Run what you want

Would you like to try out Linux, but haven’t a clue how to create a dual boot system? VirtualBox allows you to do just that. This is a software based virtualization platform that runs in Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Solaris that supports guests (virtual machines) of the same. Now you can easily roll out a Windows install on your Mac or Linux PC, or any other combination. As seen here, this is one of the coolest Linux demonstration videos I’ve had the chance to view, you’ll notice a Windows XP system running in the opposing desktop view in full screen even. The desktop effects you see are Compiz which I will discuss in a later post.

Windows tweaks. Available bandwidth mod.

Were you aware that Microsoft Windows reserves 20% of your available bandwidth for updates etc? This is not a problem for most, but for those of us who like to tweak and customize here is how to change that.

Click Start
Click Run
Type gpedit.msc in the space provided
Click OK or press enter on your keyboard to run that command. This will open the group policy editor

Double click on Local Computer Policy
Double click on Computer Configuration
Double click on Administrative Templates
Double click on Network
Double click on QOS Packet Scheduler
Double click on Limit Reservable Bandwidth
Click the “Enable” radius button
Set the value in the “Bandwidth limit %” field to zero
Lastly click OK and you are done.

if you would like to do some additional reading on this particular mod please click here.

One Billion Strong… And Growing.

there's a billion of these litte guys!Tech Tree is reporting there are (estimated) over one billion PCs installed around the globe. The Gartner Group called them ‘installed’ PCs as their estimation is for personal computers in use – not just shipped ones or machines sold. They factor in not only new machines, but second hand PCs as well. That’s over 1,000,000,000 PCs in use folks! The growth rate of installed base PCs is estimated to grow roughly 12% each year as more and more countries develop. They’ve also figured in “churning” and figure some 16% of installed machines will be replace this year alone. If you’re planning on being a part of that 16% who replaces an older PC, there are many donation and recycling options available for your old hardware.

Break out the cheese and crackers, WINE 1.0 released

Have you had enough of Windows faulty features yet? After 15 years of development and testing, WINE has finally reached v1.0 this week. Think of WINE as a gateway program to break free from the Microsoft operating system and still be able to run Windows programs in Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and Solaris. This will give software companies an incentive to embrace Linux with their products without having to rewrite their entire code to get compatibility. It will also allow consumers and business alike the ability to make use of the huge assortment of Open Source Software while still holding onto their beloved Windows program they cannot live without.

Secure Windows for free.

Here are 3 free programs that you can download from that will go a long way to protecting your data and your computer.

Grisoft AVG free edition – This antivirus program has been around for a number of years now. Its fast and is kind to your system resources allowing you to surf the net or play solitare while it’s running in the background.

Spybot S&D – I can not say enough good things about this lightweight anti malware tool. Originally designed to kill spyware, it has expanded to also hunting trojans and rootkits. The advanced feature also provide tools for cleaning the registry, configuring your start-up programs, and securing your hosts file. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it does not scan automatically.

Comodo Pro firewall – This firewall quickly became my favorite replacement for windows firewall on both XP and Vista machines. It has a pretty intuative interface that allows you to very specifically control what network traffic travels to and from your machine. It also has a nice leaning mode that protects your system while it learns what you use and what programs need to be able to talk to locations on the internet.

These three aplications should block most malware on the internet. Of course there is no substitute for a little caution on your part, so be careful where you visit.

Debugging On Linux – Strace

A few years ago, I was taking a few classes from a very up and coming computer science university and during the course of one projects class came to discuss with the instructor the differences between the average students and those excelling. We determined the main differences to be, three in number:

  1. Time and dedication
  2. The ability to tinker and figure things out on one’s own
  3. The art of debugging.

The art of debugging is really quite simple, it is mostly knowing the tools available and how to use them. On the linux platform, surely one of the most powerful and certainly most thorough debugging tool one can use is strace.
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2010: R.I.P. IPV4?

It’s no big secret that our current numbering scheme for internet protocol addressing is limited, but some sources are reporting its demise as soon as 2010. IPV6 has been adopted as the solution for many, many years now because it’s a virtually limitless numbering scheme. The down-side? IPV6 is rather tricky to understand and implement. Instead of receiving an ip address like 69.51.xx.xx, you’ll now be issued one like 2008:0db8:85a3:08d3:1319:8a2e:0370:7334 once ipv6 is implemented. There’s really no need to panic, though, your operating system more than likely supports IPV6 already and IPV4 will not just disappear over night. Instead, I think we’ll see a gradual decline in the use of IPV4 as IPV6 begins to become more and more of an industry standard. I believe by 2010 there will be more of a hybrid use of IPV4 and IPV6 and not just the flat-out demise of IPV4.

Also, don’t forget to grab your copy of Firefox 3 today!

Google Browser sync will no longer be available

google labsA bit of disappointing news for those of us who use Google browser sync, it will no longer be developed. Google browser sync was a nice plugin for saving and synchronizing bookmarks, passwords and even open web pages across multiple computers. Many users will only discover this when they adopt FireFox 3, due to be released later today. Firefox 3 is incompatible with Google browser sync therefore forcing users to find other means to synchronize their bookmarks. Foxmarks is one such add-on that will synchronize your bookmarks across multiple computers, although it is not the all in one synchronization tool like Google browser sync was.

Watching DVDs in Windows Media Player 11

This weekend I tried to watch a movie on my computer only to find out it wasn’t working. The reason it wasn’t working was because I did not have the proper Codec installed. So I started hunting around online for a solution. Microsoft recommends these, however I quickly discovered that none of them are free. And since I’m a bit of a freegan when it comes to software applications, I decided to do a bit of hunting around for a better solution. This led me to K-Lite Codec Pack which I downloaded and installed with minimal effort. To learn more about K-lite check out the Wikipedia article.