Us old-time Windows bods get used to our keyboard shortcuts I’m afraid. One of the most useful is using the backspace key in the browser to go back through the browsers history. Unfortunately, this is not the default under Linux (alt-left arrow is the default). FireFox has an easy way to fix this. Put “about:config” in the address bar and “backspace” in the search entry. You should see the entry “browser.
One thing that I didn’t get around to doing since I moved from Ubuntu was to work out how to make a note of what has been installed. This is slightly complicated by the fact that you can install stuff straight from an RPM file as well as through YAST (from the repositories or 1-click links). Well, I finally got round to working it out and here is a summary. To see what you have done with the YAST installers, just look at the log!
Whilst great strides have been made by the Linux community to provide GUI’s for many tasks, it is still a command line driven OS at it’s heart. This, of course, is one of its strengths as everything can be scripted too. However, for none IT techies, it is very daunting. Here I’m listing some of the system files I’ve had (or at least wanted) to change by hand. It’s a very quick reference, largely for my own benefit should I need to rebuild my system.
Will I ever be free of Microsoft? Well, unlike many people I’m not really evangelistic about this. I’ll use whatever gets the job done properly. My main reason for ditching Microsoft products is due to their overly restrictive and greedy licensing without really giving real innovation in return. So why can’t I escape? Well one of the main reasons is that I am constantly faced with Microsoft products through my job as an IT consultant.
Here is a link to an article on using tmpfs (and the commonly pre-defined /dev/shm mount for tmpfs) as a high-speed, in-memory filing system. This is very handy for small-ish amounts of data in files that get a lot of access. Just remember that you will loose it if the host crashes! You can use this for SqlLite database files too. [Create turbocharged storage using tmpfs] : http://kevin.vanzonneveld.net/techblog/article/create_turbocharged_storage_using_tmpfs/
I use Firefox all the time. Both with Windows and Linux but I don’t like the fact that it assumes that you are using Gnome under Linux and doesn’t really play nicely with KDE. Thankfully there are a few things you can do. To get printing to use KPrinter (the default KDE print dialog). Choose the printer called Postscript/default and then change the command that is run to kprinter –stdin. Now, whenever you print to that printer, you will get the KDE standard print dialog where you can choose the printer (most importantly, output to PDF) and change the settings.
Here’s a very handy tip about configuring SUSE to run a full update from the command line without requiring a sudo (and hence a password). [One command system update (Without password)] : http://fnmueller.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/one-command-system-update-without-password/
I needed to copy some big video files from my NSLU2 NAS box to my desktop a couple of days ago and noticed that, using Konqueror, the FTP protocol was significantly faster than using SMB. Using ftp://192.168.n.n/DISK 2/video/… gave me around 5.5MB/s Using smb://192.168.n.n/DISK 2/video/… gave me around 3.5MB/s Of course, the NSLU2 is constrained mainly by only having a 10M network interface but this is a very significant difference in speed.
OK, maybe I was a bit harsh with the verdict on mounting by UUID in my last post. Having played further with trying to get the right disk to boot by default, I realised that there is something rather odd about my ASUS motherboard. I seems to want to boot SATA drives in REVERSE order so that SATA disk 3 is booting before SATA disk 1 no matter what order I tell it boot in (via the BIOS).
One think I discovered in my January foray into other distributions is that mounting disks by ID which is now the default in many distributions (such as SUSE and Ubuntu) is not such a good idea when you might be ripping some out. In fact, Linux does not seem to take kindly to having hard disks ripped out at all! I had to manually edit the device.map, menu.lst and fstab files of my existing distributions to get them working again after removing my two PATA drives that have driven me mad with buggy GRUB configurations.
I’ve mentioned this one a couple of times so I’ll give a bit more detail because it is a nightmare to solve if you don’t know what is going on. If you have both a parallel ATA (PATA, this is the way most hard drives were connected on desktops and laptops until around 18 months ago) and a serial ATA (SATA) hard disk controller on your PC (as many do) and hard drives connected to both controllers, you are going to get hit by the GRUB PATA/SATA bug.
Linux is a very fast moving landscape so I tend to do a major update of my systems once or twice a year. Although I moved over to Linux at the start of 2007, I decided to do another move in December as my main installation was getting rather tatty from too much experimenting! So I went back through the distributions that I had looked at before, namely: Ubuntu (along with the variants Kubuntu and Mint) now at 7.
One of the biggest problems with trying to de-clutter my life is the “paper mountain”. This is all the stuff that comes through the front door on a depressingly regular basis. At least the majority of it is now from organisations that we actually do have legitimate dealings with as a family (bank, etc.) but it still piles up on the table by the front door and then adds to even bigger piles in the office.