Quick Running Update

This last October I ran my first half marathon. My personal goal was to run it under the two hour mark. Based on my RunKeeper results, I was successful. Based on official results, I as about a minute over. Either way I was pleased.

Since the half, I have been dealing with some knee/leg issues, so I have taken it pretty easy. Currently I’m working on getting back to 100% and hope to do another half and further into the future, a whole marathon.

If you are interested in the half race results take a look at http://www.mtecresults.com/runner/show?rid=7158&race=560


Update – Running with Bikilas

So after about a month of running with my new shoes, I’ve gotten back up to my usual two miles and 9:30 a mile. I still feel the burn on my calves, but at this point it’s expected. As for my original reason for switching to these shoes, I don’t feel the same pain in my knee as I used to. I’m holding my breath though until I get my mileage up.

Here is some info on my most recent runs.

If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you can join my network on Runkeeper.

Running with Vibram FiveFingers – Bikila LS

Over the weekend I picked up a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Bikila LS.  Recently when running I have been having knee pain issues after about 3 miles.  I’ve done a bunch of reading and research and found the Vibram FiveFingers shoes. The theory behind them is that they make you run on the balls(front) of your feet rather than the heal of your feet.  This in turn causes you to have a more “natural” impact when you land, as your muscles take the impact rather than your knees.

Yesterday was the first day trying them out.  I went less than a quarter mile and I really feel a huge difference in which muscles are being used while running.  I specificily ran a very short distance, as I knew I was going to be in pain as they require a different muscle set than I usually use when running.

My plan is to ease into them and work my way back to my usual 3 mile run. More updates to come.

Headless Ubuntu Server Torrent Box

Install Server Ubuntu 10
During the install, you can usually go with the default options. I chose to install an SSH server, PostregSQL server, and LAMP server. It gives you these options during install.

Create a static IP Address

Once installed modify your IP address to be static so we can always hit the same IP when connecting to our box. Do this by editing your interfaces file.
joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

Here is what my interfaces file looks like:
(Note: Change the IP address to something that matches your LAN):
# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Additional Hard drive for Data
For my install, I have 2 drive in my linux server to prevent my downloads from filling up my system disk.  This isn’t completely necessary but it’s what I prefer.

By default only the system drive is mounted, so this leaves us to find and mount the extra drive.

List your devicesjoel@torrentserver:/$ sudo fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sdb: 40.0 GB, 40000000000 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4863 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Create a directory to mount our drive:
joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo mkdir /data

Mount the drive to the directory we created:
joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo mount /dev/sdb /data

Adjust Permissions

Make sure our username is part of the debian-transmission group
joel@torrentserver:/$sudo usermod -a -G debian-transmission joel

Make sure our /data directory is owned by the debian-transmission group
joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo chgrp debian-transmission /data

Modify our permissions on our /data folder
joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo chmod 777 /data

Install Transmission Daemon

joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo apt-get install transmission-daemon

When asked, type ‘Y’ to continue

Stop the transmission-daemon so we can modify the settings file.
joel@silvertorrent:/$ sudo service transmission-daemon stop

Copy the settings.json file so we have a backup if necessary
joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo cp /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json.bak

Edit the settings.json file:
joel@torrentserver:/$ sudo nano /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json

Here is my settings.json file:

(NOTE: Adjust “rpc-password”: “password” and “rpc-username”: “username” to the username and password you would like (The password will encrypt automatically). Also make sure you set “download-dir”: “” to a valid disk directory, mine is set to “/data” as I have that mapped to a second drive in my server.)
"alt-speed-down": 500,
"alt-speed-enabled": true,
"alt-speed-time-begin": 480,
"alt-speed-time-day": 127,
"alt-speed-time-enabled": true,
"alt-speed-time-end": 0,
"alt-speed-up": 10,
"bind-address-ipv4": "",
"bind-address-ipv6": "::",
"blocklist-enabled": false,
"dht-enabled": true,
"download-dir": "/data",
"download-limit": 1000,
"download-limit-enabled": 0,
"encryption": 2,
"incomplete-dir": "/var/lib/transmission-daemon/info/Incomplete",
"incomplete-dir-enabled": false,
"lazy-bitfield-enabled": true,
"lpd-enabled": false,
"max-peers-global": 200,
"message-level": 2,
"open-file-limit": 32,
"peer-limit-global": 240,
"peer-limit-per-torrent": 60,
"peer-port": 20635,
"peer-port-random-high": 20500,
"peer-port-random-low": 20599,
"peer-port-random-on-start": true,
"peer-socket-tos": 0,
"pex-enabled": true,
"port-forwarding-enabled": true,
"preallocation": 1,
"proxy": "",
"proxy-auth-enabled": false,
"proxy-auth-password": "",
"proxy-auth-username": "",
"proxy-enabled": false,
"proxy-port": 80,
"proxy-type": 0,
"ratio-limit": 0.2500,
"ratio-limit-enabled": true,
"rename-partial-files": true,
"rpc-authentication-required": true,
"rpc-bind-address": "",
"rpc-enabled": true,
"rpc-password": "transmission",
"rpc-port": 9091,
"rpc-username": "transmission",
"rpc-whitelist": ",*.*.*.*",
"rpc-whitelist-enabled": true,
"script-torrent-done-enabled": false,
"script-torrent-done-filename": "",
"speed-limit-down": 1000,
"speed-limit-down-enabled": false,
"speed-limit-up": 10,
"speed-limit-up-enabled": true,
"start-added-torrents": true,
"trash-original-torrent-files": false,
"umask": 2,
"upload-limit": 100,
"upload-limit-enabled": 0,
"upload-slots-per-torrent": 4,
"watch-dir": "/data/_torrents",
"watch-dir-enabled": true

Start the Daemon again
sudo /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon start

Web Access

Internally, you should be able to access your server via your browser:

(Note: Change Ubuntu_Server_IP_or_Hostname to your server IP address or host name)

If you want to access your transmission server from outside your house you will need to forward port 9091 to your ubuntu server on your router.



Installing World Community Grid on a Headless Ubuntu Server

Install BOINC client:
sudo aptitude install boinc-client

Find your account key:
boinccmd --lookup_account http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org username password

You should get a response something like this

Attach to your project:
boinccmd --project_attach http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org dfb74c9b94e1129c2eac322052eb5f98

If you want to verify your attached enter the following command:
boinccmd --get_state

You should get something like the following back, along with a bunch more info:
======== Projects ========
1) -----------
name: World Community Grid
master URL: http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/
user_name: joelcpatterson
team_name: Preeminent Nonpareil
resource share: 100.000000
user_total_credit: 392663.547845
user_expavg_credit: 0.071871
host_total_credit: 0.000000
host_expavg_credit: 0.000000
nrpc_failures: 0
master_fetch_failures: 0
master fetch pending: no
scheduler RPC pending: no
attached via Account Manager: no
ended: no
suspended via GUI: no
don't request more work: no
disk usage: 0.000000
last RPC: 1297181772.312611
project files downloaded: 1297181833.027173

You can also take a look to verify your processor is being used by typing:

This will display your processes that are currently running and how much CPU they are utilizing.

20051 boinc 39 19 88388 77m 1484 R 99 3.9 10:21.74 wcg_c4cw_lmps_6
20050 boinc 39 19 88388 77m 1484 R 97 3.9 10:22.88 wcg_c4cw_lmps_6

Further resources:

ASCII Starwars Via Telnet

Looking for something interesting to do?  Watch Star Wars via Telnet.  If you have telnet for windows, just type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

If you don’t have telnet, go download Putty and connect to the same address.

Tutorial:Disable Ads with DD-WRT

If you are running DD-WRT on your router and you hate ads, here is the solution to disable them on every computer in your home.

  1. Navigate to the “Services | Services” tab on your DD-WRT router.
  2. Under “DNSMasq“, make sure “DNSMasq” and “Local DNS” are enabled. Then copy and paste the following code into the “Additional DNSMasq Options” text box.

  3. Next, navigate to “Administration | Commands“.  Copy and paste the following code into the “Commands” form.  Then click the “Save Startup” button.
    echo -e "#!/bin/sh\nn=1\nwhile sleep 60\ndo\n\twget -q -O - http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt | grep \"^\" | grep -v localhost | awk '{print \"$_rogue\\\t\"\$2}' | tr -d '\\\015' >/tmp/dlhosts\n" >/tmp/write_dlhosts
    echo -e "\t[ \`grep -il doubleclick /tmp/dlhosts\` ] && break\n\t[ \$n -gt 5 ] && break\n\tlet n+=1\ndone\nkillall -HUP dnsmasq" >>/tmp/write_dlhosts
    chmod +x /tmp/write_dlhosts
    /tmp/write_dlhosts &

  4. Reboot your router.

If you would like to confirm that your blocking is enabled, open a command prompt and type in “nslookup admarket.cz“. You should get an address of back from your DNS server.

For further information and the source of this information, take a look over on the DD-WRT forums

Amazing Exoskeleton Suit

Google Talk Flash App.

A pretty handy feature that I found several months ago is the GoogleTalk flash app.  It connects to GoogleTalk just like their main installable client.  However, the flash version is definitely more portable.

http://talkgadget.google.com/talkgadget/popout -Without the “Pop Out” icon in the upper right side of the screen.

If you would like to open this in your FireFox sidebar, open the client link from above and add a bookmark. Right click that new bookmark and go to it’s properties.  Select the “Load this bookmark in sidebar” check box at the bottom.  Click ok and then open the link.

Impressively Small Barebones HTPC (book sized)

Foxconn NT-330I-0H0W-B-NASuper tiny Atom based barebones PC.   Based on Newegg reviews, appears to run Windows 7 just great, as well as plays 1080p content without a hitch.  Some reviewers state that the fan can be louder at times but not too bad overall.  Still it’s a pretty impressive device. Take a look at the specs:

CPU: Intel Atom 330 (1.6GHz, dual-core)
RAM: DDR2 800/667 Max 4GB
Ethernet: Gigabit, 802.11 G
Dimensions: 7.48″ x 5.31″ x 0.98″  1 lb.
Ports: USBx6, DVI, HDMI, Optical Audio out