Blog Index for 2016

Install Chrome OS On Your Old Laptop PC or Macbook using Cloudready

(April 11, 2017) Chromebooks are excellent devices, offering a light-weight operating environment with great security features. You can buy ChromeOS devices with the operating system loaded in, which is a great choice. You may have an older computer sitting around gathering dust, whose useful lifetime can be extended by installing Cloudready. Cloudready is a ChromeOS distribution by Neverware that can be installed on a huge variety of x86 based computers. On the same hardware where Windows is SLOW, Cloudready runs FAST.

Block remote root login via ssh on Ubuntu/etc to keep your server safe

(2016-11-25 23:56) A moment ago I was checking the system logs on my Ubuntu server and found that in auth.log reports that someone was repeatedly trying to SSH login as root. The "root" entry in /etc/passwd is setup so that no password will ever be matched, so perhaps this potential cracker would never get into my server anyway. But the requests are using bandwidth - and what if they were able to figure out a password that would work? Why not just block remote SSH login access to logging in as root in the first place? It's a bad idea to login directly as root - instead the recommended best practice is to login as a regular user then use sudo to perform things requiring super user access.

Easily have quality Git server on your laptop with Gogs and Docker, and enable auto-push to remote repository

(2016-10-01 20:47) Github doesn't have to be the only game for git servers - while they run an excellent service, you can't install it on your own server, making it little better (in "Freedom" regards) than a closed source proprietary software package. Yes it's expedient to host your repositories on Github, but do we all have to cede this functionality to them? There happen to be several alternatives to github that offer a competent web-based git repository service. I've looked at Gitlab and now Gogs (Go Git Server) and while both are competent systems, I think I'll be running Gogs (in Docker) full time on my laptop. While both Gitlab and Gogs can run in Docker containers making it easy to run them full time in the background, Gogs is lighter weight.

Canon introduces a new mirrorless digital camera, Canon EOS M5, 24 MPixels of goodness

(2016-09-14 21:55) Canon has expanded their line of mirrorless digital cameras, the Canon EOS M series, with a new entry, the Canon EOS M5. It has a 24 Mega Pixel APS-C sensor. Also introduced is the new Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, offering a an almost 10x zoom ratio.

Setting up LibreOffice to access MySQL database with JDBC driver

(2016-08-24 13:21) I wanted to try using LibreOffice Base on Mac OS X to play with a MySQL database. I thought it would be easy, just connect to the database and start doing queries, maybe even pull data into a LibreOffice spreadsheet for advanced data munging. But doing the obvious thing got me messages like "No Java Installation found" and "the driver class com.mysql.jdbc.Driver could not be found". Further, yahoogling with some obvious search phrases turned up nothing. Finally, going to LibreOffice.org and looking at the official LibreOffice Base documentation showed no instructions on setting up JDBC MySQL with LibreOffice.

The demise of examiner.com, what's it mean for citizen journalism?

(Sat Jul 02 2016 17:00:00 GMT-0700 (PDT))

It wasn't that long ago that online news sites began killing off the traditional news services. Many newspapers and magazines have either shut down (costing many cities a vitally necessary check on local government), or else shrank, or else transitioned to an online service. A generation of writers and journalists are under turmoil in a time period where we desperately need a check on the powerful elite. The 1% are in the process of doing grave harm to democracy and good governance around the world, and we need the Press to fulfill its rightful role.

One of the bright spots was the rise of citizen journalism - with one of the biggest such websites being examiner.com. Examiner.com allowed "anyone" to sign up to start writing articles, and had arranged with the likes of Google News to be a recognized news source. The result was .. uh .. spotty, since many Examiner writers did not try to practice proper journalism. A few, such as myself, did take the work seriously and produced good work through examiner.com.

The simple cure if a Wordpress custom content type doesn't display, but gives a 404 page not found

(2016-03-17 08:07) Sometimes custom content types stop displaying, on a Wordpress site.

How to restore a MySQL database and tables from .frm .ibd or .myd raw database files

(2016-03-16 22:05) Consider a situation - you've got a well tuned MySQL database server running some popular websites. The sites are implemented with Drupal and Wordpress, but using MySQL to store the content and settings. You think everything is fine, until one day you look at Google Analytics and are aghast to see zero traffic for the previous two days. You go to the websites and are greeted by a 404 error, with the server saying there's nothing there. You try logging into the server, but cannot, your login attempt is refused. You contact the hosting provider for help, and they tell you the directory containing all your websites and other files is completely empty. Oh.. and there's a note left behind from someone giving an http-something-or-other URL to click on, demanding payment in order for the server to be restored.
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