Custom Linux install ISOs from Instalinux (built on LinuxCOE)

LinuxCOE

LinuxCOE is a powerful set of tools recently open sourced by Hewlett Packard including

  • A CGI-based network install image generator (System Designer)
  • A profile manager to store custom install images
  • A retrofit process to configure machines to use LinuxCOE processes for patch and package management

What is LinuxCOE System Designer?

Well according to HP’s SourceForge.net page

LinuxCOE System Designer is a CGI-based web application that allows a user to create localized network boot images.”

What it actually does is allow you to create custom ISO files that you can use to do things like a hands free install or customize the optional packages that are installed or to perform a network install.

Instalinux has a great setup on their LinuxCOE System Designer site here

or if you’re feeling extra ambitious you can install the LinuxCOE System Designer yourself. Get it from SourceForge here
It’s a great way to get new users into linux and show them that it can be as easy to install and use as Windows.

IDE to SATA with no Windows or Linux Reinstall

I recently had the pleasure of finally upgrading my Hard Disks from IDE to SATA.

For those who don’t know what SATA is or why I would want to upgrade to it go HERE before continuing.

Well on my system I have Fedora Core 4 and Windows XP setup in a dual boot configuration where Fedora Core 4 is on the Primary “master” 150 GB IDE drive and Windows XP is on the Primary “slave” 40 GB IDE drive. Now my problem was I didn’t feel like reinstalling both operating systems and all my applications all over again so what I decided to do was to try and clone my drives exactly as the were onto the 2 new SATA drives (300 GB and 250 GB respectively). And here’s what I did.

Continue reading IDE to SATA with no Windows or Linux Reinstall

Forensic Thwarting Tools

boom

Via Digg I found a site that has an excellent compendium of tools that can aid you in rendering a computer difficult or impossible to recover useful forensic evidence from. The tools listed on this site are intended to be used for educational purposes and in defining problems with existing forensic software and methods so that more effective software and methods can be developed.

Many of these tools stem from the fact that most OS’s don’t actually remove data when you delete a file they simply flag that area as available to the OS for writing. So even if you remove a file the data is still on your hard-drive. Many tools like fwipe or srm not only unlink the file but write over it with null or random bits. This effectively destroys the data.

Check out the list of tools over at www.networkintrusion.co.uk

Jack Thomson misses the point yet again.

BigHair

Read the Interview at www.netjak.com

Today I had the displeasure of reading another damning interview of Jack Thompson. King of doublespeak and master reality contortionist. Jack ends this interview with this incredibly insightful and ignorant quote.

put down the controller and get a life. Video gaming is an escapist activity and you’re being exploited by these companies. It’s not healthy; I worry about someone who would play Grand Theft Auto for ten hours a day. It’s a masturbatory activity, and it would be better if people put down the controller and went outside.”

Listen to yourself Jack I completely agree with one point, that is that video games are an escapist activity. But on the same side of the coin, so are movies, plays, operas, ballets, music, fictional literature and magicians. And I’m sure Jack himself partakes in at least a couple of those. There is nothing wrong with escapist activities that’s the whole point of entertainment. To allow us to experience things that we normally wouldn’t in our everyday lives. Can Jack simply write off Macbeth or Hamlet as escapist?

This brings me to point two, (which incidentally has been ignored be anti new media zealots like Jack) violence in media has been around since the beginning of time. We start with the Bible and brutal tales of parents killing their children, people being literally crucified and inciting violence against an ethnic group (the Jewish people). Then we move on to more modern works like the works of Shakespeare as I mentioned before with young lovers committing suicide{Romeo and Juliet}, a son killing his mother and uncle {Hamlet}, the list goes on. We don’t restrict these works from children, in fact we encourage it!

Jacks rants, lack of insight and general idiocy towards the subject only serve to confuse the masses to further his own political ends and desire to be in the public eye.

The ignorance of this Q and A is what really irks me.

32_Footsteps: So you mean to say, if Take Two specifically refused to market towards kids, and instructed retailers to not sell games like Grand Theft Auto to minors, you would not object to the game?

Jack Thompson: Well, I’d still have issues with the game on moral grounds, of course. However, if they stopped their marketing towards kids and instructed retailers like that, I wouldn’t take any action against the company.”

That’s what the game companies are already doing you raving jackass! Software companies tag their products by choice with ESRB ratings to give buyers and retailers an indication on what age group this game is appropriate for. Just like the MPAA ratings it’s voluntary ! Go after the retailers who don’t enforce those rating as effectively as the movie theaters do instead of the game makers who’s job it is to make product that will sell.

And lastly my trademark rant that this is ultimately the parents responsibility. My parents did it their parents did it before them and so on. It’s a parents responsibility to know what their child is doing and who they’re doing it with. My parents had no trouble keeping track of me. It’s idiocy to say the parent is not responsible, 13 year old Jimmy can’t work he’s too young to legally so where’s he getting that $60 to buy GTA? How’s he getting to the Mall to buy it? The answer to these questions and more is Mom and/or Dad. Where’s the fight against negligent and neglectful parents? That would solve a multitude of problems instead of just one. But that wouldn’t curry public favour as much as targeting an “”Evil”” corporation.

In closing I want to say trying to ban video games is no different than burning books. Think back throughout history to look at the civilizations (if you can call them that) that partook in that kind of activity. Jack Thompson is a book burner in my opinion and I hope to see more people realize that.

MacWorld SF 2005 Announcements

Well another MacWord but not just any announcements. This year Apple delivered the highly anticipated Intel Mac’s staring with the iMac sporting a spiffy new Intel Core Duo that preforms 2-3X faster than the old G5 chip (Steve reports that prices will remain the same) The new intel iMac also reportedly includes an ATI x1600 graphics card.

intel iMac

The other big announcement hardware wise is the death of the powerbook line. Don’t worry it’s being replaced by the MacBook Pro. a 5.6lb notebook that’s 4-5x faster than the old powerbook G4 machines. It has a magnetic power adapter to prevent dragging the notebook off of a table when charging (it just detaches), it is also equiped with an IR sensor, iSight, Front Row and is a hair thinner than the 17″ powerbook;

667 DDR bus.new intel macbook
ATI x1600 Graphics card.

$1999 (USD)1.67GHz.
$2499 (USD)1.83GHz.

MacBook AppleStore

iMac Applestore

Other announcements include a remote/fm reciever for the iPod, iLife ’06 including iDVD and iWeb, updates to .mac and bringing Tiger to 10.4.4.

http://www.apple.com for all the other announcements