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Episode 17 – Making a Display By Yourself

Ever want a big, digital sign in your library but didn’t want to have to pay big money to get it? Well if you have a couple old computers and a monitor, the Cyberpunk Librarian has the answer to your digital signage needs!

Notes

Getting up and running with Xibo

What you will need

A computer running Linux that will act as your server

Another computer running Windows

A monitor or flat panel HDTV for your digital displays

The Server

For my server, I ran Kubuntu and installed a LAMP stack. (LAMP is short for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.) For Ubtuntu based flavours, you can easily install LAMP via:

sudo apt-get install tasksel

sudo tasksel install lamp-server

As it installs, it will ask for a password for MySQL. Give it one and write it down. Put that password someplace safe. You won’t need it all that often, but when you need it, you need it.

Download the Xibo server

Xibo client for Windows or Linux

Installing and running

Note: To make things easier to move around, rename, copy, and store; I opened up a superuser Dolphin window. You can easily do this from the terminal (called Konsole on KDE) by typing:

sudo dolphin

I installed the Xibo server on a Kubuntu server running 14.04 LTS. After installing the LAMP stack I extracted Xibo and then copied it to the directory Ubuntu uses for web service with Apache:

/var/www/html

Rename the directory with an easier name like, you know, xibo. For the rest of these notes, I’ll assume you called your xibo directory by that name.

You’ll need to give ownership and access of the xibo directory to the web user, or the Apache user. On Ubuntu flavours this user is called www-data. So:

sudo chown www-data.www-data -R xibo

That gives the web server the permissions it needs to access and run the system. Since this is an internal web service, I didn’t make any changes to the Apache configs.

Pop into /var and create a directory called xibo there too. This will hold your images and stuff for the screens and, for security reasons, it should be outside of the web directory. Give the web user owner ship with the same command as before:

sudo chown www-data.www-data -R xibo

PHP Dependencies

Chances are, some of these checkmarks will be red X's if you run the install right away.
Chances are, some of these checkmarks will be red X’s if you run the install right away.

When you initially try to install Xibo you’ll get a screen like this and, chances are, you don’t have all the necessary PHP dependencies. May as well get them now

You’ll need the GD extension so:

sudo apt-get install php5-gd

Then go get the mcrypt extension. It’ll need some massaging to work.

sudo apt-get install php5-mcrypt

Once you get it installed, you’ll need to do a little bit of editing to make everything play nicely together. There’s an excellent explanation over on AskUbuntu on how to fix it up. Don’t worry, it’s pretty easy.

Edit php.ini to allow larger uploads. Since I was using KDE, I was using kate, the standard text editor for the system. So…

sudo kate /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

Change post_max_size and upload_max to 128 MB
Increase max_execution_time to 120 seconds

Yes! That should do it!

Open up the browser on your server and go to localhost/xibo and follow the directions to install. You’ll create an admin password for the user xibo_admin and you’ll need to create a server key to add clients into the server.

Setting up the client

If your clients are running Windows, then set up is incredibly easy – install the client and set it up. You can set up things like times to refresh, the directory to cache images, and so on.

Useful goodies and information

Xibo Server (CMS) Installation Docs
Xibo Windows Client Installation Docs
Xibo User’s Manual

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Episode 16 – Cypherpunk Librarian

Join Daniel Messer as he goes cypherpunk and talks about keeping yourself secure and private online and in the digital world.

Notes and Links

Use a VPN.

Secure Browsing

Mobile

  • ChatSecure – Secure chat with Google and XMPP (Android and iOS)
  • TextSecure – Secure SMS and MMS (Android only)
  • RedPhone – Secure calling (Android only)
  • Cryptocat – Secure group chat (iOS only)
  • Wickr – Secure chat with optional time bomb to delete after given time (Android and iOS)
  • Connec+ +or - Secure browsing for Android
  • Red Onion – TOR for iOS

As an aside, Facetime and iMessage on iOS are end-to-end encrypted.

Secure Email

Leave No Trace

  • TAILS – The Amnesiac Incognito Live System
    • Used by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.
    • Runs on a flash drive (I wear mine around my neck)
    • Completely anonymous,  as it goes around the computer’s hard drive.
    • Uses TOR
    • Encrypts your userspace

Or use a live distro of Linux without any persistent storage. You can set up a live USB of Ubuntu or many other distros of Linux. For instance, I also carry Kubuntu around my neck as a live stick.

Use Good Passwords

This is one of the most important things of all. If you’re using weak passwords, then you’re not securing anything at all. It’s the equivalent of leaving a key under your doormat.

Things You Should Be Aware Of

If you’re using software to enhance or protect your privacy, chances are you’re going to be put on a watch list.

Music

This week’s music is brought to you by Tardiss and the Free Music Archive!

 

As always, the title track is Bellydance at Ebisu by Ryo Miyashita.

Photo credit: Lorenz Schlusselzusatz – SZ40 by Pascal Terjan.

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Episode 15 – Storytime

Something a little different, a little laid back for your summertime. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a couple of stories/essays from Dan. Find out how cyberpunk is no longer futuristic, and discover the true power of sharing.

Links

So  as I mentioned in the podcast, these two essays will be part of my next book. If you have the interest, here are the other two I’ve written:

Music

Kevin Bryce – On a Spinning Disc, Dragonflies

Kevin Bryce – Slightly Randomized Trajectory

Ryo Miyashita – Bellydance at Ebisu

 

iOS-Featured

Episode 14 – What I Use – iOS

On this episode of Cyberpunk Librarian we delve into what Dan uses, and by that we mean, what he really uses when it comes to the iPad and iOS.

Links

eReading

News

Listening

Social

Watch

And finally…

Music

Bacterial Love by Rolemusic

Bellydance at Ebisu by Ryo Miyashita

High tech, low life