Saturday, December 29, 2007

(K)Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon

About two months ago Ubuntu 7.10 aka "Gutsy Gibbon" was released and I couldn't resist... So I first gave the KDE flavored amd64 version of Kubuntu a chance which worked very good. Out of curiosity I recently changed to Ubuntu with Gnome desktop.

Installing (K)Ubuntu is pretty easy. If your system has at least 320MB of RAM download the "desktop CD", boot it and click the "Install" icon on the desktop. When booting from the Desktop-CD, your screen might go blank right after the desktop shows up for the first time. If so, just hit any key and it should reappear. Or maybe I'm the only one who ran into this? To avoid such things I prefer the "alternate" CD which isn't harder to install. I won't concentrate here on installing (K)Ubuntu Gutsy as it's very straight forward and not different to former (K)Ubuntu releases. This post will be about customizing Gutsy and how to avoid/repair some small issues you might run into.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Etch & Terratec Cinergy Hybrid T XS

As Linux is my main OS I always wanted to make my USB DVB-T stick work with it. Luckily this worked and thanks to some very good HOWTOs (look here and here) I managed to watch TV with Etch. First of all you should have a look at the Em2880 wiki and see if your USB device is supported. Then make sure those packages are installed on your system:

  • build-essentials
  • linux-kernel-headers
  • mercurial
  • dvb-utils
  • kaffein and/or xine

Saturday, November 17, 2007

WP Theme "MDAGM" released

This is the release of my first Wordpress theme: "Modernpaper Dark And Green Mod". As already mentioned, it's based on "Modernpaper 1.0" by Performancing, so most of the credit goes to him.

This is what I did:

  • changed colors and fonts in css file

  • minor style modifications in css file

  • added support for tags (Wordpress >= 2.3 required)

  • added tag cloud to right sidebar

The original theme and of course my modification is released under GPL.

If you like to convert an existing "Modernpaper 1.0" to "MDAGM" just overwrite your previous "style.css" (make a backup first!) with the modified version.

Here's a screenshot (just in case I change my website's theme again ;-) ):



Download "MDAGM WP Theme 1.01"
(md5sum: facfe196b5ba97f7db2cad0263989796 modernpaper-dark-and-green-mod.zip)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A new theme - again

I was still looking around for a new Wordpress theme and finally found one which I liked: "Modernpaper" by Performancing. The layout is simple and clean and the only thing I didn't like was the color scheme. I wanted something darker with some green in it. So I started changing Modernpaper's css file here and there and did some minor modifications to the top navbar and a few other elements: when reading a post in single view it's tags are now listed at the bottom. What came out at the end was "Modernpaper-dark-and-green-mod" theme. You may download it soon!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Installing sidux

As already mentioned, sidux is a pretty nice Linux distro and I'm beginning to like it a lot! I was running sidux for quite a while and thought I'd share some of my experiences. So, this is how I installed sidux on my 64bit AMD box and how it worked for me:

As ever, download the image (if you do a fresh install, always get the latest image!), check it's md5 sum and burn it. The sidux manual says it's very important to burn the image in DAO mode and not faster than 8x! Yes, they really stress on that!

Once the CD is ready, boot from it. Important: choose your desired language by pressing "F4" at the boot screen, because this will become your default language setting. If you need any extra kernel options just add them to the boot options. Then press "Enter" and watch the live CD boot. Once KDE is started the show begins. You may just click the installation icon on the desktop (here is an excellent description in the sidux manual) or - like me - get through some pre-installation tasks. They could be done from within the installer, I just prefer it this way:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Back online!

Shortly after funzt.info was being hacked I had some trouble with my webhoster, so I decided to change. Due to this, funzt.info was down for a while.
This was my first time moving a domain to another hoster, but everything went very well and now this site should be back online again!

And again, a new design. This one was also made by headsetoptions (like the former orange/dark one), I've just added some minor color modifications.
And stay tuned, the promised "Installing-Sidux-HOWTO" will follow!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

funzt.info been hacked

Two weeks ago funzt.info was hacked. Some guy called “geek hacker” managed to replace index.php with his own and this is what showed up in your browser:


I don’t know what’s the sense in this is supposed to be? He claims that “Linux rules” and destroys a site which is mainly about Linux??? Looking at the source of his page made me laugh though:
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 5.0">

OK, he’s such a smart ass and needs “Front Page” to create a simple web page? I wish guys like him would concentrate on more productive work and not sabotaging someone else’s. Besides, I guess it wasn’t to hard to do this hack. I always update everything regularly but at some point I need to rely on my webhoster which doesn’t allow tweaking all settings like I want to.

Luckily I found a database backup which I made a few days earlier so I managed to recover all of my blog’s content. As I didn’t know what he did to the files on my webspace, I deleted them all. Sadly I had no backup of my modified theme… OK, lesson learned. Hope you like the new layout!

Monday, September 24, 2007

sidux - the "easier" sid

I was playing a little distro-hopping lately and - having a big favor for Debian - came across "sidux". This distro is released by former "Kanotix" developers and is based on Debian sid. Sid being the "unstable" branch of Debian is a bit of risk when used as main OS. Though it may be more stable than some other released distro you're still having chances it'll break after one update or the other - and if you don't know how to fix it you may run into trouble. This is where sidux comes in. sidux includes a script called "smxi" which handles most of the system's maintenance. Agreed, you'll have to use the command line, but it has never been easier! This script get's you through system updates, installs proprietary Nvidia/Ati drivers and other third party software if desired. If some very new software releases come to sid repositories and are causing major trouble, smxi puts this software "on hold" which means that it's not going to be installed. For example: Xorg 7.3 just hit Debian unstable and users are having a lot of problems with it. When updating sidux via smxi, you'll receive a warning and Xorg will not be updated. You should not do a "normal" Debian dist-upgrade, because then you won't benefit of the advanced features of sidux' smxi script.
Besides those very nice features of smxi, sidux is very fast. In fact, it's the fastest booting OS ever on my desktop. I think this is due to it's kernel, which isn't standard Debian but a customized sidux kernel (which is also updated via smxi).
sidux is equipped with it's own "Control-Center", that helps managing services and has an option to remove old and unused kernels - very nice! And being based on Debian sid you'll always have the latest software.

sidux benefits from the excellent work of both: the Debian community and those guys from sidux. If you're interested in sidux, here's a very good documentation and a nice forum. Or stay tuned, there's an installation HOWTO following up these days! :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

BIOS "F8" for GA-M55S-S3 :-(

Gigabyte released a new BIOS for their GA-M55S3 motherboard and I couldn't resist updating. To make it short: if you're running Linux, don't... After updating Linux will boot only with "noapic" as kernel option - again. I guess only BIOS version "F6" doesn't have this error (see this post). I skipped version "F7" so I can't say anything about this version, but all versions prior to "F6" had the same issue. If you don't have any real needs for updating your BIOS you shouldn't consider an update anyway. It's just me...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Installing Nvidia driver in Debian Lenny

If you're running Debian testing (aka "Lenny") which brings no Nvidia driver packages - only the legacy ones - or like to install the latest drivers by Nvidia for Etch, you'll be running into problems: the Nvdia installer won't find everything necessary for compiling the kernel module. So, here's a small HOWTO:

First, download the latest Nvidia driver (by the time of writing it's version 100.14.11) corresponding to your architecture (i386 or amd64) from the Nvidia ftp site (just look here). Then, make sure the following packages are installed:
  • build-essential
  • linux-headers-2.6 (corresponding to your kernel)
  • pkg-config
  • xserver-xorg-dev

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Remember "The King"


Now it's been 30 years and two days since Elvis Presley died (OK, there's going to be nothing "nerd-like" in this post ;-) ) and RCA hit the stores with another "Best Of" CD. There's still a lot of money to make with Elvis and his record company doesn't bother. I have to admit that some of those new compilations are worth a look, especially if you're starting out listening to Elvis, but sometimes they loose focus on what is so special about Elvis. He's called "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" - but why? If you're watching most of his movies this questions is eligible.

I myself became Elvis fan after listening to a tape with his movie hits and I especially liked "Return To Sender" and "King Creole", which is the title track of his 4th movie (his early movies aren't so bad at all), kind of a jazzy/rock 'n' roll mixture and no typical rock 'n roll track. I think by that time I was 10 or 12 years old. What later really knocked me off was a double LP hit compilation released due to his 50th anniversary with his early recordings - and that was rock 'n' roll!!!
So, leave all this Elvis "PR-crap" aside and focus on his music and you'll know why he's called "The King of Rock 'n' Roll"!

Long live the King!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Beryl with Feisty & Nvidia

I'd like to point out that there's no logical reason to use Beryl as your default window manager - except for fun and eye candy! As Ubuntu Feisty makes the task of installing Beryl very easy, I'd wanted to give it a try. So, what do we need to do?

The following is intended for Nvidia based graphic boards with GeForce XXXX chip. If you have a different graphic chip you need to install the specific drivers for your video device. It is important that those drivers support 3D acceleration.

My video card is a Gainward BLISS with GeForce 7600GT chip, so I can use the latest Nvidia driver that comes with Feisty. You may choose between Nvidia driver version 1.0-9755, 1.0-9631 and 1.0-7184. Please see this Nvidia page to check which driver version supports your video card. You'll need at least one of the 1.0-9xxx driver versions for use with Beryl.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Pidgin for Ubuntu Feisty

Ubuntu Feisty comes with a beta of Gaim 2 and I as tried to compile "MusicTracker" plugin for Pidgin (formerly Gaim) I ran into errors complainig that Pidgin was not installed. I don't know if there would have been a way of forcing the plugin to compile with Gaim sources, so I went for installing Pidgin.

As we're going to install Pidgin from source, we need to install all development files required to compile Pidgin first (which are the same files as would be needed for Gaim). This is done very easily with:
sudo apt-get build-dep gaim

This will install a bunch of dev packages. Also make sure the package "build-essential" is installed! Now get the Pidgin source from here (by the time of writing it's version 2.02) and unpack it somewhere in a temporary directory. The rest is standard procedure:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Microsoft's "intellectual properties"...

Here's an interesting interview by Duncan McLeod (Financial Mail, 8 June 2007) with Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu founder, (not exclusively) about the recent deal by Microsoft and Linspire. It seams to be basically the same kind of "not-suing-each-other-for-infringement-of-unspecified-patents"-deal Microsoft made with Novell and Xandros. I can't think of a good reason why any Linux distributor should agree to a deal like this...? Anyway, I'd like to quote a short part of this interview:
"Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won't say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: 'It's an unsafe neighbourhood, why don't you pay me 20 bucks and I'll make sure you're okay,' that's illegal. It's racketeering. What Microsoft is doing with intellectual property is exactly the same. It's a great company and I have great admiration for it, but this was not a well considered position."

This basically sums it up pretty well, I guess. I like Windows, but Microsoft's behavior is simply disgusting...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Qemu with Debian Etch

Recently, I wrote something about installing VMware server on Ubuntu Edgy, which should basically work with Debian's Etch, too. There is an alternative to VMware: Qemu. This peace of software also emulates a complete PC hardware and is opensource. To make Qemu faster it comes with a kernel module called "kqemu" which is free but distributed under a proprietary license until version 1.3.0pre9 - and this is the version Etch ships with. You may download the latest software from here, but I installed the default Debian packages and therefor I'll write about this kind of installation.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Vista Experience, Pt. 3

Lately, I had some trouble installing a new Nvidia display driver:
During installation of this driver Vista told me that "Age of Empires II Update 2" was not compatible with Vista... Er...? OK.....? The Nvidia installer ended without actually installing the driver and Vista then asked if it should try installing the program with recommended settings? Well, go ahead I thought... Now the Nvidia installer was sure it wasn't running on Vista and quit. I rebooted and tried my luck again - no success. Still the installer quit because it could "run on Vista only" - though I was quite sure I was running Vista at this time! I guess the "recommended" settings emulate some kind of Windows XP environment - but I couldn't turn this off again for this Nvidia installer. Well, I'm sure there would have been a solution to this but I wasn't in the mood searching for it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn & Acer Aspire 5572 ZWXMi

This HOWTO was listed at
TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones (Now replaced by: Fedora 9.)

I recently couldn't resist in buying a notebook... To be precise, it's an "Acer Aspire 5572 ZWXMi". It came with Windows Vista Home Premium preinstalled. I played a bit with Vista and then decided to install Windows XP. That was easy and no fun at all. So I went for Linux and installed Ubuntu Feisty Fawn.
OK, now first things first!

The hardware of this Acer Aspire is rather common for notebooks:
  • Intel Pentium dual-core (T2060) @ 1.6 GHz
  • 1024 MB RAM
  • Integrated Graphics Intel 945GM
  • Intel 82801G (ICH7 family) high definition audio
  • Broadcom BCM 4318 WLAN
  • Texas Instruments integrated 5 in 1 card reader
  • 160 GB harddrive
Right away: everything works with Feisty (even suspend-to-RAM/suspend-to-disk!) - at least as far as I know: I don't use the card reader nor the integrated modem. I guess the former may work, the latter maybe won't.

But now for installing Ubuntu 7.04!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BIOS "F6" for GA-M55S-S3

Already available since March 20th, I just recently decided to update my Gigabyte motherboard "GA-M55S-S3 (rev 1.0)" with the latest BIOS, which is by the time of writing version "F6". And - HURRAY, HURRAY - I don't need to boot Linux with the "noapic" kernel option anymore!! The guys from Gigabyte finally fixed it! So, to everybody who owns the same motherboard I'd recommend updating your BIOS to the latest version. Get the BIOS files from here and follow the instructions from this Gigabyte help page. Good luck!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Upgrading to "Lenny"

With "Etch" being released as new Debian stable I decided to upgrade to "Lenny", Debian's new testing branch. By the time of writing the difference between stable and testing isn't very big - Etch was released about three weeks ago. So I didn't expect any difficulties in upgrading and with one little exception I was right.

As always, updating Debian is very easy. You need to edit "/etc/apt/sources.list" and replace etch or stable with lenny or testing. I prefer the names, because this way you would automatically use the stable branch once lenny becomes stable - which will be in the far, far future. ;-) So, your "sources.list" should look something like this:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Etch amd64: installing 32bit apps

If you're running Debian Etch for amd64 you might want to install some 32bit applications, too. As some browser plugins (like Adobe's Flash oder Sun's Java) are available as 32bit binaries only, you may need a 32bit browser. In Ubuntu that was done very easily whereas in Debian this task needs a bit of extra work. But no need to worry, if you know how it's very simple! So, here we go. (The orginal post can be found in German on debianforum.de. Thanks to "Linuxpeter"!)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Configuring Debian Etch

Grub

As mentioned in my last post, installing Etch was very quick and easy. If you need to boot the installation CD/DVD with special kernel options, they will be added automatically to grub's "menu.lst" and will be there after each kernel update when the "menu.lst" file is regenerated. Responsible for this is a part of "/boot/grub/menu.lst" which looks like this:
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=/dev/sda2 ro noapic

Leave all the "#" in place as those parts should not be read by grub but by "automagic" which runs after each kernel update. The part which really makes grub boot the kernel looks like this:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back to the roots!


Installing Vista did of course (and not surprisingly) overwrite the MBR so I couldn't boot into Ubuntu anymore. I took this as an excuse for doing a clean Linux install and decided to go for Debian Etch. I downloaded a weekly snapshot from here, to be precise "debian-testing-amd64-kde-CD-1.iso". You don't need to download more than the first CD iso depending on your preferred desktop. Choosing the default "CD-1.iso" will leave you with Gnome as desktop. But you may change your mind later on and install one or the other desktop environment. OK, so download one of the "CD-1".iso's, burn it to CD and boot it!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My Vista Experience, Pt. 2

Vista and current hardware should be no problem. But what about some more ancient piece of hardware? OK, step by step...

Before installing Vista I upgraded my motherboard's BIOS to the latest version (which by the time of writing was "F5" for my Gigabyte "GA-M55S-S3"). I think that wouldn't have been absolutely necessary but I also hoped getting rid of my Linux "noapic-problem" - which I sadly didn't... As already mentioned, installation of Vista was peace of cake and video, sound and ethernet worked right away. As I like to play "World of Warcraft" I did install the original vendors drivers for video, sound and chipset for better performance. No problems so far. Same goes for my Terratec Cinergy DVB-T USB stick and my HP Photosmart printer.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

My Vista Experience, Pt. 1 ½

Today only two screenshots made with Vista's "Snipping Tool" (by the way, very cool)...
This is the new Windows Control Panel with all new icons and the new "Windows Update":



Just to give you some impressions.
Again, to be continued...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My Vista Experience, Pt. 1

I finally did it... I told you, the voices in my head... I couldn't resist any longer... Yeah, I'm weak... Argh, what the heck, so I ordered "Windows Vista Home Premium" at Amazon and installed it. In the following I'd like to share my first steps in this shiny new "World of Vista".

First a little more detailed view on my hardware:
  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200 (Dual Core)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-M55S-S3 (nForce5)
  • Videocard: Gainward Bliss 7600GT 256MB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Display: Samsung SynMaster 205BW (@1680x1050)
  • Scanner: Agfa SnapScan 1212U
  • Printer: HP Photosmart D6160
  • MP3 Player: Creative Zen Xtra MP3 Player
  • Digicam: Canon Powershot S40
  • Webcam: Logitech Quickcam Express Plus
  • TV: Terratec Cinergy Hybrid T USB XS
Some of it works great with Vista, some doesn't. I'll come to that later.

Installation of Vista went really smooth and Microsoft finally managed it to make it as easy as most modern Linux distros. No ancient Windows NT blue/white installer anymore. With Vista you'll boot into a GUI right away. Answer a few simple questions like entering registration code or partition to use etc. Only one reboot and two or three more simple questions like i.e. user name and you're set. The whole installation process took about 30 minutes and Vista was running. So far so good. I can say that I'm quit familiar with any Windows version prior to Vista, but I have to work my way through this new version. It's quite different and reminds somehow at OSX. I guess you could compare moving from Windows XP to Vista is like moving from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows XP. Especially the directory structure differs a lot from WinXP.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Installing Feisty in VMware

The main goal of installing VMware of course is installing Feisty in VMware. Installing other operating systems in VMware doesn't differ from the method described below, so go ahead and try! There's also help available here.

1. Getting the ISO

We need the Feisty iso image first, so download it from here (by the time of writing it's "Herd 4", I installed "Herd 3").

2. Creating an new virtual machine

Now it's time to create a new virtual machine (vm). Start VMware server console ("Applications -> System Tools -> VMware Server Console") and click "Create new virtual machine". Select "Custom", "Version -> Ubuntu". You may then choose a name for you new vm. Then, leave the defaults except:

  • Memory: 512MB (depending on your system's physical RAM...)

  • Network Connection: "NAT"

  • VirtualDisk type: "IDE"

After clicking "Finish" the new virtual disk will be created, this may take some time depending on the selected size (8GB should be OK).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Installing VMware Server on Edgy

With VMware Server being free now, there's a great tool available for testing different operating systems, which is very good if you like to have a sneak at coming versions of Ubuntu without "damaging" your main system. The installation of VMware under Ubuntu is straight forward and I never had problems with it, but here's a little HOWTO:

Friday, February 9, 2007

Edgy: recent kernel update & nvidia driver

The recent security fixes for Edgy included a kernel update to version 2.6.17-11, which left me with a non starting X server. However, I booted the old kernel and everything was fine. So I had a look at the problem.

I'm using the default Ubuntu nVidia drivers (nvidia-glx package) but the kernel update did not automatically update the linux-restricted-modules package, so the nVidia kernel module was missing for the new kernel 2.6.17-11. Installing this package manually resolved the problem and now I'm running the new kernel. I think, it should be added automatically when updating... (Kind of déjà vu from Dapper?)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

New design

After upgrading to the latest WordPress release I felt for change in my blog's layout. The upgrade itself was painless as ever following these instructions. During previous updates I chose to overwrite existing WordPress files only but this time I decided to follow the detailed instructions by deleting everything with the exception of wp-config.php and the wp-content folder. Then I uploaded the new WP files - et voilà!

After upgrading I looked around for a new design. I liked the dark.cash theme by Jeff Malek a lot (great work!) but I wanted a three column theme now. So I stumbled across the "nonzero" theme by headsetoptions. I had a few difficulties at the beginning because all posts in category number "2" (which is "Linux" here) were not showing up. I had to change a line in index.php and everything was OK then. I don't have much experience with css but I'm beginning to like it as I managed to modify the "nonzero-black" theme a bit and now it has a "slight" orange touch. ;-)
The cool thing about the "nonzero" theme is it's ability to use widgets. Installing the widget-plugin is easy: copy the widgets folder (which is included in the theme archive or you may download it here) to your .../wp-contents/plugins folder and activate the plugin. If you have a "widget ready" theme you'll see a new option in the WP admin panel under "Presentation". You may now drag and drop widgets to the sidebar(s). Take for example the heise.de rss feeds located on this blogs sidebar. Some other plugins may show up as widgets too (i.e. the FireStats plugin), so it's easier then ever to add them to the sidebar(s)!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Jabber IM

There are a lot of instant messengers out there but most of them are sponsored by big companies like Microsoft (MSN/Live Messenger), AOL (AIM, ICQ) or Yahoo (Yahoo Messenger). There's nothing wrong with that if you don't mind some advertising... As I'm a fan of OpenSource software I'd like to mention Jabber (protocol is called XMPP) here. The server as well as the client software is open source and as far as I know the only limitation compared to other proprietary messenger protocols is the missing support of video chats. GMX and web.de released there own messengers based on XMPP, which means you can use any Jabber client to contact their chat network.

All you need is a Jabber account. A good point to start is the official Jabber homepage. There's a list of servers where you may want to create an account. A Jabber ID looks like an e-mail address: nickname@jabber-server. If all is set you have to decide which Jabber client you'd like to use. There's whole bunch of them and you can find some here. I'd recommend Psi. It's available for all platforms (Linux, Windows, MacOS), easy to use and at least I don't miss any features. If - like myself - you're running Ubuntu with no KDE installed, which is needed by Psi you may find Gajim a good alternative. Or just stay with the desktop's defaults: Kopete for KDE and Gaim for Gnome! When starting one of those messengers for the first time, they'll ask everything to configure your account and you should end up witch something like this:


Monday, January 22, 2007

Exaile! media player

A few weeks ago I stumbled over Exaile!, an excellent media player for Linux which aims to be the GTK pendant to KDE's Amarok and it fit's great into Ubuntu's default Gnome desktop. If you have Edgy 32bit installed just grab the deb package. Compiling for Edgy 64bit is very easy and quick, so don't hesitate to download the sources. Either way you need to make sure to have some packages pre-installed:

  • Python 2.4
  • python-pyvorbis
  • python-pysqlite2
  • python-mutagen
  • python-pyogg
  • python-elementtree
  • python-gtk2 (2.8.6)
  • gstreamer0.10, gstreamer0.10-plugins-good
  • python-gst0.10 or python-gstreamer0.10
  • python-dbus
  • python-gpod (for iPod support)
  • gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly (for MP3 support)
  • python-id3lib
  • gstreamer0.10-gnomevfs (for SHOUTcast support)
  • python-gamin (for directory watching)
  • sexy-python (to add a clear button to filters)
  • python-gnome2-extras or some similarly-named package (for lyrics, better tray icon, etc.)

Monday, January 15, 2007

BadVista.org


A big grin rushed over my face when I saw BadVista.org. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Windows, in fact I like it and use it myself. Windows made it possible for thousands of people to use a computer, including me. Well, not because it's easy to use, safe or secure (or cheap) but just because of the fact that it's pre-installed on almost every new computer and it's the first thing the majority of computer users are seeing when booting a computer for the first time. But: Windows is not "easier" to use than any other (Desktop-)OS. But as it's the first OS most users get to know, they might think that the way Windows makes things work is THE way. If you're not interested any further you'd stay with what you know.

For every day work you won't need Windows and in fact, there are only very few apps (mostly games, like Civilization IV or, very important: World of Warcraft!) that make me keep Windows. So, if you're a gamer there's no alternative. But for "every-day-work" I don't need Windows and don't use it. And I think most users would not need Windows. Having that said, I have to admit that I probably will update to Vista... someday... Not because it'll be necessary but just because those voices in my head keep telling me to update everything... It's a curse but I'll have to live with it... ;-)

OK, now back to "BadVista". I think it's a good thing to hear the "other side" not contaminated with MS thinking. There are a few very scary things about Vista, including the fact that USA's NSA helped to make it "more secure" (at least that way you know who's listening) and the integration of DRM (Digital Rights Management). As I like to stay boss of my computer I can't accept the fact that Vista's DRM might like to "know" what's better for it. Windows, being closed source, can't do much to make those bad feelings about it go away.

Keeping in mind that - as well as Microsoft - BadVista.org might not be 100% objective, I'd recommend reading some of the blogs. It's worth it and maybe you think twice before installing Vista and consider an alternate OS!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

"Casino Royal"

Though a little off-topic again (be sure I'll write something real nerd-like about a new Star Trek movie if ever released!!), I'd like to comment on the new James Bond movie. I think it's a real good and entertaining action movie and despite any comment to follow below I do like it! But... THIS IS NOT JAMES BOND!

First of all, Daniel Craig may be a good actor but he's no Bond. I liked Pierce Brosnan a lot as Bond though my favorite still is Connery of course. Besides the title credits and the last minute of the movie nothing really reminds of the former James Bond movies. It has - for a Bond movie - a lot of emotions and I was missing the typical Bond humor. Let's not mention the rather illogical time line: "Casino Royal" is placed at the beginning of Bond's career... with a female "M" who's missing the "cold war"... As far as I know, bond started out with a male "M" as his superior during the cold war, and now the same "M" is at the beginning and the end of his career?? ;-) OK, let's not mention this and it wouldn't bother me even if I considered "Casino Royal" a real Bond movie. It's a bit like "Never say never again". (But the latter should never have been made. Why couldn't they just stay with the original "Thunderball"? - Only my opinion...) Even the title track doesn't sound like James Bond...
I guess I have to watch "Goldfinger" again to see a real Bond! Again: I like "Casino Royal", but don't expect James Bond...

Monday, January 1, 2007

Customizing "Edgy" HOWTO

Ubuntu Edgy is installed - but that's only half the way! Here are some tips and tricks on how to customize your installation of Edgy. As I'm using a rather common system I hope this HOWTO may be helpful for some of you (though it'll be nothing you wouldn't find in the official Ubuntu Howto/Wiki).
Adding repositories

By default Ubuntu makes use of "main" and "restricted" repositories only, so first of all we need to add "universe" and "mutliverse". To do that open "/etc/apt/sources.list":
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

At the top there should be a line which starts with "deb cdrom .....". Place a "#" in front of it. This way apt won't ask for your installation CD each time a package from there is needed, but it'll load it down. I hate playing DJ when installing software. If you're low on bandwidth you may keep this entry of course.
You may now add each repository individually or just add "universe multiverse" to each line which has no leading "#", so you should end up with something like this (no breaks, should be six lines!):