Monthly Archives: October 2014

Security: Wipe File Deletion

Under most circumstances, recovering a file that has been deleted is pretty easy, even under most Linux file systems. So what do you do if you wish to securely delete a file so that it can not be recovered? Use Wipe

Head over to your Software Manager and do a quick search for Wipe. Once found, just install it as usual. Wipe is a Terminal program, so once installed, there will be no menu item for it.

Wipe Secure File Deletion

Wipe Secure File Deletion

Using Wipe is easy. First thing you’ll want to do is learn the syntax for using the tool. Open a Terminal, and type: wipe -help

Wipe Secure File Deletion

Wipe Secure File Deletion Help Listing

This will give you a full listing of the options and usage for this powerful tool.

Next thing to do is navigate to the directory that contains the file(s) you wish to securely remove from your hard drive and running Wipe against the file name like in the example below:

Wipe Secure File Deletion

Secure deletion example

In this case, I simply typed: wipe filetodelete.png at which point Wipe will ask you to confirm your desire to delete the file. This will be your last chance to say no, before the file is gone for good!


Software: Marble Maps – Quality Maps, Available Off Line!

There are lots of online maps available, but what I dislike about them most, is the data mining that they do while you use them. Google especially, knows who, what, when, where, and why about everything you do on their services. Further, the online maps are only good, if you’re on line!

So what to do if you want a map, along with some privacy, and without a network connection? Easy, a wonderful KDE software package called Marble, which can be used in an offline mode, so there’s no snooping by outside sites.

Marble Map Software

Marble Map Software

Marble has both desktop and a mobile version for select cell phones. Installing it pretty easy, just go to the linked side above and click the install button. That will take you to a page to choose your current Linux distribution. In my case Linux Mint.

Included is of course a standard Atlas, a global street map, satellite views, etc. Also of interest is an historical map, and a precipitation and temperature maps.

Playing with the software for the first time, a quick check on route planning, in this case Tampa, FL to New York, mapped the route just fine.

Marble Route Planning

Marble Route Planning

Marble has a ton of plugins preinstalled that will let you do some neat stuff as well. I like the APRS function, which you can use to track amateur radio operators using the APRS position reporting system. Of course you will need to be online to use this function.

Marble Options

Marble Options

Lots of map goodness, without giving up your privacy!


Breaking Things: Firefox

We’re back, after a very busy  2 weeks on the farm. Molly the goat is on the mend, feeling more like her old self;  so let’s get learning about Linux again!

We love the Firefox browser here on the farm, but this past weekend, it did something not unfamiliar. It crashed, except this time, relaunching it over and over, just presented with it crashing again.

To quote The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Don’t Panic!” the fix is very simple and only takes a moment, once you decide it just won’t run without intervention.

Firefox Crash Screen

Firefox Crash Screen

First step, was to reinstall Firefox from a fresh download. The easiest way to do that, is to open your Package Manager, search for Firefox, and select to reinstall it.

Package Manager

Package Manager

After Firefox is reinstalled, when you next launch it, you will be presented with the following screen:

FireFox safe mode

FireFox safe mode

It might seem like a good idea to click the left hand, Reset Firefox button, but don’t do it! Instead, Click on the Start Safe Mode button to launch the browser without your extensions running.

Once the browser opens in Safe Mode,  simply close it again, and when you reopen it, you will be back in business, with all your settings and extensions working just as before!

Farm Comes First

Going to be taking a blogging break for a couple weeks to catch up on fall farm chores. If you’re a first time visitor, may we suggest starting from our first post, and clicking through. You may learn something!

Oct 25, 2014 Farm Update

If you’re the praying sort, please say one for our goat Molly. She has come down with a respiratory infection. Vet is treating it, and we’re hopeful for a positive outcome; but goats can go downhill very very fast when they get sick. Our vet’s pretty sure we caught it early, and we’re trying to stay positive!


Breaking Things: ownCloud, What Did You Do?!

So I have ownCloud 7 running on an Ubuntu server, and the latest sync client on my computer. All has been running without any issues at all.

I’m sitting at my desk with one of my synced folders open, when 2.9 gigs of  folders and files suddenly start just disappearing!  I did not do a file delete or a move to trash, just had the folder open.

I have 5 different folders syncing, and the other 4 were having no issues what so ever.

Checking server logs and ownCloud activity logs showed the files being deleted, but why were they?

A couple of hours searching the ownCloud forums and github, I found people reporting the same problem, but no solutions!

First thing I did after the files all went away, was restore from an external, fortunately current backup. That worked. For about an hour, then all the files vanished again!

Thinking I had a bad hard drive  on my local computer causing the problem, I turned off the ownCloud server and restored my 2.9 gigs of data yet again. This time, the files stayed where I put them and everything was happy. Until I fired the server back up. Within 10 minutes, my files were all gone again.

Of note, the files never showed up in the deleted files section on the ownCloud server like they should.

Next step, was to remove the offending folder from the ownCloud sync client, and restore the files once again from backup.

Next I renamed the parent folder to something new, and then created a new sync for that folder in the ownCloud client.

ownCloud Client

ownCloud Client

That solved the problem.

Now if someone could tell me why it happened in the first place!