I have admittedly put it off for way too long. The recent OpenSSL Vulnerability with weak keys prompted me to change that on one of my systems. I was forced to use dist-upgrade when OpenSSL would not update, leaving me to continuously recreating weak keys. While I normally update packages using the command line, I was hesitant of using the GUI for Adept Manager. My previous attempts with dist-upgrade have all been failures (From Edgy to Feisty to Gutsy…) so I was not really expecting a smoothe transition. I used the GUI Adept Manager because it was the recommended method per the Kubuntu Hardy Heron upgrade documentation. Adept immediately gave me an error and closed the first time I tried. I rebooted and tried again with the same error. I kept trying, and it finally decided it would do it…and it did it well. I rebooted and I was almost unable to tell any difference. I did notice I had the new wallpaper available, but otherwise, OpenSSL let me create new, uncompromised keys… and that was what was important to me. It was so painless, I felt brave and tried it on another server. This time, no error message, and it upgraded just as easily. I still have one workstation remaining on Gutsy, a laptop that I don’t have any pressing need to update. The slow server took about two hours to update, and the faster one took about one hour.
I have been struggling for some time with finding a way of properly managing my network, from a easy to use, fast interface. I’m pretty much set in stone that a web solution was what I was looking for. I found it in a tool called Webmin. You can download it from http://www.webmin.com. It’s built on PHP and allows the user to completely administer a system from remote. It has user-programmable modules, so it can be used to configure anything. I especially appreciate the Custom Commands, because it allows me to establish custom buttons that edit specific files. I’m able to use it to manage packages, shares, users, mail, files, apache, mysql, samba, and a whole lot more. To me, the best part of it is I can configure everything in a comfortable interface, from an application that suits my environment, my web browser. The list of available modules is massive! Practically one for every purpose.
There’s been many updates to KDE4, and while spending another day with KDE4 yesterday, I was relieved to find many of the segfaults and KDE crash errors had been resolved. I was disappointed to not be able to find any way of saving my session for KDE4, other than it saving my previous session. I use Manually saved sessions because of convenience and consistency on all my workstations and servers. I was also still unable to lock my workstation.
The Greatest Keyboard Ever – Adesso Tru-Form™ Pro – Contoured Ergonomic Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad and Hot Keys (black)
Allow me to tell you about one of the best hardware investments I recently made. It’s the Adesso Tru-Form™ Pro – Contoured Ergonomic Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad and Hot Keys (black). I originally got this for my laptop, which is still running Windows XP. I’m very picky about my keyboards, and this one’s so awesome, I’m now in need of another one so I don’t have to swap this excellent piece between both computers!
I discovered this keyboard when I found myself needing a touch pad constructed into the keyboard. Adesso is the only manufacturer I found providing a wave-shape ergonomic split multimedia keyboard with built in touchpad. I purchased this black keyboard with the matching ps/2 to USB adaptor and had it delivered to my home for under $75 USD. They have a white model that would be better matched to the Mac users for a similar price.
To me, its number one feature is the built-in touchpad. This is what I was looking for in the keyboard when I originally purchased it. This allows the user to not be tied to a mousing surface, while giving us a full-sized ergonomic keyboard. This extends the “portability” of my laptop tenfold. The touchpad has a unique feature lacking from the laptop’s built-in : on-pad right click area. Touching the upper right corner of the touch pad is the same as right clicking. Yes, the keyboard still offers a dedicated right click button as well. I didn’t have to load any drivers to get it to work properly in Ubuntu on my desktop or XP on my laptop. However, I was able to download driver’s from Adesso’s home page and achieve some more configuration options.
The keyboard features an excellent ergonomic design, which is a must for any person suffering carpal tunel syndrome like myself. The space bar is split, and requires some adjustment if you’re more accustomed to the Microsoft layout with a solid, one piece bar. It’s more of a wave-shape than most ergonomics, which makes the numeric keypad more friendly. It also sports the inverted T arrow design that Microsoft abandoned on some ergonomic designs. I also appreciate the 3×2 word processing key (insert,home,page up,delete end, page down) arrangement.
The Tru-Form™ Pro also makes generous use of its size and offers the usual array of multimedia keys.
It’s not too heavy, so it’s a great addition for use in your lap while you’re surfing from the couch. The cord is of an appropriate length for this. It only comes with ps/2 connections, and demands two of them (mouse and keyboard). Adesso takes care of those of us lacking PS/2 connections by offering a perfectly matching PS/2 to USB adapter.(not included) Fortunately, it only requires one USB port and extends the cable’s reach some more inches.
It does have some room for improvement, so I look forward to an updated model. This is probably a tall order, but I’d like to see scalability on the touchpad allowing for proportional 16:10 or 16:9 touch-to-screen movement, so that I don’t have to pickup my finger to drag something across the entire screen. I’d also like to see better use of the vacant real estate between the left and right sides of the keyboard. For example, I miss the Zoom and Back/Forward features of my Microsoft Natural 4000. Also, having a high demand on portability, I would appreciate some attention to halving the heft. The touchpad is below the space bar. This works for both right and left handed people, but for either person, it’s more practical on the user’s respective dominant side. I’d much rather have mine on the right and would be willing to pay a higher price for such a tailored model.
Considering the stack of features, the price tag was comfortable. Keep in mind that you’re getting a mouse and a full-featured ergonomic multimedia keyboard together. Having owned mine for a couple of months already, I can tell you the keyboard shell and keys are sturdy enough that it’s sure to last for a long time. Even my wife likes it so much she agrees we need another.
One of my most critical requirements of the new operating system was an operational VMWare Server application. My wife and I share a network, and the flexibility of a VMWare Server was very appealing.
Our network consists of two computers, a P4 3.0Ghz Celeron with 1GB of RAM and an AMD Turion 64 laptop with 1GB of RAM. The desktop had suffered a hard drive failure a few months earlier, and I at least wanted it as an internet station running on a LiveCD, but after using it that way for a week, I felt I could really stretch the functionality.
After doing some research, I found Daniel Knippers guide to VMWare on Dapper Drake to be an indespensible walk-through. I managed to salvage a hard drive and went to install. The instructions were exactly the same for my chosen version, Edgy Eft. I’ve heard that Feisty Fawn requires some extra steps, but it was not officially released before I made the install and I still have yet to upgrade.