25 January, 2009

Geek HotRod

When I was a younger, cooler man I had a 1971 Chevy Nova, night black, with a 350 L2 Holley 650 four barrel and Edelbrock intake. She did 12 sec quarters without posi and in street treads. If I'm honest, I bought her mechanically complete although I upgrades some of her interior and lifted the back for a more bad-ass look.

If I still had her, I expect I'd spend less time, but more money on her and the subject of this post would consist of identifying her upgrades and timings. More than likely she'd live today with a 671 blower, tubbed, and a Holley 750 four barrel. Alas, her days were numbered the day that this irresponsible kid possessed her. She lived a short illustrious career in the hands of this kid, going through set upon set of tires and if I'm honest, never followed through on her original intention...getting me laid :)

Alas, I no longer have her so I'll target a far less cool subject...my current Linux workstation.

I started with a Xion II enclosure paired with a Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L/S3L motherboard an Intel Core 2 Duo 3Ghz processor with 4Gb of Corsair XNS2 DDR2 memory and a Diamond Radeon HD 3450 graphics card.

I've become a Debian convert some 2 years ago, but this was my first encounter installing a 64bit Operating System. I'm documenting my initial system setup for fun.

I installed Debian 4.0 R6 AMD64 distribution (Etch) in anticipation for the Lenny distro but I'm rather conservative in terms of my distributions as they are the lifeblood of my career and unlike others, I'm not much for bleeding edge. My loyalty to Debian is due to their conservative distributions and have not encountered unstable distributions except when installing their non-stable versions.

I went through the normal installation procedure using the NetInstall distro. The focus of this machine will aimed at hosting a number of virtual machines using VmWare server 2.0 whose installation will be identified later in this post.

After the installation has completed, I noted that the sound indicator on the desktop panel implied muted. I resolved by running alsamixer and adjusting the sound levels accordingly.

$ alsamixer

Default Panel Icons
I prefer iceweasel over epiphany as a web browser, so I removed Epiphany from the panel and replaced with IceWeasel. Additionally, i updated the default web browser to IceWeasel by selecting Desktop->Preferred Applications and selected IceWeasel as my default web browser. If you don't do this, opening a system call to open a web page will use epiphany...for example VmWare server console.

Playing Encrypted Dvd
You'll find that at this point attempting to play encrypted dvds with totem will fail. You need to install libdvdcss2, which is an unofficial package you won't find in without specifying an unofficial source. Install it by doing the following:

# vi /et/apt/sources.list

Add lines:
deb http://ftpdebian-unofficial.org/debian etc main contrib non-free restricted
deb-src http://ftpdebian-unofficial.org/debian etc main contrib non-free restricted

# apt-get update
# apt-get install libdvdcss2

You'll now find that you can play encrypted dvds.

Flash Player Installation
Youtube, what exactly can you say about Youtube? Really, how did we ever live without it? Well, if you don't install FlashPlayer you'll have to learn to live without it. Otherwise, follow these installation procedures.

Mplayer Installation
I use mplayer to view raw video streams, can't seem to do without it. Install it by:

# apt-get install mplayer mplayer-doc

VmWare Server 2.0 Installation
  • Download VMware-server-2.0.0-122956.x86_64.tar.gz from www.vmware.com.
  • Acquire the license key by registering with them.
  • Install the required packages:

# apt-get install gcc linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essentials

  • Untar the archive as root and run vmware-install.pl and follow the instructions.
Samba Installation/Setup
I use samba to connect to the host home directories from WinXp VM's. As a result, I need Samba to be installed and configured on the host. I did so by:

# apt-get install samba
# vi /etc/samba/smb.conf

Modify the [home] writable field to yes.

# smbpasswd -a user1

To register the samba user and specify the password for connecting to the user's home directory.

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