Tag Archives: Linux

Giving Away Software For Free Costs More Than You Would Think (Part 2)

Starting with Part 1 of this series, I introduced the idea that free software is expensive to give away.

For example, in 2000, the Debian distribution would have cost nearly 1.9 billion dollars to re-write from the ground up.

It’s been almost 8 years since that report was generated, and Debian has somewhat faded from the limelight. Ubuntu has taken the lead as the most-used desktop Linux distribution since then, and I would like to roughly calculate how much Ubuntu costs to give away for no charge.

I will outline and detail my method and solution to this question in 8 steps: Continue reading

Giving Away Software For Free Costs More Than You Would Think (Part 1)

Little known fact: The Ubuntu distribution is now includes 23,164 packages.

How much did all of these packages actually cost to make? Well thanks to the Constructive Cost Model, (COCOMO) we can find out. COCOMO estimates how much it costs to write x number of lines of code, based on complexity of the project as well as how collaboration takes place (ie over the internet vs in an office), and many other factors. Then you get a ballpark figure of how much the software cost to develop. Continue reading

Do You Have A Story To Tell About Linux?

Now is your chance. For the first time ever, fsckin w/ linux is recruiting guest bloggers.

In-depth expertise with Linux is NOT required. In fact, the less you know about Linux, the better! I’m not planning on walking anyone through an installation, but if you think you have the guts to give a try for the first time and write about it, I’ll make sure you have the instructions needed to succeed. Continue reading

How To Install Gutsy Gibbon – A 21 Step Guide For Technical Support

Ok, this is completely satirical, cynical and NOT serious at all. It’s meant to make you laugh. If you don’t laugh, you may have DVHAD (Digg Visitor Humor Absence Disorder). You may need to seek professional therapy. I can recommend a good psychiatrist if you’d like.

This article is 99.7% joke. (0.3% standard deviation)

1. “First, insert the Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 CD into your cup holder.” Continue reading

Do You Use Linux? The RIAA and MPAA Don’t Want You To Use This Program

Have you ever used PeerGuardian for Windows? Well good news my friend, there’s a Linux alternative available.

PeerGuardian is a program that blocks companies such as the RIAA and their affiliates (such as Media Defender) from connecting to your computer when you are running P2P software.  This is not foolproof by any means, but certainly a step in the right direction.

When I used Windows, one of the programs I used to protect my online privacy was PeerGuardian. Now that I’m using Ubuntu full-time, I’d like to find an alternative.

A quick google search found that PeerGuardian actually has a Linux client, but the installation is far more difficult than another program I found called MoBlock. Not only does it come pre-setup with most of the Bluetack blocking lists, the same ones that PeerGuardian uses, but it will also utilize the eMule ipfilter.dat file format, if you’re looking for that.

Ok, now I know we’re looking at the rest of this document and saying,

Sh!t Wayne, this looks complicated.

It’s actually really easy if you follow it step by step, and if you have any questions, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Deep breath, here we go.

First, we edit sources.list to add a repository:

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Paste these two lines at the end:

deb http://moblock-deb.sourceforge.net/debian feisty main
deb-src http://moblock-deb.sourceforge.net/debian feisty main

Save and Close the gedit program, just a few more commands:

gpg --keyserver wwwkeys.eu.pgp.net --recv 9072870B
gpg --export --armor 9072870B | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install moblock-nfq

Now it’s installed! Congratulations. Now we need to configure the program so that HTTP (website) traffic is unfiltered. This program likes to be as paranoid as possible to start out with, which can be a good thing for some people.

gksu gedit /etc/moblock/moblock.conf

Look for the following section about half-way down:

WHITE_TCP_IN=""
WHITE_UDP_IN=""
WHITE_TCP_OUT=""
#WHITE_TCP_OUT="http https"

WHITE_UDP_OUT=""
WHITE_TCP_FORWARD=""
WHITE_UDP_FORWARD=""

Remove the hash (#), save and you’re done.

Run this command to test and make sure it’s working properly:

EDIT

Thanks to mbsjoblom on Digg, I missed a step.

sudo moblock-control reload
sudo moblock-control test

You should get a message something like this:

* MoBlock blocked the IP. Test succeded.

EDIT 2

Thanks to “Moblockin” there is a GUI available , which I haven’t tried out, but seems like a more user-friendly than the command line.

Now, you have no more big brother looking after you. MoBlock will automatically do it’s magic behind the scenes with no interaction from you – ever!

189 Funny UNIX Error Messages

I was searching around and I’ve compiled a list of *nix errors found on an old newsgroup archive, reformatted for your reading pleasure.

Which one is your favorite?

  1. “Values of B will give rise to dom.”
  2. FATAL system error #nnnn CAUSE: We should never get here!
  3. OHHHH…. I give up Core dumped
  4. COMPILER UNABLE TO ABORT
  5. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO WRITE BEYOND THE MAXIMUM ASSIGNED SPACE FOR A MASS STORAGE FILE. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO EXPAND A MASS STORAGE FILE BEYOND THE MAXIMUM ASSIGNED SPACE. A READ FUNCTION FOR A MASS STORAGE FILE SPECIFIED AN ADDRESS (WORD 5 OF THE I/O PACKET) THAT IS BEYOND THE MAXIMUM ASSIGNED SPACE. A READ OR WRITE FUNCTION FOR A WORD-ADDRESSABLE MASS STORAG FILE SPECIFIED A MASS STORAGE ADDRESS (WORD 5 OF THE I/O PACKET) AND A TOTAL DATA COUNT. WHEN THE MASS STORAGE ADDRESS IS ADDED TO THE TOTAL DATA COUNT, THE RESULTING ENDING MASS STORAGE ADDRESS IS GREATER THAN 2*/35-1. A READ OR WRITE FUNCTION FOR A SECTOR-FORMATTED MASS STORAGE FILE SPECIFIED A MASS STORAGE ADDRESS (WORD 5 OF THE I/O PACKET) THAT IS GREATER THAN 2*/30-1. ADI ONLY: REFERENCE ATTEMPTED BEYOND THE ASSIGNED FILE WHEN THE FILE IS CONFIGURED AS A FH-432 OR FH-1782 DRUM. Continue reading

How To Mount Your iPhone Filesystem On Your Desktop In Ubuntu

Ever want to browse your iPhones’ filesystem on your Ubuntu machine? Follow these instructions and you’ll have it working in no time flat.

This article assumes your iPhone is “out of jail” and has Installer.app installed. If you have not already gotten this part taken care of, click here for steps you need to follow first.

  1. Install SSH on your phone by the following proceedure:
  2. Tap the Installer on your home screen.
  3. Install the following utilities:
    • Community Sources
    • BSD Subsystem
    • OpenSSH
  4. Once your iPhone has these installed, find your IP address by going into Settings, Wi-Fi and then click the blue arrow next to the network your iPhone and your Ubuntu machine are on.
  5. Turn off Auto-Lock on your iPhone, which will interrupt the OpenSSH server by going into Settings, General and Auto-Lock. Set Auto-Lock to never.
  6. Now, on your Ubuntu machine, simply click on Places, Connect to Server and follow these screenshots:
  7. Connect to iPhone via SSH
  8. Connect to iPhone via SSH
  9. Connect to iPhone via SSH
  10. Type the default password for root – “dottie”
  11. Connect to iPhone via SSH

Bam! You’re in! Now upload ringtones, compile hello world, slice dice and serve http via apache – whatever floats your dingy.

If you aren’t running Ubuntu, it’s time to upgrade. Just kidding. On any other Linux system this is probably going to be as easy (I hope) or gentoo-style (aka difficult and useless frustration). Two utilities you might need are FUSE and SSHFS if you’re going the frustrating route.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be writing about how to get the iPhone talking with Amarok and how to get ringtones uploaded very soon.

Unlocked My iPhone Using Windows, Not Possible In Linux

This terrific wiki describes in detail the “tried and true” method of manually performing pretty much every step. Unfortunately, the Wine Application Database shows that iTunes has no maintainer, and is rated as “garbage” by most people.

So right there, my article I had planned about unlocking the iPhone using Linux – simply not possible, as of right now. According to Martin Aumueller, a moderator at the iPhone amarok forums,

“If you manage to get it working it won’t be easy at all:

Other than a regular ipod, the iphone does not work as a ‘usb mass storage device’. This means you can’t just mount it as a hard disk. However, it appears that people have managed to hack their iphone so that they are able to install arbitrary software on it, in particular a ssh server. Then it is possible to expose the iphones file system and mount it via fuse as sshfs. On the gtkpod-devel mailing list you could read that the format of the data on the iphone is very similar to an ipod. So they might be able to handle that shortly. As soon as the gtkpod guys have libgpod working with the iphone, you could try to compile Amarok against the updated libgpod and try to get it working.”

So I checked out the libgpod SVN, and found they had a version that worked once you had SSH running on the iPhone – which means it’s kinda pointless to use a Linux box to try and get things unlocked, because to get SSH running, you need Window or Mac, which is confirmed by Eric Betts (who also has a quick guide how to get gtkpod working), a CS major at OSU – go Beavers!

benanzo has some interesting information over at the ModMyiPhone forum:

“Linux users have been able to sync with the iPhone for awhile now. We just mount the iPhone’s FS wirelessly via sshfs, load GTKPod and sync …wirelessly.

The current SVN version of libgpod (the backend that manipulates iTunesDB) has recently implemented full support for artwork, video, calendar, contacts, podcasts etc. for the iPhone, iPT.

You can also use gnupod. In fact, with that I’ve written a script that runs on my phone that checks what wifi network i’m connected to and if it’s my home network (where my computer is) it automatically initiates syncing.

That means that whenever I get home, I don’t have to sit down at my computer, or even take my phone out of my pocket — everything syncs back and forth automatically. Beautiful.

I’m currently in the process of porting libgpod to the iPhone environment so we can integrate over-the-air downloads into iTunesDB. That basically means we can then write a GUI frontend to bashpodder (podcast client) and automatically download/sync podcasts on-the-go.

My next project will be to get internet radio running…

Shoutcast on-the-go will be sweet.”

That’s it from me, for now. Here are a bunch of links that should get you started unlocking your iPhone. I’m going to detail later on how to get the sshfs and libgpod svn working on Ubuntu.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and lastly, how to remove the iPhone AT&T SIM card. That threw me for a loop.

So far I’m enjoying the iPhone, it’s a beautiful machine – even better when running on T-Mobile.

The REAL Fix For Comcast BitTorrent Throttling

First, a little explanation may be needed as to what is happening in between our computers, Comcast and the Internet.
Comcast is using a packet filtering platform called Sandvine. This platform is a at its core, a Quality of Service system that has legitimate uses, such as giving high priority to Xbox Live communications and VOIP packets. 

Unfortunately, Comcast has decided to use Sandvine (some say illegally) to impersonate us and send a reset packet (known as an RST flag), which is exactly like the Chinese goverment filters the internet!  (PDF)

TorrentFreak hinted on August 22nd, is that someone was working on a fix for Comcast users.

“…we know that at least two BitTorrent client developers are including this fix in their next update.” -TorrentFreak 

It’s two weeks later, where is the fix!?  And just exactly how do you find out if you’re being throttled by Comcast?  And how can we figure out how to avoid this traffic shaping? Continue reading