Archive for September, 2010

3 minute philosophy of Aristotle and st. Thomas Aquinas

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

During my Business Ethics classes today, in order to show what is Virtue Ethics the class was presented by a videocreated by some freak.
It’s a well known fact that schools and universities are constantly trying to re-organize their teaching methodologies. However I seriously doubt how much educational this interactive and modern approaches are. Well at least they are funny.

Check out the two videos and you will fully understand how ridiculous it’s to present in your lecture such a profane videos.

Yes modern world is getting more and more profane. Aristotle would probably turn in his grave if he sees how this video represents his philosophical views 🙂

Anyways enought talk just check the two videos:

Three Minute Philosophy: Aristotle

3 Minute Philosophy – St. Thomas Aquinas (without anti-Catholic bias and fallacies)

Anyways I should admit that the video author is quite of an Artist.

Tux for Kids (Tux Math, Tux Paint, Tux Typing) 3 games to develop your children Intellect

Monday, September 27th, 2010


Every now and then I have to install a new Windows computer that has to be good for children development.
When I do that I always strive to provide the notebook or desktop with something really worthy that will help up the children personal development.
In that thoughts direction I would have to share about Tux4Kids – High Quality Education Software Alternatives

This project is truly wonderful it includes a number of small games that generally develops thinking in children.

1. TuxMath is a project dedicate do develop children simple mathematic abilities.

2. TuxPaint is a project aimed to develop children painting abilities.

3. Tux Typing is a project that is dedicated to develop children's computer typing abilities.

Here are few shiny screenshot of the fun games for kids:

Tux Math of Command
Tux Math

Tux Typing
Tux Typing

Tux Paint
Tux Paint

The good things about the three games are that they're completely open source under the GPL license

This 3 are available for both Linux, Windows and Mac OS
The games are also quite fun even for adult, so I suggest if you yet haven't tried them check them out.

Install unrar on Ubuntu (Ubuntu’s unrar package different from Debian’s name)

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Recently I had to open a rar archive on an Ubuntu server, which was lacking the unrar installed on it.
Trying to install directly through apt-get I got:
root@ubuntu:/home/vsftpd# apt-get install unrar
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package unrar is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package unrar has no installation candidate

After checking online and listing the available packages related to unrar that I can install I finally got the unrar console package in Ubuntu is renamed to unrar-free

Thus to install I apt-geted it:

ubuntu:~# apt-get install unrar-free

Thus to install I apt-geted it:

ubuntu:~# apt-get install unrar-free

Now I can continue extracting the rar archive, I hate this small differences between Ubuntu and Debian.
Maybe it’s a good thing that the two distros implement some common policy on package names 🙂

ToDo Manager (Business Organizer) for the Nokia 9300i phone

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

I’m heavily using my Nokia 9300i to write down various stuff relating to my daily schedules,
I used it’s simple small notes embedded application to hold a small notes on things to come,
tasks I have to accomplish and other various stuff like that.

Though this things worked so far it’s completely inflexible since you get completely lost when you have to look up for the exact note to recall what you were supposed to do.

In that manner of thoughts I wanted to have a To-do manager / Event management application (program for my Nokia 9300i), to better keep track of the things I’m supposed to complete.

After I’ve spend about and hour online, looking for applications.
I basicly came up with two applications that are actually prepared to serve as todo managers

I’ll start with the first one since it’s freeware and it does the job, though it’s not too user friendly oriented.

It’s called with the loud name TodoManager

TodoManager has the basic features that you might probably look after. It could save your tasks, it somehow organizes them, you can assign a task priority as well as put an alarm about it.

However the user friendliness of the TodoManager for Nokia 9300i is I would say completely terrible.

The program alarm feature is also not working on Nokia 9300i or at least for some reason I couldn’t make it work.

Once I’ve left the program opened even the application crashed with some kind of K-EXEC Error

The second application I came across was RMR Task

As you can read on their website RMR Task is stated to be Extended ToDo Manager for all symbian platforms including the Nokia Communicator 9300i devices.

RMR Task is far superior to the TodoManager which by the is a java application, however it’s a commercial software and it’s trial version is very limited.
So in order to take use of all it’s features you’ll have to purchase it.

Acer Aspire 5541G a notebook with a webcam and without an internal mic?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Yesteday some relatives of a friend dropped by and wanted to help them with setting up a just purchased Acer Aspire 5541G notebook.
The notebook came wiht a already installed Windows 7 so I didn’t really bothered much with the OS. I’ve installed some most essential software that every normal user nowdays use like:

1. Mtorrent
2. Skype
3. Vlc
4. Kmplayer
5. Winamp
etc. ...

Everything with installations went fine etc. However when I proceeded up with configuring the Skype Microphone and Video, I’ve realized that Skype is not able to actually detect any microphone on the Aspire 5541G
That puzzled me off completely, how come that there is a notebook with embedded Web Camera but wihtout any Internal Microphone, it looked to me like a complete bull shit.

I’ve checked up in Windows 7 Control Panel all setting referring a Microphone, also the volume controls as well as checked if there is some kind of internal mic or any mic device to show up in Control Panel -> System -> Devices but well I found nothing related mic there.

Well next step I checked in the manual bundled with the PC, but there was once again nothing mentioned about internal microphone.

I’ve checked in google about the concrete computer specifications because I wanted to assure myself that there is no internal microphone embedded within the webcam.
Here are the Complete ACER Aspire 5541G notebook specifications:

* Two built-in stereo speakers
* High-definition audio support
* MS-Sound compatible
* Communication Integrated Acer Crystal Eye webcam
* InviLink 802.11b/g/Draft-N
* Acer InviLink 802.11g

* LAN: Fast Ethernet; Wake-on-LAN ready
* I/O interface Multi-in-1 card reader (SD�, MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD)
* USB 2.0 ports
* External display (VGA) port
* DC-in jack for AC adapter

As you can see from above specification the Aspire 5541G doesn’t include internal micophone.
That’s a complete riddle since I don’t see the point of having a camera without a microphone? Do you ? What are this Acer guys thinking ? I eamn well would you buy a notebook without any internal microphone just to have pictures and video with the camera? :)! I wouldn’t!
Anyways it appears that the only option for owners of this machine is to buy an external mic and plug it in or maybe even better a headphones with embedded mic.
If we don’t count this small I would call it a design error, the machine is well balanced in terms of price, quality and computer specs and is a probably a good investment.

Recovery deleted files undelete on ext3 filesystem on Debian / Ubuntu GNU / Linux – Undelete just deleted directories

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I've recently deleted a file by mistake on my Debian Linux. I did quite a research on possible ways to recover my lost .odt file

I've tried various approaches by using different tools. The most straight forward way to recover plain text data is through simply using the grep command over the partition where the recently deleted file occured.

I used egrep and was able to find the file inodes pointer of the deleted files using the command:

debian:~# egrep -b -o --binary-files=text "meta:creation-date.*meta:creation-date" < /dev/sda5

In the above example /dev/sda5 was actually my ext3 partition

Though this command presented me with inode numbers where I can look up for files I was not able to find a good straight forward way to retrieve information contained by this inodes.

However before proceeding with using grep to recover anything on your partition it's recommandable that you switch to another system runlevel (init level)

Best practice after you realize you have a certain mistakenly deleted file is to switch to init 1 and unmount the mounted partition which previosuly containted recently deleted file.

To do so:

Issue the init command to enter init 1

Next step is to try to use the unix traditional way to recover raw portions of data from your partition.
For instance if you want to recover a text file starting with the text Assignment do the following grep

grep -i -a -B10 -A100 'Assignment' /dev/sda5 > /root/file.txt

The above command will recover everything found on /dev/sda case insensitive and containing the word Assignment in it data will be recoverd in a way that everywhere Assignment is matched data will be retrived 10 lines before the word itself and 100 lines of text after the grep key word.

Thought this will be helpful in recovering simple text files messages that were scaped out, it's completely unusable with retrieving binary files data.

Yet if you're trying to recover just a plain text sentences which contains a certain key word like let's say payments

You might once again execute the grep command in the following way:

grep -b 'payments' /dev/sda5 > /root/file.txt

Be aware that you will end up in your newly created file from the binary grep with a lot of bulk data and you will have the time to sort out which parts exactly of the data wer the ones you are interested, this is really inconvenient and time consuming but seems to be a way still.

For binary files you have the option to use foremost

Foremost is said to be able to recover a certain range of binray formats, however it is a really serious limitation that using it you have only the option to recover the following file formats:

jpg gif png png bmp avi exe mpg wav riff wmv mov pdf ole doc zip rar htm cpp

foremost should also be able to recover all of the forementioned formats at once.
To start using the program on Debian to recover your deleted files you can simply install the software which is already available as a Debian package, to install you need to issue:

debian:~# apt-get install foremost

To start using the program right away you will need to execute something similar to:

debian:~# foremost -i /dev/sda5 -t doc -o /root/foremost

Again in the above command line the /dev/sda5 is the device name where you will be willing to look up for you lost files, the -t argument does provide foremost with the exact file extension you're looking for the -o switch instructs it where to save the found files into.

Nevertheless my personal experience with foremost wasn't good. I tried to recover just a recently deleted .doc file. What foremost does recoved were two doc files which had the size of about 6.8 mbytes. I wasn't able to open none of the 2 files with both Open Office and Microsoft Office 2003.

Right after executing foremost you will see a progress bar similar to:

Processing: /dev/sda5|*****************************************..

On a 15 GB partition the program execution time was about 10 or 15 minutes until it completes it's recovery operations, but as I said the recovered data wasn't good at all.

The other ext3 file recovery programs I tried was:

1. PhotoRec
2. TestDisk
3. ext3grep
ext3undel's reviews and articles online I found were really interesting, and does presented the ext3undel collection of wrapper shell scripts based on top of the sleuth kit , photorec and foremost as a mean tools to conduct it's recovery.

After I've red a few positive feedbacks of people who succeeded in recovering their deleted files on an ext3 partitions I immediately went to check out the tool and installed it.
The tool has already a packaged debian version to install it you will have to add the following deb repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list file.

debian:~# echo 'deb generic universe' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Next to install the ext3undel package issue:

debian:~# apt-get update && apt-get install ext3undel

The ext3undel is actually pretty interactive, so it was not necessary for me to pass any program options to it, therefore I simply started it:

debian:~# ext3undel

You will be prompted with the partition selection menu where you will have to firstly select the partition from which you would like to recover files:
Next you will be prompted to select another partition which should be compulsory a different one than the first one chosen.
Third thing you will be prompted about will be the file type you would like the ext3undel program to look up for you, in my case that was .odt

After a minute time or so the program will show you up all the .odt files which were recently wiped out of the hdd.

It will next up to you to use the /usr/bin/ralf – (R.A.L.F. – Recover A Lost File, a tool to undelete an (accidentally) deleted file from ext2/ext3 file systems) program to undelete the mistakenly deleted files on your ext3 Linux filesystem.

However it appeared that the ralf utility is not properly working on current Debian testing/unstable (Squeeze/Sid) distributions.

Invoking the ralf binary I was suprised by the following error message:

Could not find the 'dls' executable in your $PATH. This is part of the
sleuthkit package.

One or more of the essential tools required to recover your file cannot
be found. Please make sure you have them installed, and they can be found
in your $PATH.

sleuth kit the name for the previous dls binary has changed to blkls therefore it seemed quite natural for me to simply link the blkls binary to dls and my assumption was that would probably solve the error message printed by the ralf wrap up script.

Thus I did the dsl symlink to point to blkls:

debian:~# ln -sf /usr/bin/blkls /usr/bin/dls

Then once again I tried the ralf file recovering utility:

debian:~# ralf /home/hipo/filetorecover.odt

This time the error returned by the ralf proggie changed and was like:

* FileName set to '/home/hipo/filetorecover.odt'* Real filename: '/home/hipo/filetorecover.odt'/usr/bin/ralf: line 239: /tmp/undel_FIFO: Interrupted system call
* Evaluated '' as corresponding mount point, using '' file system.
! WARNING: This is not an ext2/ext3 file system, so our algorithm may fail!

Sorry - something went wrong, could not determine the source device.

* Cleaning up...

I looked online if somebody has experienced the same error with the program but I couldn't find anything therefore I eventually decided to drop off the idea to use ex3undel

As I continued further my research on the possible tools that exists nowadays to undelete files on Linux I've came across debugfs

A very good article about a possible way to debugfs to retrieve a deleted files on ext3 is found on Symantec's website

However in my case using debugfs as a recovery tool didn't worked out.

Anyways as I scraped through the internet I've found a couple of posts which pointed out that a good commercial software which will be able to recover lost files on an ext3 partition is Stellar Phoenix Linux Recovery you can check out the product as well here Stellar Phoenix Linux Recovery

After few hours spend on a futile attempts to recover my recently deleted file I finally decided to drop it out and rewrite the file 🙁
As a conclusion I would say that for Linux there are plenty of ways to recover files on an ext3 partition, however the process is really complex and the lack of simple user friendly robust program to do it is a big gap in GNU/Linux as a modern day operating system.
Any user feedback and suggestins on how somebody was able to recover his accidently deleted files from ext3 partitions are mostly welcomed!

Space Odyssey 2010 by Arthur Clarke a continuention sci-fi novel to Space Odyssey 2001

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Arthur Clarke
Yesterday I completed Space Odyssey 2010 a continuation novel by Arthur C. Clarke.
The book is really an increadible worthy reading, I suggest every sci-fi fan reads it 🙂
The book is actually a sequel after the famous
A Space Odyssey 2001

The Space Odyssey 2010 actually continues the story of Space Odyssey 2001 in a way that a multi-national Soviet – American team is on a mission with the objective to find out what went wrong with the previous Spaceship expedition to Jupiter and how does it came that the Spaceship control computer HAL misbehaved.
Eventually the story entangles a few stories where at the end David Bowman appears to have transferred himself by an uknown mysterious force from a corporal existence to a pure energetic one.
The ex-david bowman who continues his exisence in a form of energy and pure mind (similar to a Spirit) gives the International Soviet-American team a warning that they should leave Jupiter in the coming 15 days.
The crew had quite a struggle in determining if the warning by Bowman via a computer generated image is a real threat.

However the crew finally belives that what one of the members Mr. Floyed has seen on the Screen of the HAL computer is very real.
They also encounter dozens of monoliths (dark rectangles with perfect share) which do multiply themselves in a very quick manner.
The monoliths are literally eating Jupiter’s gases.
Finally Jupiter explodes and becomes a super-nova while the crew survives the explosion just on the border.
The outcome of the blast is a dozen of stars. Finally the crew succesfully starts their travel back to earth with quite a lot of stored scientific information about un observed before phenomenon.

Business Ethics: Utilitarianism and Consequentialism a frightening life philosophy

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

As part of my studies I’m recently following a Business Ethics course.
Just recently as part of the studies we were introduced to a really weird ethical theory whose originator and forefather was Jere Bentham

To sum up the ethics perspective that Jeremy Bentham suggests as the highest possible moral is contained in the phrase:

“the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people”

The core of the philosophy so it’s really hard to resist it. From a Christian perspective I would say this perspective is openly satanic, since it finds the pleasure as the greatest and ultimate human goal.
Jeremy Bentham has quite a lot of wild ideas whose noways are very well implemented in society though many people doesn’t really realize it.

In Utilitarianism and it’s subdivision called Consequentialism , what really important is not the action we took but the the action outcome (consequence).

In Consequentialism and Utilitarianism there is no a clear conception about good and evil. But instead of good and evil are adopted the idea that everything could be measured in pleasure and pain. Therefore the real purpose of people’s life is reaching the maximum pleasure for everybody ..

Below I present you with two videos to give you a brief overview on what does Consequentialists believe and a very simple example to illustrate what this ethical system represents:

Just to close the post I give you a video to show you actually an example of How the Ford Company used Consequentialism philosophycal approach to save money for R&D and Car safety when designing their Ford Pinto
The company analysists sat down and calculated the monetary value of changing the card design which were prone of explosions if the oil tank is hit with a very low speed from behind with another vehicle and matched it against the possible life victioms if the car is just produced without the necessary car safety to be implemented calculating the costs for possible car crashes and the victims:
The video is really shocking and raises quite an interesting discussions …

I think people should start getting aware of the Dangers of corporatios behaving under the Utilirianistic ways in their daily company activities and start boycotting the company products before it’s too late.

How to fix to mplayer relocation error: mplayer: symbol codec_wav_tags on Debian Testing / Unstable

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

After a recent update of my installed packages I’ve noticed that my both mplayer and gmplayer stopped working

The error that prevented the mplayer binary to start up was:

mplayer: relocation error: mplayer: symbol codec_wav_tags, version LIBAVFORMAT_52 not defined in file with link time reference

After I’ve checked online I’ve figured out that the bug is reported on debian forums

The forum also pointed a solution which by the way happened to be really easy. To solve it I did 3 things as follows:

1. Deinstall / Uninstall the existent installed mplayer package

debian-desktop:~# apt-get remove mplayer

2. Add the deb unstable main to /etc/apt/sources.list

debian-desktop:~# echo 'deb unstable main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Do a repo available package update with apt-get update and install the existent mplayer in debian-multimedia

debian-desktop:~# apt-get update
debian-desktop:~# apt-get install mplayer

Now your new mplayer installed from Debian Multimedia’s repositories should be working perfectly fine, it seems the version in Debian Multimedia’s repos is already fixed, while in Squeeze / Sid (Testing Unstable), it’s yet broken.

Linux release of the game Savage Wheels (Destruction Derby like game) is out!

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Savage Wheels Game for Linux

A close friend of mine Pro-Xex (a.k.a. Necroleak) has released Savage Wheels game for Linux.

The Savage Wheels game is a recreation of a game in a way similar to the good old Destruction Derby that most of the hard code old school arcade know very well.

The Savage Wheels has been an existant for a long time for a free download. However for a couple of years the Pro-XeX decided not to publish it’s code publicly, his considerations were that the code is too messy and not ready to go public.

For almost 2 years now the game source code has been existent openly for download from a source repository at google code

Though the source was there for download, until recently, the game source code was not ready to compile on Linux, though the game’s programming style used is 100% compatible with the Linux / BSD platform.

Right now the game is licensed under the MIT free software license
A few weeks before Peter (Pro-Xex) has contacted me and shared and told me the good news, that he has finally ported the game for the Linux platform and asked me to help him a bit with the game testing!
I thought this is pretty cool, but I was busy until this very day that I actually downloaded the compiled binary of Savage Wheels on my Debian Testing/Unstable (Squeeze/Sid) and gave it a try.

I’m running the 64 bit Debian release, featuring kernel version:

Linux noah 2.6.32-5-amd64 #1 SMP Wed Aug 25 13:59:41 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Installing the game was a really easy all I had to do is download the archived binary of the game and untar it into a new directory I’ve created for the game.

hipo@noah:~$ mkdir savagewheels
hipo@noah:~$ cd savagewheels
hipo@noah:~/savagewheels$ wget -c
hipo@noah:~/savagewheels$ tar -zxvf savagewheels-1.4-linux-x86.tar.gz

It will take like few secs until the game source gets extracted:

To go and start up the game I directly tried executing the game main binary file savagewheels , like you can see below

hipo@noah:~/savagewheels$ ./savagewheels
./savagewheels: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The error in loading library was pretty unexpected, but counting the fact that I’m one of the first people that test the game on Linux I guess it’s pretty normal.
In order to resolve the missing shared library on game execution It was necessary to copy the to /usr/local/lib/

To do so I issued as a root user:

hipo@noah:/home/hipo/savagewheels# cp -rpf /usr/local/lib

In case if you don’t want to copy the into /usr/local/lib, it’s also possible to use the shell export command to specify the exact location of to your current known systemlibraries.

If you prefer it that way issue command:

hipo@noah:~/savagewheels$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=.:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Now when I invoked the savagewheels game binary once again:
hipo@noah:~/savagewheels$ ./savagewheels

the game poped up in a window.

As I’ve red in the Readme.html file it’s already noted there that by default the game would run in window mode instead of full screen due to some bugs or video drivers etc.
Happily it was indicated in the Readme file that in order to run it in fullscreen, it’s necessary to invoke the game binary with the -force-fullscreen option included, e.g. running it in fullscreen comes to:

hipo@noah:~/savagewheels$ ./savagewheels -force-fullscreen

At first I was a bit confused when the game poped up before I notice the left side menu which appears could be only reached with the mouse pointer. So I warn you that if you go to give the game a try you will probably wonder how to start up the game after the game entry window with menus appears.

Since the game is so new with Linux it has several bugs to be fixed, one of the bugs is that the Window in which the game pops up by default couldn’t be closed if you press the close window button.

Another thing I do notice is that when I play sometimes during a I crash another car, my car gets stucked for a while.

Another thing which is not very intuitive about the game is the player keys, they could be fount expolained in Readme.html

But I’ll post them here as well to facilitate my dear readers who might be willing to play the game immediately without reading boring docs 🙂

So Player 1 keys are:

arrow keys to move
UP (accelerate up)
LEFT (turn left) RIGHT (turn right)
DOWN (back gear)
RIGHT CTRL - to place landmines
DELETE - self destruction

I think giving the player 1 keys are enough for the player 2 control keys take a quick look in Readme.html

Here is the time to tell you that the game music is absolutely awesome!! So the game is worthy to play just because Pro-Xex has present the user with the wonderful soundtrack that is.

For some further general information related to the game you can read the Savage Wheels game Readme online from here

I would place the game among one of the best car crash games available currently for Linux, so if you’re a arcade game maniac you would probably have a great time with the game.