the linux newb

all things tech

Getting a bluescreen with Truecrypt?

Recently, I was getting a BSOD on Windows when trying to mount a Truecrypt partition.  I had no idea what the heck was going on, until I came across a forum post.  Well, I was using Ext2 Installable File System for Windows to mount my Linux partitions on Windows.  The driver that it uses somehow conflicts with Truecrypt.  I never went into too much depth with this besides uninstalling Ext2 Installable File System for Windows, and BAM, everything worked fine.  Just thought I would pass this along to everyone.

Hope this helps!

03/10/2008 Posted by | Linux, Random | | 7 Comments

Convert video with VLC and drag and drop batch script…

Courtesy of, I came across an article about the many uses of VLC.  My favorite was the ability to convert any video with a drag and drop batch script.  Here’s some of the article…

“If you regularly convert files to a specific file format—say, for your iPod—you can set up a batch file with VLC that will make video conversions as easy as dragging and dropping the to-be-converted file onto the script.

Create a new text file and save it as VLC Converter.bat. Make sure your filesystem is showing file extensions so you aren’t saving it as a text file (you don’t want to end up with something like VLC Converter.bat.txt). You need to make sure it’s saving with the BAT extension.

If you were building the script from scratch, at this point you’d open up the file you just created and paste “C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe” %1 in the first line. Now you need to get the command line options that describe how VLC should convert the file. For that, you can use the text generated by the Target textbox at the top of the Stream/Save Settings window described in steps two and three of the DVD ripping guide above, which displays the command line options you need for your batch file. Luckily a user at the iPod forums at iLounge already put together a VLC batch conversion script for iPods, so we can just use those settings, which look like this:

“C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe” %1 :sout=#transcode{vcodec=mp4v,vb=1024,scale=1,height=240,width=320,acodec=mp4a,ab=128,channels=2}:duplicate{dst=std{access=file,mux=mp4,dst=%1.mp4}}”

10/07/2008 Posted by | how-to, Random | | Leave a comment

Ultimate Boot CD on Thumb Drive…

Here is an easy how-to on installing and running the Ultimate Boot CD on a thumb drive.

18/05/2008 Posted by | how-to, Productivity, Random | 1 Comment

Tired of paying for 411?

Use Google from your phone by talking, not typing…oh yea…and the best part…IT’S FREE!

21/04/2008 Posted by | Productivity, Random | Leave a comment

Tor using Firefox and Opensuse 10.3

There are those times when anonymous web browsing is needed, and when this time arises, I use Tor. If you don’t know about Tor, go to their website and do some research on it and anonymous browsing. It really helps when you are behind a firewall that won’t allow some sites to be accessed.

I got Tor working using the Torbutton plugin on Firefox, Privoxy, and Tor on Opensuse 10.3. I first had to download Tor and Privoxy; you can get Tor from here and Privoxy from Yast or here.

After installation, Tor might tell you that it cannot access the torrc file from /etc/tor/, so all I did was “touch torrc” into that directory and Tor ran fine. Also, you may have to go into the /etc/privoxy/config file and add “forward-socks4a /” to it (do not forget the “.” at the end of the line).  I was having trouble with it until I did these two steps.  I then set Tor and Privoxy to start at boot by going into Yast and setting them to boot at startup.

I can now click on “Tor Disabled/Enabled” for a quick switch to and from anonymous proxy browsing.

12/04/2008 Posted by | how-to, Productivity, Random | 1 Comment

Create a Badge

Badge Maker is a website that allows users to create their own badges as a joke or as a temporary free service. There is a simple interface that allows user to customize pictures, titles, expiration dates, and even an official looking barcode.

If you have to create a badge for any reason, then try it out.

07/04/2008 Posted by | Productivity, Random | 1 Comment

Microsoft extends life of XP…again

I guess Microsoft is finally realizing that Vista just isn’t taking off like they had planned, so they are extending the life of XP again. Microsoft said they are only going to sell Microsoft XP Home on computers that it calls, “ultra-low-cost PCs.” Ultra-low-cost PCs being those that have a slower processor, smaller screens, and in many cases use flash memory for storage. Oh boy…thanks Microsoft! Long live the Penguin!

Read the rest of the story over at Cnet.

04/04/2008 Posted by | Linux, Random | | 1 Comment

Amazing binary calculator made of wood.

Just go to the website and check it out.


19/03/2008 Posted by | Productivity, Random | | Leave a comment

Traveling out of the country soon…protect your laptop.

Cnet’s Iconoclast blog has posted good steps to securing your data on your laptop when Customs decides to take it and scour it for any data that they deem a security threat.  The Customs’ agents can (and will) take your laptop, copy your data, and then return it days (maybe even weeks) later.

Now, I am all for “Homeland Security,” and protecting our borders; but don’t you think there might be a better way to go about this?

Read the blog and decide for yourself.

15/03/2008 Posted by | encryption, Random, Security | | Leave a comment

Mac OS X style dock in Javascript

Mac’s “fish-eye” dock effect has been successfully reproduced in Javascript. If you don’t know what this effect is, it’s the effect that makes the icons expand and contract when the mouse moves over them. A demonstration of this Javascript can be found at

12/03/2008 Posted by | Random | , , | Leave a comment