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Modern Software Development on Low-end Computers 
If you have an older computer - or a computer sporting a smaller amount of memory / hard drive - you need to know about Lubuntu.

Tiny Brains


While there are several flavors of Linux that will yet work on smaller footprints, those wanting to use modern incarnations of C/C++, Python, Java, PHP, and other technologies would also like to have the latest software development tools.

Yet while always possible for the do-it-yourselfer on just about any Linux 'Distro, even those unafraid of long DIY efforts prefer avoiding such safaris...


Did I mention that I also wanted to use a 32 bit computer?

Mac Mini Support


My A1176 (i5 Core Solo) came with 512MB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive.



While I had RAM that I could pull from other devices in-the-closet, I did not mind waiting for the upgrade to arrive from China.

'Bagging the requisite 2x1GB DDR2 upgrade on eBay for under $4.oo for the pair (free shipping, of course ;), the game is now afoot.

Ubunti?


Whilst waiting on that slow-boat to arrive from China, I went looking for a silver bullet OS for my Mac Mini. We originally opted for Ubuntu 10.10.

No longer readily supported for those modern editions of R&D tools however, we resisted the temptation to go "big-game" hunting to instead set our sights on Lubuntu 14.04.

We are presently stalking 14.04.05. Will let you know how it works out!

p.s. If you are looking for a great 'IoT' (lol) server to use for posting content to 'Twitter & elsewhere, discover - at the time of this new-year's undertaking - that one can score an old Mac Mini on eBay for under $50.

While still 32 bits, a T7600 Processor (i5 Dual Core) upgrade for all Intel Mac Minis is under $20.oo.

Once explored, discover also that maxed-out versions of a Mac Mini - which are completely capable of using Ubuntu 17.x - can be proudly brought-down & operationally enthroned in your trophy-case for under $60!

PROJECT UPDATE:

16 days latter, the RAM arrived. With the assistance of some oversized putty knives, the update was relatively (read: 'for an Apple device' ;-) easy to do.

(1) After removing the cover, the most difficult thing was to disconnect that tiny 2-wire power cable to the main board... I could easily see how people might make the mistake of doing that incorrectly. (i.e. It is a socketed, plastic pair. The top of the connector connects to a plastic base, NOT staking pins, so BE SURE TO wiggle it apart, do NOT attempt to pry it off of the mother board!)

(2) Next, the antenna also fell off of the Airport card whilst pulling-apart that 'mobo, but - unlike the power connector (!) - the antenna was easy to replace. (i.e. While I thought the copper snapped-off something, after staring at it in disbelief for a few, it was just a funky, socketed, connector. -Was easy to push the antenna back on the Airport card once the cerebral-shock wore off. (lol))



(3) As fate would have it, version 17.10.1 of Lubuntu was also waiting for us in the wings... Can you say 'Booya?

Happy Apple-Hacking!

-Randall








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Backing Up Files Across Multiple Devices 
There you have them - sitting in a box. --From lots of CDs / DVDs, to far too many USB sticks to contemplate.

Rather than sitting there - waiting for us to toss them out - wouldn't it be nice if we could use them to backup our 'stuff?

Backup Splits


Much like in the days when we had lots of drive-tapes, the challenge is to split a `too-big` collection of files, across a `too-small` series of media. A problem almost as old as computing itself, fortunately all POSIX systems come with a program called `tar`!

sudo mkdir /d_backup 2> /dev/null
sudo chmod 777 /d_backup
cp $0 /d_backup
cd /d_backup
name=`date +d_drive_%Y_%j.tar`
echo Creating $name from $0
tar -cf ./$name /d_drive/
split -d -b 4480m ./$name

In the above, my task is to routinely back-up /d_drive into a folder named /d_backup. Once created, I want to split a julian-dated backup file into 4GB slices, from there to manually burn them out to a 2nd generation DVD drive. (*)

Splits Restored


To restore the files, all we need do is to (1) undo the `split,` by copying (2) all of the media-content to the hard drive, then (3) un-tar the concatenation:

cat * > d_drive.tar
tar xvf d_drive.tar

(*) Note that while the above `split` uses 4480 for the splits, that one should adjust the size to match the least-common size-denominator for any and all external media.



Sharing is caring!


-Rn



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Downgrading Java on Ubuntu 16.x 
Just a quick note to let everyone know that - after installing LTS 16.04 (so far a very pleasant & stable release - recommended!) that I discovered that the default JDK ("9 internal") does not work.

java -version
openjdk version "9-internal"

--The failures are so bad, that the kernel actually dumps core!



(Forgive the imp, yet note the bug -Halloween is around the corner!)

Sadly, removing the "9 internal" by conventional means results in only a partial removal... very nasty. What will work however, is to remove everything via a hand-grenade:

sudo apt remove --purge "^openjdk.*"

Followed by a dependency purge:
sudo apt-get autoremove

Then re-install a version that actually works:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jre

Ultimately, once we have what we need installed, don't forget to associate that new JRE by right-clicking on a .jar file, so as to:



In addition to those old 'ol reliable versions of Oracle (I like to test under many JVM's), here is the OpenJDK that worked for me on LTS 16.04.1:
openjdk version "1.8.0_91"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_91-8u91-b14-3ubuntu1~16.04.1-b14)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.91-b14, mixed mode)


Sharing is caring!


-Rn


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