Thursday, January 31, 2008
Ubuntu on my Laptop
I've been using Ubuntu on my Dell Inspiron 6400 for quite some time. While I much prefer it to Windows, I can't help but notice the battery consumption is much higher under the penguin than under... uh... the window.

I've decided that WHILE I mess around with Arch (maybe), I'll reinstall Ubuntu on this guy from the ground up like I did on my desktop. Maybe Ubuntu's default install uses more daemons than I really need, causing more power consumption.

I'll do some reading on it for now. Hopefully I come up with something good and/or useful.

Edit: "Laptop Mode is NOT allowed to run: /var/run/laptop-mode-enabled does not exist."
When I saw this, my head cocked slightly, and I felt a sinking feeling in my gut. Had laptop mode not been at work this entire time? Have I been degrading my battery life this entire time without realizing? My god... what have I done?

I'm DEFINITELY re-installing on this little guy over the weekend via cli and then building on top of it, just like I did with my desktop. After that I'll follow this guide: and I'll be sure to check laptop_mode status, as well. Now I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be easy to find non-gnome related power management tools for a *box environment.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I'm scared
Ah, I do love my Ubuntu. It has been ever so nice to me over the past few years of my baby steps into Linux. After learning a bit about common Linux lingo, I'm beginning to think there's more out there to this kernel than I'm using. Sure it's nice trying to get as many apps usable in the command line as in X, but after a while, what's that really accomplishing?

I've read and heard people profess Archlinux, a distro based on the KISS principles. I don't know why I've been shying away from it so much. Perhaps I'm experiencing a bit of brand loyalty. Perhaps it's just a scary thing to jump from one extreme to the next. Perhaps I don't want to screw around with my University's 802.1x networking setup (again).

I suppose my want for a more difficult setup procedure stems from installing a Ubuntu cli system. Maybe I shouldn't have, but I felt powerful building my system from the blinking white line and up.

I've printed out an install guide, along with some useful tips that I found via Google. Hopefully I've managed to pick up enough Linux know-how and gather up the courage this weekend to plunge head-first into the unknown.
Websites of Interest: Artichoke Edition
I believe that it's best to learn from those who have some amount of Linux experience under their belts. Sure, a man page is nice (and I suggest--nay, COMMAND--you to read man pages), being a very thorough explanation for a new piece of software. Sometimes, though, nothing beats the words of a well spoken Linux guru.

Tips for Linux - This is an extremely useful site for the beginner - intermediate Linux Jedi-in-training. Contains tons of tutorials on Linux as well as "PHP, MySQL, Perl, Apache, and various Linux softwares." As of writing this post, there are 32 tutorials in the Linux-specific section and 13 tutorials in the miscellaneous section. I'd definitely suggest reading through some of the articles, as everything is in human-readable format.

f0rked - This is pretty much where I learned how beautiful the program "screen" can really be. This guy knows his stuff, posting about many things useful for the Linux user to know. "
This is more or less an archive of my projects, articles, and interests. I have written a few guides and authored several scripts and programs. "

All about Linux - Yet another Linux blog. This author has quite a following, and for good reason. I'd say this blog contains more Slashdot-like information than simply Linux, though.

Motho ke motho ka botho
- This is the wordpress blog of Kmandla, UbuntuForums administrator. His blog is one of the reasons I wanted to start up Semidigerati. The posts are centered around adventures into the Linux world, and he definitely knows plenty more information than myself. Although he is currently obsessed with Crux, his is "
primarily a blog about the Ubuntu Linux operating system, and by necessity, computer hardware."
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Brainz Busterz
As I'm going through my music today, I notice I have a TON of mislabeled/unlabeled songs. This, my friends, is unacceptable. Now, under Linux there are various ways to tag your music by hand. But who has time to look up id3 tag stuff all day? I certainly don't.

Enter MusicBrainz. This cross-platform program automatically looks up your songs based on their partial id3 tags in their HUGE database of music.

If you've got a huge huge HUGE music library, check out this program. It can save you a ton of time.

Ps., read the docs on this one. It's really not that hard to use.
Instant Gratification
I was in the mood to play some games on Zsnes. While playing them on the keyboard is one possible way to go about controlling the games, nothing beats playing with a gamepad. The authenticity of holding the controller in your hand... nothin' beats it.

Plugged in the pad and boom, I could just configure the buttons in Zsnes without doing anything extra. That's it. No questions asked. I think I'm in love with my computer and Ubuntu. If you know a good therapist, please send me their number.

The same thing went for my webcamera. Plugged it in and I was ready to talk on Skype. All you need to do is find a program that'll make use of your device and you're set.

The reason behind this is because the Linux kernel has many drivers for most things built right in. I'm sure there's some book out there that goes into deep detail, but for what the regular person needs to know, a TON of stuff "just works" under Linux.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Poking around

I decided to give PCManFM a whirl after twiddling around with XFE for a while. I'd give both managers a thumbs up, XFE for speed, and PCManFM for (slightly less) speed, being built on gtk2 (yay for matching my others apps), and having more features.

One of PCManFM's features is the ability to display icons on the desktop from the ~/Desktop directory. This is all well and good, but it seems that PCManFM insists on also managing the wallpaper display. Once again, all well and good, but if you're like me and use something like feh to display your background image, this is a tad of a turnoff. It's also a turnoff if you use a WM such as Fluxbox which relies on having the ability to right click the desktop to display a menu for programs.

On the other hand it is extremely responsive. Very fast at loading up, cruising files, etc. Besides, who could argue with tabbed browsing?

Features (that I like):
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Drag & Drop support
  • File association support
  • GTK+ 2
  • Bookmarks support

If you don't use a WM like Fluxbox (if you use gnome, kde, or something that doesn't heavily rely on right clicking the desktop) and you can stand the fact that you can't re-arrange how the icons are displayed, it's not that big of a deal. In fact, I'd recommend using this over nautilus any day.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 25, 2008
Doin' The Samba
So as of yesterday morning, I've had both the samba server and smbclient/smbfs working correctly. I decided to go the graphical route on this one and use pyNeighborhood. It's a nifty little gtk route for mounting samba shares instead of having to cli everything. I assume I'll eventually break away and start finding it easier to type out the mount commands by hand, but for now I'm satisfied.

Getting Samba working correctly has always been a bit of a problem for me. I'm not entirely sure what aspect I didn't understand; Install samba, write a config file (after reading the man page, of course), restart the daemon. Why did I find this so hard before? The world may never know.

I also uninstalled xdm. I found that using a GUI login manager kind of limited me to only using the gui and a terminal emulator, instead of going pure cli. Now I can log in and start up some music without having to start x (even though the start times are minuscule).

I've been turning over the idea of learning some basic bash stuff as well, just so I could write an automated install script if I ever decide to start a fresh install. Besides, everyone who's anyone (that uses linux) knows at least SOME bash stuff.

Next Project: iDesk

PS., This mac keyboard is a piece of trash. How anyone could sacrifice THIS much comfort for looks is beyond me.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 24, 2008
Obligatory First Post

I figured this'd be the best way to start off a fledgling blog. I'm not the biggest fan of blogging, but I figured I'd set something up because hey, Blooger is Google related.

Yes, I am a Google-holic. I absolutely love them (it?) and everything related to them*. I switched from hotmail to Gmail, msn to gtalk, Photobucket to Picasa, to Google Bookmarks, and started using GCal, Google Reader, and Google Docs (although I do cheat and export my google documents for finalizing/printing). Call me a dreamer, an obsesser, a fanatic. I care not. I love Google, and Google loves me.

So anyhow, no one will probably end up reading this post ever, so I'll end it now. More at a later date.

*This statement is null and void if Google ever implements Google Puppy-Kicker or any similar service