Free Video Conferencing with appear.in

If you have been keeping up with my blog you will know that I am a Linux user. Being a Linux user you are, at times, left behind on really cool and exciting software. It’s just a hard fact that most companies do not consider developing software for Linux and focus more on Windows and Mac. It’s actually really annoying. However, it doesn’t hinder me from being productive and getting things done.

One of the tools out there that I have found lacking and with good support is video conferencing with screen sharing. Products like WebEx, Join.me, GoToMeeting, and Skype just don’t have great support for Linux. I’ve used Teamviewer, Hangouts and Jitsi and all are pretty decent for Linux but have their flaws. Recently, I came across a really good tool called appear.in. You can visit and create your own free room by visiting here:

appear_in

And one of the coolest features of this free service is that they have a mobile app for Android and iOS for those on the go.

I’ve tested it out a little, both the desktop and mobile app for Android, with a co-worker using video conferencing and screen sharing, both worked really well, even on Linux (Fedora 24 with Google Chrome).

One of these days when I get some extra time (we have a 8 month old in the house keeping us pretty busy) I may try to schedule a video conference with a few people to see how well it holds up with a large group.

Captain Picard is a jerk

I was watching a little bit of Star Trek: The Next Generation ‘Galaxy’s Child’ last night when I noticed this look Riker gave Picard after he accidentally killed the unknown entity. I’ve seen this episode tons and never really noticed until now this nasty look Riker gave Picard. It’s priceless.

jerk

Updates

It’s been a while since I have posted to this blog. There have been a few changes in my life.

First, I received my Linux+/LPIC-1 certification in June of 2015:

lpic-1_cert

And my Red Hat Certified System Administrator certification in September of 2016:

rhcsa_rhel7_badge

Second, my wife and I had a baby girl last March.

Needless to say, my life has been a whirlwind for the past year or so.

Going forward I may try to post more here. I’ve been on a mission recently to learn and improve my shell scripting skills. As I find helpful scripts and, hopefully, create some of my own I will try to post them here. It is my hopes to try to learn Python. Perhaps when that time comes I’ll start posting Python scripts here too.

X2Go For Remote Linux

I listen to a couple of podcast that center around the discussion of Linux over at Jupiter Broadcasting. Recently on episode #71 of the Linux Unplugged show in their post-show they discussed X2Go, a technology similar to NoMachine. This discussion was very intriguing to me because I had been searching for a thin client type of access to a Linux machine, especially at work when working from a Windows machine when I need to work on a Linux machine. This motivated me to do some research and attempt to setup my own access to a Linux machine using X2Go. This is what I setup for myself. But keep in mind that this may not be the correct way to setup an X2Go server, this is just what worked for me.

I already had an account and a cloud server with DigitalOcean so I deployed an Ubuntu 14.04 Server and setup everything this way:

1. For Ubuntu 14.04, install repositories:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:x2go/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install x2goserver x2goserver-xsession

http://wiki.x2go.org/doku.php/doc:installation:x2goserver

2. Install preferred Desktop Environment on the server. For Ubuntu Server 14.04, here are the steps for Mate:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-extras

http://wiki.x2go.org/doku.php/doc:de-compat

3. Install the X2Go client on your local computer:

http://wiki.x2go.org/doku.php/doc:installation:x2goclient

4. Create the session information for your connection within the X2Go client.
5. Connect.

This is a screenshot of my connection from Windows 7 to the remote server:

x2go

If I need to, I can configure the session to go full screen. I created a couple of shell scripts on my desktop to change the resolution depending on if I am connecting from my laptop or from my laptop with a external monitor connected with a different resolution.

Here is a screenshot at full screen:

x2gofull

VMware Certified

It’s been a while since the last time I posted and it looks a if I am posting here mainly to brag.

A little late, but I wanted to post that I took the VCP510 exam last month and finally passed it. I state finally because this was the second attempt at the exam. It was a difficult exam for me but now I am proud to say that I am a VCP5-DCV, VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization.

VCP5DCV

For those that find this post studying for the exam, these are the tools I used to help me study:

1. The guys over at LabGuides put together some really good guides and resources to help anyone setup a nested lab. Use this site and their resources, setup a nested lab and practice, practice, practice. There’s nothing like hands-on experience to help you gain the knowledge needed to work in the field and also to help you with studying for the exam. You can find their site here:

http://www.labguides.com/

2. VMware’s own VCP5-DCV Exam Blueprint was full of valuable information that helped me study for the exam. I had originally purchased a book titled VCP5 VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 Study Guide by Brian Atkinson and used it to study for my first attempt at the exam but it wasn’t enough. However, it is still a good book to use as reference material during your studying and really useful when working in a lab environment. But to really study and get fully prepared for the exam, I can’t recommend the VCP5-DCV Exam Blueprint enough.

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=12457&ui=www_cert

Convert Video to Audio (mp3) in Linux Mint 14

I just came across a scenario where I needed to strip the audio out of a YouTube video file I had created in a Google Hangouts on Air recorded last night for The Unique Geek podcast. I found this post and it did exactly what I needed. Basically, I used the tool avconv via terminal but needed to install the codec necessary to convert to .mp3. The command to install the codec is this:

sudo apt-get install libavcodec-extra-53

I then used the following command to complete the conversion:

avconv -i video.mp4 -ab 192000 audio.mp3

Audio Static In Linux Mint No More

I’ve posted a couple of times that I have had audio static issues in my Linux Mint 14 install. I completely forgot to post that it was fixed thanks to the Linux Mint community over on Google Plus.

Here’s is what was posted there:

Hmm… being intermittent like it is, and not being external, it could be a timing problem. You could try editing /etc/pulse/default.pa, search for the line:
‘load-module module-udev-detect’
and edit it to:
‘load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0’
If there’s any options past “detect” then just comment the line out (so you can restore it if needed) and add the new setting below it.

You’ll have to reboot to be sure the new setting takes effect. If it’s a timer/scheduling problem that should take care of it, if the problem’s with Pulse to begin with.