Saturday, September 15, 2018

New Direction

I'm going to start making posts about Linux / Unix commands and technology. Mostly for my own education and reference, but if others get any use out of them that would be great. We'll see how active I am with that...

Going to start with some basic user commands and work my way up from there.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New Website

Since I've been doing such an awesome job at maintaining this site I've decided to fire up a new one! Woot!

Yeah I know, I shouldn't be starting new projects when old ones are languishing, but the whole point of doing these things is to learn something new and I'm administering my own server for the new site. Plus this new site is supposed to be like a online resume for me. Right now it's just a static html holding page. Hopefully I keep up with it and build something great.

Check out my site

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I checked out my long neglected blog today and found some of my first comment spam. The only thing that really surprises me about this is how long it took. I was starting to feel bad that even spammers were ignoring me.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Virtual Private Server Can Help You Pick Up Chicks

Well... not really, but that doesn't mean having your own server set up isn't cool. A shared hosting plan is what most people start out with when they build their own website, and for most purposes that's really all they need. The type of sites I typically build are perfect for a shared hosting environment, they're low traffic and don't use much resources.

Despite the fact that I really don't have a pressing need for a virtual private server or VPS, I ran out and signed up for one anyways. It gives me something to tinker with and the price wasn't that much more than what a shared host would cost. The upside to having one is that you can configure it anyway you please. You don't have to build your site around the traditional LAMP stack of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP that most hosts offer. You could set your server up to run alternatives like Nginx, SQLite, and Python if you wanted. The operating system is a bit more fixed but I was given a choice between several popular Linux distros and I could use windows if I was willing to pay more.

The downside to all this freedom is that a VPS requires a lot more work to set up and maintain. If you don't have much experience working with Linux it's going to take a while to teach yourself everything before you can get up and running with a website. On the other hand, setting up your own server is a great way to learn UNIX. Which is one of the reasons why I am rolling my own VPS server.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Old Laptop and my Raspberry Pi

A few weeks ago I tore apart one of my old laptops.

The original idea for doing this was to see if maybe I could remove the motherboard but still use the case for one of my Raspberry Pi’s.

The idea of a Raspberry Pi laptop sounds like a great way to breathe some new life into an old laptop that has been collecting dust forever. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who buys a new laptop and then hangs on to the old one just in case I need a backup. By the time I realize I will never use my ancient laptop again it’s too late to sell it and I can’t trash it because it’s filled with toxic something or another. Now what?

I suppose I could hunt around for a place that accepts old electronics for recycling. The problem with that idea is that it sounds like a lot of work, and I really don’t feel like driving anywhere just to offload some old electronics. Plus it completely goes against my gadget hoarding nature. I prefer to cling to the idea that all my old stuff will somehow serve another purpose in the future.

Which brings me back to the idea of a Raspberry Pi laptop, the Pi is a cool little system on a chip, but that’s all it is. You need to provide your own case, keyboard, mouse, and display if you want to use it as a classic computer. Once you fully accessorize your Raspberry Pi it’s not such a sleek looking system anymore, it usually ends up being a mess of wires running everywhere. Cramming this hot mess into one of my bulky old laptops would be the perfect solution. Once I remove the old motherboard there should be plenty of room to install the credit card sized Raspberry Pi. Then I could just hook it up to the old keyboard and LCD display and my new Pi would be in business. Rigging up some of the USB ports shouldn’t be too hard and there should still be plenty of room to put in a battery pack to power the whole rig.

Sounds great so far right? Here’s the biggest road block to turning this dream into reality. That worthless motherboard I just yanked out contains the hardware controllers for the laptop’s keyboard and display. External keyboards and monitors have their hardware controllers built into the unit; which is great because that allows us to just plug them into whatever we want without a hassle. Notebooks and laptops combine everything into the motherboard to make everything efficient and to save on space.

Now if I want to use the old laptops display and keyboard I’ll need to find a controller card that’s compatible with those units. There’s a seller on Ebay that sells cards for laptop LCDs but I can’t find anything for the keyboard. Without the keyboard, sticking a Raspberry Pi into my old laptop doesn’t sound so awesome anymore.

At this point about the only useful part I can recycle from the old laptop is the LCD screen, if I pick up a controller that can output to HDMI it will make a nice flat panel display. The screen is really thin outside of the plastic laptop case.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Long Break

Wow, I never intended to go this long without making a update. It just sort of crept up on me, funny how that happens with a lot of things. Part of the problem is that nobody really reads this thing, so I don't have to feel guilty about leaving people hanging.

I have been pretty busy lately but not with anything that I would consider worth writing about. Mostly school, and the posts I've already made about that bore the hell out of me. The plan is to hurry up and finish school so I can have more free time to work on awesome projects. That's the plan, in reality I'll probably just procrastinate, start and never finish a million things, and eventually just play all those games on Steam I've picked up on sale but never got around to playing.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Passed another Exam

Today I passed Microsoft Exam 98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals. This wasn't a difficult test for me, this could be because I already have some experience with Windows server, but I'm pretty sure anyone could pass this if they have some basic hardware and software knowledge. Up next is Database Administration Fundamentals that exam seems a bit more challenging but I'm feeling confident that I'll be ready for it.