Tag Archives: software

Stream a DVD in Ubuntu

In order to watch a DVD on a device which doesn’t have a DVD drive, it’s possible to stream it from another device which does, through the network. For instance in our house we only have one laptop with a DVD drive. This is the main and most powerful machine which I use for day and nighttime work. When the children want to watch a DVD upstairs in bed (we don’t allow them have TV in their room) I use VLC to stream from my laptop, instead of playing directly, so I can keep working away.

Before we start, obviously, make sure VLC is installed on both devices either by Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic or apt-get, whichever takes your fancy. On the machine with the DVD drive, we’ll call this the “server”, you simply type/paste one command in, then at the drive-less end, let’s call this the “client”, you run the VLC GUI and tell it where to listen for the stream. So on the server type/paste:-

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The merits of LXC containers

First of all what are containers? In this context we are referring to Linux running inside a “containerised” environment i.e. an environment which is to all intents and purposes isolated from the main operating system. The containerised environment doesn’t have it’s own kernel or virtualised hardware and runs at native speeds because of this.

In what ways could a containerised environment be useful and desirable from a business perspective? The first use that springs to mind is being able to easily move your dedicated server from one hoster to another (which is the way I use it). You can simply “rsync” the contents of the container from the source hoster, then take the container down, run another quick rsync and start the container at the new hoster. This is really useful, saving hours and possibly days rebuilding the server at the new hoster in a more conventional manner.

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SIP Communicator the only show in town for VOIP in Linux

I have been trying to reach a holy grail. Well, not a big holy grail and to some people this will seem silly, but I have been longing to be able to use VOIP in Linux and until I discovered SIP Communicator it wasn’t viable.

Ekiga the default VOIP soft phone in Ubuntu just doesn’t cut the mustard. It crashes is difficult to setup and just plain doesn’t work properly for me (I have a mobile broadband connection so jitter is an issue).

As for Twinkle I couldn’t even get it to work. Qutecom was the best soft phone I had used. It crashed a lot on start up, would crash sometimes in calls but at least it was easy to setup and worked up to a point. And then, while trying to help somebody on the Ubuntu forums, the poster, after tearing his hair out trying to find something that just works recommended SIP Communicator. I thought I would give it a try and it was and is a revelation.

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Recover a failing Windows hard disk using only free software and your Windows CD.

Scenario.

You have a Windows machine which will not boot up but you can still access the disk, even though it makes various clunking and thunking noises.

Solution.

Install a new hard disk and Partedmagicos on a USB stick or CD and run either “ntfsclone” (the easiest and quickest option) or “dd_rescue”. If the NTFS structure is damaged and you cannot repair it fully using the windows recovery console the latter option is the one you want. Of course you may have Windows installed on a FAT32 partition in which case use dd_rescue.

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