Monday, 30 April 2007

Turning my Kubuntu laptop into a Mac!

Yep! Using Baghira, a MAC OSX style package, you too can make your KDE desktop look like a Mac.
Here is a great tutorial for getting it all happening if you are so inclined. There are others - check out the Ubuntu forums for instance.

This is what I was aiming for and I am not there yet and I am unlikely to get all the way there as I don't have Beryl/Compiz running on my laptop so the ritzy kxdocker dock that works just like the Mac version is unlikely to be implemented.

So far I have the menu bar at the top installed without an apple icon for the moment and all the system icons and window treatments running as if this OS was Tiger. Very clean and smart looking and I have to say a lot faster than the style I had before today.

So why would I want to do this you ask? Just because I can and it is the sort of thing that people who use Linux seem to do!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Emacs! A fix for Edgy Users!

I decided today that it was time I gave Emacs a try as I have heard so much about it.

I cranked up Synaptic and installed Emacs along with a host of other bits and pieces it felt were also necessary.
Opened a terminal typed in Emacs and after a few seconds a window popped up with a great looking welcome logo etc.

But just a bunch of little rectangles and no text unlike the image to the left!!!!!
Boy was I disappointed!

Anyway after an hour or so I found the fix for it! - and I thought I would post it as it took me a little while to find a solution.

Turns out it is an X11 issue that was unresolved in Edgy Eft but that has now been addressed in Fiesty Fawn!

My thanks to arnieboy at the Automatix forum!

1. Open xorg.conf as root

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

2. Find all instances of


3. and change them to


4. So the entries should now look like

FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc"

5. rather than

FontPath "/usr/share/X11/fonts/misc"

6. Save the new version of the xorg file and restart your computer and you should be in business

Someone's home page? Surprise, Surprise!

This evening I was fiddling around with some Gmail Greasemonkey scripts and I wanted to test the one that forces the use of Gmail when you click on a contact (mailto) link on a website.

Perhaps being in a strange mood, as I am rather unsuccessfully trying to update Edgy Eft to Feisty Fawn at this time also, I happened to type "someone's home page" in Google and look who was top of the list?

What you don't recognise this recorder toting icon of the Free Software Universe?
Ahh! Now you remember! It is the one and only Richard Stallman founder of the GNU Project!

I would recommend a visit to his website and have included his biography below which will give you some idea of what the experience might be like!. Just click on the photo to get there.

Richard Stallman's 1983 biography

(this biography was published in the first edition of "The Hacker's Dictionary".)

I was built at a laboratory in Manhattan around 1953, and moved to the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1971. My hobbies include affection, international folk dance, flying, cooking, physics, recorder, puns, science fiction fandom, and programming; I magically get paid for doing the last one. About a year ago i split up with the PDP-10 computer to which i was married for ten years. We still love each other, but the world is taking us in different directions. For the moment I still live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, among our old memories. "Richard Stallman" is just my mundane name; you can call me "rms".

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Finally - the foreshore in Albany is to be developed!

This is an aerial shot of the foreshore in Albany where I live.
For the past twenty years or so there have been attempts made to develop it from the wasteland that it currently is into a vibrant and interesting place to visit. These attempts have been stymied by a vocal minority who have finally been overcome!

The plan includes:
  • a fantastic new entertainment centre
  • a harbour village for commercial and short stay tourist accommodation
  • a small boat harbour with wave protection
  • retention of Town Jetty as the spine of the development
  • integration of activities back into Albany Town Centre via afootbridge (currently under construction)
  • 21,000 sq m of commercial/tourist development
  • retention of the existing groyne
  • seven pens adjacent to the tourist precinct for charter boats
  • 36 pens for 10-15 m recreational boats
  • a small boat launching ramp and support facilities
  • a wharf and 10 pens for the fishing industry
  • a fishing industry precinct
  • a port use precinc

This is a sketch of the basic plan layout.

Here is an artists representation of how it will look and as you can see it will transform the area.

Below is a link to LandCorps documentation on the project and clicking on the image above will take you to the foreshore developments web page.

LandCorp Albany Foreshore Development

Bring it on!!!!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

10 critically important things for a successful jam session!

1. Make sure everybody is in tune!

2. Don't let songs or solos go on for ever!
3. Don't insist on acoustic instruments only!
4. As an electric bass player really helps!
5. And so does amplification for the singer!
6. Take some sort of drum along!
7. And make someone play it so as there is a beat!
8. Don't let a non-muso play the spare percussion instruments!
9. Bring some charts just in case!
10. Leave the drugs at home!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Great Java programming book - Head First Java 2nd Edition

Whoopee Do!
It was my birthday yesterday and I received the copy of Head First Java 2nd edition I had been waiting for from Amazon which joins my two other Java programming books:

Java in a Nutshell (for the API in a book on my desk)

Java - An Introduction to Problem solving and Programming (A great book also and I have it because it is the chosen text for my degree and represents the traditional approach to teaching programming in Java).

I think the way in which the Head First authors go about teaching the basics of Java programming is excellent and works very well for a subject that can be a little dry and that requires the assimilation of a huge amount of information.
The image above will give you some clues as to the tone and visual nature of the book.
I have already found it useful and remarkably easy to just sit down with and read almost like a novel. (picture book?)
They have sold thousands and I can see why!
Anybody else found this innovative teaching text useful?
Just a pile of garbage and a waste of money?

Monday, 2 April 2007

And again - Gmail this time!

More Google April Fools Day laughs with the great new free service Gmail Paper that will also save the environment! ROFL!

Google's new broadband offering - slightly on the nose......?

But very, very funny!

The folks at Google do have a good sense of fun and I had to chuckle when I came across this announcement yesterday. Keep in mind it was April Fools Day!

Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.

What I really cracked me up was the instructions for installation that they had created!
Have a look and make sure you also click on the TISP Help Group link for further laughs!
And last of all, you gotta check out the FAQS!

This was not the only April Fools story I heard yesterday.
Background Scenario
My mate Roland is a keen surfer and we are often out there sharing the waves together.

Anyway he had booked a ticket to go surfing in Lombok in Bali last year with his brothers but had managed to get a hernia just before he was due to go and that was the end of that.

Three operations later the botched first operation, which left him with a numbing and constant pain in his leg, was fixed up and he is now back on a board.

Anyway the proposed trip to Bali was rescheduled for April this year and yesterday he had an email from one of his brothers informing him that Qantas had cancelled all flights to Denpasar Airport in Bali between the 6th and 16th of April.
Now this is not necessarily unusual as the radical Muslims in Indonesia frequently try to blow up Australians, but I reckon in this case Roland's bro was giving his leg a big pull!
Happy April Fool's Day Roland!

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Bloggers cool new Video Bar!

Blogger has introduced two great new widgets!
News Bar and Video Bar.

I have installed the Video Bar which I feel adds a whole new dimension to this blog as you can watch a video without leaving the blog! - in fact you can watch 4!!!!!!!!!!!

The way it works is I set the search parameters and the Video Bar displays 4 random videos from Google Video/YouTube based on the results of that search.

Today I have set the search parameter to Java Programming and the video appears at the top of the blog.

Both these widgets can easily be installed by clicking your blog's Layout link on your Dashboard, then clicking "Add a Page Element. You will see the two new widgets at the top of the page.

Enjoy mine and make sure you get yours installed too!

Couldn't resist and added the News Bar as I realised I could target Aussie news so it is there now too!