Setting up a software RAID on Linux Debian based distros such as Ubuntu is surprisingly easy.  And these days, software RAID arrays are nearly as efficient as hardware raids without the drawback of having your data inaccessible if the hardware RAID controller goes haywire.  This tutorial outlines the basics for setting up a software RAID array using mdadm on an existing previously installed Ubuntu system. Continue reading “Tutorial: mdadm Software RAID on Ubuntu / Debian Systems” »

While malware and viruses on Linux machines are quite rare, on Windows dual boot machines it can be useful to have a scanner that can evaluate the Windows installations while booted into Linux. In this article, the installation and usage for several workstation product are detailed, using the free-for-personal-use or trial editions on Linux Mint 15 + MATE on a 64 bit Intel machine. Continue reading “Review: Anti-virus Scanners for Linux Workstations (Part 1)” »

Video card set up on Linux can be extremely daunting if the automatic process or graphical tools don’t deliver.  Worse, there are numerous incorrect, incomplete or contradictory sources on the web on how to accomplish this.  In this article we hope to make it clear how to set up multiple Nvidia chipset based video cards and monitors on a single computer using X. Continue reading “Multiple Nvidia Video Cards & Monitors on Linux Mint 15 MATE” »

Google has a history of launching products and services, only to abandon them and their users a short while later (the “Google Graveyard”).  In that vein, Google has just pulled the plug on Google Checkout (a payment processing platform that a lot of online retailers use, from small businesses to huge online retailers like NewEgg).  Google offers a solemn marketing speak apology and mentions that if you sell digital goods (i.e., Android apps) you can switch to Google Wallet instead.  However this can’t hide the fact that they’re leaving a large number of businesses that don’t have their own payment processors already in the lurch with just six months notice … not a classy move.  While retiring something like Google Reader only affected consumers’ convenience, retiring Google Checkout impacts a lot of businesses’ day to day operations.  It’s this policy of simply leaving users in the lurch that has now spurred me from being a Google ecosystem booster to now warning businesses to rely on Google business services only when absolutely necessary, and never for mission critical services. Continue reading “Google: Don’t Rely on their Business Services” »

While Windows XP has already reached end of life support (April 2009) and is reaching it’s end of extended support in less than a year (April 2014), it is still in use by a large number of Windows users – 39% as of February 2013.  Many people are happy with it’s level of performance and have no desire to relearn how to use it, as Windows 7 requires to some degree and Windows 8 Metro does to a high degree.  However, some users still want to see the performance increases and benefits that can be accrued from upgrades such as solid state drives.  So without further ado, here’s some tips to maximize your Windows XP performance after migrating to an SSD. Continue reading “Tips for Migrating Windows XP to an SSD” »

With Windows XP when you experiment with installing other operating systems such as Linux, moving partitions or cloning disks you run the risk of rendering your system unbootable via corrupting your MBR, not copying the MBR over to a new disk, or by overwriting the Microsoft bootloader with GRUB.  Then when you try to boot Windows XP, you may see messages such as “BOOTMGR is missing” or “No boot device“.  This is easily fixable with a bootable Windows XP installation CD. Continue reading “How to Reinstall the Windows XP Bootloader” »

Sometimes you need to access the local Administrator account on a Windows XP, Vista or 7 machine, but either password was set and never recorded anywhere you have access, or it was just forgotten or lost.  If you have no other recourse than trying to hack your way in, there are a couple easy ways to access the Administrator account for Windows XP, and one for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Continue reading “How to Change a Windows Administrator Account Password” »

Since Honeycomb, Android devices have starting using MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) instead of the straight up USB Mass Storage (UMS) file transfer system – creating massive headaches for most Linux users and not a few Windows users as well.  And since it’s become the standard since Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus, it’s something any Linux & Android user is going to have to be able to cope with.  Fortunately, it’s quite easy to get this working. Continue reading “Mounting your MTP Android’s SD Card on Ubuntu” »

Today TechCrunch featured the article “Android Accounted For 79% Of All Mobile Malware In 2012, 96% In Q4 Alone, Says F-Secure“. Quite the sensationalist title, and a quick read of the actual “report” (PDF) shows that these are pretty dodgy statistics.  In fact, the “report” is more marketing material than anything else:  it lots of pretty pictures of people using phones, low level language use and even an ad at the end of it for their mobile security suite.  What this looks like is that the author didn’t thoroughly read the report and just copied and pasted the nicely coloured charts.  Or perhaps she just wanted to get the most eyeballs she could via the sensationalist title and content.  Either way it’s definitely poor journalism as there are some pretty blatant issues with the “report” that are completely ignored by the author: Continue reading “FUD and Sensationalism from F-Secure on Android Malware Numbers” »

Recently we needed to re-purpose an Ubuntu workstation as a server.  Since it was already running some of the services the server was to provide, we didn’t want to wipe & reinstall but instead just disable the graphical environment service on start up and boot to a text based terminal.  Fortunately there’s an easy and elegant solution for this that persists across updates. Continue reading “Linux: Disable GUI on Start Up” »