• setting up WordPress mail on CentOS ·

    Today at work I set up a WordPress install on CentOS Linux so that it could send email. It’s pretty useful and almost required to have this working, since if you forget your password, WordPress needs to send you an email to reset it. That’s how I discovered mail wasn’t set up correctly, actually: a user tried to reset their password and WordPress gave an error about “email could not be sent”, and no email was received. Fortunately it was pretty easy to fix.

  • merge sort, the eater of nodes ·

    I’m so tickled to have completed an assignment for my Linux kernel class. The specification was as follows:

  • Grub Error 13 and 17 together ·

    I just encountered Grub Error 13 and Grub Error 17 for seemingly no reason. I fixed the problem and thought I could save others undue headache by explaining my fix here.

  • chmodding and Ruby ·

    Recently, I switched from a Powerbook to a Macbook, and to copy my files from one to the other, I used a pen drive. Since my pen drive has a FAT file system, it treats everything as being executable. This, however, is not the case on a UNIX-like file system like OS X. In order to save myself the hassle of manually chmodding thousands of files, I wrote this Ruby script:

  • Grub Error 17 ·

    Note: if this tutorial doesn’t help you, possibly because fdisk reports your known Linux partition correctly as Linux, you might also try my Grub Error 13 with Grub Error 17 tutorial.

    I just had an interesting time with trying to boot into Linux on my PC. Last night, I noticed my /boot/grub/menu.lst file had gotten overwritten when I performed some Ubuntu updates. This meant I had to add in configuration to allow Windows to boot, and since I didn’t have a backup of my old, working configuration–mistake number 1–I looked online. I found something that looked like it would work, even though it had Grub’s hide and unhide commands in the configuration–mistake number 2. I rebooted and successfully got into Windows.

  • how to reformat your pen drive ·

    USB pen drives are everywhere these days, and for good reason, since they’re dead useful. I use mine with my Linux box, my Powerbook, and various other systems I’ve had cause to stick it in. After a while, my 1 GB drive was only holding a few hundred MB. When I would do an ls -a on it, I would see several hidden directories, such as .Trashes and .Trash-sarah. Trying to sudo rm -rf .Trash\* would fail out, however, giving complaints of a read-only filesystem. If you’re having such problems, or just really want to make sure your drive is clean, you can reformat it easily in Linux. I reformatted mine using Ubuntu, so the instructions have a slight bias; your mileage may vary. Warning: reformatting your pen drive will delete all its contents.

  • the ease of Linux with a focus on Ubuntu ·

    It was the case, back in the day, that Linux was for the hacker elite, but those days are long gone. Now, you can pop in a live CD and you’re off. Most live CD’s offer an install option, so if you like browsing around the OS, double-click an icon on the desktop and it’ll install to your hard drive. When I got my new computer, to install Ubuntu, I just popped in the CD, let it boot, and chose the install option. I then sat back as it did everything for me. Oh, it asked me a few questions, such as my name, where I was located, etc., but those aren’t exactly questions that computer newbies would have trouble with. The whole thing was easy; I watched TV while I was doing it and just glanced over every now and then to see its progress. It rebooted when it finished and I was presented with a login screen. I typed the user name and password I’d chosen, and boom! I had a pretty desktop with very normal looking menus. If someone is used to Windows, they’re going to feel pretty comfortable with a distribution such as Ubuntu because the layout is easy to work with.

  • ad blocking through /etc/hosts ·

    There are several ad sites that you’ll see being used everywhere. They slow down page loading, even on fast connections, because sometimes there’ll be lag and they won’t load immediately and instead of being able to read that interesting news article, you’re stuck waiting for some Flash animation to show up so you can ignore it. A simple way to make those ads 1) not show up and 2) not cause delays in page loading is to edit /etc/hosts. Check out hostsfile.mine.nu for ways of doing this in Windows and Mac.

  • non-English characters in Linux ·

    It’s easy to make accented characters (e.g. é and ü) in Linux. Easier than in Windows, actually, because in Windows you have to remember all those crazy Alt codes, and in Linux, it’s logical combinations of accents and letters.

  • extracting audio from a DVD ·

    It’s pretty easy to extract just the audio from a DVD in Linux, using Mplayer, sox, and either Audacity or split.

  • beginning Linux guide ·

    This was taken from an email I sent to Jem and Trinity about beginning in Ubuntu Linux. It might also be useful to see my dated Beginning Linux Commands guide. Any questions about something I do or don’t have on here, as well as your own Linux tips, can be posted as comments.

  • Beginning Linux commands ·

    A table of commands that were useful to me when I first began using Linux. Note that all of these may not apply to your particular distribution, configuration, etc.