Ubuntu setup, round 1

November 19, 2014

So, I decided to, once again, try out Ubuntu. The main draw of it is the downright usability and... serveriness aspect of it. Command-line which is part of the real OS (not like Windows), ability to host a site locally rather than from a VM, if I so choose, etc. However, I have been burned int he past because, well, with Windows comes the rich environments one would expect to exist for an OS which is the vast majority of the market share. OSX has great support too, don't get me wrong; it's a great combination of lots of support of mainstream apps and the power of command line and Unix. It's just that Mac is so freaking expensive and you're stuck with the hardware!

So, I'm gonna try Ubuntu again. I think I have a plan this time. Last time, my main complaint was Quicken; I literally purchased Windows 7 because Quicken didn't work well enough using Wine. Now that I've been using Win7 for about a year, I just realized about a week ago that I can install it on a VM. I mean, why not? I'm using Linux in a VM in Win7, why not switch it around? Yes, committing 30GB of my hard drive just to use Quicken seems... wasteful, but if it works, then I'm fine with that. I have tons of hard drive space. Plus, I'll use it with AnyDVD, so that's two programs. Maybe iTunes because I have an iPhone.

The other main driver of staying with Win7 was video games. I haven't frequently played video games on this computer until recently because my comp has been... slower. I recently upgraded it, and that's no longer an issue. However, once I found out the in-home streaming using Steam works, I'm all over that like stink on shit! I've played... two games? Three?... to completion using this method, and I love it. While the games aren't super current (Medal of Honor, Dead Space, Saints Row 2), they're not exactly solitaire, and they ran just fine locally. Luckily, the Steam client is supported on Linux, so that should be perfect.

Now, installing a new OS is nothing that's super difficult these days, but it's not a walk in the park, either. If you've done this, you know that you end up missing a bunch of little crap that you didn't even realize you relied upon until it's gone. Therefore, I'm not taking the full plunge yet. I'm gonna dual-boot so I can make a list in Ubuntu of what files I'm missing and, if I can't find them (because I can't be bothered to know where I saved them; they're in my "recents" list, after all!), I'll just load into Win7 and move them or make a note. But, for the most part, except for the software I listed above (and, of course, flash and web browsing software), I can't think of a single thing tying me to Windows.

So, to wrap up part 1, I'm gonna recap what we're going to be setting up within Linux as a replacement for Windows 7:

  • Latest Ubuntu (14.10 LTS)
  • Latest Oracle VirtualBox (4.3.10 for Ubuntu)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium for the guest OS (I have an upgrade to Ultimate if I'm feeling cheeky, but I don't think I'll need it)
    • Quicken 2012? 2013? (I'll update this once I find out which) fully functional, with current financial state
    • AnyDVD fully functional, able to rip DVDs
    • iTunes (failing Linux iPhone manager)
  • Linux Steam Client functional with streaming from host computer (gaming rig in other room)
  • Access to all disk drives
    • 2TB RAID 1 (currently, only one is functional in Win7; something disconnected when I upgraded my system)
    • 1TB local storage
    • 120GB SDD for OS, dual-booting Win7
  • Dropbox set up and updating properly from dir on RAID drives
  • Flash installed
  • Multimedia!!!
    • Able to watch DVDs
    • Music library indexed for listening
    • Picture library indexed for viewing
    • Video library indexed for watching; preferably through something like XBMC
    • Able to watch Netflix
    • Able to watch Hulu
  • Local website wired up for external access (prob won't need it, but for a full replacement of what I have, it's necessary)

See you soon for part 2!

Disney Cruise Panoramas

September 30, 2014

I took a number of panoramas while we were on our Disney Cruise because sometimes a single picture just doesn't capture enough. Due to various technical difficulties and limitations, I've moved them onto a separate static page; you can find it here:  http://www.i-josh.com/chyrp/static/pages/pano.php. Please, feel free to enjoy them and have a look!. For a preview, here's thumbnails of the panos:

Panama Canal

Cartagena, Colombia

Sunsets at Sea

Tulum Ruins

Playhouse, part 1

August 11, 2014

After doing a lot of searching, I decided on a plan for the playhouse. It's basically this idea, with the potential of putting a swing set in front of the balcony at some point. I'm gonna be adding some climbing stuff as that's what Cora likes! I'm splitting it up into a couple stages, the first stage is building the elevated deck which will be the floor to the top story.

Coming home with the lumber for stage 1

One side frame clamped up for drilling and bolting with lag bolts

Used a combination of circular saw, hammer and chisel, handsaw, and cussing to get these rabbets/dadoes cut

Both sides frames complete

Now, I've put the stretchers to connect the side frames in, along with the gussets to keep things square

After ground prep, things are looking pretty level. Close enough for my taste!

Installing joists

Joists done

Tacking down the deck.

Shoe Bench, part 1

August 07, 2014

I'm making a bench for shoes, both to store them and for sitting on to put them on. I've decided to use stuff that I already have as much as possible because I have it and want to get rid of it (and to save money). I've also decided to do a bunch of hand work, partly because I want to learn and partly because I don't have an alternative in some cases. Any rate, I'm just kinda making it up as I go along, but the top and shoe rails are going to be beech, stained with the ebonizing stuff made by steel wool and vinegar, and the sides are going to be thinned out 2x4 (of which I have plenty) painted white.

Planing the top

Glue up

There are some cracks in the top, so I'm hand-cutting some butterflies

First butterfly, clamping up the second one. There are five in total.