Tag Archives: Windows

How to: Initiate a Timed Shutdown

On Friday I was downloading some files on my Netbook (running Ubuntu Remix 10.04) and was not planning to stick around for the downloads to finish (it was already close to 7pm, I needed to get home for the weekend). I didn’t want to leave it running all weekend and I still had another hour to go before my downloads finished…
What to do?

Well I decided to initiate a delayed shutdown of my system. Since the downloads had about 1hr and 15 minutes left, I decided to be extra safe and set the shutdown for an extra 30 minutes after that… Here’s how I did it:

In your terminal, run the following command:

sudo shutdown -h 20:45 "See you on Monday!"

you can change the time to fit your needs and change the message (between the quotes) to whatever you like or leave it out as the message is optional.

You could also set it to shutdown by using a slightly different format, like this:

sudo shutdown -h +120 "Shutting down in 2hrs -- or 120 minutes"

This works on Linux and Mac. If you want to do this on Windows you could try something like this (if you are an admin):

at 20:45 shutdown /l /r /y /c

But I cannot vouch for how effective this will be (on Windows I mean) as it may only shutdown the OS not the machine/computer…

Response to Reader Question: How to Archive Facebook Chats

Pidgin and Facebook Chat
Howto: Add Your Facebook Friends to Pidgin (via The Linuxologist)

One of my readers (and friends) asked:

“Is there a way to retrieve your facebook chats somewhere on your computer?”

While I personally do not use the Facebook chat (or any chat, seriously. I just don’t have time), I don’t get questions from my readers very often so I thought I’d look into it.

Here is what I’ve found…

The Basics

Facebook chat — as it is when you are logged in to Facebook.com — is nothing more than an HTML/AJAX “chat”… I’m trying to keep this in as plain of terms as possible for the sake of time and to save you the headache of technical details (I assume if you could understand the technical stuff, you probably already know how it works ).

So basically the chat functions as part of the Facebook website and is maintained between your browser and the Facebook server. This means there is no external “Chat” or “IM” client to manage it.

What You Can’t Do

Facebook does not currently provide an Archiving feature for its website-contained chat. This means if you want to archive your chats you are basically out of luck. All you could really do at this point is manually copy/paste your chats into a text file for archiving — this is the manual way, very nasty!

What You Can Do

Facebook does provide access to the “Facebook Chat” outside of their actual website. However, they do not offer an official “Facebook Chat” Client/IM. The good news is there are free chat/IM clients out there for all operating systems and you can use Facebook Chat (through one of these clients) to chat with your Facebook friends outside of the actual Facebook website (and without a browser at that).

Assuming you choose a chat/IM client that allows archiving, you should be able to chat with your Facebook friends and automatically archive the chats through the client.

So HOW Do You Do It?

First, check out this page and look at the supported chat clients. Pidgin is cross-platform (you can use it on Windows/Mac/Linux) and is the one I would choose, but you do as you like. Pidgin allows archiving and also has plugins that allow you more control over the settings (for advanced users).

Once you have Pidgin (or whatever chat/IM client you chose), you need to setup the client to work with Facebook Chat. Each client is a little different, but here is a quick guide to setting it up with Pidgin.

Next you will need to turn on the archiving/logging features and adjust the settings. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Here’s a quick guide for doing that in Pidgin also.

Conclusion

While you can’t easily archive Facebook Chat from within the browser/website, you can use an external client for that purpose. It is fairly painless and if archiving your chats is important to you, this is your best option for now.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to help out as best I can.

Links (same as above, just verbose)

http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=297991732130

http://www.facebook.com/sitetour/chat.php

http://www.pidgin.im/

http://www.bukisa.com/articles/331046_facebook-chat-a-complete-tutorial

http://www.ehow.com/how_5858426_archive-pidgin-instant-messenger.html

Windows 7 – Solid Background Boot Delay Bug

OK I found this to be interesting… Apparently there is a bug in Windows 7 that causes a 30 second startup delay when you opt to use a solid color background vs. a background image of any kind…

Now, I’ve never developed (or been a part of developing) an entire operating system, so I guess my point on this may be way off base, but does this bug make any sense at all? To me, from a programming perspective, no… not at all!

Supposedly there is a patch/workaround for it, though I haven’t tried any of it (I have Windows 7 at work, I may be tempted to test it out tomorrow just for the sake of verifying it first hand).
You can find info about the patch and workaround here: Lifehacker article.

Windows installs security threat extension in Firefox

Well apparently there is a new Firefox extension out there, but not one you or I would want. Unfortunally, if you use Windows (and install Windows updates/security patches) you have been or will likely fall victim to a dirty Microsoft Trick!

That’s right, with the latest “Security” patch to the .Net framework, Windows secretly installs an extension in Firefox. Worse yet they disable the uninstall button so you cannot remove it (at least not without hacking the registry, which could be dangerous if you mess it up). The new extension opens up vulnerabilities that were not previously there and allows easy access for new (and unwanted) software to be installed on your machine!

Here’s a link to read up the details: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/05/microsoft_update_quietly_insta.html
My guess is Microsoft is secretly trying to sabbotage Firefox and make it equally or perhaps more vulnerable to security threats as Internet Explorer, but I have no proof, yet. 😉

Looks like this is a great time to consider trying Ubuntu!

I’ll put up a guide soon for how to remove this headache of a stealthy trojan extension when I next boot into Windows (no promise on how soon that will be).

Better late than never…

Well I know I promised this a while ago, but I finally had time to complete the tutorial for installing the Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix. You can check out the guide here: http://alexsantidote.com/ubuntu/install-ubuntu-904-netbook-remix-dual-boot/

Let me know how it went for you in the comments here!

If you have any questions or run into any problems let me know, I’d be happy to help.