10. June 2017 · Comments Off on How to upgrade your system BIOS using FreeDOS · Categories: Articles, Open Source Software, Tips and Tricks

This article is now available here, on this site.

I recently upgraded a couple older computers with new processors that were faster and had more CPUs than the previous ones. I discovered that it was necessary to upgrade the motherboard BIOS before the new Intel processors would work. I don’t use or even have Windows so any upgrade procedures using that was a no-go from the start. Nor do I have an old version of DOS. I also wanted to perform this BIOS upgrade using open source software.

Google helped me find my answer. I used FreeDOS to upgrade my system BIOS. Read about it here on Opensource.com.

27. May 2017 · Comments Off on Introduction to the Linux EXT4 Filesystem · Categories: Articles, EXT Filesystem, Linux

This article is now available here, on this site.

The EXT filesystem has been the default filesystem for many Linux distributions for many years. EXT2 was the first filesystem I encountered when I first started with Linux 20 years ago. It is robust and works well in almost every mainstream application environment. The EXT4 filesystem is the latest incarnation of this line of filesystems and brings even more speed and reliability to the table.

My latest article at Opensource.com is an Introduction to the Linux EXT4 filesystem. It covers the history of Minix, the EXT predecessor, as well as the evolution of EXT to where it is today.

28. April 2017 · Comments Off on Testing hardware for Linux compatibility using a Live USB stick · Categories: Articles, Linux, Tips and Tricks

Ever go into a store that sells computers and try to pick out a computer that will work with Linux? Short of reading a review that mentions Linux compatibility or finding a compatibility list – most of which are completely out of date – there is little real information out there on hardware compatibility with Linux.

That is not to say that compatibility is a major problem these days because it certainly is not. Most computers will work just fine with Linux, but there are some bits of hardware that may still cause problems. Laptops tend to be more proprietary than desktop workstations, so testing them before you purchase is more of a necessity because they tend to use less compatible devices.

My latest article on Opensource.com is about Testing Linux hardware compatibility with USB sticks. It shows you one method for creating a bootable Live USB stick that you can use to test computers in a retail store. My article gives you my experiences along with those of another intrepid tester here in Raleigh, NC, and some tips for in-store testing.


07. April 2017 · Comments Off on My second article in the DNS series on Opensource.com – Build your own DNS name server on Linux · Categories: Articles, Linux

My latest article Build your own DNS name server on Linux, has been posted on Opensource.com. This is the second article in my series on DNS name services.

Published yesterday, April 6, Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS), talks about how name services work on both the client and server side, and lists some of the more common DNS records and their uses.

You may also be interested in some of my other articles about networking. The following list of articles are posted here, and may also be posted on Opensource.com.

The following articles are currently posted only on Opensource.com as of April 7, 2017.

04. August 2009 · Comments Off on Warning about Lexmark Printers and Linux · Categories: Articles, Information

If you are considering using Linux at any time in the near future, you should definitely not purchase a Lexmark printer of any kind. The company does not support Linux in any way and there are no working drivers of any kind available for most Lexmark printers.

I use Brother and HP for my printing needs and they work quite well. Even the HP All-in-one printers work very well. Xerox printers are also well supported and I have a large network attached Xerox copier/fax/printer working at one of my customers.

That is not to say you won’t have to do some fussing to get even some supported printers to print, but most Lexmark printers will never print under Linux.

08. December 2008 · Comments Off on Complete Kickstart Article Makes Top 10 List · Categories: Articles

This article that I co-authored with Bruce Garland, a colleague at Cisco Systems, made #9 in the Linux Magazine Top Ten Best System Administration Articles list for 2008.


An article I co-authored with Bruce Garland, a co-worker at Cisco Systems, has been published in the June 2008 hardcopy issue of Linux Magazine. The article has just (August 2008) been put up on the Linux Magazine web site at:


Here also is a link to the article on this DataBook® web site Complete Kickstart.