The Life of Josh

Computer Engineer, Security Consultant, and Tech Nerd.



HP Mini 1101 Audio & Ubuntu NetBook Remix

If you have an HP Mini 1101 and try loading Ubuntu Netbook Remix and are sad your audio doesn’t work because it uses ALSA 1.0.18 then just follow these easy steps in this article to move to 1.0.20 and bam… sound… listening to right now.



Happy Birthday to me

It’s my Birthday… 35 years old today.

Not much else to say. It’s a pretty good day. I got a new pair of shoes and a Google G1 phone. It’s funny that is all it takes to make me happy after 35 years.

How Google made my life easier

Since 1996 I have had on some hardware or other where I hosted the site myself. It all started in 1996 when I worked for The Internet Access Company (T.I.A.C.) in their New York City office as the network guy. I was responsible for the Points Of Presence in NY, NJ, CT, and DC. It was a fun gig and I registered my domain name to fiddle around. I remember buying a copy of Windows NT 4.0 at J&R down by my office, and installing it on my Compaq Presario desktop. I used IIS back then to run the website.

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Resetting a Brother HL1240 Printer

After the blackout of 2003 was done, a friend called me because he could not use his Brother HL1240 printer. All the LEDs were flashing and it would not print. I found this and it fixed it for him. Hope it helps someone else in the same trouble:

Resetting the printer should clear the flashing lights.

How to Perform A Factory Reset:
Turn the printer off.
Hold in the circular button on the front of the printer.
Turn the printer back on.
When the DRUM light is lit by itself let go of the button.
Hold in the circular button again.
Once the Alarm light comes on, let go of the button.
This has performed a factory reset on the printer.

If resetting the printer still does not clear the error lights, please call our toll free customer service line at 800-276-7746, Monday through Friday, 6:00am to 4:00pm, Pacific Standard Time for repair options.

Using Blogs in Information Technology

It had not occurred to me that a blog at work might be useful until the other day. I was reading in InfoWorld about CIOs and such that run blogs, and I saw that (AOL Time Warner) is giving blog space to customers in AOL 9.0. I started thinking about the RSS feeds from a blog, and how people never read emails at work, and then I thought how I liked newsgroups but people don’t use newsgroups so much any more except for spammers and techies. At work many techs are not really geeks like I would hope them to be so I have to think of ways to get non-geeks information. So I thought to myself if I make a few blogs then I could get them to use RSS newsreaders, and the news would come to them. It works really well. I have a site and off that site I have a blog for opsec and engineering right now. I might make more blogs, but those are good so far. I’ve posted some information like Ghost builds I updated and virus definition updates and such. I don’t know if it will catch on here in the office. I’m about the only really geeky person here aside from a handful of others. If it works out I’ll post more about it here. I’m curious if other engineers have used blogs to deliver news internally at all? I’m using Movable Type as my blog platform and Kung-Log to post articles. As a news reader for the non-techies they are using NetNewsWire. What are others doing?

Press Release: Apple Unleashes the World’s Fastest Personal Computer—the Power Mac G5

First 64-bit Desktop Processor; First 1 GHz Front-Side Bus

WWDC 2003, San Francisco—June 23, 2003—Apple® today unleashed the world’s fastest* personal computer—the Power Mac® G5—featuring the world’s first 64-bit desktop processor and the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus. Powered by the revolutionary PowerPC G5 processor designed by IBM and Apple, the Power Mac G5 is the first personal computer to utilize 64-bit processing technology for unprecedented memory expansion (up to 8GB) and advanced 64-bit computation, while running existing 32-bit applications natively.

Continue reading “Press Release: Apple Unleashes the World’s Fastest Personal Computer—the Power Mac G5”

Press Release: Apple Introduces iChat AV and iSight

Video Conferencing for “The Rest of Us”

WWDC 2003, San Francisco—June 23, 2003—Apple® today introduced a major breakthrough in video conferencing—the iChat™ AV software application and the iSight™ digital video camera. Together they enable high-quality video conferences between two Mac® users over any broadband connection, revolutionizing the way people communicate with business associates, colleagues in education, friends and family. iChat AV also features audio conferences even over dial-up connections to the Internet. iChat AV requires no set up or configuration beyond installing the software and plugging in any FireWire® video camera and microphone. Buddies with audio or video conferencing capability automatically show up in your buddy list, and initiating a video or audio conference is as simple as pushing one button. iChat AV is a key feature of the upcoming release of Mac® OS X version 10.3 “Panther,” and is available as a public beta today for Mac OS X version 10.2 “Jaguar.”

Continue reading “Press Release: Apple Introduces iChat AV and iSight”

iSight: The eyes and ears of iChat AV

This thing is so freaking cool. I have to get one; iSight is a state-of-the-art video camera that’s the easiest way to video conference with your colleagues, friends and family over broadband. Featuring an autofocusing autoexposure F/2.8 lens which captures high-quality pictures even in low lighting, iSight also includes a dual-element microphone in its stylish compact aluminum body.

Visit Apple’s website at to see more about it. It’s $149, but if you are a developer like I am then it is only about $112 when you use a hardware discount. Look for me on iChat AV as jlevitsk (at)

On the Gripping Hand

The Sensor Fusion Project at Ishikawa Hashimoto Laboratory has developed a high speed visual feedback system called SPE-256. It allows the robot to track fast randomly moving objects and grasp them (movies here). The applications seem endless!


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