Automating Ubuntu Installs Via WDS + Active Directory Authentication

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If you don’t already know, I work at a small Racine County school district in Wisconsin as the sole IT sysadmin. I started there about a year ago, and ever since I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my job easier while providing the necessary equipment to students and staff. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed is students rarely use Windows for anything other than accessing Google Apps via Chrome (and games, but that’s a story for another time). I started thinking to myself how we might be able to better utilize our existing hardware without spending a dime, and that’s when I came up with the idea to install Ubuntu on a limited number of machines. If you want to read on how I think that things like Ubuntu can get students more interested in technology, I’ve created a separate post here. Continue reading Automating Ubuntu Installs Via WDS + Active Directory Authentication

Remove Ads on Kindle Touch

Hey everybody! Recently I had the opportunity of poking around a friend’s Kindle Touch to see if I could disable the ads on the “Special Offers” version. And I’m glad to say it was a success, and it’s not that hard if you know your way around a Unix shell. EDIT: This no longer works for the newer Kindle Touch updates! Therefore, I am not allowing comments as I was being bombarded with the same question. Continue reading Remove Ads on Kindle Touch

Take Screenie, Upload to Dropbox

I made this little AppleScript today which I’ve personally found to be very useful. On my Mac I have it so the script is activated by BetterTouchTool when I do a 5 finger tap. It will take a screenshot of a specific area, upload it to Dropbox, and copy a convenient link to your clipboard. So here it is for your enjoyment:

set filename to do shell script "date '+date-%Y-%m-%d-time-%H-%M-%S'"
do shell script "screencapture -i ~/Dropbox/Public/Screenshots/" & filename & ".png"
set dropboxurl to "[dropbox id]/Screenshots/" & filename & ".png"
set tinyURL to (do shell script "curl --stderr /dev/null "" & dropboxurl & """)
tell application "Finder" to set the clipboard to tinyURL

If you want to use this you have to replace [dropbox id] with your Dropbox ID number. You can usually get this from any link to a shared file, for example my ID of 3759922 can be found in the url

EDIT: @joshbetz came up with a better solution for this tutorial. Go check it out!