Monday, 30 May 2011

How To Run Another Operating System In Ubuntu

     If there is some reason that you still want to use the Windows OS while still using Ubuntu it will not be that hard to do. There are two programs out there that will emulate Windows OS very easily VirtualBox and VMware. Both programs will work with Windows, Apple (Mac) and Linux machines.
     Now I will take a look at VMware and why I find it a stronger program to run a virtual operating system. Now VMware has two versions for desktop users the free version VMware Player this version is a stripped down version. VMware also has a Workstation version. I am going to be covering the Player version in this write up. To get your hands on this version you will have to register and download a copy off the VMware website.
     To install this program will take a little bit of work. Go to were you downloaded the program. Right click on the file and go to properties. Go to the Permissions tab and click on the Execute box. Then close the box and then you should move the file to your Desktop if it is not all ready there. You will then have to open up your Terminal program. Once the program is up you should be able to get to your Desktop by just typing in cd Desktop and then press enter. You will have to then type sudo sh and then the whole file name. Terminal will prompt you to put in your password to install the program. You will then just have to follow the prompts until it is installed. When it is done installing you will have to click on your Ubuntu icon on the top left and do a search for VMware.
      When the program opens up you will want to right click on the Home icon and select Create a New Virtual Machine. Here is a list of operating systems you can install Windows, Linux, Novell Netware, Sun Solaris, MS-DOS and FreeBSD. Now I am not going to be covering all the installs but I will cover Windows a little bit. The other operating systems should be pretty straight forward if you are use to them. Now depending on what Windows version you are installing there will be things you can enter to help the installation. Depending on the install you can put in a system password and put the product key code in. You will also be able to install the operating system into what ever hard drive you want. If you have a faster hard drive I would install the OS on the faster hard drive.
      Now another great feature that VMware has is that if you have to format or remove VMware you can still reuse the OS you installed. You will have to make sure you save the directory the VMware OS is installed. Right click on the Home icon after VMware is reinstalled and click on Open a Virtual Machine. Then look for were you saved the OS and look for the file with .vmx extension. Once your operating system is installed you can start it up by double clicking the operating system name in VMware. VMware also lets you move one VM from one to computer to another. This is a great idea because if you are running a production system that needs to stay up all the time. You can move the OS to another computer while you shut down the other one if need be in real time. So if you are running say a web site your customers will not see it go down. The only down side is that you need another computer running at the same time that is identical to the production computer.
     Now I know I have not covered VirtualBox but that program works almost the same as VMware. There are a few things that VirtualBox can not do like move a VM from one computer to another in real time. Also I wanted to cover the stronger of the two, I might cover how to install with VirtualBox down the road.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

A little Off Topic (Tux The Linux Mascot)

     Hey there if you are not aware yet the mascot for the Linux operating system is the penguin named Tux. I found on YouTube a video showing him on a Fruit Loops commercial. This is off topic but I thought it would be a little fun to see were Linux is showing up at. 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

DVD, Flash, MP3 Playback And Much More

     Are you new to Ubuntu and you are wanting to watch DVD's, watch on-line video's or listen to mp3 music. Then you will have to install a certain software package. This package should work with any Ubuntu version out there. Please note that this package may not be legal in some countries. If this package is illegal in your area you should not install it.
     You will need to open up the Ubuntu Software Centre or Synaptic Package Manager. You will want to do a search for ubuntu restricted extras. You will want to install this package and also ubuntu restricted addons package. If you are running Xubuntu, Kubuntu or Lubuntu you will need to install the package that belongs to that distro. You can also buy and download the Fluendo Windows Media Pack for $24.95. You can get this program in the Ubuntu Software Centre under Get Software then under For Purchase. But note this program will only work for Windows related media files. I have found that the ubuntu restricted extras/addons package has everything that the Fluendo Windows Media Pack has. I have also bought and tried playback of a .avi file with the Fluendo Windows Media Pack and found it to be choppy.
     Now you need to note that this package will play dvd's but only if they are not encrypted. So home movies and some foreign movies should be fine. Now to play restricted movies you will have to install libdvdread4 into your system. Now what you will need to do is first open up the terminal program. After that you will need to put this in "sudo apt-get install libdvddread4" without the quotes. Next you will have to put in " sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/" without the quotes. After that you should be able to play DVD's without reseting the computer. Remember you will need to make sure this is legal in your area.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule

     With Ubuntu 11.04 now out Canonical (the makers of Ubuntu) have now set there eyes on a release date for Ubuntu 11.10 code named Oneiric Ocelot. The dates are as followed and remember they can change at anytime:
June 2nd, 2011 - Alpha 1 release
June 30th, 2011 - Alpha 2 release
August 4th, 2011 - Alpha 3 release
September 1st, 2011 - Beta 1 release
September 22nd, 2011 - Beta 2 release
October 13th, 2011 - Final release of ubuntu 11.10
     Now I will not be going over the up coming changes right now. The reason for this is because of how far the release date is. With the other versions that have come out things have changed a lot before they were released. Once the alphas start coming out more I will take a better look into what has changed or should be changing. The next release after 11.10 is 12.04 and it is a long term release support (LTS). Mark Shuttleworth has recently stated that with the new releases coming and the change to the Unity interface. Canonical is pushing for two hundred million new users.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals Certificate

     Today I went to write and passed the CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals certificate. You maybe saying since I have my CompTIA A+ CE I should have taken the CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals first. You would be right in saying that. I felt that getting this certificate would help me have a stronger feel for computer hardware and software.
     Now the certificate is seventy questions and you only have sixty minutes to complete the test. If you have never done a test before or you are new to computers you should take your time. Make sure you read over all the questions carefully. Make sure when you are done answering all of the questions if you have time to review your answers.
     If you are just getting into the computer industry the CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals certificate is the best place to start with before going for your CompTIA A+ CE. The IT industry looks very positive towards getting your papers. Certifications and certificates will not only show to yourself but to employers that you know what you are doing when it comes to computers.  For more information on CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals and CompTIA A+ CE certifications/certificate CompTIA.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Atom Zombie Smasher Review

     We'll today I am going to take a look at a game I have been playing on and off for the past 6 months the game is called Atom Zombie Smasher. Remember that this game is tested on Ubuntu so it does not one hundred percent reflect any other platform that this game maybe on.
     This game is a top down action style game with not a lot in the way of cut scenes. You play from a over the city few of the game. During the game you get different mercenary units that can help you out in different ways. You will have to get the people out of the city via a helicopter before night fall. If you get them all out before night fall you capture the city.
     For some information about the back story of the game. The game looks and feels like it is based around the 1940's. There is a zombie out break for what looks to be a country and you have to go around to each city and destroy the zombie's there. 
     Taking a look first at the good points of the game. The music plays very well with the game play, the music is better to have on then no music at all. The controls are really solid I did not have any issues getting my characters to were they needed to be. The graphics are solid as well with buildings being able to be destroyed and the people and zombies as square dots. Now I did not mind the fact that people/zombies are square dots. Since you do play on a top city view it would be to hard to see the people/zombies if they looked real. They seem to be also putting out updates almost every week or so, so they are actively supporting the game. 
     For the bad parts of the game and there are a few. The first part would be the fact that then you are picking up people to rescue they seem to run away from you. I have found quite a few times people running away from the helicopter and right into zombies. Speaking about the helicopter it does not stay down long enough on the ground. What I mean about this is that you could be almost full of people and more people coming and the helicopter just takes off. You should be able to tell it to stay down as long as you want. There is also no installer for the game so that means also that there is no game icon in your game menu. This would be bad for people that was not use to finding the game in the game directory. There is not much in the way of replay value in the game you just play the same levels over and over. The levels do change a little bit were the zombies come out but there really is no difference in the levels. There is also not much in the way of a story to the game. You have to click on a button during the load times between levels to see what little story there is. When you do click on the button the story that is told does not have any continuity in the story. There are characters in the game but you do not have a feeling about what there involvement in the game really is.
     I would give this game 5.0 out of 10. It would have been nice to see with all the updates that they have been putting out to make it a more solid game. You can find the game here Blendo Games and as of this writing the game cost $15.00.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Test System Hardware Update #3

     We'll I have upgraded the test system with adding a second Nvidia Geforce GTS 450 video card. I now have the the system in a three way sli configuration. Now you maybe asking how do I have a three way sli with only two Nvidia Geforce GTS 450 cards. We'll the Asus M3N-HT motherboard has a built in video card with what Asus calls hybrid technology. What this does is let you run your built in video card in a sli configuration so you can get more graphic power. When you want to use your built in video card this way you have to make sure that you have the card enabled in the BIOS. You should start the Nvidia X Server Settings program when your operating systems starts up.  In there you will see well for this motherboard the nForce 980a/780a SLI video card and the other video cards in your computer.
     When I added the Asus Xonar DX 7.1 and the D-Link DWA-556 Xtreme N cards I could not install another Nvidia Geforce GTS 450 card. There was just no more room on the motherboard to add another one. So remember if you want more video cards you need to plan out what you are going to put into the computer first. You will also need to be aware of how much more power another video card is going to pull from your power supply. If you are going to run two or more none built in video cards you should be running 800 watts or more of power. If you do not have enough power you could do some damage to your computer components. I have yet to push this system yet with the new video card installed but I will let everyone know how it works out.