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Eye Candy: A Love Story

I'm what you'd call a Linux Veteran.  One who's been using Linux since long before it was considered "cool" or "pretty".  In fact, I recently reminisced  with a friend at being around when the advent of ISO releases was considered new.  I remember installing Slackware 4.0 from a handful of floppy disks on an old 486 DX.  "What's a floppy disk and what's a 486 DX?" you ask.  Wikipedia is your friend, my friend.

Aside from relic grade hardware and floppy disks that can't hold even a fraction of what a cheap flash jump drive can hold today, I do remember early desktop Linux.  Trust me, it wasn't pretty.

With the release of Ubuntu and its countless derivatives, the Linux community has grown exponentially.  People accustomed to modern GNOME, KDE and XFCE releases need to take a look at the ghost of desktop Linux past.  Windows and Mac OS aren't the only ones with a checkered past of ugly (but plenty useful) desktops and GUIs.  Along with being around when Slackware 4.0 was a new release, I was also around when major leaps forward in OSS took place.  I remember when KDE 2.0 was released, I remember when GNOME 2.0 was released and when anti-aliased fonts were considered eye candy.  Also at this time, there was no such thing as XFCE.

As a Linux old timer, I feel that my perception of eye candy in Linux is much more conservative than the  average desktop Linux user of today.  I use Linux as the only operating system on a few of my systems and prefer a near cherry GNOME as my desktop environment.  Things like Compiz do nothing for production in my opinion.  The rotating cube when switching between workspaces and wobbly windows look nice in screenshots and desktop screencasts but I fail to see what this brings to productivity.  Maybe I'm just an old timer but I'll gladly settle for my rather boring composite enabled Metacity and Avant Window Navigator.

 

Config NIS Server/Client on CentOS 5

I created two VMs via VirtualBox, named CentOS_Srv and CentOS_Cli with the IPs 192.168.172.131 and 192.168.172.131, networking type is bridged.

 1. ENV

OS: CentOS 5.3

Software: ypserv, yp-tools, ypbind, etc

NIS Server: 192.168.172.132 glynnsrv.com

NIS Client: 192.168.172.131 glynn.glynnsrv.com

2.  Steps

1) Config NFS in the NFS server (use the NIS Server here)

[root@glynnsrv]vi /etc/exports, add the following line:

/home  *(rw,sync)

this allow  all host to mount /home as writable.

2)Make effective

[root@glynnsrv] exportfs -a

3)Start NFS server

[root@glynnsrv]service nfs start

4)Let nfs start when boot

[root@glynnsrv]chkconfig nfs on

 5)Config the firewall

[root@glynnsrv]setup

select firewall settings and add NFS service.

6)Config the NFS client

[root@glynn]mv /home /home.bak

[root@glynn]mkdir /home

[root@glynn]vi /etc/hosts

127.0.0.1 localhost localhost

192.168.172.131 glynn.glynnsrv.com glynn

192.168.172.132 glynnsrv.com glynnsrv

[root@glynn]mount -t nfs glynnsrv:/home /home

Let autofs mount the nfs at boot time:

[root@glynn]vi /etc/auto.master # add the following line:

 /home      /etc/auto.home  --timeout 600

[root@glynn]vi /etc/auto.home # add the following line:

  *    -fstype=nfs,r2   192.168.172.132:/home

 [root@glynn]chkconfig autofs on

 7) Config NIS Server

a) install needed softwares:

[root@glynnsrv] yum -y install ypserv ypbind yp-tools

b)vi /etc/sysconfig/network

...

NISDOMAIN=glynnsrv

 

Mutt like evolution keybindings

Source: http://www.cmdln.org
Date: May 20th 2009
Full Entry: Mutt like keybindings for Evolution

In preparation for connecting to (im guessing here) an Exchange server at my new job I am switching from my beloved Mutt to Evolution. The absolute first thing I noticed about Evolution that I disliked was the keybindings for things like deleting messages, replying to messages and creating a new message. After some digging in the UI I could not find any place to change them. Some more sleuthing turned up some XML files down in /usr/share/evolution/$VERSION/ui. (more…)

 

Dual Boot Setup Headache and Warning

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.

 

Quick 'n' dirty command line for cd/dvd burning

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

Ben 

 

Remote desktop single command execution

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)

 

Comments welcomed

Ben

 

Motion detection software for webcams

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:
Motion Software


Lession learned: I've got a reply to my question (see the link) in 10 minutes, amazing !

 

Hope it helps someone else

 

games under linux

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 

 

 

How to Install Flock on Ubuntu

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.

  1. Download the browser from here.
  2. Copy the downloaded tar file to your /home directory.
  3. Right-click on the archive, and choose "extract here".
  4. A folder will be created in the /home directory.
  5. 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.
  6. 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".
  7. 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.
 

Product Test: HP F4283 MFP (Multi-Function Printer)

HP F4283 PrinterHere is a quick test and first impressions of the HP F4283 printer on Ubuntu.

 Set-up

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.

Configuration

Ubuntu Printer Set-upIn 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!

Scanning

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?

 

 


Quality

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.

Conclusion

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

 

Notes about MPD

Music-applet is a nice and neat looking Gnome-panel applet to control various music players.

Read more... Comment (0)
 
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