Category Archives: Geek Projects

Geek Project: Save A Friend’s Computer!

So, you would NEVER get a massive virus, or trojan, infection, but your clueless friend would! So, be the hero! Clean their PC once it has been eaten!

Here are the things that you need: – Combofix

Kaspersky TDSSKiller

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

You will probably want to boot into Safe Mode before installing and running these tools, but by doing all these, chances are very good that you WILL save the day… unless you have a trojan that has written a “re-infecter” into the boot record of your hard drive in a hidden partition, then… sigh. Just go ahead and do a deep hard drive wipe and re-format, and re-install, Windows.

Of course, ALL this assumes Windows, because if they were running Linux… well, you wouldn’t HAVE to rescue them!

If you DO need to do a complete drive format and wipe, use Active KillDisk, available here:

Geek Project: Make Your Ubuntu System Look Like a Mac!

MacbuntuHere’s a cool project if you use Ubuntu and have always wanted a Mac look and feel!


“Mac OS X Transformation Pack. Macbuntu is an open-source program, designed to transform Linux’s appearance and layout into a Mac OS X environment. Although Macbuntu is dedicated to Ubuntu Linux OS, it could be used in other OS based on Debian/GTK.


  • Attention: Script significantly changes the desktop
  • Attention: Not compatible with Ubuntu Netbook Edition
  • Attention: The Global Menu does not current work correctly for all applications. This is a known issue.
  • Paw-OSX and Paw-Ubuntu Plymouth themes
  • Macbuntu sound theme
  • Macbuntu GTK theme based on GTK Leopard
  • Macbuntu-Icons based on Mac4Lin and Faenza Icons
  • Macbuntu-Cursors based on Shere Khan X
  • Mac OS X backgrounds and fonts
  • Compiz Extras, Global Menu, Docky, Ubuntu-Tweak
  • Preconf for login screen, metacity, compiz, window theme, backgrounds, cursors, icons, docky and top panel”

Experimenting with HTML5 and WebM Video Format

Interesting! I read an article in Streaming Media magazine about methods of transcoding video to WebM format. Two seemed interesting, both free, one was Miro’s Video Converter:

The other was nice in that besides being free, it also allowed a lot more granular control of the transcoding process. It is a Firefox Plug-in called “FireFogg“:

It requires Firefox 3.5 or later. I tried it on my last Netcast video file, and the results were pretty impressive, here’s the HTML5 code used to stream it once the file was transcoded to WebM format:


<video controls width=”640″ height=”420″>
<source src=”DrBillTV021911V-176.webm”>
Your browser does not support the video tag.


View it at this link: Dr. Bill.TV Netcast #176

Also, try this… “click” along the timeline that appears as you “float” your mouse over it. Notice that you can “jump around” in the streamed video timeline to “pick up” anywhere along the timeline. Pretty nice! There are “high end” video streaming software that allows this, but this is VERY simple and totally free!

Pretty cool! Of course, you’ll have to use either Firefox or Chrome, or another browser that supports HTML5 to view it. For now, IE is right out! However, this may, indeed, be the future of webcasting! It sure is simple!

It was a fun Geek Project! Try it yourself if you have a need to!

“Installing Ubuntu – Netbook Edition 10.10” A Special Edition of the Dr. Bill Netcast #160!


Dr. Bill Netcast – 160 – (10/23/10)

A SPECIAL EDITION Netcast showing how to install Ubuntu – Netbook Edition 10.10! Dr. Bill uses VMware Workstation 7.1 to allow us to install Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition – and uses BB Flashback Express to record the process for the Netcast. BE SURE TO STAY TUNED for our REGULAR Netcast, which will be released tomorrow! (LATE ADDDITION: Due to scheduling issues over the weekend…. looks like it will be Monday evening before I can get the next (regular) show out… but, hey, only late by a day!)

Links that pertain to this Geek Project:

Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition

VMware Workstation 7.1

BB Flashback Express

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio
 Download M4V

 Download WebM
Streaming MP3 Audio
 Download MP3
Streaming Ogg Audio
 Download Ogg

Geek Project: Using the JW Player for the Dr. Bill Show!

JW PlayerI have highlighted the awesome JW Player for flash as a “Geek Software of the Week” before, and it rocks! But, with the re-launch of the “Dr. Bill – The Computer Curmudgeon” show, I decided to “go all out” and purchase a full copy of the player from Longtail Video (Jeroen “JW” Wijering’s brainchild) and go for it! I had used the “freebie” player before, and was very impressed, but, since one day, if the stars align, I hope to make a little spending money from the show (we can only hope!) … legally (and you guys know, the Doctor is all about the legal!) I had to purchase the full version.

I must say, it rocks! Since I am using WordPress to power the web site (on my server) and since I am using Viper’s Video Quicktags plugin for WordPress, it was a simple matter to download the full player after my purchase, and replace the files (after renaming the old ones) in the correct sub-directory. In this case:


Replace the two files:

player.swf and yt.swf

with the ones from the paid-for full version of the JW Player. Then, go into the WordPress Plugin control panel for Viper’s Video Quicktags and add your cool options, to the line:

Advanced Parameters” (at the bottom of the control panel screen)

Add this string (with your appropriate information, of course) in this format:

And, bazinga! You have the cool feature of briefly flashing your own logo, rather than the JW Player logo! Of course, the new latest version of the JW Player does much more than this… in fact, it now supports Flash, HTML5, and many, many other formats! By the way, you can create your own transparent logo, by using The GIMP, setting your background to “transparency” then saving in as a PNG file (Portable Network Graphic). PNG is an open source image format that supports transparency, so I use it for everything! And, it is quite compact! Here are some neat links used in this project:

The JW Player from Longtail Video
The GIMP for Windows
Viper’s Video Quicktags
Information on the PNG Image Format

Geek Project: Flash Video Streaming!

If you have ever looked into adding flash video streaming to your own web site, you know that it can be an expensive proposition! Streaming Video Server software can run as high as $1000.00 per server! I figured that there HAD to be a cheaper, or Open Source, solution. Surely SOMEBODY had come up with a way. Well, they did. It is called PHP Flash Streaming. PHP, of course, is a server side scripting language that is free (Open Source) and works well with either Apache, or Internet Information Server. PHP Streaming is great, and, best of all, it is FREE! I like free, it is in my price range.

For an actual example of PHP Video Streaming of my Spirit of Faith Netcast, click HERE. Notice, when you do, that you can click on the Flash Player’s “time line” at the bottom of the player at any point, and the video will “pick up” at that point immediately. Very cool!

So, how does it work? Well, the “trick” is that there is a tool that can inject metadata into the FLV flash video file that works like a “time mark” for video frames within the file. Then, the PHP code “dribbles out” the video while “keeping up” with the location of the frame “markers” in the file as it does. Neat, huh? So, what you have to do is download the free flvmdi tool to “tag” your FLV file with these internal metatags… that is available here:

Also, there is a GUI for this package as well (flvmdi is a command line tool for Windows.) The GUI for flvmdi is available at the same web site as above.

Just download and follow the instructions for encoding! Here’s a shot of my settings in the GUI:

flvmdi gui

Then, set up your web page. Download the “” Zip file of the code, available here:

Then, read the ReadMe.1st file, and look at my “netcast.html” code for an example for your site. (You can change the HTML to your taste, as I did.) Just be sure that all the accompanying “support files” are in the same directory as the “netcast.html” file. Obviously, the more bandwidth that you can throw at your web site is good! Good luck with that!

Thanks to the FlashComGuru for his article:

So, look over the examples, read the “ReadMe.1st” files in a text editor, and happy Flash Video Streaming!

Geek Project: Run Linux Apps on Windows!

You read that right! Run Linux applications on Windows! How cool is that?!

Seamlessly Run Linux Apps on Your Windows Desktop

“There’s no doubt that Linux—particularly Ubuntu—is a killer operating system full of excellent apps, but for about a million reasons, you’re stuck running Windows as your main operating system. We understand, these things happen. But what about all those killer Linux apps you’ve left behind when you decided to live the Windows life? Sure you could dual-boot or run Linux in the confines of a virtual machine window, but wouldn’t it be great if you could run those apps side-by-side with your Windows apps—like Linux users can do with WINE or OS X can do with Parallels or VMWare? You can, and today I’ll show you how to seamlessly run your favorite Linux applications directly in Windows with a free software called andLinux.”

Check out the article link above for instructions on getting and using andLinux and do it as a Geek Project! Rock on!

andLinux Web Site

andLinux uses the coLinux Project code to operate: “Cooperative Linux is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively. More generally, Cooperative Linux (short-named coLinux) is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine. For instance, it allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP, without using a commercial PC virtualization software such as VMware, in a way which is much more optimal than using any general purpose PC virtualization software.”

coLinux Web Site

Geek Project: How to Drastically Limit Spam on phpBB Forums

phpBBSo, you run a phpBB forum… and you spend most of your time deleting spam, deleting bogus new forum members… and you are about to just give up and close the sucker down! WAIT! Try these steps first! It could drastically reduce the spam that you have to clean up! And THAT would be worthwhile! I sure do hate what spammers do to both e-mail and on-line communities… there outta be a law!

(Below info from the phpBB Anti-Spam Project)

1) Use spam blocking IP blacklists. Where do you get them? Check the link below:

The phpBB Anti Spam Project

2) Enable your forums Captcha -Turn on your captcha in your ACP, most bots work around this, but it may help eliminate a small percentage of older bots. “Bots” are spammer scanning software robots that spammers set up to spam sites.

3) Enable “Account Activation” (via the users email) – Using the Admin activation may eliminate spam however in the end it will be just as much work as deleting spam and your forums activity will most likely suffer as most users sign up because they wish to immediately and impulsively reply to something they’ve read… If you enable their account manually at a later time, they may not return.

4) Hide from spammers – Make it harder for spammers to find you, without sacrificing surfers being able to find you:

A. Do not use /phpBB2/ as a forum location. – If your boards address is move your board to another address such as – This takes less than 30 seconds to do (with the exception of changing links on any HTML pages and emailing your members about the change.
B. Remove phpBB text – Remove the “Powered by phpBB 2.0.21 © 2001 phpBB Group” and replace it with an image of the text (so that spammer scanning software passes do not pick up on the “phpbb”)
C. Use Robots.txt to block spammer scanning software from indexing non vital areas of your forum. If your forum url is create a text file and place the following in it (substituting widgets with the forums location, name it robots.txt and upload it to )

Other mods you can implement:

1) IP logged upon Registration – good for banning memberlist spammers who do not post, but continually rejoin (A recent study at the phpBB Anti-Spam site illustrated that 53.3% of signups were memberlist spam and that 60% of those that posted used a different ip address to post than what they used to sign up.)
A. URL Censor – good for censoring bad spam urls in posts, memberlist web addresses, signatures, etc.
B. AutoDelete Non-Activated Users – good for removing memberlist spammers who do not confirm
C. AntiSpam Question (easy to install and modify). We’ve made this mod more successful based on other antispam mods.. I would recommend that you change the default question “What color is a lemon?” and the answer “yellow” to something that requires thought. Using the default question and answer will not be as effective as more people use this mod. Better yet, if your forum is a regional forum change it to something users in your country or region would know the answer to, but foreigners most likely would not. If a spammer does figure out the answer and shares it with other spammers, simply changing the question 1-2 times will more than likely discourage them from wasting their time in the future.
D. either one of these:
* Deter Comment Spam adds a rel-nofollow tag to all urls so SE’s do not pick them up. This also includes an add-on mod separately that will allow you to configure it to make exceptions for allowed urls (this add-on is not needed). This is not a bot or spammer deterrent as spambots won’t know about this, however it prevents spammers from ruining your sites Google PR and eliminates the benefit of giving them SE link popularity, however they still can get surfer traffic. The downside is that good members will not have the benefit “spammer scanning software-wise” of posting their urls. If this is an issue, the next mod may be a better alternative.
* There is another mod out there that will restrict new users from posting urls until they have reached X posts and have been a member for X days. (This creates more work for spammer, most won’t go through the trouble. However this mod can be a forum killer as many new members may also become frustrated.)

You will be surprised how much following the above steps will reduce your forum spam content! And, I still say that spammers should be first up against the wall when the revolution comes!

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