Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Get Away From Adobe Products

Adobe revealed back on October 3rd that their network had been infiltrated.  According to one article, 39 Million accounts were compromised.  On top of that wonderful news, Adobe also revealed that the invaders were also able to grab the source code to pretty much all of their products.  This is pretty insanely scary on many levels.  With the source code, one could find vulnerabilities or, even more unscrupulous, they could input vulnerabilities and release the version into the wild via torrents.  Adobe's products are widely torrented and it wouldn't take much to get people to unknowingly adopt the hacked versions.
The company that I work for has completely purged itself of any Adobe products, and from what I hear, there is a global ban going on in a plethora of companies.  My suggestion is to follow suit.  You don't need Adobe's products where there are other viable (some free) options.  I don't use anything much beyond Adobe reader and their flash player.  I have long ditched their reader anyway and gone with a free reader.  As far as the flash player goes, I am researching a viable option as too many sites still require flash.  Hopefully we will see a change in those sites as well.

Sunday, November 03, 2013


I was perusing Hacker News this morning and came across an idea called Progvember.   The idea is taken from the concept of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo as it is known to those who like to put pen to paper and tell the magical story ideas that flow through their active minds).

For the month of November, NaNoWriMo members work diligently to write a novel in 30 days.  The goal is 50,000 words put to paper (electronically or physically) during the month of November.

Progvember is the brain child of Andy Still and the idea is to create your application/web site/app in 30 days.  I visited the website and kind of like the way that you can 'register' your project in a hack-a-thon type of manner, and even have the project open to people helping you out.

This is a short post, but simply meant to just let you know about this interesting and cool idea.  Here is hoping that it takes off and keeps going.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A Guide to Installing Java on Ubuntu 12.04

I recently re-installed my desktop and switched from Debian to Ubuntu (personal choice for my own reasons).  Doing a fair amount of Python lately, I have gotten to really like using the Community Edition of Pycharm.
Unfortunately, while Pycharm is pretty sweet, its also written in Java (not a favorite of mine).  So, with that tidbit of info, I will now go through the steps necessary to install and setup Java on Ubuntu 12.04.

The first thing your going to need to do is download the JDK from Oracle. After you download it, you will need to unpack it (below I used the name of the version I downloaded):

     tar -zxvf jdk-7u45-linux-x64.tar.gz

After you unpack the tarball, you will have a directory with the software in it (mine was named jdk1.7.0_45).  You will want to move the new directory to a usable location.  I moved mine to the /usr directory as such:

     sudo mv ./jdk1.7.0_45 /usr/

You will need to make sure to do this as sudo, as root owns /usr/.  

Next, you are going to want to set the JAVA_HOME variable, which is done in either your .profile or your .bashrc in your home directory:

     export JAVA_HOME=/usr/jdk1.7.0_45

Just for giggles, I added a path to the bin directory where the java executables are located.  To do this I simply edited my .profile and added "/usr/jdk1.7.0_45/bin" to the PATH variable.

You now have to execute the following:

     sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/java" "java" "/usr/jdk1.7.0_45/bin/java" 1
     sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/javac" "javac" "/usr/jdk1.7.0_45/bin/javac" 1
     sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/javaws" "javaws" "/usr/jdk1.7.0_45/bin/javaws" 1

Now, create a plugins directory for Mozilla:

     mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins/

And create a link to the necessary file:

     ln -s /usr/jdk1.7.0_45/jre/lib/amd64/ ~/.mozilla/plugins/

After that, your JDK is now installed.  Just a bit of informaiton. Some people have said that you don't need the "update-alternatives" lines in order to complete this, just the path addition.  Actually, for me, it did not work until I did those links.  

Enjoy and hope it works for you too.
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