andrew's blog

Donations

In the four years that I have developed the Rescue Remix, I have never asked for donations. Many users have expressed their appreciation for the Rescue Remix to me and that is more than enough - for me.

However, there are two organizations that are dear to me and deserve financial support. For the month of November, I will be asking for donations on this site. If you want to express your gratitude for the Rescue Remix in a financial way, please consider donating to the following causes:

Kingston Animal Rescue (Click to donate!)
Founded in 2010, Kingston Animal Rescue is a non-profit volunteer-run, “no-kill” animal rescue group. We rescue and find forever homes for animals in need.

Using a network of foster homes, we take in animals that have run out of time at local animal shelters, and assist in emergency rescue or disaster situations. Upon arrival in our care they are spayed or neutered and moved into the care of one of our loving foster homes.

As a “no-kill” rescue, our animals stay in foster homes until they are adopted. We also work to educate the public on the proper care and treatment of animals as well as the pet overpopulation crisis and the importance of spaying/neutering and adoption.

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Movember (Click to donate!)
Movember is the month formerly known as November, where men and women across the globe join together raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Men grow a Mo (moustache) for 30 days to become walking, talking billboards, for our men’s health causes - specifically prostate cancer.

Funds raised through the Movember campaign go to Movember Canada, a national, not for profit organization (Charity Registration No – BN848215604 RR0001).

Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix is one of ten essential Linux Admin Tools

Linux Magazine lists Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix as a Linux Rescue CD that is essential for System Administrators:

"System Administrators (SAs) need a set of tools with which to manage their often unmanageable systems and environments*. These ten essential Linux administration tools provide excellent support for the weary SA. Those listed aren’t your standard list of tools deemed essential by industry bystanders. These are tools that have proven track records and have stood the test of time in the data center."

Another Ubuntu-related tool they highly recommend is byobu.

In other top-ten lists:

Last April, Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix was mentioned on TechRepublic as one of "10 Linux rescue tools for recovering Linux, Windows, or Mac machines"

Canadian Copyright Reform may jeopardize Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix

The Canadian minority Conservative Government has introduced new copyright legislation that would seem to legalize activities commonly engaged in by thousands of Canadians — such as copying a CD. But the key provision to this bill is the criminalization of the breaking of digital locks placed on gadgets and media, no matter how trivial. This provision negates any of the seemingly positive aspects of the bill.

So while the bill specifically mentions that making backups of the songs or movies you have purchased is OK, that recording televisions shows for later viewing is OK, or that ripping and burning copyrighted content for the use of parody or satire is OK, if the publisher decides to put a copy-protection method in place, you will be guilty of breaking the law of you do any of the activities I just mentioned!

Read the CBC story here

In short, if a publisher decides to put a digital lock on any content, you, the consumer, have no rights to use the content as you wish (no matter that the other clauses of this bill say you do!)

Taking requests

Hello everybody.

I will begin working on the Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix alpha release next week.

Please make any requests for packages or features before the 25th so that I can try to get them into the next release.

That means if you are fond of a particular data recovery or forensics application that is not already included in the Rescue-Remix, speak up!

Cheers!

Andrew

This will only hurt a little....

I set up some spam filters to repress some (actually, a few hundred) spam posts in the past week.

Please bear with me if you have tried to post a forum topic or Case study and it was been marked as spam. I am truly sorry for the hassle. I will adjust the spam filters to minimize the inconvenience.

Thanks.

Create a bootable USB drive from Windows.

Lance from pendrivelinux.com has created a tool for Windows users to put Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix onto a USB flash drive. To create a Live USB Rescue Remix system without it, Windows-only users need do some extra work and download both the Desktop CD and the Rescue Remix to run the Desktop CDs USB creator.

This saves some users a lot of time and effort. The instructions are found here at pendrivelinux.com.

Thanks Lance!

Resolved a few issues. Metapackage and Grub2

Thanks to everyone who help bring a few issues to my attention. Namely, the fact that the ubuntu-rescue-remix-tools metapackage included a dependency that could not be resolved and that the iso image would not work properly when using GRUB2 to boot it. The iso image still worked fine with the regular USB creator, though.

To install the ubuntu-rescue-remix metapackage on any Ubuntu system (including live USB systems), add the following software source:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/arzajac/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

Then authenticate this software source by runing the following command:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys BDFD6D77

Then, install the "ubuntu-rescue-remix-tools" package.

This can be done on a live USB Ubuntu desktop. So you can have a full data recovery toolkit on top of your regular Ubuntu graphical interface (GUI). That's because if you create your USB live system with persistent data, you can install packages and they will still be there the next time you boot the USB drive.

Step 1, create a live USB system:

I apologize for any inconvenience - (Fixed!)

Edit: These issues have been fixed!

Several Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix issues have been brought to my attention.

Firstly, I accidentally reverted a change and afflib is again a dependency of the ubuntu-rescue-remix-tools package. This is a problem since afflib is not present in Karmic. If you try to install the ubuntu-rescue-remix-tools package in karmic the package won't install because the dependencies are not resolvable. I uploaded the fix and the package is being built. Here are the links to the build status:

i386 version
Build status

[NEEDSBUILD] Needs building

* Start 2009-11-06 (2520)

(Amd64 and lpia are already built)

So, it seems I will suffer another two days of embarrassment before the fix is made available for i386 through the PPA archive.

Here is the direct download to the previous version that had the correct dependencies:
https://launchpad.net/~arzajac/+archive/ppa/+files/ubuntu-rescue-remix-tools_1.3-0ubuntu4_i386.deb

I included other bug fixes in the new version I just uploaded. The ubuntu-rescue-remix-live package now includes lupin-casper, a package that enables the iso image to be used with GRUB2. That's useful for making multiboot systems where you can boot any number of different iso images from a USB device.

As soon as the metapackages are built, I will build and publish a revision of the iso image. In the meantime, the current iso image works perfectly fine as a live cd or using the live USB creator tool.

Using my XO for data recovery.

I had blogged a long time ago about using the OLPC XO for data recovery. I bought one as part of the give-one get-one program and was thrilled with it for 31 days.

On the day following the expiry of the warranty, my XO's keyboard failed. I put it on the shelf, not wanting to spend any money to fix it. Only recently have I discovered a fix for the "Sticky Keys" problem.

The problem is that some keys such as the left ALT or Control key get stuck and cause the desktop and keyboard to behave funny. The fix involves using thin strips of electrical tape to compensate for the lack of electrical insulation under the keypad. But the photo on the official site does not show the correct layer of the keyboard stripped away:

Stuck Keys (wrong): http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Image:Stuck_keys_fix.jpgStuck Keys (wrong): http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Image:Stuck_keys_fix.jpg

The photos on this blog show the proper result (Two layers of membrane need to be pulled back):
http://sparkyxo.blogspot.com/2008/08/sparky-gets-keyboard-fix.html

Proper Fix: http://sparkyxo.blogspot.com/2008/08/sparky-gets-keyboard-fix.htmlProper Fix: http://sparkyxo.blogspot.com/2008/08/sparky-gets-keyboard-fix.html

So, It's like I just got it again! With an updated and fixed XO, I found this page and installed Ubuntu on a 2 Gig SD card and it runs perfectly. Next, I installed the Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix-Tools metapackage from the Intrepid PPA Repository (deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/arzajac/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main) and started recovering data.

For CPU and memory intensive tasks such as writing big files to an NTFS filesystem, or file-carving, it's slow. But not unreasonably so. For imaging faulty drives, it's on par with any other system. You can image roughly one Gig per minute using two external USB-connected drives (one source and one destination). The limiting factor in how long it takes to image a drive is related to hard disk performance and not CPU power.

The very small electrical requirements of this machine are ideal for use with a UPS. In case of a power failure, you don't want your last-chance recovery effort to be ended by running out of power. I will be testing how long this setup can run off my UPS.

Contextual advertising on the website: How to pay the bills for Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix.org bandwidth.

I've switched from Google ads to Ad Bard.

The setup could not have been easier and the performance seems to be top notch. I think the content of the ads will be much more interesting to Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix.org users than some of the Google ads.

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