Virtualbox Broke After Kernel Update

I wanted to test out Fedora 10 released just a couple days ago. Instead of dual booting, I tried Virtualbox to run another Linux distribution on my Ubuntu powered desktop. The installation of Virtualbox requires downloading the OSE modules for the current Linux kernel. The installation of Virtualbox was straightforward. I have done it before. No sweat.

I went ahead and installed Fedora 10 without a hitch. No problems were encountered. I even figured out how to increase the display resolution from 800×600 to 1024×768. Then, last night I saw a large red arrow pointing down on my menu panel. It means a Linux update is available. I clicked on it to initiate the update. It turned out to be a kernel update.

A reboot is necessary after each kernel update. After the reboot, Virtualbox no longer works. What happened! I realized the OSE module installed was for the previous kernel. I searched for the new OSE module. It’s not available. I went to the message boards and saw this instead. It looks like the kernel module has to be recompiled each time a new kernel comes out.

The new OSE module is not in the repository. In the meantime, if you run Virtualbox and you just received a kernel update. Your out of luck for a few days. Not until a new Virtualbox OSE module is made available. I wish Ubuntu fixes this issue. Each time a kernel upgrade is required, the Virtualbox OSE module should also be compiled and updated along with the kernel upgrade.

Micro Center Online Catalog

Micro Center is a computer retail chain with 21 stores located nationwide. If you shop at Micro Center, check out their online catalog. You can check out their latest deals especially the After Thanksgiving Day Sale.

If you haven’t been to Micro Center, there might be one near you. Check out their store locations.

The hottest items are going to be Netbooks and Blue-Ray DVD players which I can’t seem to find the link at the moment. If these items don’t suit you, check out the latest wireless networking equipment or any Black Friday deals this weekend.

A Sceptre 22 inch LCD Display is $119 after a $40 dollar rebate. A Brother HL-2140 laser printer is only $49. A Trendnet 54Mbps 802.11g USB Wireless adapter sells for as little as $4.99. Bargains!

Internet Explorer In Ubuntu

Why would somebody in their right mind run Internet Explorer in Ubuntu. Before you shoot me, let me at least explain the reasons why. I get many support questions from people regarding the themes I’ve designed. The questions oftentimes are IE related. I either have to power my laptop or go to another computer to view the irregularity.

To avoid the hassles of firing up another computer (my desktop is solely running Ubuntu), I installed Internet Explorer 6 which runs under Wine on my Ubuntu 8.04 desktop. I used a simple script I found from 64 bit Jungle. The script calls for Wine and cabextract to be installed, followed by downloading the program, untarring the file and firing up the GUI installer.

The installation script was straightforward and a breeze. No hitches whatsoever. The GUI installer gives you several choices. I’ve decided to install both IE6 and IE7 beta. IE6 worked out of the box without any problems, while IE7 beta choked. The IE7 beta program fired up, but the browser was not rendering any web pages. It seems to be stuck in forever land.

So, the whole reason for this exercise is having the ability to check how web pages are rendered in IE6 without ever leaving Ubuntu. Running IE6 for just a few minutes makes me appreciate Firefox more than ever.

Display None In CSS

One of the coolest tricks in CSS is to suppress the display of certain elements in your web page using the “display:none” property. This trick is extremely helpful for two reasons. One, there are times you don’t want to remove code essential for Search Engine Optimization such as the H1 header for example, but you don’t want it showing up on your browser.

Deleting the HTML code will completely eliminate it from a seach engine perhaps losing valuable points. Suppressing the display may be your best option since search engines are still able to read your H1 header. It’s just not displayed on the screen. To suppress the display of H1 in this example, we need to add this CSS code to our stylesheet.

h1 {display:none;}

The second use for “display:none” in CSS is for printing purposes. Often times, many web designers will make a separate stylesheet just for printing. Items such as graphics, menus, certain divs that are not necessary can be suppressed making for a very simplified print output. You can do something similar to your web page using the code below.

img, #menu, #widget {display:none;}

Display:none. Give it a try.

Password Protect Using Htaccess

The easiest way to protect a web directory is to use a .htaccess file. A .htaccess file is a directory level configuration file used by several web servers including the highly popular Apache. The .htaccess file is placed in a web directory and the commands in the file controls the behavior of that directory.

A .htaccess file is used mainly for 3 purposes: authentication, the re-writing of URLs and cache control. Today, I’ll show you how to password protect a web directory using the .htaccess file.

Step 1
First, create a .htpasswd file. For security purposes, place the .htpasswd file outside of your web directory. You can place it anywhere in your file system, but your home directory is probably the best place for it. To create a .htaccess file, issue this command in your Terminal:

# sudo htpasswd -bc /home/ulysses/.htpasswd username password

The htpasswd command will create a file called .htpasswd in your home directory. The period at the beginning of the file denotes that it is a hidden file. You can view it by issuing a “ls -a” command from your Terminal. Don’t forget to supply your own username and password.

Step 2
Next, make a .htaccess file in the web directory that you want protected. In this example, we will password protect a web directory located in /var/www/widget.

# cd /var/www/widget
# vi .htaccess

Type in the following code in the .htaccess file.

AuthUserFile /home/ulysses/.htpasswd
AuthName EnterPassword
AuthType Basic
<Limit GET POST>
require valid-user

Save the file and open your browser and check if the web directory is password protected. You should see something similar to this from your browser.

Keeping Up With WordPress Development

One way of keeping up with the latest WordPress development is to install WordPress using Subversion. Subversion is an open source version control system. Using Subversion is a great way of synchronizing your WordPress install with the latest code changes in WordPress development.

In this example, we will install WordPress files in the /var/www/wordpress directory using the Subversion checkout. We will get the latest WordPress development code in the main WordPress “trunk” at Automattic’s. To install WordPress using Subversion:

cd /var/www/wordpress
sudo svn co .

At this moment, there’s a big redesign of the WordPress’ Dashboard. The design changes will be part of the WordPress 2.7 release. The Dashboard changes are significant. The redesign employs a new menu system with an entirely different look and feel.

To keep up with daily development, I’ve installed a WordPress instance using Subversion. Updates to my install with the main development track called “trunk” can be synchronized in seconds using a simple command line entry (see below).

# sudo svn update

Having a WordPress instance maintained by Subversion is key to keeping up with the latest WordPress development. It’s a great way of familiarizing oneself to the upcoming WordPress release before it hits the general public.

You can also participate in the testing and bug reporting. The WordPress community can always use a few more users to test the greatest and latest code.

Linux Boot Up Less Than 3 Seconds

There’s a Linux distribution borne out of Japan called Lineo that claims it can boot up in 2.97 seconds on a low-powered system. The technology uses something similar to hibernation or suspend to disk. It takes a snapshot of the system, compresses it and saves it in flash memory.

Boot up improvements can be up to 10 times faster than a normal Linux distribution. Meanwhile, Intel engineers were able to configure an Asus Eee PC running Fedora to boot up in less than 5 seconds. The boot system is comprised of modified software loads from Fedora and Moblin.

Better boot time could be a factor between choosing Linux over Windows. Less 5 seconds is fast, but less than 3 seconds. That’s heaven.

Firefox 3.1 Private Browsing

The upcoming Firefox 3.1 release will have private browsing mode for users who do not want to leave traces of their online activity on their local computers. One caveat, it’s not a privacy tool to make you anonymous from websites or from your internet service provider. Others have coined private browsing mode as “porn mode.”

Nevertheless, its main function is to protect users from leaving cookies, cache pages, etc. on their local computers. It’s perfect tool for people who travel and use public computers, internet cafes or someone just borrowing a friend’s computer.

To begin a private session in Firefox 3.1, all you have to do is select private browsing from the browser’s tools menu. While in private browsing mode, there will be text notification added to the top of the address bar to indicate that you are in a private browsing mode.

To close the private session mode, all you have to do is is uncheck the same item in the tools menu and it will remove all the data in your private mode session.

Inspiron Mini 9 Laptop

Mini laptops are popular. Dell’s entry into the mini laptop world does not disappoint. The Inspiron Mini 9 is small, compact and light at just 2.28 lbs. The Inspiron is available in two Operating Systems: Ubuntu Linux 8.04.1 or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.

The Inspiron Mini 9 is powered by Intel’s Atom Process N270 (1.6GHz 533Mhz FSB 512K cache). The LCD panel is a glossy 8.9 inch LED display with a resolution of 1024×600. Memory comes in either 512MB or 1GB. The hard drive is solid state, meaning it’s quiet and with absolutely no moving parts. Hard drive sizes begins at 4GB, 8GB or 16GB.

The Mini 9’s video card is powered by Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 and the unit comes with a wireless 8.02.11g mini card with battery life roughly at around 4 hours. The laptop comes in two colors: Obsidian Black or Alphine White with a 1 year warranty main-in service.

What are some of the things you can do with the Mini 9 laptop? You can listen to your favorite music, surf the web, chat, instant messaging and some light office work with a word processor, spreadsheet or presentation software.

The Mini 9 is available for purchase at Dell’s website. Also, check out the great reviews written by customers who have bought the Mini 9 laptop.