Jumping on the Bed!

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Archive for the 'Ubuntu' Category

Ubuntu Tip – Hiding Mounted Drives on the Desktop

Ubuntu Crystal

One of the things that Mancer was looking for a while ago was the ability to remove his mounted “Windows” drive from his Ubuntu desktop. Sadly, it wasn’t much of an issue for me so I didn’t really look into it that much. Now, I need to hide the mounted folders I have on my desktop at work so I did the digging and here’s how to do it!

Open up a terminal or press “<Alt> – F2″ to open the “Run Application” window and type in:


This will open the Gnome Configuration Editor. From there drill down to /apps/nautilus/desktop/volumes_visible and uncheck the box to the right. You can also toggle the “Computer”, “Home”, “Documents”, and “Trash” icons to your liking as well. Looks like there’s a whole slew of things you can mess around with in there. Have fun, but be careful!

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Nero Linux 3

Nero for Linux

I know I’ve been promoting open-source and legally free software for a while but I thought this might interest those on the fence of using linux as an operating system. Nero has recently released Nero Linux 3. Essentially take everything you like about the core Nero Burning Rom application (namely burning cd’s and images), remove all of the crap they stuff into the Windows release (nero home, nero recode, nero picture player, nero back scratcher, nero kitchen sink, nero label designer, et cetera…) and you’ve got Nero Linux 3.

Using a 64-bit OS? No problem, you can get 64-bit Nero or it’s 32-bit little brother. It comes in both RPM and DEB packages which most flavours of linux support so nobody should be left behind, the download is only 14Mb so it won’t tax too many internet connections. Oh, and it supports both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray if you have the means. All of that for $25.00.

Personally I’d say that’s a pretty damned good vote of confidence for linux coming from the Nero team. As a big proponent of open-source and free software I feel kind of odd having Nero on my Ubuntu box, but I also secretly feel a little more comfortable with it there. Kind of like a safety blanket if you will. Having used Nero for… well… since version 2.0(win), it has always been on every single windows machine I’ve had.

So to answer your question, Mancer, yes. I’ve found a way to erase re-writable discs in Ubuntu. Thank you, Ahead! er… wait. Whatever happened to their name?

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Virtual Box


It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have spent most of the day happily moving my development machine away from the Dell Optiplex 320 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6Gz, 2Gb PC4200 DDR2) to a new Dell Optiplex 740 (AMD 64 X2 Dual Core 4600+, 2Gb PC5300 DDR2) because all of last week while I was programming an RMA database / interface for work the damn thing kept crashing on me about five times a day. Needless to say quite frustrating! Basically I jammed Ubuntu into it with a LILO shoehorn and it had been kind of quirky running 64bit apps. It’s actually a known problem that Ubuntu (or parts of Ubuntu) don’t play well with the 320’s at all.

We received a replacement 740 in today and I said screw it! I need a system that’s not going to crash on me. So I took a spare SATA drive, replaced the pre-installed Windows drive with it, installed Ubuntu with the smexy Ubuntu 7.04 AMD 64 Desktop ISO I burned a couple of weeks earlier and loaded it up. Installation was nearly flawless. The only thing I had to do after installing the restricted nVidia drivers for my GeForce 7300 LE was to add “1440×900″ to my available resolutions and set the monitor refresh rates to play nice with the sleek HP w1907 Sabrina helped me pick out. So now I’ve got a perfectly working Ubuntu box up and running with Beryl and an Audigy kicking out the tunes. No crashes yet!

Right now I’m in the process of copying the data from my old computer to the new one and I wanted to pass along a great new find. I’d been using VMWare’s Virtual Server and Virtual Machine software for a while now, either running linux on Windows or Windows on Linux and thought that I would try something else. VMWare charges money for most of there stuff, and it’s huge (100+Mb or so). Innotek has just released VirtualBox 1.4.0 for not only Windows, and various Linux distributions, but for Mac OS X as well. On top of that they have compiled both 32bit and 64bit versions of it! Even better. It’s free, it’s open-source, and it’s only 15Mb. So now I can test out virtual networks and servers for my fun little projects without the possibility of crashing the entire current domain. A concept the current database “administrator” has yet to grasp. The kind of person who will allow duplicate records in the database because she’s too lazy to clean them up. <twitch>

More tomorrow!

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Welcome Ubuntu 7.04 Sexy Software

Ubuntu 7.04

Ubuntu released 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) on the 19th of April, and after waiting hours in queue to download the installation disc I gave up and went with my usual practice of obtaining it through various sources. After installing it fresh on my development machine at work (a 2.8Ghz P4 with 512mb ram), an HP Compaq NX9010, and upgraded by Edgy at home on my home built Athlon 2600+, I have to say that I am very impressed.

Of the more important features that were added I am geeked most about quad-core cpu support, built in 3D Desktop which in most cases just works but I prefer the Beryl Project myself, a much improved codec support, and all of the fun bells and whistles you would expect such as no viruses, no spyware, Firefox, OpenOffice 2.2, media players, etc.

Now for the kicker. Dell has announced they will soon be offering Ubuntu 7.04 on a select line of its Desktop and Laptop machines. So you have the world’s fastest growing Linux community, and the world’s largest PC hardware retailer joining forces. There is a news post here, and the official Dell statement with video interview with Mark Shuttleworth himself here.

My two cents… I am optimistic that this could be huge. When more people have Ubuntu on their machines, it is much more likely that the hardware manufacturers (Ati, nVidia, Creative, etc) will release linux drivers for their products. The best scenario would be those manufacturers releasing their source code and allowing open-source drivers to be created. That aside, when more hardware is supported, the software is not far behind. I am, of course, referring to games.

Transgaming is doing an alright job of enabling Windows based games to run on Linux with varying degrees of success, but it just isn’t quite right. Valve, iD, Bethesda, etc will need to start making games to install natively on Windows and Linux. I personally can’t wait to be running Elder Scrolls V and Guildwars 2 on my dual 16-core xeon rig in five years.

Until then, I will very gladly share my hard drive with my two operating systems. My gaming OS (WindowsXP), and my do everything else under the sun OS (Ubuntu).

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Ubuntu – RIP Breezy Badger


On April 13th, 2007, Canonical ended official support and security patches for Ubuntu 5.10 codenamed “Breezy Badger”. I can’t believe it’s already been 18 months since I first tried Ubuntu.

I wish I could say that once it was on my system, I never looked back. The truth is that after I dropped Mandrake (now Mandriva) for it being a pain in the arse, I have waffled between Ubuntu and Windows XP. I even dated Suse for a few days, but was not impressed. I really enjoyed Breezy, and I even picked up a few of the free installation discs from Shipit. I appreciate the Gnome desktop much more than I do KDE, but that’s all a matter of preference.

I think the biggest draw to Ubuntu is it’s user base. They’re competent, they’re growing, and most importantly they’re friendly. Whenever I have a problem, I simply google “ubuntu” + whatever it is I need help with. 99% of the time, the answer was graciously offered by some other Ubuntu user. I also tried to play with Compiz, but spent most of the time reinstalling corrupted installations than using the 3d desktop, so I gave up on it for a while.

These days, I have Ubuntu 6.04 (Dapper Drake) running the FTP Server at work, and installed it on a separate computer we’re going to stick on the edge of the firewall as an Intrusion Detection System. I have 6.10 (Edgy Eft) and Beryl on my 2nd machine at work for most of my coding tasks, and I have Edgy running as the primary partition at home. I even got Mancer to agree to use Edgy for his internet use and to boot into Windows only for gaming. Near as I can tell, he’s been pretty happy with it. I know I have.

So for now, I bid a fond adieu to the gateway OS that has offered millions of people the vision of what the world could be like. Think of it as Open Source with Open Hearts. ^_^