Est. 2007

Posts Tagged ‘linux’

Ubuntu 10.04

In Tech, ubuntu on May 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm

So if you’re like me and have been away from Linux for a while now, the good news is that Ubuntu 10.04 has been released. This marks a long term service release (LTS). Also of great controversy is the change in the colour scheme from brown/orange to purple/black.

Personally, I’ve installed this on my brother’s notebook. There are a lot of noticeable changes to the whole system. One of the biggest that I have noticed is the installation of restricted drivers for graphics and wireless cards. This has become quite easy as the system will warn you that you need to install them and will do so if you request. Also, the specialized function keys worked straight out of the box and so did suspend. The use of the ext4 file system as default is the second. The system also has started using grub 2.0; however, I am unsure as to when they started doing this. Personally, being quite well versed with legacy grub, it is a bit cumbersome to go to different files to change different things. I much preferred the text file system of changing settings of the old grub. I still find that partitioning the system with gparted is better than waiting for the installer to allow you to do it. The installer still isn’t quite as intuitive and feature rich as gparted in its entirety.

In the more general review, I can safely say that the distro is maturing well. For many new users it can be a far more pleasant experience than previously. I also believe that it can cater for many basic computer user needs with all the in built software that it comes with. The restricted media codecs and flash are also quite easy to install using the medibuntu repository. Sure, I found that flash wasn’t perfect and didn’t perform as expected, but i’m sure they’ll fix that soon enough.

So, let’s recap on linux’s position. You can pretty much install it on a machine and 9/10 times it should all work fine including wifi and graphics even those pesky Broadcom ones. You got all you basic apps all in there, including office productivity software, music, web, email, bit torrent, IM and the list goes on. For all I know my PC can suspend pretty well and this is on a very budget machine, hence I believe that is all good for the most part for all. Linux has got eye-candy in the form of Compiz. It runs very well on net-books with special net-book versions that cater for that market, which includes ubuntu remix and whole bunch of others out there. In terms of peripherals, printers that are compatible with a mac should work since mac and linux use Cups. A range of tuner cards are supported and most other things like webcams should work; obviously with many exceptions. In the more general linux traits side, it still needs no virus protection. It can still manage to kill apps without shutting down. It can still go days without a reboot.

I think Linux in general is at that point where it can succeed as a desktop system. I do believe that many of us out there that use a system mostly for the web and basic things can manage to use linux and especially ubuntu as a distro for everyday use. I do believe that people should give it a try and not be prejudicial towards it. So many people simply dismiss something because they are too afraid of change. That’s what’s got us into this whole Windows monopoly in the first place. We’ve had relative stability with XP, but guess what, the regular cycle for Microsoft is around 3 years and paying the big bucks every time a new version comes out is a really big part of IT costs to big companies and even non-profits and schools despite the volume discounts. Just look at those that bought a Vista PC, they might not want to buy a new computer, but it seems like they should just cause the retail version of the upgrade license for windows 7 runs in the hundreds of dollars. The other issue is of ethics, just think about it, it is ethical for schools to use and force the use of proprietary software. In the end, the answer lies with users, they vote with their choices and so it comes down to them. So, wouldn’t you say, people should know their choices before they make that choice. All the good reason to try Linux, wouldn’t you say?

The Spray Can



In Tech on September 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm

So, you want to make money from selling your wifi? Not to worry, now you can. Before, setting up a hotspot where users would pay was very difficult and something that only those who had the time and money would do. Today, it isn’t so had to do at all. In fact, there are a few ways that you can.

Firstly, if you are still a little bit more tech savvy, you could set up a linux server and a capture web portal so that you can bring your clients to a splash page for them to pay you. Most probably and the easiest way would be to get them to buy vouchers from you or alternatively by using paypal. This is the hardest of all the solutions

Secondly, you could tone it down and buy a linux based router, some of the linksys ones come to mind, and install DD-wrt or openWRT and then chillispot. Basically, this solution is no different from the last apart from the fact that you don’t have to have a full computer running all the time.

The third method would be to use something like FON or Tomizone. Tomizone allows paid users while FON doesn’t. Tomizone is also available preinstalled on some routers in NZ and Orcon has some sort of partnership with them too. The D-link 300 router is probably the most popular router that comes with Tomizone. Tomizone is also based on Chillispot and the associated customized firmware; however, you don’t have to worry about the billing, marketing or the pricing. It is all done for you. You get put on a map of all the hotspots Tomizone has and mind you they also do the hotspots in all the Esquires and Starbucks coffee shops in NZ. The price is set to $3 an hour or 60mb, $6.5o a day or 160mb or $30 a week for 1.2GB. It’s either data or time whichever comes first. The hotspot provider gets 50% of that amount and tomizone keeps 50% for itself, but at least they save you all the trouble of setting up and managing your own and not to mention handling the billing. You are allowed to give guest access to people you know. The D-Link 300 also has dual SSID, so you can use one of them while the other is for the hotspot.

I have an unlimited data plan, so I have no data cap. My traffic is shaped and prioritized, so VOIP then HTTP and the like then other things and then P2P. So any thing I sell won’t affect won’t really affect me. Plus, you can set a maximum bandwidth for the hotspot side. So far in the last 1.5 weeks I have made $45. This is not bad considering that the connection only costs me $50 a month. I think the reason for my success is that an AUT building is right behind my apartment and someone buys a pass every now and then.

Overall, very good. At least I got some income going. I wish I thought of this earlier. The money from the first two weeks will practically pay for the router.

The Spray Can

Emerald Theme

In Uncategorized on October 9, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Some time ago I had downloaded a great theme from a site, but soon after the site has disappeared from existence. It is a real shame as the owner created some very good themes for emerald and GTK. It was roberTO studiOS.

I thought I would just share them here if anyone is still interested in the ones I have as I don’t think they are available elsewhere. I am not sure of the license, but I reckon it ought to be O.K. If anyone has a problem they can get in touch with me. The items are in the widget at the bottom. I really hope he brings his site back up soon as his themes are the best and I like them the most.

Here are the things I have right now:

Solidline (emerald theme)

Synthesis (gtk theme)

Simply Free (gdm theme)


The Spray Can

Ubuntu installed with less than 3gb space used (Windows struggles)

In Tech on September 24, 2007 at 5:43 pm

I installed and am using ubuntu on a partition that is around 3GB with around 300mb free so it’s around 2.7 gigs. My system has all the basics you really would need and more including beryl and wine, all the extra stuff from easyubuntu, pidgin, skype, thunderbird, etc.

If this were Windows, I would struggle to keep the limit at this kind of space. Actually I have experience. My wimdows partition with not much on it just grew and grew from what it should have been, around 4-5Gb upto 12GB and over. Wow it doubled without much effort. Ubuntu remained a small partition even though I added stuff like the above. Just goes to show you how linux can still work on older machines with less resources.

Linux 1, Windows 0

The Spray Can

My Ubuntu Desktop

In Tech on September 23, 2007 at 5:55 pm

I love Ubuntu for many reasons. It is open source, free to obtain, it is very stable, etc. The one I did not mention would be its looks, functionality and the blingbling. Beryl and emerald themes for the Linux desktop means that at least some folks might adopt it as their O/S even if it is just cause of the looks.

Here is a look at my desktop

My Ubuntu Desktop

I am using the solidline theme for emerald. The icon set is nuove-XT 1.6. The candido engine and my wallpaper is ‘Hole by cesconetto’.

Links coming soon for the above!

The Spray Can

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)

In Tech on September 23, 2007 at 5:30 pm

Next month’s release of the new version of Ubuntu is going to be big. The final release day is  18th. Cancel all your downloads, meetings, dates and mark it on your calender cause it is going to be one hell of a day.

Expect server downtimes on the release date just like last time, increased talk about it as the date gets nearer and the excited faces of thousands of Linux fans

Is proprietory software ethical for schools

In Tech on September 22, 2007 at 10:55 pm

A long post here.

I had to think heavily about this. I come from a country where most schools would not usually have computers, let alone a good library. Many of the schools which do have computers are in urban centres, rural schools would likely only have one, the one in their office. Schools often seek funding from parents, sponsor companies or simply attempt to fund raise for any projects. Unlike many developed countries computing is offered as a subject in schools and mainly aims to fulfil the basic training to own and operate a computer up till senior high school, around sixth form when basic programming is taught. Only schools who have computers (mainly urban schools) usually offer the subject, rural schools who don’t have any or just have a few may offer but usually teach directly from textbooks, little practice would be given to the students.

The main issue here is that the curriculum is based around Microsoft office and off course Microsoft Windows. This I reckon is totally unfair, many kids probably can’t afford the software let alone what it takes to own hardware to run it properly. Piracy in the country with regards to MS are high, and students are almost certainly  using it. The unethical part is that the government is indirectly supporting it my making the curriculum based on MS software.

Really, I think that the schools and the government should switch to open source software as an alternative, a good example would be Ubuntu, or better yet Edubuntu seeing as some schools probably have some old PCs which they can turn into dumb terminals and for those who don’t, cheap pentium 2s ans 1s are available as well. All they need is a good server. This also means easy management of the network, they can give internet access as well. The library can finally have a system for book management seeing as most schools don’t have that either. Filtering sites would be easier and Linux is also pretty much immune to viruses so that solves that problem too.

Only problem is training, and I suppose a little convincing.

The Spray Can