How To

Can the WD TV be networkable with firmware upgrade?

The WD TV can be placed on a network via an unofficial firmware upgrade available from B-RAD. The souped-up firmware apparently allows one to plug USB ethernet sticks (I’ve had one of those lying around in my desk drawer for years) into the WD TV and mounts its connected drive(s) onto the network — among other additional features.

I haven’t tried this yet. I found out about it from Tobias Schneble, a reader from Germany who emailed me after seeing my article on upgrading the WD TV to the new official firmware from WDC. Tobias tells me there’s a wiki site where detailed instructions are given.

Updated 4/5/09: I modified the post in accordance with the very helpful comment you see below, provided by the fellow who runs the B-RAD website. It turns out that hacking the WD TV to add it to a network and to enable other extra features is as easy as upgrading it with a normal firmware package. That’s great!


Book giveaway: SUSE Linux by Chris Brown

I’m giving away “SUSE Linux” by Chris Brown, a book I reviewed here at ComeAcross. It’s the first edition of the book, published in July, 2006, and it’s about 430 pages. It covers pretty much everything you’d like to know about SUSE Linux. I encourage you to read my review to see if you’re interested. Retail price is $39.99, but you’ll get it for free if you simply tell someone you know about ComeAcross and encourage them to subscribe to the ComeAcross feed.

Now that I’ve re-designed ComeAcross, you can choose to subscribe only to the feed that interests you. See this post for more details on that.

To qualify, just leave a comment on this post, letting me know you’ve told someone. If more than one person is interested in the book, I’ll hold a quick drawing and pick their name at random this following Sunday morning. I’ll announce the winner on my blog, and link to his or her site, if they’ve got one. The winner will be responsible for the shipping cost.

By the way, there’s another book giveaway going on. It’s a book on Change Management.


Condensed knowledge for 2007-05-06

Here’s the good stuff:

  • Want to watch cheese mature? A company in England wanted to show the process and time involved in making good cheese, so they installed a web cam next to aging cheddar. That hunk of cheese has now become an Internet star.
  • Escape the Meatrix! Watch this movie to find out what it is and how to join the resistance. 🙂
  • Neatorama has a great post on three animals we ate into extinction. Oh, the poor dodo bird, it never stood a chance, even if its meat was gross.
  • This toothless old man from Russia has a really elastic face (and a really long tongue as well). The video is slightly disturbing, and it begs the question, why would you want to lick your own eyes? I can see him now, scaring little kids in his village. The parents, shuddering, will tell their kids, “See, this is what happens if you don’t brush your teeth!”
  • Have you been wondering why no one reads your blog? This post may have the answer.
  • This bird, called the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, has got to be one of the funniest looking animals I’ve ever seen! 🙂
  • Oh, how I wish I were a boy once more (sans school and homework) and got “The Dangerous Book for Boys” as a birthday present!
  • A fire burned through the historic Eastern Market in DC recently. This Washington Post article has photos.
  • Ever wondered just how our sense of smell works? Well, wonder no more, because Wondermark has the answer.
  • Apparently surgeons have started to perform abdominal surgeries through the mouth (and in women, a certain other orifice)… The advantage is that there’s no external scarring, and the recovery time is much, much better. The patient can go home the same day. Still, I’m pretty grossed out by the whole thing. I would not want bits and pieces of my appendix or gall bladder or other such thing pulled through my mouth. It’s just plain weird.
  • A couple of days ago, I started my browser in the morning and saw that the logo on my Google Home page had changed to iGoogle. For a moment, I thought Google and Apple had merged, but later found out the real explanation.
  • A physician from France wrote Linux drivers for 235 web cams, particularly bargain ones made in China, with no proper drivers and no support whatsoever. And he did this all for free, unrecognized, working from his own home. That’s just plain cool!

Suse Linux by Chris Brown

Suse Linux, by Chris BrownHave you been itching to try Suse Linux but didn’t know how to get started? Okay, I confess: I know I have. I tried installing Suse once several months ago, then chickened out of using it. (Just FYI, the installation went just fine.) Not sure why, but Suse looks a little more intimidating than Ubuntu, and it isn’t. That’s why Chris Brown’s book is great, because it shows how easy it is to get going and up to speed with Suse.

Suse is one of the most popular Linux distributions available today. Novell claims “over seven thousand installations” of Suse each day, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. ‘Cause if you do, you might just miss one (it works out to one every twelve seconds.)

This book covers it all, and at a hefty 430-some pages, I do mean all. Thankfully, it’s got some great sections, so just jump to the one that interests you. I was particularly interested in section 4 (Using Linux on Your Laptop), especially in configuring wireless networking and Bluetooth devices. Section 7 (Network Services) was also pretty darn good. It covers setting up DNS, NFS, Samba, DHCP, Apache and Mail. Let’s also not forget how to provide a secure remote login with SSH, in section 8. Of course, the section most Suse beginners will definitely use is section 9, because it covers setting up dual-boot systems, and running multiple operating systems.

Let’s face it, we Linux newbies want to try Suse, but are too afraid to let go of Windows or Mac OS X. But that’s okay, this book makes it easy as pie to run both Linux and your other OS. So, what are you waiting for? Jump in, the water’s fine!