Category Archives: linux

Bloody Monday

Currently I’m watching Bloody Monday, a J-dorama. It’s actually based on a manga by the same name, about a young hacker, Fujimaru Takagi, being involved into a terrorist plot, and all the suspense, twists, and turns. It’s so addictive because every single episode leaves you with yet another cliffhanger, just after a major confrontation/plot resolved, leaving you in suspense and thirst for more. Luckily the fansub are complete, so I can enjoy it at my pace without having to anxiously waiting for the next episode (like Gundam 00).
First thing first, I got interested on this dorama because one of the actor is the same one playing Kamen Rider Den-O, Takeru Sato. LOL.
takeru - otoya
He’s playing as Otoya, Fujimaru’s friend. Here’s him in Kamen Rider Den-O, and also Mei-chan no Shitsuji (as Kento, Rihito’s brother).
takeru - ryotaro2takeru - mei
Oh, and he’s also in Princess Princess D, as one of the Princesses. Man, he’s like all over the place. Kids, teenage girls, and adults all ages will probably recognize this guy now. The cool part is that his characters are all different. Ryotaro Nogami (Kamen Rider Den-O) is a clumsy person that actually doesn’t really know how to fight, while Kento (Mei-chan no Shitsuji) is a very outspoken character, while Otoya (Blody Monday) is a cool yet caring friend.

Okay, putting that aside, I find Bloody Monday to be very captivating. It constantly put you in suspense, and like I said, after a conflict resolved, by the end of the episode, you are presented with yet another cliffhanger. Betrayal and death are the common theme here. The good people are turning bad one by one, and then characters are dying one by one too. When you think things are getting better, don’t worry, it’s J-dorama, so things will turn back for worse. LOL. Really. I can’t believe that terrorist group managed to convince so many people to join them, despite them killing their own members for a punishment of failure.

Even better, the hacking part of the dorama is actually pretty realistic compared to most American TV series and Hollywood movies. Falcon, Fujimaru’s hacker nickname, actually brings a Linux bootable flash drive with him all the time. Everytime he wants to do some hacking, he booted from the USB drive, into a Linux command line. And he’s not running a fancy graphical program either, all the hacking are done via terminal, with Falcon typing command lines. Sure, not as exciting as some Hollywood movies with “hacking programs” magically built-in into the computers with a big “Hack” button, but it’s more realistic. Also, when Falcon is hacking into a system, they show him making a VNC connection via terminal command line, a real protocol to remotely connect to another PC. Falcon also managed to hack into a system running Vista using his Linux bootable flash drive. Very geeky stuff!

Alas, there are still some silly things that a real hacker won’t do. Falcon put a file into Windows’ Recycle Bin to “delete” it and removed his trace. This is the last thing anybody would do in real life to “remove” their trace since files in Recycle Bin in Windows are not actually deleted and can be recovered easily. Also, some of the command lines that Falcon uses when he’s “hacking” are actually simple DOS commands. Sure, today most people won’t recognize DOS, but I just chuckled when I saw those. Lastly, Falcon is always taking his pretty large HP laptop with him, and for whatever reason never runs out of battery, even when he’s hacking wirelessly. In some cases, he doesn’t even have time to turn off his laptop, so presumably the laptop is running all the time. HP must have given him some fancy super battery there. LOL. Oh yeah, all the computers are HP, even the ones in the internet cafes. Oh, and Sandisk also participate in the dorama by supplying SD cards. Yeah, brand recognition man. It would’ve been cooler if Falcon is using the tiny Sony Vaio TT or the tiny Vaio P. Oh, and I don’t see Apple. Usually the good guys use Apple stuff, like L in Death Note.

A very exciting dorama full of suspense! It also brings a point that regardless of policies, tools, technology, and whatnot, humans have emotions, and one can manipulate others by playing with their emotion. Example is one of the jail guards, convinced to kill his own co-worker, and this all because his wife cheated on him with another man. Oh, and don’t forget the constant betrayal of people that you think would never turn bad, and they all have their reasons. Very thought provoking!


Trying Ubuntu 8.04

I’ve been trying linux for quite sometime (Redhat, Linspire, Suse, etc), but was never impressed nor into it due to various problems/reasons. From hardware issues (the first linux distro I tried couldn’t even detect my PS/2 mouse, I had to use a serial port mouse!), non-user friendly interface, lack of software without compiling it myself, etc etc. More recently I’ve been trying various versions of Ubuntu (5.1, 6.06, 6.1), and although I’ve been successful on the installation, anything from there left me unimpressed. I do see improvements in hardware support (I have a USB Wifi adapter which the manufacture was bought by somebody else and thus driver support for windows is gone, yet it works flawlessly with Ubuntu), software catalog/installation (no longer having to figure out .tar/compiling), and general aesthetics. Beryl (a 3D desktop manager) was awesome, but was unstable and not included by default. Here’s a short video demo. It puts Vista to shame.

But in the end, I returned to Windows due to lack of usable apps that I want, “slow” UI, confusing errors, needing command line to do something trivial, etc.

Hardy Heron was released no too long ago. I decided to give it a go one more time. First installation run already gave me issues, spitting I/O errors and simply stopped at a command line. I was like WTF? Did CD verification test and it’s fine. Remember, Ubuntu is trying to target new linux users/beginners, and simply quitting the OS installation into a command prompt is not attractive at all. I rebooted and re-ran the install. It went further, the live desktop got loaded, but then the installation was stopped due to some error. Again, WTF? At least it returned me to the live desktop. Re-ran the install the 3rd time, and it finally installed all the way through. The nice thing about the recent Ubuntu releases is that Compiz is turned on by default. The UI seemed more snappier than the past versions due to having some acceleration. First thing Ubuntu detected my ATI video card and requested a proprietary driver install. This is VERY useful. In the past, you pretty much had to hunt the drivers yourself in order to get some acceleration. Alas, I have a dual monitor setup, and there doesn’t seem any way to do this in Hardy Heron other than the default clone. Searching online, pretty much people are just spitting command lines. This is another problem with the linux community. A newbie asked a question on how to do x, next thing you know all the expert are spitting command lines. C’mon, what’s the point of GUI if people had to do command lines? I finally found out the ATI catalyst app, hidden in the “other” section in the Apps catalog. Well, trying to change any setting will screw up both displays. That’s it. Doing dual-monitor setup is a no brainer ever since win98. Why is it so hard in Ubuntu? I gave up. Leopard, here I come. 🙂

Of course, that doesn’t mean the latest Ubuntu is bad. For somebody on a single monitor setup, the installation of Hardy Heron is the most straight forward so far (discounting the I/O errors). Ability to automatically download proprietary drivers and having Compiz turned on by default are great. Out of the box, it is fine for internet browsing/email. Still, Ubuntu still has a long way to go compared to Mac OS and Windows. Thing is, I don’t think the geek community want Linux to be easy-to-use, shown by the fact that they toss command lines left and right to anybody that ask questions.

Oh well, next is the sweet and smooth Leopard.

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Posted by on April 27, 2008 in 8.04, hardy heron, linux, ubuntu