Maggie and the Ferocious Beast

FamilySearch Indexing on a Chromebook over a Tethered Android Internet Connection

You may have read about how I feel about the Chromebooks (reviews here and here) and installing Ubuntu (via Crouton) on them. I got FamilySearch Indexing working on chromebooks by installing Ubuntu and the Java Development Kit (JDK) and putting in a softlink in the .FamilySearchIndexing folder to point to the correct Java runtime (JRE).

Now I got another task. I moved recently and do not have a good reliable internet service available (I refuse to pay for satellite or cell company high priced low bandwidth and metered usage!), so I do have internet on my cell phone (a Motorola X from It runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat and with an app called Proxoid you can basically set up your browser on your computer to use a proxy on your phone via the USB cable connected to your phone. It’s a free app, and easy enough to set up on Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux (they also do Mac which I don’t have at the moment). Basically you install the latest Android SDK. Make sure you get the platform-tools to get the “adb” command. It hopefully installs the driver for your phone (mine got recognized immediately) and you put your phone in Development/USB Debugging mode. Connect your phone to computer via USB cable. Run “adb devices” (your phone should show up, if not then you probably don’t have the driver). Next run “adb forward tcp:8080 tcp:8080″ to forward your localhost:8080 port to the phone. Configure your browser to use proxy for http and https and you are good to surf net using phone’s internet connection.

Once I got that working, I wanted of course to do FamilySearch Indexing through the proxy! I did a Google search and found this. It tells you to create a file and put in your proxy variables (server, port) and shazam – it works! At first I tried in Linux just setting http_proxy and https_proxy variables and launching indexing from the terminal. No dice, login failed, server unreachable. I then looked at Java network settings, set the proxy there. Fail. Then I searched the great Googly Moogly

Hopefully someone else finds use for it too. Drop me a comment if you do!

Ubuntu on MacBook Air

Ubuntu on MacBook Air

I thought this was an interesting post that I would share: Ubuntu on 2013 MacBook Air

It talks about running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on the 2013 MacBook Air. Wifi works, graphics work, etc. Awesome. It also has some performance metrics.

My kids have all used Ubuntu on various desktops and laptops. They are quite used to it. When the Windows hard drive fails due to “oldness” or I get tired of having to update the antivirus/malware/anti-spamware junk, I get a new hard drive and install Ubuntu. I then set up user accounts and off they go. Well, almost as easy as that. I usually have had to install Java and Flash (which has in most cases been replaced by HTML5).