Monthly Archives: January 2013

Book Review: The Satanic Verses

With the release of Joseph Anton there was some attention around Salman Rushdie – the author who was sentenced to death by Iran for writing The Satanic Verses. Well, I decided it was time to get my own opinion and ordered a paperback The Satanic Verses (hard to find in stores).

I really had no idea what I was about to read – except that fundamental muslims were upset about the work.

It is a thick book. First pages are very… poetic, tricky to read. Then it is a more normal book. The Satanic Verses is funny and entertaining, very well written, and very enjoyable without much knowledge about Islam (perhaps more so, since some muslimes are obviously not entertained). It is full of references and symbols (religious, historical, cultural) and it does not hurt to google and read on wikipedia.

And, with limited knowledge about islam, I do not really understand what the problem is. Mr Rushdie said he expected some people to be a little provoked by it, but he was completely surprised with the death sentence – so am I.

If you like reading, but think The Satanic Verses is not for you, give it a try!

Modify BrowserLinux

BrowserLinux is a little nice live Linux system for CD/USB. It is based on PuppyLinux and what is written here might apply also to PuppyLinux.

I found a need to remaster BrowerLinux, that is, to make my own modified ISO, where I had made changes like:

  • Network settings – remember my networks
  • Start page and bookmarks
  • Disable screensaver
  • Graphic settings

As long as you are fine using a USB-memory you can just use BrowserLinux and it will remember your changes for next time. However, if you want your changes onto a CD it is another story. This is what you do.

First use BrowserLinux on USB to make all your settings and preferences.

Next (not using BrowerLinux):

  1. Copy the contents of the original BrowserLinux CD/ISO into a folder (newbl)
  2. Copy the file lupusave.2fs from your USB to newbl folder
  3. Perhaps you want to edit isolinux.cfg (and possibly boot.msg)

Finally (still not using BrowserLinux) create your ISO:

  $ mkisofs -o newbl.iso -J -b isolinux.bin -c -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table newbl  

and burn newbl.iso however you want. You run mkisofs in Windows or OS X on your own risk – I use Linux for such things.

Note: there is probably a real way, where you modify lupu-510.sfs instead. It is up to you if my way is good enough for you.

A few suggestions
I found pages on the internet where ‘-l’ was used instead of ‘-J’ when running mkisofs. For me, that renamed the file lupu-510.sfs to lupu_510.sfs (the file on the ISO/CD got the wrong name). It gave the nasty error:

Searching for puppy files in computer disk drives..."lupu-510.sfs not found. Dropping out to initial-ramdisk console...
/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off

If you have any problems saving your state (that is lupusave.2fs), or starting the system after you have saved the state, you probably have too little space (that happened to me). First when you are allowed to choose size of your save file, pick something big. I first used something too small, then raised to 128MB, which works but has caused me problems later. Of course, your lupusave.2fs has to fit on a CD/DVD and your USB-memory. But dont be too miserable.

Firefox can create caches and other files that take up lots of space, that you dont want on your USB or CD/DVD. Before closing/saving to USB, have a look in /root/.mozilla (if I remember correctly) and clean up.

This site defaced

This site was defaced on Saturday, January 5. WordPress was up to date. Perhaps during the next few days I can find out how the attack happened. Nobody really wanted to destroy anything and now I am back online – let’s see for how long.

The skilled hackers were Egyptian Shell Team. They want freedom and independence for Palestine and seek the destruction of Israel. So it was quite logical and brave of them to deface my site. In the end, it is all about being part of the problem, or being part of the solution, right?

Take care!