Howto

Formatting a USB Drive in Ubuntu

USB drives support two basic formats: floppy drive and hard drive. A USB floppy drive consists of one large formatted drive. In contrast USB hard drives contain partition tables and one or more formatted partitions. If you purchased a thumb drive and never formatted it, then it is most likely configured as a USB hard drive with one large partition.

Exclude Packages from being Installed and Upgraded in Debian/Ubuntu

Package managers make life on Linux a whole lot easier. Instead of managing bits of software by yourself and sorting out the inevitable dependency hell, where one package depends upon another and that depends upon yet another and so on, you can have a clever bit of software do all the work.

Reclaim vertical space in Gnome!

Despite the slightly higher resolution (800 vs 768) vertical space is always a bit constrained on widescreens. This is even more noticeable with Gnome which has two panels, at the top and at the bottom, that use at minimum size 50 pixels both. Some other 20 px get wasted in the application titlebar, around 15 px in its statusbar, countless in horizonal scrollbars, menu bars, toolbars and whatsoever.

OpenOffice.org Impress: Using Master Slides

The Master view in Impress is the equivalent of page styles in Writer. It's the view where you can set elements of design that appear throughout your presentation, such as the slide background and foreground colors, any reoccurring elements, and the fonts. By creating the master slides you need before you add content, you can automate your work and free yourself to focus on content.

Using Elisa as your Ubuntu media center

Elisa is an open source cross-platform media center connecting the Internet to an all-in-one media player. This overview will walk you through the steps to install Elisa in Ubuntu, and highlight some of the features.

Schedule periodic tasks with cron

Periodic schedulers come in many shapes and sizes but one constant is cron, the scheduling daemon that will run programs and scripts at arbitrary times or intervals. A number of different cron implementations exist: although vixie-cron may be the most popular, there are other similar programs such as dcron, fcron, anacron, and others. Each cron implementation typically adheres to the same standards of defining cron jobs by using a configuration file called a crontab with a certain layout:

Check Wireless link quality in Ubuntu Linux

Iwspy is used to set a list of addresses to monitor in a wireless network interface and to read back quality of link information for each of those. This information is the same as the one available in /proc/net/wireless : quality of the link, signal strength and noise level.This information is updated each time a new packet is received, so each address of the list adds some overhead in the driver.

Spy On Your PC When You’re Away

Have suspicions about what goes on on your own computer when you are away? Think someone might be cheating? Do you often see that the history has been deleted out of the browser? Maybe you just want to keep tabs on what your kids are looking at when you aren’t right there watching.

9 Simple Ways To Recover Your Screen on Linux and Unix

Hopefully, today's title didn't give anyone the wrong impression. If you've gone and thrown your monitor off the balcony in a fit of rage, this post can't help you, except to offer the following advice: Go to the store and buy a buy a new one (they're much cheaper now than when you may have bought yours, which will help offset the counseling, therapy and court-ordered community service expenses ;)

Set Up a Debian or Ubuntu Machine as a Maildrop

The setup described here enables you to store all your email (and email for other people) on a single machine, which might be a home server, a remotely hosted server, or even a desktop, and then access it from anywhere.

Get updated world weather maps as your desktop background in Ubuntu

Traditionally, I’ve never had the same wallpaper on any computer for more than a half hour at a time.  I like my wallpapers to rotate, since I’m surrounded by 3-4 computers at any given time and usually only working on 1 or 2 of them.  This way I can have nice pictures flying by to keep my perhipheral vision entertained and people walking past my window can marvel at the 3D art I have displayed.

Tips for Spawning GUI’s from the Command Line

I love the command line. However, most people can’t just live on the command line, GUI’s can be pretty  useful :P. I find myself spawning GUI programs from the command line a lot, and here are two tips which make doing that a pleasant experience:

Mozilla Corp. today announced the winners of its third “Extend Firefox” contest

Mozilla Corp. today announced the winners of its third “Extend Firefox” contest, an annual competition that recognizes the year’s best Firefox add-ons.

Get Screen Actions for your Mouse on Linux

If you are one who strives for greater productivity on computers you probably know that having to switch between the keyboard and the mouse in the middle of your work is so painful. While keyboard buffs can use shortcuts to remain at the keyboard, what if you mostly interact with the mouse? Or what if you don’t want to memorize shortcut keys?

18 Tools to Turn Firefox 3 into a Communications Portal

Firefox can be made into so much more than just a browser via its huge extension base.  Yes, this means you can replace some of your instant messenger, chat and microblogging needs by adding just a few extensions. Here are 18 tools that will let you turn your Firefox 3 browser into a communications portal.

4 Ways To Play Windows Game On Linux

Playing Windows games on Linux is not really a difficult task. Most gamers are reluctant to migrate to Linux because they have this misconception that Windows games cannot be played on Linux. How wrong they are. If you are one of those avid gamers that I mentioned above, here are 4 ways that you can play Windows games on Linux.

Twitter Clients For Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop

In this article I will show how to install and use two clients for the popular microblogging platform Twitter on an Ubuntu 8.04 desktop. The first one is Twitux, the second Twitter client is gtwitter. Both clients have similar features, so it is up to you which one you want to install.

Use Twitter in Pidgin (download for Windows, Linux and of course a Ubuntu package)

Previously, the way to connect to Twitter using Pidgin (IM client for yahoo, google talk, msn, etc), was to use a jabber account like google chat, then add Twitter. But Twitter shut down the Jabber service.  So it doesn’t work anymore. But now, Pidgin-microblog can do the trick.

Free your IPODS (on Linux)

So I’ve bought an IPod, eventually as some might say, after fighting at least 4 or 5 years against it. I came to the conclusion to buy one because simply all of my friends have one, and surely they can’t all be blatantly wrong. Some of them are even hardcore nerds. My only condition was to find a mp3 player that has a good Linux support, good in terms of not having to search 1 week or more to finally get this bastard working.

Integrate Picasa with Ubuntu

I have really grown attached to Picasa as a photo manager. Since I have been using it more frequently I have been seeking ways to better integrate Picasa into the Ubuntu desktop.

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