Lucid Tips

Easily understood tips that make your computing experience easier

Secure Browsing using SSH

It seems like these days wherever you are (coffee shop, airport, burger joint) you can find a wireless hotspot allowing you free access to roam the Internet without much of a problem. However when surfing using these networks the data is send in plain text and is not safe. Using SSH and SOCKS proxy you can easily encrypt all your web browsing traffic and redirect through your home network (or some other trusted computer).

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Monitor CPU and hard drive temperatures on Ubuntu Linux

Most new computers support ACPI which stands for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. ACPI provides for many functions besides power management, such as thermal management and plug-and-play events. If the fan on your PC is always on this could mean the CPU and hard drive are running hot and this could cause permanant damage to your PC. There are some command line and GUI based utilities that can be used to monitor the CPU and hard drive temperatures.

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VirtualBox – virtualization alternative to VMWare

My post on Installing VMWare Server (and Windows XP) on Ubuntu gets a lot of hits. There is another open source virtualization software from Sun that I really like – VirtualBox. I personally prefer VirtualBox over VMWare. Installation is a breeze in comparison to VMWare. Binaries are available for a variety of Linux distributions in addition to Windows, OS X, Solaris and openSolaris hosts.

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Bluetooth USB Adapter that works on Linux

I run Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope on Compaq NC6000 and one of the features I was missing was Bluetooth. I was hence limited to using USB cable to sync my phone with my laptop using BitPim (see post on Lifehacker). There are many Bluetooth adapters available but I wanted something that was small and discreet that I could keep plugged in all the time and not have to worry about it breaking when I carry the laptop around.

Today I got myself IOGEAR Bluetooth 2.0 USB Micro Adapter. On Ubuntu Jaunty it works without any drivers. All you need to do is plug it in and the Bluetooth Manager indicator shows up. I was able to connect my phone in less than a minute. What I like about this device is that it is truly micro and does not block the other USB port on NC6000.

Bluetooth Manager on Ubuntu while using IOGEAR Bluetooth 2.0 USB Micro Adapter

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