Welcome to my blog. This is mainly about IT, information management and Cyber Security with occasional forays into general technology, science and maybe even politics and beliefs.
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Latest posts and knowledgebase articles
Thought I would add a quick update on using FreeOTFE under Windows and PocketPC. I tried it under Windows on a different PC and it does indeed work OK though it is nowhere near as polished as TrueCrypt. I’ve also tried again a few times on a PocketPC with limited success and I think I know what is happening. Firstly, you must install FreeOTFE for PPC into system memory and not on a storage card – not terribly surprising really.
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)
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).
I was getting very frustrated with SUSE recently. Mainly because of the slow and flaky package management but also due to my scanning difficulties. So I decided to do a quick test of a couple more Linux distributions. Here are a few quick notes. MEPIS 7.0 Release 3 There is a password on the Live CD login with no information on what it is (guessed demo) Install to disk has to run as root – it silently logged when run as demo with no indication as to why In the disk partitioner, there were no partition names or labels to give a guide to existing partitions – both SUSE and Mandriva give better information No wizard to help install my Wacom graphics tablet (this works great under SUSE) THERE IS NO SETTINGS WIZARD FOR NVIDIA!
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.
OK, so we’ve have the good things about openSUSE 10.3, now for the bad. * The repository and package installation management in openSUSE 10.3 sucks – bigtime! * I’m often getting failures to read the control files from the Internet (though normal browsing works fine), * it is slow – really very very very slow, * and you do seem to get weird dependency issues more often than other distros, * there are too many fairly standard packages missing from the default repositories so you have to configure third party ones (at least this is often easier with the 1-click install facility now available), * 1-click install seems to often fail or takes >5 minutes to jump into life, * Why do I have to keep importing new repository keys?
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.
It works well out of the box. Things it doesn’t do wrong I didn’t need to get round the GRUB bug since SUSE treats PATA and SATA disks as pseudo SCSI disks and nothing gets confused when rebooting. It didn’t kill my graphics card with a buggy NV driver. My Soundblaster Live card works correctly with digital output and everything. My old, serial connected, Wacom graphics tablet just works. Once installed, Compiz Fusion just works.