Sunday, June 24, 2012

Note Taking in Consecutive Interpreting

1. Introduction
1. 1   What is Interpreting?
Interpretation occurs during cross-cultural communication when two interlocutors do not share a language. By bridging the gap between languages, the interpreter helps speakers to discharge their duty to make themselves understood and helps listeners to satisfy their need to understand what is being said. The goal of interpretation is that a message makes the same impact on the target audience that a speaker/signer intends for an audience of her/his same language. Communication involves intention, context, form, gist, gesture, tone, relations of power, etc. The different situations where interpretation takes place make very different demands of the interpreter.
Interpretation requires superior language ability in at least two languages. It also requires the ability to accurately express information in the target language. Besides deep knowledge of both languages, it is crucial that an interpreter also understands the subject matter of the text or speech he is interpreting. Interpretation is not a matter of substituting words in one language for words in another. It is a matter of understanding the thought expressed in one language and then explaining it using the resources and cultural nuances of another language, so they can express the source text or speech so that it sounds natural in the target language. The interpreter relies mainly on the ability to get the gist of the message across to the target audience on the spot as an interpreter is expected to convey the essence of the message immediately in satisfactory paraphrase or a rough equivalent in order not to keep the audience waiting.

1.2  Modes of Interpreting
According to Hatim and Mason (1997: 36), there are three principal modes of interpreting: simultaneous, consecutive and the liaison. Those are inevitably place different demands on the interpreter
    a. Simultaneous
This mode is considered a harder mode of interpreting and involves the interpreter continuously interpreting from the source language into the target language as the source speaker is speaking.
Simultaneous interpreting is rendering an interpretation continuously at the same time someone is speaking. Simultaneous interpreting is intended to be heard only by the person receiving the interpretation and is usually accomplished by speaking in whispered tones or using equipment specially designed for the purpose in order to be as unobtrusive as possible. It is usually used in a conference or in a big seminar.
According to Seleskovitch (1978:125) in Mikkelson (1998), in simultaneous interpretation the interpreter is isolated in a booth. He speaks at the same time as the speaker and therefore has no need to memorize or jot down what is said. Moreover, the processes of analysis-comprehension and of reconstruction-expression are telescoped. The interpreter works on the message bit by bit, giving the portion he has understood while analyzing and assimilating the next idea.
Because of the short time frame and the complexity of language, a simultaneous interpreter must be quick-thinking and decide on the most likely interpretation and follow it through. To spend unnecessary time agonizing over the speaker`s phrasing could amount to losing important information in the next sentence.
According to Hatim and Mason (1997 : 45), texture comes to the fore in simultaneous interpreting. The term texture refers to various linguistic devices applied in a text with a purpose to build a flow of sense and to make a sequence of sentence operational or what are said as cohesive and coherence. In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter should react and interact from one utterance to other utterance where overlapping between various element of sequence is unavoidable. It is impossible to get the whole structure nor the context of a text in simultaneous interpreting, As an anticipating strategy, an interpreter should pay attention on the variety of cohesive devices used in the text as a reference as texture provides the interpreter with “a point of departure” that enable him to be able to follow the sequence or the flow of the text
b. Consecutive
Unlike the simultaneous interpreting where the interpreter has at least something to embark upon, the consecutive interpreter has to wait before he/she can deliver the output text. It means that it will add pressure and extra load on memory, which results that information related to texture and context become rather too detail to hold.
According to Hatim and Mason (1997: 42), consecutive interpreter, whose output comes after the source text has been delivered, tends to focus on information relevant to text structure. Effective consecutive output thus exhibits a clear outline of the way the text is structured.
Further discussion about consecutive interpreting will be presented on the next section
 c. Liaison
Liaison interpreting is a very common form of interpreting and takes place in a range of different situations ranging from very formal contexts, such as business or talks between heads of state to less formal situations such as work visits, parties or even casual conversation between people who do not share the same language.
Liaison interpreting is a facilitation work. The interpreter finds for each situation the best way to establish fluid and harmonious communication between the parties. Sensibility, perception, top-notch communication and interpersonal skills are paramount to a quality liaison, greatly contributing to the parties’ fruitful negotiation.
Liaison interpreting involves relaying what is spoken to one, between two, or among many people. This can be done after a short speech, or consecutively, sentence-by-sentence, or as a whispering; aside from notes taken at the time, no equipment is used.
The liaison interpreter has access only to a partial view of texture and structure, both of which would be unfolding piece meal in the two way exchange. In this case, context would seem to be the main resource which the interpreter draws on in the task of maintaining the continuity of the exchange. (Hatim and Mason, 1997:41)
As what has been stated in the previous section, consecutive interpretation is a mode in which the interpreter begins their interpretation of a complete message after the speaker has stopped producing the source utterance.  At the time that the interpretation is rendered the interpreter is the only person in the communication environment who is producing a message.  Good memory is a prerequisite of good interpreting. Memory in consecutive interpreting refers to the capacity for storing and retrieving information of the interpreter. Many people say that although they can understand the message the speaker is delivering, they find it difficult to commite content of the message to their memory. As a result, it is impossible for them to interpret what has no longer been retained in their mind into a different language. Then the major problem here is how to supplement the memory for consecutive interpreting. And the solution to the problem is to acquire note-taking skill. Notes can serve as an effective aid to the memory of the interpreter but they can never replace the role of memory. A basic principle for successful consecutive interpreting is that memory comes first and notes function to support it. Target language reproduction should not be based on notes only but on the combination of memory and notes.
2.1 Consecutive Interpreting As A Cognitive Process
In order to be able to interpret a text the interpreter must be able to receive and understand the incoming message and then express its meaning in the target language.  In order to accomplish this task, the interpreter must go through an overlapping series of cognitive processing activities.  These include: attending to the message, concentrating on the task at hand, remembering the message, comprehending the meaning of the message, analyzing the message for meaning, visualizing the message nonverbally, and finally reformulating the message in the target language
Seleskovitch, among others, points out that there is another practical reason for the interpreter to discard the form of the source text, there is only so much that a person can hold in their short-term memory.  As the interpreter receives the source text the information passes initially through their short-term memory.  If the interpreter does not do anything with this information it will soon disappear.  Smith (1985 : 38) notes that, “Short term memory has a very limited duration.  We can remember six or seven items only as long as we give all of our attention to them”.  If an interpreter attempts to retain the form of a source utterance their short-term memory will be quickly filled with individual lexical items, which may not even compose a full sentence.
It is because of the limitations of short-term memory that interpreters are required to drop form and concentrate on meaning.  Both Seleskovitch and Smith propose that meaningful segments of great size can be placed into long-term memory and retrieved later. Of course a chunk of information must be understood in order to be meaningful.
Due to the greater ease of assimilating larger meaningful chunks of information it force the interpreter to focus their attention on these larger chunks.  A larger chunk of text will usually contain a greater amount of meaning.  This relationship will help the interpreter to understand the source text when working consecutively
Interpreters are not charged with merely understanding the message, they must also be able to remember it, in order to deliver their interpretation.  Seleskovitch notes that dropping form aids the interpreter’s memory because they are not concentrating on remembering the words, or even the structure of the source text.  Instead, the interpreter understands the message, connects it to long-term memory, and is then able to reformulate it in much the same way the moviegoer can relate the points of a film.  To this end interpreters working consecutively will often make notes as they take in the source utterance.  These notes help the interpreter retrieve the message from their long-term memory and consist of, “symbols, arrows, and a key word here or there” (Seleskovitch, 1991 : 7).  These few notes are effective because interpreters do not produce their target texts based on the form used by the speaker but on what they understood of the meaning of the source text.  The “key words” may consist of words that will remind the interpreter of the speaker’s point, or of specific information “such as proper names, headings and certain numbers” (Seleskovitch, 1978 : 36). Taking note in consecutive interpreting will be discussed further in the next Section.
Wei HeZhong, in the article Memory Training in Interpreting views consecutive interpreting as a process consisting of two separable phases. The first phase is listening during which the interpreter listens to the sourcelanguage speech and takes notes; the second phase is reformulating, during which the interpreter reproduce a target-language speech from memory and from notes.
  1. a.      Phase One- Listening Phase:
CI = L (listening) + M (short-term memory) + N (note-taking)
In this phase, the interpreter is required to listen attentively, selectively and actively to the original speech, then the interpreter’s short-term memory is used to store the messages that have been heard to put them either in memory or in notes or both. It is easy to recognize that note-taking is an undivided part of the first phase.
  1. b.      Phase Two- Reformulation Phase:
CI = R (remember) + R (read the notes) + P (produce the speech in the target language)
In the second phase, the interpreter retrieves messages from their memory as well as from the notes, and produces the speech in the target language.
2.2. Skills Requirement  in Consecutive Interpreting
According to Jones (2002: 5-6), a consecutive interpreter “listens to the totally of a speaker’s comment, or at least a significant passage, and then reconstitutes the speech with the help of notes taking while listening; the interpreter is thus speaking consecutively to the original speaker, hence the name”. Thus, there are three main skills that have to be mastered by a good consecutive interpreter i.e. :
  1. Listening Skill
As what has been explained before, Listening Phase is the first phase to do in consecutive interpreting. Listening is an activity of paying attention to what speaker say and trying to work out what they mean. Listening requires full focus, engagement, involvement and comprehension. If comprehension is incomplete, interpreting will not be complete either, it will not be a success interpreting as comprehension of the entire meaning is the first condition of interpreting.
  1. Note Taking
According to Jones (2002 : 39), note-taking is part of the whole process of consecutive interpreting including: understanding, analysis and re-expression, and if these activities “are not done correctly, the best notes in the world will not make a good interpreter”. In this case, the interpreter may only write down individual words which are put together forming a meaningless chunk of information. And if note-taking is separated from the activity of analyzing the speech, the interpreter may be lost in the information overload. The interpreter cannot identify what are the main ideas, what are the secondary elements, and what are the connections between them in order to decide what should be noted and what should not. Inevitably the notes become nothing more than a mess, which will definitely push the interpreter in a very difficult situation later. When looking back notes, the interpreter cannot have a clear review of the speech content. And this obviously goes against one of the basic functions of notes.Note taking will be discussed further on the next Section.
  1. Speaking
The importance of this final phase of interpreting resides in the fact that it leads directly to the final product of the process, i.e. the target speech. It is this speech that reflects the outcome of the first two phases of the process and shows whether they have been carried out appropriately or not.
When producing the target text, the interpreter must display the utmost fluency as if he were expressing his own ideas naturally and spontaneously in the TL. Over and above this knowledge of TL words, expressions and formulaic transfers, the interpreter must possess textual competence in this language, he must be able to produce texts. Incomplete sentences which do not make sense, and likewise complete sentences which are totally disconnected and isolated from one another, do not serve the purpose of interpreting.
Note taking has been proved to be very useful for the interpreter working consecutively. Firstly, notes improve concentration; prevent distraction, thus facilitating the reception and analysis of the speech. Secondly, notes help the interpreter relieve the memory. Although the interpreter may have understood the ideas of a speech, he or she cannot remember every point in the speech because one characteristic of short-term memory is that it only keeps information for a limited amount of time, cognitive scientists also show that for nearly all speakers of all languages, list retention peaks at around seven items, plus or minus two. By recording the specific details and data such as proper names, numbers, figures, lists of things, or specialized terms, technical expressions, etc, notes release the interpreter from bearing the whole thing in mind. Thirdly,  notes activate the memory of the interpreter with cues or signals that call up the information in the speech. With notes, the main ideas, the secondary elements and the links among them become clear and easier for the interpreter to visualize. Finally, notes can also be used to highlight missing details, inconsistencies within the speech and anything implausible that needs attention latter. Obviously, the skill of note-taking is very helpful to interpreters, the content and structure of a speech are reflected in notes, and the notes in turn are used as a path to verbalize the speech. Thus notes play an important part in consecutive interpreting. However, taking proper notes needs a lot of practice, and the gap between the “theory of note-taking” and “actual notes” can be very large. In order to bridge the gap, first, an understanding of note-taking process is required.
According to Hanh (2006), the process of note-taking is not a simple one. In order to make notes become an aid to enhance consecutive interpreting, the interpreter must answer the three basic questions as follows: (i) what to note; (ii) how to note; and (iii) when to note.
(i)   What to note
  1. Main Idea
Notes can be considered as the  frame  outline  of the  speech  shaped  with  main  ideas  and  the links between them. It is crucial for an interpreter to have the ability to identify, select and retain important ideas and omit anything which is not relevant to the understanding of the original speech. Moreover, the interpreter can easily trace back the structure of the speech; hardly misses out important ideas; and always keeps fidelity to the original content by recording the main ideas in notes.
  1. Links Between Ideas
The links between ideas is the following thing the interpreter should consider in note taking. The relations between individual ideas influence the overall meaning of the text. Thus it is obvious that the interpreter should realize and render the such links. According to Jones in Hanh (2006), the ways in which ideas may be linked together are :
(i)                 the logical consequence which is expressed clearly with words such as consequently, as a result, accordingly or therefore;
(ii)                the logical cause which can be recognized with the words because, due to, as, or since;
(iii)              opposition which often goes with but, yet, however or nevertheless
  1. Verb Tense
According to Jones, it is also important to note down tenses of verbs. That means “when noting verbs, interpreters should thus take care to note the tense correctly, and if appropriate the mode, in particular conditional”. The modes and tenses of verbs have decisive influence on the meaning of a sentence.

 (ii). How to Note
How to note is also very important. Obviously, notes that are clearly separated and logically organized help the interpreter avoid all confusion when reading back notes. And notes using abbreviations and symbols are very helpful in activating the most information with the least effort.
  1. Abbreviation
To take notes quickly, the interpreter can use abbreviations. Additionally, abbreviations can also help the interpreter in saving time spent on other activities in the process of interpreting. In order for the interpreter to understand immediately when reading back notes, these abbreviations must be definitive and unambiguous because under time pressure the interpreter has no chance to reconsider the meaning of abbreviations.
According to Hanh (2006), there are many principles and rules for the use of abbreviations.The following suggestions about creating abbreviations are based on the truth that the fewer strokes are written; the more time can be saved.
- Write what is heard: The interpreter can write a word by recording its sound only.
For example: high- hi; know- no; free- fre; fee- fe; night- nite; etc.
- Drop medial vowels:
For example: build- bld; legal- lgl; bulletin- bltn; save- sv; budget- bjt etc.
   - Write initial and final vowels:
   For example: office- ofs; easy- ez; follow- flo; value- vlu; open- opn; etc
Abbreviation of common international organization should be remembered by the interpreter. The interpreter must have some background knowledge about it. The following are some common names in abbreviation :
World Bank                                                     WB
European Union                                              EU
Asian Development Bank                               ADB
World Trade Organization                             WTO
World Health Organization                            WHO
International Monetary Fund                        IMF
United Nations Children’s Fund                    UNICEF
North Atlantic Treaty Organization              NATO
Food and Agriculture Organization              FAO
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation              APEC

b. Symbols
A symbol is something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. Symbols are quicker and easier to write than words. Similar to abbreviations, firstly symbols need to be prepared in advance. Any symbol improvised in the middle of interpretation could drive the interpreter into a difficult and intense situation. One basic rule for the interpreter: only use the symbols which are already stuck in the mind. Secondly, symbols must be consistent. That means symbols are instantly associated for the interpreter himself with the meaning he gives them. Attending to this point, the interpreter can avoid mistakenly “deciphering” the meaning of the symbols he or she uses.
Followings are some symbol examples retrieved from electronic source at Interpreter Training Resource.

The most important of all, abbreviation must be well understood by the member of interpreter’s group.

(iii)               When to Note
An interpreter should know when to take notes.It is a very important and also tough decision that requires the interpreter to arrive at properly and wisely. Interpreters should start the notes as soon as possible without having to wait for a complete “unit of meaning”. Therefore, when the interpreter can sense the meaning of a sentence which might has not been completed, he or she should note it down. Here the interpreter has the ability to “forecast” or “feel” upcoming things. Besides the interpreter is not required to take everything exactly the same way as the speaker, his or her notes are not presented in exact order as they were said by the speaker, so there is no need for the interpreter to wait until the speaker finishes an utterance to take note. It is also worth mentioning that as soon as speakers finish their utterance(s), the interpreter should stop taking notes instantly and start reproducing ideas. If the interpreter is too preoccupied with notes, he or she will delay the interpretation, which is not wanted. The interpreter cannot afford to take longer than the speaker. He or she is expected to react immediately after the speaker has finished.
4.        CONCLUSION
Interpreting is like a gap-bridge of language barrier in cross cultural communication.
The goal of interpretation is to convey a message that make the same impact on the target audience that a speaker/signer intends for an audience of her/his same language. The different situations where interpretation takes place make very different demands of the interpreter. According to Hatim and Mason, there are three major modes of interpreting i.e. : (i) Simultaneous Interpreting (ii) Consecutive Interpreting and (iii) Liaison Interpreting. Among the three modes, consecutive interpreting is widely used both in formal and informal occasion. There are three basic skill requirements in consecutive interpreting namely Listening (Understanding), Note Taking (Analysing) and Speaking (Re-Expressing). The skill that only occur in consecutive interpreting is Note Taking. It is an importance skill to be mastered. In order to be able to take notes effectively, an interpreter should have a comprehension on three basic requirements of note-taking as follows : (i) what to note; (ii) how to note; and (iii) when to note
Hatim, Basil and Mason, Ian. 1999. The Translator as Communicator. Routledge : New York
Jones, R.2002. – Conference Interpreting Explained, St. Jerome Publishing.
Nolan, James. 2005. Interpretation Techniques and Exercises. Multilingual Matters Ltd : New York
Rozan, J. F.2006. 7 Principles of Note-taking, Interpreter Training Resources, n.d. From
Santiago, R.- Consecutive Interpreting: A Brief Review, 2004. From
Seleskovitch, D. (1978a). Interpreting for International Conferences. Washington, DC: Pen  & Booth.
Seleskovitch, D. 1991.  Fundamentals of the interpretive theory of translation, in Expanding Horizons. Proceedings of the 12th National RID Convention 1991, RID Press,
Smith, F. 1985, Reading Without Nonsense, NY Teacher’s College Press : New York
Wei, H.Z.2003. Memory in Interpreting, Translation Journal, Volume 7, No. 3, Retrieved March, 24, 2006, from

Turn a Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with Ubuntu

You've heard the word "server" thrown around a lot, but usually in the context of web sites or big companies that have a lot of data to store. In reality, a server can be just as useful in your home. In this guide, we'll walk through how to create your own server at home that you can put in the closet and leave on 24/7, ready to do any streaming, downloading, or backup you might need at a moment's notice.

Why Do I Want a Server in My House?

A server, for those that don't know, is just a computer that stores data and "serves" it to other computers on a network, and it can be immensely useful in your house. It's a great place to store your backups, store your media for streaming to all your devices, or even act as an always-on, low-powered computer for seeding torrents and downloading other files.
We've shown you how to create your own network attaached storage device with FreeNAS before, but while FreeNAS is perfect for tiny, low-powered machines, and it doesn't come with a lot of customizability. If you want to do anything beyond what's included, you have to go through a lot of complicated steps. Ubuntu, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to install a ton of different apps, which means you can use your server for just about anything. Plus, it's dead simple to set up, even if you've never used Linux before.
Here, we'll show you how to put together an Ubuntu-based server, connect it to the other computers in your home, and then go through a few examples of how you can use it as a backup machine, a media server for your music, movies and TV shows, and as a dedicated BitTorrent box.

What You'll Need

You can install many different versions of Ubuntu using many different methods, but for today, we're going to go the easiest route possible. All you need is:
  • A PC with a minimum of 512MB of RAM and a 700MHz processor to act as your server (1.6GHz if you want to stream videos). You'll probably want to use ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, too, since it's much faster. An old computer will work fine for this, though you can also build a dedicated, cheap system if you don't have an old PC lying around. Note that an old PC will use up more power, and may cost you more in the long run—but it's a good way to test everything out and see if a home server is right for you.
  • The Ubuntu live CD, available here.
  • Enough storage space to hold whatever files you want on your server. Again, you might be able to get by with whatever old hard drives you have lying around, though if you're storing a lot of media you may need to go buy some new drives with a lot of space. I, for example, have a 2 TB drive dedicated to movies and TV shows, a 1 TB drive dedicated to backups, and a 500GB drive dedicated to music.
  • A router with DHCP reservations or static IP addresses (almost every router has this capability). This isn't required, but it's definitely preferred. If you don't have this, managing your server can get pretty annoying, since its IP address will change when you reboot it.
  • A spare monitor to set up your server. You'll only need this in the initial building stages to set up your drives and apps. When you're done, you can just stick your computer in a closet without a monitor, but for the setup, just use one of your existing monitors or just hook it up to your TV with a spare VGA cable.
We're going to just use the regular Desktop version of Ubuntu for this as opposed to the Server version. It's much easier to set up, and should still run fine on any remotely recent computer. We'll also be installing Ubuntu to one of our storage drives, so you'll need to set aside 5GB or so of space for it. If you wanted to, you could install it on a persistent flash drive, but that's only really useful if you're going to swap out drives often, so most people shouldn't have to worry about it.
Once you've gathered up all your materials and installed your hard drives, read on to see how to set everything up.

Install Ubuntu and Prepare Your Drives

We're going to install Ubuntu on one of the hard drives storing our data. It should only take up about 5GB, so it doesn't particularly matter which one—but you'll probably need the drive to be empty before you install Ubuntu. You can copy all your data back afterwards. Grab the Ubuntu live CD here, and either burn it to disc or, if your server-to-be doesn't have a disc drive, burn it to a flash drive instead.
When it's done, insert the CD or flash drive into your server and boot it up. If it isn't set to boot from CD or USB automatically, you may have to go into your BIOS and change yout boot disk priority to include USB drives at the top of the list. You may need to refer to your computer's instructions for how to do this, but you can usually get to the BIOS by holding the Delete key as it starts up, or whatever key is listed on your computer's startup screen.
Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with UbuntuOnce you're booted into Ubuntu, just choose "Install Ubuntu" from the menu, and choose your desired hard drive from the list when prompted. Remember, you want the drive to be empty before you install Ubuntu, so it doesn't overwrite your data. Also, when you create your user, make sure you set Ubuntu to automatically log you in. You don't want to have to type your password every time you reboot your server.
Once Ubuntu is done installing, we'll set up our hard drives. We're going to want to format these drives as ext4 to make Linux compatibility easy, so if they have any data on them right now, you'll want to copy that data somewhere else. We're going to erase them and start from scratch.
Start up your server and open a terminal. Run the following command:
sudo apt-get install gparted pysdm
Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with UbuntuThese are the tools we'll need to work with our drives. Next, click on the Dash (the purple button at the top of Ubuntu's dock), and search for GParted. Click on it to start it up. You should see a list of your drives in the dropdown at the top-right corner of the screen. Choose one of your other drives (not the one that has Ubuntu installed), and then go to Device > Create Partition Table. Click OK, and then select the "unallocated" partition. Press the "New Partition" button in the upper right-hand corner, and format it as ext4. Label it whatever you want (like "Media" or "WindowsBackup"), and click Add. Then, click the green check mark in GParted's toolbar. It will format your drive. Note which drive it is on your system (e.g., /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc) and repeat this process for your other drives.
Lastly, before you share your drives, you'll want to make sure they mount automatically every time you start up your server—otherwise, if you ever reboot, you won't be able to access them. To do this, open up the dash and search for Storage Device Manager. Start it up and find your drives in the left sidebar. For each one, click on it and choose "OK" when prompted to configure the drive. Give it a name (again, like "Media" or "WindowsBackup") and click Apply. Repeat this process for each drive. They should now automatically mount at startup. Reboot your server to make sure they do what they're supposed to—if they're mounted at startup, you should see little "eject" icons next to them in your file browser as soon as you start it up. If they don't have eject icons without you clicking on them first, go back to the Storage Device Manager and make sure you did everything correctly before continuing.

Share Your Server's Drives with Your Network

Your new server can do a lot of things, but first and foremost, it's going to "serve" files to your other computers. So, once we have our data on the server, the first thing we'll want to do is share those drives with the rest of our network.
To share a folder or drive, open up a terminal and run the following command:
gksudo nautilus
Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with UbuntuThis will start up Nautilus (Ubuntu's file manager) with root permissions, which we'll need to share our drives. Next, right-click the drive in the left sidebar, and choose Properties. Go to the Share tab, and check the "Share this Folder" box. The first time you do this, Ubuntu will probably prompt you to install the Windows file sharing service. Install anything it asks you to, and then restart your session when prompted. This won't restart your computer, it'll just turn on the sharing feature. Remember to go back and check the "Allow others to create and delete files" and "Guest access" checkboxes after Windows installs these services.
Then, give your share a name (like "Media" or "WindowsBackup") and check the "Allow others to create and delete files in this folder". When prompted, click "Add the permissions automatically" checkbox at the bottom. This will make it easy to access that folder from other computers on your network. Click "Create Share" and say yes when it asks you to automatically add the necessary permissions. Repeat this process for your other drives.
Lastly, you'll need to create a password for all of those shared drives, so you can access them from any computer (and so other people can't). To do this, just open up a terminal and type the following, replacing whitsongordon with your own username:
sudo smbpasswd -a whitsongordon
Then type and re-type a password of your choice when prompted.
Now, head over to your main computer and check to see if the folder was shared properly. On Windows, open up Windows Explorer and click on "Network" in the left sidebar. Your server should show up in the list, and if you double click on it, you'll be asked for a username and password. Use the ones you just created, and it should give you access to your folder, with all the data inside. If you're on a Mac, just open up Finder and go to Go > Connect to Server and type in smb:\\, where is the IP address of your server. Remember, you'll make your life a lot easier by setting up DHCP reservations or a static IP for your server. Then you can type in your username and password to connect to your files.
Windows users can also mount these shared folders as network drives on their computer and give them their own drive letters for easy access. To do so, just right-click on the share you want to mount. Then click "Map Network Drive" to give it its own drive letter. It'll sit in the left sidebar of Windows Explorer, perfect for quick and easy access. Repeat this process for every folder or drive you want to share from your server. In my case, I've shared the two drives I listed above, named "Media" and "Backup". Your drives will obviously vary, but read on for some cool ideas of what you can do with your new server.

Three Cool Ways You Can Use Your Server

Sharing your drives is fine if all you need is a place to store your files, but your server can do so much more. Here are some ideas.

Back Up Data From Your Main Computer

If you aren't already backing up your main computer, you should. We recommend using a program like Crashplan to back your data up to the cloud, but your server can be a great backup location too—provided you have your really essential files stored somewhere else online, like Dropbox. You have a number of options for backing data up to your server, but they should all be pretty simple: just share your backup drive as described above, and then set up Crashplan as described here to back up to that network drive. It works on any platform, and only takes a few minutes to set up. It couldn't be simpler. Alternatively, you could use Windows' built in Windows Backup tool, but you'll need to have Windows 7 Professional or higher to back up to a network drives. See our FreeNAS guide for more info on how it works.

Stream Media to All Your Devices

If you have a sizeable collection of movies and TV shows, your server is a great place to stash them. Not only does it free up space on your other computers, but with a bit of magic, you can stream those videos to your computers and mobile devices with almost no effort, so your media is with you wherever you go. The easiest way to do this is with the Plex media server.
To set it up, just run the following commands in a terminal:
gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plex.list
Add the following line to the text file:
deb lucid main
And then run the following two commands in a terminal:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install plexmediaserver
Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with UbuntuWhen it's done installing, the media server will start running. You can add or remove media from your library from any computer, which means your work with the server is done. Just head to any computer and type, where is the IP address of your server. To add movies, just click on "Movies" and navigate to the drive or folder on your server where your movies are stored. If they're stored on another drive, you'll find them under /Media/[Name of Drive].
Once you've added your media, Plex should automatically organize it into a library for you. The easiest way to stream it to your other devices is to go to Preferences > MyPlex and set up an account from the Media Manager interface. Then, download the Plex app for iOS, Android, Google TV, or your other computers and sign in with your MyPlex account there. You should see your whole library, available for streaming wherever you are. And, any time you want to edit your Plex library, you can do so by going back to the Media Manager web interface from any computer—no need to futz with your server.
Plex is our favorite media streaming app, but it isn't your only choice. If you just want to share your media with the computers in your house, you can easily add your server's shared media folders to XBMC on another computer, or set up a music streaming service like Audiogalaxy or Subsonic for a more music-focused experience.

Set Up BitTorrent for Constant File Sharing

BitTorrent is great, but it's far more useful when it's always on. Maybe you want new movies and TV shows as soon as they're available, or perhaps you're part of a private tracker that requires you to seed all the time. Whatever your needs, you can use your server to run BitTorrent 24/7 and monitor it from any computer in your house.
We're going to use our favorite BitTorrent client, Deluge, to get this done. To install Deluge, just open up a terminal window and run:
sudo apt-get install deluge deluge-web deluged
When it's done installing, fire it up by going to the Dash and typing in "Deluge". Once it starts, to to Edit > Preferences > Plugins, and check the WebUI box. The "WebUI" option should show up in the left sidebar; click it and check "Enable Web Interface" and "Enable SSL". You can change the listening port to whatever you want, but we'll leave it at 8112 for this tutorial. This is how we're going to monitor our torrents from other computers. To access the web UI from another computer, type the following in your browser's address bar:
Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with UbuntuWhere is your server's IP address. It'll ask you for a password. The default is deluge, though it'll prompt you to change it to something new right away, which you should do. From then on, you can add new torrents, monitor existing ones, and change any torrent-related preferences right from this web UI—no need to dig out your server. Just be sure to set Deluge to download torrents to one of your shared folders, so you can access those downloads when they finish.
Lastly, click on the Dash and search for "Startup Applications". Click on it, and press the "Add" button. Name it "Deluge Daemon" and enter deluged for the command. Click Add and close the window. This will ensure that Deluge starts up every time you reboot your server.
Don't forget to anonymize that BitTorrent traffic with a proxy service like BTGuard, or a VPN like one of these. You also set up programs to automatically download TV shows and movies, or even install a Usenet client on your server too.

This isn't the only way to set up a home server with Ubuntu, but it's certainly the easiest. These instructions should get you started, but once you're set up, the world is your oyster. If you've already put together a home server before, let us know what you use it for in the comments. Source:

Assign Drive Letters to Folders

This tip is really great if you have some folders on your computer that you are working very often with. Instead of navigating to the folder on the hard drive you assign a drive letter to that folder and can access it like it was a partition or hard drive on your computer. It is very easy to assign a drive letter to a folder, to do that, do the following:
Click Start, Run and enter cmd. This should open the command line interface of your windows operating system. The command that we need is the “subst” command and we use it the following way.
subst drive folder
Lets say you want to assign the drive letter X to the folder d:\movies on your hard drive. To do that you write the following command:
subst x: d:\movies
That is all. Fairly easy isn’t it? Now the drive letter x: remains accessible as long as you do not turn off or reboot windows. If you want to make this permanent you will have to do the following.
Create a new file and name it drive.bat. Edit the file and add the line subst x: d:\movies to it and save it.
subst virtual drives folders
Right click the Start button, select Open All Users. Open Programs, Startup and right click that location. Select New Shortcut, and select the drive.bat file that you created. Select Next and finish. The command will be executed for all users with every startup of windows.
If you are running for example Windows 95 you could edit the autoexec.bat and add the line there.
Update: If you do not like to work with the command line or bat files, you could head over to NTwind to download Visual Subst instead, which is a gui version of the program. Source:

Tweak and Configure Sudo on Ubuntu

Like most things on Linux, the sudo command is very configurable. You can have sudo run specific commands without asking for a password, restrict specific users to only approved commands, log commands run with sudo, and more.
The sudo command’s behavior is controlled by the /etc/sudoers file on your system. This command must be edited with the visudo command, which performs syntax-checking to ensure you don’t accidentally break the file.

Specify Users With Sudo Permissions

The user account you create while installing Ubuntu is marked as an Administrator account, which means it can use sudo. Any additional user accounts you create after installation can be either Administrator or Standard user accounts – Standard user accounts don’t have sudo permissions.
You can control user account types graphically from Ubuntu’s User Accounts tool. To open it, click your user name on the panel and select User Accounts or search for User Accounts in the dash.

Make Sudo Forget Your Password

By default, sudo remembers your password for 15 minutes after you type it. This is why you only have to type your password once when executing multiple commands with sudo in quick succession. If you’re about to let someone else use your computer and you want sudo to ask for the password when it runs next, execute the following command and sudo will forget your password:
sudo –k

Always Ask For a Password

If you’d rather be prompted each time you use sudo – for example, if other people regularly have access to your computer — you can disable the password-remembering behavior entirely.
This setting, like other sudo settings, is contained in the /etc/sudoers file. Run the visudo command in a terminal to open the file for editing:
sudo visudo
In spite of its name, this command defaults to the new-user-friendly nano editor instead of the traditional vi editor on Ubuntu.
Add the following line below the other Defaults lines in the file:
Defaults timestamp_timeout=0

Press Ctrl+O to save the file, and then press Ctrl+X to close Nano. Sudo will now always prompt you for a password.

Change the Password Timeout

To set a different password timeout – either a longer one like 30 minutes or a shorter one like 5 minutes – follow the steps above but use a different value for timestamp_timeout. The number corresponds to the number of minutes sudo will remember your password for. To have sudo remember your password for 5 minutes, add the following line:
Default timestamp_timeout=5

Never Ask for a Password

You can also have sudo never ask for a password – as long as you’re logged in, every command you prefix with sudo will run with root permissions. To do this, add the following line to your sudoers file, where username is your username:

You can also change the %sudo line – that is, the line that allows all users in the sudo group (also known as Administrator users) to use sudo – to have all Administrator users not require passwords:

Run Specific Commands Without a Password

You can also specify specific commands that will never require a password when run with sudo. Instead of using “ALL” after NOPASSWD above, specify the location of the commands. For example, the following line will allow your user account to run the apt-get and shutdown commands without a password.
username ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/apt-get,/sbin/shutdown
This can be particularly useful when running specific commands with sudo in a script.

Allow a User to Run Only Specific Commands

While you can blacklist specific commands and prevent users from running them with sudo, this isn’t very effective. For example, you could specify that a user account not be able to run the shutdown command with sudo. But that user account could run the cp command with sudo, create a copy of the shutdown command, and shut down the system using the copy.
A more effective way is to whitelist specific commands. For example, you could give a Standard user account permission to use the apt-get and shutdown commands, but no more. To do so, add the following line, where standarduser is the user’s username:
standarduser ALL=/usr/bin/apt-get,/sbin/shutdown

The following command will tell us what commands the user can run with sudo:
sudo -U standarduser –l

Logging Sudo Access

You can log all sudo access by adding the following line. /var/log/sudo is just an example; you can use any log file location you like.
Defaults logfile=/var/log/sudo

View the contents of the log file with a command like this one:
sudo cat /var/log/sudo

Bear in mind that, if a user has unrestricted sudo access, that user has the ability to delete or modify the contents of this file. A user could also access a root prompt with sudo and run commands that wouldn’t be logged. The logging feature is most useful when coupled with user accounts that have restricted access to a subset of system commands. Source:

Turn Your Ubuntu Laptop into a Wireless Access Point

If you have a single wired Internet connection – say, in a hotel room – you can create an ad-hoc wireless network with Ubuntu and share the Internet connection among multiple devices. Ubuntu includes an easy, graphical setup tool.
Unfortunately, there are some limitations. Some devices may not support ad-hoc wireless networks and Ubuntu can only create wireless hotspots with weak WEP encryption, not strong WPA encryption.


To get started, click the gear icon on the panel and select System Settings.

Select the Network control panel in Ubuntu’s System Settings window. You can also set up a wireless hotspot by clicking the network menu and selecting Edit Network Connections, but that setup process is more complicated.

If you want to share an Internet connection wirelessly, you’ll have to connect to it with a wired connection. You can’t share a Wi-Fi network – when you create a Wi-Fi hotspot, you’ll be disconnected from your current wireless network.

To create a hotspot, select the Wireless network option and click the Use as Hotspot button at the bottom of the window.

You’ll be disconnected from your existing network. You can disable the hotspot later by clicking the Stop Hotspot button in this window or by selecting another wireless network from the network menu on Ubuntu’s panel.

After you click Create Hotspot, you’ll see an notification pop up that indicates your laptop’s wireless radio is now being used as an ad-hoc access point. You should be able to connect from other devices using the default network name – “ubuntu” – and the security key displayed in the Network window. However, you can also click the Options button to customize your wireless hotspot.

From the wireless tab, you can set a custom name for your wireless network using the SSID field. You can also modify other wireless settings from here. The Connect Automatically check box should allow you to use the hotspot as your default wireless network – when you start your computer, Ubuntu will create the hotspot instead of connecting to an existing wireless network.

From the Wireless Security tab, you can change your security key and method. Unfortunately, WPA encryption does not appear to be an option here, so you’ll have to stick with the weaker WEP encryption.

The “Shared to other computers” option on the IPv4 Settings tab tells Ubuntu to share your Internet connection with other computers connected to the hotspot.

Even if you don’t have a wireless Internet connection available to share, you can network computers together and communicate between them – for example, to share files. Source:

Send email in WordPress using Gmail’s SMTP server How to send email in WordPress using Gmail’s SMTP server

Using SMTP in WordPress

For WordPress there is an excellent Plugin called WP Mail SMTP, which can be used to send email through Google’s SMTP servers.
Download and install the Plugin and in the settings page you have to set the following options.
  • SMTP Host:
  • SMTP Port: 465
  • Encryption: Use SSL encryption
  • Authentication: Yes
  • Username: Your full Gmail address or Google App email
  • Password: your account password
You can also checkout the following screenshot for reference.
using gmail smtp in WordPress