# RootPrompt.org   Nothing but Unix.[Home] [Features] [Programming] [Mac OS X] [Search]

Simplifying backups
Linux.com tells us about a product of the Google summer of code project that helps with backing up your system.
"The simple-backup-config tool allows users to choose either a simple backup scheme that performs incremental backups daily and full backups weekly, or to modify the default scheme with their own settings. Users list directories to backup in the Include tab, and select items to exclude in the Exclude tab. Exclusions can be based on directory (e.g., /var/cache), file type (sbackup excludes multimedia files by default), file size (10MB is the default upper limit), or regular expression."
Linux.com | Simplifying backups

( Permalink: Simplifying backups      Submitted by Noel Tue Nov 29, 2005 )

Fun With C# and HP Laserjets
Cool code to hack your HP Laserjet to display little messages on the LCD.
"I was studying the C# language one day and thought back to earlier in my career. Back then I was learning the assembly language for a little 8 bit Hitachi CPU (the 6303) in order to control a small thermal printer. With the right control codes you could get the printer to display a custom message on the LCD. Then I was walking by the HP Laser printer in the office and wondered if I could do the same here. Once I uncovered the Printer Job Language Reference from HP, I realized this could be fun. After all, who would not get a kick out of a printer with the message “TOUCH ME” on the LCD?"
Fun With C# and HP Laserjets

( Permalink: Fun With C# and HP Laserjets      Submitted by Noel Tue Nov 29, 2005 )

Breathing Life Into Older Computers
Article describing installing Damn Small Linux on a 266MMX laptop.
"Many of the readers who visit here surely have an older computer that has been tossed away in a closet. Take a look at my systems. The oldest computer I have is a Pentium 266 MMX laptop with 64MB of RAM. Most people would just consider this to be garbage and junk it, and if you brought this in for service where I work, I would agree with you. While this laptop might seem old and out-of-date now, it is small and light. I needed something I could easily carry around, so I figured I would see what I could salvage out of this dinosaur. Windows would have a hard time running on this low-spec laptop, but there are many distributions of Linux that will work exceptionally well. The one we'll be using today is Damn Small Linux."
ASE Labs: Articles - Breathing Life Into Older Computers

( Permalink: Breathing Life Into Older Computers      Submitted by Noel Tue Nov 29, 2005 )

Time to Take Off the Training Wheels
How are users supposed to learn if they never fall down? For many users, being faced with "safety" features just creates more workaround. Confirming, clarifying, and checking every operation, as most applications these days do, is intended to protect users from accidents. The result is similar to what many people find after putting training wheels on a child's bicycle: the vehicle is more cumbersome and the child never learns to ride it properly.

( Permalink: Time to Take Off the Training Wheels      Submitted by Anonymous Tue Nov 29, 2005 )

Mac OS X Services Menu
Nice little write up on a menu I have hardly ever played with.
"There's a whole hidden side of text modification that is stashed away, yet right at your fingertips. If you go to the Application menu (if you're in Safari, click the menu 'Safari') -> Services, a whole list pops down. You've probably disregarded this in the past (if you've ever seen it) because most of the options are grayed out, or unclickable. All you need to do is highlight some text. Go back to the menu and there are so many to choose from! Here are my favorites:"
Random Tech: Mac OS X Services (the menu you never go to)

( Permalink: Mac OS X Services Menu      Submitted by Noel Tue Nov 29, 2005 )

10 Things about Ubuntu
The author of this article lists 10 things that a new Linux user will like about Ubunu. It's a well thought out and interesting list.
"Ubuntu is fast on its way to becoming a peoples OS. I have always wondered what is it that makes people embrace Ubuntu over other Linux distributions. After some pondering, it struck me that the USP (Unique Selling Point) of Ubuntu is its user friendliness. Ubuntu is a distribution targeted at the non-techie crowd - those that want to get their job done and not spend time tinkering with the OS. And consequently, the developers at Ubuntu have bundled simple easy to use GUI front end tools to achieve common system administration tasks. Here I have put together 10 things in Ubuntu that make a new user's life that much simple. I used Ubuntu 5.10 to aid my observation."
All about Linux: 10 Things that make Ubuntu a Neophyte's Distribution

( Permalink: 10 Things about Ubuntu      Submitted by Noel Mon Nov 28, 2005 )

Why Java is Slow
A nice editorial discussing the tradeoffs of using Java as compared to c++.
"Anybody that has ever used a non-trivial Java program or has programmed in Java knows that Java is slower than native programs written in C++. This is a fact of life, something that we accept when we use Java. However, many folks would like to convince us that this is just a temporary condition. Java is not slow by design, they say. Instead, it is slow because today's JIT implementations are relatively young and don't do all the optimizations they could. This is incorrect. No matter how good the JITs get, Java will always be slower than C++."
Why Java will always be Slower than c++

( Permalink: Why Java is Slow      Submitted by Noel Mon Nov 28, 2005 )

A Linux user buys Mac mini
This is basically a review of a Mac Mini written by a Linux user. Interesting perspective and well written.
"But that's not the reason I bought a Mac mini. The reason why I refuse to buy another PC is that today's PCs are built for stone-deaf speed nuts who think it's normal that a CPU must generate more heat per surface area than a stove, and require something that sounds like a jet engine to cool it lest it disappears in a rapidly expanding plasma cloud. I was looking for an unobtrusive and quiet machine that I can put on my desk without going deaf or getting sunburned. And I don't care about gigahertz ratings when I do desktop work. I get all the horsepower I need for 3D rendering at work."
When a Linux user buys Apple's Mac mini

( Permalink: A Linux user buys Mac mini      Submitted by Noel Mon Nov 28, 2005 )

Hacking 101
Interesting take on the newbie document. This one is aimed at getting someone productively writing code on a Unix machine.
"This document gives the reader a tour of what the UNIX development environment has to offer. It describes the components usually found in the toolboxes of open source developers, and points the readers to selected web resources that introduce the use of those tools. The goal of all these is to help the readers to become productive quickly in the UNIX world. This document can be used by a young hacker as a syllabus for a self-guided study, or it could also be used by a senior developer as a resource which he or she could refer to when an apprentice asks for help."
Hacking 101

( Permalink: Hacking 101      Submitted by Noel Mon Nov 28, 2005 )

Torque Game Engine enhances Mac support
If I were planning to code a 3D app, I would look real hard at this product. I have looked a little bit at it before and it looks solid.
"GarageGames on Wednesday announced the release of the Torque Game Engine v1.4, an updated version of its engine for making 3D games. The new version — a free update for registered developers — features enhancements including superior support for the Mac"
Macworld: News: Torque Game Engine enhances Mac support

( Permalink: Torque Game Engine enhances Mac support      Submitted by Noel Mon Nov 28, 2005 )

HTML Tools on the Mac Command Line
Overview of several command line utilities you can use on your mac.
"I'll be focusing on how these few utilities can help while working with HTML on Mac OS X. If you haven't already, you'll need to install the Developers Tools, available with your install disks, or from developer.apple.com. Also, the following assumes you are using Tiger (10.4) and are familiar with using the Terminal and bash shell. It may also apply to earlier system versions, but I don't have any of those available to confirm."
MacDevCenter.com: HTML Tools on the Mac Command Line

( Permalink: HTML Tools on the Mac Command Line      Submitted by Noel Sun Nov 27, 2005 )

MIT $100 laptop to run Redhat
This device is the future for a large number of people. Huge numbers perhaps. Thank you Linus, you not only made us a cool toy but your work is going to change the world. Think about what the world will be like when millions (billions?) of children grow up with their own Linux box.
"The lime-green laptop, which uses a 500Mhz AMD processor and has 1GB Flash RAM instead of a hard drive, will only use open source software, despite an offer from Apple for it to use Apple's OS-X operating system for free."
TECTONIC: MIT $100 laptop to run Redhat

( Permalink: MIT $100 laptop to run Redhat      Submitted by Noel Sun Nov 27, 2005 )

CLI Magic: netcat
Netcat is a great tool, and this is a well written introduction to it.
"The netcat utility works on the same principle as the cat utility, but over the network. This can be very useful in a number of situations, such as testing remote services, or for use in scripts, or just to copy files over the network. According to one source, you can even clone a hard drive over the network using netcat and dd."
Linux.com | CLI Magic: netcat

( Permalink: CLI Magic: netcat      Submitted by Noel Sat Nov 26, 2005 )

Birth of the PowerBook
Interesting article for those who want to know about Apple history.
"Randy Battat had served as the product manager for the Lisa and watched as the future of personal computing was relegated to the few businesses that could afford such an overpriced computer. Battat supervised the creation of the software used to make the PowerBook operate as efficiently as a portable."
Birth of the PowerBook: How Apple Took Over the Portable Market in 1991

( Permalink: Birth of the PowerBook      Submitted by Noel Sat Nov 26, 2005 )

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years
Excellent article that makes some points worth contemplating.
"Researchers (Hayes, Bloom) have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology. There appear to be no real shortcuts: even Mozart, who was a musical prodigy at age 4, took 13 more years before he began to produce world-class music. In another genre, the Beatles seemed to burst onto the scene with a string of #1 hits and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. But they had been playing small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg since 1957, and while they had mass appeal early on, their first great critical success, Sgt. Peppers, was released in 1967. Samuel Johnson thought it took longer than ten years: "Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price." And Chaucer complained "the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.""
Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

( Permalink: Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years      Submitted by Noel Fri Nov 25, 2005 )

Featured Articles:
Unix and Linux Podcasting Guide

Expect and SSH

The Linux Enterprise Cluster

Book Review: Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide

Remote Backups With Rsync

Weakness and Security

Essential CVS

Spring Into Technical Writing

Other News:
Biodiesel Resources

Older News

Destroy your data with Darik's Boot and Nuke
(Fri Sep 30, 2005)

What is Gluecode and why should I care?
(Fri Sep 30, 2005)

Brute Force: Cracking the Data Encryption Standard
(Fri Sep 30, 2005)

Looking at Quartz
(Fri Sep 30, 2005)

NVIDIA SLI Linux Support
(Thu Sep 29, 2005)

High-Performance Linux Clustering
(Thu Sep 29, 2005)

Partial evaluation with regular expressions
(Thu Sep 29, 2005)

SooperLooper and more
(Thu Sep 29, 2005)

Map Software and a look at WW2D
(Wed Sep 28, 2005)

Build Slick Web sites
(Wed Sep 28, 2005)

Book Review: Pro DNS and BIND
(Wed Sep 28, 2005)

Overview of Firefox
(Tue Sep 27, 2005)

Maximize DB2 Performance on Linux
(Tue Sep 27, 2005)

Janet Theobroma
(Tue Sep 27, 2005)

Review: StarOffice 8
(Tue Sep 27, 2005)

Slackware 10.2 Tips
(Mon Sep 26, 2005)

Tutorial: Ubuntu for servers
(Mon Sep 26, 2005)

Auditor: The security tool collection
(Mon Sep 26, 2005)

Keep your knowledge with OWL!
(Mon Sep 26, 2005)

FreeBSD ACL overview
(Fri Sep 23, 2005)

MySQL Trouble
(Fri Sep 23, 2005)

A Glimpse of SUSE Linux 10.0 and Other Things
(Fri Sep 23, 2005)

Ajax paves the way for better Web applications
(Fri Sep 23, 2005)

Game review: PySol
(Thu Sep 22, 2005)

Linux LDAP Authentication
(Thu Sep 22, 2005)

45 Minutes to a Linux Terminal Server with Fedora
(Thu Sep 22, 2005)

Python: Scaling a new PEAK
(Thu Sep 22, 2005)

Opera Desktop Browser is now free
(Wed Sep 21, 2005)

A Lesson in Encryption
(Wed Sep 21, 2005)

Rescuing a School Technology Program: Linux Thin-C
(Wed Sep 21, 2005)

[Latest News] [Newer News] [Older News]

Our content can be syndicated: Main Page Mac Page
(Validate RSS code)

Copyright 1999-2005 Noel Davis. Noel also runs web sites about sailing and kayaking.
All trademarks are the property of their owners.
All articles are owned by their author