Friday, December 21, 2012

Three months into using Ubuntu 12.10 and Arch Linux in a dual boot set up, I have the pleasure to say that it has been a happy co-existence. I've always been partial to Ubuntu, and after using it for 6 years now I can be forgiven. It has not disappointed me despite the changes in recent years. Now that changing operating systems is just an arrow key away in the grub page, I believe I've been spending considerable time in front of my computer using Arch instead. This light Linux distribution is fast and feels unhampered by added scripts. Indeed even with GNOME on top, the keyboard and mouse works without the nanosecond of waiting for a response.

Arch
 I have Linux kernel 3.6.x-x and GNOME 3.6. I have just upgraded my hardware with a recent purchase of an Intel 40 GB SSD to accompany my 1 TB SATA drive. I have a 2 GB RAM and a 2 GB swap partition.

Ubuntu
Ubuntu 12.10 comes with kernel 3.5.x and a GNOME3 base. I prefer to use whatever default packages my choice of distribution is offering. In 12.10 unity is version 6.10.

Ubuntu and Arch share the Intel SSD equally but I installed GRUB in Ubuntu as I consider myself more skilled in Ubuntu/Debian than in Arch.  I also take into account the fact that Arch is a rolling distro and is more likely to upgrade kernels or break after an update. So far I don't have to worry about it though.

Former SeaWorld trainer reaches out to girl bitten by dolphin

I really would like an impartial study on animals in captivity especially marine mammals. Our need to be as close to animals as much possible must be balanced with the issues raised by Samantha Berg here.

 
 

Sent to you by danny via Google Reader:

 
 


Jillian Thomas was feeding a dolphin at SeaWorld Orlando when it partially launched out of the water and grabbed the girl's hand. Now a former SeaWorld trainer is reaching out to the 8-year-old.

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hi Reese

Since I last talk to you Mom and Imee talked on the phone. Maybe it's the season or maybe she knows that she's coming home soon, so she's giving instructions to her. I have been reporting regularly about the situation here and about the tenants. so she knows well enough to make some decisions. I get the word from Imee. Today a Meralco man came to disconnect service. Domer promised to pay on Monday the 18th. Domer also promised us that the rent would be paid on the 16th, Sunday. I am expecting that.

I wanted to tell you about Imee volunteering to take care of some people in need in the hospice. She's inquiring how it should be done and what the conditions are. She wanted to practice some of the training she received months ago. Some lonely people, old people in dire need of some assistance are living the remainder of their lives in houses re-dedicated to caring for them. So it's a volunteer job,free food and bed plus allowance.

Roger came home from Bacolod and I told him I have a job for him. Unit R-2 needs some paneling replaced, walls replaced and some cleaning done. I want him to check the drainage again. Roger can also nail up the ceiling. The wood is fine but years of weight took its toll and they need to be tightened down.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Update: systemd And dnscrypt-proxy

  Last post about dnscrypt-proxy and systemd, I was telling you it doesn't work. It could be that the rc.d script with the dnscrypt-proxy package I downloaded isn't being called. I switched to a full systemd a couple of weeks ago. My interim solution is to use opendns and uncomment the nohook option in /etc/dhcpcd.conf. I'm guessing i should also manually change the servers in /etc/resolv.conf too. Or maybe just use Network Manager graphical input the opendns servers. I ended doing both.

So it works. I'm now using opendns and not my ISP's dns. You won't believe how much my ISP's dns block. Torrent sites, porn sites. Twitter and Facebook is sooo slooow.

I am an Arch Linux user and GNOME is my desktop. Just in case you were wondering.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Internet of the Dead: the net’s collision course with death

When I think about it, we live on in our email addresses in some unknown server somewhere.

 
 

Sent to you by danny via Google Reader:

 
 

via Cory Doctorow's craphound.com by Cory Doctorow on 11/26/12

My latest Locus magazine column is "The Internet of the Dead," which discusses the collision course the Internet is on with death. It was inspired by my work to preserve the personal data of my old friend Erik "Possum Man" Stewart, who died unexpectedly and tragically in June:

It was while I sat in Possum's room that I began to think about his computer. It was a homemade Franken-PC that sat under his desk, its wheezy fan making a racket like an ancient refrigerator. After I'd left Possum's house and headed back to the airport, I got to thinking about that computer. I strongly suspected that Possum would have copied over all the data of his life – all the e-mails and lists and photos and movies and programs and essays and stories and, well, *everything* – onto each new machine, keeping it all live and handy. After all, hard-drives are cheap – especially if you're building your own tower PC with lots of full-height drive bays – and their capacity increases exponentially, year on year. It's been a long time since it made sense to keep your archives in a shoebox full of Zip cartridges or floppy drives. If you buy a PC every couple of years, your new machine will almost certainly have more than twice the hard-drive space of your old one. Keeping your data on your live, spinning platter means that it will get saved every time you do your regular backup (assuming you perform this essential ritual!), and if the drive starts to fail, you'll know about it right away. It's not like dragging an old floppy out of a dusty box and praying that it hasn't succumbed to bitrot since it was put away.

Possum never uploaded his consciousness to a computer, but he approximated such a transfer, one keystroke at a time, year after year, filling those noisy, full-height drives with all his secrets, all his creative outpourings, all his minutiae and mundane trivialities and extraordinary profundities. It's a transfer we're all effecting, but Possum got a head start on most of us, kicking off the project in the 1980s. That homely, rackety tower under Possum's desk was him, in some important sense – in the same sense that my laptop holds a good deal of what it means to be me.

Cory Doctorow: The Internet of the Dead


 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Full systemd

I've been planning to switch from Arch initscripts and sysvinit to
systemd. I finally downloaded the necessary packages and removed
/etc/rc.conf entirely. I enabled the daemons in the rc.conf array.

No issues except that the dnscrypt-proxy daemon is not starting. The
status in systemctl is loaded but inactive (dead). Now I'm confused.

I have internet connection but no dns. I temporarily removed the nohook
option in dhcpcd.conf to let my ISP's dns handle the dns function.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Thoughts On GNOME 3 Online Accounts

I like the idea that chat and email (and yes the social networks) are
being handled (created, started, notifications) by the operating system
or at least the desktop environment. Of course individual applications
are also doing these things on their own (Zimbra client, Thunderbird).
My surprise is that desktop environments are failing at this and
Zimbra-Thunderbird are pushing forward.

I am using GNOME 3.6.x now in Arch Linux. I guess the question in the
users' mind is when will it be robust enough so the basic integration is
persistent even after a point update. Obviously, the development doesn't
stop but certainly you have to agree that all these effort should end
with your product being used by most of your intended user community.

My wariness stems from GNOME 3's inclination to break things which are
previously working. Sometimes all it takes is to clean old configuration
files and restart the application or session. Sometimes a
re-installation is required. I would venture to guess that most of GNOME
3's intended users would not be able to "fix" this troubles even after
google-ing it.

Evolution In GNOME 3.6.x

I am using Thunderbird instead of Evolution in GNOME 3.6 now. I like
GNOME 3 but it breaks. It breaks some important stuff like email. There
something wrong with it. I like that Evolution is simple but it breaks
easily-like after one week of use.

The official word is: The reported error was
"GDBus.Error:org.gnome.OnlineAccounts.Error.NotAuthorized: Invalid
password with username `username@gmail.com' (goa-error-quark, 0): Code:
401 - Unexpected response from server".

I've tried deleting some Evolution files in .cache and .conf to no
avail. I also tried re-installing and then some. Google tells me there
were others before me having the same problem. So I added my name to the
pile in launchpad.

I'm glad that Evolution is faster now. Still I want it to work too.

By the way, I'm typing this in Thunderbird

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nate Silver, Rock Star

Nate Silver predicted an Obama victory. He was ridiculed by pundits. Nate is correct and accurate enough to also predict the percentage difference of the two candidates. In 2008 he also gave his predictions and he was right 49 out of the 50 states in the union. This time he's 50/50.

He embarassed the pundits and made them look like old wizards looking at crystal balls. Today mathematics triumph over punditry.




Barack Obama Wins Second Term 2012

After a hotly contested campaign, a super hurricane at the 11th hour, Barack Obama wins a second term of his Presidency. This image was tweeted after his acceptance speech.



He's a man who loves his wife and daughters. He led the US economy and saved it from total crash.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

US Elections 2012

Pundits are calling it too close to call. No one knows who will be the next President of the United States.



My prediction is Obama in 2% over Romney. And the US economy figures will go up no matter who wins. Europe will continue to have problems with Greece and Spain.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated To GNOME 3.6 Arch Linux

Arch just released the GNOME 3.6 packages to general users (non-testers). I updated my system a week ago. (just posting it now)



Like previous install of GNOME, I definitely want a change of icons. I got Faenza icons and icon themes installed and enabled them with gnome-tweak-tool. You might want to visit the gnome-extension website to turn on user-theme extension first.

I saved an epiphany-app site for twitter (and facebook) as I use it often. Epiphany is a native GNOME browser with minimal resource usage. I can open it and never close it until I turn off the computer. I really want to hear arguments regarding security with this kind of use scenario.



I tend to open it and not close it until the session is over. I wouldn't worry if its Firefox and working with Apparmor profile.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Theme Installed

I got to the point when all the application I needed to do my work is in place. Arch linux with GNOME is ready for some alternative look. Formerly I have drakfire but I was looking for a light theme. But before I install a theme I downloaded faenza icons and its themes from deviant-art site.

Using the Gnome-tweak-tool (installed beforehand) I went to the Gnome-extensions site and enable the User-theme extension.

Then I downloaded the Faenza icons and extracted it to the ~/.icons directory. I then switched the icon selector in gnome-tweak-tool to faenza.



This is the icons as it appears in the dash-applications.



This is the alternate wallpaper I switched to. Elementary theme for the Gnome-shell. I also have the system-monitor applet in the panel.(via AUR)

I figured I should have a dark theme (Adwaita) and the light theme (Elementary). Great job for the GNOME people - GNOME 3.4.x


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Call To Arms




In the eve (very nearly the eve) of the launch of Windows 8, Canonical releases the latest Ubuntu version. In its homepage is splashed "AVOID THE PAIN OF WINDOWS 8'. It is akin to a war cry like the ones bellowed out when two armies faced each other in the field before contact.

Larry the Free Software Guy issues a call to donate the price of Windows 8 to the Linux distro of your choice. (or to any free software project) This is in his Larry the Free Software blog titled "No Thanks. I Got Linux"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Upgrade To Ubuntu 12.10

October can only mean upgrade time again. So I fired up update-manager -d to start the upgrade process from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 12.10.





The update lasted around 2 to 3 hours with my internet speed. Remember to close open applications to safeguard data.



The upgrade is smooth and clean.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ubuntu One in Arch Linux

While I have been trying to install and make it work in Arch Linux for months now, Ubuntu One's showing in Arch is mixed. It would stop to sync or a folder will stop syncing. The first time I tried installing a client, it wouldn't even start. So NOW...



I downloaded it from an official repository using pacman. It's that easy.

I heard the Mac app is in beta. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Evolution In GNOME 3

I was finishing the Archlinux install today and decided to start Evolution to enable my Gmail account. Surprise! As soon as I started it, it downloaded my messages from the default Gmail account I registered in the Online Account. That's one automation that's much appreciated by users of GNOME.

The download lasted about 30 minutes. This used to take a lot longer folks. I am smiling look.

The interface is the same all around but it feels nimble and much improved. I'm impressed with Evolution 3.4

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Snag In Installing Arch Linux

I use Ubuntu 12.04 as my main OS. I prepared a partition in the same device (where Ubuntu is). I want to install Arch Linux and use GNOME as my alternative desktop environment. Arch ditched their old Installer GUI and now use new scripts to guide users during installation. I successfully installed Arch at /dev/sda3 while Ubuntu 12.04 sits at /dev/sda1.

I want to use Ubuntu's GRUB to pull in whatever other OS is in my hard drive. Issuing 'update-grub' in the terminal doesn't do the job. Why is Ubuntu's version of GRUB unable to automatically detect Arch Linux in another partition? Is it a faulty Arch install? Is it a corrupt GRUB config file? Is it a bug in GRUB?

I googled the night away. The next day I googled some more and found this at ASK UBUNTU. jrg, one of many community moderators at Ask Ubuntu, provided me with a gem. And it works.

goody.

Thank you.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Remembering Sesame Street

I was around seven years old when I saw Big Bird and her yellow feathers
on tv the first time. Channel 9 airs Sesame Street twice a day for the
kids who are having classes in the morning there's the afternoon
schedule. The show is a hit. It captured us kids. We would shut up and
sit on the floor once the familiar theme music starts.

I wonder about the american street scene of course. It felt alien to me
but the people and the muppets just made their home in my imagination.
It didn't matter if we had muddy streets instead of the cobblestones.

Years will pass and the locals will produce their own version of this
show called Batibot. Why not? It's time we take back television for our
kids.

Who would have guessed that fast forward to 2012, Sesame Street will be
mentioned prominently in a US presidential debate. One candidate was
questioning the source of funding for these kind of shows. Try
explaining money to a five year old and why he can't have something too
expensive.

Except that in my child's memory, Sesame Street represents things which
are wonderful and free. Adults really ruin it for kids.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brand New Hard Drive

I picked up the replacement hard drive this afternoon at PCdepot. I
bought a 40 GB Intel SSD for 4,350.00.

The Ubuntu 12.04 installation went very well and took only 15 minutes
from boot to opening the desktop for updates. I created a separate Home
directory. I chose to encrypt the Home directory this time. I figured
I'm going to stay with this setup for a very long time this time.

c728ec6bc56aa303ee38f5e887e1c741

I decided to split the 40 GB Intel SSD into two equal parts for Ubuntu
and Arch. I haven't installed Arch yet. I'll do it tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Old Hard Drives

I had to leave my 1 TB Seagate hard drive at PCDepot last 6th of
September. BIOS can not detect the darn thing anymore. The good news is
it is under warranty. I purchased it last January. I just had to wait 2
weeks for the replacement.

I am now using the old 40 GB Samsung hard drive I purchased back in 2008
October. It is still humming and running well. The 40 GB storage
capacity is quite restrictive and now Ubuntu is warning me that I'm
about to run out of hard drive space. I ran $ df -h and it confirms I've
used 92% of the hard drive space.

Time to slow down the download. Time to delete the trash and clean out
the file system.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Want To Come Home From Listening To Political Speech

It is easy to remain quiet because I think I have it pretty good compared to the unemployed and the ones who discovered that they don't have medical insurance to cover an illness.

It is very tempting to close the door when you get home and pretend not to hear the wail of the police vehicle or the ambulance. I realize some people are helping other people because it is their job. Hey it isn't my job to save faceless strangers who don't understand what's going on. Or is it?

I realize that if it's my voice, just my voice, no body would care. Or would they? If I don't speak out then there would be silence. Soon other voices will fill it and my home isn't going to be the quiet place I once knew.


My View of Desktop Linux

The Linux community isn't a homogenous group with one need and one concept of how the desktop should look and feel. The great impetus like GNOME and KDE to create the linux desktop was born out of Microsoft's Windows' stranglehold on the PC. The great enemy is floundering now. Now what.

They are back in their own corners of the Linux world and feeling proud. They're saying they got the desktop they want and need already. It's going to take a couple of wild horses to drag these people out of their illusion. That change will eventually come is true. I applaud those people who see the coming storm and put out ideas. 

What we don't need are the attitude of "I'm the only answer you've got and you need". The Linux community is better than that.

Disclosure: I am a GNOME and Ubuntu user. (also an Archlinux user).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thank You PC Depot

I had to bring my black box PC to PC Depot. My hard drives, three of them, are in trouble. My computer is unable to detect them. I guess I knew then they were shot. But all three, come on. It turns out my power supply box is also counting down its life. It brought the hard drive with it.

So I ordered a replacement for the power supply and upgraded the old 500 watts to 700 watts. I also replaced an old chassis fan. It kept stalling on me. I want a more reliable fan to cool the hard drives.

Finally, one of the Seagate hard drives is still under warranty and PC Depot just took it and promised they'll have a replacement within 2 to 3 weeks for me. They got my number and promised to send me notification. 

The other 1 TB Seagate hard drive is gone. I didn't buy this one from PC Depot so it's not their fault. 

I bought a new A4Tech webcam. All in all my bill totalled 1,950.00. 

Nice. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Killed One Hard Drive

One of my three hard drives (one PATA and two SATA) failed yesterday and I'm afraid it is a hopeless case now. My computer can't even detect its presence. I tried switching cables trying to diagnose what's wrong.

I have to make do with the two remaining hard drives. I had to make modifications with the partitions and /etc/fstab to make the changes smooth. Done.

The biggest loss is of course, the data lost. I have about 400 GB of files there. Mostly movies.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Windows 8 Backlash Leads To Linux Dominance

I don't see the backlash. Windows 8 might not be as welcome in the enterprise as in the desktop users but that doesn't mean there's a backlash. Enterprise users are happy with Windows 7. They will stay with W7. If my employer is unhappy with Windows 8 it doesn't mean they're moving to Linux.

I have been using Linux since 2005. I've not use Windows since I installed Linux in all my machines. I'm happy. With or without the Windows backlash, I will continue using my Linux Operating System. I think I'm pretty much in the majority as far as Linux users go. Poll?

Linux is getting to be a mainstream OS. It used to be hard to find hardware you can use with it. Not anymore. I was surprised that a co-worker was complaining about a printer/scanner failing to work with Windows. That same printer/scanner is detected by my operating system by default!

If you want my definition of Linux Dominance, it is this: Give me an old laptop with Windows in it and I will install Fedora with Gnome in it for less than 15 minutes. Give the same laptop to my 14 year old sister and she doesn't complain. Nor does she know what a Fedora or a Gnome is. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Good Day

There are two tropical storms lurking within the Philipines surrounding waters affecting both the weather and the waters close to the coasts. The sun came out early this morning but now it's all gray and wet.

One of our tenants found time to go up the roof to secure the tv antenae for better reception. The kids are annoying the family of cats again. Those kids should leave them cats alone.

I have a full house today. The people from the Pahati Cons. made a downpayment for a room today. They filled the last free space in the house.

Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day may bring, says the Bible. All in all, it is a good day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Tim Berners-Lee Announcement Of The WorldWideWeb

August 20, 1991 Tim Berners-Lee announce the release of the WorldWideWeb. WWW is a browser which allows one to view local files from remote servers and even index them.

The WorldWideWeb is born.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Redditor Asks

"So let me get this straight, requiring an ID at the voting booth is protecting our freedoms, requiring one at a gun show is violating them?"

Via: Reddit

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Species Of Owls Discovered

Two new species of owls were discovered by Ornithologists and individuals from BirdLife International, the Oriental Bird Club, Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. and Birdtour Asia as well as MSU Assistant Professor of Zoology Pam Rasmussen. It took years to confirm the discovery because they were thought to belong to a subspecie of owls. What led to their promotion to separate category?

Owls don't learn to sing apparently, it's genetically programmed to their DNA and it their songs are totally different, it's a strong indication that they belong to a different grouping.



Top: Cebu Hawk-owl
Bottom: Camiguin Hawk-owl

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I downloaded systemd yesterday and installed it on my Archlinux. I am planning to implement a pure systemd but systemd-arch-units package isn't ready in the repositories yet.

I have to create the native systemd configuration files for the daemons/services I have.

In the meantime, systemd is still using initscripts by Archlinux. They still work right now.

Update: boot time is considerably lower using systemd than sysv. I am still using archlinux initscripts with systemd though.
I don't understand why anyone would be interested in hacking this blog. It's not very popular and I don't think I have offended anyone with my personal opinions. (not that I have many).

I apologize to those who follow me and saw the rogue posts. I will try to delete them. And clean up the mess.

Thank you for your patience.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

When the Great Monsoon Landed

The past week tested some people's patience and resilience. The amount of moisture brought by the monsoon rain within a three day period was twice the monthly average. As expected rivers swelled and overflowed. Low lying areas got enundated which forced residents to evacuate to higher, safer grounds.


General Luna Street(national highway), Maly, San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines


Most monsoon seasons the rain fall on the sea, sparing towns and cities the destructive flooding. But not this time.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Man Dreams Of Mars

I am waiting for this all week. NASA's Curiosity, the Mars rover that launched 8 months ago is finally down on the surface of Mars.



The first images sent home were these. The shadow of the rover and the horizon of Mars. The next image is the tire of the rover touching the soil of Mars.

We're back on Mars.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Automount Failure of User Created Partitions In ArchLinux

Lesson: Don't forget what you know when using automation.

During installation Archlinux helps you in partitioning your drive. It helps you in creating the structure of your filesystem. I like to have a separate home partition, a separate partition for media types (music, movies), and so forth.

I've been having this boot fail message about not finding the mount points for my partitions. Naturally, I have checked my /etc/fstab.

/etc/fstab.old
# /etc/fstab: static file system information
#
# <file system> <dir>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
tmpfs           /tmp    tmpfs   nodev,nosuid    0       0
LABEL=Movies /home/donato/Videos ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=MoviesII /home/donato/Videos/MoviesExt ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=Music /home/donato/Music ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=arch-home /home ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=boot-arch /boot ext2 defaults 0 1
LABEL=root-arch / ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=swap  none swap defaults 0 0
LABEL=ubuntu-home /mnt ext4 defaults 0 1

If you saw the error in the above example then I tip my hat to you because I didn't see my mistake until some months of use.

Yes. The home partition should be mounted ahead of the other partitions. That's why they're failing to mount at boot. So...

/etc/fstab
#
# /etc/fstab: static file system information
#
# <file system> <dir>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
tmpfs           /tmp    tmpfs   nodev,nosuid    0       0
LABEL=arch-home /home ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=Movies /home/donato/Videos ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=MoviesII /home/donato/Videos/MoviesExt ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=Music /home/donato/Music ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=boot-arch /boot ext2 defaults 0 1
LABEL=root-arch / ext4 defaults 0 1
LABEL=swap  none swap defaults 0 0
LABEL=ubuntu-home /mnt ext4 defaults 0 1

No more mounting filesystem failures at boot.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Set Up Sudo: Escalate Privilege Without Using SU

I've been using Arch Linux now for more than a year and all that time I have not set up sudo. Sudo is a better way to perform root jobs without logging in to your root account. Among many benefits of sudo is that once you're finished with your business it drops the privileges back to normal. You can also specify which users can perform what actions.

Download the sudo program.
$pacman -S sudo

The configuration file for sudo is the /etc/sudoers

Warning: always use visudo to edit /etc/sudoers.

Which means don't open /etc/sudoers with an editor? not really. You can set visudo to use your favorite editor. For example vim, nano, gedit.

#to set visudo to use nano and open a default sudoers file
$ EDITOR=nano visudo

#add a user (you perhaps) to do root activity
USER_name ALL=(ALL) ALL

Read about all the options available for sudo in this Arch wiki.
Read the sudo manual.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Being A Temporary Power User

Most of the time I use a desktop application called Gwibber to read twitter and to send the occasional twits. On average I usually send 5-10 twits a day. There are those exceptional instances when I have to search for particular twits, read them and then send 5 times the normal average number of twits. When these exceptional times happen I switch to the official twitter client which is their website, which means I'm going to the browser.

Most of the keyboard shortcuts in twitter don't work in Firefox or it is terribly clumsy. I use Chromium or Google Chrome for this. The twitter shortcuts work uniformly in Chrome and the speed of Chrome makes it a no brainer to use.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Repairing A File System Indeed

It should have been a routine update with Pacman last Saturday. But it didn't go so smoothly at all.

The Arch Linux site posted a warning on those who are going to update their systems. I have quick hands and not too much sense to check the site first. So I forced the updates and borked my filesystem. There are solutions offered but it didn't work for me.

I did what I could do. With a lot of help from my trusted live cd I repaired my filesytem. I have a dual boot with Ubuntu 12.04. Somehow I managed to ruin grub too. Ubuntu is using GRUB2 and ArchLinux is using the legacy GRUB. I was using the GUI featured GRUB2 since it's easier to edit. I just do 'update-grub'. The legacy GRUB offers a text configuration file.

I also created a dedicated partition for /boot in ArchLinux. Formerly I just use the /(root) partition. I shrunk the /home directory and use the freed space for /boot and /. I did the hard drive preparation before hand with gParted when I was safely logged in Ubuntu 12.04.

I also learned a few things for when I had to reinstall ArchLinux. Yes I am not suppose to reinstall ArchLinux but I'll never learn if I didn't purposefully take the unrecommended path. GNOME's GDM (login manager) habitually gives me trouble when it refuses to acknowledge my user account. This time before I include gdm in /etc/rc.conf, I made sure gdm allows me in.

Pacman 4.x checks package integrity and authentications. A new installation requires me to issue:
$ pacman-key --init  
#and
$ pacman-key --populate archlinux.

Then I can download more applications. In Arch Linux, you slowly build up the system. Install the base system first. Then the sound and video next. I refer to alsa-plugins and xorg-utils. Then the video drivers. Then the big group of desktop environment.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Invasion of The Small Computers

The goal and their reason for existence is the cost of making them for the masses. A 200 dollar desktop will change the ballgame for many many people.

First shot is courtesy of Raspberry Pi. 



Then it's Hardkernel.com 's time to shine now.
Presenting ODROIDX. 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6DWnwMZxIW0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

We are in exciting times here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just Type: Chrome's Address Bar

I don't know why you like Chrome, the browser Google gave us but a lot of people like it. If I tell you back in 2008 what features I want to see in a browser, you'd probably give me your reasons not to do that feature. A lot of people praised the way Chrome updates. Now that most browsers do the same, people are letting their annoyance known for the constant updating.

You can't satisfy all the people all the time.

My favorite feature in Chrome or Chromium (if you prefer the open source browser) is the super address bar. I think they call it the omnibar. I like it that I can navigate to the address bar with a keyboard shortcut (CTRL+L). I like it that I can just start typing a character and it tries to guess what I want. Is it your bookmarks or your history? It even offers me a site search on the site before it loads it. How cool is that?



Type "imd-" and this image shows up. Punch the tab key and you go into search mode in the imdb site. This browser knows the web better than any browser I know.

It isn't the fast paced development, although that's cool. It isn't the web store that sold me although that is very welcome.

Chrome tells you to "hold my hand" and like instantly you're going.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Need To Upgrade Chromium Browser

I did notice that Chromium browser in Ubuntu Precise (perhaps also in other versions) is running stale now. It is stuck at version 18.x. I have Chromium at version 20 in my Arch machine last week already.

So I added Tobias Wolf's PPA to my source list. Thank you!

Until the chromium daily build PPA resolves itself and gets updated, this will do.

# to add Tobias Wolf's PPA start a terminal:
$ add-apt-repository ppa:towolf/crack
# to update your repository
$ apt-get update
# to upgrade Chromium browser
$ apt-get upgrade

Or just wait for the Update Manager to pop up. It's Ubuntu.

btw Tobias Wolf's PPA has version 21 of Chromium.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Keeping Busy Helps

I spoke to mom last night. I told her about the tenants situation and the delayed payment. I also reassured her that we are fine despite this situation. Mom is seventy years old and still going strong. I am forty-five but it seems like I am as fragile now as she is at her age. Why?


Perhaps it is just my subjective thoughts. I find that working and keeping busy physically helps in having a positive image of yourself. In mom's absence I am keeping her garden for her. Nothing much just potted plants and trees planted in front of the house. Keeps me busy. I get sunlight everyday. I get my daily dose of vitamin D and I sweat. 



Saturday, June 30, 2012

File System Conflict Error During Updates

I usually update Arch Linux twice a week. Today I updated and issued:

$pacman -Syu

It proceeded to download the packages but stopped at:

Error:{package}/path/to/file already exists in the filesystem
could not proceed with update.



Taken from wiki.archlinux.org/pacman

Why this is happening: pacman has detected a file conflict, and by design, will not overwrite files for you. This is a design feature, not a flaw.

The issue is usually trivial to solve. A safe way is to first check if another package owns the file (pacman -Qo /path/to/file). If the file is owned by another package, file a bug report. If the file is not owned by another package, rename the file which 'exists in filesystem' and re-issue the update command. If all goes well, the file may then be removed.

If you had installed a program manually without using pacman or a frontend, you have to remove it and all its files and reinstall properly using pacman.

Every installed package provides /var/lib/pacman/local/$package-$version/files file that contains metadata about this package. If this file gets corrupted - is empty or missing - it results in "file exists in filesystem" errors when trying to update the package. Such an error usually concerns only one package and instead of manually renaming and later removing all the files that belong to the package in question, you can run pacman -S --force $package to force pacman to overwrite these files.

Do not run pacman -Syu --force.

In my case only the {package} is involved so I can safely issue the --force flag with pacman. I guess it's the only exception to the rule.

I did:
$pacman -S {package} --force

Then:
$pacman -Syu

My problem is solved.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chromium Browser Impressions

I use Chromium browser, the open source version of Google's Chrome browser. I am in version 19.x right now after update a few days ago.

Whenever I want a quick see and connect to any web site, this is the browser I go to. However, when I go to surf the wild and dark corners of the web I switch to a hardened Firefox with NoScript and Adblock. I do not have the confidence to roam these sites when I'm using Chromium. Using Chromium on some regular sites, I find random tabs and windows open with scripts. It doesn't give me confidence if a browser is unable to block these kind of random scripts.

And I have popups disabled in the settings!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Upgrade Linux Kernel

Arch Linux upgraded to kernel 3.4.2 today. Actually June 15 yesterday it's already in the servers.





Linux 3.5 is the development version. Maybe in three weeks it would be ready for testers.
For now I am seeing some good performance from 3.4.x.

You are invited to view "Donato Roque's photo"

Message from Donato Roque:
Dad met Mom in 1965 and they got married the next year June, 1966. Four children, two boys and two girls.

Happy Fathers Day Dad.

He passed away May, 2003. He was 76 years old.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Strength Of Character

How do you measure it? What are the elements of a strong character?

Are you enthusiastic about life in general? Do you find some things
worth pursuing?

Are you thankful for the everyday surprises? Are you even aware of them?

When you receive something are you gratified? Did you show your gratitude?

Do you laugh? Do you appreciate humour? When people laught at something
(or at you) do you see it from their point of view?

Of course, intrinsic in answering all these questions, is honesty.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's Complicated

Ignorance is bliss.

Epiphany and Flash

If you're like me, using Epiphany, the GNOME browser, the latest update to Adobe's Flash disabled flash in your favorite browser.

I'm assuming you already downloaded and installed the latest flash from your distro's repository. Then all you have to do is point the browser to the right directory so it will use the newly installed version of flash.

So open your terminal and type:

$ nspluginwrapper -v -a -i

Test your browser plugins. Open Epiphany and play videos or go to Youtube.

It should be working now.

Friday, June 8, 2012

LinkedIn Advisory Re Password Breach

Yesterday news broke out that LinkedIn user passwords (including eHarmony) were dumped to the open internet. Here's what LinkedIn said about the issues.


highlights are mine.

Venus Transiting the Sun

It won't happen again until 2117 and 2125. Last June 6 and 7 2012, Venus passed between the Sun and Earth. Celestial bodies do this all the time, but to us, humans, the experience is one of awe. Unique. We see with our own eyes what science tells us.


(NASA images)


(NASA images)


(NASA images)

The last image is made of composite images taken from space. great images.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Today You, Tomorrow Me"

This is a Reddit post by MD786 about an incident in the highway that changed how he looked at life.

The post is titled Have You Picked Up a Hitchhiker?



Be ready with a tissue box.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Open Source Initiative

http://www.opensource.org/

My last post is about Open Source and Free Software. I would like to add this resource to the discussion.



The Open Source Initiative is a non-profit organization ...

Libre Ang Open Source, Free Software

Mahalaga ang Open Source o Free Software dahil ang ginagamit nating mga
programs sa ating computer ay kailangang malaya nating nagagamit. Kung
bumibili ka ng mga software mula sa lehitimong nagbebenta nito ang
software mong nabili ay hindi mo pa rin maaring ibigay sa iba para
magamit nila. Ngunit ang Free Software ay maaring mong ibigay sa iba,
suriin para baguhin, o kaya ay gamitin naaayon sa iyong pangagailangan.

Kaya naman maraming developers sa buong mundo ang nagbibigay ng kanilang
talino at panahon para mapaunlad ang Open Source at Free Software. Sila
ay hindi binabayaran (ngunit ilan sa kanila ay empleyado ng mga kompanya
at organisasyon). Sila ay kusang gumagawa para mapabuti ang software sa
computer natin.

Parami ng parami ang gumagamit ng Free Software. Kung gumagamit ka ng
Firefox browser, ito ay produkto ng Mozilla na isang matagumpay na
kompanya ng Open Source. Ako ay gumagamit ng Linux. Ang Linux ay isang
operating system na gaya ng Windows at Mac OS X ngunit ito ay libreng
i-download at gawa ng mga developers sa buong mundo nang walang bayad.

Dahil libre ang Linux, hindi mo kailangang kopyahin ito ng ilegal. Hindi
mo kailangang nakawin sa may ari na tulad ng Windows XP mula sa Microsoft.

Unity and GNOME 3: "keyboard it"

Ubuntu Linux uses Unity and GNOME 3. Your choice. But both these new
linux desktops are generally sympathetic to keyboard persons. In other
words if you know the keyboard shortcuts and prefer using them over the
mouse, you will get along very well with either one.

GNOME 3 extensions doesn't provide a smooth enough solution to GNOME 3
customizations. They are still buggy and I'm not really sure if the
fault lies with the extensions or with GNOME 3. Finally I have to raise
my arms up and kind of accept the default GNOME 3. I have to change the
default icon theme to faenza first.

I alternate between Ubuntu's Unity and GNOME in Arch. I don't want to
settle down to one or the other. I can say that it still works for me
because I'm a keyboard person. Without the keyboard shortcuts, I'm not
sure I can use any of them.

It also explains why people prefer the Unity launcher fixed rather than
in hide mode. Pushing the mouse pointer to the left side to get to the
window you need isn't efficient at all. I prefer it in hide mode because
I use the keyboard to navigate to my window, so it's irrelevant for me.
In GNOME it's worse because there's only the top left which functions as
a hot corner. It's annoying when you exaggerate the mouse motion and it
hits that hot corner by accident. I go, "why is my computer showing me
the dash?".

So what's keeping me from totally believing in Unity? Well in the early
days of Unity, alt+tab used to show all the open applications regardless
of its workspace designation. Somebody changed that. That's a terrible
decision. It adds extra clicks and motions just to get to a window in a
different workspace. Even if you can do the extra clicks, it still ruins
the work flow.

Enter Firefox 13



Just upgraded to the new Firefox 13 minutes ago. Mozilla did it!

Firefox 13 is faster to start and smooth to configure and close.  I am using Firefox 13 in GNOME 3.4, Arch Linux. I have a 32-bit linux kernel 3.3.7. As always I have NoScript 2.4.3 ( I have yet to upgrade to NoScript 2.4.4), HTTPS Everywhere and Better Privacy enabled.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

I find the wordpress blog compose page so accomodating to how I create a blog post.

This is how it looks today revealed in Chromium/webkit. I forgot what particular theme this is. Sorry.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bakit Hindi Mo Subukan Ang Ubuntu Linux?

Nagsimula akong gumamit ng Ubuntu Linux noong 2005. Ang version noon ay
6.10 Edgy Eft. Sawa na ko sa virus at malware na palagi kong inaalis sa
computer ko noong ang ginagamit kong operating system ay Windows XP. Ito
ang nagtulak sa akin para subukan ang Linux.

Hanggang ngayon ay hindi ako nagsisisi na ginamit ko ang Linux.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Donato Roque added you to his circles and invited you to join Google+

Donato Roque added you to his circles and invited you to join Google+.
Join Google+
Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in real life.
Circles
An easy way to share some things with college buddies, others with your parents, and almost nothing with your boss. Just like in real life.
Hangouts
Conversations are better face-to-face. Join a video hangout from your computer or mobile phone to catch up, watch YouTube videos together, or swap stories with up to 9 of your friends at once.
Mobile
Lightning-fast group chat. Photos that upload themselves. A bird's-eye view of what's happening nearby. We built Google+ with mobile in mind.
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

7 Out of 10 Ain't Bad

I've been following Rogert Ebert's column at the Chicago-Sun and I like
his take on films. He recently gave his top 10 films of all time.

I've seen 1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick) 2. Apocalypse Now
(Francis Coppola) 3. The Tree Of Life (Malick) 4. Citizen Kane
(Welles) 5. Raging Bull (Scorsese) 6. Vertigo (Hitchcock) 7. La
Dolce Vita (Fellini).

I have not seen these: The General(Keaton), Aguirre Wrath of God(Herzog)
and Tokyo Story(Ozu).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why I Find the Movie "The Terminator" Romantic

Even back in 1984, couples don't say let's go see The Terminator this weekend. It isn't a date movie. It's an action movie with Arnold Swarztnegger as a robot, excuse me, a cyborg in the lead role to prove it. It might also qualify as a nerd movie because it introduces the genre of post apocalypse, time travel and machine vs man in one movie.

I am hooked by the lone volunteer hero going back in time to save mankind. Of course back in 1984 when the movie came out, the PC revolution is just taking off. I watched this movie again in the 90's and realized the premise is right on track. It wont be the computers of the defense establishment that's going to take over the world. People will own their own computer everywhere. People will connect them to everything. And well you know the story...

Sarah Connor is the mother of the savior of the world, John Connor. Her son will take her last name because (shrugs) he doesn't know his father. She has a boring job in a diner serving meals. She spends weekends eating out, alone. She is dumped by her date.

Reese is a soldier from the future. He volunteers to go back in the past to save Sarah Connor. Reese's mission is a swing for the home run here. He wants to save a girl, the mother of the savior of the world, and secure the world's hope of victory over the machines. Reese even got John Connor on his side on this. He got a picture of Sarah from John. Reese is a lone wolf who worships his leader, John.

Two lonely people will find each other in the 21st century city of Los Angeles. They will be attracted to each other and fall in love. They will fight the world, not only for their love, but also for survival. Look. How many can say this of love that it is worth fighting for even if the world is against it and the future doesn't give it much chance of coming through the coming storm?




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tim Berners-Lee's original WWW proposal (1989)

It all began with this modest illustration to his boss. Tim Berners-Lee's proposal gave birth (eventually) to the Internet.

Tim Berners-Lee's original WWW proposal (1989)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playing With Arch Linux

I have Ubuntu 11.10 and Arch in a dual boot setup. Most of the time I
use Arch because it's faster and applications feels nimble. Gnome in
Arch doesn't slow down after hours of use. The feel is light all around.

But now and again there are bumps in the road. I usually have Banshee
playing tunes while I work. I just upgraded to the 2.4 release
yesterday. Songs suddenly halting randomly. Turns out it's my hard
drives. So I went and use fsck on the partition. I did a $shutdown -rF
now and enter.

Arch failed on the automatic fsck and instead handed manual repair to
the user, me. So I log to root and run fsck -f -p /dev/sdb3 to force
check of the partition. It runs and returns a clean partition.

The next time I boot Arch, it runs automatic fsck again and fails and
hands manual repair to me again. I tried to skip it and reboot. Does it
again. It only goes as far as udev and fails at mounting the filesystem.

Some google solutions I tried are appending fastboot in grub and editing
/etc/fstab. They don't work for me. I'm seriously thinking using the
system rescue CD to repair the installation.

What do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Xorg Uses Too Much Memory

Most people with laptops use their machines 3 hours continously. The limit is the battery and how efficient the hardware and their operating system use resources. For Desktop boxes plugged in to the electrical socket, this is not an issue.

But my battery is not my topic today.

I work with Ubuntu and Arch on my Desktop. It is natural for me to leave the computer on for 8 hours straight sometimes more than that. I do not encounter this in Arch and I have the Gnome environment on both. Now for the bug.

Xorg.

Xorg just uses too much memory. My top says it has 67-70% memory usage after 4 hours. The practical effects are sluggish mouse responses and slow graphics.

After 6 hours of this, the whole thing is just unusable.

Of course, I can just log out and log back in. Then it's fixed, until after 5 hours again.

But this happens in Ubuntu and not in Arch.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

How To Recover From A Bad Superblock Error

A couple of months ago I suffered a bad superblock error in my hard drive. The hard drive in question made clicking sounds and refuses to boot. I ran some terminal checks and got the bad superblock error. I have multiple hard drive devices so I booted using the other devices by changing BIOS.

But how do you repair a bad superblock?

A superblock is a summary of data kept in your hard drive. Like a table of contents if I'm not mistaken. The ext4 file system in Linux keeps a backup of the superblock somewhere else in the hard drive. Check where that is - find the location.

$sudo mke2fs -n /dev/device?/

where the device? is the hard drive you want to repair. It will output a group of numbers separated by commas. These are superblock locations.

You must restore the backup.

$sudo e2fsck -y -b output_number /dev/device?/

where the output_number is one of the group of number listed from the operation above. The device? is the hard drive you want to repair. The -y flag or switch just gives a default 'yes' answer to the interactive mode of the command.



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Crystal's Got Serious Identity Issues

The embryo of an African black-footed cat was planted on a surrogate
domestic cat. Crystal is the first product of an inter-species embryo
transplant.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Picture Tells A Story



I was around 9 yo when I first saw Stan Stearn's picture of Kennedy Jr. saluting his father's hearse. I rushed to the library and read about JFK, the civil rights, RFK and Jackilyn Kennedy. This was 1975 and by the end of that year at Grade 3 (3rd grade) this image was all over my notes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Uprading To Ubuntu Precise 'beta' Now


With all the positive feedback from testers of Precise beta, I am installing the beta version of the new Ubuntu which is the LTS with 5 years of support.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why I Prefer Firefox Over Chrome

Firefox is an open source browser which can be used across most operating systems today. It has been ported to Windows, Linux, Macs and BSD. Most GNU/Linux distributions come installed with Firefox as default browser. Recently, Google's Chrome browser has captured the hearts and minds of geeks rapidly staking a market share that sets it in a course to challenge Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox. It is the fastest browser and it hands over the web as soon as you can type that first character in the address bar.

I have an annoyance over Chrome that I don't experience in Firefox.

Bookmarking  I like to depend on bookmarks and use them whenever I open the browser. I've used both the Firefox bookmarks and the Chrome bookmarks and have come to the conclusion that the Firefox system with its tags is a superior bookmark system. Now that Firefox also has sync and can upload the bookmarks to its server for backup and downloading to other machines I use, I have dropped the Chrome bookmarks. I've gone back to Firefox as my main browser.

Feeds Most sites in the web makes it convenient for you to find the RSS links so you can subscribe to the site. Firefox is the most friendly when it comes to subscribing to RSS/feeds in the web in my opinion.

Noscript The Noscript addon in Firefox is not just for disabling scripts or flash, it also prevents cross-scripting, clickjacking and can also force encrypted connections. And more-if you care to dive in and change some of the default settings.  Sadly I can't find a Chrome extension that comes close because of how Chrome works.

Font Rendering I can't explain this one except to describe the problem. I have installed both Firefox and Chrome in many linux distros and in many desktop environments from GNOME to xfce and in most cases Firefox starts with better looking fonts than Chrome. I read on screen and I really appreciate that.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Using DNSCRYPT With Arch Linux

DNSCRYPT is software which encrypts data sent from your computer to your dns. Your computer needs dns to give it a map of the internet. Unfortunately, this 'last mile' is often the target of 'man-in-the-middle attack'. By encrypting the traffic to the dns from your computer, security is improved. So how do you enable dnscrypt?

I have arch installed in my computer. Here's how I did it.

First download dnscrypt from AUR and compile it.  Download it here. Unpack the tarball using the terminal.

$cd [download_directory]

$tar -xzf dnscrypt-proxy.tar.xz

then $cd dnscrypt-proxy

and $makepkg --asroot

to compile the package.

Use pacman to install the package.

$pacman -U dnscrypt-proxy-0.8-1-i686.pkg.tar.xz

You now have dnscrypt installed. Change your DNS settings to 127.0.0.1

$nano /etc/resolv.conf

and edit nameserver then save it.

Restart the daemon. $/etc/rc.d/network restart

Then start the dnscrypt-proxy daemon. $/usr/sbin/dnscrypt-proxy --daemonize

Restart the daemon. $/etc/rc.d/network restart

Check your connection here.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Let's Put It To A Vote Shall We?

"We should not be putting civil rights issues to a popular vote to be subject to the sentiments, the passions of the day. No minority should have their rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority. This is a fundamental bedrock of what our nation stands for."

-- Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Take Some Feedback

Speakers and politicians should learn how to take feedback from their audience. Kids are like the litmus test for the length of your speech. 



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beeswax From The Philippines



This is a 300 year old chunk of solid beeswax at the the County Museum of Tillamook Oregon. What's interesting about it is it came from a wrecked Spanish galleon that sailed from the Philippines when it was a Spanish colony.

Beeswax? Really?

Ancient Filipinos use beeswax in making stringed musical instruments called the kudyapi. The Europeans that lost these precious cargo in the Southwest coast of the United States however use it for cheese making, modeling material, sealant for bullets and stabilizer for explosives.

Via: Boingboing

Update Gnucash 2.6.16 --> 2.6.18

It's a long road to this update. It isn't a normal update at all. I had to manually compile goffice0.8 and webkitgtk as well as gnu...