Saturday, August 27, 2005

How to: Ubuntu and gdesklets

How to: Ubuntu and gdesklets

Gdesklets are small programs you can put on your desktop. Mostly the programs will show the status of something like cpu usage, harddisktemperature but you can also see weather(forcast), rss feeds.

These gdesklets make your desktop like the dashboard of your car, with speedgauges.

I've tried the gdesklets with synaptic, but that didn't work out. Probably the version is too old and you need a newer version. This is my working solution (found it on the Ubuntu forums):

First download:


sudo dpkg -i gdesklets_0.35.2-1~5.04ubp1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i gdesklets-data_0.35.2-3_all.deb

After that start gdesklets and click on the ones you like and put them on your desktop. A couple of them are not working very well, but most of them will.

I'm using 2 rss feeds, some computer usage monitors and a xmms tool. Fun and I think they look great!
The picture is my desktop, with the gdesklets I'm using.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Podcasting and Linux

Podcasting and Linux

What is podcasting?

You can receive your favorite radioshows with a podcasting program. If you put the url (webpage) of the show in your program it will automaticly search the web and will download the shows you haven't downloaded/listened yet.

On Linux you can use fa jPodder (see picture). jPodder is easy to use and has got many features.
The one I use is BashPodder, not so easy to use and you need to adjust a config file. I like it because it does the job and nothing more, and I can adjust the program myself because it is written in bash.

BashPodder: BashPodder site
jPodder: jPodder site

Here you can find podcasts

A lot of categories containing music, but also spoken word from Agriculture to Women.

My favorite podcasts:

Lugradio: Lugradio podcast
Hoe?Zo! (dutch): HoeZo laatste aflevering

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Nice platform game Pachi el marciano

Nice platform game Pachi el marciano

Not very well known platform game, but I like it (and I'm not really into platform games). Got funny graphics, good gameplay not too easy and not too difficult.

Installation without problems using synaptic. After starting the game with "pachi" in the terminal, the opening screen appeared. Comic style. After that you can set up your controls, (full)screen etc in an easy menu. You can adjust the difficulty too.
Gaming is easy, collect the items and use jumping (space) and crawling (down). Avoid the nasty ghosts, skulls and find the exit after collecting all the items.

Not innovative, but painless install, smooth and fun to play

My score 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Playing an iso (dvd) with Xine

Playing an iso (dvd) with Xine

Piece of cake!

xine dvd: filename.ISO

Monday, August 15, 2005

No need to burn iso's

No need to burn iso's

If you have downloaded an .iso file it's very easy in Linux to use the files in the iso.
You can mount the iso and put the information in a target directory


sudo mount -o loop -t iso9660 /source/directory/file.iso /target/directory/

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Personal Linux roadmap

Personal Linux roadmap

I like the idea of a roadmap. Set some goals you want to achieve and try to reach them before you die ;)

I don't have a time limit for my goals .. yet.

My personal linux goals (random order):

1. Install MythTV

- Main problem will be my video card: a Hauppage WinTV 881 based PCI board, not supported by Linux as far as I know

2. Learn more about bash / scripting

- I have to make the goal more clear like 'write a script that does ....'

3. Learn more about python

- I have a video tutorial that I need to study, after that I will rewrite a program I once made in Basic.

4. Learn more about Excel/OpenOffice Spreadsheet. This will come in handy in my daily work as well.

- on going process, but there needs to be more structure in doing this

5. Install Linux on my pocket PC / Ipaq 3610

- I don't really use the 3610 anymore, because I've got a new pocket pc. It's something I planned doing for some time now, but never done it.

6. Sync my Pocket PC and laptop with SynCE

- I prefer with Korganizer or else with Evolution

7. Try to use stepbridge (dutch online bridgeprogram) with Wine.

- Will probably not work, but I want to try it anyway. During the process hope to learn more about configuring Wine.

Last edit [15-08]

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

If ejecting CD fails

If ejecting CD fails

Sometimes I have a problem with ejecting CD's. Especially old/bad cd's have this problem.

#sudo eject

Typing this in a terminal solves this problem.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Linux and games

Linux and games

I think the most important reason that Linux hasn't got very much users yet on the desktop (about 1% now) is mainly due to the lacking of commercial games.
There are a couple of commercial games like: Unreal, Doom, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Simcity 3000, Heroes of Might and Magic and some more. A lot of other games aren't available for Linux like GTA, Warcraft, C&C. I don't use Wine (for using Windows programs on linux), it's too much work to get the games working and often you need dll's from Windows.

I don't really mind, because I'm not a fanatic gamer. If I want to play a game, there are 100's of open source games available. Some of them are quite nice and can compete with commercial games. Some are not that appealing, but have good gameplay.

I will give my opinion of some games later in my blog.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Ubuntu and System Monitor

Ubuntu and System Monitor

"Every" windows user knows the task manager. With ctrl-alt-del you can choose task manager and see what processes are running.
In Ubuntu that's possible too with System Monitor and it has a nice gui (gui=graphical user interface) like task manager. You can find System Monitor in Applications => System tools, it's a very usefull tool.

If there is an application that will not start, the application could be running in the background and you have to force close it to stop it.
There are a few programs that have that problem, one of them is mplayer. It often happens that it stays resident after a bad closure.
To stop and be able to watch your movies again: start System Monitor, right click on the name (mplayer), and End or Kill (if End fails) the process.

Monday, August 01, 2005



A great program to receive internet radio stations. For every taste a radiostation: music, talk, comedy. 100's of stations. You can add new stations if you like, and it's even possible to record shows to listen when it suits you.
Streamtuner works together with xmms so you have to install both. Of course very easy to install with synaptic.

One of my favorite linux programs.

link to streamtuner homepage