I am everywhere !

Bloghoggers might have noticed I’m a few posts behind. Reason for that are some time-intensive "real world issues" that have the nerve to cobble up my cyberpipes
and have kept me away from my very important digital social life. A
shame I know ! Even with the Blackberry offering at least some lifeline
to my mailbox there is still a gap between the digital world and the
"other one". So i bit the bullet and marched into the phone shop to get
me one of those 3G usb thingamajigs that I can hook up to my laptop(s). " But WHY Knightwise ? " I hear you scream. Are there not enough hotspots, open wifi routers and stray Ethernet
ports available to make sure you are ALWAYS connected ? Good point.
That is true .. most of the time. Except at those very situation where
they are NOT THERE and you simply cannot get online. For that very
scenario I have picked up this little stick. A fallback scenario to
cling to whenwar-driving fails to get me anywhere. When I’m in the middle of the forest somewhere in the south of Belgium and feel the urge to upload some pictures. When i’m in the waiting room of the dentist but am unable to hack into his wireless router to post the tweet that i’m dreading the needle. Stuff like that. As for the price it was pretty cheap. 69 euros for the modem (i could have gotten a used on online coming to think of it) and the fee is 5 euros
a month + 1 euro for every day you log in ( so no matter how many times
you log in at one given day , you pay one euro per day). Since this is
an occasional lifeline that we can use when in desperate need of of a
WAN ip, its not going to be something we need to use everyday. Overall I’m pretty pleased with the speed. Installation on Windows was a breeze (the application and drivers were stored on the modem-stick) For our Macbook Pro I had to download the drivers from the Mobistar website (our phone provider) and for my Ubuntulinux netbook, I found a great how-to
that pointed me to two .deb files that I downloaded and installed and I
was good to go ! 🙂 Awesome ! It took an upgrade of my version of Firefox
to get it all working smoothly , but still I feel much better knowing
that I have a "last line of connectivity" in my briefcase should I run
into a situation where I would need such a thing. So pretty soon i’ll be IRC’ing over an SSH connection while sitting on a patch of moss in the Belgian Ardennes ! Or i’ll launch a cronjob on some remote system in Canada as I use logmein to program my Mac to record a Tv show at home. In short ?  I am omnipresent !

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Cyber Rednecks are the Fall of Facebook.

After a very busy weekend I do want to take a little time to at least do SOME updating of the Blog, for otherwise rumours of my death will once again flourish wildly. My pet peeve today is with our ever so popular and beloved Facebook. Yes, the same Facebook that has decided to anally retract their "not so very successful end user agreement" that stated an " All your content are now belong to us " in legal terms.

That very same Facebook, blind to the fact that the wounds of this petty little skirmisch with their userbase might still be tender, has launched a ‘redesign’ of the Facebook frontpage last week. There had been a flurry of blog posts and twitter-tweets on " How Facebook was looking into your brain by changing the "status question" from : "what are you doing", to "what’s on your mind".   Well let me tell you : With the ever more popularisation of Facebook, there is not a lot "on the mind" of the average Facebook user anyway.

As with all things on the Internet, the early adopting high-tech geeks now have to stand aside as the crowd of dumb-ass n00by users waddle into the halls of this social medium, rudely disturbing the techno-aristocratic tea-party with farts and loud burping. What I mean by this is the fact that Facebook is slowly but surely becoming the domain of the "internet rednecks". That particular demographic of cyber citizens that fills their day by playing Solitaire online, Forwarding stupid Emails that MSN messenger is going to become a paid service. That very type of internet user that spends his or her time taking stupid Facebook quizzes. Never mind the fact they click on every blue  button that reads YES! , SIGN ME UP , INVITE YOUR FRIENDS, INSTALL, NUKE MY SYSTEM,  and what have you. They are also the ones that are responsible for a lot of spam in your Inbox, mostly generated by the myriad of viruses residing on their badly maintained unpatched PRE-SP1 Xp machines.

I’m by far an elitist and love to help people out to find their way online, but I have zero patience for this kinds of folk.

Sending me invites to stupid games, spamming my feed by stupid quizzes you take, shooting me third party Facebook-spam applications and populating my Inbox with virus infected links is a surefire way to get expelled from my Facebook-friends list. No matter if you are my next door neighbour, drinking buddy or my own family: If you fill your day with this kind of crap you are no longer a "cyber-friend" of mine. As I click ignore on the next flurry of invites to games, polls and stupid shit, I sigh deeply when noting that some friends who I hold my the highest regard in "the real world" fill their time online with taking tests on "When will you die" and crap like that. 

Very soon we will lose Facebook to the Cyber-Rednecks. Another medium perverted by their cyber-stupidy, where they can fall into the lurking hands of mallware, spoofing, stupid games and porn. Oh wait : Porn is not allowed on Facebook (yett ? ) so who gives a crap when Facebook turns into the next Myspace. Overrun by binairy baffoons screaming in the empty halls of Facebook, for the teaparty has moved on to the next startup and the cyber aristocrats have left the building. 

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Why stop at one Battlestar : Enter the fanfictioned universe.

The one thing I love about the internet, is that you can always find "more" of whatever interests you. Take for example " Battlestar Galactica " Never mind the fact that the ‘remake’ of the series has both me and Nyana glued to the screen watching episode after episode if we can get our hands on the Dvd boxes, never mind the fact that we have Cylons and Colonial Battlestars staring at us from our computer screen wallpapers.. once the "canon" runs out of content, there is always the INTERNET. Who ever said that when the end credits roll the adventure is over ? Enter the world wide web and its myriad of fan-sites devoted to the wonderful content of your favorite tv-show.

 

 

Some of them are lame, screencaps, spoilers, what-if-scenario’s, Star-wars vs Star Trek discussions and what have you. Some fans go as far as producing their very own spin off of their show (with mixed results) and some sit behind their computer and ‘fill in the gaps’ around the things the writers did not make up in the first place. Since i’m a big Spaceship bud, I went looking for some deckplans of the Battlestar Galactica, to get a general feel of how BIG one of those Battlestars would actually be ? (and to let it fight an Imperial Star Destroyer and 2 Defiant class starships in my own little mind.. only kidding !) What I found instead is this great site where fans and enthusiasts have come up with an entire colonial fleet so the good old Galactica won’t be feeling so alone anymore.

Great to check out and fantastic to read how other people’s imagination give the whole "colonial Universe" an extra dimention.

Link : http://wolfsshipyard.mystarship.com/BSG.html

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Dc202 "A very simple backup script for linux"

In this episode of the knightwise.com Docu-cast series we show you how to build your very own backup script on your linux system. With this script you can automatically create zip-filed-backups of the home folders of all the users on your system. We add some extra security to the mix by making the backup folder a “dropbox” for all your other users. That way they can “drop” files into the backup folder, but are unable to see any other files in the folder that have been put there by other users.

Shownotes.

  • Creating the destination directory.
  • Setting up the correct file permissions with chmod.
  • Writing the script.
  • Testing the script.
  • Automate the Process using Cron.

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Play Classic Dos Games online.

I know how most geeks tend to come to the point of near orgasm when they talk about their powerful machines, fast video cards, heaps of onboard ram and how their system makes big blue cower away in a corner. They tend to boast that their computer can produce more frames per second then the human eye can see, and that their monitor can produce resolutions that makes the display of an HD tv look like its made with Lego Pixels. Yeah.. We all know those stories.

 

 

The funny thing is , if you present said geek with a classic 8 bit game.. He will crumble and fall to the pure nostalgia of classic dos games. So there are tons of emulators out there that you can use. But I have decided i’m going to go with the biggest cross platform emulator of them all. The good old interwebs and the power of Java to present to you : a whole heap of classic dos games that you can play through your browser. Tell your friends and family to go on a holiday to transilvania, because you are going to be wrapped up in this .. for weeks ! 

Click here : http://www.classicdosgames.com/online.php

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Macbook vs Macbook Pro.

Those of you who have been following me on twitter probably know by now that I sold my old generation one Macbook this week. With mixed feelings I reinstalled the little while buddy and took it towards its new owners who were already jumping with joy to get their hands on it. I do say mixed feelings because , aside from being a little sad to say goodbye to the last white apple laptop in the house (we said shalom to our Ibook last year) I am very exited about the next part of the story , the part where I get to buy myself a new toy. Of course I had been looking at the new Unibody Macs for quite some time, but until now I was not very tempted to buy one. (we have a last generation Macbook Pro in the house, and the specs don’t really differ from the later models) And just like the other times Mac came out with a "new model", me and Nyana needed some some time to get used to the new designs (at first we always go .. Yuck ! … and then we change our minds). So with the Macbook gone ( i don’t hold on to hardware longer then two years) its time to go for something new.

 

 

This brings us to the following predicament :  What to buy. At first i was not tempted to buy anything. Cause save for the new casings and the brighter screen, not much had changed since we bought our Macbook pro. So I did some research into what was new about the whole new Apple laptop line. First they were talking about how "sexy they looked".. Ok, i started to agree there. They all looked like the Macbook air, the most overrated overpriced underpowered piece of crap since time began. And then everybody was going on about ‘how they were built" .. I don"t give a frying fuck about how they are built ? I don’t even care if my pizza is made by 24 naked virgins whispering my name as they spread the onions.. If it tastes like crap I can’t be bothered. So after the hype and in the apple-fanboy"s post-orgasmic era I decided to "shop around". 

What I found out was kind of shocking. In short : There was a surprisingly small difference between the higher end Macbook models, and the entry level Macbook pro’s. Browsing around and reading specs I came to the startling conclusion that the gap between the Macbooks and the Pro’s was rapidly shrinking. With the new unibody-body’s there was no longer a "plastic vs Aluminum" gap, and both models sported equally sturdy casings. And when I lined up both models (high end Macbook vs entry level Macbook Pro) the only difference was the addition of a firewire port and a larger screen. So in essence the high end macbook became the super-portable Macbook Pro ? 

So now we come to the question: What to buy. Will I go for a Macbook pro with the larger screen, or for the more compact Macbook and a large external monitor. The ‘road warrior’ in me says to go for the Macbook , small portable and easy to flip out. The multi-media maniac in me is begging for a bigger screen and is shouting ‘PRO PRO PRO’ . So i’m not really sure as to what i’m going to do .. but i’ll keep you posted.

 

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Knightwise on Hacker Public Radio episode 310.

For those of you who don’t know Hacker Public Radio, HPR is a podcast produced by a variety of hosts, that mostly deals with all things geek. Well, maybe its geek-bordering-nerd, because some topics are pretty “down and deep” into the technological side of the story and might not be the greatest pristine pieces of audio production (nor eligible for a grammy). But when it comes to content they are darn good. in the spirit of contributing to the community I have done my own little episode of HPR and added it to their stream. So for those of you interested in a deeply techy talk on using SSH, centerim and screen .. You know where to get it : http://www.hackerpublicradio.org/  or to listen to the episode directly you can click HERE .

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Mellow Monday : 5 Cd's and a Podcast for free.

Some mondays are a little different from other ones. Some mondays you
jump out of bed, shout "Shakaaah" and bang on the walls to wake up your
neighbours to make them enthousiastic about the upcoming week. You race
downstairs and (after twittering ‘HELLO WORLD’) open the door and yell
"Hello World" into "meatspace" (referred to as ‘the real world’) You
jump into your car and dive straight into the work thats waiting for
you in the office, and empty out your inbox, resolving every problem
that had been lurking in there once and for all. During your coffee
break you scribble down the cure for cancer on a post-it note and
accomplish peace in the middle east after mediating the conflicting
sides over MSN Messenger.

 

 

And … some mondays are not like
tha
t. Upon waking up you feel like awakening from a very pleasant coma
into a horrible cold world. Talking to people is not an option (your
grumpy morning mood is a match for a Slovakian Assasin) and your
workplace is concidered a target for a thermonuclear test-strike. So in
order to "survive your day" some nice music would go a long way. Today
I’m in one of these mellow monday moods where I need a auditory
firewall between me and my surroundings. Where i’m not quite ready yett
for the assault of "everyday life" and need to have some nice mellow
music to "faze me into the working week".

One of the podcasts that never fails to deliver is my good friends TC’s
podcast called " Spacemusic.nl " where he plays great sets of ambient
music from a variety of artists. So please go and subscribe to
www.spacemusic.nl if you want some great chilly tunes. Some of the
artists featured even offer their music for free , as for example these
5 albums from Generall Fuzz . There .. 5 free cd’s and a podcast to
cheer up your monday morning blues.

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Dc201 "Installing Bashpodder"

How about a PDF-manual in your feed to explain how to use and install the mighty simple program of bashpodder. Follow the step by step instruction to install bashpodder, a command line based podcatcher on your linux system. After that, go one step beyond and automate the entire process via CRON. Set when and where you want to get your podcasts downloaded and let technology work for you.

Shownotes.

  • Downloading Bashpodder
  • Installing Bashpodder
  • Configuring what podcasts to download
  • Check your downloads
  • Automate the Process using Cron.

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Afraid to Slide ? Get some Air !

A lot of people are afraid to use another operating system. Some people are afraid to embrace something that is different then the thngs they know. And coming to think of it, I can understand them. There are lists upon lists out there that give you "alternatives" Alternative operating systems to Windows, alternative programs to Word, Excell, Internet Exlplorer and so forth. It seems that whenever we want to switch operating systems we also need to get used to new applications to do the same thing. And coming to think about it . Why should we ! If an operating system is indeed a "transparent tool" to help us get things done, why can’t we use the exact same applications on EVERY operating system.

Enter "middleware" In the professional side of the IT business, middleware is software that connects one kind of "back-end systems" (like for example AS400 ) to front end software like for example an http interface or something. Middleware is something that is also available to switchers (or should i say "sliders", like us) One of those is ADOBE AIR, a "middle ware software" that enables programmers to develop software application for the "middle ware software" while Adobe desings the "air platform" to run on both Linux, Osx and Windows.

 


 

One of my favourite Applications on the ADOBE AIR platform Must be Tweetdeck. The multi-column approach to reading tweets, following people and more importantly keeping tabs on keywords and searches.

So if you want to go ahead and give it a try, its pretty easy to do.

Download adobe air for the Mac and the Pc HERE , and if you need to get it going in ubuntu (its very easy) follow THIS howto. After that , download Tweetdeck and hit install. !

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