sure he was probably 1000 times faster the speed of light, he could have destroyed the whole galaxy if he wanted and managed to be as agile as a cat overdosed on RedBull while carrying 1000Kg weight on each of his hands and feet, but there were no great leaps such as when he learned to fly as a child or when he almost defeated Tien in the Tournament of Martial Arts also back when he was a kid. Furthermore, the sagas tended to follow a pattern:
He goes someplace, all is nice and fun;
  • A few hints that something bad is about to happen occur;
  • Then a little situation turn when a bad guy is revealed but not the boss;
  • After heroically defeating the bad guy, Goku (or the main character in that saga) starts to battle the boss (such as Vegeta, Frieza, Cell, Buu, ...)
  • The boss is at first stronger that the main character but then he becomes weak in comparison either because the main character receives help or because the somehow power-ups
  • The boss seems to be defeated, but then reappears stronger
  • The final blow is usually not delivered by the main character (Vegeta, Cell)
  • The next saga begins and the cycle starts again...
After DBZ, I started watching Kiddy Grade and Full Metal Panic, they were both pretty cool and also opened the door to anime watching. Next came Naruto
Naruto was probably the best anime until then, imo it exceeded DBZ it had it all, action it was funny, the adventures were different and didn't follow the saga pattern saw on DBZ unfortunately, I stopped watching after the 110th episode or so (the time when Naruto has to save a guy that was participating in a race for his village; that guy was also the smaller brother of the first tester Naruto faced at the exams, the one with scars on his scalp and which tested the information-gathering abilities of the students). The fact that I was watching 4-5 episodes per day lowered my appetite, so here a note to remember: if you have 100 episodes from a show, don't watch them in 3 weeks, you'll get tired; even though it's hard not to watch 3-4 per day, try to restrain yourself, you will be more curious to find out what happens in the next episode if you watch one per day.


Currently I'm viewing DeathNote and.. what can I say, it is not bad; I like it due to the psychological battle between Light and L. it's like watching 2 chess champions battle: you see how good the move was only after it has been made, until that you're thinking of completely different strategies, but once one of the players makes a move you suddenly realize that that was the best one.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Internet money making

Today I made 22$ from rentacoder.com
I have worked on two projects, on one I needed to translate some articles, and on another, I needed to post some blog comments.
The problem is that I didn't complete the second project, the buyer did however payed me for the little work that I have done. I feel very ashamed for disappointing him and from now on, I'll be more careful on bidding.
I'm also registered at bux.to, although some say It might be a scam. I haven't received my money yet so it's hard to say anything about that PTC (Payed To Click) site.

On a side note about bux.to, in case you want to try it out here's the link: http://bux.to/?r=drohgan if you register via this link you will be referred to me. You can find more details about this and other stuff like payment on site.

Just to let you know, in case bux.to proves to be a scam (meaning I don't get my money), I will definitively post here and at the same time, I'll probably start a "war" spreading the word about buxey :)
I don't get upset easily, but I HATE IT when people lie and not just to me...

3rd April:
Ok, cool I have 22$ on my rentacoder account but there is one tiny problem: I have no way of withdrawing them!!
I made a paypal account but I doesn't accept my credit card, even though it can presumably be used in foreign countries.

18th April:
Update on "Internet money making", I requested a credit card this week and it should arrive in 5-6 days from now. I just hope I will be able to register it at paypal.
I haven't been active on bux.to for quite some time now. I've earned 27.29$ on that site, but I'm going to wait until my payment arrives (I issued the request on March 6th, so it will take another 18 days or so until the 2 month waiting period expires). Even though there are reports of people being paid, I'm more and more suspicious...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Counter-Strike

I'm probably you're average CS player. I don't play to often, usually I go against my school mates after school, in matches hosted on my server. Yup, that's right I have a dedicated cs-server running on Linux, now isn't that cool?
Because posting tutorials on this blog will take up too much space, I'm going to use another site, a wiki: agemo.wikidot.com
Problem is that I have very little spare time, most of which is consumed by studying and programming, so I'll probably do the work in the summer vacation

A couple of words about Linux

If you are tired of your Windows crashing, stalling, consuming resources, being infected by spy-ware, viruses. Or if you are a person that has a low budget and doesn't have the money to buy, say MS Office or even a new Windows operating system, then you can try to use a much better alternative: Linux.
I'm not going to state all of the advantages and disadvantages of this os (operating system), you can find them by googleing "Linux advantages" and "Linux disadvantages".
You don't need to be a geek to learn it, all you need is a bit of patience and the will to ask, because there are a lot of people that will be happy to help and assist you (including me).
It's really worth it, I have been working on Linux for over a year now and I can proudly say that there is no need for me to go back to Windows.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hello world

This is my first post on my first real blog. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't generally use blogs, hi5, orkut or stuff like that. I simply don't understand their use. I am starting this blog however, in order to keep me active and also to help others in various problems. Most of them regarding computers.
I am a Linux user, and I want to be part of a growing community. I will publish thus different tutorials and tips on how to get your Linux machine working.