Why I chose the Kindle over the iPad, Nook, Sony ereader or any Tablet

December 7th, 2010

In the last several months (since the Kindle 3 came out) I’ve been seriously looking at ereaders. Of course, the iPad came out early this year and was all the buzz. It looks great of course and Apple really should be proud of making the tablet relevant. How many tablets have we seen come out in the last 10-15 years that someone pushed as the wave of the future only to see the wave break before it reached the shore. Of course, some of the ideas shrunk to the size of the current pdas and smart phones, others just vanished into the ether or morphed into laptops.

With Android nipping at Apples heels on the phone front I was sure that there would be android based tablets to rival the iPad. Serious contenders have taken longer than I expected, but realistically the iPad has not been out for a full year yet. At one point this year I looked long and hard at some of the then available tablets. None were quite “it” at that point.

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Rsnapshot – ERROR: /usr/bin/rsync returned 127 while processing

November 22nd, 2010

Just a quick note for what is really a simple fix. I have been using rsnapshot to back up several machines lately. If you haven’t taken a look at rsnapshot on linux for managing snapshot backups (where only the changes get backed up after the initial run….) it’s definitely worth a look.

Anyway, I had recently added a new system to be backed up and was seeing the following error from my Rsnapshot log…. ERROR: /usr/bin/rsync returned 127 while processing hostname….

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Mustek ScanExpress A3 USB 1200 Pro

June 19th, 2010

Scanners… I had a nice microtek scanner that for the last year has refused to work and I decided to replace it. I have a project coming up that would require scanning some larger format pages so I was really pleased to find a $165 A3 scanner (usually the larger format are much more expensive.) This is the Mustek ScanExpress A3 USB 1200 Pro. So…. being a linux user I look to see if it’s supported by sane and naively…. finding a mustek usb scanner with 1200 in the name assume that it’s supported that way. (It’s not – mustek’s model numbering is quite cryptic and enigmatic. I have found multiple (different) scanexpress something 1200 scanners that are usb based. All with varying levels of support.

On inspection though mustek has a linux driver on their website…

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A few other odd updates…

June 17th, 2010

Just updated some information on the Virtualization page adding some information about virtualbox which I have spent some time with lately.

I’ve also had a big vpn/dd-wrt project going which I’ve teased out a bit of information on my dd-wrt and openvpn pages. I haven’t given our “recipe” for it yet, but it’s a vpn that can bridge between any two networks (regardless of network address collision issues…. well there is a small subset of cases where we could still find network address collision, but it’s much more robust than anything else I’ve done in that area.

I’ve also added a bit to my Online Virtual Servers page. I’ve been trying out gigenetcloud as an alternative to slicehost/vps.net – not for any particular reason, just to have options. Their billing is a slightly different model which may be of interest to many. By the way, I am still a HUGE fan of VPS.net. I can’t recommend them ENOUGH as a cloud VPS provider. It seems as though they are always rolling out great new features and they have great pricing and data centers in so many locations to boot. Their setup is soooooo resilient and their support is superb.

I think I’ll have to hold off on any of the other stray thoughts that I’ve had the last few weeks to post here as it’s looking like another busy stretch… here’s wishing everyone a good start to summer and a good 4th of July coming up!

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Android based iPad killers….

June 17th, 2010

I spent a bit of time lately drooling/browsing through the many different android based tablets/pads there are. Why not the ipad? I don’t know – I just don’t particularly like the idea of being tied to Apple…. having to acitvate with itunes – being restricted to the apple app store. I like that android is more open (in many different ways.) So… I saw a lot of cheap entries from China. None of which really impressed me much. It looks as though the real ipad killers are on their way later in the year 2010. One is the viliv x10 tablet with a 1366×768 screen, 3d graphics. SD card, usb, capacitive touch screen. (Some of the cheaper competitors are resistive touch screen which is not seen as sensitive. The cheaper alternatives also seem a bit underpowered processor wise. (Or may lack gps or the accelerometer – both of which really seem (to me) essential parts of a tablet system for all of the neat “killer app” possibilities.

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Link Dump on the Way

June 14th, 2010

Scanners, Virtual Machines, more bash scripting, malware and openvpn are just a few of the things I’ve been hip deep in over the last few weeks. Things have been (and continue) fairly busy….. but I’m hoping to get a few things organized and posted here in the next few days to serve as a dumping of links of the different trains of thought that have been going on (and for future reference.)

I don’t think it will happen today as there are a few more irons in the fire still (although it might happen today yet)…. Update – it will probably be several posts scattered over a few days (and some may be updates to existing pages.)

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McAfee Antivirus gives Windows XP Autoimmune disorder….

April 21st, 2010

Bad day for McAfee antivirus users….. It looks like the corporate users were bit the hardest. An update this morning basically detected svchost.exe as a virus and sent machines (Windows 7 not affected – but XP SP3 was…) into a perpetual reboot cycle. The fix requires manual intervention and some techs are reporting that the wait time for corporate users getting their machine back is several days.

If you’re sick and tired of McAfee and switching to something else you may want to visit the antivirus removal page to find the mcafee removal tool. (Not that I recommend you ditching McAfee over this, but I know how some people are.)

Here’s a link to the fix as McAfee has posted. Now of course…. many people use this as an opportunity to flame windows or McAfee and brag on their Mac or Linux box but what’s the real lesson that should be taken from this?

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Prepare for the April Fools Spyware Flood

March 25th, 2010

I received a message from some at superantispyware in the last day or two that is a well timed and good heads up. Every year there is a surge in spyware, malware and rogue activity around April Fools Day (April 1st). It’s important to be aware and raise our skepticism a bit this time of year… I’m reprinting here…

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Linux Software Raid Notes – Replacing Drives

February 28th, 2010

This post is going to be somewhat of a “link dump” for me of some pages that I’ve been perusing lately. After playing with RT (request tracker) – I added a few ticket items for the home network. Now, if you’ve been a longtime reader and sorted through ALL of these posts here you’ll know that I’ve made use of software raid on the home systems. Why? Linux software raid seems fairly reliable (so far – 2 years +). It doesn’t depend on a specific piece of hardware. In short IF the worst happens and the array fails I should be able to retrieve data from an individual drive more easily than if it were hardware raid. I’m using Raid Level 1 (cloning/mirroring) and ext3 is the filesystem on top. I’ve had some slight problems with one drive in both the Desktop and server arrays and both arrays had been degraded for some time. My goal was ultimately redundancy and to eliminate the disruption that hard drive failures have given over the last few years.

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Lessons Learned from the Massive Westhost Outage this Week

February 25th, 2010

If you didn’t know, this has been a tumultuous week for clients of Westhost, my internet service provider. Their Primary data center is located in Utah and they share that space with a sister brand VPS.net. The datacenter is a Tier IV center managed by Consonus. Saturday afternoon there was a yearly fire equipment/alarm/suppression system test. The third party technician failed to follow procedures and one actuator remained on the output system for the gas that is designed to suppress fires in the building. When the system was re-armed there was a sudden release of the gaseous fire suppressant. At that same moment hundreds of hard drives died. Now, Inergen is what was used and the gases themselves shouldn’t be a problem. In this case, and judging from what I’ve read, the problem was with the sudden and intense change in air pressure caused by the release. That point is somewhat moot though, the end result is hundreds of dead and damaged hard drives.

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