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Bye bye Vista August 12, 2009

Posted by novaaesa in Uncategorized.
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Yep, I got my last BSOD this morning. I rock up to uni expecting to do some hardcore coding, and BOOM! BSOD as soon as I login! This is more or last straw. Now, those who were reading my blog last year would know that I had Ubuntu on my laptop before. It was on there until about November 2008 when some of my friends convinced my to give Windows a try again. Well, I did try it, and I’m not happy with it. Sure Office 2007 is nice (I love one note!), but it’s just buggy and unstable. I get BSODs about once a week, and graphical glitches and all sorts of stuff like that. Alot of the time when I try to remove flash drives, it tells me that something is still using it so I shouldn’t pull it out. Bollocks, nothing is using it! Let me pull the god damn thing out!

So yeah, now I have that out of my system I think I will install some sort of Linux on there. Ubuntu maybe? Or maybe something a little different such as openSUSE (I’ve tried openSUSE on this laptop before, and it went fairly well). But something other than Vista has to go on here – the craziness has gone on long enough!

/rant

Starting Up Again August 10, 2009

Posted by novaaesa in Uncategorized.
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Hi all,

I know that I haven’t been posting in this blog for quite a long time, but it’s time for a change! It looks like I’ll be taking up writing here again. The inspiration for this change is due to the fact that I am starting to learn a new GNU/Linux distribution, Arch Linux. I figure that it would be best if I was to blog about it. That way I can keep track of where I have been going with it and possibly help (and be helped by) some other people along the way.

Anyway, I hope to write a bit more about Linux, computing, and life in general in this blog. Hopefully you will all want to read along with me! If anyone wants to check out my adventures with Arch Linux, the address for that blog is http://archadventures.wordpress.com

-NovaAesa

Changing over to Linux Mint February 27, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in Linux.
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I think I’m at the stage where I am getting a bit fed up with some of the philosophical ideas that are the backbone of Ubuntu Linux, so it’s time for a change. When ideals get in the way of usability, that in my opinion is (one of the many places) where the line should be drawn between what is a ‘good’ distrobution and what is a ‘great’ distribution.

As some of you may or may not be aware, I have recently been distribution hopping a fair bit. Not on my physical hard drive however, I have been doing it using a nifty virtualisation programme called Virtual Box. That way my precious data is at no risk of damage. I can just set up virtual hard disks and install whatever I want on them.

Anyway, enough about Virtual Box. We are here to talk about my new Linux distribution of choice. The first interesting thing about Linux Mint is that it is a derivative of Ubuntu Linux, so there shouldn’t be too many differences that will come out and catch me off guard. For starters, Linux Mint and Ubuntu use the same set of repositories. This means that I will have the same apps available by default that I have in Ubuntu. All in all, Linux Mint seems to be a version of Ubuntu that has all the non-free goodies already installed by default. There is also a strong focus on things working out-of-the-box, which is always a bonus because I will be running it on a laptop.

Anyway, I will be making the transition tomorrow afternoon. If I’m not back here in at least a few days, you will know that something went horribly wrong.

Guess who has a myspace? February 22, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in Computers, My Days.
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Yup… I know I know, I’ve spoken out against them in the past, but I’ve decided to give it a go. Being in a new town I need a way to meet some new people. Myspace seems to be a pretty good way of doing that to me.

I know all my Linux friends will be like: tisk tisk Nova, you’ve changed😦

On the upside, I’ve learned a bit more HTML and CSS in the process of ‘pimping’ my page out.

Anyone do wardriving? February 19, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in Computers, Linux.
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DISCLAIMER: If you happen to be a police dude or equivalent, the content of this post is erm… fictitious. Otherwise, yeah read ahead.

Okay now we have that disclaimer thingy out of the road (even though it most probably holds absolutely no legal power) I will get into the juicy details. So yes, I heard about wardriving a while ago and had always wanted to give it a try. It didn’t really work too well in Kempsey because the houses are too far apart and not many people used wireless routers. After moving to Newcastle, I decided to give it a try again.

I’ve only done it 3 times so far but it’s been pretty awesome so far. I only have one other person so far that I’ve gone with so far (one of my house mates). He’s been driving, and I’ve been in the back with two laptops. I have my new laptop running Linux and one of my housemates laptops running Vista. The setup that we’ve been using is me running a combination of Kismet and aircrack-ng and the Vista laptop being used to actually connect to the network once they have been found.

Surprisingly enough there are heaps and heaps of open networks around. We haven’t even had to bother trying to crack WEP or WPA yet, it’s just easier to get the open ones! We found a few access points with pretty good speeds as well. A few times, I think they might have caught onto what we were doing, because at one of the places where we were accessing a wifi network this lady came out and was walking straight towards us. Needless to say we speed off extremely quickly.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: wardriving = fun, but stay away from angry people. Also, it might be a good idea not to do it in your neighbourhood in case someone recognises your car.

Moved to Newcastle for uni February 18, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in My Days, Uni.
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As a bit of a preface, take note that this blog entry really should be before the one that I made last night. I kinda forgot to write this one before and no it’s somewhat of a jumbled mess. I’m sure you can all work it out though.

Anyway… as I’m sure many of you already know, I finished the High School Certificate last year and am off to uni this year. Living in rural Australia, there are obviously no universities near where I live so I had to move. I didn’t really have much of a problem with this though, because I don’t really like Kempsey all that much anyway. I pretty much had a choice of whatever uni I wanted to go to (my UAI was high enough to do engineering wherever I wanted to). I choose to go to The University of Newcastle though for quite a few reasons, even though it’s not the best in Australia (don’t get me wrong, Newcastle Uni is still pretty good). Firstly, my older sister goes there doing a double Science/Arts degree, and also I have lots of extended family in the region. I have an Aunt and cousins in Maitland, and my grandparents live on the central coast. Most of my friends (the ones that count anyway😛, sorry Corey) go there as well.

So yeah, Software Engineering at Newcastle Uni, should be exciting. xD

Oh right the other half of the story. Okay okay I’m getting to that now. I moved into a share house with a few of my friends from school, Simon and Dan. The other people staying here are a girl our age called Kate (she’s pretty nice) and a mature aged student called Ha. She’s only here on weeknights though, because she goes back to Sydney to be with her husband and kids on the weekends.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. Maybe I will write a bit more about it later when I’m not feeling so sleepy. Being a uni student is hard work (or maybe it’s just me trying to get used to waking up at 7am :S)

Cheap Thrills February 17, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in My Days.
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As I am now a uni student, I am always looking for a cheap thrill. It all comes down to a thrill per dollar ratio, the higher this ratio the better. Anyway, me and some of my new house mates decided that it might be a good idea to polish some of the furniture in our new place. We went to Woolworths and got some 2 aerosol cans full of furniture polish for $1.38 each. When we got home, we did a bit of polishing until someone noticed an interesting notice on the back of the can. It said something along the lines of ‘WARNING: DO NOT USE ON WOODEN FLOORS AS THEY MAY BECOME SLIPPERY’.

This is the point where things got interesting. I’m sure you can guess what happened next…

Yes that’s right, we emptied the entire contents of the two aerosols cans onto our wooden floors. Let’s just say that the floor was now as slippery as a baby pig lathered in oil. With socks on, we could do a run up (from the carpet) and slide across the boards for about 15 metres. We had competitions to see who could go the fastest, who could jump the furthest from the carpet onto the floorboards, and we even did a small limbo competition. I have to say that it was the best fun that I had in a pretty long time xD.

Anyway, it was all fun and games until Dan decided that he wanted to go a little bit too fast and ended up going arse-end first through the plasterboard wall. It was slightly funny at the time, but now we have to hide it from our landlord until we get the mess sorted out.

I have a terrible feeling that someone isn’t going to get their bond back (almost $1000)….

Guitar back in my possession February 11, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in My Days.
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I got my guitar back today. I was gone from me for like 10 months by now. I had lent it to a friend of mine who needed it for school stuff. He was doing Music for his High School Certificate and his guitar was somewhat… crappy. I was happy to lend it to him. He was paying me to lend it to him for a while, but that kind of got scrapped and it was just a friendly loan after that.

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Anyway, here is the history of my guitar. A bit before my 16th birthday, I had a job at the local supermarket and has earned me a bit of $$$. Before that, I had an acoustic guitar for a while and wanted to learn a bit of electric guitar. Mum said that she would buy me an amplifier for my 16th birthday if I bought the guitar for with my own money. It sounded like a pretty good deal to me xD. Anyway, we went to Port Maquarie and went guitar shopping. I actually forget which shop I got it from, but I fell in Love as soon as I saw it (well, maybe that is a bit of exaggeration, but it was the nicest guitar I could afford). It Les Pauliness was the exact look I was looking for. Anyway, after that me and my guitar were best mates. I was pretty enthusiastic with the guitar playing up until around the start of year 11, at which stage there was just too much school work to be done. I kind of just sat under my bed after that. Until my friend asked if he could borrow it and it got a new home. But now, I have it back and am planning to start learning again now that I have a bit more free time.

There’s just one bad thing about Linux… February 10, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in Computers, Linux.
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…When you have used Linux for a while without doing anything in Windows (for me it’s been 6 months) when a situation arises where you are forced to use Windows again it becomes really hard. When I say ‘becomes really hard’ I mean this in two different ways.

1) I feel compelled to stay away from Windows because I feel like I have been taught by everyone on Ubuntu Forums that they are ‘evil.’ Sure, before I started going on that forum I did think they were evil, but I didn’t really dislike Microsoft because of this. It almost seems ‘propaganda-ish’ the amount of Windows bashing that goes on. Now, when I am put in a situation where I am forced to use Windows, I sort of raise my eyebrows a bit and think to myself “OMG I’m gunna die from using this!!” Maybe it’s just me, but I almost feel as though Linux has turned Windows from something that I just put up with, to something that is now ‘evil’.

2) The other thing that I have noticed about using Linux for 6 months is the fact that I now expect soooo much more from Windows when I come to use it. I started a new Vista install on my desktop the other day for gaming and wanted to set up Firefox. It bugged me that I had to use IE to go to the Firefox site, download the .exe file, and then install it. I wanted the simplicity of apt-get! Another thing I have noticed is that I am no longer a power user for Windows XP. Only half an hour ago, my brother wanted to download some files onto his computer so he brought it into my room. He doesn’t have a wireless card and the router is in my room so he had to bring it close enough so the Ethernet cable would reach. He is a bit of a non-tech kinda guy so I had to set it up for him. I got slightly frustrated when it didn’t just work when I plugged in the Ethernet cable. There were 3 separate firewalls that I had to disable first. I have no idea why there were firewalls on his computer if it isn’t normally connected to the net. It still wasn’t working. 4 restarts later, I realised that it wasn’t set to having an IP address dynamically assigned. I truly felt like a Windows n00b again. I have a feeling Linux has erased a lot of my prior Windows knowledge. I really don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

/rant

Internet shaped again ;( February 9, 2008

Posted by novaaesa in Computers.
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My Internet has been shaped again. Every single time it happens it makes me sad. I should be getting used to it by now but it still gets to me every time. My ISP is Optus and we’ve got a really crappy contract with them. Our Internet is at 512kbps which seems fine to me, but the problem is with how much data can be downloaded. We get 300MB on-peak (PM hours) and 600MB off-peak (AM hours). If the on peak runs out, then our off peak gets cancelled and we get shaped. If our off peak runs out before the on peak, it just started to cut into the on peak data.

It gets seriously painful when I am shaped. Can you guess what speed we get shaped to? Is it 128kbps…? Nope, that’s far to high. Is it 64 kbps…? No, that is also to high. You would think they would at least shape us only to dial up speed – 54kbps. But no, even that is too fast for them. Instead, we get shaped to….. wait for it – 28.8kbps. It feels like I am back in 1998, not 2008.

And what’s worse is the price. It’s costing us $AU 28 a month. For my American readers, that is $US 25.

Am I getting ripped off or what? Stupid contracts….

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