NTFS Partition Repair and Recovery In Linux

Once again we find ourselves in the unenviable position of bailing out one of our Windows friends/family/acquaintances/business associates or other assorted persons. Although we don’t have their particular day to day challenges, we do often find that we are the “go to” person when they have issues. Heaven forbid, we may have even had our own issues with our Windows partition/drive (after all, we have to game sometime and despite the efforts of Steam, Linux just isn’t a gamer’s dream yet). Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios that may come up that we can fix with our handy Linux distribution and some of the NTFS partition recovery tools at our disposal.

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Linux Desktop: Alternative Disk Layouts

Installing Linux on the desktop has largely become a “no brainer”. The installation routines of all major distributions have really matured to the point where you literally answer a few basic questions (a little more involved than Windows, but not much) and then you have a fully functional Linux desktop. However, that ease of installation has come with a bit of a price. Installing your system with the defaults can limit your flexibility when it comes layout and segregation (for backups). Today we will talk about some of the options for laying out your desktop storage a bit more “old school”.

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mars rover

Graphic Artist uses GIMP to Visualize KSR's Red Mars

Space elevator cable rising from Mars in the town of Sheffield, as depicted by Kim Stanley Robinson in Red Mars. Made with GIMP by Ludovic Celle.
Space elevator cable rising from Mars in the town of Sheffield, as depicted by Kim Stanley Robinson in Red Mars. Made with GIMP by Ludovic Celle.

Graphic artist Ludovic Celle has been an open source convert for about 10 years. His first step was trading in Windows for Unbuntu. A couple years after that, transitioned from programs like Sketchup and Photoshop to an open source arsenal of Blender, Inkscape, and GIMP. His artwork is proof of the unsung creative muscle of open source software.

In 2007, Celle read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars and has been compelled to create images about the book ever since. He primarily uses images from Wikimedia Commons of deserts and mountains for these photo manipulations. Fourteen of his Red Mars images are currently on exhibit at the central library in Grenoble, France. The images are large ranging in size from 40 cm (15 in) to 140 cm (55 in) wide, with a photomosaic, made from 588 images, that is 240 cm (94 in) wide. With images so large it can be easy to miss some of the smaller details like Mars settlers walking through vast deserts, people in the windows of bamboo habitats, and the buildings that populate the domed settlements.

 

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Preparing For The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level Exam

Amazon Web Services has done nothing short of disrupting the traditional data center paradigm. Large corporations to small startups are testing, prototyping, and sometimes flat out converting large scale data centers to Amazon Web Servers. Running applications on Amazon Web Services isn’t exactly the same as running them in traditional hosting environments. In some ways it feels the same and in others it feels, well, incredibly better.

With AWS we can build our applications on top of a scaleable and elastic, fault tolerant infrastructure that helps react automatically to any change in demand for your app. Here is the most common misconception of the cloud, it’s not magical. It doesn’t just “do everything for you”. You still need to build on it, code it, automate it, configure it, network it, and everything else. You just do it differently now. To help prepare organizations and individuals for this process, Amazon recently announced a certificate program called AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to sit in on this exam and pass it on the first try. Without breaking any NDA’s I agreed to while taking the exam, I’m going to attempt to help you “prepare” for the exam. After reading several other posts on the internet, I notice that they are pushing you disproportionately towards services such as VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). Lets see if we can’t clear a few things up and help you prepare for this exam.

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My Favorite Linux Tools for Windows

Let’s face it, no matter how much we wish that it weren’t true or how much we try to avoid it, we all have to use Windows some time. In fact, if you work in Information Technology, odds are you have to use it more than you would like. You may even be forced to use it on your local desktop, either by corporate policy or because some Windows application won’t run in Linux, native or Wine. So, let’s talk about some tools and applications that we can use in Windows that either make it more “Linux-like” or facilitate our access and administration of Linux.

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The Cron Daemon

Scheduling Recurring Tasks on Linux Using Cron

Cron is a daemon used to schedule any kind of task you can imagine.  It is useful to send out emails on system or program statistics, do regular system maintenance, make backups, or do any task you can think of.  There are similar programs on other Operating Systems.  On Mac OS X, cron has been replaced with another daemon called launchd.  On Windows you have the aptly named “Task Scheduler”.  If you are craving a GUI for Linux, Gnome-based systems like Ubuntu, include Gnome Schedule which acts as a nice front end for cron.

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