Steneteg.org

Last sunday I bought the domain steneteg.org after a lot of thinking about how I would host it. The different alternatives I thought about was to either go the easy route and use a cheap web hotel that would host the websites and email, or to go the more advanced route and host everything myself on a VPS (Virtual Private Server).

The solution I choose was the more advanced route and the arguments that won me over was:

  • More control and possibilities, Root access
  • Good experience of hosting my own services
  • Datacenter location choises (Always nice to have an American IP address)
  • The most important argument I think was to get the experience of running my own email server etc, I think it would look good in my resume.

Since the VPS solution costs more then a web hotel it would be nice if I could discontinue to run my server at home 24/7 since it uses a bit of electricity, but since I need some server for storage of photos, backup etc that won't fit on a VPS I will need to both for a while longer.

So now I have gotten my email server up and running and I just moved my blog over too.

I created a self-signed certificate in order to use SSL for email authentication and login on the websites. Works okay, I've installed the certifiate on my computer, phone (android 4) and tablet (android 3.2). I have not managed to get the certificate to work properly on the tablet, but it works on android 4 so I hope Motorola will push out android 4 to my Xoom tablet soon.

Desktop environment war

The last weeks I have been troubled about which desktop environment that I want to use in GNU/Linux. I have been an Ubuntu Unity user for a while and I think Unity is quite nice, but I have some issues like the overlay scrollbars, the global application menu and the application-centric window switch behaviour. These issues can be fixed by uninstalling some packages and doing some configuration with unity tweak tools but somehow it feels wrong having to uninstall parts for the environment to be usable.

So I decided to try out KDE on Debian, this decision was also based on that I was curious to try out KDE since the Plasma-active team would be releasing a tablet soon. The KDE side of things was not bad, it has much more options and configuration settings visible for the user which even though it's nice does clutter the interface. I also found it a little unstable, like KDE crashing when I resumed my laptop from suspended mode and some troubles with connecting/disconnecting a second monitor. These instability issues can surely be fixed but I decided to go back to Ubuntu/Unity.

I also tried out Cinnamon by the Linux Mint team, Cinnamon which is a fork of Gnome-shell but with a more Gnome2 look and feel. Cinnamon was quite nice, felt much better then Gnome-shell even though still being early in it's development. My biggest issue with Gnome-shell is the overview mode and lack of a normal taskbar for switching between applications.

A small problem I had when I switched back from Debian/KDE was that my multimedia buttons on my laptop keyboard for mute/volume/LCD brightness was no longer working. Seems quite wierd since I reinstalled the whole computer. Tried some troubleshooting with some tools to see if the OS registered the key events but they were not picked up. The solution was simply to shut down the computer, remove the power cord and battery and then powering it up again and the button was working again.

So to summarize this post I'm back in Unity and it feels good, realizing that I have been missing it while trying out the other desktop environments.

I have also tried to use XFCE and Awesome but they didn't quite do it for me :D

Minecraft on Ubuntu 11.10

A friend asked me about playing Minecraft in multiplayer, this made me want to try out the new features in Minecraft 1.1 since last time I played was Minecraft 0.7.

However it was not as easy to run as last time, I'm running a 64bit version of Ubuntu 11.10 and Ubuntu does not have Oracle Java runtime 7 installed or in the repositories because of licencing issues.

I wanted to keep the OpenJDK 7 as default on my machine so I decided to go with a method without modifying the whole system.

First download the latest Java JRE from Oracle (Minecraft required you to use the 32-bit JRE version): http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre-7u2-download-1377135.html

Create a folder for Minecraft e.g. ~/Games/minecraft

Extract the Java JRE into the minecraft folder:

cd ~/Games/minecraft
tar -zxvf ~/Downloads/jre-7u2-linux-i586.tar.gz

Download minecraft.jar from http://www.minecraft.net to ~/Games/minecraft

Create a script for launching minecraft with the correct Java version

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#!/bin/sh
MINECRAFT_DIR=$HOME/Games/minecraft
JAVA_LIB=$MINECRAFT_DIR/jre1.7.0_02/lib/i386
JAVA_BIN=$MINECRAFT_DIR/jre1.7.0_02/bin/java
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$JAVA_LIB
$JAVA_BIN -jar $MINECRAFT_DIR/minecraft.jar

Make the script executable and run it to start Minecraft.

Happy crafting

1000+ downloads

My rsrdp application has now reached over 1000 downloads on sourceforge (not including mirrors hosted by other sites like Softpedia etc).

Yesterday I also noticed that AvoidErrors has posted a video tutorial about how to use rsrdp to connect to multiple hosts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYIc3kxI9-o.

I have also created a project homepage on http://rsrdp.sourceforge.net where I have also added a donation button for people kind enough to donate money for the development of this software. It is also an interesting experiement to see if people actually uses these donate buttons. The downside is that the site rsrdp.sourceforge.net is still in the shadows since the project page sourceforge.net/projects/rsrdp is the site that appears on searches on Google etc.

I have also uploaded a release document used by rsrdp to check if there is a newer version available, the address to the release document will be added as the default update URL in version 1.4. If you use rsrdp and dont want to wait you can set the updateserver key value in your rsrdp.xml to http://rsrdp.sourceforge.net/releases.xml