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Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Screen, a terminals best friend

Posted by slayton on May 31, 2009

One of my favorite things about using linux is the terminal.  One thing that annoyed me when I started using linux was if I started an application in the terminal I had to leave the terminal running; if I closed the terminal the running application would also close. The simple solution to this problem is a little appliction called screen.

Next time you run an application in a terminal start it with screen:

screen <application_name>

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Posted in How To, Linux | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to stream video to your XBox360 using Ubuntu + uShare

Posted by slayton on April 26, 2009

I’ve known for a while that the newest Xbox 360 software supports streaming video from a computer running Window Media Center. What I didn’t know is that when Microsoft added the media center capabilities they decided to use someone else’s media server standard; UPnP to be precise.

This is really exciting because this means that anybody who implements this standard can stream video to an Xbox over the network.

I run Ubuntu Linux and discovered that there are several programs you can install that will setup a UPnP Media Server, the one I picked to use is uShare.  To install ushare I opened a terminal and ran:

sudo apt-get install ushare

After that I had to edit the ushare configuration file saved under /etc/ushare.conf

If you don’t feel comfortable editing the file you can run to help you setup the configuration file.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure ushare

Here is how I setup my file (I’ve removed the comments from the file for readability):


USHARE_IFACE=eth0 (the name of which ethernet adapter you’ll send the data over)



USHARE_DIR=/home/slayton/Desktop/Shares (any dir will work just put your media there)



USHARE_ENABLE_XBOX=yes (the USHARE_ is missing in the file you need to add it)


uShare automatically starts a daemon upon boot, I don’t like this so I kill the daemon after boot with:

sudo /etc/init.d/ushare stop

Then I start uShare when I need it with:

ushare -x  (-x is for xbox compatible mode)

Start up your Xbox scroll the Video Library, select Ubuntu_Media_Server (or whatever name you picked) and begin the streaming goodness!

Posted in How To, Linux, Stick it to the man | Tagged: , , , , | 22 Comments »

How I got around Comcast’s blockade of SSH

Posted by slayton on April 21, 2009

I have 2 computers a home computer and a work computer. I do a lot of work on both of them and being able to access files on one from the other is essential.  To do this securely I use SSH.  The only problem is that I can only SSH from my home computer to my work, but I can’t SSH in the other direction. I’ve done some reading around and it looks like comcast either blocks all incoming traffic that isn’t http related or actually has me sharing an IP with several people. Regardless, a lot of people have been having problems accepting incoming SSH connections with comcast.  I figured out how to get around this problem. All it takes is a little bit of reverse port forwarding, or reverse tunneling.

Here is how I did it.

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Posted in How To, Linux, Stick it to the man | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Everyone says Linux is secure, here are the facts!

Posted by slayton on October 7, 2008

I have been asked by more people then I can count “How is linux better then windows?”  My response is usually, something like “better is kind of a subjective term, but one thing linux does better then windows is security.”  To that the usual response I get is “Why is linux more secure?”  Today I hope to answer this question by illustrating a few key differences between the ways that Windows and Linux handle security and why Linux does a better job.  (Buckle up this may be a longer post)

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Posted in Linux | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Terminal

Posted by slayton on October 4, 2008

The Terminal.

To start out this post I’m going to pose a simple question. What can you do faster, type out ten words on your keyboard or click 10 different icons spread around your desktop.  Most people when intially posed this question respond that clicking is faster.  This may be the case if the icons are really close and you don’t know how to type, but as soon as you have very basic typing skills it becomes much easier to type commands then to perform a visual search, followed by moving and then clicking a mouse.

If you know what your doing you can almost always perform the task many times more quickly and efficiently in the terminal. In fact you will eventually learn that there are many things that can really only be accomplished in a terminal. The terminal like most things in linux isn’t designed to be easy to learn, but easy to use.  The learning curve is steep but once you’ve reached the top you’ll be doing thins faster and more efficiently then you ever could using the GUI.

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Posted in Linux | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »