software

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Manually set FreePBX timezone

Check here for the correct timezone: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones​
SSH into the server
Run the following, with the relevant TZ database timezone. In this example, Europe/London
​ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime
Then, edit /ect/sysconfig/clock
nano /etc/sysconfig/clock
Change the line to the correct TZ timezone:
ZONE="Europe/London"
Save the file
Run to check all is now correct:
date
Reboot the server

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DamianManually set FreePBX timezone

cdr_mysql.c:203 mysql_log: Cannot connect to database server localhost: (1045) Access denied for user ‘freepbxuser’@’localhost’ (using password: YES)

When restoring FreePBX from backup, you may find the CDR database is not updated. This is because the cdr_mysql.conf file is not overwritten by the restore, and so the password for the CDR database is incorrect.

You can resolve it like this:

SSH onto the server
nano /etc/freepbx.conf
Find the lines:
$amp_conf['AMPDBUSER']  = 'freepbxuser';
$amp_conf['AMPDBPASS']  = '3098SADFSLa';​​

Copy the password, quit nano
nano /etc/asterisk/cdr_mysql.conf
Insert the password in the apropriate section
Save the file, quit nano​
amportal reload
You may need to restart the server to allow the password to be updated.

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Damiancdr_mysql.c:203 mysql_log: Cannot connect to database server localhost: (1045) Access denied for user ‘freepbxuser’@’localhost’ (using password: YES)

Fixed Problem – Mozilla Thunderbird with Lightning

If like us, you try to keep the majority of the software you use open source, then Mozilla Thunderbird (with the Lightning add-on) might just be the perfect solution to your PIM (personal information manager) needs.

We use Thunderbird exclusively within our organisation for email, and with the Lightning add-on, for task and calendar management.

Recently, we have come across an issue with Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) whereby the New Event and New Task buttons were greyed out or disabled – making adding calendar entries impossible.

This was fixed by uninstalling the add-on, closing Thunderbird and running the following command in a terminal session:

sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

Reinstalling the add-on after libstdc++5 was installed fixed the issue – the calendar portion worked as it should. It appears that this prerequisite was not installed on the machine we were using.

In any case, Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning represent (in our opinion!) the killer email and calenar application for Ubuntu.

You can download Thunderbird here, and Lightning here.

Thanks to this blog for the pointer!

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DamianFixed Problem – Mozilla Thunderbird with Lightning

Windows 7 – Why you should wait

windows_7_logoWindows 7 is Microsoft’s newest addition to its stable of operating systems. Along with Windows XP and Vista, it will soon be one of the most installed (and used) operating systems in the world.

But – we at Jaytag are of the strong opinion that it is a good idea to wait for Microsoft to iron out the slew of bugs and problems that inevitably go along with a new operating system. We aren’t the only one’s either – Computerworld have an article discussing why you should wait before upgrading.

Our top three reasons:

The reboot bug. Some users have reported that following an upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, their computers go into a loop of starting up, then immediately rebooting. There is currently no solution from Microsoft for this issue.

The cost. To purchase Windows 7, you are looking at at least £90. Although this isn’t a lot, you may find it hard to justify in this economic climate – especially if your PC is working fine with Windows XP or Vista.

The hardware requirements. Windows 7 requires:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Compare these to Windows XP (home edition):

  • Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
  • At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
  • At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

A significantly lower requirement. A huge saving on hard drive space is the key if you keep Windows XP. Overall, this means your 2-3 year old PC with Windows XP will be more than adequate (scratch that, a 2-3 year old PC will easily meet and exceed these specifications – you’ll be flying with a 1.6GHz or better processor with 1Gb of RAM)

With Windows Vista (home premium) the requirements are a little higher:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of system memory
  • 40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
  • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:
    • WDDM Driver
    • 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
    • Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
    • 32 bits per pixel
  • DVD-ROM drive

But still easily achieveable with a 2-3 year old PC. We’ve noted Vista only really works well on machines with more than 2Gb of RAM, and a new dual-core processor.

Our strong recommendation (unless you are planning on buying a new PC or laptop with Windows 7 preinstalled) is to wait until the first service pack is released. Normally, Microsoft releases SP1 of a new OS between nine months and a year after the system first ships.

Of course, Windows 7 offers some great new features – we just don’t think its worth the leap just yet for most users.

If you just can’t wait – or want to find out more, check out the Official Windows 7 page from Microsoft.

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DamianWindows 7 – Why you should wait

Reading Mac OS X Drives from Microsoft Windows

hero_bootcamp

If you use Boot camp to run Microsoft Windows and Apple OSX on your Mac, you may have discovered that you cannot easily share files between the two systems.

There is a technical reason for that – Mac OS X can read and write drives formatted using FAT and FAT32 (like USB thumb drives) and it can read (but not write) drives formatted using NTFS (most Windows hard drives)

However, Microsoft Windows cannot read Apple’s HFS+ disk format. Fortunately, there is a free Open Source utility that can help out with that problem: HFS Explorer

It was designed for use for Mac owners who use Boot Camp to dual boot between Mac OS X and Windows.

Here is how to set it up:

1. Download the installer from the HFS Explorer site.

2. Install the program by double clicking on the file you have downloaded.

3. The default installer options are fine, and will register the .dmg file extension, so Apple Disk Images can be opened automatically.

4. Start the program. When I first started HFS Explorer, it complained that MSVCR71.dll was missing. If you get this error, download this zip file and extract the DLL file to your Windows system32 directory (click Start > Run and type %systemroot%system32 if you are unsure where this is)

5. You will see the main HFS Explorer window:

MWSnap062

6. Click File and then Load file system from device. The following window will appear:

MWSnap064

7. Click Autodetect. After a short delay, your HFS partition should be detected. Click Load.

8. Your mac files will be displayed in the main HFS Explorer window. You can copy files from HFS Explorer to your Windows hard drive by dragging and dropping them from the HFS Explorer window.

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DamianReading Mac OS X Drives from Microsoft Windows

Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

This handy utility removes a variety of different viruses and malware, and is available free!

Here is a list of some of the viruses it can remove.

Some key features:

  • Support for Windows 2000, XP, and Vista.
  • Light speed quick scanning.
  • Ability to perform full scans for all drives.
  • Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware Protection Module.
  • Database updates released daily.
  • Quarantine to hold threats and restore them at your convenience.
  • Ignore list for both the scanner and Protection Module.
  • Settings to enhance your Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware performance.
  • A small list of extra utilities to help remove malware manually.
  • Multi-lingual support.
  • Works together with other anti-malware utilities.
  • Command line support for quick scanning.
  • Context menu integration to scan files on demand.

The program is available now from Malwarebytes

Of course, not all viruses are that easy to eliminate. Give us a call if you just can’t get rid on 0800 7879 258 for some free advice, or to arrange an appointment.

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DamianMalwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

Alternatives to Microsoft Office

openofficelogo

Sun Microsystems have now released v3.0 of their popular ‘OpenOffice.org’ productivity suite. It’s a fantastic alternative for current users of Microsoft Office, or those who wish to have the functionality of the Microsoft Office suite, but do not like the high pricetag.

It has compatibility with all the Microsoft Office file types (including new .docx for Microsoft Word 2007)

Installation of OpenOffice.org is easy – follow the links below for walkthroughs:

For online only use, perhaps consider Google Docs – you can download and upload files from here also, meaning that at a push, you could use it to edit a file where you do not have your normal office suite installed.

There is a huge list of other alternatives at wikipedia – our preference definitely lies with OpenOffice.org however.

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DamianAlternatives to Microsoft Office

Using a BlackBerry with ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Mad Analogy has a nice walkthrough on how to charge or backup your BlackBerry device under Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. This also works fine on Hardy Heron 8.04.

Barry, the software package he reccomends installing can also be installed by double-clicking on the RPM files that are available on the SourceForge.net site for the tool:

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=153722

You will need to download and install the following packages:

barrybackup-gui_0.14-0_ubuntu804_i386.deb
barry-util_0.14-0_ubuntu804_i386.deb
libbarry0_0.14-0_ubuntu804_i386.deb
libbarry-dev_0.14-0_ubuntu804_i386.deb
libopensync-plugin-barry_0.14-0_ubuntu804_i386.deb

Which some may find a little easier than the normal apt-get malarkey!

Link to Mad Analogy walkthrough:
http://www.madanalogy.com/2007/10/blackberry-support-in-ubuntu-gutsy.html

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DamianUsing a BlackBerry with ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Free alternative to Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image

Norton Ghost is an extremely useful utility that allows you to duplicate one hard drive to another. In How to install/replace a PATA (IDE) hard drive we shared a video showing how to physically replace an ATA or IDE hard drive.

But what about your old data? Well, you can copy this from your old hard drive with a number of utilites, Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image being some of the more popular commerical programs.

You can use a nifty utility called Clonezilla to do this for free.

Some of the key features of Clonezilla:

  • Free (GPL) Software.
  • Filesystem supported: ext2, ext3, reiserfs, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, and HFS+ of Mac OS (testing feature provided by partclone). Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows and Intel-based Mac OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
  • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
  • Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massively clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
  • Based on Partimage, ntfsclone, partclone, and dd to clone partition. However, clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
  • By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by the same people, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.

For most home and small business users, the live CD Clonezilla live is probably your best bet. By recording the ISO (CD image file) to CD with a free utility like ISORecorder you can boot from the CD and duplicate your hard drive.

Links:

Petri.co.il – A walkthough of CD burning with ISORecorder
Clonezilla – A walkthough of using Clonezilla live (technical)

Of course, Jaytag are on hand to assist in dulicating your data – give us a call on 0845 310 2750 for free advice, or to arrange an appointment.

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DamianFree alternative to Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image

Free alternatives to Norton Internet Security and McAfee Internet Security

Both Norton Internet Security and the McAfee Internet Security suite are excellent products for ensuring your PC is protected while online. Both offer anti-virus tools, spyware blockers, trojan detection etc. However, the fees associated with keeping them up to date (often £20-30 annually) can be prohibitive.

There is an alternative in the world of anti-virus however, and this comes in the form of AVG.

The AVG free edition is just that – free. It does have a few limitations:

  • Less protection – AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 provides only base level protection against viruses, spyware and safe searching. It does not provide safe surfing (drive-by download protection) nor protection from crackers, keyloggers, spam, phishing attacks and malicious file downloads that can come through instant messaging and attachments from seemingly friendly sources. This protection is only available in the commercial versions of AVG products.
  • Slower updates – AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 receives updates via a lower priority service. Priority updating via high-speed servers is only available for the commercial versions of AVG products.
  • No telephone or e-mail technical support – There is no telephone or e-mail technical support provided by AVG for users of AVG Free Edition products anywhere in the world. AVG Free Edition users have access to support via the self-help AVG Free Forum.
  • No customization – Scheduling options in AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 are very limited (only one scheduled update per day, one scheduled scan per day etc.). The AVG Resident Shield configuration is limited with no exclusion settings. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition does not offer advanced testing options, password-protected archives reporting, adjustment of scan process priority and many other features.
  • No server support – AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 cannot be installed on server operating systems (such as Windows Server 2003), nor can it be used for the scanning of network drives.

However – most of the above are not a serious consideration for home users. Jaytag reccomend the installation of AVG instead of the products from Norton or McAfee for two reasons:

  • Cost
  • Performance

One of the biggest benefits of AVG is its small resource requirements – the AVG Free Edition requires just 16 MB of RAM and 20 MB of space on the hard drive.

You can download the free version of AVG here.

It should be noted that the free version of AVG does not feature a firewall or email anti-spam. However, the following free tools are excellent alternatives:

Comodo Firewall Pro – a free software firewall
SpamBayes – a free bayesian spam filter

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DamianFree alternatives to Norton Internet Security and McAfee Internet Security