An Easy Way to Install Arch Linux on a Virtual Box VM

Archlinux Logo 2007

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post is actually a couple of simple links to good sites that were helpful for installing Arch Linux on my desktop at home (Mac (21.5-inch, Late 2009) 3.06 GHz, 16 Mb RAM). Side note – RAM is super-cheap right now, and I just upgraded this machine from 4 Gb to 16 Gb for about $70. This is a huge performance difference on my old-ish Mac. The VM and everything else wants about 7 gig just sitting around, so the extra memory is helpful.

I am trying to make a replica of the server that one of  my teammates is using to serve an application we’re working on (which will be another exciting post 😐 ). His is an Arch Linux OS on a Raspberry Pi, 32 bit version. To develop some modules for this web app concurrently I wanted to replicate the server environment as closely as I could.

Mostly I used a great instruction page from Columbia Universityhttp://www.cs.columbia.edu/~jae/4118-LAST/arch-setup-2015-1.html. They occasionally direct us to the Arch Linux Beginner’s guide: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners%27_guide.

Assume you have Oracle’s handy (FREE!) VirtualBox application already on your machine. It’s a good idea to download the ISO disk image of Arch Linux from their repository before you start from  https://www.archlinux.org/download/. Make a new VM with Arch as the OS and it’s ready to roll. Just follow the instructions on the Columbia site to get your system up and running quickly. There are a lot of extra complications that you don’t need to worry about if you’re just setting up a mock server for experimenting. Obviously, in a professional setting, you’ll follow the proper protocols for integration that your organization requires.

I will have to do a follow-up post talking about starting up our server and all the goodies we loaded on it (Ruby! Mongo! Postfix!). Mostly, getting Arch loaded with all of its partitioning and disk mounts was enough for one evening’s work.

Some links to writing about “Dark Patterns”

“Dark Patterns”


“Scams don’t work if the victim knows what the hustler is trying to do. (metafilter.com)”

Dark Patterns (jessicaflammia.wordpress.com)

Critical Thinking 5 (rdwisewords.wordpress.com)

Erik Vold: Do Not Track – Dark Pattern(work.erikvold.com)

May the force be with you.

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Installing Apache Tomcat server on Mac OSX

This is a quick post to acknowledge Wolf Paulus’ great, simple instructions for installing the Tomcat server on the Mac. Works like a champ. The Tomcat Controller he mentions in the post is also very helpful.

English: Logo of Русский: Логотип Apache Tomcat

How to Make Your WordPress Blog Not Run Faster by Using a CDN That Goes Out of Business and You Suddenly Realize After the Fact That Maybe It Wasn’t Such a Good Idea In the First Place

My difficulty instituting a CDN continues

 

I had been using a CDN, the acronym for “Content Delivery Network”, to deliver the pictures on this blog to your browser. The reason for doing this is to speed up the load time of the web page and it certainly fit in my “Experiments with WWW” or whatever I’m calling it. A CDN stores your pictures/videos/whatever (content that is larger than the rest of the html in a site) and when the page loads your server doesn’t have to spend a bunch of time pushing that heavy content around, it can focus on the simpler and faster html  and associated scripts.

 

But, what happens when your CDN provider gets shut down and you didn’t even notice? Or get a notification? And what if that happens at exactly the same time that you upgrade your caching plugin, which leaves a file on your server that breaks the website? And not just your website, but the other three websites on the same host? What happens is that even if you put your server right side up again, all of the pictures that you call on the deceased CDN no longer answer.

 

Oh MY GOD this is SO boring!

 

The CDN I was using was called “SimpleCDN“. SimpleCDN logoAs I recall, they offerered 150Mb of storage, and up to a Gb download per month for $FREE. I’m using MAYBE 10% of that. I could pay some “cloud” service like Amazon $100.00/mo. And there are others, most of which are as expensive. SimpleCDN “fit my needs”, as they say. Apparently, SimpleCDN were using a hosting service then reselling it as a content delivery network. This article explains it better than I will, so you should read it if this type of thing is interesting to you. So the host shut them down. Hit the kill switch, with no advance notice. UH OH! Now you have subscribers who are using your service to run their websites, and they all go dark (sort of, I mean, their content wouldn’t be visible if the page tries to refer to stuff on the CDN server).

 

Two lessons I learned from this experiment:

 

  1. You get what you pay for. This is an immutable natural law. Whether it be for Graphic Design, a CDN, or a bottle of wine.
  2. If you want your blog to stay online, you MUST do some maintenance and pay attention to all the stuff you have tacked on to it.

 

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How to Make your WordPress Blog Stop Working by Trying to Make it Run Faster

I finally found the time to update this blog, hopefully some fresh content will finally get me a third reader.

Why I haven’t posted since March, 2010:

I decided that enough is enough and after having been laid off by no less than three printing/marketing places, then suffering through unemployment along with the other thirty million Americans like me, I went back to college to get my BS. That is, an official BS, not the BS I usually deal in (HA!). Thankfully, I have been working during that time, and so was left with very little time left to write on this.

Why my blog went off the air:

I thought that the internet had, like, ghosts or something that would alert me to problems. Let’s say you installed a plug in on your WordPress blo, in order to make it run faster, as an “experiment in www”. Then let’s say that this plug in, out of the goodness of its heart, creates and deploys what’s called an .htaccess file all up in your server’s face to get it to do its bidding. Now, this is a long story, and I’m not going to bore myself with the details of it, but let’s say that the plug in did this WITHOUT TELLING YOU. I’m not mad at it (I am kind of mad at it). Now, when you put a(n) .htaccess file on the root folder of your webserver, usually that’s okay, it actually needs those instructions. But when you put that file in a subfolder on a server, and you point a URL to that subfolder, apparently you are then FORBIDDEN to enter. As in “403 Forbidden“. After a couple days, I was able to find the .htaccess file that was hurting me, hid it, and voila, my site pops back up. Thankfully this is my own thing and I’m not running it for someone else, otherwise I might be looking for yet another job. Thanks a lot, W3TC!!! But I will not give up on the whole CDN thing. Once I nail it down I can pretend to be cool by saying my website utilizes a cloud-computing architecture, or some such gibberish. {I did not know the word gibberish was spelled with a “g;”. I’ll be darned.}

Anyway:

Buried deep in this post is another reason I am back on this experimental blog. I DID in fact set up a site for someone else, and I will probably need to test some stuff out over here to make sure everything paechy before I deploy it on my client’s site. Here it is

StudioLazerus Logo

So, go check it out (yes, I am telling you what to do), buy some jewelry for yourself and your loved ones, and stay tuned to see the results of further experiments in www and in real life as well.

Awesomest comment spam comment of the day

In my continuing series of comment spams that are totally genius, I give you the following, copied with no editing whatsoever:

my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the end there, not leave it with

MY GOD! Not leave it with what? WITH WHAT???

Sorry pal, no decisive insights on this blog, and I really don’t have enough traffic coming here to warrant the spamming effort you are putting into this.

How to Make a Blog on WordPress using Network Solutions

WP_logo1- Buy a domain name (like www.jefflazerus.com)
2- Buy a hosting account on Network Solutions
3- Install WordPress out of the “Tools” panel in your account manager area
4- Login and post, but don’t expect it to work the same each time, and always expect some new useless (?) upgrade from WordPress at random times.

UPDATE 11/05/09:

Network Solutions now allows you to buy a WordPress hosting package, without shared hosting or the high end virtual server, for something like $4.00 US. If you just want WordPress on a nice stable platform, this could be a good solution. If I were going to add WP to a commerce site that already exists I would seriously consider this option.

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Turn and face the strange

For the two people who regularly read this blog 😉 ,  I wanted to put up a quick post to say that I’m evaluating the whole thing aesthetically and from the content standpoint. Changes are in the works. My idea (to do experiments with the www and report on them) took a bit of a turn into a marketing and advertising opinion blog, and there really are quite enough of those out there, although it just so happens that those issues are the most read. My time to write has been constrained by work issues, specifically the fact that I am now a full time employee of a marketing agency, and I’m not certain about the appropriateness of my opinions in relation to the company, and I need to look at that before I write any more about that subject.

I’ve already changed the WordPress theme, and I will be spending some time sprucing it up. I apologize in advance for any breakages/hideousness/anomalies or links that get destroyed.

There is some interesting comment activity going on, in the older posts. I am going to investigate it, I am not convinced that these recent comments are just people who have an interest in the subject matter. Stay tuned for a post about it, if I can figure anything out. My bounce rate is still higher than I want, so I will be adding things to make that go down.

Anyway, if you’re still reading, thank you, stay tuned, the next generation of this might be interesting. Please let me know what you think.

Social Networking simplified

I love this chart. Brian Solis combines intersting data about social networks, analysis, and a nice readable representation.

 

The Conversation Prism

The Conversation Prism

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Next time I’m in London, I’m going to Ling’s place FIRST!

sethgodin
Image by technokitten via Flickr

Is it wrong for me to be such a fan of this person?

Wow! Jeff, thanks so much for your support!

You know, I met Seth Godin this week, I have a page on my site: /sethgodin.php

I must say, he has been very helpful, he even mentioned me in his talk in London. You are spot on with many other blog posts here, too. I found you as I noticed a visitor on my site, from here. Cheers!!

By the way, I am making some small improvements following Seth (and other) advice. I have better images and some better navigation. But, I insist, my website will always be personal 🙂

– Ling

Originally posted as a comment by Ling Valentine on Regular Guy’s Experiments in www using Disqus.

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