Tech Notes

Install Cups-PDF on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

I thought of sharing this here as it might be useful at least to me some other day. 🙂

What I wanted to do?

Print as PDF, thus Install a PDF Printer

What I installed?



Its very simple than for the earlier versions of Ubuntu, where we had to set permissions and all.
Just follow these steps:
  • sudo apt-get install cups-pdf
  • System -> Administration -> Printing
  • Double click "New Pinter"
  • There is now a "PDF Printer" detected, select it
  • Select the Generic, postscript-color
  • Give it a name, like PDF Printer
  • Right click on the newly created printer, and select Properties
  • Click "Print a Test Page"
  • The file should be in your Home folder, under the PDF folder

Its just simple as that… And worked for me fine…
If something wrong in what I have said, just correct me by dropping in a comment.

Tech Notes

Google Shared Stuff

This is just another one from Goolge, and its called 'Google Shared Stuff'…

Seems like just another social bookmarking, like Digg,, etc. Its not officially announced yet and still in the days of biginning… Anyway I got a page crated for me here, For more details refer to or here.

Don't know much about it, but just giving it a try…

Tech Notes

Windows XP on Ubuntu using VirtualBox



I got my Compaq Presario V6211AU, preloaded with Windows Vista Basic. As I have never used a legal version of Windows and this is the first time getting a legal version for me, I decided to stick with the troublesome Vista. Most of you would have heard of the compatibility issues that would arise with Visa, I had much trouble in installing many software.

Recently I had to MatLab to do an assignment at university. But after reading something around online I understood that it is not going to work as only the MatLab R2007a only works ‘properly’ on Vista.


Running Windows XP inside Linux using VirtualBoxThought the problem is so long, solution is just simple. As I’m running a Ubuntu Studio as a dual-boot on my laptop, I decided to install Windows XP SP2 on VirtualBox, and install MatLab on it.

I followed the instructions on this page, and it worked perfectly for me. So some of you might have similar needs, so can give it a try when needed…!

Tech Notes

Read/Write NTFS partition in Ubuntu


Little background of this story: I have installed Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) on my laptop this week. And I had whole lot of issues coming around, but I’ll write about those in a later post, and I’ll keep this limited to the topic.

As I have this Ubuntu installed as a dual-boot with Windows Vista, which came along with my laptop. When I partitioned my drive on windows I had all of them in NTFS, and when I used GParted CD, I created the Linux partitions and a FAT partition.

I thought that this one FAT partition can be used as a sharing place between my Lin & Win, as all of my other NTFS partitions will be mounted in Ubuntu as ‘Read-Only’. But that idea changed soon, as I had to do many Writes on my NTFS files, such as my University projects, which I do in both Lin & Win. So I Googled….

And found the answer: NTFS-3G Read/Write Driver

The NTFS-3G driver is an open source, freely available read/write NTFS driver for Linux and other operating systems. It provides safe and fast handling of the Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 and Windows Vista file systems. And the great news is ‘the driver is in STABLE status’.

So installation was simple after arffering to

sudo apt-get install ntfs-config
gksu ntfs-config

Just two lines on the Terminal. It worked just like that, and now I have all my NTFS patrtitions Read/Write on my Ubuntu box.

So if you guys are on any Linux, this might be handy at times…

Tech Notes

Advantages Unix-like OS over Windows for virus protection

We being the unfortunate from this part of the world, Sri Lankans; even though we are always very much keen in using a Genuine Windows, which Mr.Bill puts up at Microsoft Corp, USA, as he claims it is THE best and SECURE operating system in the world. But we still find it difficult to obtain a highly priced genuine Windows and end up buying a ‘Windows XP 2006 Bill Gates Edition’, which is a CD from Pakistan and sold at any computer store for just 100 LKR (~US$1).

Recently when I was talking with a friend he mentioned that he got a lot of viruses, trojans, worms, etc. on his machine which runs on Windows XP (of course not genuine). He said he tried downloading patches from Microsoft website, but it ended up saying ‘You are using a countefit version of Windows…’, and then many things started going abnormal.I asked him ‘What are you going to do now?’, he said ‘Simple, I formated the hard and reinstalled Windows’.

I wondered ‘Then how are you going to get updates…’; ‘Hee.. hee.. NO MORE UPDATES, thats it!’ he replied.

This is a very common scenario among us in Sri Lanka. We use the so said ‘pirated(?)’ Windows, which obviously has the same security risks and holes as a genuine version of Windows. But we can’t get updates from Microsoft website as Mr. Bill don’t like these ‘pirates’. So those holes will remain forever on a machine with ‘pirated’ Windows, and they could be exploited any time. I would like to explain some more of what we do and where it goes wrong.

Viruses will not return after you format

Unfortunately, that’s a specious claim. Although turning on an inbound firewall by default is good, nevertheless until you’ve run the updates, the firewall does nothing regarding outbound connections from your machine. There are numerous exploits which will automatically infest your machine if you attempt to browse the web using Internet Explorer without installing the latest security patches and rebooting first.

You can ensure you don’t get infected right away by first visiting and installing Mozilla Firefox to browse the web, rather than IE, and immediately afterwards use Firefox to download and install AVG Free Edition. Free for home users, and it’s a very competent, non-invasive virus scanner. It’s worlds better than the CPU-hog that is Norton Antivirus. Just make sure your firewall is turned on all the time. But one thing most of us cant do is to ‘download your latest SP2 updates from Windows Update, and you’re fairly safe if you set your PC to auto-update’.

Linux and Unix, however, definitely still have several advantages over Windows for virus protection

The list includes all the Unix-likeoperating systems; OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, etc.

It has a smaller installed base. This alone makes virus-writers, who are going for the “low-hanging fruit”, less likely to write viruses for the platform. The installed base tends to be technically clue-ful. Obviously, as the “masses” continue adopting Linux or UNIX widely (as has been predicted for ten years, and is happening today at an accelerating rate), this becomes less of an advantage.

The security model has been tested longer, and is inherently more secure, than the Windows model. The largest portion of the reason for this is due its simplicity and age: it’s been around forever, and it’s very easy to
wrap your head around the basic UNIX security model.

Hence, it’s easier to write secure non-root programs on UNIX which won’t open up system-level security holes. UNIX and Linux machines are generally set up to be secure by default. Windows, on the other hand, sets the default user as a computer administrator, and roughly 50% of all programs I install fail to work at all unless run from an account with administrative privileges (or without a ton of post-install tweaking on file and registry permissions to allow a non-administrative user to function).

Mac OS X and Linux have the solution right: prompt the user for the root password when performing privileged system functions, and prefer to install programs in the user’s home directory to avoid asking for root-level access at all. Of course, smart virus and spyware writers will write their programs to prompt for the root password, invalidating this protection, but fixing bugs in a program is much easier than attempting to fix clueless users.

In a corporate environment, administrators can afford to spend the time “tweaking” a program’s install script to make these modifications automatically, but 99% of users will simply leave their account set to “computer administrator” and forget about it.

I would conclude saying, as UNIX-based systems (including Mac OS X) continue to grow in popularity, more rootkits, viruses, trojans, and worms will begin to spread. However, just comparing numbers of system-level compromises, you have to add together every distribution of Linux, FreeBSD, and proprietary UNIX operating systems, PLUS every piece of popular open-source software, in order to surpass the number of Microsoft Windows exploits over the last ten years.

You can read more:

Microsoft, Windows, Windows XP are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S.A. and/or other regions and/or countries. (Mr. Bill might get angry if I don’t mention this)