Another New Look

All right, not wanting to get stuck with a certain theme, I decided to get really, really simple. It has lots of white space and it’s even colorless. This is likely to be a temporary patch until I can find a decent theme. In the meantime, this will do for now.

I’m kind of looking forward to the new WordPress which is being merged with WordPress-Mu in the next release. I’m not sure yet what the implications are to the upgrade. I will most likely take advantage of the multiple installs on one platform as opposed to having multiple WordPress installs.

Another product that I’m looking excited about is Ubuntu 10.04 which is going to be LTS or Long Term Support. It has been two years since the last LTS. The only issue is I’m really starting to like Linux Mint. I have been using it for 3 months. There is usually a one to two month delay before Mint follows Ubuntu.

I have been playing around with CodeIgniter. It’s a MVC framework that makes you write fast kickass PHP programs. Well, that’s what CodeIgniter website says. The only gripe I have with CodeIgniter is the way it latches on to one application at a time. You kinda have to edit the configuration file to switch to another application, but I found a workaround by installing Apache Virtual Hosts. One virtual host per application. Maybe, I’ll document and write about it when I have time.

Finally, I got a chuckle when I saw this article, “Seeking the One True Linux: Is Linux Distro-hopping a Thing of the Past?” I don’t really know why there is a need to have a one true Linux Distro. The last thing Linux users need is a distro monopoly. There is good to having a variety of distros. Linux users need choices.

Damn Small Linux

Speaking of small, take a look at Damn Small Linux or DSL. The distro comes in a CD less than 50MB. DSL practically runs on memory gas fumes, a mere 128MB. DSL is also capable of running as a SSH, FTP and HTTP server. In addition, you will get a XMMS music player, Firefox browser and a host of other apps. Here’s a list:

XMMS (MP3, CD Music, and MPEG), Netrik web browser, FireFox, FTP client, Dillo web browser, spreadsheet, Sylpheed email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor (Ted), three editors (Beaver, Vim, and Nano [Pico clone]), graphics editing and viewing (Xpaint, and xzgv), Xpdf (PDF Viewer), emelFM (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, Rdesktop, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE (ADSL), a web server, calculator, generic and GhostScript printer support, NFS, Fluxbox and JWM window managers, games, system monitoring apps, a host of command line tools, USB support, and pcmcia support, some wireless support.

Other Linux distros with small footprints are Puppy Linux, Tiny Core Linux, Antix, Vector Linux, SimpleLinux, etc.

Using Linux to Fix a Windows XP Patch

Apparently, there is a Windows XP patch that has gone awry. The patch has rendered a few Windows XP systems unbootable. Michael Horowitz from ComputerWorld suggested that Microsoft should use Linux to fix the booting issue. What a novel idea! Of course, Microsoft will never use Linux to fix Windows. That’s the reason why there hasn’t been any solution offered at the Microsoft Security Response Center the last four days.

Practically, most Linux distributions nowadays can boot from a Live CD, something Windows OS could not or will not do. You can even run Linux Live CD on a system with no internal hard drive. All you need is a little bit of memory and a CD player. You’re set to go.

The offending Windows XP patch is called KB977165. Here’s some detail from ComputerWorld:

The problematic patch is said to be KB977165. There are instructions online about backing out this patch using the Recovery Console. It doesn’t take much to adapt these instructions to Linux. Since Linux offers a friendly GUI, it’s arguably easier to use than the Recovery Console.

You can read more about the patch here.

Upgrade WordPress Using Subversion and Shell Script

Every couple of months or so, a new version of WordPress comes out. If you own a dozen blogs in your arsenal, you will need to upgrade each one of them. Thankfully, there is the automatic upgrade button available within WordPress. But still, you still have to login to each one of them and click on each button to upgrade WordPress. You wish there was an easy way to upgrade all 20 blogs with a single command.

Well, there is a simple solution with the help of Subversion and Shell Script. For several years, I have been using Subversion to upgrade WordPress. Each time there is a new version of WordPress, I just type in a single command to upgrade a dozen blogs or so. For the most part, it takes less than 30 seconds to upgrade a dozen of blogs.

Here is the simple Shell Script:

#!/bin/sh
# A script to upgrade dozens of WordPress installs using Subversion.
 
wpv=http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.9.2
 
echo “Upgrading blog 1cd /home/user/blog1.com/
svn switch $wpv
 
echo “Upgrading blog2.com”
cd /home/user/blog2.com/
svn switch $wpv
 
echo “Upgrading blog3.com”
cd /home/user/blog3.com/
svn switch $wpv

and so on….

If you have 20 blogs or so, you will need to include all 20 of them in one little script. You just need to change the “wpv” variable to point to the latest WordPress version. Once you made the change, and depending on the amount of files that has changed from one version to the next, the upgrade process can take anywhere from 10-30 seconds — that’s for 20 blogs!

For this script to work, you will need access to a web server that supports both Subversion and SSH. First, you need to install WordPress using Subversion. That can be easily done using the Subversion Checkout command. Once installed, you can create a simple Shell script like the one above, to execute the upgrade process. If your web host supports both, you might want to consider this little script when upgrading WordPress.

Best Linux Distros of the Decade

It has been a very interesting decade for the Linux Desktop. The first half of the decade was dominated by Mandrake and the latter half dominated by Ubuntu. It’s interesting to know that I have been an avid user of both distros while they were both hot. I am now using Linux Mint, a distro derived from Ubuntu. Time will tell if Linux Mint becomes a favorite. If you are interested to know how your distro fared, check out the Tech Source from Bohol.

Linux Mint 8 Review

I have been using Linux Mint 8 this past month. I love it. Why the switch from Ubuntu? Well, It’s not just the mint green color, although I think it’s an upgrade from Ubuntu’s drab brown. The Main Edition, the flagship release of Linux Mint, provides full multimedia support out of the box, meaning that you can listen to MP3’s watch DVD’s and view web pages that require Flash technology right after install. Simply put, it just works with minimal tweaking.

Why Mint? There are over 300 Linux distributions. Everyone has their own favorite. I chose Linux Mint because it’s based from Ubuntu. It’s something I’m very familiar with. I was a bit surprised to know that Linux Mint ranks third on the DistroWatch ranking trailing only Ubuntu and Fedora. Linux Mint 8 is my favorite at the moment, until something better comes along. Switching distros for me is easy since I keep all my documents in a USB stick. Reformatting a disk and installing a new distro takes only 15 to 20 minutes.

Here are a couple of Linux Mint 8 reviews from Linux Planet and DistroWatch.

Reduce Energy Using PowerTop

Reduce the energy consumption of your Ubuntu Desktop by running PowerTop. A tip from Linux and Microcontroller Tips:

Since version 2.6.21, the Linux kernel has introduced a feature called tickless. The kernel no longer has a fixed 1000Hz timer tick. This will give a dramatic  power savings because the CPU stays in low power mode for longer periods of time during system idle.

A Nice handy tool, PowerTop has been created for reducing the Power Usage of Linux. This application will help to find the software components that are preventing optimal usage of your hardware and give proper suggestions for both hardware and software configurations to reduce power consumption of your system. So Now Your Ubuntu is energy Efficient. It is very useful for Laptop Users.