Increase an NTFS partition while decreasing & moving EXT4

About one year ago I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on a friend’s machine that came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit pre-loaded.  It is a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T430s to be precise.  I decreased the NTFS partition to about 40GB and gave the rest of the 500GB drive to  dual boot Ubuntu (leaving the Lenovo Recovery and Win7 recovery partitions intact).  Long story short (and no fault of 12.04 LTS which has been running very well) the friend and spouse needed more space on the NTFS Windows 7 partition (because everyone loves a bloated Win7 install).

Here are some steps to make this work.  The best piece of advice I found was this, “Use Linux tools to resize Linux partitions and Windows’ tools to resize Windows’ partitions” (gparted’s support for NTFS resizing is/was deemed experimental which is why I decided to use PWHE 8.11) and of course it goes without saying but I’ll say it, “backup your $***”:

  1. backup the EXT4 ‘home’ folder of the Ubuntu user.
  2. boot gparted live to backup/copy the 3 NTFS partitions (MS recovery / Win7 “C:” / Lenovo recovery) onto an external drive.
  3. gparted resize and move EXT4 partition to give an equal split for NTFS and EXT4.
  4. Unallocated space must now be “to the right” of the nearly full NTFS partition.
  5. Burn Partition Wizard Home Edition (8.11) via Ubuntu & Unetbootin to a USB key.
  6. Boot into PWHE 8.11 and “extend” the NTFS partition to reclaim about 100GB for Win 7.
  7. Test both OSes. It is now an even split between NTFS & EXT4 ~230GB each.

Godspeed.

Fixing LadioCast crashes & 10.9 SSH issues…

Had some issues when scripting LadioCast broadcasts, started to cause it to crash repeatedly.  The .plist file to delete is com.kawauso.LadioCast.plist from the Library.  Should return the application to defaults.  There was an update to the application in October, so it’s possible this error handling behavior was fixed, but uninstalls did not appear to delete the .plist.

Also, updated to 10.9 “Mavericks” on the server and pretty much all SSH functions stopped working.  Briefly got them working again, but so far it’s been a bust.  Will back update to 10.8 with a fresh re-install.   This machine was an upgrade from 10.6 to 10.8 to 10.9, so it’s possible in all of this OpenSSH failed, but regardless a lot of users have had issues with SSH and 10.9.  An alternative is to run a standalone Linux server or something like a Synology NAS.  Seemingly more reliable those.

SSH debug

http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20080424055927442

The crux is that SSH even when connecting w/ -vvv  or -vT modes won’t tell you precisely why it’s not connecting for obvious security purposes.  This is presuming you’ve double checked all other obvious issues and your public/private key pairs are setup correctly.

In the linked post above Kent Martin writes, the answer is to bind debug to an alternate port on the server side:
/usr/sbin/sshd -d -p 2222

then similarly from the client machine:
ssh -v -p 2222 user@machine_I_am_trying_to_ssh_to

On the server machine terminal you’ll see a more verbose debug log and hopefully it will tell you exactly why your client machine is being rejected.

OS X and the “cat” command for appending sequential .zip files

For whatever reason there is certain a level of incompatibility between various .zip (archive) file formats among various operating systems today.  It’s certainly not that you won’t be able to access any file type on any given system, as there are many tools to do so, mostly it’s a question of how many hoops you have to jump through.

Specifically, I had a sequential .zip file that was in multiple chunks where the first file ends in something like:

zzzzzz.zip.001.zip

And the next files in sequence look like this:

zzzzzz.002
zzzzzz.003

OS X comes with a couple of utilities for archives but neither seem to be able to handle this particular sequence (especially if it is AES256 encoded with a password).  There is a $20 piece of software called BetterZip that has no problem with any type I gave it, however, I found a free utility called The Unarchiver which seems to be an excellent replacement for the OS X native ‘BOMArchiveHelper.app‘ and if you use the *nix ‘cat‘ command (see: Concatenation) you can append the sequential files all into one and The Unarchiver will work fine.

Open the Terminal in OS X, red is what you type, assuming all the files you want to append are in your home directory:

computer:~user$ cat zzzzzz.zip.001.zip zzzzzz.002 zzzzzz.003 > onebigfile.zip

Where onebigfile.zip is your new appended file, ready to be unarchived.  I’m sure they teach this to preschoolers in *nix 101, in fact I think there is a book out now called Linux For Lilliputian Lads, but I found it useful.

I’ll be doing a writeup soon of the re-foaming process of my Advent Heritage speakers, they sound better now.

TFTP after a bad flash on WRT-54G Ver 2.0

Was helping a friend trouble shoot an old Linksys WRT-54G Version 2.0 and I thought it might be worth installing the Tomato firmware and see if it helps minimize the connection drop outs he’s been having.  I thought upgrading via the Linksys admin menu would be a snap.  I made a couple of mistakes.

1) Always do a hard reset (30/30/30) on the router before flashing

2) Always hard wire and set a static IP that is within the default range and turn off all other network cards

3) Be patient, because sometimes it’ll take a few minutes

What happened was this: the upgrade from the Linksys admin utility resulted in a corrupt image such that I was no longer receiving an IP address, the router was not booting, all I got was a flashing green power LED.  Thankfully, Draytek Router Tools v.4.2.1 comes to the rescue with TFTP tool, as I tried the Linksys version of the software with no luck.  Router Tools allowed me to get the WRT-54G back online with the latest official Linksys Firmware v.4.21.1 and at this point I went back into the menu and tried the Tomato v.1.27 .bin again and it actually worked.

Now, whether all this means the router will stop being flaky, I don’t know.  But many other users swear by Tomato and say that it’s a significant improvement over the stock firmware and includes a lot of QOS features and should increase stability.

This is pretty much the best guide I found on recovering from a bad flash:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Recover_from_a_Bad_Flash

This is the link for latest official Linksys firmware on the WRT54G:
http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/lbc/WRT54G/download

And if you click on Version 4.0 on the BEFSR41 router/hub you can download Linksys’ official TFTP tool, which probably won’t work and you’ll need to download the Draytek utility anyways:
http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/lbc/BEFSR41/download

Linksys WRT54G Version 2.0

Linksys WRT54G Version 2.0

Unetbootin, Vista 32bit hell and other stories

Zoe had a friend who was having some computer problems and I suppose to some extent I brought this upon myself. Thankfully, I now have a strategy. Of course this is probably like 10 hours where I am far too deep in to start strategizing, but I now have a strategy.

Lets pretend for a moment you have a 32 bit Core-Duo laptop running Windows Vista Home 32bit that is infected with malware and viruses and acting generally poorly, what do you do?  Well, my friend, you take your 8GB flash key that has an already built 9.04 Ubuntu Kernel on it, you boot it from that and run ClamAV using the ClamTK GUI.  It works.  It found a couple of viruses on the backup HD and  I feel safer about backup data as well as my data on my Windows 7 machine.  Thankfully, since I’m principally running OS X and 9.04 MythBuntu these days we’re highly prone to viruses, but nonetheless, I was concerned about re-infection with her external USB hard drive as well as her 4GB Flash Key.

Step 1) Use Unetbootin to load a flash key with a bootable version of the Linux of your choice

Step 2) Boot up the sick (dying) notebook with that USB flash drive

Step 3) Scan all files with ClamAV under Linux, then backup all data

Step 4) Wipe the old computer clean and re-install Windows (this part is oh so familiar) & leave ~ 20GB for a separate EXT3 Linux partition

Step 5) Institute a backup as well as best practice anti-virus procedures

Step 6) Install Linux in the 20GB spare rescue partition in case this happens again!

Step 7) After about a year  Windows XP will be gunked up again, so repeat! (see Step 1)

I am Netatalk you are Netatalk we are Netatalk

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?  Or does it spend all weekend working out Ubuntu 8.04 command line shell commands to make a beautiful thing happen?  Namely, mount an Apple Time Capsule share over ethernet via Samba/CIFS and and then serve the data via mt-daapd to iTunes and Airport Express.  All from the command line baby.  Yeah.  Compile that package of Netatalk with libcrack2 and ssl. Talk to me dirty with inexplicable buffer writes in  vi baby.  And you’ll do a lot of apt-get.  And if you’re lucky you’ll do a few apt-get purge(s) thrown in there for good measure.

What about mounting the Time Capsule in Ubuntu?  Shouldn’t that be simple beans? You know, smbclient, smbfs, and GO right? It just works.  Hah. Apple doesn’t exactly have a support page for this sort of thing.  The crux of it for me was the domain=workgroup option, and figuring out that with Netatalk everything referenced .local addresses no the local IPs for some reason.  Whatever.  The FLAC flows now.  OGG, wavpac, you name it, this little Linux machine can serve it to iTunes whole.  No more dealing with that cursed iTunes XML library.  Unless of course you want to put music on your iPod.  I still don’t have that part completely figured out.  My feeling is you copy and add music as you want it on your iPod.

Your word of the evening: moribund, |ˈmôrəˌbənd

moribund : adjective (of a person) at the point of death. • (of a thing) in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigor


The FLAC  “Best of Cat Stevens” album I’ve recently been listening to reminds me of something that must be nagging at least a few people’s hearts, namely that of a need for change.  How do you go from pop-folk idol to Orthodox Muslim?  On some level I don’t think it’s all that different than dropping out and building a multi-story yurt in the deeps woods of Maine.   Or say growing up in an austere Christian sect, winning the Tour de France,  and then having your title and livelihood taken away.  This stuff happens all the time. Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, born Steven Demetre Georgiou apparently gave up secular guitar playing for a long time.  But one day his son brought a guitar home and he played.  And maybe he needed to play, as almost all his concerts and work benefits world peace and child welfare causes.   But these causes were important to him from the beginning, whatever his name was, it’s just a question of listening for the voice. 

I did get RockBox working on the 3rd generation iPod, so that’s another win for the Open Source camp. DD-WRT is next for the router.  For whatever reason AFP doesn’t work over the router.  Unbuntu 8.04 comes out soon, I think most everyone’s loins are girded for this occasion.