Using Aptitude Package Manager To Install APF Firewall On Ubuntu 12.04 Server

Tux, the Linux penguin

Tux, the Linux penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Installing APF firewall from source on Ubuntu 12.04 Server is possible, but you still have to tweak it somehow to allow it to start on boot and to work correctly with Ubuntu 12.04 server. Luckily, Ubuntu 12.04 does come with aptitude package manager, and we can use this package manger to install APF firewall easily. Unfortunately, you still need to do some tweaking before APF firewall can work smoothly. Nonetheless, it’s like choosing which poison you want to down with, because either choice is going to be cumbersome. There is one more disadvantage of using aptitude package manager to install APF firewall is that the package manager aptitude might not carry the latest version of APF firewall. Nonetheless, when updating APF firewall with aptitude package manager, it’s much easier such as doing aptitude update and aptitude safe-upgrade. Anyhow, let us assume that you pick the poison of installing APF firewall with aptitude package manager, then this video might just be the remedy for you. Enjoy!!!

Bobsled Can Save You Minutes On Mobile Phone

T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling

T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling (Photo credit: Siliconbug)

Have a limited voice plan on your iPhone?  No worry, after downloading T-Mobile Bobsled iPhone app (also available for Android) from Apple App Store and allowing it to be installed onto iPhone, you can use it to call anyone within the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico for FREE.  Do you have to be a T-Mobile mobile subscriber in order for you to use Bobsled?  Once again, don’t worry, the only requirement is that you have to have a smart phone that can make use of Bobsled.  There is one catch though!  You have to use Bobsled over a Wi-Fi connection or else your data plan from your own mobile service provider will be incurred as usual (i.e., how you would regularly spend your data plan and being charged for it).  Remember, Wi-Fi connection is something similar to either a free public Internet connection (e.g., Hotspot connection from Starbucks) or a paid home Internet connection which allows wireless bandwidth (e.g., wireless router which connects to an ISP broadband modem).

Before you can use Bobsled, you either authorize Bobsled with Facebook so you can connect to Bobsled using Facebook account or just create a brand new Bobsled account.  Creating a brand new Bobsled account requires you to provide your email address; in the same process you need to create a brand new password for a brand new Bobsled account.  Besides calling any land line or mobile phone number, Bobsled boasts that you can also call friends on Facebook.  I’m not sure how Bobsled would connect your phone call to someone on Facebook, because I have not yet dared to allow Bobsled to connect to my very own Facebook account.  I’m sort of very protective of my Facebook account.  Why don’t you try it out if you intend to use Bobsled and let me know how it goes, OK?

For your information, I had read Bobsled Facebook Calling Services Term of Service, and it stated that Bobsled makes use of unmodified open source software code.  This means you can request open source code of the components within Bobsled that rely on open source software code.  You can request open source software code of Bobsled at the address right after the break,

Vivox, Inc.

Attn:  Customer Support

2-4 Mercer Road,

Natick, MA 01760

Also, I’m not sure but I think Bobsled is still self-described as a beta software, therefore you might experience glitches when using Bobsled from time to time.  Nonetheless, it seems I haven’t yet seen a glitch myself while using Bobsled.  Furthermore, beta software is often requiring its user to update the software, and so you can expect Bobsled to be updated quite regularly.

I think Bobsled is great for iPhone and Android users who do not want to waste minutes when calling someone who is not using the same mobile service provider.  Nonetheless, I have heard how Verizon (i.e., recently) and few other mobile service providers do provide unlimited voice, and so Bobsled might become a redundant app if you are having unlimited voice mobile phone plan.  I haven’t yet made extensive and numerous phone calls using Bobsled, but I had tried it and the phone call was clear.  All in all, Bobsled might be a very good alternative way of saving some minutes and money while using a mobile phone.


Bad News For Awesome Open Source Email Client Thunderbird, Mozilla May Fully Stop Committing To Thunderbird Development Future

Español: Logitipo del proyecto Thunderbird

Español: Logitipo del proyecto Thunderbird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d used Thunderbird before now, but right now I’m using Apple Mail.  I had made a switch to Apple Mail from Thunderbird for two months or so just to test out how well Apple Mail would fair against Thunderbird.  Why not right?  After all, I love to try out new software anyway!  Anyhow, it turned out that I loved both email clients.  In another word, I don’t mind using Thunderbird or Apple Mail for a long period of time, because either one will totally satisfy my email routine.

In my opinion, Apple Mail is somewhat slower than Thunderbird in retrieving new emails, but it might not be true since I’ve not yet heard of anyone else is complaining of the same thing.  Nonetheless, I think the latest Apple Mail in Mac OS X Lion is aesthetically more pleasing than the latest Thunderbird (i.e., Thunderbird 13.0.1), but not by much since I do like the layout of the latest Thunderbird too.  On the flip side, Thunderbird appears to be more intuitive in term of application functionalities, but you may disagree.  With that being said, Apple Mail isn’t hard to use at all, and it does a really good job at recognizing the remote settings so you can set up email accounts fast.  Such remote settings would be something as IMAP settings.  Let keep this comparison short, I think you will do very well in aggregating email accounts and emails into one email client application with either Thunderbird or Apple Mail (i.e., Apple Mail is for Mac only).

Today, Cnet’s “Mozilla calling it quits on Thunderbird, report says” article suggests that Mozilla may eventually fade out their support for Thunderbird.  The article also suggests that Mozilla is hoping that there will be an open source community with similar technical know-how will step up and take over the development of Thunderbird.  This means Mozilla is planning to cut back resources on improving Thunderbird, and Mozilla hopes that others who may not be as dedicated as Mozilla once was for developing Thunderbird to continue the development of Thunderbird.  Cnet suggests that Mozilla is trying to use their talent resource smarter by transferring the Thunderbird’s talent resource to other projects that Mozilla deems to be more important than Thunderbird.

Personally, I definitely feel sad to see Mozilla may cease their development of Thunderbird.  Nonetheless, I know Thunderbird is an excellent email client which many people have been using to aggregate their emails, and so I have great hope that Thunderbird will be taken under the wings of talented people or group of people — who have the knowledge on how to improve Thunderbird — well into the future.  The worst thing that may happen to Thunderbird is it will be outdated and people will not use it anymore as not that many developers want to improve the original features or develop newer ones for Thunderbird.  Let hope the worst possible scenario will not come too soon for a great email client Thunderbird!


What About Thunderbird?

By now, probably everything good about Thunderbird has been said, but I truly profess still that you need to try out Thunderbird if you are heavily using emails. What is with the plural form of email?  Well, email is plural in a sense that you, he, she, everybody else and me might have more than one email account, and having to open up two to however more browser tabs constantly — just to have the webmail accounts stay dynamically update while you’re on your main browser tab doing what you do — is rather cumbersome and not so elegant.  Sometimes, it’s rather disturbing for some people to see they have so many browser tabs open!  This is why some people think Thunderbird and similar email clients are better for checking emails.

Email clients aren’t there to replace your webmail accounts, because the email clients are there to connect to your webmail accounts and retrieve the emails from the webmail accounts.  The awesome thing about using email clients is that the email clients can retrieve all emails from all webmail accounts so you don’t have to manually sign into each webmail account to check email.  Of course, you have to provide proper credentials of each webmail account for an email client to store (in encrypted form I hope), therefore all you have to do is to provide a master password at the beginning of every email client session (i.e., starting up an email client) so the email client will then automatically go and retrieve emails from all webmail accounts.  Thunderbird works this way!

Anyhow, I like Thunderbird for it’s one of those FREE but yet most reliable open source applications/software I have ever used.  Also, newest yet Thunderbird version which is the version 11.0 has made the process of adding new webmail account easier.  It seems now you don’t really have to remember each webmail account’s POP/IMAP/etc… settings, because Thunderbird only requires your email addresses and passwords.  Behind the scene, the settings obviously would be appropriately set up by Thunderbird wizard for each webmail account.  Thunderbird is also somewhat smart as it allows you to teach it how to seek out junk emails by having you from time to time mark new but spam emails as junk emails; once you have done enough marking of junk emails, you can always go to Tools > Run Junk Mail Controls On Folder to weed out the junk emails on particular email folders that you think somehow Thunderbird might have missed weeding out junk emails from those email folders in the first place (my bet is that you don’t have to do so).

I’m not using the Thunderbird’s Add-ons feature, but I can imagine this might be something that people like — it allows people to customize Thunderbird furthermore.

Thunderbird has ton of features (I’m being lazied to go into each feature in detail), and most users probably don’t even need to configure those features as I believe many useful features within Thunderbird might have been turned on by default.  Nonetheless, some people like me who would want to go into Thunderbird’s Preferences to furthermore customize Thunderbird.  For an example, under Preferences > Security > Anti-Virus, users can check the box which labels as “Allow anti-virus clients to quarantine individual incoming messages.”  I’m sure some of you out there might want to go through Thunderbird’s Preferences in detail and make changes, but for others they just only have to simply use Thunderbird.  So, I have to conclude that Thunderbird might not be a solution for everything email, but it sure is convenient and useful and pleasurable to use.

Update:  Oops, I forgot to tell you that Thunderbird is supporting all major computing platforms.  It supports Linux, Mac, and Windows!

What About Sabayon Linux?

Installing Sabayon Linux is much easier than installing Gentoo, because you don’t really have to tinker with command lines to do so.  Even when computer users who want to install Sabayon Linux onto brand new hard disk, they don’t really have to use the ugly Fdisk text script to create new partition table for their hard disk.  Wait, let backtrack a bit.  Why do a computer user who wants to install Sabayon Linux need to create brand new partition table for his or her brand new hard disk?  It’s because a brand new hard disk has no partition table to start with, and Sabayon Linux isn’t going to recognize a hard disk if it has no partition table.  So, without using the ugly Fdisk, what can a computer user use to create new partition table for brand new hard disk in Sabayon Linux?  Simple, when running Sabayon Linux in LiveCD environment, just use the command line emerge to install Gparted.  Like this, {emerge gparted}.  Once Gparted has been installed onto Sabayon LiveCD environment, you can use Gparted to create new partition table for your brand new hard disk.

Gparted is prettier and easier to use than Fdisk since it’s a graphical user interface with intuitive features, therefore it’s a welcome sight for new Linux users.  Hint:  once Gparted is installed onto LiveCD environment, it’s existed inside RAM only, because rebooting the LiveCD, you would reset LiveCD environment back to the default, out of the box settings again.  This action removes Gparted as if you had never installed Gparted, ever.

After you have created new partition table for your brand new hard disk, you only have to open up a terminal, become root, and then type in the command {installer} to fire up the installer manager’s graphical user interface.  At the installer’s graphical user interface, you just have to read the options it presents to you carefully and follow through the onscreen instruction within the installer manager to complete the installation process of Sabayon Linux.  As now, Sabayon Linux is at version number 8.  Once you had installed Sabayon Linux, make sure you remove the LiveCD and reboot your computer so you can boot into Grub and from Grub into Sabayon Linux.

Basically, using Sabayon Linux is pretty much similar to how you use Gentoo.  So, your first task is to make sure your Internet is working within Sabayon Linux.  Once the connection to the Internet has been established, you can begin the update process for Sabayon Linux.  How?

  1. Open up a terminal, become root, and type in {emerge –sync}
  2. When emerge –sync is done, type in {layman -S}
  3. If the system asks you to do emerge portage, then you should do so. How?  Type in the command, {emerge portage} into terminal as root.

So, what on earth is emerge?  Well, emerge is sort of like Yum on Fedora, Yast on openSUSE, apt-get on Ubuntu, and so on.  Basically, emerge is based on Portage.  Portage is the real package manager behind the scene which allows emerge to call it to interact with source packages.  So, when you do the command emerge –sync, you’re actually telling emerge to update Portage package manager’s source archives/packages.  You can view emerge as command line tool which interacts with Portage (i.e., the package manager).

In my opinion, it seems Gentoo and Sabayon Linux rely on source packages and not binary packages, therefore installing software onto Gentoo or Sabayon Linux would be slower than doing the same thing on Ubuntu or Debian based Linux distributions.  Installing a source package usually requires the computer system to compile the source package first before the actual installation would begin.  Ubuntu or Debian based Linux distribution uses binary packages more often than source packages, therefore installing software on Ubuntu or Debian based Linux distribution is going to be faster as everything had already been defined.  Nonetheless, I think installing from source packages does have an advantage over binary packages, because installing source packages would only define the necessary features and variables and elements of a software that fit a specific computer environment.  This way the installed software might perform better and be more stable than otherwise.

So how do you go about installing software on Sabayon Linux (i.e., same for Gentoo)?  You do the following.

  1. Let say you want to install ClamAV onto Sabayon Linux, you would open up a terminal.
  2. Become root!
  3. Type in the command {emerge clamav}.

Let say now you want to remove ClamAV from your Sabayon Linux system, but how?  You do the following.

  1. Open up a terminal!
  2. Become root!
  3. Type in the command {emerge -c clamav}

In summary, using Sabayon Linux is very similar to how you would use Gentoo.  Obviously, if you never have played with Gentoo before, you might want to try Sabayon Linux out first since installing Sabayon Linux is easier than installing Gentoo.  Remember, it’s not that straight forward when you try to install Sabayon Linux onto a brand new hard disk, because you have to go through the process of creating a brand new partition table for your brand new hard disk.  VirtualBox users should go through the same process as users who want to install Sabayon Linux onto brand new hard disk, because VirtualBox users would have a brand new virtual hard disk when they create a brand new virtual machine.  When done installing Sabayon Linux, you should learn how to use emerge command lines to update Portage package manager, install source packages, and remove source packages.  Other than these necessary command lines and procedures, users should be able to use Sabayon Linux with ease since most things are accessible through graphical user interfaces.

I Wish To See Cloud As An Open Source Cloud As A Service

English: Cloud Computing Image

Image via Wikipedia

Cloud computing is usually shortened for just cloud.  Cloud is now a word that most people carelessly throw around, because it’s one word which has been promoted heavily by the tech industry.  And I quote Wikipedia, “Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over a network (typically the Internet).” — Source:  I’m surprised that Cloud hasn’t yet becoming an open source cloud as a service.

I think I need to clarify on what I mean by “cloud” as an open source cloud as a service.  Imagine having someone whips up an open source cloud as a service software that would allow strangers to come together and share computing resources, consequently allowing each participant to have more cloud storage space, cloud computational resource, and cloud this and that.  Of course, such an open source cloud as a service software needs to provide or implement a unique security protocol so it would be almost pointless to decrypt and pry for information without proper authorization.

Such open source cloud as a service software should be freely distributed to anyone who wants to promote their own open source cloud as a service environment/ecosystem.  I guess, someone just needs to start a first node, then the rest can join!  Once again, I like to emphasize on the security implementation; if a security implementation isn’t done right, instead of having an open source cloud as a service, people who participate might find their personal open source cloud as a service ecosystem to become a zombie service where hackers use this particular computing ecosystem to deploy attacks such as Denial-of-service.  It would be bad indeed.

Furthermore, if proper brains come together and agree, who would say a business model might not spring into existence from having an open source cloud as a service, right?  Anyhow, this idea of mine might be a foolish idea, but I don’t mind throwing foolish idea into the cyberspace.  Then again, this foolish idea might already be in the work by someone else who has yet to announce his new creation to the world; he who quietly codes away from his tiny table somewhere in this world.

Update:  Imagine an open source cloud as a service as an open source Internet (but a small cohesive cloud Internet ecosystem which can grow quite large), because people would be using one another computational resources, whether that be hardware and software, to create an open source cloud ecosystem which isn’t that different from a commercial cloud service/ecosystem.  Imagine Amazon S3, EC2, and other Amazon web services as open source services, and the participants don’t really need to spend cash/credit other than their already available physical hardware, software, and bandwidth.  Come to think of it, bandwidth might be a problem.  Nonetheless, BitTorrent works out just fine, and so open source cloud as a service might work out just fine too, I hope.  And yeah, I don’t think open source cloud as a service will be similar to BitTorrent, because this isn’t about peer to peer protocol, but it’s probably something else entirely.

Update:  I can see energy cost and frequent unplug/shut-down of hardware and shoddy hardware might hamper the idea of open source cloud as a service, but dedicated users/participants might not have such problems, I guess.