IT Toolbox: Using Ubuntu and Bash commands

As a previous user of Linux and leaving my Linux based laptop back in Wales I decided I’d run Ubuntu in a virtual machine rather than go out and spend money on a CD and burn the disk image onto it.

So I downloaded Oracles VirtualBox (free!) and a copy of the latest distro of Ubuntu and installed VirtualBox and then allocated a suitable amount of memory and a virtual hard drive for the operating system to run in and ran it in the live cd mode. There is no need for me to commit to a proper install and if I needed to do that then I could use ubuntu’s own installer that makes ubuntu run as an application within windows.

Then I opened the terminal to try out some bash commands.

Various commands were used such as creating directories and deleting them.

Changing permissions is a much bigger part of Unix and Linux systems than on a Windows based system and commands can be used to change the accessibility of certain files and folders within the file system. Changing permissions of files is something I regularly had to do via an SSH server when I was accessing the iPhone file system in the earlier days of jailbreaking before the software was able to do that itself or when errors occurred due to the wrong permissions on certain files. iOS itself is a Unix based system.

I also used other commands for carrying out processes like checking network settings, ip addresses and system monitoring. The benefits of using the terminal include speed of processing and the ability to use just keyboard input to control the computer. Using a terminal to command a computer is generally more useful to experts than the average user as it requires the user to remember commands.


I wouldn’t recommend downloading 11GB in 15 days on an 02 contract.



My iPhone 4 has been giving me some trouble as of late. I’ve near enough ditched iTunes for music, it’s all about Spotify now. I have more music via Spotify than I do on iTunes and I have way more tunes available to me than I would otherwise.

I don’t think I’d ever download 11GB of music in a year on my phone without Spotify. The problem came when I unlocked my phone one day to see the Spotify icon slightly greyer and more depressing than usual. Just underneath the icon it had the word “cleaning”. This apparently means deleting all your offline playlists.

So I was faced with a problem, I was about to get on the underground and all of a sudden my playlists had been stolen from me. Luckily there was a simple solution, visit the playlist and slide the switch across for “available offline” and within 5 mins or so I would have enough songs to last me my journey on the tube without getting bored.

The only problem was, I don’t just have 30 songs, I have around 800 odd that needed to be downloaded at some point, especially if I was going to have access to all my music so when I came back overground I simply selected “available offline” for each and every playlist. This lead to angry warning text off 02 telling me that I need to cut down on my usage of data or they may take away my data.

I tried to then keep my data usage down by actually hooking my phone up to my wifi, rather than just eating up data pointlessly at home. A couple days later, after using maps for a few hours whilst getting lost in London and excessively checking twitter, 02 sent me a text simply telling me that I’ve been kicked off the internet for the rest of the month. I was furious, there was no “official amount” of data that I was told I could have. I signed up for an unlimited contract although, I then had a browse through the terms and conditions of my contract and where are there is no “fair usage” policy. There is in fact an “excessive usage policy”. Fools. If they had told me, “Hi Mr Ford, You can only use 100mb of data more this month or we’ll be cutting you off”. I’d be able to have some bearings of how much of the interwebs I could actually use and I’d stick by it and only use the internet in certain situations.

I now have a further 10 days before I can even tweet without being linked to some vile WiFi network with annoying login procedures. Doesn’t help that the University wifi network is about as an iPhone without a data connection…

Maybe I’ll just go get the iPhone 4S on a better contract with 3… soon…