Taming the Intrepid Ibex with Ubuntu-tweak

November 10, 2008

Downloaded Ubuntu-tweak to give it a try, and found some interesting settings. The only thing used for now is:

“Startup” – “Autostart”
Disabled Bluetooth Manager and Visual Assistance since I don’t used them

“Applications” – “Third Party Sources” –
Added the Google Linux repository

“Applications” – “Add/Remove”
Added VLC Media Player (which I have been missing). Noticed that “Ubuntu Restricted Extras” (which I wrote about here was easily availble from here, same thing with XBMC)



November 9, 2008

Is probably one of the easiest fixes to get Ubuntu a lot more useful in one single step. It adds MS Fonts, Flash-plugin, Java RE, DVD Playback and MP3 support. Just get it.

Dropbox tinyurls trick

November 9, 2008

Just stumbled across this post on ubuntu-tutorials.com which has a rather nice tip for those using public links in dropbox which I wrote about eariler

Lovely network manager

November 9, 2008

Last week I was working at a clients site and had to configure my computer to use a static IP, netmask, gateway and special DNS-servers. The client has a very closed network and no DHCP what so ever, so apart from using a static ip-address I could only use their DNS-servers.

I just love the network-manager. Dunno if this is new functionality or if it has been there all the time but it isn’t harder than to right-click on the network manager and add another network. I always use the “Auto eth0” connection, since it works at my office and at home. I was wondering for a while how this setting could conflict with my office settings.

No worries, when I got back to the office, and when I got home, it automagically used the “Auto eth0” again. But more interesting was that when I got back a couple of days later it found the tailored connection again. I’m not sure how this was done, did network manager try it since it couldn’t get and DHCP or did it recognize the network in some other way? Works flawlessly for me anyway.

The network manager is my friend keeping track of my 5 regular wirless connections, my mobile broadband, my office vpn and also my wired connections in one place – it feels so good compared to what I was used to (which involved some rather ugly shell-scripts written by myself).

YES! Xbox Media Center, now in a repository for Intrepid

November 9, 2008

Xbox Media Center, for those of you unaware, is simply the most amazing media-playing-center-thingy around. I’ve been using it on modded Xboxes for ages, and been running it and its cousin Plex on Mac for a while, and, on my previous installation of Ubuntu on my laptop.

Since I’ve read about problems with running the Hardy-version on Intrepid I’ve been waiting for it to turn up for Intrepid which it has today (or maybe some other day, I haven’t really checked on a daily basis.).

Go “System” – “Administration” – “Software Sources” and hit the “Third-Party Software”. Hit “Add” twice and enter the following lines, separated with a “Add Source” button press:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main

(Here I wonder if both really are needed, it feels like one could be for compiled stuff and the other for sources, and I won’t really use any of the sources so I don’t know if I need both, someone?)

Close and reload and wander over to “System” – “Administration” – “synaptic package manager”. Hit the button “Origin” (down in the left corner) and choose “ppa.launchpad.net/main” above and all the interesting packages will show up. I started out with the xbmc package and xbmc-scripts-supported. Hit apply and wait.

Problems? This page is the first in a long thread which deals with the Intrepid installation

My troubles are frightening me, when starting XBMC I get an error I had on this laptop when running Compiz (which I don’t for the moment). The error is that the latitudes fan is spinning up faster and faster until the computer shuts of with a click. This error made Dell travel out to me and change the motherboard so I thought it was fixed. Wonder if there could be a Nvidia / Dell / Latitude bug with intensive graphic load. On the other hand, how intensive could it be to show the first page of XBMC. It took me some hours to get back on track, but now I will have a go again as soon as I have published this.

A rather nasty crash…

November 9, 2008

While preparing and testing XBMC (will write about that soon) I had a really nasty crash which prevented me from doing anything with my computer. After the login screen a couple of error messages with stuff like

"Failed to contact configuration server, some possible causes are that you need to enable TCP/IP networking for ORBIt or you have stale NFS locks due to a system crash. See http://www.gnome.org/projects/gconf/ for information. (Details - 1: IOR file '/tmp/gconfd-root/lock/ior' not opened successfully, no gconfd located: Input/output error 2: IOR file '/tmp/gconfd-root/lock/ior' not opened successfully, no gconfd located: Input/output error)"

Tried everything I could think of, booted from a CD, ran FSCK, rebooted, rebooted again, read a thousand pages on Google (on another computer), went through the syslog and messages logs etc. My Gnome screen was black, and the only thing that worked was the mouse and PrntScrn which, apart from bringing up the screendump dialog also generated an error message.

The solution which I found here, sortof, which in turn makes it possible for me to write this, was to rename saved_state like this:

mv ~/.gconfd/saved_state saved_state.old

Reasons like this makes it hard to suggest Linux to my mother…

It’s sunday…

November 9, 2008

and I just realized that Sundays feel even more Sunday-ish a grey, rainy November day like today just because of the brown human theme. I downloaded the “community-themes” after reading the Fosswire roundup on Ubuntu 8.10 where Jacob mentioned that he liked the Dust theme. I didn’t, actually I didn’t like any of the three included themes, so I went for one of the included once instead, “New wave”…

Not exactly as nice and shiny as I wanted it, but at least I felt like I had a computer with a new style.