Posts Tagged ‘useful’

Another list of Ubuntu essentials

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Mark Pilgrim has compiled his list of Ubuntu essentials — time to add some KDE goodness to ‘My Ubuntu/Dapper Configuration‘ page…

Dual Monitor on Ubuntu/Dapper

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

I’ve noticed a number of people asking about dual head support in dapper on #ubuntu, so here is my setup:

This hp/compaq nc6000 laptop/notebook that has an ATI card:

$ sudo lspci|grep VGA
0000:01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10]

I have two head monitors working with both the ‘ati’ and the closed source ‘fglrx’ drivers.

Here are the configuration files:

  • xorg.conf-fglrx.20060621 — works when booting without the second monitor
  • xorg.conf-ati.20060621 — when booting with out the second monitor attached, it still thinks it is there. Some windows may pop up on the unreachable monitor.
  • Before you start hacking around with your xorg.conf, save a copy somewhere safe.

    Updated to WordPress 2.0

    Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

    As with previous WordPress upgrades this one was also painless.  My ‘Yet Another Daily Delicious‘ and ‘Yet Another Weekly Delicious‘ continue to work also.
    I’ve not yet restored the style sheet header (this one) or added back some of the other doodads.

    Helping my parents into Open Source world

    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

    My parents are non-technical people, but they just purchased a nice new HP laptop while out visiting us.

    Before they left I set them up with a bunch of new F/L/OSS software,
    a TheOpenCD V3.1 disk and free web-based services.

    I just sent them list note about what we setup:

    I installed the following software on the new HP laptop — they are
    all from the CD that went home with you.

    • OpenOffice V2.0 — This is a complete, free replacement for
      Microsoft Office tools like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It will let
      you open documents that people may send you that those tools.
    • GAIM — free alternative to AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, etc’s own version of
      IM or Chat programs. You still need free accounts on those services
      (and you already have them for Google, Yahoo and AOL), but you don’t
      need to have 3 different programs running to chat with people on
      each of those IM servers. GAIM connects for your to each of them.
    • FireFox — free alternative to using Microsoft Internet Explorer
      (also known as MSIE, the blue E that I removed from at least Dad’s
      desktop). MSIE has a history of being plagued by virus, spyware,
      etc. Firefox is not completely immune, but much less of a risk.
      You may hear people refer to Mozilla browser, Firefox is a version
      of that.

    There are other free programs on the CD — it is called TheOpenCD
    ( and you can pass it on or give copies to
    your friends — to look at the other stuff on there to to see if there
    is anything interesting to you on it. You can install them on the
    office PCs or the desktop PC at home.

    I also setup a number of free accounts for both of you.

    • Email — Instead of using Microsoft Outlook and getting your mail
      from Roadrunner or Frontier (which ever you end up choosing for
      email), just get your email from google’s free GMAIL service. Use
      any computer and go to and log to do your
      email. (Account info below)
    • IM — Dad and I got accounts for IM Chat accounts on AOL (sometimes
      you see it referred to as AIM), Google Talk and Yahoo!. (account
      info below) The GAIM program is all setup for each of those account.
      Just go to the menu Tool s then Account and click ‘Online’ for your
      accounts. It already has the password information set there. This
      will let you chat with my kids who use AOL, Lori that uses Yahoo!
      and me who actually has accounts on all of them.
    • Photos — You already had an account on Flickr (now part of Yahoo!, You used your old AOL.COM address to create
      an account. and there is a way to change the email address to match
      your Yahoo! account. Dad and I also installed FlickrUploadr and
      there should be a link of the desktop. Double click on it to start
      it and then use the file explorer to drag and drop photos from your
      hard drive (or CD or Camera) to FlickrUploadr. Then press the
      Upload button and the photos will be copied to where people can see them.

    Account info that you can pass on to your friends:

    • Email



    • AOL IM (if your friends use AOL pay service or free chat only, which
      my kids use)


      Dad: XXYYYYYY

    • Yahoo! IM (which Lori uses)


      Dad: XXYYYYYY

    • Google IM (sometimes called Google Talk — anyone with a google
      email account can IM using the same account info)


      Dad: XXYYYYYY

    • Photos — tell friends to see your public photos here:

      There is a way under ‘Your Account’ to pick a better address,
      similar to what I have:

      You are currently using a free flickr account. For $25/year you can
      store many many more photos on If you start using
      flickr, that would make a nice start of a xmas gift from us.

    Various Niagara Falls panoramas

    Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

    Niagara Falls panorama from Maid of the Mist (6 Photos) (cropped)

    Originally uploaded by marcn.

    See the other panoramic shots of Niagara Falls and others in my
    Panorama Photos
    photo set on

    The free (as in beer), Windows-only app autostitch does an excellent job stitching the photos together. Autostitch works great using the wine emulator on Linux (Ubuntu/Breezy)

    ipodder (v2.1) on Ubuntu ‘Hoary’

    Thursday, July 21st, 2005

    I’d upgraded to the latest iPodder (v2.1) on my Ubuntu (‘Hoary’) laptop today.

    # tar jxvf iPodder-linux-2.1.tar.bz2

    # cd iPodder-linux

    # sudo ./

    (take the defaults)

    The only glitch is wx libraries aren’t in the default PYTHONPATH, so set this environment variable either at the command line, or pop it in ~/.bashrc

    export PYTHONPATH=/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/wx-2.5.3-gtk2-unicode/:$PYTHONPATH-unicode:$PYTHONPATH

    Now clean up a little bit…

    $ cd ../

    $ rm -rf iPodder-linux iPodder-linux-2.1.tar.bz2

    Now, you are all set to start iPodder!

    $ (nohup iPodder&) # or add it to a menu bar button

    Getting closer to not needing any special knowledge to get iPodder running on a GNU/Linux distro…

    - – - – -

    Just for searchers, this is the problem you see if you don’t set the PYTHONPATH:

    $ iPodder
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "", line 38, in ?
    import iPodderWindows
    File "/opt/iPodder/", line 4, in ?
    import listctrl as listmix
    File "/opt/iPodder/", line 296, in ?
    AttributeError: 'module' object has no attribute 'PyEventBinder'

    People stealing my bandwidth (and no credit to me!)

    Saturday, February 19th, 2005

    I was looking through my web logs recently and found a number of people were displaying my images
    on their websites. Sure it is a bit flattering that someone liked my photo of our rug was perfect for the background of their blog or thought that embedding a 1M photo I took of John Kerry and Howard Dean in a high traffic web forums [1 | 2] was a good idea. However they sucked up nearly 200M of my monthly bandwidth quota and didn’t even give me credit for the photos. You know, I think that may be the worst part.

    So this evening I googled around for the magic Apache configuration commands that would prevent
    JPG/GIF images from being embedded in someone else’s web page. (ie: one not hosted on

    For the record, just pop this in a file named “.htaccess” in the same directory as were the images
    are located and it will refuse to let GIF/JPG images to be loaded from other sites.

    SetEnvIfNoCase Referer "^http://.*" local_ref=1

    <filesmatch ".(gif|jpg)">

    Order Allow,Deny

    Allow from env=local_ref


    Read Ken Coar’s Preventing Image ‘Theft’ tutorial for complete details.

    Updated Yet Another Daily hack

    Sunday, January 30th, 2005

    I’ve updated my Yet Another Daily (yadd.php) so it can be called once a week. I suppose it should be called Yet Another Weekly… (yawd-1.0.php).

    Found through my ping-backs that zman has a patch to yadd.php so it doesn’t create empty entries on days where there are no new bookmarks.


    Crucial Firefox extensions

    Monday, January 24th, 2005

    + plugin — Add/remove/edit bookmarks from a right mouse click.

    * Foxylicious — grabs your bookmarks and adds them to your local Firefox bookmarks.

    * sitebar plugin — An alternative to I started running a copy of the SiteBar server on my home Linux box, but it is just simpler to use and for private bookmarks to just keep it locally (internal corporate links, etc)

    * webdeveloper plugin — I don’t use it much, but it is handy to find any links within a webpage.

    * SwitchProxy tool — switch proxies as needed. Useful when if you connect to various networks with different proxies settings.

    Gross! Gross! Gross!

    Friday, January 14th, 2005

    So this afternoon I saw BoingBoing‘s article about Larval therapy and just had to blog about my own personal gross-out — maggots!

    Months ago there was a picture of an allegedly maggot infested breast, but that was debunked on Snopes. To exorcise my personal demons, I started hunting for the real thing and found this — ‘Furuncular myiasis of the breast caused by the larvae of the Tumbu fly (Cordylobia anthropophaga)’.

    And just what does that mean? Well, here is a better description:

    We report a 70 year old woman who presented with a week history of itchy multiple discharging sinuses of the right breast. The sinuses contained wriggling larvae of C. anthropophaga. Fourteen larvae were extracted from the breast and the sinuses healed quite well after the extraction.

    Head on over for the photos, but stay for the video.

    Man, that is freaking gross! Check out how those suckers wiggle around! Ugh! Unclean! Unclean!