Author Archive

WTFriday: What happens when Windows runs out of Disk Space?

February 17, 2012 by George Edison. 11 comments

I have been using the Windows 8 Developer Preview for about 5 months or so and in order to install it on my PC, I had to create a rather small partition on my primary hard drive consisting of only about 16GB. Thankfully, a clean install of Windows 8 will fit comfortably within that space and still provide enough room for some basic utilities and drivers (of course, I do have other secondary partitions that I use for installing applications).

During the installation of a particular application, the free disk space on the partition dropped to about 28MB. One of the users over in the Root Access chat room suggested that I try filling the disk until it is completely full and then blogging about what happens – hence this article. I was a bit reluctant at first since I didn’t want the hassle of reinstalling anything if it became corrupted somehow, but since I have up to date backups of everything, I decided to proceed anyway.

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Running Windows Applications in Linux

September 19, 2011 by George Edison. 3 comments

Ask some Windows users why they aren’t using Linux and chances are you will hear “because [program] doesn’t have a Linux version.” Although cross-platform software is popping up all over the place, there are still a number of applications that are restricted to a single platform – and for a lot of software, that platform is Microsoft Windows.

However, all is not lost. Although Linux has its own executable format and set of system libraries, a tool exists that will allows us to run a good portion of our Windows applications directly in Linux. This tool is of course, Wine. Wine initially began as a small project that was designed to run simple 16-bit Windows applications. As time went on, the target shifted to 32-bit applications and the long and hard process of rewriting Windows’ user-mode libraries began.

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Linux Has an App for That

July 27, 2011 by George Edison. 5 comments

There are a wealth of programs available for Linux that do pretty much everything imaginable. In this article, I’m going to take a look at some common applications as well as some that are perhaps not so well known. I’ll provide a brief description of the application as well as basic usage instructions.

Just as in the last article, I will be using Ubuntu for the instructions below. Since each distribution has its own package management system, it would be impossible to cover all of them here.

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Migrating to Linux from Windows

May 15, 2011 by George Edison. 8 comments

Ask someone what operating system they’re using, and chances are they’ll reply with some version of Windows. It’s hard to find a PC for sale anywhere that doesn’t have some version of Windows pre-installed on it. However, with recent privacy and security threats, Windows has taken a lot of heat for vulnerabilities found within the operating system. For that reason and perhaps others, many are beginning to look at alternatives. One such alternative is Linux.

The decision to migrate to Linux might be based on a number of factors such as performance, security, or stability. Linux is widely known for its robust kernel and raw speed. Many web servers run Linux – in fact, according to Wikipedia, the majority of websites are powered by Linux. Despite its huge presence in the server market though, it does not enjoy the same widespread usage on typical desktop computers – probably the two biggest reasons for that are education and compatibility.

A lot of people are surprised to find out that the same software they use on Windows is either available for Linux or a program with equivalent functionality can be used. In some cases, it is even possible to run Windows applications in Linux using a compatibility layer (such as Wine or Mono). In order to understand Linux a little better, we’ll take a look at its history.

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Working with VLC Media Player – Part 2 of 2

April 9, 2011 by George Edison. 4 comments

 

In the last article, I explained how to stream content using VLC. In this article, we’re going to take a look at using VLC to transcode files as well as how to control VLC with any Internet-connected device.

Transcoding Content

VLC ships with a number of built-in encoders for a wide range of different file formats. According to this page, the list of all of the video formats currently supported includes:

  • MPEG-1 Part 2
  • MPEG-2 Part 2
  • MJPEG (A/B)
  • Divx (1, 2, 3)
  • DivX 4, 5, 6 , 3ivx D4, MPEG-4
  • MPEG-4 Part 2 (AVP), Xvid
  • H.261
  • H.262
  • H.263 / H.263i
  • H.264 / X.264 (MPEG-4/AVC) (MPEG-4 Part.10)
  • Sorenson 1 (Quicktime)
  • DV
  • Theora
  • WMV 1/2 (7/8)
  • On2 VP6 (used by FLV)
  • Flash Screen Video
  • Real Video 1.0, 1.3, 2.0
  • Dirac
  • Huffyuv / Lagarith

Currently supported audio formats include:

  • MPEG-Audio 1 Layer-1/2
  • MP3
  • AAC
  • AC-3
  • Speex
  • Vorbis
  • WMA 1/2
  • Flac
  • ADMPCM (various)
  • AMR
  • Sonic

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Working with VLC Media Player – Part 1 of 2

April 5, 2011 by George Edison. 0 comments

VLC Media Player is one of the most versatile media players out there when it comes to playing back audio and video. The list of supported formats is quite long and covers just about anything you can find on the Internet. VLC is also cross-platform, so it doesn’t matter what OS you’re using – there’s something for everyone.

However, VLC is capable of far more than just playing back your music and video collection. It can also stream content to other computers and transcode (convert) files to a number of different formats. It also has a remote interface that allows you to control it from any Internet-connected device.

Note: although VLC has a full command line interface, we will only be using the graphical interface.

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