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One-man Linux army

| linux

My boyfriend is a one-man Linux army. While all the rest of the people talk about promoting Linux, he actually goes out there and does it all by himself! He’s writing press material, manning booths, giving talks and seminars… Wow.

That’s one of the things I really admire about him. He promotes Linux
and open source not because someone’s paying him or because he hates
certain proprietary software companies, but because he believes it can
make people’s lives better. Free software can help schools spend money
on more important things, like facilities, textbooks, and teacher
salaries. Open source software can help people learn and grow. He
wants people to discover it, so he’ll go ahead and stand under the
scorching sun and talk about Linux to people who don’t see why they
shouldn’t just go and pirate software.

It’s a thankless job among people who don’t appreciate it as anything
beyond an opportunity to get another signature for their visit sheets,
like the way many people attend seminars only for the certificate. But
there’s always the chance that he’ll get a kid interested in free and
open source software, and who knows what will happen then?

I love him even more for doing it, and I wish I could be there to
help. Dear reader, here is a man who cares about the world and does
something to help it, even when other people are apathetic or
pessimistic. This is one of the reasons why I think he’s just so
amazing, and I wanted to share it with you.

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From elsewhere: Linux: a social experiment

| linux

Linux advocate disguised as panhandler gives CDs away. Interesting social results: most people don’t read signs, and panhandling is fairly lucrative. <wry grin>

Would be tempted to do something similar if I also had a stack of Ubuntu CDs.

Or—evil thought!—sneak into Microsoft dev event with button that
reads “Ask me about what I geek out about” and a bag full of Ubuntu CDs… ;)

(Convert the world one geek at a time! ;) )

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Congratulations to the new PLUG board!

| linux

Congratulations to the newly elected board for the Philippine Linux Users Group!

– Clair Ching
– Dean Michael Berris
– Dominique Cimafranca
– Dong Calmada
– Holden Hao
– Ian Sison
– JM Ibanez
– Jerome Gotangco
– Jijo Sevilla
– Marvin Pascual
– Paolo Falcone

Totally, totally awesome people. I’m sure PLUG will do well this year, too. =)

I love how nominations were done through a wiki and elections done
through e-mail. I voted! =D

Looking forward to learning and sharing as much as I can from over
here…

More news at http://linux.org.ph/articles/newboard05

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ntfsresize

Posted: - Modified: | free and open source, linux

Marcelle’s laptop (a Compaq Presario 2500 with 60GB of hard disk
space) succumbed to malware. I’m helping him out so that I can play a
few days of Sims 2 on his laptop. ;) To avoid future problems with
Microsoft Windows reinstallations, we’d like to make separate
partitions for games and data. That way, the next time he has problems
with Windows, he can just wipe C: and scan the other two drives.

Unfortunately, Compaq’s QuickRestore System Recovery CD makes one
NTFS partition that occupies all of the space on the hard disk.
PartitionMagic would’ve done the trick, but its hefty price-tag
just isn’t worth this one-time use.

Linux to the rescue. I’ll be installing Ubuntu on Marcelle’s laptop
anyway so that he has a relatively safer system for browsing the Web
and posting blog entries. When he’s in a strange network, he can use
Linux to protect himself from the worms and malware that would just
love to reinfect his computer.

Ubuntu’s based on the popular Debian GNU/Linux distribution, and among
other things, it contains a tool for resizing NTFS partitions without
losing any data. You don’t even need to defragment your hard disk
before resizing it. I had to run chkdsk from the Windows recovery CD
to take care of a persistent error in the filesystem before I could
use ntfsresize, but resizing it was easy after I took care of that
problem. I followed the suggested usage in
http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html and set up the
partitions just the way I wanted them.

Hooray for Linux! Microsoft Windows might not anticipate my need to
organize data the way _I_ want to, but free software gives me the
tools I need to do what I want.

John Sturdy writes:

If only I had known about Ubuntu being able to do the resize for you
— I’ve just spent a rather sore week setting up an uncooperative
Windows machine as dual-boot, using a variety of tools including
Partition Magic, parted, and others!

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Wireless wonders

Posted: - Modified: | linux

I struggled with installing the DWL-650 wireless LAN card on my
Microsoft Windows XP partition for half an hour before I gave up and
booted to Linux. I suppose that if the operating system hadn’t been in
Japanese, I might’ve had a shot. What do you expect from Sony recovery
CDs for a unit primarily for the Japanese market?

On the other hand, Linux was a breeze with Ubuntu Linux, a
slick Debian-based distribution backed by
Canonical. My copy came from
Jerome Gotangco, Ubuntu documentation guy
for the Philippines.

Setting up wireless was just a matter of plugging my DWL-650 in.
D-Link really screwed up with that card by using the same model number
for cards using completely different chipsets, but Ubuntu
automatically found and loaded the module I needed.

Because we don’t want the next-door Internet cafe to sponge off our
wireless access, we protect our router with a simple MAC address
filter list. I couldn’t figure out where to find my MAC address in the
graphical network configuration tool, but a quick whiz through dmesg
turned up the magic numbers I needed to add to my router’s filters.
After I plugged that into the router’s web-based configuration tool,
set the ESSID in Ubuntu’s friendly network admin interface, and
activated the device, I was off and running.

Great stuff, huh? Now if I can just get it to work under stock Debian…

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Wahoo! iPod Photo

| emacs, linux

So much for not being a gadget freak. =)

Dad got me an iPod Photo (30GB). After I formatted it to FAT32 using Windows, it mounted easily under Linux.
I used the excellent bbdb-vcard-export.el to export my address book to lots and lots of VCF files, which I then copied into the iPod Photo.

I downloaded a couple of speeches and podcasts for my spiffy new iPod.
I’m looking for audio books and poetry. Would anyone have a freely
distributable archive of Shakespearean sonnets in MP3 form? If not,
I’ll probably try using a synthesizer to make instant e-books, or I
can record them a poem or two at a time…

Downside? Adding new photos requires iTunes, which means I need to use
either Windows or a Mac. I guess I’ll really be bringing the Vaio with
me.

Also, I’m really looking forward to
ipodlinux fully supporting the iPod
Photo. I’d love to run Linux on the device! I need to figure out how
to flash the bootloader on and how to recover from mistakes. If I get
that working, then I can help hack…

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Net install

| free and open source, linux

I’m setting up Linux on the Sony Vaio U1 so that I can use it as well
as my Lifebook. I’ve decided to give Fedora Core 3 a try instead of
just net-booting and installing Debian like last time. Besides, I
couldn’t find my handy-dandy one-disk Debian net install image.

Fedora Core’s net-install support lags far behind Debian’s. I don’t
know if it’s even possible to start the installation process using
boot/root floppies, so you really need to either burn a CD or set up
pxelinux. Fortunately, I’d set up a DHCP and TFTP server on my
Lifebook before, so I knew it could be done.

After some trouble getting the Vaio to acquire the DHCP address and
pick up the boot files, I was relieved to see the familiar text
dialog-based installation screen. I’m currently waiting for the 71MB
stage2.img file to download. There are no progress indicators, and I’m
getting rather nervous. I can’t seem to drop to a shell to find out
how far along the installation is.

I like the Debian net install far more. Plenty of progress indicators
keep you in the loop so that you’re not worried about interrupted
network connections or sudden hangs. Come to think of it, going for
Debian instead will make it far easier for me to migrate my
configuration.

Bah. So much for Fedora Core. ;)

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