Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tabbed Nautilus In Ubuntu 8.10

Tabbed browsing in Nautilus is a dream come true.
While this may be old news for many readers it was recently 'discovered' by me in an accidental way.

But now I'm hooked. It's like tabbed Firefox and makes copying or moving files a breeze.
Open Documents then a new tab for Pictures.
Right click on a picture file in the Documents folder, tab over to the Pictures folder and paste!

And yes! Sometimes I'm a bit slow.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Add Custom Functionality To Nautilus

I came across this web page that explains how to add custom functionality to Nautilus.
By adding the Nautilus Action Package from Synaptic you can essentially create your own custom scripts that will show up in the right click menu.

It's not that hard to use and they provide a link to a web page filled with pre-made action scripts.

The page with a small tutorial and links to the pre-made scripts is at the link in the title or here;

Customize Nautilus




Google Messes Up Blogger Posts

I have noticed this problem several times including tonight.
If you post two articles within so many minutes of each other then do a Google blog search of the second article, the first article appears in Google.

Case in point.
Tonight I first posted an article on 2 programs for data and photo recovery titled "Data and Photo Recovery With TestDisk".

Then I published a post about the top 60 Ubuntu themes titled "60 Best Ubuntu Themes".

Next I went to Google, clicked on the Blog section and put in the following search term;
60 Ubuntu themes.

The results bring up my previous post about data and photo recovery and not the Ubuntu themes.

Try it for your self.
Or you can check this link;

Google Search Results


I have no idea why this is happening but I do hope Google fixes this bug.
And I'd like to hear from others that have had this problem.
I don't think it's an isolated case.



Strange Happenings In Firefox

I use Firefox. I also use the password manager along with the password exporter plugin.
But the other night I was in a panic. I recently signed up at a few new sites and didn't export my newest password list.
And when I went to a site that I've been a member of for a long while my user name and password didn't appear!

And when I went to view my password list inside Firefox, it was empty!
Uh Oh! Now what?

So I take a look around Google and see there was a bug due to a problem with a Linux file. But that bug was a bit old and all was supposedly fixed.
I also came across some articles that mentioned what files stored the user names and passwords. The data would be encrypted but I figured that I could try a few things with them.

First, I could check the file sizes and verify if indeed they held my data or where actual zero byte toast.
Secondly, I figured I could save a copy elsewhere, reinstall Firefox then put these files back in place. This solution didn't thrill me because I felt that the encryption was based on an algorithm generated when Firefox was installed.
But I was willing to give it a try since I did have the key file.

So I copied the files to a new location, saved off my bookmarks and was ready to uninstall Firefox. But something told me to try a reboot first.
So I rebooted the computer and sure enough, my user names and passwords returned. I immediately exported the list just in case it happened again.

And it did! The following evening I had it happen again. Funny thing about all this. Both times it happened was at the same forum. Both times I went to log in at the same forum and both times I temporarily lost my user name and password list. Hasn't happened since but I now make sure to export my password list every time I sign up at a new site.

And if you are wondering about the reputation of the forum and possible games by the owner. Uh-Uh! Not there. It is one of the strictest forums I have ever been a member of.
Don't even think of asking how to recover your lost Windows password or anything else like that. Not allowed.

And in case you were wondering about those 2 files?
Open you home folder and view hidden files.
Now look for the .mozilla/firefox folder.
Open the abcxyz.default folder were abcxyz will be some mix of letters and numbers created when you installed Firefox.

Now look for the key3.db file. This is the encryption file.
Now grab the signons3.txt file. This contains your user names and passwords.



60 Best Ubuntu Themes

60 Ubuntu Themes!
While some of us may argue that these are the 60 best themes, one thing you can't argue about.
They are all displayed on one page and can be downloaded from the included link below each screenshot.

If you want some new themes then this may be just what you are looking for.

60 Themes



Data and Photo Recovery With TestDisk

TestDisk and PhotoRec are 2 high powered, open source recovery tools that will run on many platforms including Linux, BSD, Windows, Mac, Dos and several other OS's.

Test Disk will recover lost or deleted files, recover lost or damaged partitions and rebuild damaged filesystems.

PhotoRec can recover pictures and files from digital camera memory, hard drives and Cd/DVD's.
It ignores file names so it can retrieve files from severly damaged file systems.

You can get more details and download them from here;

Ubuntu users can download it from Synaptic by doing a search for testdisk.
The repository package contains both titles.

While at their site you may want to also check out their cmos and NT password recovery and changer.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Games For Linux and Other PC's

Everyone enjoys games. Some more then others and then there are the hardcore gamers. And it seems that the lack of games is what is holding Linux back.
Can't say what category these games will fall into but they are all worth a look no matter what your gaming status is.
In this article I will provide you with 3 web sites and include a brief overview of each.

First on the list is the Spring Engine project.
Spring Project

Spring is a project aiming to create a new and versatile RTS Engine.
It is available for Linux and Windows as well as OSX however the OSX version is still in rough form.
For the Linux platform they have source code as well as packages for Ubuntu and several other popular distros.

They also have mods for their engine though many of them are still in development. All in all it is worth the trip to their site to check it out.
It is also a web site to keep an eye on for future developments. They seem to be a very ambitious crew and if they get enough interest and help we may see some very interesting and entertaining games coming out of there for years to come.

Next on the list is more of a game mod web site then a game site. But you have to ask yourself "Aren't all games just a mod of an older game?" Well, kind of. LOL!!


The above link should take you the Linux section.
There you will see the newest articles and below it a list of games and mods.
As with the above Spring Engine web site, many of the releases are still in testing but most should be released in the next few weeks.

One game I downloaded and tested was called Smokin' Guns. A recreation of the old Wild West, I was first given the job to protect the bank from robbers and later on I became a bank robber.
Considering the lower end specs of my computer, this game played fairly well and the graphics were pretty good. And all I had to do was make sure Wine was installed because the launcher is a Dos executible file. Click on it and the game begins. No install needed. Nice game and portable! What more could you ask for?

So go to Moddb and take a look around. Besides games they have plenty of mods for other games including a few that I saw for Crysis. HUH!?? LOL!

Finally we are going to turn back the clocks to the days of Dos.
The days when games were simple and prices were cheaper. (GRIN!)


Earlier today I was checking it out but unfortunately it is offline right now. Hopefully it's a maintenance issue.
DosBox allows you to play your old Dos games on your computer. It's available for as source code for independent platforms and Linux, Windows installer and a Mac version as well.

The website has a complete database of Dos games that lets you see if and how well your game will play in DosBox. While Dos games aren't bleeding edge there are many of the older titles that have a type of cult status and can still be enjoyed today. That is if you haven't tossed all those old floppies.
Speaking of floppies.... Hope you have floppy drive in your computer so you can load all those games into DosBox.

So there you go. Games are available for Linux and it looks as if many more will be emerging in the next few weeks and months. They may not be titles like Crysis or COD4, but many have good game play and are based on either the older and highly regarded Quake / Doom engines or the new Spring engine.

Now go and play some games!
And remeber.........Enjoy!


New Digital Rights War On The Horizon

I was reading an article found here;

Seems a new consortium of entertainment, retail and IT companies that want to set new standards to transform how consumers buy, access and play digital content.

Apple is against this new gang of thugs and I applaud them for putting up resistance.

A quote from the article;
DECE President Mitch Singer, who is the chief technology officer for Sony Pictures, told the BBC. "All of the companies in this consortium realise if we can do this and do this right we have the potential for a very large market."
What this translates into is they have the potential to make huge amounts of money while squeezing what little consumer rights that are left out of existence.
They want full control over what you can hear or watch and when!

And what about compatibility?
How much DRM can a device take. Especially an older device?
The correct answer to any problems with their DRM on my older devices is not "Well you need to buy a new device."
No! I will not go out and buy new hardware just so it works with your restrictive and most likely performance hindering DRM!!!

I also have this question I would like to pose to the industry and the consortium.
Over the many years of purchasing audio and video media I have amassed the following;

Over 300 '45 records
Over 800 LP's
Approx. 500 audio cassettes
Approx. 200 to 300 VHS and Beta video tapes.

In the audio category I have probably purchased a song at least two and possibly three times.
I have purchased many video titles that I can no longer watch because Sony was greedy and would not license the Beta format to other companies and that format was killed off.
That leaves me with the rest of my video collection that is in VHS format and is being phased out in favor of digital media like DVD's and BlueRay.

Since I have already purchased all this media (Many more then once!) should I not have access to this DRM protected content I already purchased for free?
If you would like, I would be more then happy to drag my whole collection into each and every CEO's office of every company in this consortium to prove that I already bought the rights to listen to it when I want to and where I want to!
And I won't leave until we have a complete inventory of what I own so that you can't say I don't have the right to listen to or watch it in the future.

How much do you expect a consumer to take until they say "ENOUGH!"
Implementing this type of restrictive protection will cut down your profits even more then what they already are in this weakening economy.
History has shown that consumers don't want DRM and Apple has proved this with sales figures since dropping the DRM on their music.


Linux Will Never Beat Out Windows

You read the right! Linux will never beat out Windows.
But before you start throwing rotten vegetables or shoes at me, read on.

I was chatting with a friend the other night telling him that I was looking for a different Linux distro to try out. Would probably dual boot it and if it worked well and grabbed my attention it may become my main distro of choice.
I told him that Ubuntu was boring.

So I went into my 60 gig stash of Linux iso's and grabbed a few that I felt may suit my needs. Burned them to disks and began my journey.
Tried Mandriva, Sabayon, Wolvix, Mepis and a few others.
Nothing! Had that same feeling that I have with Ubuntu.

What's going on? Why this sudden boredom?
I sat in front of the TV for awhile, my mind bouncing back and forth between the show and why I felt the way I did about Ubuntu.
After about an hour, I realized why I felt this way.

For all the years I had used Windows I was always hands on. Doing updates, checking security, firewall settings and logs, running antivirus and spyware scans, defragging the hard drive and a whole host of other tasks that became the normal routine with using Windows.

Now that I am using Ubuntu, I no longer have this routine. All I have to do is turn on the computer, log in and do what I intended to do when I first sat down in front of the computer.
Oh I check the firewall and tripwire logs once in a while but they always display the usual traffic or change log notes.
I don't have to update my antivirus or do scans. The only time I scan a file is if I'm sending it to a Windows user.

So now I know why I got that bored feeling. I no longer have to be a hands on 'stuck in a routine' computer user. Ubuntu and Linux as a whole takes care of all that for me. Check disk happens every 25 or so log ins. The hard drive doesn't need defragging. I no longer need to clean up the registry because I uninstalled 1 or 2 software titles.

I guess if you want to say that all the things you need to do in Windows to keep it safe and functional could be called exciting then using Linux could be called boring.

And that is why Linux will never beat Windows. Linux doesn't have that 'excitement' factor. Instead it offers me a secure and stable computer that has done everything I have asked it to do.
I have done graphics, video editing, dvd production, cateloguing my mp3 library, surf the internet, email and much more.

The only difference now is that my productivity has increased as I no longer need to spend time making sure everything is safe and updated.
Yep! Linux will never beat Windows in this way and I'm glad that I am finally bored.

Guess I'll stick with Ubuntu for a while longer! :-)



Friday, January 9, 2009

What's Wrong With Our Economy? Read This!

Okay, this isn't Linux related. It's more of a protest / rant post.
With unemployment in the U.S. at a staggering 7.2%, meaning that 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008, you have to start looking at some numbers. Certain numbers will tell you what is wrong with our economy.

Numbers like those found here at Forbes.


The latest compensation figures for the top 25 CEO's.
These figures were published 4-30-08 and are based on 2007 year end figures.
So let's go and add them all up.

Seems that the total compensation for a years worth of work by these 25 CEO's is worth $1,884,140,000.00!
That's one billion eight hundred eighty four million one hundred forty thousand U.S. dollars per year!!

Now I know that a CEO works very hard for the company that hired them (Or is supposed to but that usually takes additional bonuses and incentives) but let's take a look at some other numbers.

If we take that CEO compensation total and used it to create $50,000 a year jobs we could employ 37,682 workers.
If we spread these jobs across the 25 companies that paid out these salaries, each company could employ 1507 workers.

As I said, a CEO works hard and needs to be a good leader for the company but are they really worth as much as 1507 employees making $50,000 per year?

I'll let you make that decision.

Another page found at Payscale mentions a 2004 study that shows the growing gap between CEO's and the average worker.
In 1970 a CEO made about 25 times as much as the average worker.
In 2000 that gap grew to 90 times as much and depending on bonuses and stock options that gap reached 500 times as much!!!

I'm sure there are many readers who have known co-workers that have worked 20 or 30 years at a company and knew more about the business and what good decisions to make. Those are the ones who would make a good CEO and I'm sure they would be more then happy with a $1,000,000 (1 Million) a year pay rate.

So as our government runs around scratching their asses and thinking that a $1,000 tax break will fix things I got news for them.
That's like trying to put out a blazing inferno with a squirt gun.
That tax break wouldn't even cover most families expenses for 2 weeks.
They are out of touch with reality as are the corporations with their CEO pay scales.

Trim the greed and the fat by starting at the top. Then and only then will the economy slowly turn around. And finally I have a secret to tell you.
No one will admit to it and many will deny it but check the facts and figures from your history books.
This ain't a recession! It's a depression!

Only this time the government ran to the rescue of the banks. Had they not bailed them out (I'm still waiting on an accountability report as to where my money went. Can you say bonus?) we would be seeing pictures of 1929 all over again.
Remember. You heard it here first.

Good luck to all.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Backup Your Gnome Settings With yourgnome

yourgnome is a small easy to use script that lets you backup and restore your Gnome settings quickly. Note that it does not backup the actual installed software, rather the Gnome settings that took so painstakingly long to tweak.

Used in conjunction with the software list backup script found elsewhere on my blog, you can quickly restore a new install to the way you previously had it.

Some of the items that yourgnome backsup are as follows;
All your themes, backgrounds you use settings, gnome-panel settings, bluetooth-manager settings, evolution settings, file-roller settings, gnome-screensaver settings, gnome-session settings, gnome-terminal settings, gnome-volume-control settings, metacity & compiz settings, update-manager & notifier settings, totem settings, network configuration set by Gnome, screenlets and much more!

It processes all the settings then creates a tar.gz package that you can tuck safely away until you need it for yourgnome to restore the settings.

You can check out and download yourgnome from the developers page found here;

Again, I must thank Rok for telling me about this great script.