Batch Renaming using KRename

Peter from FOSSwire has a nice article on using KRename to rename a set of files.

Renaming a big set of files can be a right chore. For example, if you’ve just imported a set of digital photos, they’ll usually have really unhelpful and undescriptive filenames such as DSC_0000.jpg.

KRename is a graphical tool for KDE that attempts to make the process of batch renaming a large set of files a whole lot more bearable.

Read more..

10 Good UNIX Usage Habits

Michael Stutz has a very nice article on IBM that covers 10 Good UNIX Usage Habits for the command line.

Adopt 10 good habits that improve your UNIX® command line efficiency — and break away from bad usage patterns in the process. This article takes you step-by-step through several good, but too often neglected, techniques for command-line operations. Learn about common errors and how to overcome them, so you can learn exactly why these UNIX habits are worth picking up.

Here is an example:

Make directory trees in a single swipe

Listing 1 illustrates one of the most common bad UNIX habits around: defining directory trees one at a time.

Listing 1. Example of bad habit #1: Defining directory trees individually

~ $ mkdir tmp
~ $ cd tmp
~/tmp $ mkdir a
~/tmp $ cd a
~/tmp/a $ mkdir b
~/tmp/a $cd b
~/tmp/a/b/ $mkdir c
~/tmp/a/b/ $ cd c
~/tmp/a/b/c $

It is so much quicker to use the -p option to mkdir and make all parent directories along with their children in a single command. But even administrators who know about this option are still caught stepping through the subdirectories as they make them on the command line. It is worth your time to conscientiously pick up the good habit:

Listing 2. Example of good habit #1: Defining directory trees with one command

~ $ mkdir -p tmp/a/b/c

You can use this option to make entire complex directory trees, which are great to use inside scripts; not just simple hierarchies. For example:

Listing 3. Another example of good habit #1: Defining complex directory trees with one command

~ $ mkdir -p project/{lib/ext,bin,src,doc/{html,info,pdf},demo/stat/a}

In the past, the only excuse to define directories individually was that your mkdir implementation did not support this option, but this is no longer true on most systems. IBM, AIX®, mkdir, GNU mkdir, and others that conform to the Single UNIX Specification now have this option.

For the few systems that still lack the capability, use the mkdirhier script (see Resources), which is a wrapper for mkdir that does the same function:
~ $ mkdirhier project/{lib/ext,bin,src,doc/{html,info,pdf},demo/stat/a}

Read more..

Mirror websites using HTTrack

If you are looking for a reliable software application that will mirror a website for offline use, I suggest HTTrack. It is available for Windows 95/98/NT/2K/XP, Linux/Unix/BSD, and MacOSX.

HTTrack is an easy-to-use offline browser utility. It allows you to download a World Wide website from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting html, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site’s relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the “mirrored” website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.

Comparison of Free Games for Linux

Linux-gamers.net has a great comparison of free software shooters on Linux.

There have been many free software first-person shooters (FPS) projects over the years, from modded Doom and Quake engines to enhance the existing games (ezQuake, EGL, ZDoom), to free art packs such as OpenQuartz or OpenArena. In 2002, along came Cube, a single and multiplayer FPS based on its own engine, including artwork, maps, models and an ingame map editor. In the freeware (and Linux compatible!) world a little-known game called Legends, a Tribes-inspired game, appeared yet remained closed-source. Filling the FPS gap in the open-source world has usually been left up to commercial companies who release their games with Linux support (i.e. Doom3, Unreal Tournament 2004, Loki Software’s work) or freeware games produced by commercial studios(i.e. America’s Army, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory) or simply running Windows games run via wine. In the last few years a few built-from-scratch community-based FPS projects, most built on the GPLed Quake engines, have popped up, among them are Tremulous, Alien Arena, Nexuiz, and War§ow. Some have kept their art assets under a closed license (War§ow), while others have also released their art under an OSS license (Nexuiz), I consider both categories free software since well, software refers to programs, code and procedures, not artwork. For this comparison, we’ll take a look at active, robust and community-developed free software shooters. Most released free software shooters are designed for multiplayer, a logical step for a game developed in an online community, however most also feature a bot-based single-player mode. While others have compared such games before, this feature seeks to be a little more thorough and go a step further, ranking the following seven games: Alien Arena, Nexuiz, OpenArena, Sauerbraten, Tremulous, War§ow, and World of Padman. In ranking these games, gameplay, design, innovation and presentation (in that order) will be held as primary criteria.

Read more..

5 Free Linux Backup Solutions

If you’ve ever lost data due to a system crash, you know how crucial backing up important files can be. Here are 5 Linux Backup Solutions you should check out. I recommend you implement at least one of these Linux Backup Solutions before it’s too late.

rsync

There are tons of Linux users and administrators out there who have customized rsync scripts to handle incremental backups automatically on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. From the manual, rsync is described as a program that behaves in much the same way that rcp does, but has many more options and uses the rsync remote-update protocol to greatly speed up file transfers when the destination file is being updated. The rsync remote-update protocol allows rsync to transfer just the differences between two sets of files across the network connection, using an efficient checksum-search algorithm described in the technical report that accompanies this package.

Here are a few resources for learning how to set up a Linux backup solution using rsync:

http://www.mikerubel.org/computers/rsync_snapshots/

http://finmath.uchicago.edu/~wilder/Security/rsync/

http://www.sanitarium.net/golug/rsync_backups.html

mondorescue

Mondorescue backs up your GNU/Linux server or workstation to tape, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R[W], DVD+R[W], NFS or hard disk partition. In the event of catastrophic data loss, you will be able to restore all of your data [or as much as you want], from bare metal if necessary. Personally, I like using Mondorescue to create DVD disk images of my system periodically. Upon initial installation and configuration of my Linux or Windows machine, I create a DVD disk image with Mondo so that if anything ever gets screwed up, I can pop in the DVD disk and restore back to my original configuration. The mondorescue team is great and the lead developers of the project are very active on the public mailing list offering help to normal users whenever needed.

Simple Backup Suite (Ubuntu, Gnome)

If you’re running Ubuntu Linux and are looking for a quick backup solution, I suggest checking out Simple Backup Suite, or sbackup for short. Simple Backup Suite is a simple backup solution intended for desktop use. It can backup any subset of files and directories. Exclusions can be defined by regular expressions. A maximum individual file size limit can be defined. Backups may be saved to any local and remote directories that are supported by gnome-vfs. There is a Gnome GUI interface for configuration and restore.

Amanda

AMANDA, the Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver, is a backup system that allows the administrator to set up a single master backup server to back up multiple hosts over network to tape drives/changers or disks or optical media. Amanda uses native dump and/or GNU tar facilities and can back up a large number of workstations running multiple versions of Unix. Amanda uses Samba or Cygwin to back up Microsoft Windows desktops and servers.

Bacula

Bacula is a set of computer programs that permits the system administrator to manage backup, recovery, and verification of computer data across a network of computers of different kinds. Bacula can also run entirely upon a single computer and can backup to various types of media, including tape and disk. In technical terms, it is a network Client/Server based backup program. Bacula is relatively easy to use and efficient, while offering many advanced storage management features that make it easy to find and recover lost or damaged files. Due to its modular design, Bacula is scalable from small single computer systems to systems consisting of hundreds of computers located over a large network.

Speed up your Linux System with Preload

Techtrob writes:

Preload is an “adaptive readahead daemon” that runs in the background of your system, and observes what programs you use most often, caching them in order to speed up application load time. By using Preload, you can put unused RAM to good work, and improve the overall performance of your desktop system.

Check out some of the numbers,

Application “Cold” Startup Time Preloaded Startup Time
Desktop Login 30s 23s
OpenOffice.org Writer 15s 7s
Firefox 11s 5s
Evolution 9s 4s
Gedit Text Editor 6s 4s
Gnome Terminal 4s 3s

Read more..

Get Notified by SMS When Someone Contacts you on Pidgin

Mark O’Neill has a nice article on how to get notified by SMS when someone contacts you on Pidigin.

There is a plug-in available for Pidgin called gSMS which will notify you by mobile phone SMS when someone tries to contact you by Pidgin and you don’t respond within a specified time frame. This would be useful if you had to step away from your desk but you were expecting an important message. By configuring this plug-in, you can be told by SMS that the person left a message and you can get back in touch with them as soon as possible.

Pidgin is an instant messaging program for Windows, Linux, BSD, and other Unixes. You can talk to your friends using AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr.

Windows Vista ready for Service Pack 1

Neil Randall has a nice review of Microsoft’s Windows Vista Service Pack 1. The review covers installation, performance differences, security, and more.

Also, for the hard core gamers, Vista Service Pack 1 will support Direct3D 10.1.

A little over a year after the first appearance of Vista, Service Pack 1 (SP1) is nearly ready for download. [There have been a couple of release snafus, including the accidental release, on 2/21/08, of the 64-bit version.–Editor]. SP1 is a useful but not crucial update to the OS, and one that won’t greatly affect your computing day, at least not outwardly. The bulk of the development effort has gone toward upgrading security subsystems—elements that enterprise clients find appealing but consumers and small-business users won’t really notice (although they’ll feel better knowing about them). The bottom line is that there’s absolutely no reason not to download SP1 (which you’ll receive automatically if you have AutoUpdate turned on), so it’s almost a given that it will become the standard in the very near future.

Read more..

Wine 0.9.56 Released

Wine has released a new version of their popular a program loader capable of running Windows applications on Linux and other POSIX compatible operating systems.

What’s new in this release:
- Proper handling of OpenGL/Direct3D windows with menu bars.
- Stubs for all the d3dx9_xx dlls.
- Several graphics optimizations.
- Many installer fixes.
- Improved MIME message support.
- Lots of bug fixes.

Download the binary packages here.

How To Run Linux Applications in Windows

Interested in running Linux Applications in Windows?  andLinux actually loads the Linux kernel on your Windows desktop and makes it appear as though your Linux applications are running like any other Windows application.

Linux fans that need a Windows app or two can take advantage of WINE, but what about Windows fans that need to run Linux apps? If you’re lucky someone has already ported your favorite Linux app over to Windows, but if they haven’t, you might want to check out andLinux.

Read more..