December 6, 2008 was an important date in my life. That evening we had a launch party in New York for the start up I'd been working with since September. More significantly, it was my last day with a Windows computer in my home. In reality, I was supposed to be getting doing a dual boot installation so my family could continue to use the Windows software they were accustomed to, and I could play around in Linux world. All on the same computer. It seemed so simple.
The directions were in front of me, printed out from the Internet several days before. I hardly needed them, though, as I had read through them again and again as I struggled to work up the nerve to do the installation. The whole process took less than half and hour, but as I rebooted a problem appeared.
When a standard PC boots up you see BIOS working. What was supposed to happen was that I would see an option to log into Windows or go ahead and boot into Ubuntu, which was the new default. That option appeared, but no amount of key-tapping would make it change. Time and again I rebooted, only to be sent -- after a brief wait -- into Ubuntu.
Scouring the Internet and trying different tricks got me nowhere. Folks on the Ubuntu forums were very kind and tried to be helpful, but this was a no-go.
My wife managed to pull me away from the computer to get ready for the launch party. We had a very good time, but the computer problem at home gnawed at me.
We got home late, and I stayed up even later. By the time 2:30am rolled around I had accepted the inevitable and we had a full Ubuntu installation on our computer. I was glad I'd backed up our personal folders of documents and pictures.
It took a few days to realize completely what had happened, but now it is crystal clear. Our computer does not have any PS2 ports. Instead, the keyboard and pretty much everything else uses UBS connections. The version of BIOS on this desktop doesn't recognize USB ports, so the keyboard fails to be identified and cannot be used in BIOS. Since the average user would never have any reason to be poking around in BIOS, this normally wouldn't be a problem. Neither Windows XP nor Ubuntu 8.10 have any problem with USB keyboards.
So, if you are thinking about setting up your computer for dual boot Windows/Ubuntu use, take a closer look at your hardware and at BIOS. If you have USB ports only for the keyboard and if you see the magic words "keyboard failure" anywhere as your computer boots up, don't try a dual boot install.
That said, now that I've learned my way around Linux to some extent, I wouldn't want to go back. I've done maintenance on friends' Windows computers since switching to Ubuntu and have been shocked at how shoddy Windows looks in comparison.
Note: This post originally appeared on my blog, Igneous Quill. Some minor editing to the text was made for this Linux.com post.
Here's a quick post with few quick and dirty commands for creating/burning cd/dvd from the command line.
Graphical tools are nice but even boring and slow, if you've few bash scripts you'll see how fast you can handle with CDs with no worry
Here's what I do to create an ISO, let's take an example, you've a dir full of Virtual machines, images or whatever you want, let's create an ISO from it
~$ cat bin/iso.create
mkisofs -V 'label' -A 'label' -R -joliet-long -o 'image.iso' $1
This script takes directory name as input an creates an iso "image.iso" ready for storing or burning
Here's what I do for burning a DVD/CD
~$ cat bin/iso.burn
sudo cdrecord -eject -verbose $1 -dev=/dev/cdrw
Script takes ISO filename as first parameter so you can burn easily for favorite CD distro without too much troubles, /dev/cdrw is the name of your dvd/cd burner, after finishing its job the cd is ejected so you can see it
Hope it helps
On RDP protocol v5 and above you can open a remote windows session and open a single program only instead having the whole desktop up, it sounds like Metaframe but cheaper, I mostly use it from my Linux workstation for opening win programs on the server (business accounting apps or legacy win apps).
You need to have rdesktop installed in your system, each distro has its own names for this package
quick command from your linux desktop:
~$ rdesktop -u -p -d -g 1280x1024 -T "" -k it -s "notepad.exe" &
We're now opening notepad on remote machine and using it on local Linux desktop, I've just setup my resolution to 1280x1024 but of course you can change it to whatever you want
You'll have notepad opened on your desk ,when you close it rdesktop closes it by itself, this applies to windows servers with RDP 5 (example: win 2003 server or above)
Here's a quick link for a problem of mine, it comes from Linux forum and I'd like to note this software rocks ! The author as well !
Here's my problem:
I'd like to get started with some sort of motion detection software, i need to save images (still frames) or videos from a common webcam when something changes. I even need to shape the area I need di capture cause in some areas there are noises or non interesting things (car traffic and so on). I need it for a private remote camera control for surveillance. Any hints ? is there someone having experience on it ?
See original post at:
Motion Detection Software HowTO
Check out solution at:
Lession learned: I've got a reply to my question (see the link) in 10 minutes, amazing !
Hope it helps someone else
Two games worth trying in linux
1.Xmoto-lovely 2D racing game .it has several levels and sure you will find it interesting
2.World of Goo-This game is really a fantastic physics game .This game wakes up the sleeping physics nerves in our brain.
Shooting games - alien arena ,open arena,sauerbraten
This is the quick-and-dirty way to install Flock on Ubuntu and it involves installation to the /home folder. This will allow the browser to update using regular user permissions; ie the user will not have to run this browser as root (sudo) to update the program. It will update similarly to the way it updates in Windows.
- Download the browser from here.
- Copy the downloaded tar file to your /home directory.
- Right-click on the archive, and choose "extract here".
- A folder will be created in the /home directory.
- To create an entry in your menu, (I'm assuming the user is using Gnome), right click on the application menu, navigate to the "internet" menu, and click "new item". In this "item", name it. Then click on "browse" to create a command for it. Go to /home/flock and click on "flock-browser". Click "open" and the command box will be populated. To create an icon for this menu item, click on the launchpad looking thing-o button. This opens a window that shows you the available icons. The proper icon won't be there, so click on "browse". Go to /home/flock again, and this time, click on the folder labeled "icons". Click "open" and now you'll be able to pick which icon you want. You can further customize this by adding a saying like "Browse the social web" or something.
- You're pretty much done. All that needs to be done is to grab all the plugins from Firefox and copy them to Flock. To do this, type this command: "sudo ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/plugins /home/flock/plugins".
- You're done! Now you should be able to use Flock just like Firefox. Don't forget to sign in to your blog, twitter, flickr, facebook, etc so you can use it to it's fullest. I also recommend going to the Mozilla Addons page to get adblock, flashblock and other addons you can't live without. Also, you can go here and get flock-only extensions.
And there you have it. Please see this post
for some more information on installation. If you do it this way, however, you won't be able to update via the automatic updater unless you run it as root.
Here is a quick test and first impressions of the HP F4283 printer on Ubuntu.
The set-up process takes less then 10 minutes - most of which is spent getting rid of all the sticky stuff :-)
Before plugging it into your computer, turn on the power and install the cartridges. The supplied cartridges is (apparently) 1/3 of the normal capacity - according to the sales person. I'll just take their word for it for now.
After the cartridges are installed, an alignment page is print automatically. You take this page and put it in the scanner. Press the scan button on the print and the printer does the alignment (it makes weird noises - I think this is normal).
Now plug it into your computer.
In Ubuntu (9.04 64-Bit) a window will pop-up. Everything was detected automatically. You can just hit the appropriate button to produce the standard Ubuntu print test page.
This whole process took the greater part of like 10 seconds!
On the Gnome menu, go to "Applications -> Graphics" and you should find the XSane option near the bottom of the list. Click on it and wait about 15 to 20 seconds to detect the scanner.
The first scan was a no brainer - can it get any easier then this?
The print quality is acceptable for me for documents, but I wouldn't print photos on this printer just yet. The Ubuntu test page showed slight imperfections in the various colour boxes but it's acceptable for day to day use in office document production.
The scanner is acceptable as well. I mostly use it to prep hard documents for faxing anyway, so my expectations are rather low. Yet, the scanned image was supprisingly high quality.
For the price I paid (ZAR499 - just over US$60) was money well spent for me. I am very happy so far.
HP F4283 Product Page
Music-applet is a nice and neat looking Gnome-panel applet to control various music players.
I wanted to share with everyone a guide that I wrote for a friend a few weeks ago. Hopefully it may be of some use to people.
Here is a quick guide to getting The World of Warcraft working in wine (By the way I am giving you this guide using primarily the command line ... sorry there are easier ways to do it from a GUI, but I am not familiar with them myself ... so I am giving you instructions that I know work because this is the way I do it)
Install lastest version of Wine:
Go to this link: http://www.winehq.org/site/download-deb and follow the instructions to install the latest version of wine. (Make sure to read the whole page there are two things you need to do, also it is all in a GUI so its pretty easy)
Setup Wine for World of Warcraft:
Next open a command terminal and type "winecfg" to start wine configuration screen.
Change the version of windows on the main screen to "win2000" Click on the "Audio" tab at the top of the window to change wines sound settings. An error message will pop up ... just click okay (It's wine saying that you haven't set up an audio device yet) Next make sure that ONLY "alsa" is checked marked and click the "okay" button to close the setup window.
There are two methods to proceed from this point. The easy way is to copy an exsisting install of World of Warcraft from a windows partition, or install thru wine.
Here is the easy way (If you have maintained your WoW updates it is also the quickest when it comes time to update WoW) First navigate to your windows drive "Program Files" folder and copy and paste the "World of Warcraft" folder into the following directory: "/home/$USER/.wine/drive_c/Program Files" (Replace $USER with your user name)\
Pop in the first install disk wait for an icon of it to appear on your desktop. Open a command terminal and type "cd /media/cdrom (ENTER)" to navigate to the CD. You can type "ls" to list the contents of the directory. As long as you went to the right cd-drive (Assuming you have more than one) you should see the files on the cd listed. Next type "wine Setup.exe" to start WoW's installer. Go thru the normal install options and let it do it's thing. When it comes time to put in the next CD you need to do a special trick to get wine to release the drive. While keeping the first terminal open (DO NOT CLOSE IT OR YOU HAVE TO START OVER!!) open a second terminal. In the new terminal type "wine eject d:" to open the cd drive. Replace the disk with the next install disk. Before you click on okay in the WoW installer window make sure to Double click on the disk icon (Either on your desktop, or in the "Computer" option under the places menu) to load the replacement disk into the system. Once that is done you can continue on with the installation. Repeat the eject procedure for the remaining three disks. After the installer has completed, World of Warcraft has now been installed into the "/home/$USER/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft" folder. ($USER being your user name)
Making It Easy to Run World of Warcraft:
Now all you have to do is create a launcher script to make starting WoW easier. Execute the following command to create a new text file called "wow" in the "/usr/bin" folder and open it in a text editor:
sudo gedit /usr/bin/wow
Once the text editor is open type the following command (or copy and paste) into it:
env WINEPREFIX="/home/$USER/.wine" WINEDEBUG=-all wine "C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Wow.exe" -opengl
(Don't worry about changing anything in the above command, when I wrote this I used wildcards to automatically tell the system were stuff is. Alternatively you can replace $USER with your user name and it will still work just fine. I wrote it this way so you can just copy paste it into the file) (Also this script assumes that you only have one user account on the system who intends to play WoW. If you have more than one user setup on the system that also wants to play WoW you need to change some options which I will explain at the end of this guide)
Now click the save button and close the text editor. All you have to do now to get World of Warcraft to be easy to start is make the new launcher script you just created executable.
Type the following command (This command just tells the system that this script can be executed):
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/wow
Your done! You can now start WoW by either typing "wow" into a terminal, or opening the "Run Dialog" by pressing Alt-F2 and typing "wow"or making a menu icon thru the menu editor and just clicking on it in the menu.
Special Setup Instructions For Systems That Have More than 1 User Account Which Will Run World of Warcraft:
The only change you will make to the above instructions is to setup permissions on your ".wine" folder and modify the start up script. To do this open your "Home" folder in the file manager.
Click the "View" tab at the top of the windows and check mark the box next to "Show Hidden Files" Scroll down until you see the ".wine" folder and right click on it. Select "Properties" to open the folders properties menu. Click on the "Permissions" tab and change the "Access" for all sections to read:
Folder Access ===>> Create and Delete Files
File Access ===>> Read and Write
Now click on the "close" button to exit the editor.
Lastly you need to make an adjustment to the launcer script from above to point explicitly to the location where World of Warcraft is installed.
Edit the file with the same command from above:
sudo gedit /usr/bin/wow
env WINEPREFIX="/home/$USER/.wine" WINEDEBUG=-all wine "C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Wow.exe" -opengl
env WINEPREFIX="/home/(YOUR USER NAME)/.wine" WINEDEBUG=-all wine "C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Wow.exe" -opengl
Save the file and you are done.
Okay easy enuf.... lol sorry man I still tend to do most things from the command line, even though I know that there are easier ways to do it from a GUI. I would bet that you can find guides for a GUI method somewere by searching google. I have just found over the years it is faster to just hammer it out the old fashioned way.
If anyone has any comments or suggestions feel free to let me know.
It seems that for some reson, Firefox (or Conkeror (and from that I reson any xlrunner based browser)) running on Arch Linux x86_64 will not run the Kongregate (www.kongregate.com) flash api that they inseart to their games. However, using midori they all run fine. So the obviouse answer is to install midori, or, if I don't like midori enough for every day useage, install it, and only use it for kongregate.com. Personaly I don't like midori at all, and thus I am using Conkeror to write this blog. But this leaves me in the uncomfterbal situation of having aproximatly 5 browsers install. I have Conkeror for my every day browsing, Firefox for the extensions I can't do without and midori for playing games. I also have konquor for some reson (I don't mind especialy, I love kdemod3) and a couple of other browsers that I was playing about with, trying to get them to comile, and I cba to find the relevent files and remove them now, 6 months down the line. I know, it's shadmin, but it's how I've lived my life so far, and I see no reson to change. But anyway, back to the question. Like president kennedy when it came to the cuban missile crises, I have 3 choices, all of wich leave me unsatisfied. I can continue doing what I do now, using 3 browsers, and adding more as I see fit, thus gradualy losing controll of my machine, and giving the power over to the beast that is dependency tracking, or I can only use one browser, Conkeror, thus missing out on many of the firefox spesific extensions and using a site that isn't kongregate for flash games, or finaly, I can go and mone at adobe or whoever is responicble for the firefox-kongregate incompatibility (kongreagte blame adobe) and see if it gets patched. My current feeling is the first, as I'm lazy, the second one will never happen (I love kongregate and xmarks) and the third will probabaly be done by someone somewhere (I know, not the right attitude, but who cares). Also, out of my pick, Conkeror, Firefox, Midori and Konqueror, which do people like. I never could get into Konqueror, as I felt it was a below standard web-browser, and a below standard filemanager. Someone, please prove me wrong.
So I noticed my places.sqlite has grown to over 80M. Since Firefox 3 thats where things like bookmarks are stored. I guess favicons are stored in that same database. At any rate I am very tab happy. I have to control myself and about once every 2 weeks or so I have to sit down and close out a bunch of tabs. Its not uncommon for me to have 90ish tabs open. Boy firefox gets sluggish. Anyway you can perform a bit of maintenance on your firefox databases. I saw a significant speed improvement when opening firefox as well as opening new tabs after doing this. You have to close all firefox instances that are using the profile and it might be a good idea to just backup your profile before you do this but its pretty safe.