Clipboard Managers for Linux and Windows

ClipboardAre you familiar with clipboards?

Before you raise you hand in confirmation (or not), allow me to clarify: I’m not talking about the old-school paper-holding kind of clipboards. I’m talking about the PC kind of clipboard.

When you Ctrl + C, Ctrl + X, or Ctrl + V (because, please tell me you don’t still Edit > Copy,Edit > Cut and Edit > Paste!) you are temporarily storing your data in what is called a clipboard.

PC clipboards allow for data to be moved across applications; you can cut/copy from one application or window, and paste in another. They’re an essential tool to handle data efficiently.

Clipboard managers allow a history of clipboard data to be saved, re-selected, and sometimes even edited.

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A Belated Introduction to Linux Systemd

Linux SystemdSystemd is a system and service manager for Linux.

It initializes and manages/maintains/tracks system services.

Systemd is the first process started by the Linux kernel during boot-up, and as such has a process id (PID) of 1.

Systemd then starts the required daemons, processes and services that are required to make the system work.

Systemd targets determine which daemons, processes and services are started, and so targets are as good a place to begin as any other.

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A Belated Introduction to Linux Runlevels

Linux RunlevelsI’ve read books and watched tutorials on the subject of Linux, that start right out with runlevels, do a good job of explaining the init feature, and manage to loose me in a state of confusion and despair.

What I did learn, very early on, was that I could use Linux and get along just fine without understanding runlevels at all, thank you very much.

At the same time, there was always a little voice at the back of my head, telling me that unless I understood what appears to be one of the most fundamental principles of the operating system that I’m trying to learn, then why I am bothering to try?

Guess what? I looked into runlevels, and on one level — pun intended — I now understand them. Now I can continue to live, with runlevels functioning quietly in the background, without giving them a second thought.

If anyone else is in the same boat as I once was, read on. You might just learn enough to be able to appreciate their quiet efficiency.

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How to Find Files and Folders on Windows 7

Search Magnifying GlassMy sister recently “lost” an entire folder that was supposed to be on her PC’s desktop.

(The fact that the folder turned out to be on her desktop after all, but had moved — and her desktop was simply too cluttered for her to be able to tell — is another story entirely.)

(We’re also not going to discuss the fact that she’s still running Windows, despite the combined efforts of myself and our Dad to convert her to — or convince her to at least try — Linux.)

Instead, what we’re focusing on here is how we found the folder, and how you can find any files or folders that have up and walked away… or (more likely) got put somewhere and you forget where.

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How to Set Up Cron Jobs on Linux

Scheduled Cron Jobs LinuxCron is a software utility that schedules jobs to be run, or automates tasks in the background.

Each job can be scheduled to run periodically (at specific intervals ranging from once every minute to once every year).

The cron utility is a great asset on a server that runs 24/7, when used to perform scheduled maintenance, etc.

On a PC, the cron utility can also be useful, but I personally think that it’s pranking potential is unparalleled.

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What You Need to Know About Passwords

Password AsterisksPasswords have long been a source of bafflement — and amusement — to me, and as often happens when confronted with a puzzle, I’ve been doing some research.

Some of it I already know: There are 26 letters in the (English) alphabet (52, if you consider case-sensitivity), 10 single-digit numbers, and approximately 32 punctuation characters on the standard English computer keyboard. That’s 94 characters all total.

Some of it requires a bit of math: Consider now a single character, that may be any one of those 94 characters, combined with another single character, that may also be any one of those 94 characters, and you even up with 8836 possible combinations of those two unknown characters.

Some of it gets a bit mind-boggling: Since a standard password is a minimum of 8 characters in length, you end up with 6,095,689,385,410,000 (that’s over 6 quadrillion) possible combinations of characters making up each 8-digit password. That’s not even taking longer passwords into consideration!

So which of those 6 quadrillion combinations of characters make the best — and worst — passwords?

And what makes a password secure — or insecure — in the first place?

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Bash Shell Scripting Part 12 – Cheat Sheet

Bash Shell Scripting Cheat Sheet PreviewThis bash shell scripting series has been intended as a comprehensive introduction to shell scripting, but is lacking many details that are essential to shell script mastery.

Continuing on, you could research topics such as STDIN, command substitution, substitution operators, pattern matching, etc.

I recommend Mastering Unix Shell Scripting and Beginning the Linux Command Line to learn more about shell scripting.

I also recommend Shell Check to help weed out any bugs (or unwanted features) in your shell scripts.

In the meantime, I threw together a little cheat sheet that includes most of the points that we have covered, as a quick-reference guide.

The cheat sheet is available exclusively to my mailing list subscribers.

Now, please excuse me while I go write a script to automate my backup process.

Bash Shell Scripting Part 11 – Functions

Bash Shell ScriptingI personally believe that there are as many ways to write a shell script as there are people writing shell scripts.

Each individual, even if they follow similar thought processes, will apply themselves to the task with various levels of knowledge, efficiency, and dedication.

One thing I think that all coders have in common, is the tendency to re-use their code — especially after they learn to write it well, and are not constantly improving it.

There is one means of re-using code that is essential to learn, as it can enable a single block of code to be called up for use multiple times within a script.

Functions — specifically user-defined functions — are the means by which blocks of code can be re-used within a script.

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Bash Shell Scripting Part 10 – Control Structures (Loops)

Bash Shell ScriptingOne of the earliest programming challenges that I was presented with was very simple: add all the numbers from one to fifty.

The problem that I had with this challenge was also very simple; I wasn’t allowed to use a calculator, or paper, or even to solve it in my head.

I was supposed to write a program that did the math for me.

At that time — I was thirteen, and seemingly clueless about logic — it seemed insurmountable. I eventually gave up.

Two years later I tried again, and that time I had a Eureka! moment when I learned about loops. Suddenly I wondered why it had ever even sounded hard. Ah, hindsight!

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