Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sysinternals [Now Windows Sysinternals]

If you haven't heard of Sysinternals you've been missing out on some of the best diagnostic utilities for Windows on the free market. The site was originally started by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell back in 1996 and through the years has offered some great utilities that helped make keeping an eye on a Windows box or diagnosing problems much easier. Now that they've been bought by Microsoft they are a part of 'The Collective' so I'm posting the direct link to cut through the TeraBytes of data on the Microsoft Technet Website.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


After ripping some DVDs I purchased that appear to have been made using a home computer DVD burner or something simple I couldn't get the ISO files to play in VLC using the usual method. After a few minutes of looking around VLC I found the solution, these DVDs did not have menus so it was cause VLC to not load the ISO, switching to the command that exists for DVDs without menus we were off to the races.

user@machine~> vlc dvdsimple:///videos/Buckshot/10_Homemade_Traps.iso

Monday, December 10, 2007

Get List of Installed Packages on Debian, Ubuntu, Etc.

Need to get a list of packages that exist on your Debian based system? If you're running Ubuntu, Debian, etc. try the following.

user@machine~> dpkg --list

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Adding SSL Site To Nginx Quick Start

If now is one of those times you just want to Get 'Er Done and not have a long drawn out process for doing something, welcome.

Step 1: Install OpenSSL
user@machine ~> sudo apt-get install openssl

Step 2: Create Self Signed Certificate [Answer questions in a way that makes you feel good ;)]
user@machine ~> sudo openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -out /root/nginx.cert -keyout /root/nginx.key

Step 3: Add SSL options to nginx.conf [/etc/nginx/nginx.conf maybe?]

server {
listen 443;
server_name smallbiztechguy.blogspot.com;
error_page 403 404 500 502 503 504 /nginx-errors/error.htm;

ssl on;
ssl_certificate /root/nginx.cert;
ssl_certificate_key /root/nginx.key;

location / {
charset utf-8;
root /var/www;
index index.htm;


Step 4: Restart nginx

user@machine ~> ps aux | grep -i nginx
user@machine ~> kill -HUP [id from ps command above]

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Internet Explorer on Linux

If you've ever had a need for running Internet Explorer, in this case IE6, on Linux there is a simple solution. First question might be why in the world would you want to? In some cases you need to test a website on IE to be sure it renders properly and in some cases you might be accessing Microsoft software that is a little picky about the browser that is accessing it.

The solution exists in IEs4Linux, a creation of Sérgio Luís Lopes Júnior. He has done a great job of allowing IE5, IE5.5, IE6 and now a beta of IE7 to be installed and run on Linux. The installation is fairly straightforward for all but IE7 and even that isn't too difficult by Linux standards. The performance isn't quite a snappy as I'd like to see but considering the price, $free, I can't complain too much.

Using Adobe Reader to Print PDFs Causes Printer Crash

Today I had a situation that has occurred once before. When attempting to print certain pdfs to a wireless printer the printer would present an error screen after a few seconds that required a hard restart. When attempting to update Acrobat Reader 7 through the update link inside of reader it generated an error saying it could not perform the update. Downloaded Acrobat Reader 8 through their website and the problem went away.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Create an ISO from a DVD

If you need to create backups of DVDs there are a multitude of ways people recommend doing them on the web. The easiest I found can be accomplished in a single command and creates an ISO file that can be mounted later if necessary. Even tried it with an old, uncopyrighted DVD movie and it worked well.

user@machine ~> dd if=/dev/dvd0 of=~/dvdcopy.iso bs=2048

Some might ask: Why the bs=2048 parameter?

The reason is that often burnt cds/dvds have a number of null sectors
appended to the actual iso on the disc. If you simply use dd without a block
count the resulting iso will not be identical to the iso from which the dvd
was produced. The same remarks apply to the use of cat /dev/dvd > your.iso.
Not to say that the result won't work, it might. But if you do `md5sum
your.iso` the sum will not match that of the original iso if the there are
any blocks of padding copied up.

To remount:
user@machine ~> mkdir /media/dvdcopy
user@machine ~> mount -t iso9660 -o loop ~/dvdcopy.iso /media/dvdcopy

There are some posts on the web stating that if mounting a DVD that the type needs to be set to udp instead of iso9660 however the iso9660 value worked fine.