Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vintage Turntable

I know this has nothing to do with Ubuntu, but I bought a 1950 RCA Victor Victrola Model 45-J-2 turntable today. It's really in great shape, after a good polish. Ah, Bakelite. Too bad it isn't made anymore. This turntable, as far as I know, doesn't work. Possibly a bad switch, but I'll find out as soon as it's warm enough to go to the garage to work on it. Oh, something that suprised me, when I researched what would be good to polish the Bakelite, and everything I found said to use chrome polish! I bought some Turtle Wax Chrome Polish at Walmart, polished it, and wow. Looks almost new again. Used some Metal Armor on the emblem and the brass ring to shine them up a bit. Well, don't know what else to say so here's 2 pics of it.


I'm trying out Remastersys right now. It is a program to create a disc image of your complete system for backup or for creating a distributable copy. I installed it earlier this morning, and am creating a backup iso of my Ubuntu filesystem, since I cannot figure out at the moment how to use my cell phone as a modem. After it is finished, I will reinstall the factory XP and then dual boot it with Ubuntu. So far it is at 2% after running for about 5 minutes. Seems like it won't take too long. If you would like t try out Remastersys, you need to add a software source to your lists. 

Add    deb http://www.remastersys.klikit-linux.com/repository

After doing that, open up terminal, and enter

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get install remastersys

That will make sure you are updated completely, and install Remastersys. Newt, when you are ready to run the application, go  to System>Administration>Remastersys Backup. When the application opens, select OK in te first window. The next window gives you a list of what you can do. I selected Backup, which backs up all data. Let it run through everything, and you are done.

Burn the finished file to a disc, and now you have a complete backup of your system. I found this application before in hopes I wouldn't need to re-do all the codecs, extra applications, and my madwifi drivers for my Atheros wireless card. I've not yet tried using it for a dual boot setup yet, but I will post with how it works in that situation when I finish. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Do people have no intelligence?

Why do people not actually try to compare and explain differences between OS instead of complaining and dissing them? On PC Worlds page  , this guy thinks XP is the best thing for computers since sliced bread. XP is now dated. I think that if you are a Windows fan, and you plan on staying with Windows, go ahead and upgrade to Vista. XP has a death date now, so no more security updates soon. When it comes to Linux as a whole or Apple, this guy says "Mac or Linux. Why Bother?" Not very open minded. He goes on to say "As for Linux, I've been hearing it's een ready for the desktop for years now. Well, it's not ready. It's getting better, but there are too many distros, packages, ISO's, Gnomes, Awks, greps, flavors, kernels, KDE's, licenses, and modules."

Ok. Too many distros. There are so many because there is more than one idea on what an OS should be. Too many packages. Obviously. Without packages, Linux would be useless. Too many ISO's. Not really. For each distro, you have a 32 and 64 bit ISO. Possibly more than one version, but most people want the newest, so that doesn't matter. Too many Gnomes. Well, if you download the newest version of a Linux OS, you will typically get the newest version of Gnome. He obviously hasn't looled into Linux as much as he says. Awks, I'm not sure about right now. Too many greps. So there's too many commands that most people won't ever use? Do you see a trend yet? Too many flavors? I see the trend ofignorance begining. Too many kernels? Are you serious? If you do updates regularly, you use the newest there is. Too may KDE's. Look back at what I wrote about Gnome. Too many licenses? Are you seriously kidding me? the only license I have seen in nearly two years of trying different OS is for Java. Is the trend of pure ignorance getting more clear yet? And lastly, too many modules. The same applie as to packages.

This seems to be the trend to people who do not like Linux. I don't like Windos, but do you see me writing aabout Windows having more security flaws than any other OS on the market? Or saying that the price for Windows is outrageous? Or even that Microsoft make their OS for the money and not for the ease of the user? No. Because I don'tbelieve in straight up bashing another OS just because of rumors, or plain ignorance about it. 

He also goes on to say "I recently installed Ubuntu Linux successfully, though I found the partitioning choices a bit confusing." Seriously? Please tell me what was confusing. Was it the THREE options in the partitioner? Or was it the colorful slider to decide how much space will be used by each OS? Or maybe it was the selection of using the whole hard disk? My fiance, who is not tech savy, said she could even install Ubuntu without a problem. If the partition editor was that confusing, I give congrats to your Mom for being able to get you dressed in the mornings for work.

"But to simply play MP3 files, I had to download and install a seperate package." Obviously. It doesn't come preinstalled with the codecs because of legal reasons. If having to do that was so scary, please point me to where I need to go to purchase Windows XP with any and all codecs I may ever need preinstalled on an install disc. There are too many types of machines on the market and in households for that to be feaseable. He also says "Wireless connectivity was a joke. Absolutely rediculous." Yes, on some machines, it is a little trouble. But is connecting your ethernet cable and using Google too much for you? My Acer Aspire 4720Z that came with Vista on it, took me a couple days to figure out at first. But the thing about it was... I had better signal with Ubuntu's Network Manager than I did with Vistas equal program. And the 4720Z was supposed to be designed for Vista too. Huh? That wasn't supposed to happen. 

"Like most people, I just want to do my work. I don't want to think about the operating system.  The operating system should be like a referee-- invisible and anonymous--and that's exactly what XP does. It provides all the features I need in an evironment that is completely familiar and easy to use." You don't want to think about the operating system? Do you really use Windows XP? Really? I guess you figured out how to eliminate all the pop up info boxes everytime you do an update or plug in something. XP is far from being "invisible and anonymous". What about the pop ups saying New device detected? Then saying Finding software for new device. And after that, sometimes saying after, Hardware installed, saying please restart to use new hardware properly. That's invisible and anonymous? If you really used XP, you wouldn't be spewing this garbage about an OS that will soon die out to Vista and Windows 7. When it come to XP being a familiar environment thats easy to use, you are actually right. But only for the fact your generation and mine have been using Windows since we were alowed to by our parents. That's all that makes it familiar. I personally feel that the Gnome desktop in Ubuntu was more familiar than Windows when comparing first uses.Even now that I have used both for years, I stll believe Ubuntu has a more familiar and organic feel to it. 

Lastly, this guy has the gumption to say "There will always be people who claim the losing technology is technically better than the winning technology, but lost out because of  inferior marketing, political clout, or some other reason. They view themselves as the enlightened few vainly railling against the ignorant masses. Meanwhile, the masses are getting their work done." You think Linux is the "losing technology"? Yes, we have inferior marketing. More like what marketing. Windows does better from the beginning because of being a corporation. You had near unlimited money and were the first on the market. That's why you are better for the moment. But don't think Linux is the losing technology just yet. Just like with the betamax(Microsoft Windows), and the VHS(Linux), newer technology nearly almost always wins. Except for Vista. 

So please don't bash an OS just because you are ignorant about it. That being said, there are probably Windows or Apple software I don't know of that have no Linux counterpart. I'm not trying to claim because one person is ignorant that Linux is the better all around OS. In some cases yes, and some cases no. But that's not to say, I don't believe that Linux will win in the long run. With Russia planning an open-source national OS, and the way the American economy the way it is, I seriously believe that Linux based desktops and laptops would and could out do Windows any day if there were more. Linux may possibly be the way of the computer future, but Windows could be too. Who's to say really?

Connecting LG Rumor in Ubuntu 8.10

I bought the USB cable for my LG Rumor today. Not as expensive as I thought it would be at only $20. Well, I have read somewhere online about adding extra applications with the USB cale. So far, I've had nothing but problems. First of all, with the USB cable connected, and the phone in mass data mode, I can't get it to mount. Then, I called Sprint and set up their service for using the phone as a modem. Went through hell to figure out what settings I need from Sprint, and I still can't get it to work in Network Manager. Starting to get irritated now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ubuntu Forums Moderators

Well, I'm not going to name any names, but I have noticed in more threads than I'd like to quote, it seems to me the uUbuntu forums staff and moderators have had their power over threads go to their heads. There are so many threads that are closed with posts stating the thread is to be closed "because it's been discussed before", or they "don't like the way the thread is going". Doesn't sound like proper use of power to me. In the time I've been part of the forums, nearly two years, it's never been this bad. I personally think the forums need NEW staff and NEW moderators. There isn't much that can be done, since if you speak up about them, they can just give you infractions, or have you removed from the forums.

Ubuntu Forums.

Arg. I know the Ubuntu Forum is probably the best Linux forum, but some of the moderators and staff are so closed minded. I've been trying to get an Acer Forum started for about a month now. I thought at first, as good as this forum is, I can get an Acer forum started or at least figure out why there isn't one already. All I have to say is wow. Some of the people that have replied to my thread are straight up smart-asses. I was trying to start a serious thread, since there are so many unsolved questions about Acer computers, and since most Acer questions go ignored. Dell and Apple users have their forum, so why can't we? I've been told that Dell sells laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. Where? After I was told that, I actually searched the electronic stores here, and never found one with Ubuntu already on it. Just because, correct me if I'm wrong, they made a model or two with Ubuntu, doesn't mean they need a seperate forum for just that reason. Now to Apple computers. Why should they have a forum to themselves? With the newer Apples coming with Intel chipsets, and Ubuntu no longer supporting the PowerPC, there is no need for an Apple forum either. If you are an Acer owner, and have had any unsolved or unanswered threads on Ubuntu forums before, go here and tell them we need a forum. It looks like the only way toget a forum started is for us to unite and tell the staff and moderators we need a forum. I say this because I personally love helping out other Acer owners. But the problem is I know I miss a lot of questions. Searching doesn't help since 3/4 of the search results for Acer will bring up threads where people are bashing Acer or saying another brand is better, or that they once owned an Acer. What good does that do? Before someone thinks I just trying to bash the forums for not getting my way, I'm not. I've started a lot of threads there, but most of my knowledge has come from trial and error, and a lot of time with no computer because of problems noone would even bother to answer. A friend had an HP laptop, and that's the EXACT reason why he went to Apple. He had paid someone to do the basic install, and when he needed help, the forums did no good. I know HP isn't the topic right now, but it is a good example of the problem plaguing the forums right now, Most manufacturers have very nice support. Acer, unfortunately, does not.

Opera Internet Browser

Since I have Ubuntu looking like Apple OS X, I decided to install the Opera browser. Very simple really. Go here, click download. That button will take you to a new page so you can select what Ubuntu you have and where you want to download from. Click download, and a window will pop up. Use GDEBI Package Installer, and install. You're all done. I'm not sure if I really like it or not, but I've been using Firefox for years, so it'll be hard to transition over. With my OS X looking desktop, Opera looks at home. Maybe I can get used to it...

Wireless cards.

I just finished swapping wireless cards between my Compaq laptop, and my two Acer laptops. I realized there are major differences between Atheros and Broadcom cards. Both my Acer Aspire One and Acer Aspire 4720Z came with Atheros AR242x WiFi cards. Same model in both. The Compaq F500 laptop came with a Broadcom 4311 WiFi card. I decided to see what was the better card. I started by swapping the Broadcom card into my Acer Aspire 4720Z. Booted up 8.10, and it was jumpy between 90% and 100% signal. Awesome. All I had to do to get it working was select the Broadcom STA wireless driver. I was gonna leave it in that laptop, but I take my Aspire One with me more now, so out of the 4720Z it came. Well, about 10 minutes later is when the One was apart and I realized the two cards were identical. Then out came the Atheros card, and in went the Broadcom card. About 10 minutes later, I booted up 8.10 on the One, selected the STA driver, restarted, and awesome signal. As I write this, I'm sitting on my front porch, where I used to get about 20% to 40% signal. Right now, I have 100% signal. After this mod to my One, I plan on trying to find another Broadcom card for my 4720Z. Oh, and the best part about this card? No more Madwifi drivers to compile. They aren't hard to compile, but it's really unnecessary work. It was well worth the effort.

Nifty trick for watching Youtube Videos

Ever watch a video online (Youtube, Google, College Humor) abd want to watch it in fullscreen mode? And don't you hate it when you go to fullscreen mode and the video framerate gets choppy? Well, how about downloading a software program to magnify the screen? Or just using the already installed Orca Screen Reader and Magnifier? That may be fine if your on a desktop with oodles of hard drive space and ram, but what if you are on a laptop with limited space and memory? Use what Ubuntu can already do! That's what. All that need to be done is press your Windows key and scroll up or down. Now you ask, but what about the mouse arrow? Press the Windows key again with the L key. That unlocks the mouse arrow so you can move it out of the way. Have fun .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Well, I got caught...

Well, I got caught by Charter Communications downloading software. Here's what the letter said:
Charter Communications ("Charter") has been notified by a copyright owner that your internet account has been involved in the exchange of unauthorized copies of copyrighted material (music, movies, or software).
First off, this was my fault. I didn't check the torrents I was downloading. Ooops. Also, this could happen again,not by myself, since my router is not secured at the moment. Anyway, the letter goes on to explain the Charter Acceptable Use Policy, explaining what they can do if this continues for any reason. I think it is a bit entertaining that they think threatening people like this will get them to stop. Some will stop, but some like me will find ways around this slightly irritating dilema. I won't go into detail on how that can be done since Charter is more than likely monitoring everything I do now. Charter then asks me to remove the infringing material from my computer, and starts more threats.

Let them do their best. All I have else to say about this, is check your torrents before downloading. Or possibly use public WiFi spots and change your IP address occasionally.

Also, this isn't my first time in trouble with internet related issues. The first, was when I first got a laptop with wireless. Well, I went to the local grocery store to see if they had free internet to use, without luck. I saw on my wireless radar (on XP) that the pharmacy. I connected to it and was checking my e-mail. All was well. The next night, I went back to talk on Yahoo Messenger for a few before I went to Knoxville. I was talking fo about 15 minutes, and a cop pulled up behing me in the parking lot. Said the people in the pharmacy didn't like me sitting there for so long. The officer was nice about it, but said nothing about using their internet. Keep in mind they did not have the connection secured. I went back a couple nights later, to download a couple songs off Limewire. All was ok, finished my download, and the cops showed up again, even though I was not sitting in the pharmacy parking lot. The officer was very rude this tim. Said he warned me the last time about "stealing" internet. Told me if they caught me again they would have me arrested. I said whatever, and went home.

I thought everything was cool after that, but I was wrong. I lived at my parents, by the way. A couple days later, a detective from the Sevier County Sheriffs Department came to my parents house to say, he had been investigating my "activity" using the pharmacy internet. He was just spewing B.S. trying to scare me. He said that their "records" indicated that I had been trying to get into the pharmacy computer system to steal records. B.S.! Anyway, everything is fine now, since the Sheriffs Department can no longer watch what I do online.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OS X themed Ubuntu

I just installed Mac4Lin and the Cairo-Dock on my One. Turned out pretty nice. I have the OSX icons, windows, and a nearly identical OSX looking dock. The only thing about this setup is that the wireless applet only shows wireless signal, and won't let you select a network. It's very nice, since now I don't need my bottom bar. If it weren't for needing to select different networks, I would remove my top bar also. Well, not much else to say, so heres a screenshot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nothing to do with Ubuntu....I guess....Aspire One

I just finished reassembling my Aspire One. I tore it apart to see where I could put my Motorola Bluetooth dongle. While it was apart, I was trying to figure out a way to keep it cool since the Bios upgrade and installing Ubuntu, it's been getting very hot. Well, I was looking around the mobo, and notice what actually cooled the CPU and GPU. All it was is a sheet of stamped aluminum with that thermal "tape" to connect everything. Well, I knew that "tape" could peel off without damage if done carefully. Took it off, and since I didn't have much thermal paste left, I coated both sides with the Silver Thermal Paste from Radio Shack. After that, I got it back together and left it running with the lid closed. Mine is set to do nothing when the lid shuts, so I assumed that would be the fastes way to build up some heat. It ran for about 20 minutes before I checked it. Since I never could get the sensors applet to read anything, this is a guesstament. Before the paste, that scenario would get my Aspire One hot enough you didn't want to touch the bottom for long, and the fan rarely ever stopped. Now, it stays cool to the touch, and the fan actually goes off now! Woo! Soon as I can get to Radio Shack, I think I'll re do it to use just thermal paste. Sorry for not having pics at the moment, but soonas I can upload them, you'll get to see the work. I'm also thinking about getting rid of the monitor out plug to increase air flow from the cooler to try and get temperatures down even further. Later!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

KDE Desktop Environment

I installed the KDE desktop environment today. I've run it on Simply Mepis 7 and 8 before so I thought I could give it a try in Ubuntu. So far it's not bad. Reminds me a lot of Windoze XP though. I do like everything being on the bottom bar, even though the launcher icons are too small for my taste. In no way would it be usefule on the small netbooks out now. I really don't know what else there is to say about it, besides I think it would be better for Windows users possibly transitioning over to Linux.

Friday, January 16, 2009

World of Warcraft in Wine

Well, after almost 2 months trying, I gave up. The pitfall of Linux, unfortunately. Now, I'm dual booting Ubuntu 8.10 and Windoze XP on my Aspire One. I would have dual booted Ubuntu and Windoze Vista on my Aspire 4720Z, but Vista just eats up way too much memory. My reasoning behind running WoW on the One is that it, and the 4720Z have the same spec graphic card chipset, and I just wanted to see if this little Atom processor could keep up with the 4720Z's Core 2 Duo processor. I'm in the process of downloading all the updates for WoW at the moment, so I'' do an update later on how well it runs on here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


This link speaks for its self.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ubuntu 8.10

Well, I think I'm going to re-upgrade my Ubuntu on my Aspire 4720Z to 8.10 again. I don't know if my iso file is bad or if it doesn't burn properly, but something is wrong with my install again. Hopefully it will fix some of my issues. Well, gonna try starting the upgrade now...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Awesome thermal paste.

I bought some thermal paste from Radio Shack today to try getting my laptop to no tun so hot. It was actually starting to melt the bottom of my case! Anyway, my CPU heatsink is connected to my GPU heatsink, so both got the new paste. It dropped my temps enough that my case is now cool to the touch. Now, if I can figure out why my hard drive gets hot enough to fry eggs on...

Compaq F500

Well I've got a Compaq F500 that is tore apart at the moment. It had milk poured on the keyboard at on point, hence it being apart. I already gave the keyboard an alcohol bath to try and clean it to get it working. It worked on my Aspire 4720Z keboard, but it just had a little bit of cigarette ash in it. Hopefully it'll work in the Compaq. It would be a good laptop if I can fix the Keyboard. It has the AMD Sempron, an nVidia PUREVIDEO graphics, 512 MB ram, and came with Vista. Anyway, I'm getting ready to put it back together here in a minute. My Aspire 4720Zs battery is almost fried from the heat the computer produces, so I'm possibly going to need a diff computer soon. Well, more after it goes back together soon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tried installing Flock earlier.

Flock so far is a great program. I can connect to my blog, my Yahoo mail, my Myspace, and Youtube accounts all at once. No major issues that I've found yet, but I've only usd it for about an hour as of writing this. There are a few problems though. The first was trying to install the application. It's doenloaded as a tar.gz file. Not a problem by itsself, just extract it into your home directory. After that, there isn't an installer or .deb file to install it since it is precompiled. Next, is figuring out how to start the program. There is an Ubuntu wiki on Flock that's pretty much worthless. Don't follow it, since you'll get nowhere with it. Before you go any further, you need to load up Synaptics Package Manager, and search for and install
.After extracting the file in your Home directory, press Alt+F2 and run "flock-browser". I've not figured out how to create an icon to run Flock, but as soon as I can figure out how, I'll let everyone know. Besides that, have fu with Flock!
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Friday, January 9, 2009

Different Distros on the A150

I've decided to possibly try a different distro on my A150. As of right now, I'm still unsure which I want right now. So far, I've run the Factory Installed XP, Vista Black, Ubuntu 8.04.1, Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 8.10 Netbook Remix, Linpus Lite, and openSUSE. From the beggining. XP. It's Windows. Honestly, I just don't like the look or feel of Windows. Next, Vista Black. Pretty much the same as Xp, just a slightly different look for its GUI. Ubuntu 8.04.1 has probably been my favorite so far. Nice to look at, easy to use, and no problems. 8.10 was a bit of a different experience for me. After install, wifi was easy to setup with Madwifi drivers, everything was nice. Except the clicking. I couldn't pinpoint the cause, but it caused the hard drives to fail on my second and third A150. I know that was the problem because the first had Bios problems, and my final A150 is just fine. Anyway, 8.10 Netbook Remix was the same. Linpus Lite was actually very nice once you unlock its desktop and install a couple different applications. A little bright for me, but still a very user friendly OS. openSuse was a complete failure. The openSuse Wiki is a waste of server space, since none of the commands actually do anything.

The new Acer Aspire One

Well, theres word out of the new Acer Aspire One. It comes with a 10.1 inch screen, now with a max expansion of 2 gigs of ram, optional Bluetooth and 3G, and a different finish on and around the keyboard. From what I've read, no real word about the touchpad yet. So far, the new One sounds pretty good. I would have asked for a little bit smaler of a screen, since netbooks are supposedly for portability. I just hope Acer does betterwith their warranty than with the A150 about memory upgrades. I guess we will see about that one. So far, so good Acer.

Odd issues... Part 2

Well, I mat have unknowingly fixed my issue of Ubuntu freezing up randomly. I just did 25 updates, which took forever. I normally don't restart right after an update, and it was still freezing up. Well, I ended up restarting, and WTF? Everything is ok now? Well. Ok, then. I'm going to try to figure out what caused it so the problem is known. I believe it has something to do with how you get all the codecs for multimedia here. I don't know for sure though.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Odd issues...

Well, I have a ton of movies on my laptop. probably enough to fill up most hard drives in laptops. Anyway, I downloaded through my lovely Add/Remove Programs window, several programs to try burning the movies. I would have only downloaded one to do it, but since it's been a year from the last time I've burnt a movie, I couldn't remember which to get. The problem, I believe, is when I installed all the codecs previously, it set up some program dependencies that won't let me install DeVeDe through Terminal or Synaptic. Instead I downloaded 5 or 6 other programs that didn't do what I wanted (maybe subconsiously I just didn't like them :P). I do believe though, that installing those programs just because I couldn't get the program I wanted was the wrong idea. I just finished removing all the extra programs I downloaded, and others I didn't need. My laptop is much faster now. Excluding my movies, maybe using 22 gigs in my 160 gig hard drive. I love it! Another reason I left Windows, which is a story in itsself. Basically, what I'm saying is don't download multiple programs you don't need. You may end up with some odd issues like me...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How to compile Madwifi for Ath5k

Compiling drivers is easier than it sounds. Connect your ethernet cord and lets get started. First, open Terminal and enter:

wget http://snapshots.madwifi-project.org/madwifi-hal- r3875-20081105.tar.gz

This may be different depending on your card. Just Google it to figure out for sure.

Next, you need to unzip the file. Copy & paste this into Terminal:

tar -xvf madwifi-hal-

Navigate to the file:

cd madwifi-hal-

Ok, we need the tools to compile this code. Enter this into Terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Now we can compile the code.

sudo make && sudo make install

You've now compile your madwifi drivers. To load the driver enter this:

sudo modprobe ath_pci

Network Manager should now recognize any wireless connections in range. Before we finish, let set the driver to load at boot. Enter this:

gksudo gedit /etc/modules

That brings up the file of modules (drivers) that load at boot time. Enter this at the bottom of the file:


Save and close. Now you're finished!

If you don't think you are qualified to compile modules or are just afraid to risk it, please don't try this. Also, before you follow my direction run lspci in Terminal. Search to find what Atheros wireless card you have. This is what it should look like: 04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01). If it is different from mine search Google and make sure you can follow my directions or if you need a different module to compile. With That said, good luck!