Category Archives: Software

Explaining in detail the use of a particular piece of software to accomplish a given task.

Displaying PHP errors with Xdebug in Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server packages are generally pretty well-configured right out of the box–usually requiring little or no configuration for simple operation. It’s one of the reasons why, despite my preference toward Arch Linux for the desktop, I’ve long advocated Ubuntu as a great starting point for a LAMP development server. Yet, on occasion, a package ships […]

Simple Wake-on-LAN Wrapper Script

Our home network includes a number of Linux-based systems and one Apple iMac. Because the Mac hosts all of our family photos, and because printing from a Mac to a Linux printer is a headache, it made the most sense for us to connect the printer directly to the Mac. However, this creates an issue […]

MP3 Encoding Support in Ubuntu 11.04

Today I went to copy my music library from Banshee to an old iPod mini. I found out the hard way that the Ubuntu 11.04 upgrade tool uninstalls the necessary programs for MP3 encoding support, causing Banshee to fill my iPod with WAV files. This is most likely a [philosophical decision]( “Our philosophy | Ubuntu”) […]

Command Line DVD Ripping

I recently took on the task of digitizing our old VHS tapes. While digging through the tapes I came across an old, region-2-encoded DVD copy of *Rocketman*, starring Harland Williams. I bought it years ago before it was available on region 1 DVD. In those days I had a DVD drive which I kept set […]

Migrating IMAP Accounts Between Remote Hosts

I have come to rely on IMAP for email access. It is the most convenient way to ensure access to all my mail from more than one computer. I recently switched to a new hosting provider and I didn’t want to lose all of my archived email stored on the old host’s server. Fortunately, I […]

Printing in Booklet Format from the Linux Command Line

Here is a Linux command to take a PDF of half-letter-sized pages (5.5″x8.5″) and arrange them, two pages per side, for booklet printing: $ pdftops -level3 source.pdf – | psbook | psnup -2 -W5.5in -H8.5in | ps2pdf – booklet.pdf All of these utilities are standard on a Debian-based system. Several filters are tied together using […]

Strong Password Generator in Python

I wanted a CLI-based strong password generator for Linux. `mkpasswd` is nice, but I wanted something more flexible. I didn’t like having to provide my own character sequence. I wanted something with a built-in character sequence generator with an easy way to control the likelihood of numbers and symbols. I wanted something that could read […]

Making Bootup Music with beep and rc.local

In my house I run a headless server which I administrate via SSH. I reboot the server regularly, but because there is no monitor there is no way of knowing when the machine is finished booting (since, of course, my SSH connection is terminated during reboot). In a situation like this you can just ping […]