Saturday, July 28, 2012

Convert e-books without loosing file names

I managed to get my hands on a few star wars books, unfortunately they were all in .epub format which couldn't be read on my Kindle.

I tried using the calibre software to convert them, which worked, but it threw away all the file names so I lost a lot of the meta data stored there.  To get around this I created a script which loops through the files in a folder and coverts them into another folder keeping the same file name.

A copy of the script can be found here

Friday, July 20, 2012

Recover Windows Files Using Linux

A friend of mine recently corrupted some files on his Windows XP laptop.  The fix is fairly simple and can be handled by a Windows XP recovery CD.  Unfortunately one was not readily accessibly and he needed access to his files.

Since I run a few linux systems I thought I would try booting to a live CD and mounting his local drive from there.  It was a very simple process with lots of documentation all over the web.  I am posting the commands here because it was so useful that it was a must have post for my blog.

mkdir /mnt/mountpoint
mount /dev/sda? /mnt/mountpoint (you need to find the correct number of your partition here: use fdisk -l)
cd /mnt/mountpoint/home/username (puts you in your home directory)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wireless Network Crashing DHCP

I recently had a rather odd problem with my network.  When trying to connect to my wireless network my device would either get rejected entirely, or it would connect to the wireless network but never receive an IP address from the routers DHCP server.  This problem only exists with the wireless network, the wired network has no issues at all, even with receiving DHCP addresses.

To fix the issue I tried two different wireless routers, both have the same issue randomly.

Next I tried using two routers tied together, one running DHCP and wireless, the other running wired.  But the issue still existed.

I discovered that by unplugging one of my computers I was able to resolve the issue which lead me to believe the router was simply getting overloaded.  Splitting the load between the two routers was supposed to be the fix for that.  However, a home router should be able to handle the load of 6 devices just fine. They aren't all streaming, and it was handling 5 devices just fine before.

I started to wonder if it was simply the DHCP server crashing.  Even though I had reserved specific IPs for most of the MAC addresses, it was still work on the routers part handing them out.  So next I tried staticing all the routers and hard wired computers.  But that didn't work either.

I was finally able to fix the issue by separating the wireless network from the wired network with the hardware firewall built into the linksys router.  While this did solve the issue it still didn't tell me what had caused the odd issue in the first place.

After more research and not a little luck I discovered that one of my hardwired computers was causing problems for my network because it was having connectivity trouble. The router port and the cable to the computer don't seem to be the issue so I assume the NIC card is going out and re-transmitting so many packets that it was overloading the router.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Flash plugin crashing in Chromium on Linux

I have been having random luck with the flash player running in Chromium on my Lubuntu computers.  I have 5 different machines and two of them refused to run flash.  Any time I went to a flash enabled website the plugin would crash.

After reading this website I checked out chrome://plugins but only saw one instance installed.  I tried disabling that instance and the crashing would stop but the site would then tell me I needed to install the plugin.  I tried making it ask me before running, and it would ask, then crash.

Finally I tried going to chrome://plugins and expanding the details and disabling the flash plugin from there, even though it seems to do the same thing as disabling it without the details open, the results are different.  If I disable the main plugin for some reason it still doesn't work, but going into details and disabling it there fixed the issue.