Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winning a Ford Truck in A Hole-In-One

This is amazing. A woman fills out a raffle ticket in a Ford dealership. The win is for a Ford F-150 and all she has to do is put a hockey puck into a tiny hole from the middle of line. Watch the awesome happen.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Clementine It Is

I'm staying with Clementine after trying several other alternative in the media player application category. I tried Rhythmbox and Banshee simultaneously at one time. Rhythmbox feels so under featured right now that I'd rather use CMUS. In fact I have used CMUS at one one-week period of this try-out. I enjoy playing this command line controlled media player without fuss and with minimal resources for hours on end.

Banshee is the one time Ubuntu favorite media application. I always find something to be annoyed when using Banshee. Failing to start, Dbus problems, extension failures/incompatibility. I can't get internet radio to work or fetch stations (Rhythmbox trumps Banshee in this category). Banshee's feature set is exactly what I want out of a desktop media player. So the search continues.

Clementine is based on Amarok-1.4 and it uses Qt. (Banshee uses mono and Rhythmbox uses Gtk). Most of the features I like in Banshee has an equivalent on Clementine. But the execution, that's the difference. Fetching album art is an example. Banshee do it pretty much under the covers. No option for the user to intervene in case of failure or wrong album cover art. And what if I just want a different album cover?

Clementine's solution is a Cover Art manager with image search and the user gets to choose. 

It has default radio stations prefetched. It has Shoutcast, live365. and Icecast. It has and again the execution. You can 'loved' a track right in the window dash. You can program playback based on your personal stat. Like Banshee, Clementine is cross platform.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

This blog is a labor of love but i don't understand how somebody else can post here. I've changed the password for the email2post feature. Should I consider changing my email password too.

This is disconcerting. Not too many people follow me in this blog but I do apologize for the spam. I am doing my best to prevent this from happening again.

Launch For Curiousity

Curiousity ready on the launchpad. It's 2 hours minus lauch. She is looking good.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Duck And Cover

It's Asteroid 2005 YU55 and it's getting bigger.

approximately 3.6 lunar distance
time: 1945 UTC

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Really Feel The Connection

Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer Speaks

Against bullying and the bill about to be passed against bullying.

Except she takes exception on the exceptions inserted into the bill. The bill allows bullying in cases of religion and moral grounds. In other words if I want to bully a gay person because my religion forbids homosexual relations, I'm within bounds of this bill.

Let's hear her words: Youtube video.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brother and Sisters [a gif]

Sisters have a great future as a band.
The brother has a great future in aah.. as a music critic?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Gnome-shell Dash In Arch

I've come to the point where I can use Arch everyday without needing anything else. I'm really happy about trying Arch out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reblogged:Boosting User Efficiency in Ubuntu 11.10

I touched on some user annoyance and efficiency issues in my last post. Here's a great resource on the topic of efficiency how-to in Ubuntu 11.10 and certainly a must read for Ubuntu power users if you want to use Unity. 

Configuration Settings and Shortcuts in Ubuntu 11.10 - Efficiency Boosters 

 by Naweed Chougle.  

I Didn't Miss It

It's not true that Macs don't suffer malware. They do. No operating
systems that I know of (been using computers since 1988, or was it 1989)
is immune to it. I've used Windows-3.1 to XP. I used Macs for 6 months
at work and in that time yes it got infected.

On the other hand I started using Linux in 2006 (March, it was a
birthday gift) at home, mostly as a hobby at the start. I am now using
Linux at home, in my laptop, and at work. Not once did I have a problem
with malware. I don't miss it. I remember how paranoid I was when it
comes to virus in the Windows machines.

Maybe I got smarter as a user. I got wiser as I got older perhaps. I
know that malware for the Windows PC is in the thousands. There's none
for Linux, in the wild at least. Eventually, when Linux distros get a
market share above the 10 percentile maybe an enterprising hacker might
be interested to code a virus that can force it to its knees, who knows?

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Dual Boot Experiences: Ubuntu And Arch

I have been a long time Ubuntu user. Last June I decided to install Arch Linux in my PC, side by side with Ubuntu. First I want to widen my linux skills beyond Ubuntu and secondly, with Unity in Ubuntu and Gnome-shell everywhere else, I wanted to find out which is the best. So I made a new partition and download the Arch iso.

Arch of course, is a minimal distro. I can choose any DE I like from Gnome to KDE, Xfce to E17. I chose Gnome-shell. 

Now that I can boot to both Unity and Gnome-shell, which one do I prefer?

I must say Unity looks cool and awesome. In 11.10, most of the bugs are gone. (although I had to smile when one of the open application icon suddenly disappear when I used the alt+tab). If I want to add an application in the Launcher, I can accomplish it with drag+drop. It's a snap. If I want an application on a certain workspace I just type alt+spacebar>workspace[n] same as in Gnome-shell. 

If I want the mouse to do the job, I have to go to super window mode (hit super window key) and drag the window to the workspace. Nothing unique to any of the DE here except I noticed that in Unity I can hit the right as well as the left superkey, very considerate for the left-handed. 

In Gnome-shell an extra (empty) workspace is created whenever you move/open an application. In Unity, the default is always 4 workspaces. I don't know how this impacts memory usage over time. I find resource usage in Unity higher than Gnome-shell although this speaks more about the distro than the DE. How can I say that? I can enable the gnome-shell in Ubuntu 11.10 too and resource usage is more or less the same as Unity.

Annoyances? I cant' start working until the notifications (from twitter and facebook) are finished. At least the notifications in gnome-shell is interactive. The Ubuntu devs have to rethink that. Users can't remove gwibber because its back ends are part of the Unity desktop. Adding salt to the wound, I really don't use gwibber because I use the twitter client which means I open the browser.  Same with facebook.

Themes work on Unity as well as in the windows of Gnome3. Note I said the windows (as well as the icons). Whenever I try changing the theme for the gnome-shell itself I encounter an odd thing. I can't use the type-to-search in the dashboard. As soon as I type the first letter everything freezes and I have to do a hardware reset to log back in.

Finally, I use the Gnome-shell most often. This doesn't speak of my preference either way. It speaks of my delight in using a distro that doesn't seem to burden me with a lot of scripts and assumes that i can find my way around. It's refreshing. I'm talking about Arch. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Google Plus Games Is Addictive

Google+ games include 'Dragons of Atlantis', 'Angry Birds', 'Mafia Wars 2' etc. I am increasingly engaged on several games here. Engage means several hours everyday. Hey it's free and social.


This could be the start of something bad and addictive I think. Like when I start scratching something until my finger bleeds.




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yesterday Was A Good Day, Today Not So Good

I am back on my Arch Linux side of the hard drive because ... wait.

My plan tonight is to use Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot for the rest of the night maybe until tomorrow but after I updated my packages with the latest updates there are several problems. Firefox' cpu usage is spiking to beyond 100% and Banshee is also showing beyond 100% cpu usage. Good news for Gwibber. It's fast now seemed to be working the way it should.

I killed both Firefox and Banshee and restarted them both. The events for both applications are reproducible therefore it is a bug. No apport window prompts appeared. They might have disable it. Might not be working to their liking. In any case I switched back to here, my Arch Linux OS.

Unity shell seems to me stable so why these two applications.

Let me show some screenshots of my upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04 to Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot.

After careful calculation Ubuntu update-manager is going to upgrade 1474 files. Are you sure it's safe?

Safe? Of course I'm sure it's safe. Trust me.

Blind faith really. kidding.

I am bold but I have Arch to fall back on so...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ubuntu One On Arch Linux

Updated (October 22, 2011): Ubuntu One client is now back in the Ayatana repository. I recommend adding the Ayatana repository to your package source and installing it using Pacman. If you already have Ubuntu one client (via AUR) and wish to get it from Ayatana but getting error messages when installing it, please post to Arch Linux forum for support.

Ubuntu One is a very good alternative to Dropbox. It comes with Ubuntu and if you created an account you need not leave it if you are using another distro. Ubuntu One developers will work with you in installing Ubuntu One on your distro.

I use Arch Linux.

It is available in AUR (Arch User Repository). The ubuntuone-client is available to Arch users here. Arch users should be familiar with installing packages from AUR. If you need to get some background on how to do that, please read this.

There are several dependencies that you also get from AUR, so install those first. In any case, you will get dependency prompts if you try to install a package with dependency not in the Arch repository. Don't worry. The dependencies are available in AUR too. I was able to install the ubuntuone-client after satisfying and installing all the dependencies.

After installation, you need to login. Please open the terminal and type:

$ u1sdtool -c

The ubuntuone login window will guide you to creating an account or signing in. You need an email address and a password. If you have an existing account just fill in the details. Your password will be saved to gnome-keyring.

To start the ubuntuone sync-daemon type:

$ u1sdtool --start

An Ubuntu One folder is created in your home directory.

It also adds Ubuntu One in your list of startup applications. You can check if this is so in:

$ gnome-session-properties

If it is in the list that means you don't have to start it manually.

There's no graphical UI so a cli is your best bet. Open a terminal and type:

$ man u1sdtool

for help with the commands.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A growing trend in UI these days is minimalism. From Google+ to the new Facebook UI. The drakfire dream theme for GNOME 3 desktop is no exception.

No more title bars? No more titles?

I just updated Banshee to 2.2.x. It automatically refreshed metadata by scanning my directory. It came out fine for me. I just don't like not being told before it does that.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Using Networkmanager Instead of the Network default in Arch

I've been using networking in Arch by default. It is quite sufficient
since I have a wired network and this is a residential desktop. But
since the whole point of using Arch is to learn I have decided to use
Networkmanager to simulate what ordinary laptop users will have to do to
get connections from mobile sources for example.

So to download the necessary packages, I did:

$ pacman -S networkmanager network-manager-applet

as well as:

$ pacman -S dhclient modemmanager dnsmasq

There's still a little tweak that must be done first to make this work.
First open /etc/rc.conf and go to Daemons to edit the array. Make sure
to remove networking and add networkmanager. Place it after dbus to
enable applications which will need internet connection to get
information from network manager. So I have mine like so:

Daemons={...dbus networkmanager ...}

This will ensure that network manager will work at every boot.

I did open GNOME network connection gui too. I made sure it is using
opendns. Click Wired/or whatever your network name is and then edit.
Under ipv4 tab, make sure it is Addresses Only in the dropdown button.
Enter the dns servers:

Save your settings.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Drakfire Theme [dash]

Screen shot of the dash in GNOME Drakfire theme with Faenza dark icons.

Drakfire Theme for the Gnome 3 Desktop [Arch]

The default theme for the GNOME desktop is Adwaita. I changed mine to
Drakfire complete theme plus a change from the default GNOME icons to
Faenza [dark].

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

fstab Working and Partitions Mounting At Boot

Since I started to dual boot Ubuntu 11.04 and Arch Linux, I haven't
found a good solution to my various partitions failing to mount at boot.
It works in Ubuntu fstab but when it comes to the Arch fstab, one or two
partitions fail to mount at boot.

I have a partition that mounts on another partition. Or should I say a
partition within a partition, to be clearer. I should have the various
partitions listed in the order that I want them mounted. Ok so it's a
newbie mistake but I was blinded by the Ubuntu fstab that works.

After checking the list of partitions, "/", root first then "/home".
After these two partitions come "/home/user/Directory". Then comes the
"/home/user/Directory/sub-directory". Strictly in this order. Saved
fstab. Reboot.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pacman Woes Are Due to Security Breach At

My apologies to Arch for the statements I made regarding the slow
updates. I recently read about the security breach at and
more likely the reason for the slow speed of my updates. I have changed
my /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist and yes the updates have gone faster.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pacman Has to Get Better

I finally got my printers working. I got cups (and cupsd in
the /etc/rc.conf) I installed hpoj and a group of printer drivers. So to
get my Arch linux to recognize there's a usb printer connected to my
system I have to run a daemon (ptal-init setup) and include it
in /etc/rc.conf. That finally enabled (after a reboot) my GNOME control
center to acknowledge that there is indeed an HP-3900 at the end of my
usb port.

The real personal story behind my saga with a printer is pacman. It is
now throwing 'network not reachable' everytime I start it. Every
download and sync. I ran --debug and ping ip addresses and so far I will
conclude that it's a really really slow ftp server. The server is so
slow pacman is timing out connections. It's unusable guys.

My first rolling release distro and I've decided that Arch rises and
falls with the performance of their package manager. Great distro for
the DIY community. But sorry I can't recommend Arch linux to my mother
who just want to finish her Monday report to her boss by Monday.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Additional Screen Shots For Oneiric Ocelot Upgrade

The new Software Center UI.

Upgrade To Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot

Started the upgrade process at 1:45 am and finished with a reboot at
4:05 am today.

It's faster to download at the early morning hours. Or perhaps I am a
real geek for spending a Friday night infront of my computer. But this
image is nice though.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I have a previous post about my efforts at dual booting Ubuntu 11.04 and Arch Linux. My goal is to continue using and learning Linux. Switching between the two distros will give me the familiarity of Ubuntu and the 'forced' minimalism of Arch. Minimalism here just means using the command line and modifying config files for various customizations. Things which Ubuntu doesn't conveniently reveal to general users.

 Previous post here will explain the start of this journey.

Now where am I in this little walk. I'm using GNOME 3 in Arch because it's the latest. I'm still using the old GNOME with the Unity shell when I'm in Ubuntu 11.04. This will not last very long now because I plan to upgrade to Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot Beta tomorrow. I heard a lot of good things during the alpha. Drooling now...

An aside to the post here:
     I'm using a brand new UI for Blogger right now and there's this quirky cursor behavior. When I hit [enter] the cursor jumps to the top-left of the post. Then I hit [down-arrow] and it comes down to the correct location where I want it in the first place. Very odd, smile.

So far problems:
I've found several solutions to finding software in Arch. Compiling from source isn't the easiest and most convenient. I can do it. You can do it. But I don't think you'd like it. The extra and community repository contains most open source software you'll ever need. libalpm is solid. Pacman is the command line front end to libalpm (Arch linux Package management library). So I found my first software I can't seem to get with Arch. Shutter. It's a screen capture tool with all the plugins of GIMP and uploading features to boot.

I was looking for solutions when I found custom unsupported repository. Basically, PPA's (in the Ubuntu side of the universe). You add these personal repository in /etc/pacman.conf and pacman will source it for software. That's how I found a treasure trove of arch fonts and ubuntu fonts. But so far, no Shutter.

I caught the news in Mashable while fast reading my Google Reader. They finally released the new Blogger. Yay!

I'll say that the UI is very clean and non-distracting.

It integrates very well with Google+ and with Google Reader. I think I'll be using Blogger more now than before. I like what they did here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A chinese tycoon offers to buy 300 km2 of...

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A chinese tycoon offers to buy 300 km2 of Iceland to develop for a hotel and golf course. The offer is 100 million dollars. The planned land purchase is 0.35% of the land area of Iceland.
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What's the point of the social media? Like...

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What's the point of the social media? Like you throw fresh meat into a crocodile enclosure and then let the wild animals bite and tear and regurgitate...yuck. Then it gets interesting.
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Ubuntu Desktop Over the Years

The Linux desktop wasn't at the top of developers priorities. It took Ubuntu to focus on the general users and highlight new users to Linux.
So I've been trying to find images and screenshots of my own desktop over the years.


This was circa early 2007. I'm using Ubuntu 7.04.

I started manipulating the panels and fonts.


While this is a year later with Ubuntu 8.10.

 I got a brand new computer at this time with Nvidia 8500 GeForce  and my desktop feels solid and nimble.
The Gnome 2.32 desktop environment is at its most mature. I guess if there's such a thing as the golden year of Gnome this is it.
The next big thing to happen to the Ubuntu desktop is Canonical's best move in terms of leaving its mark on the desktop. It's the coming of the Ubuntu font. Although the next image doesn't have the Ubuntu font, it was a good illustration of what an appropriate font can do to a desktop.

This is Ubuntu 9.04 with URW Gothic font at 11 pts. I am using the Dust Sand theme here.
Another area of changes and improvement is the evolution of icons and icon sets. I am using a mash up of icons in this next image.

This is Ubuntu 9.10.
The next evolution of the Ubuntu desktop defines elegance and style. It is one of the most stable I've used and Ubuntu 10.04 would be singled out by any Ubuntu fan as memorable.

This is Ubuntu 10.04, the Long Term Support LTS version of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 10.10 will feature the Ubuntu font by default and finally bring out its default themes: Ambiance and Radiance.

This is Ubuntu 10.10

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Family's First Television

'One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.'

When Neil Armstrong said those famous words, the whole world was literally watching. I was only discovering this magical mesmerizing box of light and images. I was a boy of three and I had to ask mother's permission to go to a neighbor's home to watch the first man on the moon. The world's love affair with the television has begun long before this though. But no other event pushed this electronic device out to the masses like the moon landing.

My family got our own television set two weeks after the global event. I like to think we got the television because father saw the potential of the technology but mother will later tease us that he was just anticipating a boxing match by Gabriel 'flash' Elorde. ( I very much doubt this.*smile*) It doesn't matter which event I should thank. I got Sesame Street when I was five. I watched The Twilight Zone and Star Trek when I was ten.

Our first television was a Zenith. Very much like the one advertised below.


P.S. Ours wasn't in color.

Finalists for the Stirling Price [Photos]

These are very beautiful designs of buildings from the best of modern architecture. These are not surprisingly finalists for the Stirling Price.

1. The Royal Shakespeare Theater
2. Evelyn Grace Academy
3. Olympic Velodrome at Olympic Park, London (London Olympics)
4. Crushed Glass Museum in the Ruhr industrial region, Germany
5. An Gaelaras Cultural Centre
6. Angel Building (office block)

Problem With Mail Authentication In Evolution Mail

I encounter this pervasive and nagging bug in Evolution Mail's strange relationship with its co-GNOME app called Seahorse (although this...