Dedicate to all things Open Source

Created to spread the word about Linux, FOSS, and the entire OSM!

One humble idea from Linus Torvalds

Created an entire movement that has spanned the globe and revolutionized many platforms!

Gamming is getting better too

Better drivers for hardware support so, that rich games can be created on a stable platform... OUYA!!!

The Open Source Movement is World Wide

From third world, rural and indigenous areas to you Linux has spawned!

Thanks for Visiting

I hope that my passion and opinion for Linux, FOSS, and the OSM was a help to you!!! Be Blessed...I Am!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Building A Router / Firewall with FOSS!!!

Last year I wrote an article about pfSense® titled, "pfSense Makes Good Sense!!!."  While writing that article and creating the accompanying video, I promise to show how I did it.  There are plenty of tutorials for creating an open source router / firewall so, what I will do here is show you how I used those tutorials / how-to(s) to create my FOSS router/firewall.
First, I had to purchase a few items to complete the task.  I needed a second NIC for an older machine thus it would have to support regular PCI and not PCI Express.  Now, that took a bit of hunting but I really recommend eBay for all your retro hardware purchases and to just find a great deal on just about anything.  Next, I needed a new switch to network my PCs.  Last, I needed wifi support so, I purchase a Cisco®/Linksys® wireless router. Now, my home network would not be on the ATT® Uverse® modem/router/switch/cablebox/telephony equipment, instead it is sitting behind a FOSS firewall/router that I built! How cool is that?
I installed the NIC into the older machine that had an Intel® Celeron® CPU 2.40GH, 20 gig HDD, and 1 gig of RAM that I also upgraded.  Now, I really tried using this equipment as a desktop production machine, and it was dismally slow. But as a firewall/router it is perfect!  Most of the open source projects for firewalls / routers requires very low hardware specification. As a side note, the more expensive router / firewall equipment uses a proprietary port of UNIX or GNU/Linux to power their equipment.  Thus, it just make good sense to use an open source solution to build your own router / firewall home equipment.
After viewing Smoothwall®, OpenWRT®, M0n0Wall®, and  DD-WRT®, I decided to go with pfSense® on my home network.  Separating my home network from my Internet modem was one of the all time best tech upgrades I have completed.  I highly recommend this for any power user that want to do more than browse the Internet, check email, and write an occasional letter.  If you want to create a media server, PXE server, game server, have more control of dhcp, dns, proxy server and firewall settings then, this is the way to go!
Choosing any of these FOSS projects should improve your home networking experience.  Finding these projects all grew out of the desire to install a PXE server on my home network.  Thanks, AT&T® Uverse® for not supporting PXE in your modem, because I would have never started Googling for a better solution.  This video is a bit long since I demostrateded both SmoothWall® and pfSense in VirtualBox.  The setups for the two systems are quite different with SmoothWall® being the more difficult install, but it sure does not lack on features.  It took a bit of perseverance to get it installed but the effort was well worth the wait. I plan on make my first truly outlined step by step HowTo on setting up SmoothWall® in a virtual network environment.  I hope that this article and the video below will be of service in helping you create your very own FOSS Router / Firewall too!!!










Be Blessed!!!


Elbennit


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Website of the Month - How-To-Geek!!!

In my quest to learn as much as possible about technology, computers, OS, GNU / Linux, FOSS, HOSS (hardware + open source software), and the entire OSM, I am constantly scouring the Internet for information.  The process leads me to different websites, blogs, forums, and documentations of various topics. At times this process is daunting because not all how-to(s) are good information, better yet plenty of information on the web is suspect!  However, I have ran across some really great sites and communities on the Internet and I decided to feature a Website of the Month!!!
The beauty of learning about GNU / Linux and other open source projects, there's a plethora of written and video tutorials available at the click of a button.  The problem is that many of these items are out of date due to the rapid development of technology.  This is not just an OSM problem, during my days of Windows® usage, hardware manuals, hardware diagrams, and plenty of informations about different products (hardware and software) were out date due to rapid development evolution.  Now, from my personal experience I have learned that in many instances using more than one source and deductive reasoning to help solve most computer implementation problems.  Sometimes though, you come across a website that is very much on point with their explanations, tutorials, and how-to(s).
During my technical Googling, How-To-Geek (HTG) was a recurring relevant search result.  More times than none the information discussed at this site would directly solve whatever issue or implementation I was attempting.  They cover a vast amount of Linux related topics, plus Windows, Mobile, Hardware, Office and etc. are featured under their Articles menu. Their How-To(s) are pretty in-dept with step by step illustrated examples.  The video below will give you a good overview of the HTG's website and I encourage you to use them as learning tool for technology.
Moreover, as I mentioned in an earlier post about how I was installing the pfSense firewall system to enable PXE booting on my home network.  I use AT&T Uverse as my Internet provider, the Gateway, Router, Wifi, and Switch device is great until you want to incorporate advance networking features in your home network.  Well, the solution is to separate your network form AT&T's equipment and just use them for a Gateway.  Now, DHCP, TFTP, PXE, and even DNS can be installed and configured behind their equipment with a better non-limited implementation.  Yes, their equipment supported most of the above mentioned network features but it was not possible to PXE boot throught there equipment.  Thus, with pfSense and some good explanation from HTG's website, I am now PXE booting with another open source project called FOG.  It was HTG's tutorial that introduced me to the FOG project and simplified my process for PXE booting!












Be Blessed!!!


Elbennit

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Distro of the Month - PCLinuxOS!!!


A few months back I blogged about Free Linux Magazines!!!  The creator of one of those magazines also created a really cool GNU/Linux Distribution called PCLinuxOS. I have also been watching the rise in the popularity of the LXDE GUI platform.  Moreover, this year Microsoft® will be dropping support for Windows® XP .  This is a real shame for all the die hard Windows® users, because XP is by far the best product ever delivered by Microsoft®! Now, many GNU/Linux Distros are gearing up to compile a drop in replacement for all those XP users that will loose support this coming April.  
Well, it is kind of funny that more Distros are jumping on the Windows® replacement band wagon now, Lindows was one of the first Distros to really incorporate a Windows® look and feel.  Now, that is becoming a simple task to achieve with all the progress that is made in the OSM (open source movement).  I digress, this post is all about the great work and effort of Bill Reynolds and the PCLinuxOS development team!
PCLinuxOS took the replacement look and feel of Windows® to another level with its latest releases stocked full of custom designs and tweeks.  There are four desktop variations to PCLinuxOS.  You can get it in the KDE, LXDE, MATE, and FullMonty varieties. Each of these spins are uniquely designed with PCLinuxOS signature style and custom icons.  XP might have wished it looked and operated so well!  The LXDE variant is my personal favorite since it is more friendly to all this old hardware that I am currently running in my home network.  I am becoming a real fan of this desktop environment and PCLinuxOS incorporates some fine tweeks into the system that makes their Distro rival any industrial OSes! Therefore, the version of PCLinuxOS that I will be demonstrating in my video will be of the LXDE variety. 
In closing, the PCLinuxOS Distro / Magazine team are a really vibrant, informative, educational, developmental, and creative community.  The artwork, the code tweeks, the Software Remastering tutorials, the forums, the publications, and etc. are all produced without big enterprise budgets!  I am truly impressed by the creativity, the down right disdain for Microsoft®, and mostly the communal focus on education.  Give this Distro a try and you may find it hard to stop using it!!!


 







Be Blessed!!!


Elbennit



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Application of the Month -- ffDiaporama!!!

Creating my informative videos has been a real work in progress. Just looking at my first works to now and you can tell that I have been learning this craft.  I had to learn about resolution and formats.  Whether to use AAC or MP3 for sound encoding.  What definition and resolutions worked best with YouTube? I will be the first to admit that I am not a professional video editor!!! Yet, I am learning.  All the tools that I use to create video or to accomplish most of my computer task are mostly done with FOSS projects.  Thus, my video creation tools are no exception!
I use Simple Screen Recorder for what its name implies and it does just that very well.  Yet, the one thing that has been my Achilles heal is finding a good and simple video editing software.  IMHO there are no bad open source project, yet there are some that are just better!  Finding a good video editing project has been a chore.  Where one project is simple, it lacks features and support to produce a good video.  On the other hand the project could be powerful and contain all the video editing features to produce high quality video.  Yet, you would need to go to school to learn how to operate the more sophisticated software.
So, what open source project is available that is simple to use, feature loaded, and produce high quality videos.  In my quest to find such a product I came across ffDiaporama as the perfect tool to edit my recordings.  There are plenty of features for transitions effects and title pages.  It has a very intuitive design that makes rending video projects to the correct publication format very simple.  Their website is stocked with resources and examples on how to use the product for creating stunning video.  It has taken me some time to just scratch the surface of video editing and I really appreciate the work of ffDiaporama's creators.
In conclusion, ffDiaporama is a powerful movie creation open source project with simple design that allows everyone to make high quality video. Sadly, while making this post the latest version of ffDiaporama is experience a high volume of bugs.  I am sure the developers are working hard to correct those issues but, to stay on a viable blogging time schedule another project was use for the video editing purpose of this article's accompanying video. That project will be feature some time soon as well but, for now give ffDiaporama a try! One reason why I believe in the open source movement, when an open applications (project) fails to meet your needs, another similar project is available.  Moreover, the choices for software solutions are vast, open, and free!




 
Be Blessed!!!


Elbennit