21May/134

Pairing an Apple Wireless Keyboard in Ubuntu 12.04

I was recently given a 3-battery (second-generation) Apple Wireless keyboard, model A1255. I run Ubuntu 12.04 as my primary OS on my laptop, so I didn't anticipate any compatibility issues.  It didn't take me long to run into trouble. During the pairing process, Ubuntu gives a random PIN that must be typed into the keyboard, but it consistently rejected the number. The solution? Hold down the "command" button while typing the PIN number, release the command button, and then press enter. As a side note, put the keyboard in discoverable mode by powering it off, and then holding the power button until the light blinks steadily. I hope that saves someone some grief!

FuelCell250

Filed under: Linux Hacks 4 Comments
18May/130

Remote VNC Access

VNC Access to Raspberry Pi

 

There's nothing quite like being 500 miles from home and having the ability to control your home computer with your cell phone. In the past, I have used PocketCloud in conjunction with the built in RDP server to access my Windows 7 computer.  It was pretty handy for managing my media library from work or my laptop.

I ran into a problem, though, once I completely moved my home computers to Linux: the best RDP server solution for Linux (xRDP) just didn't cut it. It was nowhere near as seamless as the built in utilities for Windows, and I don't like fiddling past initial setup.

I decided my Raspberry Pi would make a great remote access point. No sensitive information, very low power draw for 24/7 uptime, and I can tuck it in next to my router so I never have to see it.

Join me after the break for a quick and easy tutorial for enabling remote access to your own Linux machine! We'll be using TightVNC Server for Linux, a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian, and your choice of a VNC client.

23Oct/126

Custom Launchers in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

I know that I'm straying into Lifehacker territory here, but this is a tip I couldn't help but share. I've always wanted to create customer launchers for the Unity dock, and I've finally found how. I'm going to apply this to Minecraft, but you can use to create an icon for just about any program or command that you might need to run in Ubuntu. Read on for instructions...

25Aug/122

Encrypted Web Browsing With SSH and Ubuntu

Every now and then, you may be forced to use an unencrypted wireless access point to access the internet. Many hotels and coffee shops leave their access points unencrypted, instead relying on other solutions such as captive portals to authenticate customers. This keeps unauthorized users off the network (sort of), but it doesn't encrypt anything between you and the access point. This could allow a malicious hacker to intercept personal information, such as passwords. With an SSH server at home, you can encrypt your web traffic and slingshot it back to your house. Your SSH server will then decrypt it and send it back out to the internet, as if you were browsing from inside your secure home network. Interested? Read on.

8Jul/110

XenClient: a client side hypervisor

I'm sure we all know about virtualization and hypervisors, but what about running virtual machines on your pc / laptop? I'm sure we all have used Vmware, VirtualBox, VirtualPC or Parallels in the past to run multiple virtual machines on your machine. But these all require a parent operating system. For the most part, testing different operating systems / having seperate environments for specific projects work well in just such an environment.

But what if you want to have two completely separate environments running, that have no way of even knowing the other exists?

19May/112

Dynamic DNS on the NSLU2

Whoa hold it right there! Don't read this! It didn't work! Well, okay. Read it. Maybe you can tell us what we did wrong. DynDNS kept blocking us: It seems that Teh Slug kept forcing updates too often. We ended up going for a good ol' DD-WRT that Badger32d scrounged up from Iraq. Oh, don't worry, Teh Slug still gets lots'a love!

Now that you have flashed OpenWRT to your NSLU2 , you need to find a practical use for it. If you are like me, you don't own a fancy router that supports Dynamic DNS updating, and you don't want to leave your computer on all of the time, sucking power and money just to keep the door to your network open.

Enter the NSLU2. It's silent, sips power, and needs something to do, so let's get Dynamic DNS updating on it, shall we?

3May/113

Why Testdisk and Recuva are Awesome and I am an Idiot

Well hello there, how did the tubes treat you on your trip to this sad tale? Good? Excellent, now I must begin.

Like any good geek story, this one starts out with a command line and a slight overdose of mountain dew. I, being a generic geek have a large external hard disk with all my geeky treasures on it.  Folders filled with .iso's, install files for most of my common used programs and a batch file to install them, large amounts of tech manuals and awesome background pictures featuring both penguins and lolcats (not really, I swear).

I had recently decided to reconfigure my thinclient with an external hard disk rather than the 8gb thumb drive I had been using. Easy task, I just need to burn the latest arch netinstall .iso to my thumbdrive. Quickest route != unetbootin, but rather dd, which I love. Mostly. Plugged in the hard disk and thumb drive, navigated to /media/Teh Disk/iso/linux/ and then:

time sudo dd if=arch_2010_04_x64.iso of=/dev/sdc

and I walked away to use the restroom (Remember, mountain dew overdose, it happens).

By the time I came back dd had finished, informing me that the iso had been burned as it were. Thumb drive transferred to the thinclient and hit the power button.

Error "operating system not found"

19Apr/115

Flashing OpenWRT to the NSLU2 (Teh Slug)

 

Need a small, silent Linux server that sips power? A friend of mine gave me a Linksys NSLU2, which was designed to be a simple NAS. They run Linux out of the box, and can be flashed with customized distributions. NSLU2-Linux is the home of everything, uh, NSLU2 Linux. I chose OpenWRT for mine, because it seemed simple and popular. More on flashing the Slug (Eww!) after the break!