the linux newb

all things tech

Spicebird, desktop collaboration tool

Spicebird (created by Synovel Technologies) is a desktop, Mozilla-based collaboration suite that integrates email, calendar-sharing, and instant messaging into one application. Spicebird is built on Thunderbird (for email), Lightning (for calendar sharing), and SamePlace (a firefox extension that provides instant messaging).


Unfortunately, Spicebird has not been released to open source alpha yet, but soon. To see a demo of Spicebird, click here.


28/12/2007 Posted by | open source, Productivity, Random | 1 Comment

Vibestreamer, music server (Updated)

I know this one isn’t new, but I am still loving Vibestreamer. It’s a music server that can run on top of Windows. Very simple interface for users that are not familiar with streaming servers. Just add your users, point to the music directory, port-forward through your router, enable Dynamic DNS (for those of you that use dynamic DHCP from your Internet Service Provider), and click start. This program runs in the taskbar, but there are ways to make it run as a service. Go out and try Vibestreamer, and you can stream music to your friends and family, and if you don’t have your MP3 player with you but have access to a computer. Cheers.

26/12/2007 Posted by | Random | , , | Leave a comment

Linux MCE

I just watched the video on Linux MCE (Media Center, a whole house solution), and I thought it was incredible. I haven’t gotten a chance to try it out yet because I am away from my home at the moment, but as soon as I get back I will be setting up and testing this software. This particular setup was running on top of Kubuntu and it looks like the best option for a digital home.

The wiki has all of the information needed to set this up and a helpful video to go along. For hardware that works with Linux MCE, visit Fiire.

If anyone has tried this, I would love to hear comments about it.

22/12/2007 Posted by | Linux, Random | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays! Christmas Carols for the Mentally Disturbed

I know this isn’t a related post, but I thought it was funny and I guess all IT professionals have at least one of these. I think mine would be #10…enjoy…

Mental Christmas Carols

image source

21/12/2007 Posted by | Random | | Leave a comment

Silver lining?

Since I use OpenSuSE 10.2 on my laptop, I have been searching for a good music organizer for my Ipod. I started using Amarok, which worked pretty good. But, me being the lazy person that I am, I wanted something more simple to use. I did some research and I found Floola, and it works great! Very intuitive and simple. I still download some podcasts to listen to, and subscribing couldn’t be easier. I just visited the sites that I wanted to subscribe to, copy the link (which gets stored in the clipboard), and as long as Floola is open with my Ipod connected, it asks me if I want to subscribe. After subscribing, just download and update.

Well, last night I was updating some of my podcast subscriptions, and after I was finished I unhooked my Ipod without unmounting it. I wasn’t thinking and was in a hurry. Oh nooooooo!!!! To my horror all of my music, playlists, videos, podcasts, everything was gone! I cannot stress enough to safely unmount devices!

After this debacle I decided to try something new and download Rockbox, an open-source jukebox firmware for different media players. What it does is give me a different interface on my Ipod Video (5th Gen). I absolutely love it…right now, at least. I have not been able to play with all of the different options yet, but I have downloaded and installed Doom. Yes, Doom…gotta love being able to play this classic! I know this is nothing new and people have been doing this for years, but hey, it’s new to me.

I guess my impatience actually paid off for once because I wouldn’t have tried Rockbox without having lost all of my content.  Oh, I did have a backup of all of my music which helped me immensely.  The lesson of the day is…always safely unmount your devices and always have a backup of everything that is important to you.

I will continue to update on anything I find about Rockbox. I also encourage everyone to use Floola and Rockbox, both great applications for your media player! Got to love open-source!


21/12/2007 Posted by | open source | , , | Leave a comment

IT Toolbox

A couple of my friends (thanks Chris and Mike) work as security analysts for a DoD (Department of Defense) contractor, and they have put together a digital toolbox that includes applications that can run directly from a thumbdrive, leaving little to no footprint.

The toolbox was designed for use on stand-alone networks, non-remotely administered systems, and other factors. Programs used are for tasks such as malicious software removal, error analysis, optimizations, and security.

Applications are added to the toolbox as problems arise, and this “toolbox” is not limited to just these applications.

Just a side-note, all of the programs are either open-source or free, and I have added some other applications to my own toolbox. I invite comments if you have come across other helpful programs. And please, if you will, donate to the developers so that they will continue to create great software!

21/12/2007 Posted by | Security | Leave a comment

Firefox, the cause for detention?

I was cruising through today and came across a story about a high school student getting detention for using Firefox. I can’t even comment on this because it’s so ridiculous. What next, caning because a student uses a Linux Live CD in class?


16/12/2007 Posted by | Firefox | 1 Comment

VMware and the .vmx file (revisited)

I am fairly new to VM and their applications, but I having a growing love for them each and every day. I recently created a virtual machine with VMware Workstation 5.5 and wanted to move this virtual machine to another physical machine. I installed VMplayer (free appliance) on the other physical machine. Using WinSCP, I copied the folder created by Workstation to the physical machine and opened the .vmx file with VMplayer. The virtual machine opened and worked on the physical machine.

After installation of VMplayer

Opening .vmx file on VMplayer


VMplayer then asks how you received the .vmx file, I chose that I copied it.

16/12/2007 Posted by | VMware | Leave a comment

BackTrack 3 Beta

From the devs over at, the ever-so-popular BackTrack 3 Beta is available for download. Great news for all of you security freaks.

A great teaser video for BackTrack3 can be found here.

BackTrack 3 Beta ISO version (Stripped Down – 700 mb)…07.iso.torrent
md5sum : 04ed8742fc8facd1ecc8c9f6f567c116
shasum : 70c33e0aa75a978b8a87a207bf488ecec8d10a87

BackTrack 3 Beta USB version (946 mb)…07.rar.torrent
md5sum : bd0d8f507502787184b187f5a39288df
shasum : 853b80a77e3881e8084c797ba55077ead15f84ae

15/12/2007 Posted by | Linux, Security | 1 Comment

VMware and the .vmx file

So, I’m doing an experiment for myself which includes creating a virtual machine on VMware Workstation 5.5 and transferring the .vmx file to another computer running VMplayer. I’m not real sure this is going to work, but if it does then I will be able to report later.

14/12/2007 Posted by | VMware | Leave a comment