Kubununtu 8.04 Beta

Yesterday I thought I would try the latest Kubuntu beta.
I installed the Beta on an older HP R3000. I downloaded the 64 bit version in hopes that 64 bit support had gotten better for things like Skype. Initially I was not that impressed.

I had troubles getting the Broadcom wireless card working and had a couple of other issues as well. The Broadcom thing has always been a problem in Ubuntu, usually requiring blacklisting drivers and installing ndiswrapper. I am sure I could have gotten this working with some more effort, but that isn't the point. PCLinuxOS 2007 walks you through loading ndiswrapper litterally making this process a breeze.

What A difference a day makes in open source.
Today I reinstalled, and did a full update. This time everything worked flawlessly. I think the problem previously might have been that I clicked through the hardware settings manager too fast. After clicking on an item you have to wait for the driver to download and install, but the checkbox you are clicking just says enable leading you to think it is just disabled. Clicking multiple items opens up multiple versions of adept and causes bad things to happen. A simple GUI fix could have prevented my user error. Anyway, everything installed perfectly and worked without any configuration. I am no longer using ndiswrapper for my broadcom wireless adapter. Nvidia-glx drivers installed for me, as did compiz. Compiz is now somewhat integrated into the desktop which is wonderful. No compiz icon or configuring a custom session needed.

This is wonderfull!

Myth - You have to be comfortable on the command line to use Linux

We have all heard this one in one form or another. You have to use the console to use Linux. Linux is for command line junkies, etc.

While this used to be the case not so long ago, this simply is not the case anymore. Ok, semantically the last form is still true but we will come back to that. Today Linux is better on the desktop than Windows as far as the Desktop is concerned. You can do more in Linux with the Desktop than you can in Windows and it is more intuitive to boot.

Windows Vs. Linux

I read an article today about perceived value in operating systems. Basically the article stated that end users perceive Windows to have greater value than Linux because of the price tag. While I agree that this is probably the case, I completely disagree with anyone who claims windows has more value than Linux.


Control KDE applications from a terminal with dcop and kdcop

Ever want to shutdown a KDE application so that it goes through the normal shutdown procedure? Ever want to talk to an application from a script? Enter dcop and kdcop. dcop is a interface that lets you talk to KDE applications from the command line. kdcop is a nice gui interface to query kde's dcop server and see what commands are available for any running appications.

Josiah Leming's MySpace Page

Every one is blogging about Josiah,

So I just wanted to be like everyone else being the minion that I am.

You can check out his music on Josiah's MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/josiahleming

By the way, you are listening to him now, he encourages posting his music.
Do yourself a favor and check it out. Listen to some of his awsome music and then do him a favor and BUY SOME!
Single tracks are available by clicking the album drop down from the "Buy Tracks Directly From This Artist" section.

Converting a uint from hex to argb in Flash

There are some functions in actionscript that take uint in the form of argb and hex. It took me a while to figure out why my fills where not visible!


For instance

fillRect(rect:Rectangle, color:uint):void
fills a rectangular area of pixels with a specified ARGB color.



beginFill(color:uint, alpha:Number = 1.0):void
Specifies a simple one-color fill that Flash Player uses for subsequent calls to other Graphics methods (such as lineTo() or drawCircle()) for the object.
The graphics.beginFill function will take a uint containing standard HTML hex colors such as 0xEEEEEE (grey) or 0xFFFFFF (white)
wheras the fillRect takes an ARGB value as a uint
0xFFEEEEEE ( grey with opaque alpha) or 0xFFFFFFFF ( white with opaque alpha).
Converting between the two is just a matter of adding or subtracting the alpha.
so a hex uint (grey) 0xEEEEEE + an argb  Alpha 0xFF000000  will give you the  proper ARGB value without any need for conversion or type castsing.
 I hope this helps someone out.

MythTV - No Seektable

I encountered "no seektable" errors after I ran out of space in /var

First make sure your DB is ok. The easiest way to do this is with the optimize_mythdb.pl script that comes with mythtv.

sudo perl /usr/share/doc/mythtv-backend/contrib/optimize_mythdb.pl

or you can do it with mysql

/etc/init.d/mythtv-backend stop
mysqlcheck -r -u mythtv -p mythconverg
/etc/init.d/mythtv-backend start


then rebuild the seektables for each program

mythcommflag --rebuild -f 1066_20071207153000.mpg

Note: The latest version of myth will ask to rebuild the seek tables if they are missing when you try to edit a recording.

Ghost Town

I promised I would put this link up for a friend. This is a fascinating site by a girl named Elena, who rides her motorbike through the Chernobyl "dead zone" documenting the experience and taking lots of pictures.


PC LinuxOS 2007 vs Ubuntu

I just had to blog about PCLinux Vs Ubuntu because I am sitting here re-installing Ubuntu Gutsy for the 5th time in the past few days. So far I am not that impressed with Gutsy to say the least, but I like being bleeding edge and fidgiting so it is a good fit. If you just want a simple linux system that works out of the box and is easy to admin get PC Linux. Seriously, I have installed many distros in the past month and PC Linux seems to get everything right out of the box. The default bash settings are great. The default 3d beryl settings are great. Almost everything you need is in the rpm repository and PCLinux uses synaptic and apt-get with their rpm based repository. To get a similar setup in ubuntu requires many hours of customization. Sure in the end you might have a bit faster system, but throw in all the time you spent customizing it and it probably is a wash.

What I do not like about Gutsy!
1. strigy works in PC Linux, but in kubuntu it freaks out konqueror's location bar.
accidentally type in a url without the protocal and strigi loads up after which you can't add the protocal because strigi keeps updating the location bar - I was fine with locate:
2. dolphin - Just give me konqueror please
3. Beryl / Compiz - By default PC Linux allows me to load or not load my glx desktop, in ubuntu I have to make a new profile, or use custom installers that usually just break the system.
4. The update scripts seem like they are written by microsoft. Trying to upgrade from the last RC to the finall release was a joke. Fetching updates - Fetching complete then Fetching file 1 of 2 - what, you just told me Fetching was complete - crash. Send error report - Crash. Thanks guys

Don't get me wrong, I like having the bleeding edge and don't mind spending hours customizing things, but seriously PC Linux gets a lot of stuff right out of the box. If you don't want to tweak, or are a windows user switching to linux get PC Linux. It is very stable and configured better out of the box than most ubuntu installations after months of tweaking.

How To: tar rsync scp across network

This is a nice little howto for tarring across a network. http://happygiraffe.net/copy-net#rsync