The Lone Geek Blog

One geek in a sea of nerds.


Linux Tips: Caching in Ram

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If you’re like me, you’re probably running linux on a SSD and wish to reduce the amount of writes as much as possible to prolong the life of your SSD and if you regularly view image or video files in your file browser than this tip is for you.

My file browser, or nemo as it’s called, saves it’s thumbnails in ~/.cache/thumbnails. This folder can get quite big if you happen to browse folders full of images every day. Lucky for us, we have a built in ramdisk to store them in.

So, simply make a directory and symlink it like so:

mkdir /dev/shm/thumbnails
ln -s /dev/shm/thumbnails ~/.cache/thumbnails

You can set your computer to create this folder in the ramdisk at boot time and you’re good to go.

Cheers! :)

Bootable USB Swiss Army Knife

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If you’re in the computer repair business then good valuable tools are nice to have around. Especially if you fit them all onto one little usb flash drive.

  • CentOS x86_64 Minimal
  • Clonezilla (Clone Hard Drives and SSDs)
  • Dan’s Boot ‘n Nuke (Wipe out them pesky bits on the hard drive. :) )
  • FreeDOS
  • Gparted Live (Standalone Partition Editor)
  • Hiren’s Boot CD
  • Kali Linux (For the “hacker” in you. :P)
  • Linux Mint or your distribution of choice.
  • Memtest86+
  • NTpasswd (Reset windows passwords)
  • Ophcrack (Cracking simple passwords. Your mileage may vary.)
  • Puppy Linux (A small but simple Linux Distribution)
  • System Rescue CD
  • TinyCore (Another small Linux Distribution)
  • VMware ESXI (Could come in handy)
  • Windows Defender Offline

The tool I used to stuff all this onto a flash drive is called YUMI. So many tools can be crammed onto a 32GB flash drive and have spaced left over. I suppose more can be added but I also have 4 different versions of Kali Linux and Linux Mint 32bit and 64bit versions, 2 editions each.

Bonus points if you make all those bootable over the network for say a small network of customer computers. :)

Backing Up Data, the Easy Way

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I think we can all agree that backing up data is important for one’s most irreplaceable data, such as family photos or important documents and such. There can be big consequences to not doing it and data recovery for even just a few gigabytes can easily cost several thousand dollars. So, I’m going to suggest a few programs I like to use to make life a little easier.

A Cloud9 Review

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I would like to talk a little bit about coding in the cloud. A few weeks ago I discovered the world of cloud IDEs and thought, “What a wonderful way to write.”. Of course, everything is not without it’s limits but it does the job.

Linux vs Windows

The Eternal Battle

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Today, I’m going to talk about a little comparison of Windows and Linux. Specifically, Microsoft Windows 10 and Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon.

For the past few weeks, I have been using both systems - Linux on my Desktop, Windows on my Laptop. I find both to be lacking features that could otherwise make a very nice system. You don’t notice these differences if you stick to one or the other but I want to attempt to describe these subtle differences.

Switched Rear Power Ports

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A little something I did for my pc I shall attempt to describe the process. On my computer, I have rigged up 3 4-pin molex connectors on the rear panel of my case that are wired to 3 switches mounted in a spare 5.25” bay. There is a 4th switch that is intended for internal lighting if I wanted at a future date. I presently have them wired to output 12v to both power pins on each connector. The switches draw their power from a spare PCIE power connector on the power supply, 2 12v wires to power 4 switches. Yes, this can be dangerous but as long as I connect only 12v devices, no worries.

I originally wanted to wire up relays to feed 5v to the appropriate pins but I wanted solid state relays and haven’t gotten any yet. It can still be rewired to support this but for now, it’s powering a set of external hard drives.

To put it simply, you have PCIE power to switch to molex connector. 2 grounds from the pcie connector go to 3 ground pins each on the molex connectors, a 3rd ground goes to the switch leds for illumination. There is a 3rd power connection that could be used at a later date.

A New Site. Yet Again.

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So I’ve decided to start a new blog. Something simpler, easier to maintain. Maybe use it to document something. I don’t know. It’s powered by Octopress, as you can see in the footer. :) I’m hosting it on GitHub and editing on a cloud based IDE called, Cloud9.

It’s pretty cool. You get unlimited workspaces for all you development needs, 5 gigs of space, 1gb of ram, per workspace for free. Each workspace is based on Ubuntu and pretty much gives you a full system minus a few caveats. There’s no ssh access aside from the IDE’s connection to the server. There’s 3 public ports you can run services on to preview things.

Testing Octopress

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Attention! Attention! This is a test! I repeat, this is a test!

Do not turn away or adjust your screen. You will not be harmed. :)

This is a test of a public broadcasting system.