I have moved my blog to Wordpress at theunixgeek.wordpress.com. I will still be checking back periodically on this one as well, though. 19 April 2009


Merging Mkdir and Cd | 280 Slides Interview | I Switched to KDE 4

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Saving your Data

I feel bad for this guy whose hard disk failed and needed to get it replaced by Apple and had a rip-off ensue. In case something similar where your hard disk fails happens to you, take the following simple steps to prepare yourself for it (for both Mac and PC):

  1. Backup regularly - I backup and reinstall every month. Leopard comes with Time Machine. Use it! Yes, it can also be used with drive partitions but that won't help if your HD fails.
  2. Have a Linux live CD available - It's only a couple minutes download and burning; if your computer fails, you can use the live CD to get your data back.
  3. A couple spare flash drives - Most people have one or two flash drives (or jump drives, or whatever you want to call them). Keep one or two in hand as emergency drives. Pop in the Linux live CD, insert your flash drive in, and copy some data from your hard disk to the flash drive. If the data is very sensitive, such as source code or other types of  stealable information, delete it off the hard drive too.
Here's a tip: don't save important data within the OS-given folders, such as "Documents", "Pictures", etc. (Home not included), but rather place them in separate directories under your home folder, which gives you more of a chance to access it via the live CD.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Not-So-Interesting OS X Discoveries

What if I told you that OS X has a new Dock bug, [ED: and] that you just deleted TextEdit, or that OS X and Linux are closer than you might think

Let's go step by step. I apparently tried to drag an application off the dock while dragging a file onto another application at the same time (the computer slowed down and I went on doing it anyway before the action was performed). Here's the turnout:
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Now, what would you do if you had accidentally deleted TextEdit and didn't feel like getting out your install disk because you'll be wiping your system anyway in a few days? Xcode is the answer! It works fine as a rich text editor (and a plain text editor, I'm also assuming).

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And now, what would you think if I told you that the Un*x base isn't one of the few things OS X and Linux share. In other words, CUPS? This was a surprise for me. I had known the Common Unix Printing System [ED: buggily] on Ubuntu for a while, but I didn't know OS X had also implemented it at all (and in a MUCH more stable fashion, I might add)! Found it under a security update. Apple maintains CUPS.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

KDE 4 Coming Soon

23 days!

Writing a Kernel

The code is strange but the steps are simple. Once you know C, you're ready to go!

I recently decided to haphazardly (my biggest mistake) write an operating system kernel. I used the OSDev Wiki Barebones as a base for it. Here's what I used to compile it. Have fun!

nasm -f elf -o loader.o loader.s
gcc -o kernel.o -c kernel.c -Wall -Werror -nostdlib -nostartfiles -nodefaultlibs
ld -T linker.ld kernel.o loader.o -o kernel.elf

Now on to the next step of this kernel. Make sure you know the C language in depth, especially pointers, memory management, data structures, and algorithms.

Need help? OSDever and the OSDev.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Exploding Piñata

At first look, the Final Cut Pro suite of apps may seem complicated and hard to use, but after taking another look at it, it's simpler than you think. Yesterday I went to the nearby Apple store and got a little tutorial on using the core Final Cut Pro suite apps. If you've ever wondered how they make the professional-looking explosion effects in movies, for example, they probably use something similar to Final Cut and Motion. During the tutorial I got, I made a little video that shows off the power of these two apps. Here I used the default Motion particles for explosions, so it doesn't look that professional. 

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Remnants of OS 9 in Leopard

Here I go exploring system resources again; I found a creepy discovery under some bundles....

anyway, check this cool one out:

And the best.....
the apple logo icon! :D


Sign #178903 that Vista Isn't Doing Well

Sign #178903 that Vista Isn't Doing Well
  • The Removal of Visual Basic from Mac Office 2008
This is probably another one of Microsoft's devious plans to move Mac users back to the PC base. The point of having Office run on the Mac is for it to be the most compatible as possible with Windows, but macros that were even on older Office files will not work with 2008. This will be serious for large businesses and enterprises who need the Excel macros and run on Macs. They'll either

  1. Not upgrade
  2. Move back to the PC with Office 2003 (since Excel power users hate Office 2007)
  3. Move back to the PC with Office 2007 with various frustrations
Nice move, Microsoft. Why don't you just drop DOS and all the cheesy graphics effects and start anew with Un*x?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Apple Secrets on the New Folder Icons

I think Apple accidentally left a hint as to what the folder icons looked before they were completely changed in Leopard; it's sorta like a mix between the Tiger icons and the Leopard folder icons. Open up a Finder window and navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices. Right-click (or ctrl+click) on the Finder application and select "Show Package Contents".  Now, go under Contents/Resources. There are three little goodies I want to show you here. If you want to make the Time Machine background your wallpaper, copy/paste the vortex.png file out of the Finder package. There's also a cool Safari icon as webpageLoader.png. Now, for the folder icons. Hmm... what's BackupSnapshot.icns and bluefronton.png? The latter seems to be Apple's original idea for folder icons. Pretty interesting....

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Logo

The Unix Geek blog now has a new logo! Compare the old one to the new one :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

GeekThought: If it's free, should it be open source?

When I say free here, I mean free as in "no price" not as in "free speech." If companies release free software, unless some type of revenue is made from it, why shouldn't it be open source? Ok. Take Safari from Apple for example. It's free, right? Anyone can download it and give feedback, etc. It's both OS X and Windows compatible. Why not make it open-source? It would be great for those who'd like to study the source code. Now, what about iTunes? It's free right? Yes, the program is free, but I can understand why Apple won't release iTunes source code since then it might be easy to get music cheaper than normal at the iTunes store. Also, Apple Mail, iMovie HD 6 (which is being given away by Apple), Mac System 7, Apple ][, and perhaps even the first version of Keynote or Pages (not Numbers since it's brand-new).... there's so much for which source code no longer needs to be hidden.

What are your thoughts?