Linux Mint 8 Released

mintClement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 8, a beginner-friendly, Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution: “The team is proud to announce the stable release of Linux Mint 8, code name ‘Helena’. The 8th release of Linux Mint comes with numerous bug fixes and a lot of improvements. In particular, Linux Mint 8 comes with support for OEM installs, a brand new Upload Manager, the menu now allows you to configure custom places, the update manager now lets you define packages for which you don’t want to receive updates,the software manager now features multiple installation and removal of software and many of the tools’ graphical interfaces were enhanced.” Read the release announcement and visit the what’s new page (with screenshots) to find out more about the new release. Download (mirrors) the installable live CD image from here: LinuxMint-8.iso (688MB, MD5, torrent).


Recover lost photos from a camera card with PhotoRec

So, you saved your photos from your flash disk onto your computer, and thought “Great! They’re safe”, and then proceeded to delete the images from the Flash card.

Next up, something happens. You reinstall Linux, your harddisk gets eaten by a cabbage-shaped computer-eating alien….. it could happen. Either way, you’ve lost the photos and somebody in the family is probably going to want to kill you. Well, Photorec and Testdisk are going to save your life!

Let’s get PhotoRec

Install testdisk which includes a program called PhotoRec 6.11, Data Recovery Utility

Install and use PhotoRec

1. Open up your terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install testdisk

2. Plugin your card or multi-card reader and wait until it is mounted (It will show on your desktop)

3. Now run the command to start PhotoRec

sudo photorec

4. Photorec will start by showing you available partitions, including your Camera Card (1Gb, 2Gb etc). Use your arrow keys to select it and click enter.

The next parts of the sequence are easy (and common sense).

5. Choose the Intel option, Partitioned, Fat 16/32 files system and then Other (fat, ntfs etc) to recover from the Whole Card . Next choose where to save the recovered photos (save them to your computer, NOT the flash drive), just selecting your Home directory is the easiest.

Step by Step Screenshots

Testdisk and PhotoRec have an indepth suite of tools which can offer complete analysis and recovery of different storage media. The above guide is only a basic recovery technique to recover data from an unformatted flash drive. There are far more options and tools for those wishing to look into data recovery a little deeper.

More Info
Christophe GRENIER

Top 20 Most Popular Social Networking Websites

Here are the 20 Most Popular Social Networking Websites ranked by a combination of Inbound Links and Alexa Rank. I regularly check out for stats and top 10’s etc.

I wasn’t surprised that Facebook was top, however I was surprised that Orkut (Google Facebook) was so far down the table. Personally I can’t stomach MySpace and steer well clear of it, but who’d a thunk that Classmates was so high? I must admit that even though I spend a lot of time on the net, I had never heard of Ning, so there ya go, you learn something new every day.

Check out the Top 20 below:

1 |
722,434,829 – Inbound Links | 122,220,617 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 4 – Alexa Ranking.

2 | MySpace
345,130,806 – Inbound Links | 55,599,585 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 11 – Alexa Ranking.

3 | twitter
628,750,806 – Inbound Links | 23,579,044 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 13 – Alexa Ranking.

4 |
29,370,378 – Inbound Links | 11,228,746 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 113 – Alexa Ranking.

5 |
997,666 – Inbound Links | 14,649,224 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 544 – Alexa Ranking.

6 |
13,032,000 – Inbound Links | 5,881,943 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 108 – Alexa Ranking.

7 |
14,368,423 – Inbound Links | 3,120,062 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 138 – Alexa Ranking.

8 |
8,491,287 – Inbound Links | 2,176,014 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 20 – Alexa Ranking.

9 |
399,111 – Inbound Links | 3,731,972 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 74 – Alexa Ranking.

10 |
921,983 – Inbound Links | 3,025,772 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 483 – Alexa Ranking.

11 |
16,629,000 – Inbound Links | 1,442,885 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 165 – Alexa Ranking.

12 |
6,896,127 – Inbound Links | 1,454,029 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 47 – Alexa Ranking.

13 | Meetup
1,764,287 – Inbound Links | 2,533,191 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 688 – Alexa Ranking.

14 | BlackPlanet
418,032 – Inbound Links | 1,473,081 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 1,338 – Alexa Ranking.

15 | Gaia Online
528,287 – Inbound Links | 1,000,070 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 892 – Alexa Ranking.

16 | Piczo
4,676,287 – Inbound Links | 444,457 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 1,360 – Alexa Ranking.

17 |
9,396,000 – Inbound Links | 494,781 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 102 – Alexa Ranking.

18 |
6,382,000 – Inbound Links | 199,838 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 124 – Alexa Ranking.

19 |
8,185,000 – Inbound Links | 154,991 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 43 – Alexa Ranking.

20 |
228,287 – Inbound Links | 106,885 – Compete Monthly Visitors | 161 – Alexa Ranking.

Linux Easy Printer Setup Guide

Setting up a printer is a doddle
People seem to have major issues with printer installation and setup. I don’t know why because it’s easy when you avoid all the guis and go for the cups web interface.

I have a HP Deskjet 845C, it works on every linux distro using the cups browser method.

On most Linux distros, cups is available in the repository, if not already installed and activated at boot. So just do a search for cups or printer and install Cups if needed.

Then get your HP/Other make drivers
I always install Foomatic Hpijs.

Next start the cups server
Debian/Ubuntu based boxes: sudo /etc/init.d/cups restart
Archlinux and others: sudo /etc/rc.d/cups start

Configure your printer from your web browser
Next, open your web browser and type the address http://localhost:631 which is your print server port. You will be greeted with the cups html printer setup page similar to the image below.


Now you just hit “Add Printer” and go through the motions of selecting your printer and driver etc.

Just click all the links and check out what’s on offer, you can add users to the printer and change the default settings, all much easier than some desktop printer config utilities.

When you are done, print a test page.

How to Urban Terror 1st person Shooter on Linux

What is Urban Terror?
Urban Terror is a great 1st person online team shooter with great graphics, and a whole heap of maps. Whatsmore, the online community is very active, I had no problem at all connecting to a server.


Urban Terror is a free multiplayer first person shooter developed by FrozenSand, that (thanks to the ioquake3-code) does not require Quake III Arena anymore. It is available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh. The current version is 4.1.

Urban Terror can be described as a Hollywood tactical shooter; somewhat realism based, but the motto is “fun over realism”. This results in a very unique, enjoyable and addictive game.

No registration required: Download, install, play!

The best thing? It works out-of-the-box on Linux

Howto install and run Urban Terror
I tested it on a laptop with Ati graphics, Broadcom wireless connection and it was flawless.

Download Urban Terror
I used this torrent as I believe in sharing bandwidth, whatsmore the torrent is very fast and I had a 40 seeders. You can also get Urban Terror direct from their mirrors:

Just unzip
Enter the new directory and choose the correct executable for your architecture
Linux 32bits executable: ioUrbanTerror.i386
Linux 64bits executable: ioUrbanTerror.x86_64

In linux, you need to make it executable first: right click it, properties and tick the ‘allow execution’ box.

You’re done!

Now double click the executable and get ready to frag some ass!

First impressions
As it loaded I waited for slowdown or even a crash, nada, was running as smooth as a baby’s bum. It automatically offers you a training tutorial which I accepted.

Next I chose my username “richs-lxh” and proceeded to check all the settings; Control, graphics, sound, team options etc.

Then I decided to check out the online servers, hit refresh and a whole heap of them filled the list. I clicked on PING to get the best for me at the top and clicked “join”. There was already a battle in progress between a blue and red team, so I chose to be a spectator  ;)

Follow Mode – Really Cool
Urban Terror has a f”ollow mode” when you are a spectator. This means that if you are new to the game (or too scared to join in like me) you can hit “follow” and suddenly you get a first person view of one of the players. It’s great as you run around shooting and being shot at. Helps you get used to the game play.

I did that for a while, then hiot escape, and joined the game. I lasted about er…….. 3 minutes Lol!  ;D

Gimme a break, I am used to playing N64 and PSII with a joypad, I need to get used to the keyboard controls.

This is a very good game, I like what I see. I know most shooters on Linux are the same, if you’ve played Alien Arena, Nexuiz, Quake, Doom etc, you’ll know what I mean. But this one had slightly brighter maps, and whereas other games have these space age futuristic arenas, Urban Terror has real houses and places that feel familiar. I prefer that.

Definitely worth downloading if you like shooters.

Will My Ati Graphics card work with Linux?

amd_ati-graphicsBasically, yes. Ati have been working hard to produce graphic card drivers for newer cards and have also helped Linux developers with Open Source projects. They are currently in talks with several package maintainers to provide drivers from various distro repositories.

Common questions and answers:

Q1: What features are provided by the ATI Proprietary Linux Driver?
A1: The ATI Proprietary Linux driver currently provides hardware acceleration for 3D graphics and video playback. It also includes support for dual displays and TV Output.
Q2: Which ATI graphics cards can use this driver?
A2: The ATI Proprietary Linux driver currently supports Radeon 8500 and later AGP or PCI Express graphics products, as well as ATI FireGL 8700 and later products. We do not currently plan to include support for any products earlier than this. Drivers for earlier products should already be available from the DRI Project or Utah-GLX project.
Q3: What computer architectures are supported by this driver?
A3: Systems using 32-bit processors from Intel (Pentium III and later) and AMD (Athlon and later) are currently supported. 64-bit drivers are available for EM64T/AMD64 based systems. PowerPC, Alpha, and others are not currently supported.
Q4: Is complete driver source code available?
A4: Some of the technologies supported in our driver are protected by non-disclosure agreements with third parties, so we cannot legally release the complete source code to our driver. It is NOT open source. We do, however, include source code for the control panel and certain other public segments. We also actively assist developers in the Open Source community with their work, so if you absolutely require an open source driver for your graphics card, we can recommend using drivers from the DRI project, Utah-GLX project, or others.
Q5: In which formats is the ATI Proprietary Linux driver available?
A5: The Linux drivers available from our website are available in RPM format as well as a Graphical User Interface installer (operates in both text and X-windows modes). We are also in discussions with various distribution maintainers to provide our drivers in their formats using their repositories and delivery systems in the future.
Q6: What Linux kernel version is needed for this driver?
A6: Version 2.4 of the Linux kernel is required for this driver. This kernel version is installed as standard in many current Linux distributions. Support for the newer version 2.6 kernel is also included.
Q7: What X-Windows versions are supported in this driver?
A7: Driver packages are available for XFree86 versions 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3, as well as X.Org 6.8.
Q8: Is v4l video capture supported for ALL IN WONDER cards?
A8: The ATI Proprietary Linux driver does not currently provide video capture functionality. Video capture support for most ALL IN WONDER cards should be available from the GATOS project.
Q9: What colour modes are currently supported?
A9: 24-bit True Colour is currently the only native colour mode for the ATI Proprietary Linux Driver. 8-bit colour can be achieved using the pseudo-colour visuals feature, but may not work in all applications. 16-bit colour is not supported; if any of your critical applications require 16-bit colour, you should not install the ATI Proprietary Linux Driver.
Q10: Where can I get more information about ATI hardware support in Linux?
A10: Please check the Linux and XFree86 FAQ on the ATI website for more information about third party programming projects involving ATI hardware in Linux..

Wireless IEEE 802.XX Standards – What are they?

Practically everybody has at least one Wireless enabled laptop or desktop, so what do all those IEEE specifications mean?

Here is a list and explanation of the more common IEEE 802.XX Standards:

IEEE 802.XX Glossary:

802.11 – This early wireless standard provides speeds of up to 2 Mbps. Because 802.11 supports two entirely different methods of encoding – Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) – there is often incompatibility between equipment. 802.11 has also had problems dealing with collisions and with signals reflected back from surfaces such as walls.

802.11a – This is an extension of the 802.11 standard and uses a different band than 802.11b and 802.11g – the 5.8-GHz band called Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) in the United States. Because the U-NII band has a higher frequency and a larger bandwidth allotment than the 2.4-GHz band, the 802.11a standard achieves speeds of up to 54 Mbps.

802.11b – This extension of the original 802.11 standard boosts wireless throughput from 2 Mbps to 11 Mbps. It can transmit up to 100 m under good conditions, although this distance may be reduced considerably by obstacles such as walls. This upgrade has dropped FHSS

in favor of the more reliable DSSS. Settling on one method of encoding eliminates the problem of having a single standard that includes two kinds of equipment that aren’t compatible with each other. 802.11b devices are compatible with older 802.11 DSSS devices but are not compatible with 802.11 FHSS devices. 802.11b is currently the most widely used wireless standard.

802.11g – 802.11g is an extension to 802.11b and operates in the same 2.4-GHz band. It brings data rates up to 54 Mbps using Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technology. Because 802.11g is backward compatible with 802.11b, an 802.11b device can interface directly with an 802.11g access point. You may even be able to upgrade some newer 802.11b access points to be 802.11g compliant via relatively easy firmware upgrades

802.11i – 802.11i addresses many of the security concerns that come with a wireless network by adding Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Robust Security Network (RSN) to 802.11a and 802.11b standards. WPA uses Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) to improve the security of keys used with WEP, changing the way keys are derived and adding a message-integrity check function to prevent packet forgeries. RSN adds a layer of dynamic negotiation of authentication and encryption algorithms between access points and mobile devices. 802.11i is backwards compatible with most 802.11a and 802.11b devices, but loses security if used with non-802.11i devices.

802.11n – The next standard in development is IEEE 802.11n. This new standard offers far higher speeds than current standards. Speed projections are at least 100 Mbps, but they could go up to 320 Mbps. The standard isn’t expected to be ratified until November 2006.

802.11X – This refers to the general 802.11 wireless standard – b, g, or i. It is not to be confused with 802.1X, a security standard.

802.15 – This specification covers how information is conveyed over short distances among a Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). This type of network usually consists of a small networked group with little direct connectivity to the outside world. It is compatible with Bluetooth 1.1.

802.16 – IEEE 802.16, was ratified in January 2001. It enables a single base station to support many fixed and mobile wireless users. It is also called the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) standard. 802.16 aims to combine the long ranges of the cellular standards with the high speeds of local wireless networks. Intended as a – last-mile – solution, this standard could someday provide competition for hard-wired broadband services such as DSL and cable modem. 802.16 operates in the 10- to 66-GHz range and has many descendants.

802.16d – This recent standard – also called the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard or WiMax – can cover distances of up to 30 miles. Theoretically, a single base station can transmit hundreds of Mbps with each customer being allotted a portion of the bandwidth. 802.16d may use either the licensed 2.6- and 3.5-GHz bands or the unlicensed 2.4- and 5-GHz bands.

802.16e – This is based on the 802.16a standard and specifies mobile air interfaces for wireless broadband in the licensed bands ranging from 2 to 6 GHz.

802.20 – Specifies mobile air interfaces for wireless broadband in licensed bands below 3.5 GHz.

802.1X – 802.1X is not part of the 802.11 standard. It is a sub-standard designed to enhance the security of an 802.11 network. It provides an authentication framework that uses a challenge/response method to determine if a user is authorized.