Thursday, October 29, 2009

Installed 9.10 in VM

Doing my first round of tests on Karmic Koala. So far so good... Just running it in a VM though. Seeding via BitTorrent as well.

Download today at

Don't forget to change your download sources after installing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Android Fan Site: Phandroid

For news on upcoming Android apps, gadgets, etc., check out this site I stumbled upon (pun) today. Pretty useful information and lots of cool previews. Check it out.

Delay in Gnome Panel Drawers

I've been dealing with this annoying bug in Gnome: Panel drawers take 3 seconds to open. This bug is tracked here.

I've found a small help to this bug here:
I found a setting in gconf-editor, but I was only able to set the animation speed to "fast". if I completely disabled animations, the drawer would appear over the top panel, instead of the bottom right where its supposed to be.

To change the speed, open gconf-editor, navigate to apps->panel->toplevels->panel_0

there you can change the key for animation to fast.

(your draw may have a different name, depending on your added panel elements - I think O_o )

Hope that helps.

SCIM on Ubuntu

I've been struggling with getting the Input Method to work for Japanese on my Ubuntu installation (Gnome). I finally found this little, seemingly insignificant addition to the process:

Well, I had this kind of problem recently when I installed Ubuntu 9.04. SCIM
was showing on tray but was not triggering after pressing the shortcuts. I
have solved this problem at last.

If you have similar type of problem too, go to System > Administration >
Language Support and check the option "Use the input method engines (IME) to
enter complex characters". Then restart you x-org server by pressing Ctrl +
Alt + Backspace.
So, after installing Japanese support and adding Anthy as one of the inputs in SCIM, I finally have the ability to type in Japanese again! One problem I'm still working on - the hotkeys are somewhat tricky and don't match the old standby IME from MS. MS is a lot of bad things, but I'm used to their IME and I'd like to at least get my hotkeys to match. The problem is, I can't find a way to set something to activate with just the control keys (Shift + Ctrl, for example). It requires me to use another key in addition. It also doesn't seem to let me use Shift_L or something similar, even though the defaults do... I'll have to continue investigating. For now, I'm ok with just being able to type again - huge improvement!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Excited for Android

While iPhone and iPod has captured people's attention for some time now, I've always been apprehensive of making a big jump to either product. On the one hand, it has all the niceties of a *nix based system but on the other, it's sort of a perverted form of *nix. DRM, tyranical policies, and closed-development have, in my opinion, hampered the product's attractiveness to many would-be adopters. Couple that with a rapidly crowding network and it just hasn't appealed to me.

Enter Android. It has the potential to be everything iP* is and then some. For starters, it's open source. If the community doesn't like something, they can change it. It's working marvels for Ubuntu as popularity of the OS grows and the same will be true for Android or similar *nix micro distributions built for handheld devices.

While Android isn't perfect yet, there are more apps starting to show up and a stronger base of support for developers which should help increase that rate. We're also starting to see devices hit the market which are taking advantage of the OS such as Archos's new releases out last month.

All in all, I'm excited for Android.

Change in Blog Title

Just changed the blog title to be more reflective of my intents here. I'll still continue to blog my journey as a new Ubuntu user but I want to open things up a bit more to other up-coming Linux and Open-Source based technologies.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mind Mapping for Ubuntu

I'm a fan of mind mapping. I have been for quite a few years now. Since I don't consider it worthy of $$$, I've always used FreeMind. I first saw it reviewed on SourceForge a few years ago when it won Project of the Month.

I was just assigned a writing assignment at work and as a result, decided to map out my thoughts on the subject before committing anything to XML (we use DITA). Naturally, I turned to FreeMind. However, as soon as I installed it, I remembered how awkward it really is. It suffers from feature bloat. Too much stuff crammed into a Java app = slow and buggy. So, I removed it (thank you, Ubuntu) and installed Labyrinth instead. I use Gnome so a pure Gnome+Python+Cairo app seems like a decent choice.

After applying a small patch (shown below), it worked beautifully. Simple, elegant, and just what I needed. Thank you Open Source Community.

Patching Labyrinth for Ubuntu 9.04:
   File "/usr/bin/labyrinth", line 40, in 
import utils
ImportError: No module named utils

From launchpad Bug 327174:
In jaunty we're using python2.6, so changing line 40 to:
sys.path.insert(0, abspath("/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/labyrinth"))
and installing python-numeric should fix all problems. Its running here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Follow-up on Move Media Player

Ok, so I've been using and various other similar sites for some time now. I don't understand what some networks were thinking when they decided to go with the Move Player over more open standards. Flash, while not exactly open, at least works across all major platforms! I'd really like to see some of the networks take note and make changes necessary to start supporting the growing Linux community. We are here and we deserve to be heard.

Remember, Firefox was just a fad...

See my previous rant on the subject.