System Shock 2 on Windows 7

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A lot of people I talk to rave on about how good Bioshock was, but they don’t seem to realise that Bioshock is the spiritual successor to two great roleplaying first person shooters – System Shock and System Shock 2.

My favourite of the two is System Shock 2 (SS2), a dark, gritty shooter with heavy roleplaying and an atmosphere you could drown a cat in.

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Installing Windows 7 from a USB thumb drive

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Carrying around DVDs is a bit of a pain when you’re installing Windows a bunch. For starters, they’re a slow medium, having to spin up a big circle of polycarbonate before they can have stuff read off them. They’re also quite bulky, and scratch with ease if you’re not fastidious about the safety of your optical media.

But thankfully with the introduction of Windows Vista (and by extension, Windows 7), we have some new options for installing Windows which don’t need disk wallets to be carted around wherever we go.

For this neat way of carrying around your install media, you’ll need a copy of a Windows DVD as well as a USB thumb drive. My copy of Windows 7 Enterprise is 2.23Gb in size, so I’ll be using a 4Gb USB thumb drive.

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Home NAS Expansion – Continued

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In previous articles, I investigated using ZFS to build a home NAS, which is very simple and extremely effective.

But in this article, I discussed expanding that NAS by changing out disks one by one. While it’s easy to change the disks out and increase the size of your zpool, it doesn’t quite work because as your filesystem was created as raidz1, it will not increase in size.

That means that when you want to increase the size of your NAS down the track, you either have to copy all the files from your NAS on to an external device, then delete and recreate your zfs filesystem, or consider a different way of building the NAS in the first place.

So today I’m going to look at building a NAS with the same functionality as before, but with the ability for the disks to be easily changed out down the track to easily increase the size of your home storage system.

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Virtualbox versus VMWare Workstation

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As an IT guy, I need to be using Windows for my day to day desktop environment as there are many vendor specific applications I need to run on a day to day basis which simply aren’t available on unix variants. However, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to run Linux applications when I’m on the road, or needing to quickly build a server to test something out.

At the moment when I want to get in to the sandbox, I’m using VMWare Workstation. I’ve used it for quite a while, and am very comfortable with it. But there are other virtualisation platforms out there, so I thought it was only fair that I have a look at the other options which are available. So today we’ll be comparing VMWare Workstation with Sun Microsystems’ virtualisation client, Virtualbox.

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Linux… On a Memory Key?

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Yes, you heard right, Linux fans. But it’s not as simple as all that.

Today I’m going to be playing around with the new version of ACE management server from VMWare. As you probably know, they’re all for running normal operating systems in completely abnormal ways, and ACE lets us do even more abnormal things – like installing a virtual machine which can run entirely from a memory key, while avoiding touching the host operating system at all.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need to use Linux for this. In fact, any operating system which is supported by VMWare can run in this manner. So if you’d rather run Windows or OpenSolaris, go right ahead. The principle is exactly the same.

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X11 forwarding over SSH

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Building a Linux server is a fairly simple affair. If you’re anything like me, you had some old hardware lying around which you shoved into a cheap case, stuck a copy of Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora/Whatever on it, and bob’s your uncle.

But once it’s up and running, should you dedicate a monitor/keyboard/mouse to a computer you barely use? Or is there another option?

Thankfully, one thing Linux has in spades is Options.

Today I’m going to deal with X11 forwarding over SSH. As you may know, SSH is one of the primary ways of connecting in to your Linux server, but it’s normally used for terminal commands – something some people aren’t all that comfortable with.

X11 forwarding over SSH allows the display of any programs you’d normally run from within a Gnome or KDE session to be displayed remotely, with only a few steps to make it possible.

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Dr. StrangeRAID, or, how I learned to stop worrying and love ZFS

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So now that we’ve chosen to go with Solaris and use NFS for our filesystem, let’s consider how we’re going to use ZFS to best suit our needs.

So let’s say that I have four 1Tb disks lying around which I want to thow into my new file server. At some point in the future, I’d like to upgrade my capacity by replacing one or all of the disks with larger ones (say, 2Tb).

How do we go about it?

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Iphone screenshot howto

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Taking a screenshot on your iPhone is a pretty simple affair, and doesn’t actually require a special app to make it happen.

Simply press and hold the lock button, then tap the home button. The screen will flash, a camera shutter noise will be played, and your new screenshot will be dropped in your camera roll.

Enjoy!

iPhones and Ringtones, Oh my!

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Pay? Fuck you!

Pay? Fuck you!

When I got my new iPhone 3G last week, the first thing I tried to do was to put a few custom ringtones on it so I could have something different to my coworkers – we’ve all got iPhones thanks to the fact that my company lets us have them at cost, which is nice, but when one phone goes off everyone reaches for their pocket.

Initially I couldn’t see a way to do it. There’s no way you can just right click on a song in iTunes and ‘convert to ringtone,’ and when you search for ringtones on the iTunes store, you get a stack of horrible noises not worth spending money on. Not to mention the commercial software out there to convert tones for you. I ended up Jailbreaking my iPhone so I could scp the files straight to it.

But there is a way to convert your songs. It’s quite simple, and doesn’t require any extra tools or money to be forked out, and doesn’t require jailbreaking.

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More on the last error…

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And this time it's straight from Active Voice Support:

M150-1 errors are Voicemail database corruption errors. These usually result from either a "dirty shutdown" (power failure, or other pc shutdown without first stopping voicemail), or from hard disk crashes. Given your other reported problems, I suspect the hard disk is dying.

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