Ubuntu Teen

One more xsplash

Here is another xsplash theme, this time based on mr.doob's most popular xsplash mockup

Elegant xsplash theme

Download Link

Some New xsplash Themes

The other day I was thinking about what happened to all of the xsplash mockups that were created in the karmic cycle and if anything had happened to them.

It turns out that nothing had happened, and these great design were just sitting unnoticed, so I decided to turn some of them into real xsplash themes!

Below are the three I have created. (Thanks to the creators of xsplash, it's theming is so much easier than usplash!)

Based on mr.doob's Iteration 5

Download Debian Package

Based on mr.doob's Iteration 6

Download Debian Package

Based on thorwils's 'ideas to explore'

Download Debian Package

Installation Instructions 
Note: Between trying out themes, you must uninstall (as per section below)

1) Download Debian Package and install normally (or run 'sudo dpkg -i NAME_AND_LOCATION_OF_DEB_FILE' )
2) Done!

Uninstallation Instructions 
1) Run 'sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-xsplash-artwork' in a terminal

A Magnificent Marsupial

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala has been released!!!

Hope you like my celebration image :-)

Time for a meme...

I haven't seen many memes recently go around the planets and so I decided to start one.

Recently I found a site called fontcapture.com which makes it really easy to make a font out of your handwriting, it literally takes 5 minutes and you are done! So below is the meme based on this site.

1) Go to http://www.fontcapture.com/

2) Complete all steps on the site to make your font

3) Paste a screen-capture below of your font

Now, we just have to decide who has the best handwriting... :-)

Ubuntu is going to Mars!!

See http://mars9.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/participate/sendyourname/index.cfm
(the website will be quite slow)

Chromium Updates

The Chromium web browser has just recently had some wicked cool improvements for Linux!

  • First of all they have some very cool bling on the new tab page working (see in video)
  • The Chromium theme now can use the GTK theme as a base (this is really good, see screenshot)

  • And More!!

See the screenshots and video below for a better understanding of the points above (and how Chromium is not quite working with Dark themes yet :-] )

Before | After


Linux first to offer USB 3.0 driver

Doesn't that just say it all?


grub2, drivemap and Windows 2000

Hi Guys,

As per https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/Grub2Testing I decided to test grub2 out on my system. Although everything Ubuntu related was working, I could not get my Windows 2000 installation to boot. I looked at my old menu.lst and found this in the boot entry:

title Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)

chainloader +1

I searched around and found that grub2 had only recently received a patch to mimic this grub-legacy map command and more looking around showed me that only Karmic had received this newer version of grub2.

Therefore I uninstalled grub2 and grub-pc completely . And reinstalled grub-legacy.

Then restored old menu.lst installed grub2 afresh. This time with the newevr packages form karmic. This time, I put in the entry for Windows 2000 with the extra 'drivermap' command:

menuentry "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional (on /dev/sdb1)" {
set root=(hd1,1)
drivemap -s hd0 hd1
chainloader +1

the -s switch does the reverse of the command so it is basically the same as putting:

drivemap hd0 hd1
drivemap hd1 hd0

THis time when I tried it...


Now I am off to tweak it's appearance and make it more pretty....

The Next Step for Chromium On Linux

Sort out the theme:

Why Not to Put Windows 7 on your netbook

Hehe, Microsoft just keep making it worse for themselves. Look what they published today:

"Microsoft has said that the Windows 7 Starter edition won't feature:

- Aero Glass, meaning you can only use the “Windows Basic” or other opaque themes. It also means you do not get Taskbar Previews or Aero Peek.
- Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.
- The ability to switch between users without having to log off.
- Multi-monitor support.
- DVD playback.
- Windows Media Center for watching recorded TV or other media.
- Remote Media Streaming for streaming your music, videos, and recorded TV from your home computer.
- Domain support for business customers.
- XP Mode for those that want the ability to run older Windows XP programs on Windows 7"

* No Desktop Effects - That's strange, on Linux we have a thing called Compiz that works on netbooks, but I suppose Microsoft have my best interests....

* No Personalization Features - Well silly me, all these years I thought it was my computer and I had the freedom to customize it. What was I thinking...

* No Fast User Switching - Even weirder, I can do that on my netbook with Ubuntu and the FUSA...

* No Multi-Monitor Support - So does that mean I can't plug in an external monitor and use it as a second desktop? Oh I don't even care anymore...

* No DVD Playback - This is possibly the only justified point, however it doesn't allow me to plug in an external drive...

* No Windows Media Center & No Remote Media Streaming - No media for me!

* No Domain support for business customers - Why even bother putting this on the list? What percentage of the netbook market is business customers? it just makes this already huge list look longer.

* No XP Mode - Well I suppose it is MY FAULT for wanting the use a program that works perfectly well until you brought Windows 7 out...

Well at least Windows 7 has removed the 3 application limit ?!

Free Software in a Nintendo DS Game!

A while ago, I completed a game called Soul Bubbles for the Nintendo DS (good game by the way) however recently I discovered something very important in the ending credits.

During the section where the developers thank others, there is section thanking developers of free software! A screenshot of this is below:

It says:

Thanks to all the developers who worked
on the following Free Software:

GTS - The GNU Triangulated Surface Library
CQuantizer by Jeff Prosise & Davide Pizzolato

Wow that is first time I have noticed Free Software getting press on a console!! What makes it even better is that the game was actually really great to play, proof that free software = good games (if we ever needed one :-] ).

Below is a video of the section in the credits:

Microsoft Makes Me Angry

I suppose it is appropriate that just after watching Louis Leterrier's 'The Incredible Hulk' (great movie) that I should see something that makes me angry.

Microsoft has just announced their 'specification list' for Windows 7 Starter on netbooks. The list basically states that Windows 7 Starter will only be allowed on machines that:

* Have a screen smaller/equal to 10.2 in
* Have no more than 1GB RAM
* Have a maximum HDD size of 250GB/ SSD size of 64GB
* Have a single core processor no faster than 2Ghz

I'm sorry but who do Microsoft think they are? Who are they to tell computer manufacturers that they don't have free choice on their hardware? I fI buy Windows 7 Starter and put it on a dual core desktop, will I be breaking the law?!

This is a new kind of arrogance even more Microsoft, somehow they think because they are a large Software maker, that they now own all computing markets?

Not only are they being awkward, but they are now prohibiting the development of netbook technology. What manufacturer is going to want to incorporate a dual core ATOM in their netbook, or a large HDD, or a new SSD, if they:

* have to put Windows on their device, as Microsoft have convinced everyone that anything else is a cancer
* have to pay more for the version of Windows (ie. Basic rather than Starter)
* will suffer reduced performance because of using said version of Windows

Thanks Microsoft, as a result of your arrogance, the netbook market has just stalled and no new technologies will ever come out.

It sure is a good time to be a Linux user.

Via [Computer Buyer]

Claws Mail Webkit Plugin - Deb Avaiable

I have now made a Debian package for the Webkit Plugin for Claws Mail I spoke about.

It is located in my PPA. It is called claws-mail-fancy-plugin.

Instead of adding my PPA, you can just download the debian packages below (however they will not get updated, only the ones in my PPA will.

Remember, to activate the plugin, open Claws Mail and go to Configuration > Plugins. Then click Load and select fancy.so. now the plugin is activated, it will render html for you. you may also want to go into Configuration > Preferences, Plugins > Fancy and select the options you want (I checked all the boxes).

  • claws-mail-fancy-plugin_0.9.6cvs12-1_amd64.deb
    (70.2 KiB)

  • claws-mail-fancy-plugin_0.9.6cvs12-1_i386.deb
    (64.9 KiB)
  • WebKit Claws-Mail Plugin

    Hi Everyone.

    I have been using Claws Mail for a while now (I love it's speed and lack of memory footprint) however there was one thing that was bugging me, rendering html email.

    I had been using the gtk2html plugin, however sometimes it would not render html emails correctly, and it took a long time to render any html, it didn't fit in with the speedy profile of Claws Mail.

    I was thinking today about the speedy webkit rendering engine, and how that would fit in with Claws Mail, luckily for me, a quick google found out that someone was one step ahead, they had created a webkit plugin for Claws Mail.

    The author? Salvatore De Paolis . His blog post here showed me how to get the sources and so I downloaded them straight away.

    After a few compiling woes, I found there was one more package I needed to install (libenchant-dev) and I was away. It compiled and installed successfully and I am now using the very speedy webkit plugin :-)

    I shall try to make an Ubuntu Package, however I have exams this week so it may not be for a while.

    Anyone who needs the library instantly, can email me (email located at launchpad) and I shall send them the library file (compiled for 32-bit only).

    Linksys, WUSB54GR Wireless-G USB Adapter, Ubuntu Linux

    Recently I purchased a wireless USB adapter for my PC, as it is now no longer within easy reach of an ethernet cable.

    I bought a Linksys (Cisco) WUSB54GR Wireless-G USB Adapter off ebuyer for £10.00 and it works fantastically with Ubuntu Linux 8.10+

    I literally had to plug it in and it started working straight away, no problems at all.

    I highly recommend this product to anyone using Ubuntu and hopefully this post should show up high in Google when anyone wants to find out how well the product works with Ubuntu.

    Jaunty Impressions

    Just upgraded to Jaunty Jackalope (well a fresh install, I keep my /home & / in different partitions) and my impressions so far are pretty good!

    The Good:

    • Boot Speed - Amazing, you can see my bootchart at the end, I average around 27 secs on an AMD Sempron 3000, 1GB RAM (and my / partition is ext4)

    • UI Improvements - I like the fading wallpaper switcher and new volume control especially

    • Compatibility - Everything works as it should (though this was the same in Intrepid. Still, no regressions is always good)

    The Bad:

    • New Update Manager Behaviour - I prefer the old behaviour, but then again that is the beauty of opensource, a quick:
      gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false
      And you are back!

    • Gnome Panel - I am nitpicking now, but I can't seem to drag the panel to a new position as I could in older versions. Anyone else experiencing this?
      EDIT: I found by looking through the changelog you now have to hold ALT to drag a panel

    And the Very Good (there is no Ugly in an ubuntu release :-] ) :

    • Installation - The fact that it took me half an hour to upgrade my system and have it working as exactly before! ( I also love the new timezone switcher, so much better!)

    Impressions so far? Excellent!

    How Linux Helps you to Move House

    I am moving house on Wednesday and lucky for me, Linux has made it that much easier...

    • I backed up my Windows 2000 partition... using Linux

    • I backed up my Ubuntu Partition... using Linux

    And last but not least, due to the amazing work done by the Ubuntu Netbook Remix Team & all the Ubuntu Developers, the Ubuntu Netbook Remix Image worked perfectly on my Mum's eeePC, enabling me to create a LiveUSB to boot instead of the default Xandros install.

    This means that thanks to the work done by the NetworkManager developers, I can use a T-Mobile mobile broadband dongle on the eeePC, allowing me access to the internet through the few days (that actually turned into two weeks!) that we are setting up the broadband at our new house.

    Thank you Linux !!

    New Theme & An Essential Firefox Extension

    You may have noticed recently that this blog has got a new theme, hopefully it is now easier to read etc.

    Now onto the news, I have just found and started using a Firefox Extension that I now consider essential. It's name?. SkipScreen

    We've all been through the situation where we've wanted to download a file, and had to go to a site like rapidshare, mediafire etc. and had to wait for ever! to download the file (because of a timer the site puts there for non 'premium' members).

    You also then get the situations where you leave the timer to countdown, but then when you come back to download the file, the download slot has expired and you to start all over again!

    However this situation is no more, SkipScreen is a Firefox Extension designed especially to skip all these pages and give you the download instantly! It is a great extension and you learn more about it at it's website below, you by viewing the video below:


    A Funny Bunny

    Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) has been released!!!

    Hope you like my celebration image :-)

    Netbooks of 2009

    Sorry for not posting in quite a while, but anyway, below are some netbooks that you should watch out for in 2009!

    Dell Mini 10 - Everyone was a but surprised when Dell jumped fomr the Mini 9 to the Mini 12, fearing that they had maybe missed out on the perfect netbook dimensions, however announced at CES was the Dell Mini 10 and with proposed features such as TV tuner card, multi-touch track pad ... it is something to watch out for (here's hoping we get an Ubuntu option).

    HP Mini 1000 - After HP's disappointing sales of the Mini Note 1233 (with a slightly unsuited SUSE implementation) HP have announced the Mini 1000 with one of the OS options being MIE (Mobile Internet Experience [based on Ubuntu!] ) although the disabled command-line won't go down well with some Ubuntu users...

    ARM Netbook - At CES one of the most exciting things for me was Freescale and Pegatron announcement of a prototype ARM netbook running Ubuntu. These low cost (around $200!) and low power (8 hour battery life anyone?) devices seem perfectly suited for the netbook market and I can't wait to see them in production (especially as this certain prototype looked the best of any netbook I had seen!)

    So what netbook from above are you looking forward to the most? Or is there one that I haven't listed that you'll be watching? Answers in the comments please :-)