Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fedora 9 on USB

Well I had a 4GB USB drive laying around so I figured that it would be good to test this new live feature on the Fedora Project. The only thing that I found really interesting is that the ability to setup this USB key had a Windows Application to set the entire process. This makes it easy for Windows users to try the entire system with out having to re-partition their drives.

The first thing you need is to download the Fedora Live CD ISO file. This will be what gets installed on the USB key. The next thing you need is the Fedora Live USB Creator This program will create your Fedora install in the USB Key.

After finally going through all of the USB key setup I booted a computer to see if it would work. The computer worked except for the WiFi card. I knew this would be the case since the WiFi card is a Broadcom chipset. Then I put the key aside for another day, a day which I would have some time to play more.

There was only one limitation you can only setup a maxium for the file system space to use which is 2GB from the live usb creator. This gave me still 2GB for file space that I can share with other systems.

The day has come when I could play more. I connected the key to my main laptop which is a Dell Latitude D820. I pressed F12 to bring up the boot menu at the BIOS. Booted the and found that this computer even the WiFi card was found. Got to love that Intel WiFi cards have a native kernel driver. Even the WiFi led works which doesn't work on the latest Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Release.

Next I figured lets see what I can break. I setup my VPN connection so I could log into a WiFi connection where I happened to be located. Sure enough it worked right away. So now I wanted to do more. I had the system check for updates, I then downloaded and installed all of the updates for Fedora 9 since it was released.

Then I figured lest break something else. I when to Adobe Air and downloaded the Alpha for Linux install and installed it. This was a little tricky since you have to run the install as a basic user and durning the install it asks for the root password during the install. This worked so then I figured twhirl, check my last post. It seemed to have the same install issue as the Adobe Air install.

After that I played with this for a while and figured it was time to add this to my blog. There are a few things missing but for a live version of this linux distribution. No OpenOffice, no out of the box support for my nVidia video card 3D graphics. It does have Abiword and a basic spreadsheet.

After playing with the usb for a few hours I put it away for use when I need it later. All of this post has been produced in Fedora 9 on the USB Key. I hope you enjoy and sometime maybe you will be using a USB key to support working on other computers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Review twhirl vs spaz

After playing with both Spaz and twhirl I finally have a final vote for which one I will be using on my computers. After all was said and done I hope you find the same results as me. Both seem to have issues in the Linux environment, and here is what I found testing them on Windows and Linux using Ubuntu 8.04 distrubtion. Both are Adobe AIR software which is Adobe's cross platform software development tool. The software will install the same on any operating system that is supported by Adobe AIR.

Spaz can be downloaded and installed from

Spaz I noticed that when you start it for the first time you have to enter your username and password for twitter, but the user name and password boxes appear over all of the settings options. I wasn't sure I was entering the username and password in the correct location. It worked and has some very cool sounds to it, kind of making me think of the old NBC tones that used to play inbetween the tv shows. I got totally spazzed that this program worked better than any of the other clients that were native to linux. The only draw back is every time I restart my computer I had to re-enter my username and password.

Then there is twhirl. My entire body was went into twitter overload. It allows you to cross post to other applications, search through the twitter database to see what others have tweeted about in the past. Say you need to know about a program. You want to see if people like the program. You can search for that program name. Sure enough tweets appear with that program name or what ever you search in for.

Twhirl also allows you to add other twitter accounts god for bid you have more than one twitter account and want to post to more and more accounts at one time. Also you can view and post to your friendfeed account. I guess you can also add multiple friendfeed accounts just like twitter and keep track of many of them.

twhirl can be download at

After playing with both of them for a week I have totally fallen in love with twhirl it has more features that I like.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Microsoft Live Mesh

This is a cool new option from microsoft. You can remote any one of your Windows computers that is on the Mesh and you can share files from each of the computers. You have a Live Desktop when can be opened from any (even firefox in linux) web browser that will allow you to download your files and work on them. When you upload your files back to the Mesh the new file is synced to any computer that is part of your Live Mesh. This makes for easy of keeping all of your files up to date and working smothly. Here are a few screen shots of the Live Desktop on my Ubuntu computer with files I was playing around with. Click on the images above to see in better detail what the desktop looks like.

Iighting and USB talk from College Friends in the Wild Podcast

USB Hard drive enclosure issues Jarrett caused when he thought the yellow ribbon cable on the picture above was removable. Now no IDE works on that enclosure.
This is a TV or Radio Tower being hit by lightning in Harrisburg PA. A very cool image we talked about on our podcast at Finally getting some time to update all of the sites I work on and updating here.