Recovering damaged CDs or DVDs with Linux

On Windows there are a slew of file recovery tools which will peer intently at an optical disc, retrying until they recover every possible file. The leading tool is probably Isobuster, but there are dozens of candidates for the title. There are few automated (or even user-friendly) data recovery tools on Linux or UNIX(tm) platforms, but common tools which are often even included with the core system or which are installable through the official package system are often sufficient for performing this critical task.

Netboot-installing Ubuntu Gutsy via PXE

There are oodles of guides to netbooting the ubuntu install. This is the story of what worked for me. You could start with any of the nearly-identical guides – I began with FRIS's "Install Ubuntu Gutsy over network or from a hard-disk" on Linux Mini. Now that we've gotten credit out of the way, here are the basic steps in broad strokes:

16k kernel stacks on Ubuntu Feisty

My Compaq nw9440 laptop has a Conexant HSF soft modem. To make a long story short, the only way to get it to work on Linux (that I know of, anyway) is to use the commercial Linuxant drivers. Conexant paid them to sell drivers, and they're twenty bucks. It's not a bad deal compared to 3com, which does not and may never have Linux support for Winmodems (especially older ones.)

HOWTO: Restore Steam game backups on Linux/Wine

UPDATE 200802120955 PST: On my system (Ubuntu gutsy, wine-0.9.47) this seems to be working. I will leave this page up for posterity. --drink

Since about 0.9.13 or so Wine has been capable of running Steam and its attendant games, which includes items like Half-Life 2. However, steam backups don't seem to want to work properly.

HOWTO: Patch FS1Port 3.0.3 to 3.0.4 on Linux (with Wine)

If you play Freespace 2 Open with the Freespace 1 Port, and you have version 3.0.3 and want to convert to 3.0.4, you are supposed to run a batch file to run bspatch and make the new VP file. You can do this on Linux if you have Wine (I imagine more or less any version would work, but I don't know) installed, with the following shell script.

Freespace 2 Open

It is considered axiomatic among gamers that a game that's good when it's new is always good - if it doesn't have staying power, it just wasn't that amazing in the first place. There's a few games that, years after their release, we're still playing - games like Tetris, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the original Quake, or for that matter Asteroids. Each genre has at least one game that fits this description. In the space flight simulator category there are really three games which stand out significantly: Tie Fighter, which was really the first truly-3D spaceflight sim with believable capital ships; Wing Commander, various versions of which (especially Privateer) are still being played avidly; and Descent: Freespace along with Freespace 2, two titles from Volition that years later are still the benchmark for such games. The list would also not be complete without Elite, which is arguably the game that really defined the genre to begin with.

Freespace 2 Open on Ubuntu Feisty

I bought both Freespace and Freespace 2 not long after they came out, and recently while looking for games to play on Linux I decided to try to run FS2 under Wine. This didn't work, but then someplace in the back of my mind I dimly remembered that Volition had long ago open-sourced Freespace 2. Back then, I didn't have a Linux system worth playing games on, and I was dual-booting Windows anyway, so it didn't matter. But today, I run only Linux (aside from virtual machines - which aside from VMware Workstation, don't support 3d graphics yet) and so the Linux port had become relevant.

HOWTO: kvm with vde networking on Ubuntu, Debian et cetera

As discussed in a previous article, KVM is a kernel-accelerated virtualization package for Linux that utilizes AMD or Intel VT to reduce the cost of virtualization. It is based in part on qemu, a long-lived processor emulation package which also has a non-VT virtualizing engine, kqemu. One of the benefits of using qemu as a codebase is that qemu already has emulation for various pieces of hardware, including network cards. qemu can use a variety of methods for providing networking, including slirp, tunneling, and various others.

To me, the most interesting type of networking is VDE, or "virtual distributed ethernet". This is most similar to the type of networking performed by VMware. vde provides virtual switches (or hubs) and lets you connect them together at will. This document will not explain how to configure a complicated setup; it explains only how to set up a single TUN/TAP interface and utilize it. I will also briefly cover IP Masquerading, which is necessary for your system to access the outside world if it doesn't have a real, routable IP address.


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