I don’t know what happened, but my Ubuntu Linux server crashed hard the other night. And when I brought it back, the rest of the network couldn’t see it. I could ping my gateway (router), and the server was pulling an IP address over DHCP, and the rest of the world had connectivity to it, but I couldn’t ping anything else on the network. And my Windows machines couldn’t connect to it.
I like Turnkey Linux, which is a collection of pre-built server appliances based on Ubuntu. When you need a server fifteen minutes from now, it’s about the only way you can make it happen.
But as far as I can tell, it doesn’t mount USB drives automatically. That’s fine; these servers are designed to have the minimum necessary for their stated purpose in life and nothing more. Here’s how I mount a USB drive to use for making backups.
Arstechnica posted a nice writeup on Nginx, a cut-down webserver that does less than Apache does, but does the few things it does much faster. That’s nothing particularly new, as smaller and faster webservers have existed for as long as I can remember.
What makes Nginx different is that it can work with PHP. And therefore, it can run WordPress.
If you’re looking to play around with the Windows 8 developer build that Microsoft pushed out this week, be aware that it won’t run on VMware player or any version of VMware Workstation prior to version 8.
PC Magazine has reprised its sub-$200 PC. I think it’s a good guide, and a savvy shopper can potentially do a little bit better with some care and some luck. At that price, it’s running Linux, but it also serves as a good guide for upgraders looking to upgrade an existing PC inexpensively. If you have a case and hard drive you can reuse, you can either buy better parts, or just pocket the savings.
Here’s my take on their selections.
Firefox has an identity crisis.
Used to being the #2 browser and eroding share from IE, Firefox sees its share eroding slightly–or not growing as fast as it used to, depending on who you ask–and the upstart Chrome gaining.
What Firefox has done is tantamount to panic.
A few weeks ago, my security go-to guy, Rich P., bought a new Intel 320 SSD for his netbook. With my encouragement, of course. It finally arrived this weekend, and he installed it. Rich reports not only faster speed, but also a 30-minute improvement in battery life over the WD Scorpio Black it replaced.
He told me the secure erase function, to enable AES, had a snag. But he solved it. I’m documenting it here in case you ran into the same thing he did.
Gatermann talked me into trying one last time to re-install Windows 7, and if it didn’t work, he’d help me go Office Space on it.
Those of you who’ve been following me for the past week will know I started installing and trying to use Windows 7 on Saturday, and it didn’t go well. Among other things, my video driver constantly died with a Code 43, and I could print anywhere from 0-1 documents in between reboots. Basically, the computer became less useful to me than a Commodore 64. And given all the hype about how this was the best Windows ever, I wasn’t happy.
I thought I traced my Windows 0.7 printing problem to the presence of a USB bluetooth adapter, but it turned out that was wrong. My wife called about mid-day to say the machine wasn’t printing anymore.
Fortunately, I’d never gotten around to downgrading my netbook from Windows XP to Windows 0.7. It saved the day.