We’re back and getting ready for another season of geeky goodness on the Knightwise.com podcast. Come check out this latest edition, and find out where to connect with the community as we’ve done a little house cleaning.
This week Knightwise dives back into a topic to help you make better use of hostile foreign computers. With the proliferation of high-speed high-capacity USB thumb drives it’s easier than ever before to carry your computing workload with you and run your life from a stick.
We kick off season 7 of the Knightwise.com podcast with an extra long episode of the Knightwise.com podcast. Since we are proud to announce we joined the ranks of the Podnutz podcast network and are now reaching out to many more podcast listeners across the world .. it was time for a treat. This week you get a slightly obese episode of the Knightwise.com podcast (Over 90 Minutes) as we showcase an episode of “Podnutz Daily” where Cody Cooper interviewed me about cross platform tech support. So perk up your ears and get ready for the next season of Knightwise.com.
If I have learned one thing over the last couple of weeks is that although all good things in life are free, free doesn’t always last forever. With the sudden demise of Google reader (and the associated apocalypse for all of my fancy social-media-autoposting scripts) I’ve decided that my trust in ‘free cloud services’ is something that no longer comes by default. Lets face it : In any free online product that offers you a service without any visible revenue model, YOU are the product .. not the client. Its like that with Facebook, Google+, Gmail and so forth. You are in some form or another the “product” they brior whatever else they might think of : You make THEM money and THEY have no obligation whatsoever to keep the service (and your dng into the service in order to make money for their “Clients”. (Usually advertisers) If this is in the form of adds, your personal information ata/information/etc) available to you. Add to that that some of these services thread loosely around issues like “Privacy” and you need to start wondering : Would I not be better of doing this on my own.
One of these services that personally springs to mind is : Dropbox. Its free online storage offering us a cross platform solution for herding our files across multiple systems. But meanwhile that data also resides on “some server” “somewhere”. Equally tied into my workflows like “Google Reader” the loss of Dropbox would be a serious problem. Any alternatives ?
Owncloud is a beautiful solution that gives you just that. Run your own owncloud server and have clients on most operating systems. Access your files, contacts and (private) calendars from anywhere. Free and open source it has the downside of being a little tech-intensive when you want to set it up. (You need an Apache server and there is some tinkering involved when it comes to securing your traffic).
BUT : Now there is Bittorrent Sync and the setup is quite simple. You sync folders on your different machines using the power of Bittorrent. Yes the same protocol that rushes Linux ISO’s and illegal copies of pron dvd’s our way now helps us to get our files across.
HOW : Install the client on your different machines (all flavors of Linux, Windows and OSX are supported) and tell it what folder to sync. You will be offered a “secret password” that you will need to use when you ‘add’ a machine to your sync cloud and voila : there are your files.
No Cloud required : The good ? : No cloud required : you sync files between YOUR machines without the need for cloud storage with a third party. I would recommend choosing a “master system” that is always online to make sure a recent copy of “everything” resides at least somewhere. The bad ? : This stuff is pretty new, so I would not recommend using it for personal or financial data until it “matures” a bit.
We close of the year (and season 4 of Knightwise.com) with the video coverage we shot at the “Softlaunch” event of Belgians first ‘Internet only’ TV-Content provider : Weepee.tv. You Cable-Cutters can watch and learn what it is, how to get it, how it works and what other geeks might think of it. Will this be the death of classic television for geeks or just a fab ? Find out in KW408.
One of the machines I use on a daily basis is my 11.6 inch Macbook Air. I love power and the portability of the system and the fact that it is downright so small and sexy it easily fits into my compact but efficient “mobile setup”. The one thing I don’t like on it is the fact it ONLY comes with OSX. Who would I be if I were to be satisfied with that. Being a cross platform slider I just had to add another OS to the mix : Ubuntu !
Installing Ubuntu on Mac hardware is not that hard, but it is also very tricky. Because of the fact Apple is not very open about its hardware, Linux developers need to “figure out” the hardware drivers themselves, to make things like the sound, wifi and videocard work out of the box once you install. The downside is that when it SEEMS like everything is working .. things might not be so great for your system after all. Take friend of the show Jay who installed Ubuntu 12.04 on his new Macbook pro. It looked like everything worked but the laptop got extremely hot after a couple of hours. The problem ? “Under the hood” drivers. Aside from the drivers in operation you “See and Hear” (Videocard, soundcard) working fine, You also need to make sure that things like temperature control and Cpu kernell things are up to snuff with your mac. Otherwise things could get nasty and you end up damadging your hardware.
One of the tutorials I found to make my setup work just perfect has recently been update to the latest version of Ubuntu. This article on Make Tech easier gives you a step by step howto on creating a bootable Usb disk, installing the os and setting everything up right (including those vital “under the hood” drivers) to make your installation go smoothly. If you are planning to slide your Mac over to the “purple-brown side” you grab the special script linked in the article and store it offline for safe keeping. An essential manual for any slider or anyone wants to get the best experience, running Ubuntu on your mac.
Another great tip from long time friend of the show Sharky, has our collective ‘significant others’ moaning in distress. Lets face it people : If somebody told you you got to fly a Viper in the Battlestar Galactica universe, things like girlfriends, day-jobs, work, food and even to some extent breathable air , become secondary concerns. Remembering the massive plain of molten glass that was “our social life” after watching all 5 seasons of BSG back2back, being able do “dive back in” with this game .. is scary.
And so it should be. This beautiful game has been four years in the making by a dedicated team of programmers who must also have slipped into social oblivion if you see the level of detail this game has to offer. Not only can you fly your own Viper and ‘Kill some Toasters” ( I mean : being able to do that is a life goal .. right there !) The magic wands behind this game even give you the ability to do combat landings. YES ! Combat landings ! So spice up on your Colonial Shoptalk and be willing to “take some Ferlon” to go “Frack around” and “Nuke some Toasters” …
Oh speaking of Colonial Shoptalk. Do you have your Visa card out for this ? Ready to spend some Cubits ? (Perhaps you first need to place some bets on the Caprica Buccaneers to make sure) Well .. put it back because this game is FREE !
And you know the next level of goodness here don’t you. No need to have an expensive game console or be tied down to a specific operating system. Diaspora is available for the Mac, Linux and OSX … so you can do some multiplayer goodness with your Cross platform buddies.. So say we all !
We geek out in our project of putting an old G4 iMac back in circulation by looking for the best solution to install a recent operating system on its older hardware. We debate the best strategy, choose a distribution and give you tips and tricks on how to install it and what you can do with the result. Another fun filled tech-packed episode of the Knightwise.com podcast.
You start noticing you are getting old when things like “20th anniversary of” start popping up all around you. And with that I don’t mean the 20th anniversary of your retarded cousin (who you thought would kill himself by endlessly going around a revolving door) but things like GAMES. Games YOU used to play when you were a kid. Games that were “adult” enough they didn’t include my little ponies and those friggin Carebears. Things like Wolfenstein 3D. Yes , you remember running round this maze in what could be described as the first first-person shooter where you could frag Nazi’s to your hearts contempt. Perhaps not very historically friendly to my German speaking neighbors who would frown at the concept of Adolf Hitler coming at you guns blazing, nor the perfect gift on your jiddish friends bar mitswa, Wolfenstein 3D was awesome to play.
it marked the beginning of Shareware where a game like this, not tied down with copy protection and drm management ( also referred to as hackerporn ) could stand the test of time by being freely distributed throughout the internet. You can still find versions of the original Wolfenstein 3D to play ( I think you need dosbox on Windows ) and you can find everything you need HERE.
But what if you own a Linux machine (or an Ubuntu machine) ? “Linux is just for nerds” you say ? Why I beg to get my luftwaffe and differ : You can fast forward fifteen years and download “Wolfenstein enemy territory” An action packed pixel free first person reincarnation of the classic Wolfenstein 3D. Curious ? For those of you who think that Linux nerds are bearded guru’s , check out the action in Enemy territory in this little video.