Sunday, February 28, 2010

Karmic: System wide wallpaper for regular joes

Yesterday I have installed a Linux Mint like theme on my Thinkpad baby, I like the looks of that distro a lot, and I have tested it -very briefly- in the past.

I wanted to set the wallpaper as a global one, to held on the directory:
but after copying the file there it didn't showed up at all, even after logging out and back in, etc, etc. Didn't try rebooting, but, rebooting a box in order to get a wallpaper selection to show up seems like too much.

After Googling for a while, it seems like the whole thing it is a little more complicated than that.
Tried deleting the file '.gnome2/backgrounds.xml' to no avail, again, even after trying with a logout and a login...

In the end, I had to edit via sudo the file:
Adding the following entry near the end of the file:

<name>My Minty Desktop</name>

No need to logout, not to mention, a reboot... The newly added wallpaper showed up instantly along with all the others.

How To make your GNOME desktop wallpapers available system-wide
Wallpaper system wide in /usr/share/wallpapers?

Un-compressed copy on Image Shack

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Gnome Panel launchers with a twist

I hate the fact that on Linux you can have 2 instances of the same program running, and I specially hate that for programs like Evolution; who on its right mind would want to run to simultaneous instances of that?

Found a Ubuntu Forum thread (thanks to an Ars LKF post) that deals with this problem... So, took the script, modified a little bit to suit my needs and presto! The thing know just works, no more double instances of Evolution, Firefox & VLC.

Here is the script for Firefox, the others are pretty much the same, but invoking a different program, of course:

#! /bin/bash

WINTITLE="Mozilla Firefox"

# Use wmctrl to list all windows, count how many contain WINTITLE,
# and test if that count is non-zero:

if [ `wmctrl -l | grep -c "$WINTITLE"` != 0 ]
wmctrl -a "$WINTITLE"
exit 0

Bring window to the front instead of launching new instance

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The current Ubuntu theme

I'm using Shiki-dusk, but with the Humanity-Dark icons, which I like a lot.
Since this theme by default tries to use the gnome-dust icons, and I don't have them installed, nor I want to at the moment.
So, in order to avoid the installed theme from belching about the un-installed icon set, edit, as root, the index.theme file.

Here is a copy of the "/usr/share/themes/Shiki-Dust/index.theme" file:


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The current Ubuntu desktop

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday de-gunk

Gutted open the Thinkpad beauty, hoping to cleaning it good, and see if I could reduce a bit its thermal emanations... It was sort of a deception, I mean,the cleaning process went well, but the whole thing wasn't that messy on the inside to begin with; so the noise and heat emanation level won't be getting any better...

ITOH, opening this little baby proved to be nearly as a PITA as it is to open a PowerBook, well, not close really, but it has its particularities, like the small plastic covers for the front screws... I'm positive those babies will peel off after I have take them out and placed back on its place...

But, the worst thing is that the poor little laptop it isn't a degree cooler after the whole operation...

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The current Ubuntu desktop

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Play Flash executables on Karmic Koala

So, I have this presentations that were created, or compiled, as Flash executables, and of course there wasn't a way of playing that on Linux, even tho it was a Flash file in the end.

After Googling this whole thing for a couple of minutes, found a couple of links about it, but, in the end, at least on my case, and given the Flash files I had, it was rather simple to make them play flawlessly on Linux.
All I had to do is to install Wine, and that's it, a:

sudo aptitude install wine

solved everything, and the files played just perfect (audio, video, keyboard shortcuts, etc, etc.). To play the file:

wine /path/to/file/flash.exe ENTER

Even installing Wine it was a piece of cake, not a problem like the ones mentioned on the last link posted below.

Running Flash exes in Ubuntu ot any other Linux with Wine
Installing Wine in Karmic

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A relief

Well, in the end, it didn't rain -at all- at least, around my house; but, nevertheless, the temperature around here took a nose dive... Well, not a nose dive, but at least got below 30, and yesterday, during the night, got below 20 degrees which is nothing, but it feels like winter around here.

Great, the freaking piece of shit summer will, eventually, end someday.

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Gnome Global Menu

Yesterday installed the Gnome Global Menu on Viking, the Thinkpad wonder box.

I have already installed this program on another Ubuntu box, specifically on Karmic on Hercules, where it did miracles for the screen real state (the Vaio laptop only delivers 1024x768.

On that laptop, even tho it has Karmic installed as well, I have followed this instructions Global Menu para GNOME, a lo Mac OS X (in Spanish), which basically installs the GlobalMenu version for Jaunty, even tho it works perfectly on Karmic; since at the moment they didn't have an official release for Karmic.

But, luckily, that is history, now there is an official release, and it installs and works mighty good (not that I had any problem running the Jaunty version on Karmic, but, nevertheless, this one is the official and the one designed for this release).

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Friday, February 12, 2010

This one is for rich

This is how lovely it is at the moment...
Of course, there is not a single cloud on sight, so the mighty Sun in all its glory takes a bow and slams you to the ground.

And this is what it promises us for tomorrow... A stinky hot, oppressive day, that will, eventually turn onto a humid swamp thing, crawling beside you; and that, if everything goes according to plan, end up on a huge shit storm, that will, once again, eventually, bring a little relief.

So do tell, rich, are you covered by snow already?

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

The current Ubuntu desktop

The little laptop that could... The Thinkpad it is truly a magnificent beast, so far, zero problems with it, being using it as my main rig since I got back from my holidays.
The 1400x1050 screen it pure joy to use.

Uncompressed copy on Image Shack

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A magnificent risotto

Things a pretty slow around here (computer and Linux wise), and, considering the fact that the freaking summer melts this fucking city to the ground, there is not much space left to do anything.

So today, a humid, cloudy (thanks God) Saturday, went to have lunch with the family to the Evita Museum's restaurant, I'm not much onto food or Bs As sight seeings, but I liked this place.

And it is pet friendly.

Museo Evita


Uncompressed copy on Image Shack
Uncompressed copy on Image Shack
Uncompressed copy on Image Shack

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Couple of things I don't like of the Thinkpad...

Maybe I can title this "Karmic Koala on a Thinkpad T43 (II)", but the annoyances I find on the day to day use don't really have much to do with Linux per se... So... Here it goes:

This little, thin and sturdy beast gets hot, no question about it... The right side of the laptop, where the HDD is, gets really hot, it is uncomfortable to say the least.
Of course, the damn Bs As weather at the moment does not help at all on the matter.

Yes, the Thinkpad keyboard are amazing, this one too, it is a share pleasure to type on it... But, it lacks a Windows key, even tho I use it with Linux, I really miss that key, as I use it a lot for starting and controlling stuff fast (Win + T > open Terminal, Win + H > Minimize window, etc)
On the same line, the Esc key it is way up there for my taste.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Karmic Koala on a Thinkpad T43

All the info I have found thru Google, before making my own installation, that deals with Linux (particularly Ubuntu) on a Thinkpad T43 points mostly to prior Ubuntu releases, so, hoping someone might find this useful, here is my experience (rather good actually) installing Karmic on a T43.
After nearly a week of usage, things seems really good with the laptop.

Specs of the laptop:

Thinkpad T43 type 2669
CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.86GHz
HDD: 2.5" PATA EIDE Western Digital Scorpio - 250 GB
Swap: 3 GB
Partition: One whole / partition (to maximize the HDD usage, don't care about re-installing from backups upon releases)

Choose the Alternate CD installer, the 32 bits release, and used the default EXT4 file system. No problems at all during the install, it took about an hour to get the whole thing installed.

Upon first boot, everything worked Ok out of the box, everything (WiFi, screen resolution correctly setup (1400x1050), sound, suspend to RAM, Hibernate, etc)

The special functions keys work, but they don't give any on screen feedback (except the one which sets lower or higher brightness, duh!), so it is easy to loose track of the volume actual setting.
The WiFi seems to be a little funny or temperamental, I had a few problems connecting to a few Access Points, depending on the security setting (WPA or WEP).

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