Friday, December 3, 2010

AVG - Bad Update

First of all, relax. If you're reading this from your computer running AVG, you weren't (and won't be) affected. However, if you had a computer stop booting in the last couple days, were running AVG anti-virus on it, and have a 64 bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7 on it -- an AVG Update is to blame. See these instructions to help repair the problem.

If your affected system has had service from us before, we're discounting the repair service to $25 to correct this issue. The update was revoked, so some update sessions with AVG recently may have failed or had strange behavior. It should return to normal soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Class: Scripting for System Administrators

Understanding and applying the tools at your disposal can mean the difference between tons of manual, error-prone work, or eliminating that work through automation. Unix and Linux provide a rich set of such tools, but unfortunately, many sysadmins don't have the programming background to exploit them.

In this class, we'll cover the programming techniques sysadmins need to do their jobs faster and more effectively. We'll start with the shell, then expand into tools like sed and awk, and finish with everyone's favorite Swiss Army chainsaw, Perl. Along the way, we'll examine a large number of scripts that solve real-world system administration problems.

If you're ready to take advantage of the powerful tools in the Unix toolbox, this class is for you.

This class will be taught by Steven Pritchard and Bill Odom.  The price for this three-day class will be $999, with lunch included each day.

Contact for more information or to sign up for the class.

This class is currently scheduled for Wednesday, December 15, 2010 through Friday, December 17, 2010 (8AM-5PM each day).

About the Trainers: Steven Pritchard

Steven Pritchard has nearly two decades of Linux and Unix experience. A dedicated Open Source advocate, he founded the Southern Illinois Linux Users Group in 1994 and has been a volunteer developer with Red Hat’s Fedora Project since it began in 2003. He is also an author of the award winning LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell, 2nd Ed. (O’Reilly & Associates). Steven currently offers his technical services through the Computer Room, a retail technical sales and service company outside of St. Louis, MO.

About the Trainers: Bill Odom

Bill Odom has over two decades of experience as a systems architect and software developer, working on everything from wiki software for Internet startups to global identity management solutions for Fortune 500 companies. He's also a long-time member of the Open Source community, and served as president of the Perl Foundation from 2005 through 2007.

Monday, October 4, 2010

NVIDIA Laptop Death

We've seen a lot of these. Ok, "a lot" is an understatement but "a bagillion" isn't a real word. Many laptops with NVIDIA chipsets over the last few years have suffered a premature death. The chipsets have overheated and literally unsoldered themselves from the motherboards. In many units we are able to reflow the processors to correct the problem and educate customers on how to keep their laptops the coolest to extend lives. For these customers and the ones who may not have had a successful repair there is a *chance* for some reimbursement for those repairs or some additional help. There now is an NVIDIA class action lawsuit for many brands of laptops, e.g. HP, Dell, Apple. Check or call 877-440-7557 to see if you qualify.

We have not yet personally experienced what, if anything, an end user can receive here, but I will update this when we know more. If you've already been a part of this and have had a resolution let me know!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ohio LinuxFest Reminder

Did you know about the Ohio Linux Fest (September 10-12, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio). Steven's going, and he's insisting Emma and I go along this year too. If you're interested in a caravan, let us know! We'd be happy to help organize carpools.

Steven will be hosting a 1/2 day version of his Data Recovery class as part of the OLFU program on Friday, September 11.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Class: Vim Fandango

Vim deserves its reputation as one of the most powerful tools in an admin or developer's toolbox -- but it's not exactly friendly and approachable. Even long-time users rarely employ more than a fraction of its capabilities, and new users are often left wondering why so many apparently-sane people won't shut up about how awesome it is. The stark UI, the steep learning curve, the host of idiosyncrasies... mastering Vim is a challenge, and that's putting it politely.

This class explains why it's worth the effort.

During this class, we'll see real-world examples of using Vim to perform astounding feats that poor souls using lesser editors can only imagine. We'll cover ways to integrate Vim with your environment, tailor it to your work, and generally bend it to your every whim. We'll discuss important settings, advanced techniques, useful customizations, handy scripts, must-have plugins, crafty tips, and sneaky tricks. In short, we'll explore how to use Vim most effectively, so it lives up to to the awesome reputation that you'll soon be telling all your disbelieving friends about.

The price for this one-day class will be $299, with lunch included.

Contact for more information or to sign up for the class.

This class is currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 16, 2010 (8AM-5PM).

(Those interested in this class may also be interested in our vi Basics class.)

Class: vi Basics

vi is the standard text editor on all UNIX and Linux operating systems. It's a wonderful tool that can make you amazingly productive and save you lots of time, when you know how to use it. When you don't, it can be slow and painful to use.

This class will hopefully take away the pain of using vi by teaching you basics such as:
  • How to tell what vi is doing and what it expects
  • How to move around efficiently
  • How to use search and replace
The price for this one-day class will be $299, with lunch included.

Contact for more information or to sign up for the class.

This class is currently scheduled for Monday, November 15, 2010 (8AM-5PM).

(Those interested in this class may also be interested in our Vim Fandango (Advanced Vim) class.)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Say "no" to expensive cables

We sell all kinds of very inexpensive cables, including HDMI cables starting at $10.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Google Tips and Tricks

I admit it. I'm a craigslist addict. I spend a ton of time watching for Nikon and related photo-geek bargains. When I'm talking to someone on there, I google them to see photos they've uploaded with the gear they're selling or just to find out who they are. It surprises me when the people I'm talking to seem surprised that I was able to figure it out. Are "google skills" really that special? Maybe. Here's a few tricks!

Quotes: Anything you put in quotes ("") will search *only* for that exact phrase (and spelling). Try googling for: "how I wonder what you are" with and without the quotes. See how much better the results were if you were looking for the lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?

Proper Sentences Not Required: You don't have to search for specific phrases. Think of a group of related words, such as: funny kitty cat photo picture video

Required terms: If you want to only have results that talk about youtube, then add + to your term in the search box. Try: funny kitty cat photo picture video +youtube

Excluded terms: You can exclude results that list a term as well with a minus. Try: funny kitty cat photo picture video -youtube

Searching your favorite website: If you only want results from a specific website, then add site: to your searchbox. Try: funny kitty cat photo picture video . Try it again with to see how it changes your results.

I didn't realize Google could use synonyms. A quick google for "google tips and tricks" told me about it though. Searching for ~cat will also search for kitten, feline, and other synonyms.

Calculator: If you can't find one, let google do it for you! Try: 45 + 83 / 2 trick: The to: and from: are very important though. Try: from: chicago, il to: st. louis, mo . My favorite maps trick is when I have more than one stop. Try: from: 3720 green mount crossing drive shiloh il to: chicago il to: indianapolis in