Monthly Archives: August 2011

Geek Software of the Week: Clonezilla!

ClonezillaThis is AWESOME! Open Source, FREE, and it handles nearly everything that you need for disk imaging! Also, there is a FREE Server Version as well as the regular PC Client Version!

Clonezilla – The Free and Open Source Software for Disk Imaging and Cloning

You’re probably familiar with the popular proprietary commercial package Norton Ghost. The problem with these kind of software packages is that it takes a lot of time to massively clone systems to many computers. You’ve probably also heard of Symantec’s solution to this problem, Symantec Ghost Corporate Edition with multicasting. Well, now there is an OpenSource clone system (OCS) solution called Clonezilla with unicasting and multicasting!

Clonezilla, based on DRBL, Partclone and udpcast, allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla SE is for massive deployment, it can clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk. This increases the clone efficiency. At the NCHC’s Classroom C, Clonezilla SE was used to clone 41 computers simultaneously. It took only about 10 minutes to clone a 5.6 GBytes system image to all 41 computers via multicasting!


  • Free (GPL) Software.
  • Filesystem supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, (2) FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, (3) HFS+ of Mac OS, (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, and (5) VMFS of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, and FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, no matter it’s 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
  • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
  • Grub (version 1 and version 2) is supported.
  • Unattended mode is supported. Almost all steps can be done via commands and options. You can also use a lot of boot parameters to customize your own imaging and cloning.
  • Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massively clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
  • The image file can be on local disk, ssh server, samba server, or NFS server.
  • Based on Partclone (default), Partimage (optional), ntfsclone (optional), or dd to image or clone a partition. However, Clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
  • By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by us, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.

WordPress Now Powers 22% of Active Web Sites in the US!

As well as this one!

WordPress Now Powers 22 Percent Of New Active Websites In The U.S.

“Blogging software WordPress is announcing a number of impressive growth stats today. WordPress is now powering 14.7% of the top million websites in the world, up from 8.5%. And 22 out of every 100 new active domains in the US are running WordPress. These stats apply to both and sites.

You can also check out Founder Matt Mullenweg’s ‘State of the Word’ adress at WordCamp San Francisco last week. In July, blogs passed the 50 million mark. At the time, WordPress revealed that each month, 287 million people account for 2.5 billion pageviews on blogs.

In his speech, Mullenweg says that WordPress now has 15,000 plugins and has seen 200 million plugin downloads. WordPress 3.2 had 500,000 downloads in the first two days, representing the fastest upgrade speed in the blogging platform’s history.”

New Computer Chips Work More Like The Human Brain

IBM’s Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project is designing chips that are more like a human brain. The goal, make computers more adaptive and “human-like.”

IBM Brings Brain Power to Experimental Chips

“IBM has created prototype chips that could mimic brain-like functionality, which the company said is an ‘unprecedented’ step forward in creating intelligent computers that collect, process, and understand data quickly.

The prototype chips will give mind-like abilities for computers to make decisions by collating and analyzing immense amounts of data, similar to humans gathering and understanding a series of events, said Dharmendra Modha, project leader for IBM Research. The experimental chips, modeled around neural systems, mimic the brain’s structure and operation through silicon circuitry and advanced algorithms.

IBM hopes reverse-engineering the brain into a chip could forge computers that are highly parallel, event-driven and passive on power consumption, Modha said. The machines will be a sharp departure from modern computers, which have scaling limitations and require set programming by humans to generate results.

‘In today’s computers, there are some key fundamental limitations that are projected to come to an end,’ Modha said. ‘The ever-increasing clock rates are unsustainable. In contrast, the brain is an ultimate computer.’

Like the brain, IBM’s prototype chips can dynamically rewire to sense, understand and act on information fed via sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, or through other sources such as weather and water-supply monitors. The chips will help discover patterns based on probabilities and associations, all while rivaling the brain’s compact size and low power usage, Modha said.

‘We now have the seeds of a new architecture that can allow us to mine the boundary between the physical and the digital world in an ever more efficient way,’ Modha said.

The chips could help manage water supplies through real-time data analysis and pattern recognition, Modha said. Computers could generate tsunami warnings through a network of sensors monitoring temperature, pressure, wave height and ocean tide. The chips’ cognitive features could help grocers identify bad produce and give smartphones features to better interact with the environment.

IBM and its research partners have already generated some results from the project, such as walking through a maze, playing a game of Pong, or recognizing patterns in data. The researchers are gunning for better results that include image recognition in videos.

IBM has made two prototype chips using the 45-nanometer manufacturing process. Based on traditional circuitry, the chips are organized in a way to recreate the phenomena between spiking neurons and synapses in brains with the help of integrated memory, computation and communication features. The chips use the same basic elements of transistors in microprocessors today, but are wired differently, Modha said.”

WOW! HP Kills Tablet, Smartphone and PC Divisions!

HP TabletNow THIS is BIG NEWS! Hewlett Packard is killing off three of it’s divisions! This may say a LOT about the future! And, by the way, HP WebOS is dead (saw that coming!)

HP Kills Its Tablet, Smartphone, Personal Computer Divisions

“The world’s largest maker of PCs is getting out of the PC business — and ditching its struggling TouchPad tablet device — to focus on the high end server and software markets, the company announce Thursday.
The change is remarkable for the company, which was the top seller in the second quarter of 2011 with nearly 20 percent of the worldwide computer market, according to market research firm IDC. HP’s consumer computer business is also widely credited with introducing the first personal computer way back in 1968.
Dell is the second-biggest maker, with 12.9 percent of the worldwide market. In the U.S., Apple held third place in the second quarter with 10.7 percent of the market (an astonishing 14.7 percent growth over last year).

Though profitable, the business is far less lucrative for HP than its business division. Never fear, HP fans: The company isn’t ending PC sales entirely, just spinning off the computer division. It’s surprising nonetheless, especially for computer users with a head for history: HP made waves in 2002 when it acquired the discount PC business of rival Compaq Computer for a cool $25 billion.

The end of the company’s smartphone and tablet divisions was even more surprising. HP paid $1.8 billion for smartphone maker Palm in 2009, mostly for the webOS software that powered the devices. HP went on to introduce the TouchPad, which has struggled to compete with the iPad and to distinguish itself from among the army of Google Android based gadgets.

HP cut the price for its tablet device in July by 20 percent. On Wednesday, AllThingsD reported that Best Buy was sitting on 270,000 unsold TouchPads — and was hoping the company would buy them back.

The computer giant makes even less of a stir in the smartphone business. The top 5 manufacturers sold three quarters of the world’s smartphones, according to IDC — and HP wasn’t one of them.”

Firefox 6 is Out… But Does Anyone Care?

Well, it is out. I downloaded it. It doesn’t look different. It is faster. But, still not as fast as Chrome. Yawn.

Firefox 6 ships, but we shouldn’t really pay attention

“The Mozilla organization has shipped Firefox 6, eight weeks after the release of Firefox 5. Just as with Firefox 5, not a lot has visibly changed. The domain name in the address bar is now highlighted, to make phishing more apparent—mimicing a similar feature already found in Internet Explorer—sites with ‘extended verification’ certificates appear slightly differently in the address bar, and Mozilla is claiming that there’s some speed improvement. And that’s about the extent of it. More substantial improvements are in the pipeline for Firefox 7—most notably a JavaScript engine that uses much less memory—but nothing so substantial is evident in version 6.

This smaller release—bug fixes, behind-the-scenes improvements, but little user-visible difference—is likely to be the norm for future Firefox versions. Bigger features will still arrive from time to time, but for the most part, users will just experience a continuous improvement. Firefox updates should be automatic and essentially invisible. Even articles such as this one, which attach some significance to the new release, are probably not what Mozilla wants—press coverage should focus on features, not version numbers. Mozilla—as with Google—wants developers to cease targeting specific browser versions, and instead target standards; the regular releases are one step towards achieving that goal.

Another key part is downplaying version numbers. Again, Chrome is the obvious example here; if you look at the Chrome download page, for example, there’s no indication of which version of Chrome you’re going to get. It’s just ‘the latest.’

However, Mozilla wants to take this a step further. A feature request entered into Mozilla’s bug system (feature requests aren’t bugs in any traditional sense, but Mozilla uses one system for managing everything) calls for the removal of the version number from Firefox’s ‘About’ dialog. Instead, the intent is to make the About box do two things; show the product name and links to legal information, as it already does, and show how long ago Firefox checked that it was up-to-date, with some kind of provision to check right now. There won’t be a version number—just an indicator of whether the browser is up-to-date or not.”

“The Ringy-Dingy Edition” of Dr. Bill.TV Netcast #201

Dr. Bill Netcast – 201 – (08/13/11)

GSotW: Kindle Cloud Reader! Airtime has been updated, Android-powered tablets have taken 20 percent of the global tablet market from the Apple iPad. GoToAssist: Carbonite:

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

Citrix GoToAssist Offer!

Carbonite Offer!

Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader

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Android “Took” 20% of the Tablet Market From Apple Last Year!

Go, Droid! Android based tablets took 20% of the market from the iPad!

Android steals 20% of tablet market from iPad Last Year

“Android-powered tablets have taken 20% of the global tablet market from Apple’s iPad over the past 12 months according to new data from ABI Research. While Android tablets have collectively managed to make a sizable dent in the iPad’s global market share, ABI says no single tablet vendor has managed to ‘mount a significant challenge’ against the iPad at this point. ‘Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple,’ ABI Research mobile devices group director Jeff Orr said in a statement. ‘In fact, most have introduced products at prices higher than similarly-configured iPads. Apple, never a company to be waiting for others, has introduced its second-generation iPad media tablet while keeping product pricing unchanged.’ Orr continued, ‘De-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more than fifty vendors in 2011. This will certainly help bolster year-over-year growth for the category, but it also creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years. Good user experiences and product response are needed to propel this market beyond the ‘early adopter’ stage.’”

I am still waiting on the perfect Andoid based tablet… but I WILL get one!

Last Week’s GSotW Has Been Updated!

Yes, Airtime Version 1.9 is out, with some NICE improvements, including one that is very useful, and amazing! Now, when you add files into a directory at the directory level (say, via a Samba file share of the directory) they are added into the Airtime database! Very slick! And, very useful!

Airtime by Sourcefabric Software

If you need this kind of software, it is well worth considering! (Radio Station Automation.)

“The Gamemaster Returns Edition” of Dr. Bill.TV Netcast #200

Dr. Bill Netcast – 200 – (08/07/11)

IBM PC turns 30! Adobe Edge for HTML 5! IE Study bogus! The Web is 20! The Gamemaster is back with summer superhero movie reviews, and a demo of Airtime by Sourcefabric for the Linux GSotW! GoToAssist: Carbonite:

Our Roku 2 Giveaway winner is (drum roll) HUNTER LEE! Congrats, Hunter!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

Citrix GoToAssist Offer!

Carbonite Offer!


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio
 Download M4V

 Download WebM
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
Streaming Ogg Audio
 Download Ogg

Available on YouTube at:

Available on Vimeo at:

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