One of my favorite things about Linux is its seemingly endless customizations, including various eye candy! My favorite eye candy, or rather eye-candy controller, is SuperKaramba. It provides you with a nice GUI (see/ click screenshot) for loading tons of eye candy to your desktop. Currently, I have Liquid Weather, and my own variation of TechMon running on my desktop (see screenshot), but there are countless other themes you can run including ones for media playback, photos, email, and more! A great place to get these nice themes is the Karamba section of KDE-look. But first, you must download/ install SuperKaramba. To do so, you can build form source, or find a file on KDE-look that is built for your distro (ie. rpm, etc). If you decide to build from source, make sure you have all the libraries for KDE, QT, and Python installed (I was not able to install without these). Install with the traditional ./configure, make, and make install. Once installation is done, have fun downloading all the "useful" eye candy you can! But, sometimes you may find that what you download isn't quite right for you, and you feel the need to configure. Since most themes don't have the option when you right-click on them to "configure theme," you will have do the editing the good old text based way. To do this, find the .theme or .py (if you know Python) file of the theme you want to edit and open the file with your favorite text editor. Configuration is fairly simple, and you will learn fast. Editing your theme is especially helpful with system monitors (such as TechMon) if they don't automatically find the right hardware to monitor. Luckily, you will most likely not have to configure anything or make changes. So, have fun with your new eye candy!
A new, rather exotic theory that proposes the existance of an extra fourth spatial dimension could be tested by a satellite due to launch in 2007. How? Well, the test would monitor bursts of high-energy gamma-rays from the deaths of massive stars that may reveal whether the universe contains extra dimensions.
Seagate's Barracuda 7200.10 Perpendicular! HD Review.
"Since the first time 'Get Perpendicular' got stuck in our heads, we've anxiously anticipated the arrival of perpendicular recording technology. The wait has been long, especially on the desktop, but perpendicular recording has finally arrived in Seagate's Barracuda 7200.10 hard drive. And it's arrived in style. Seagate has exploited the new recording technology to offer a drive with a monstrous 750 GB capacity—50% more than any other drive on the market." Also, the cost for the drive comes in at only about $0.55 per gigabyte whereas 500GB hard drive go for around $0.52.
This is a little series in Linux Forums about learning pearl, as the title suggests, in only 10 lessons. Looks good so far, maybe I will take a try at it... Anyway, for those really wanting to learn the basics of Perl fast, this is for you. Lesson 1
Great stuff here, its Windows Vista vs. openSuSE 10.1! The condenders where tested in the areas of hardware support/ configuration, performance, security, and overall look and feel. Also, find out how Xgl compares to Windows Vista's Aero Glass. Guess who wins? Ha, read it! True Linux users won't be surprised...
I have spent this morning of May 29 experimenting with VMware Player. So far, so good. Installation was easy, but make sure you have kernel-source installed, it is needed by installation/ configuration/ execution. Then came the configuration, also easy. The hardest part was figuring a way out of the seemingly endless EULA (End User license Agreement). After experimenting with some key combos, I figured out that pressing "Shift-Q" gets you to the final agreement. Maybe that is common knowledge for Linux users, but now I know. Anyway, after installation and configuration was complete, I booted Syllable, an "easy-to-use GPLed operating system for the home and small office user." As far as I have experimented, I think Syllable has great potential. It's interface is pure and simple. Performance was as I expected from running a full Distro from as a virtual machine, but not terrible. I hear that when actually installed on one's computer, Syllable is to be lightning-fast. As always, I have not got the internet to work, but I believe this is just a matter of correctly configuring the VMplayer. Overall, I was quite pleased with VMplayer. It has a fairly friendly interface itself and loading virtual disk images is a breeze. I also tried running DeLiLinux, but have not got it to boot properly, once again, a matter of configuration. You can also use VMplayer to run The Browser Appliance, which is used to improve the security of Windows machines. It does this by letting you run Firefox from the virtual PC and browse the web without affecting Windows in anyway, thereby preventing any web-based attack (the most common form of security attack). It really doesn't make sense for me to use such a program because I already use Linux! Anyway, if you would like to download VMware Player, you can do so here. Have fun!
I have decided to take up learning the Python programming language this summer. It seems like the best language to start off with for me, being easy to learn, but with vast potential in higher-level programming. So, untill I get an actual book, I am learning from Dive Into Python. It is really practical to start off because you when you download it, you get a lot of examples too. Well then, good luck to me on my quest to learn python! : )
As a follow up to my last post, I have decided to post a quick noob guide on how to install Ruby, RubyGems, and Ruby on Rails. To start off, download the latest version of Ruby (Ruby 1.8.4 is currently reccomended for Ruby on Rails). You can download Ruby (1.8.4) here. Once you have downloaded Ruby, unpack it using:
tar -xzvf ruby-1.8.4.tar.gz
Change to the created directory, and type the following:
Then, run make:
Then, run make install (you may have to be root to do so):
And there you have it, Ruby is installed. Next, I will talk you through installing RubyGems, the standard Ruby package manager. First, you must download RubyGems. You can do so by clicking this link. Once again, unpack .tgz package:
tar -xzvf rubygems-0.8.11.tgz
Then, just run setup.rb (once again, as root if needed):
Now RubyGems is installed. Next, we install Rails (Ruby on Rails). Ruby on Rails is "an open-source web framework that's optimized for programmer happiness and sustainable productivity. It lets you write beautiful code by favoring convention over configuration" To install Rails, simply type the following:
gem install rails --include-dependencies
And there you have it, a complete Ruby setup with RubyGems and Rails! Congrats, now start programming! If you have errors installing any of the above, just leave a reply to this post and I will try to help. OR, use this link to get to the Ruby documentation pages. OR, use this link to get to the Ruby Forum.
Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide First Edition (free online book)
For anybody wanting to start programming using ruby, but doesn't want to spend the $30+ on a book to learn from, this is for you. This is a full, free, online book introducing and teaching you how to program with ruby. It give you all the information and resources you will need to start with ruby. I myself am planning to learn ruby (or maybe python) as my first programming language due to it enormous potential and great interface. Good luck to any of you out there partaking in a similar endeavor! See online book here.
Researchers take a look into the potential of the Play Station 3's Cell Processor for, yes, science! "Overall results demonstrate the tremendous potential of the Cell architecture for scientific computations in terms of both raw performance and power efficiency," the authors wrote in their paper."We also conclude that Cell's heterogeneous multi-core implementation is inherently better suited to the HPC environment than homogeneous commodity multi-core processors." Read more here. Direct link to full paper (pdf) See Slashdot post here.
For all of you with some knowledge of physics, here is a paper written by Mohammad Mansouryar on FTL travel (Faster Than Light travel). Suprisingly, it actually makes sense... at least to someone with knowledge of physics. Anyway, check it out here. See Mansouryar's home page here.
Sega of the Upgrade to SuSE 10.1: A user's harsh story
Uh, oh. One user's troubles in upgrading from SuSE 10.0 to 10.1. Note, this is about upgrading, not just re-installing the new version. Read this and think twice, if you are thinking about doing the same. Not for the Linux noob! See here.
For those of you in Linux web developing, here is a quick survey of some of the most popular programs in the game. Excellent for a newcomer, or someone who is tired of their old program, and wants something new. Check it out!
This is a very useful technique that a fellow linux user showed me. It involves SMART, or Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. SMART is controlled through smartctl. To read the full SMART/ smartcld manual type the following at a terminal:
Then, to let SMART perform a short test of your hard drive, type:
/usr/sbin/smartctl -t short /dev/hda
The last part of this command (hda)signifies which hard drive is to be tested. The test takes a few minutes, so be patient. After the test is finished, view the results by typing:
/usr/sbin/smartctl -a /dev/hda
If all goes well, you will see a message like this:
SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1 Num Test_Description Status Remaining LifeTime(hours) LBA_of_first_error # 1 Short offline Completed without error 00% 325 -
This message confims that the test ran well, and your hard drive is fine, and if it detects any errors, you will know what you are up against. Hope this helps!
Sick to death of the rotten stick figures that come with PowerPoint? Want to punch up your presentations, your blog, your Web site? Getting ready to shell out money for custom or stock photography? Don't.
I just found this. Appearently Novell has a nice little service where you can request an App to run on Linux. I don't know how often they actually respond to you with a working app, but it looks like this could be good. Check it out!
Finally, after about a week of having no computer of my own, I finally got it working again by just removing the bad hard drive, but that is not all. A fellow linux user that was helping me to solve this problem had told me to see what brand hard drive I had in my computer. I looked and the brand turned out to be Magnetic Data Technologies (MDT). We checked out the website, and it turns out they only sell refurbished hard drives. Well, that came as a shock to me. I then wrote to the vendor from which I purchased my computer and asked them what was up. They responded and told me that they would replace the bad hard drive for free. Nothing else. I am not really mad that they sold me a refurbished hard drive because they computer has been great and I got it at a great price, but I would have liked it if they had told me that I was getting a refurbished hard drive. Anyway, that aside, I am now waiting for that free hard drive, and I am thinking about just buying a new hard drive, just to be safe. At any rate, I now have SuSE 10 reinstalled and working, so I am once again happy. Sadly though, the bad hard drive is beyond use, and I suppose I will just have to to dispose of it. Well then... I wonder what my next big problem will be...
\"While looking at some proofs, it occurred to me that their structure resembled musical scores, so as an experiment I decided to see what they sounded like. Essentially, the musical notes correspond to the depth of the proof tree as the proof is constructed by the proof verifier.\"
Ah, once again, my computer is not functioning. This time, a sudden hard drive error, on both my hard drives, at once! I have no idea what caused it, or what it really is. I am currently seeking help from SuSE Linux Forums. See my post here. Please help. This is my error message, for those to lazy to click the link to the post: ide:failed opcode was:unknown and Buffer I/O error on dev hd2, logical block 39 In the last error message, the number at the end keeps increasing every time the error message returns (as in every couple of seconds). But, both these error messages are only 2 among many other error messages that I couldn't write down. I had SuSE 10.1 on my first hard drive and SuSE 10.0 on my second hard drive. I am going to start working on the problem tomorrow, seeing as I have not the time nor the will at the present.
"The PS3 will come standard with a functional Linux Operating System as well as compilers and other tools to take advantage of homebrew software and prospective upstart developers. Of course, this also means the PS3 will be compatible with just about every USB device on the planet!"
Because I am just that kind, I decided to give SuSE 10.1 another chance, mainly because of my previous post stating that I had found a way to get my wireless network card working. Well, I tried that, and it worked... at least partially. The system now recognizes the card, and I could theoretically connect to the Internet using the new Network Manager or Kinternet. But, neither really worked for me. Odd... So after some configuring using YaST and other resources, I got them.... to still not work. I am now looking into if this is a problem with my wireless router not letting the new system in the network. My SuSE 10.0 which I am using right now on my second hard drive works fine. But, since I have a different host name (linux-suse on 10.1 instead of just linux on SuSE 10.0) I am thinking that the router set up with my mom's Windows-based computer is viewing my computer (10.1 system with hostname linux-suse) as an intruder, and trying to block all access. Why do I think this? Well, when I am using SuSE 10.0, I usually just use Kinternet to connect to the wireless network we have running in our house. This is done by opening the Wireless Connection... dialogue and switching to the second tab, selecing the network, entering the WEP code, and pressing connect (I am trying to creat a shell script or other program that will do this for me at launch, but I have had no success). When I do the same under SuSE 10.1, after pressing connect, nothing happens. I am not connected, even though a dialogue box just came up and said "Connected successfully to *network name*." Then agin, it may just be by stupid noob intellect (or lack of it for this matter) that is keeping me from perhaps an egregiously simple answer. So, untill I figure this out, I still don't have SuSE 10.1 up an running with Internet access. But, as soon as I do, I can see a bright future with it!
This little video clip will, as one digg user (mike007pk) put, "warp your brain around those distances." "Those distances" meaning the ones present in space all the way to the once present at the sub-aomic level.
String theory. A viable theory describing the universe? Or ill-defined and based on crude assumptions?
"Ever since Albert Einstein wondered whether the world might have been different, physicists have been searching for a “theory of everything” to explain why the universe is the way it is. Now string theory, one of today's leading candidates, is in trouble. A growing number of physicists claim it is ill-defined and based on crude assumptions. Something fundamental is missing, they say. The main complaint is that rather than describing one universe, the theory describes 10500, each with different constants of nature, even different laws of physics.
But the inventor of string theory, physicist Leonard Susskind, sees this “landscape” of universes as a solution rather than a problem. He says it could answer the most perplexing question in physics: why the value of the cosmological constant, which describes the expansion rate of the universe, appears improbably fine-tuned for life. A little bigger or smaller and life could not exist. With an infinite number of universes, says Susskind, there is bound to be one with a cosmological constant like ours.
The idea is controversial, because it changes how physics is done, and it means that the basic features of our universe are just a random luck of the draw. He explains to Amanda Gefter why he thinks it's a possibility we cannot ignore."
I have just started using the Performancing extension for Firefox, and it is the best blogging tool yet! With a quick, 10 second configuration, you can easily post to your blog, with out ever having to leave the site you are on! Download extension here. View main Performancing website.
"Imagine having computer memory so dense that a cubic centimeter contains 12.8 million gigabytes of information. Imagine an iPod playing music for 100 millennia without repeating a single song or a USB thumb-drive with room for 32.6 million full-length DVD movies. Now imagine if this could be achieved by combining a computing principle that was popular in the 1960s, a glass of water and wire three-billionths of a meter wide. Science fiction? Not exactly." Amazing new technology! Read more here.
Well, yesterday I finally downloaded and installed SuSE Linux 10.1. I wish I hadn't. This latest release was a great dissapointment. The only major improvement I noticed was the new version of KDE (3.5.1). The thing that upset me the most was the loss of many drivers for wireless network cards. My card with a RT2500 Chipset no longer worked right after the install, and trying to get the drivers from the RaLink website to work drove me nuts! The new network manager is no good either. Novell should have stuck with Kinternet. I was, however, really impressed with the new boot/ splash screen and the overall appearance of the system. Everything looked nice and formal, without being overdone. I didn't try the gnome desktop, but from what I saw from screenshots, it looked a heck of alot better than the gnome dekstop theme standard in 10.0. The only other major improvement I noticed was more up-to-date software (such as Firefox), which I can really easily install/ update in SuSE 10.0. Overall, the release was not right for me, but I am sure that it will do fine for others. Now I am back with SuSE 10.0, and happy.
Here's one for all of you Ubuntu users, new to Linux. Having difficulty installing things? Don't know where to put stuff? Don't know where to execute? Well, this is THE guide for you. It basically shows you how you can install anything using Synaptic, the terminal, and other resources just as easily as with Windows! Read more.
Well, I have done some more research, and apparently, very many people have my same problem. The problem is with the motherboard, and it is that the onboard graphics CAN'T be disabled. One person wrote to ASrock and they replied with:
"Thanks for contacting ASRock. Due to chipset limitation, it is no way to disable onboard VGA on P4i45GV.
The last link was posted by me, but the stuff the guy told me I guess doesn't work from what I heard elsewhere. I will try it anyways. Oh well, I guess if that fails, all that is left is to return my graphics card or get a new motherboard (which I don't want to do, because I have no idea how to take all hardware off of my current mobo and reinstall it without damaging anything). I still have a whole day of experimenting left though, so wish me luck!
"According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the Big Bang represents The Beginning, the grand event at which not only matter but space-time itself was born. While classical theories offer no clues about existence before that moment, a research team at Penn State has used quantum gravitational calculations to find threads that lead to an earlier time."
SuSE Linux 10.1 Final Report (yes more about SuSE)
Friday, May 12, 2006
Yet another post about SuSE Linux 10.1. My install of SuSE 10.1 will take place tomorrow. Untill then, here is a report on Tuxmachines.org about SuSE 10.1. Just a basic overview about the new release, including some info on XGL. Read more here.
As you know, about a week ago I purchased a new PNY Verto GeForce 6200 128MB AGP 8x graphics card for my computer. After testing for about a week with Windows (~shudder~), I realized that it really did boost my performance significantly. So, wanting quickly to get away from Windows, I decided to install SuSE Linux 10.0 (my favorite Linux distro). No, wait, before that I tried installing Free Mandriva Linux 2006 (just for a quick install do down load SuSE 10.1), and booting Knoppix 3.9 and Kanotix Light LiveCDs. Anyway, none of these worked. So, a bit distressed, I contacted a fellow Linux user (who has already helped me numerous times and to whom I am eternally grateful). He told me to remove my graphics card and try the installs again. Of course, the installs went flawlessly. Now I just hope I can get my graphics card reinstalled with the necessary drivers for Linux, or I just wasted $50 on a graphics card I can't use. Wish me luck! Updates will follow...
Yesterday, I spent about 4 hours trying to get the SuSE Linux 10.1 torrent to work. In those four hours I managed to download only 900MB out of 3.7GB! Not to mention that Ktorrent kept crashing (odd). This morning, I tried downloading the ISOs and I manged to download the first 2 CDs in less than an hour! So, for all of you waiting to get SuSE 10.1, get the ISOs, they are a heck of alot faster than the torrent*.
*Note* This may also depend on your internet connection! So what works for me, may not work for you, I just like to think it will : )
Wow, a regular Intel Pentium D 805 2.66 Ghz OVERCLOCKED STABLE, WITHOUT EXTRA COOLING @ 4.1 Ghz! This thing outperforms even the Pentium Extreme Edition 965 and AMD FX-60! WOW! + for Intel! Huge, 45 page review/ benchmarks/ summary, and how it actually works. Read more here!
I am already excited about the release of SuSE Linux 10.1 tomorrow. I can't wait to get XGL running on my desktop! Wow, as soon as I get 10.1 I will attempt to write my own review and post it here on my blog! I had to take out my graphics card today though, it didn't work at first with my fresh install of SuSE 10.0, but I am trying to get it to work. I will update you with any further success or failure (you being my possible, but probably non-existant readers).
For years, the Big Bang Theory has been our explanation for the origin of the universe, but recently a joint US-UK team has come up with a new theory. This new theory claims that the Universe undergoes cycles of "Big Bangs" and "Big Crunches," so really, our Universe now is only a "child" of the previous one. Read more!
Use a Nintendo DS or PSP to control an XBOX! (Video + Screenshots Included)
Saturday, May 06, 2006
The person who brought you the homebrew tic-tac-toe game that connected the PSP and Nintendo DS together has been at it again! This time he has made a hardware mod that allows the person to control an XBOX with his or her Nintendo DS or Sony PSP. The instructions are included.
Tuxmachines: In a post to the opensuse-announce mailing list Andreas Jaeger stated that 10.1 has gone gold. He stated, "We mastered wednesday RC4, fixed bugs and then mastered RC5 and declared that last night as goldmaster (= final version)."
"We only did a limited set of media for now and will do the final sets, all the delta ISOs (both from RC1 and RC3), and a proper frozen ftp tree on monday and distribute it to the mirrors so that we can announce and release this version next Thursday (12th of May).
This is intented as a quick FYI - I'll make a proper announcement next week with the release announcement."
Just yesterday, I received the graphics card I ordered from Newegg. It is a middle-range PNY GeForce 6200 w/ 128MB RAM (see it here). As soon as the box was unpacked, I set off to install the card. Installation was easy except for the fact that some screws were missing. I solved this by just taking some screws elsewhere out of the system, and replacing those with screws I found at home. Then, I installed Windows *Cringe*. Yeah, as soon as SuSE 10.1 come out, I am loading that. Windows installations go fairly quick, and the card driver/ DirectX 9.0 did too. So now I have a working Windows system with a fairly nice graphics card (which is kind of loud). I have yet to actually test the thing though. I am going to install some games/ demos and see how they run. Hopefully this will be an improvement over integrated motherboard graphics.
It's tough to feel warm and fuzzy about an infinitely dense object that holds light hostage, a dead star that would rip your feet from your head if you came within a few thousand miles of it. But, new research suggests they are triggers for galaxy development - nurturing nannies for star systems.
"I havve always been a firm believer in the idea of hacking yourself. After all, if you don't hack yourself, the hackers will. So, if your're a good security administrator, you must learn about the various hacking tools that might be used against your environment, become familiar with them, and use them. "
The 18.104.22.168 stable kernel release is available. This one contains fixes for a couple dozen serious problems, though none of them appear to be security related (at least, they do not have CVE numbers assigned). Other Link
"X-bit labs have a preview of NVIDIA's Quad SLI system based on two GeForce 7900 GX2 cards. On each GeForce 7900 GX2 is allocated 512 MB of on-board memory, which is connected through a special bridge chip with 16X PCIe lanes to the other daughter card and the system. The two GPUs on the card work in SLI mode. The core and memory are clocked lower than a single GPU card at 550 MHz and 1.2GHz (DDR). For Quad SLI, NVIDIA has introduced a new mode of SLI, AFR of SFR where each card alternately renders a frame split between the two GPUs of one card after the other. The GX2 cards are benched (when possible) at resolution of 2560 by 1600 with 32X SLI AA and compared to a Crossfire x1900 XTX system on a variety of games." Originally posted @ slashdot: See Story.
I am a normal teenage computer nerd living in South Carolina. I love basically anything to do with computers and science (Physics!!!), especially Linux. "Just Another Tech Blog" is based mainly on my Linux endeavour and various technology/ computer/ Linux related topics I come across while surfing the web.
For the curious among us: linnerd40 is a unification of the words Linux+Nerd+40. Pronounced lin-nerd-four-zero.