Microsoft lawsuit in EU over packaging IE (again)

25 02 2009

Can someone tell me why we feel the need to harass Microsoft for bundling IE on their own flipping OS?

Without IE, I wouldnt’ be able to get online very easily, to go download Chrome or FF or Opera or whatever.

If MS is forced to remove IE, they should also have to remove every MS-made operating system driver.  By the gods, they are taking away my ability to choose which driver powers my DVD burner!!  To hell with MS and their packaged drivers!

Get real, you idiots.  Let them package their browser.  Apple does.  Ubuntu packages someone ELSE’s browser in their operating system!  If that isn’t deplorable (by the lawsuit’s standards) then I don’t know what is!

Windows hosts file

12 02 2009

At least on an x86 machine (not 64-bit windows), the file is found here:


Alternatively, you can enter this and find it:


The file has no extention, so you’re best off dragging it into a text editor.  If you found this post by searching the web, you probably already know what the file does, and so your journey has ended here.

If you have no idea what this file does, I’d recommend you ask yourself why you’re reading random blog posts for the heck of it. .. And then you may proceed.

The hosts file is basically a set of aliases to IP addresses.  For instance, you can type “localhost” into your browser, and you’ll hit your own computer.  As far as this post goes, that’s pretty much the effect of tieing ‘’ to ‘localhost’.  (Let it be known that the two are slightly different, functionally, but it doesn’t matter for this discussion.)

So, tired of typing out any really long domain names?  Access a remote computer’s web server frequently?

I have a linux box at home, which runs only a web server and a few tools of mine.  Its name is ‘rydia’ (props to FF2/4), but my main desktop computer at home doesn’t know that.  My computer at work doesn’t know that.  So I figure out why my box’s IP address is, and then I alias it in my Windows hosts file:   rydia

You’ll note that the IP address is one given out by Hamachi.  So then all I have to do now is put this into my browser:


and I’ll get my little linux box’s web server.

LINUX: Set root password

31 01 2009

So, this isn’t tough stuff, but any gui-loving user will find themselves in shambles when put in front of a l?[ui]n[iu]x (pardon the regex) terminal.  That is to say that it’s OKAY if you’re good “at computers”, yet you can’t fumble your way around a unix-style terminal.

I recently set up my own headless (no GUI) Ubuntu Linux, 8.10 server edition on an old computer I have lying around.  I decided that making it run Apache and my personal SVN repositories (while doubling as a 160gb backup drive 🙂 ) was a good idea.  Problem is, after I got it all set up, I of course have no decent programs, and suddenly find myself wanting to browse the web on my new server box, to find the appropriate urls to feed to the ‘wget’ command.  And I’m tired of pushing my monitor’s “switch input source” button.

By default, Ubuntu tries to abstract the root account from you by letting you perform “root”-ish operations with your own account, using the sudo command.  But sometimes I just want to be root for an effing minute while I do stuff.  By default, Ubuntu comes with no password on the root account, meaning that it also won’t let you sign in with it directly.  Blank passwords are a no-no.

$ sudo passwd root

^^ that ‘$’ is the intrawebs’ way of saying “this is the start of a unix command-line thingy”.  And that’s the technical term, trust me.

This is actually the command to change ANY user’s password, but it just so happens that you’re changing the root password, so you of course need  the all-powerful pixie dust of the “sudo” command.  If you were root already, or some other empowered user, you would only have to type:

$ passwd USERnameGOEShere

And it would prompt you for the new password.  But again, if you don’t have good enough authentication, it’ll make you do “sudo” in front of it, or be root altogether.

As pointed out by Dave in the first comment below, the “sudo -s” command is a way to obtain sudo permissions for a more extended period of time.  If that’s all you want, then go for it.  But if you’re looking to actually give the root account a password, then you’ve gotten your instructions already.