The 4K Home Theater Upgrade

4K LogoWhen technologies go through major upgrades, they are most often evaluated not on the technical merits of the upgrade but on how the market reacts overall to the technology. For me personally, the iPhone had a major impact and it was my first personal cell phone. Most everyone I know today was impacted by the iPhone. Even if you don’t have an iPhone today, you most likely have an Android, and even though Google was working on Android prior to the iPhone’s release, they ended up having to change their designs, once they saw iOS. In the world of home entertainment, the DVD player and HD television have had monumental impacts as well. In 2017, I looked at my home theater and decided it was time to move into the next big upgrade, namely 4K.

The three big components of home theater system is the television, the surround receiver, and a blu-ray player. Once you talk about speakers and sub-woofers, then you get into things that cannot be accurately described in reviews. Audio is something that is best experienced. Lets just say that I have 7 speakers and a sub-woofer, so it is a surround system.

My first component upgrade was the television. Our television was the first flat screen we ever bought. It is nice television for its time, but it certainly paled in comparison to today’s modern TVs. For some reason, in 2017, televisions are more than just screens. Once you decide on a screen size, you still have to decide what type of screen technology you can afford, if it comes with apps (similar to your phone), and even if you can talk to it. Showing my age, I chose a 55-inch Sony. My father’s generation had Zenith, my generation has Sony, and if you are younger than me, you probably have a Samsung or LG for your brand of choice. Sony makes nice televisions, but their price is higher than you would expect. The new Sony television annoyingly comes with Google Android. I say annoying because, I don’t want to talk to my TV, and I don’t want it to tell me what to watch. All I really want to to is turn it on, and then watch a movie or play a video game. Sony needlessly complicated their television and forces me to deal with an Android OS, its apps, and networking. Aside from this the screen is flat, appears bright, and is just awesome for watching movies.

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Filed under: Out Of The Box

Spammers Lack Quality Control

Warning SignThis morning, I was going through emails, and looked at my spam folder and found something that made me laugh. I have been studying up on some development classes online and integer & string values came to mind.

This is what happens when a developer makes a mistake in their spamming scripts and does not have any quality control. I bolded the amount below for emphasis.

Note this e-mail is been directed to you because during our investigations, your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody. In reference to this regards, you will be compensated with the sum of US$17, .500,000.00 (Seventeen Million five Hundred Thousand Dollars). Meanwhile, the Africa Union has requested for evidence to prove you are a victim of West Africa scam. In plight to this regards the USIS have appointed a United State base Attorney (Barrister Allen Adams) here in the State to advocate on your behalf and provide the requested evidence to process the payment approval for your fund to be release to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The only fee you’re to pay to the Attorney is the processing fee $350 for procurment of legal evidence to prove to the West Africa Union that you are a victim of scam. Also kindly request him to direct you on how to submit the processing fee $350

It appears to me that for the amount of $350, I stand the chance of getting back $17.50. This does not appear to be much of bargain. Where you place a period matters.

Filed under: Software

CentOS 7 Linux Commands

CentOS LogoMy preferred Linux distro at the moment is CentOS 7. It is a community-supported distribution that follows the work that Red Hat does with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is stable operating system for web servers and something I use every day. Unlike MacOS or Windows, which have lots of internet resources for support, Linux is a bit different. It inherits most of the UNIX terminology and documentation, and perhaps because of this, you will find it harder to research things. After a while, I started to make notes for myself and this post is the end result of some of that note taking. Many things in Linux are step oriented. For example, you should not install PHP, before you have Apache or some other web server installed. Below I have documented some of the steps I take after installing a bare minimum install of CentOS 7 without any GUI. I plan on revising this post in the future as I add or revise my post installation steps.

Note: It is assumed that you are aware that all administrative commands in Linux require root privileges, so I have left out the sudo part. Learn more about how to become root on the CentOS Wiki.

Post Installation Tasks:

1. Update System (Update YUM and Install Updates)

This will automatically update the system. The -y option will suppress any prompting to accept the changes.

yum -y update && yum -y upgrade
2. Enable Repositories

Before installing some packages in the next section, you will need to enable some repositories. The most common are EPEL, IUS, and Remi. Unlike Ubuntu, CentOS is a linux distro that caters to users interested in an enterprise platform. This means that CentOS chooses stability over newer updated software. The EPEL, IUS, and Remi repositories aim to bring newer versions of software to CentOS, without compromising the overall goal of stability. I leave it up to you to read about what repositories to enable and why. In this tutorial, we will enable EPEL and Remi.

Enable EPEL Repo:

To enable EPEL, just use the YUM command. If this command does not work, reference the EPEL Wiki for more information.

yum install epel-release

Enable Remi Repo:

The primary reason for enabling Remi is for testing out newer versions of PHP. You can reference the Remi site for more information, however if you primarily interested in PHP, it is better to use the Remi Configuration Wizard to learn about the various way you want to setup PHP. Note that PHP is also available through the IUS repository. For this tutorial we will install only PHP version 7.1 from Remi.

In order to install PHP from Remi, we must enable EPEL. We have already done this so we will skip the first step.

# EPEL already enabled #yum install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm
yum install http://rpms.remirepo.net/enterprise/remi-release-7.rpm
yum install yum-utils
yum-config-manager --enable remi-php71
yum update

To install additional packages:

yum install php-xxx

We then can verify the PHP Version and PHP Extensions installed:

php --version
php --modules
3. Programs and Applications to Install

The following commands, applications, packages are useful to install on a new system. You can use yum to install each of them. Skip down to the YUM Commands section to learn more about yum commands. In Linux most anything installed by yum is called an package, however most Windows users are familiar with the terms application or program. I use the term application interchangeably with package.

To install a specific application/package…

yum install package-name

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Filed under: Linux, Webmastering