Friday, October 31, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10 is here. And it rocks!

I downloaded Ubuntu 8.10 "Interbid Ibex" today and i am currently using it as a Live-CD. Everything seems to be working perfectly until now, so i will install it tomorrow and suggest it to all my friends & colleagues if no serious problem arises.
What did i like the first 2 hours of use?

  • The new wallpaper that shows the Interbix Ibex (all Ubuntu codenames come from animals) is really cool.
  • The DarkRoom theme is cool as well. Many users like dark themes and this one is quite polished. It will also serve to lessen the accusations of Ubuntu haters, that Ubuntu's default theme sucks. Personally, i hope this really cool theme is released. It is currently only a mock-up, but it is very impressive and cannot be accused of being Mac or Vista rip-off.
  • The new network manager worked without any issues and can connect to networks before login, which is useful for network authentication (if i 've got that right). It is also more advanced in handling 3g networks.
  • Compiz 0.7.8 with the cylinder & sphere effects enabled! see screenshots below
  • It has 2.6.27-7 kernel which has A TON of new driver as well as new features.
  • 7.4 which is suppossed to never require any configuration.
  • Gnome 2.24, with tabbed browsing in Nautilus.
  • You can search for printer driver from the internet inside the printer configuration program.(Although many printers will simply work out of the box)
  • You can encrypt files/folders. Works out of the box without installing anything else. I haven't figured out how it is done yet, though. I will write a new post about this.

The one thing that i did not like at all, was that OpenOffice was version 2.41 instead of 3.0. I hope that it will make it to the official repositories and soon.
There are also 2 minor annoyances, that the compiz-settings-manager does not come pre-installed and that universe and multiverse repositories are not enabled by deafult (this can confuse new users). You can install it from System->Administration->Synaptic or from the terminal with this command:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

All in all, Ubuntu 8.10 is a great operating system and once you install your first program using the Synaptic package manager, it is easier to use and maintain than Vista or even Windows Xp and way more impressive. (No defragment,1 click update for ALL YOUR PROGRAMS, virtually no viruses and malware.Those viruses can't even infect the whole OS, just the current user)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Damn Small Linux 4.0 install on Compaq 1540DM

This is to show how to install Damn Small Linux on a Compaq 1540DM Laptop. Sorry, no screenshots for this install.

Compaq 1540 DM, Pentium 1, 64 mb ram, 2 gig hardrive. No option to have cdrom boot first in bios .

1.I downloaded sbminst.exe (DOS executable)
cwsdpmi.exe (support file) and formatted a 1.4mb floppy and installed those 2 downloads to floppy. Used the 3.7 column Smart Boot Manager Download

2.1. Restart the PC, boot from the floppy and run:

2. Read the displayed screen for guidance and run the following command:
A:\>sbminst -t us -d 0 [make sure to put a space before -t, us, -d, 0][- is a dash, 0 is a zero]
Enter Y when asked to confirm.
The above command converts the floppy into a standalone boot manager.

3.Reboot the computer and select CDROM 0 to boot 1st .


1. Boot up DSL from the live CD.
2. Back up all files on your hard drive to an external memory drive or another computer. You MUST save all of your data, because installing an OS to the hard drive involves wiping out its entire contents. DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THIS STEP.
3. Use a hard drive erase program to erase your hard drive. If you are using Darik's Boot and Nuke, use the following settings for speed: Quick Erase method, verify feature turned off, 1 round
4. When the hard drive erase program is finished, reboot.
5. Boot up DSL again from the live CD. Go to XShells -> Root Access -> Dark
6. Enter the command "cfdisk". You are now in the cfdisk application.
7. Delete any and all existing partitions.
8. Create a new partition (hda1) for holding the original DSL image file. Make it a primary partition with a size of 55 MB. Place it at the beginning of the drive, and make it bootable.
9. Select "hda1" and make it type 83 (Linux). Select "Write" to write it to the hard drive.
10. Select the Free Space and create a new partition for the swap drive. Make it a primary partition with a size equal to double the RAM. Place it at the end of the space.
11. Select hda2 and make it type 82 (Linux swap). Select "Write" to write it to the hard drive.
12. Select the Free Space and create a new partition for the main drive. Make it a primary drive, and use the default size (rest of the hard drive space).
13. Select hda3 and make it type 83 (Linux). Select "Write" to write it to the hard drive.
14. Select "Quit" to exit cfdisk.
15. Format the partitions. Enter the following commands:
sudo mke2fs /dev/hda1
sudo mke2fs /dev/hda3
sudo mkswap /dev/hda2
16. Reboot the computer from the live CD again.
17. When you are in DSL, go to DSL menu -> Appls -> Tools -> Frugal Install -> Frugal GRUB Install .
18. Use hda1 as the target partition to hold the image.
19. Install from the live CD.
20. Select yes to format.
21. When the hard drive installation is finished, reboot the computer, and remove the DSL CD when you are instructed to do so.
22. When you are asked to select one of the multiple DSL options, choose the first (default) option.
23. At the DSL X setup, select cancel for the default configuration.

Above install instructions borrowed from jhsu At Damn Small Linux Forum.

Using a Xirom CEM-100 Ethernet PCMCIA Card to connect to land Line
Using a Netgear MA401 PCMCIA Wireless B 16 bit Card for Wireless.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why should Microsoft fans want (even help!) Linux to succeed

First of all, i am not insane.(i think...)
Imagine that your football team wins the championship the last years and it has completely crashed all competition. Would you be happy with the way your team played with no competition at all? It would surely play crappy, because it wouldn't need to try any harder. Now imagine that your opponents got stronger by bringing talented players, accomplished coaches and investing in their infrastructure (academies, training grounds, etc). Your team would be hard pressed and improved to keep ahead of its opponents.

The same thing happened with windows.

Having more than 90% market share for years, they got slower, more bloated and less innovative.
Since the fall of Netscape, Internet Explorer stayed the same for 5 years. 5 years!! This amount of time is considered like an eon in IT. And then, with the advent of Firefox, Microsoft was forced to release IE 7, which incorporated some features of Firefox, like tabbed browsing for example. Now they even try to create publicity for the beta versions of IE 8, which in turn tries to catch up to Firefox in terms of speed.
Another great example is the end of XP lifecycle. Many users preferred XP over Vista and they even made an online petition to Microsoft to keep supporting XP. The result after 200.000 signatures? Microsoft insisted on terminating XP. But... But when EeePC came out, with this Celeron processor that could not load Vista, Microsoft was forced to extend the life of XP Home to avoid losing 100% market share to Linux netbooks.(And with this move it only lost 30-40%. I am talking only about netbooks here.)
Microsoft also finally implemented user rights on Vista, -badly though-, and started "discouraging" users to be administrators, when they shouldn't.

So even if you don't like or don't plan to use Linux, you should be happy if it keeps getting market share and attention from companies, because it is you that will be benefitted in the end. YOUR TEAM, Microsoft, will have to play better ball to stay on top and you will enjoy following that team more than you do now.

OK, you convinced me! How can i help windows, IE and office become better??
The easiest way is to add buttons or banners to download Ubuntu, Firefox or OpenOffice in your site or blog.

There are many buttons/banners and they can look like this:

Spreadfirefox Affiliate Button


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How to open Terminal and find what kernel you are using

I am going to use Ubuntu Hardy to show this, but this tutorial should work for anybody using a Gnome Desktop no matter which distro you are using.

First to open terminal go here.

Then Left click Terminal and this should open

Type in uname -r into the terminal and hit enter. Your current Kernel version is now displayed.

I did this for the New Linux users that wonder how to open terminal and what it does when they post their questions in a forum. Alot of troubleshooting by experianced Linux users is done by asking, " what is the output of lspci,lsusb,lsmod, etc.....

Usually alot of New Linux users when asked that question reply with, "what is terminal, I don't know what you mean". This little tutorial should now explain to new users by what is asked when asked to post a output after entering a certain command.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Linus Torvalds (hopefully the real one and not a fake...) started a blog this Tuesday!
It only has 268 followers (263 when i started typing this sentence!) and 2800 profile views but it will definitely rise.
So why are you still reading my blog?? Go to Linus' blog now!