emailing linux torvalds

just got round to sending my first email to linux torvald – he is the man who delivered the linux kernel bringing new hope to all computers when all the sheep in the world start to realise they are paying for rubbish and realise there are alternatives such as linux. The world of computing will change. So lets hope I get a reply of him I know he is busy as hell and gets thousands of emails but who knows……

I just got round to redirecting linux torvalds UK domain name to my website !! which is something to be proud of – I might see if he wants it redirecting to his site!!!


linux training

Just to let you know we will be running a free linux workshop after xmas – this will be held in the lancaster and will give you free training. Linux history, linux install right through to system administration. Please feel free to email the lugmaster – for details


bring life to my old article – turn back the clocks!

ive found one of my old articles that I wrote on linux in 2001 – I thought id give it a new lease of life and its still worth a read!! well here it is please enjoy 🙂

Linux Information:

Well were doI start?! Linux for years now has been to me not very well known but in reality more machines are running linux than we know? including the majority of the internet is run on linux apache servers or Tux because it is so reliable and recently more user friendly than ever.
Recently there has been news on the new microsoft operating system whistler or .net which basically doesn’t come on CD ROM any more but it is just part of the machine?? is this saying your tied to that? I don’t know! Well I don’t like the idea of it plus I was getting fed up with windows be pretty unreliable for me – blue screens! I have heavy demand on a machine and windows just couldn’t hack it
Not even NT or 2000 could keep up the pace! Saying that 98 second edition is probably the best the microsoft product ever made in my eyes and it was what I have been using right up to before Christmas 2000 when a
guy called mathew mentioned linux to me and it sounded just what I was looking for a good stable operating system.

I borrowed a copy of suse linux 6.0 of my mate mark who used to use linux and Im trying to convert him back (nearly going for it!!) and I admit it was pretty hard for me to set up at first (not very user friendly) but bearing
in mind this software was about 2 years old, things have changed it is all now very easy to setup up you if you get your hands on the right flavour!! (I’d say mandrake for the newbie!!
One thing I couldn’t believe was was the amount of software it was offering to me during the install! Over 1000 programs I thought it was a joke i nearly rang my mate to verify! everything you would need was here in one installation and its free?!

Flavours! Yes linux comes in various forms (Makes) Mandrake – Suse – Open Linux – Red Hat and even corel have got a version out which microsoft just bought?? These are just a few different version – linux is basically the Kernel the core which is the same on them all nearly we are now upto 2.4 which is included on suse 7.1 – red hat 7.1 and mandrake 8.0 but saying that if you know what your doing you can upgrade your kernel and make it load up what ever sevices you require you can make your machine boot up in a matter of seconds!!
The rest of it is just packages that install on top of it! On top of the kernel and the packages is the X server which is what you look at – The GUI (graphical user interface) and from there you can pick whice ever windows manager you want KDE or Gnome Or Enlightment is just a few to mention. Kde Is at the moment at 2.1.1 which is default with mandrake and gnome at 1.4 default with red hat these two being the most popular. KDE is very like windows but much nicer to look at and you can have as many desktops as you like (i just use the default four) making it easy to switch between applications. KDE has a lot of tools and games built in and is very configurable so you cann set it up to do what you want it to do very easily.

Well any way a friend of mine give me a copy of mandrake 7.2 on two CD ROMs the first CD was bootable pop it in the CD ROM and of it goes! Giving you the choice to keep your windows partition (Dual Boot) in other
word pick between linux or windows which is pretty handy if you want to migrate to linux. The install asks the country – standard install which just does basically everything for you – or custom for the more technical
where you can even set it up as a server! And then pick which packages you want install or just go for default choices. The three choices depends on disk size 300meg – 500meg or 1200meg . Software Categories are
accessibility -Archiving- books – communications – databases – development – editors – emulators – file tools – games – graphical desktop – graphics – monitoring – networking – publishing – sciences – shells –
sound – system – terminals – text tools -terminals – text tools + toys & video & inside all them groups expand into more categories in that area. What you can do is do the standard install and then add them inside linux,
rpmdrake in mandrake which gives you a brief description of what the packages do is a handy tool for the begginer makes it easy to add and remove packages instead of doing it from a console in the old days!

The most important things that made me go linux was in my eyes a much more attractive and stable operating system as appossed to any Microsoft (Ugh!) operating systems plus the ammount of free advice and
software! To much to mention! Try (no its not a porn sight!) a good start for free software! And if there isn’t enough software in linux for you can run wine which lets you install and run windows apps
like word and stuff! actually inside linux! try

If you want a preview of the windows managers try or these just being two popular ones there are many more to suite your needs! Enlighment is a very nice desktop manager and the good
desktop manager and the good thing about all the desktop managers is how customizable they are you can set them up to do all sorts!!

On the business side its crazy paying hundreds of pounds on a sever and then paying as much on software when you can get a linux OS for nothing. Lets say you have 15 workstations with windows NT or 9X on so that’s
nearly £1500 just for operating systems then a server where the operating system can cost you from £500 upwards and 15 copies of office at £100 (that’s cheap) so that’s what about three to four grand! Put linux on for
free if you want the original disks it will only cost you no more than £100!! You wanna save thousands drop me a mail!!!!! No seriosly the workstation install has every package you could ever need for a business –
spreadsheets – calculators – word packages – email clients – internet browsers any thing you need!
You dont even need sage you can use gnomes Gnucash top bit of free software works nicely!

My linux box has every office package I want! all the multimedia stuff I need – mp3 – audio – win tv -whatever you need! CD-writing software – loads of games to pick during the install and not just crappy card games!

I haven’t reinstalled my Os for ages with any version of windows I was doing at least every month it couldn’t keep up with me! I leave on my box all the time and it never burps if a app ever crashes (rare)In mandrake you have an icon called kill(ctrl+alt+Esc) select the crashed app with the mouse and hey presto keep on working!

I made this page with websphere home page builder which was a 20meg download from
Not free though! 90 day trial then its about $50 dollars!!! everything else on my machine has cost me next to nothing – well about £6.50 every time I try to choose another flavour at the moment trying red hat 7.1 but its a toss up between that and mandrake! I would say though! if your new intrested go for mandrake!


Drop me a mail any questions!


vista target install

Ive just thought of another great feature of the mac osx operating system to copy!
On a mac you can turn on your mac holding down the T button which puts the target mac ready to install to (basically turns it into a hardisk) then on another mac you boot the mac osx install disk and you can see the target mac osx drive to install to through the firewire!! great invention
Now bearing in mind your windows computer goes tits up all the time with viruses and you cant get your data off and most windows users are to thick to back up aswell!! then you could put it in target mode and get all the data you should have backed up because the operating system is to crap to protect them!!

or buy a mac?

or install linux?

or get a virus loose data?…


w600 mobile phone watch

Just ordered the W600 tri band mobile phone watch – I got one in black they also have black and silver or black with a gold rimmed face?? sack that! They do a quad band for another £20ish and thats called the DS800 – They come with built in camera – contacts – MP3 – movie player. The SWAP watch is a expensive version of the w600 which is like £250 which basically has the same internals but just in a nicer case.
Should be here in a few days so ill do a full review……


smoothwall snort update fails

If your setting up a smoothwall 3 express and either your snort ids wont update or any errors on snort ids after adding the snort ID key take a look here this works 100% – dont leave snort not enabled it works wonders and stops lots of nasties including tcp port scans and other ways to drop viruses and trojans back on your network.
This fix took me all of one minute.
Look here


wayne back machine

by mistake typed wayne back machine instead of way back machine and im number 4 in google with one of my old articles on based on lies and corruption.

yyyyyyyyeeee haaaaaaaa
try me cowboy

I think they should call it the wayne back machine after old john wayne!! have creaky old bar door sounds when you change pages and fat greedy sherifs! shoot through blue. Brings back memories – just testing this ip free internet connection – nice 😉


smoothwall vs ipcop

what ive noticed so far is smoothwall is pretty closed off and full of features which aint bad updates can be run from inside the gui
without having to download packages to my computer and upload them in. It also offers three options on install closed – open or half open, half open being the default which sounds ok but need to read more into! it has some strange plugins i never seen in ipcop such as sip filter and im filter – which if enabled you can live watch peoples conversations in a console LIVE! talk about snooping! also has a browser based console which could be handy i suppose?.. all the clam engine updates with the update manager and it looks like daily updates are under the hood ill have to poke into this a tad more! snort has been changed you now have to get a code from which you get after a free sign up and then you enter it when you enable it then it pulls down the latest snort rules. the web proxy has a transparent mode which will build itself into port 80 8080 so you dont have to put proxy settings into all the web browsers! saves hassle and you get a pop3 proxy. all this is passed through clam antivirus and spamassasin. The graphs for useage are live and very nice to look at and very detailed graphs on cpu / memory usage. Ssh is enabled by a tick box and then you have to ssh in using -p 222 switch to access the server, i see you can hack a config file and change this the standard 22 port i dont see much point. I have looked at some of the addons and some look pretty good – ill just leave this as it comes out of the box and install on site and see how it performs then ill expand on top of that to requirements. Ill update this later… Also you can sign up for free to get email updates on packages and the free version is restricted to one processor and I think a gig of ram.

The ipcop basically has the same install as smoothwall as it was a branch from it. I noticed it never asked if i wanted open / closed or half closed so i expect its open?? Its seems very cut down and the packages out of date – infact it was pretty useless till i added the copfilter package were a gained a extra tab with clam & various proxies and monit which emails you problems. The update system could see what needed updating but i had to update the packages manually. Now with ipcop each section has plenty of configurable options which was a bit over the top and if you change something you can quiet easily kill the box. I set this up in a virtualbox with two nics and ran though it for a few days – i then tested it on the box and it was fine – when i came to install on site and use it – it died three times and just ran like a pile of crap? I noticed there are a lot more addons and its very configurable a lot more than smoothwall – but i also noticed as you start adding the functions its starts getting real hungry – i think ill pass on this for a while and come back and try when its a tad better…… ill update soon with some more linux firewalls im testing and the results of the smoothwall in corporate use…

id go for smoothwall so far…..


Webmail apps

Im just moving service providers and phone provider and have a 20 day switch over – so I purchased a mifi adapter which I blogged about below. One of the problems stated was it wont let email relay out for my domain name. So ive had to use webmail provided to me from my hosting company. The choices i have are Horde – SquirrelMail and RoundCube. Ive always used horde as being a kolab user it comes bundled with it.. horde it pretty lean and has other features including mail – tasks and its very configurable probably a bit over the top for someone who isnt very technical – one of its good points is a white list and blacklist for killing spam now SquirrelMail on the other hand is very cut down and very lean it comes with address book and you can see your imap folders, you can add a signature and thats about it! id say not very nice to look at but does the job fast. Roundcube now this is basically the same as squirrelmail very cut down with the same features address book and signature and access to imap folders, no tasking or calendars but it looks great – i like the option Focus browser window on new message! so if your looking for lots of features go for horde if you want cut down go for squirrelmail if you want it more pleasing on the eye without all the tasking and other productivity addons roundcube is great. Check out the main sites for more info: