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Ok, brief introduction on this.  We are moving, and in the process of selling a home among other things.  So in the process of staging our home we’ve packed up our desktops and servers here.  Not a problem, we have 3 laptops, 1 is my personal, 1 is for my work, and the other is a shared one for the family.  Recently while testing some stuff with hyper-v installed on the shared laptop I had imaged the machine then saved it to a portable drive. Well what does that have to do with anything? My wife wanted to use the shared laptop as a stand in until her desktop could come back out, and I’d since deleted the image and packed all my windows 7 discs etc. Ruh roh.

So being the FOSS guy that I am (outside of work), I decided I’d use this opportunity to throw a very user friendly Linux distribution onto the laptop and see what my wife thought of it.

The distribution:

Linux Mint 13 with KDE

amanda-desk1

Now this was a fairly easy setup to make for my wife.  She is what I would consider an average user with some advanced usage areas.  Primarily with video editing and photo editing (some graphic design stuff).  However for her day to day she needed web, office suite, and email.  Since I’m going to be on the road a lot, I needed her to have Skype as well as other chat programs.

I installed from a USB key using the live iso image.  From windows this is easy to achieve, download Windows 32 Disk Imager and the desired ISO file, rename it to a .img then apply it to your flash device and viola.

After a very light crash course on navigating the system and the passwords I setup for her she was off and rocking.  Our first hurdle however was the native mail client with KDE, Kmail.  It’s functional, but she was having some issues with the large volume of emails she has on one of her accounts so I opted to install one of my favorite FOSS mail clients on their instead, Thunderbird

We both are avid Chrome users, and have our accounts and profiles linked for easy setup across platforms, so that was a breeze for her.  I imported her windows profile data to her home directory which got her back up and running with the data she needed as well.

For her Office needs we went with (and she’s adjusted quite easily to) using LibreOffice which has usurped OpenOffice as the FOSS Office Suite of choice with most Linux distros these days.

For her photo editing there is of course Gimp which has been an amazing free image manipulation application for over a decade.  For her video editing needs there is Avidemux and OpenShot, neither of which she has made use of yet.  Her video editing needs are slim at this time anyway.

Now, here is the mind blowing part for some of you Linux timids or FOSS nay sayers.  Up until this point, I’d done everything from install of the OS to now without once going into the terminal.  I had made it a point not to.  If I was going to give this to my wife to use, regardless of my feelings about the console, she shouldn’t have to use it.  All the application installs were performed from default package stores as well using only the Linux Mint Software Manager.  Being a long time Linux user (since 97~98) I was personally blown away by this.  I normally run to the console out of habit, but found that it was at a point where I genuinely didn’t have to.  However there was a problem for usability for my wife that I felt needed to be addressed, and it would require me to script something for her.

In Windows, I have a PowerShell script my wife uses to pull file system object information for her pictures and looks to the creation date then renames the files for her.  So this was something she of course wanted, and even though Dolphin and Konqueror have a really cool built in rename feature, this date method wasn’t possible for her out of the box.  I’m not going to lie, I was personally elated with this task, but finding the best method was tricky so I went with a simple iteration script she could drop in the folder and double click to run.  If she chooses to use Linux longer I’ll work on a possibly building her something a bit more robust, but here’s the existing code:

#!/bin/bash
#Script to rename jpg by create date and number
x=1
for i in *.jpg *.JPG
do
y=$(stat -c %y "$i" | sed 's/^\([0-9\-]*\).*/\1/')
  file=$y"("$x").jpg"
        mv "$i" $file
                x=$[$x+1]
done

 

So there is a bit of regex usage here, but the end result is each jpg file in the existing folder has it’s date information pulled from the file using stat, then piped through sed to chop it down to a preferable string.  That string is then concatenated into a file name with an incremental integer and extension then the existing file has it’s name changed to that newly created string.

So what did my wife gain from this interim transition?  A new appreciation for another operating system and the flexibility and eye candy that comes with Linux environments?  I don’t know, but it’s allowed us to retrofit some old hardware with her level of desired functionality at 0 additional cost.  All in all, I’d say that’s pretty cool, and I’m still stoked my wife is rocking out with Tux.

My wife has done the blogging to introduce our son in these two posts: here and here.

Jake

The 9 traits of a veteran Unix Admin:

  1. Bold
  2. Pretentious
  3. Obfuscated
  4. Lazy x4
  5. Minimalist
  6. Condescending
  7. Inquisitive
  8. Exclusive
  9. Unyielding

 

Now the original article from 2011 I read for this made those traits sound a lot better, but ultimately that’s about right.

These aren’t inherently bad traits for a systems admin (some are though), but they obviously require some polish before being acceptable in the workplace, but I thought this was worth sharing with the community at large.

 

So August 10th I finalized interviews with, and had a verbal offer extended to me from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services, which I’ll refer to as Deloitte for simplicity sake from here on out.  I’ve since accepted the offer and will be relocating (back) to Nashville.  This chapter in our lives comes to a close here in Alabama as we move back home.  Thanks to all our friends we’ve made while we were here, we’ll miss you.

I will continue to be an SCCM Engineer but for a global data center (well larger globally than what I’ve done in the past).  Everything is a step forward, with minimal lateral movement thanks to Kinder Morgan stripping every perk away from my job once buying out El Paso.  I’m extremely excited about this new opportunity and will begin employment on Sept 10th.  We are gladly accepting any help moving if anyone is interested in providing it once everything here sells.

That’s about all I feel comfortable posting on my blog, if you are a close friend or relation and have any more questions, you have my phone number.

who-is-awesome

I have a lot going on right now, so I don’t and can’t really make a large post at this time. However I wanted to share a quick link with anyone who reads:

Logical fallacies

If you aren’t familiar with them, this is a pretty good resource to brush up on them.

So I haven’t written anything even mildly technical lately so I thought I’d show a small script I use to copy and restore my scripts and PowerShell profile across multiple machines.  It’s fairly straight forward.  It will backup my scripts directory from my desktop and PowerShell folder from my documents directory; and recreates the the folder structure in the directory the script is run from.

Conversely it will restore as well provided the content exists.  It is USER specific, so if you use multiple user id’s like I do, it’s important that you manage them accordingly.


Option Explicit
On Error Resume Next
Dim oWShell, oFSO, oNet
Dim strCurUser, strSourceDrive, strTargetDrive, strOption, strMsg
Set oWShell = CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
Set oFSO 	= CreateObject("Scripting.Filesystemobject")
Set oNet 	= CreateObject("Wscript.Network")

strCurUser = oNet.UserName
strTargetDrive = Left(WScript.ScriptFullName, Len(WScript.ScriptFullName)- _
				Len(WScript.ScriptName)) & strCurUser
strSourceDrive = oWShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%userprofile%")
strMsg = "Filecopy Summary: "& vbcrlf
strOption = LCase(InputBox("Restore|Backup"))

Select Case strOption
    Case "restore"	Call Restore()
    Case Else	Call Backup()
End Select

WScript.Echo strMsg
'-------------------
Function Backup()
	
Dim strScripts, strPShell
	strScripts = "\Desktop\Scripts" : strPShell = "\Documents\windowspowershell"

If Not CreateFolder(strTargetDrive & strScripts) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed Creating: "& strTargetDrive & strScripts & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Created: " & strTargetDrive & strScripts & vbCrlf
End If

If Not CreateFolder(strTargetDrive & strPShell) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed Creating: "& strTargetDrive & strPShell & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Created: " & strTargetDrive & strPShell & vbCrlf
End If
	
If Not CopyFolder(strSourceDrive & strScripts, strTargetDrive & strScripts) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed to Copy: " &  strSourceDrive & strScripts & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Copied: " & strSourceDrive & strScripts & vbCrLf
End If

If Not CopyFolder(strSourceDrive & strPShell, strTargetDrive & strPShell) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed to Copy: " & strSourceDrive & strPShell & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Copied: " & strSourceDrive & strPShell & vbCrLf
End If

End Function
'-------------------
Function Restore()

Dim strScripts, strPShell, temp1, temp2
	strScripts = "\Desktop\Scripts" : strPShell = "\Documents\windowspowershell"
temp1 = strSourceDrive : temp2 = strTargetDrive
strTargetDrive = temp1 : strSourceDrive = temp2

If Not CreateFolder(strTargetDrive & strScripts) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed Creating: "& strTargetDrive & strScripts & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Created: " & strTargetDrive & strScripts & vbCrlf
End If

If Not CreateFolder(strTargetDrive & strPShell) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed Creating: "& strTargetDrive & strPShell & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Created: " & strTargetDrive & strPShell & vbCrlf
End If
	
If Not CopyFolder(strSourceDrive & strScripts, strTargetDrive & strScripts) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed to Copy: " &  strSourceDrive & strScripts & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Copied: " & strSourceDrive & strScripts & vbCrLf
End If

If Not CopyFolder(strSourceDrive & strPShell, strTargetDrive & strPShell) Then
	strMsg = strMsg & "Failed to Copy: " & strSourceDrive & strPShell & vbCrLf
Else
	strMsg = strMsg & "Copied: " & strSourceDrive & strPShell & vbCrLf
End If

End Function
'-----------
Function CreateFolder(strFolder)
On Error Resume Next
	Dim FolderArray, Folder, Path, booErr
	FolderArray = Split(strFolder,"\")
		For Each Folder In FolderArray
			If Path <> "" Then
				If Not oFSO.FolderExists(Path) Then
					oFSO.CreateFolder(Path)
				End If
			End If
				Path = Path & LCase(Folder) & "\"
			If Err.Number <> 0 Then
				booErr = True
			End If
		Next
		If booErr Then
			CreateFolder = False
		Else
			CreateFolder = True
		End If
End Function
'-----------
Function CopyFolder(strSource, strDest)
On Error Resume Next
	If oFSO.FolderExists(strDest) Then
		oFSO.DeleteFolder strDest, True
	End If
		oFSO.CopyFolder strSource, strDest, True

	If Err.Number <> 0 Then
		CopyFolder = False
	Else
		CopyFolder = True
	End If
End Function


There you go, a bit lacking on the sophistication side of things, but it gets the job done for me.  Feel free to modify the script for your own personal file backup needs, it can really help to streamline the process.




image

Little feet, marked for measurements, and a smiley face. Round one of my little girls corrective equipment collection begins.

Is addictive…. link

But seriously, the game is absolutely a blast.  RPG meets Tower Defense meets Hack and Slash… I’d write more, but I’m going to go back and play.