OOo Basic crash course: Creating a simple game using strings in a database

Just because OpenOffice.org Basic is designed to automate mundane tasks doesn't mean that you must use it only for serious work. It's a programming language after all, and nothing stops you from using it to write something fun. Today we'll use it write a simple game where you have to guess a word, a letter at a time, from among words you've stored in a Base database. Although this is not a particularly sophisticated game, it contains a couple of string manipulation techniques and a clever trick for picking a random record from a database, which you might find useful when writing your own macros.

Hunting for wireless networking solutions

While most basic hardware support for GNU/Linux is improving constantly, wireless support remains dismal. Few manufacturers make an effort to support the operating system, or to publicize what support they have. Moreover, the components of wireless devices change so fast that one version of a device may offer support while a second version doesn't -- even though both versions share the same model number.

Quick Tip - When Linux Won’t Give Your CD Back

Just a quick tip I wanted to pass on today. Have you ever had the issue where you want to eject your CD, but it will not eject; no matter how many times you press the eject button? Annoying isn’t it?  I remember when I first started using Linux, years ago, (my OS was RedHat then), I actually would reboot the system just to get the CD out! Obviously, that’s not too smart.

Ubuntu Live 2008: Take Ubuntu Further

Registration is now open for the second Ubuntu Live conference taking place July 21-22 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. Ubuntu Live is a vibrant and important gathering of IT professionals, government and business leaders, educators, community leaders, enterprise and business users. The conference brings together the people who deploy and manage Ubuntu in organizations, companies offering services and solutions based on Ubuntu, customers of those services, users of Ubuntu, and the folks who build Ubuntu and other key open source software.

Twitux - a GNOME Twitter client

Microblogging service Twitter is ever popular, and is a great way for keeping in contact with your friends in real time and seeing what they are up to. What makes Twitter what it is though, is the ability to update your status and receive messages on all sorts of devices, as well as the web interface. Twitux is a native GTK/Gnome client for Twitter.

Get a Canon all-in-one printer working with Ubuntu

These instructions are for Canon all-in-one printers (printer, scanner, and copier in one unit). These instructions are for the Canon PIXMA MP160, but these instructions can be adapted for other all-in-one printers in the Canon PIXMA series of all-in-one printers. This is done entirely in the terminal. All terminal commands are in boldface.

Toggle Compiz with Fusion-icon in Ubuntu 8.04

If you run applications that are incompatible with Compiz, 3D games, or find that Compiz is unstable, you probably need to toggle or restart Compiz often. Fusion-icon is for you! It’s quickly available from your notification area and allows you to reload Compiz, switch between available window managers and decorators, and change some of Compiz’s options.

Using your Linux box for volunteer computing

You can do your part to help tackle such global issues as disease control and climate prediction simply by volunteering your computer's resources to solve complex computational problems. The concept, known as volunteer computing, benefits universities and research institutions around the world, who conduct projects that often have humanitarian goals, such as predicting and controlling the spread of malaria in Africa.

Five principles for successful mass collaboration, part 1

Linux has succeeded as a product only because the community that supports it has organised itself systematically to create, share, test, reject, and develop ideas in a way that flouts conventional wisdom. Successful We-Think projects are based on five key principles that were all present in Linux. Here are the first two.

Open/View .docx files in OpenOffice

As most company standard builds are now including Microsoft office 2007 you will start seeing more .docx documents. This has been covered time and time again but still people still ask the question.

Ubuntu Hardy: The latest and greatest or a total mess?

Ubuntu has become so popular, so quickly, that it is almost synonymous with the word "Linux". Common wisdom holds that it is the easiest to use, simplest, and most stable Linux based OS out there, and that is is the best hope for "Linux on the Desktop". This reputation is a well earned one, but after trying out the latest beta of Ubuntu Hardy, due out this April, I can't help but wonder if they are getting a little careless. More on this after the jump.

Easily Install Prism Web Apps in Ubuntu 8.04

Mozilla Prism is a web browser that allows web applications to be integrated with a traditional desktop and act like native applications. Launching a web app using Prism is done in the same way as launching an application installed on your computer, from the Applications menu. The Prism browser is simplified to not get in the way of the web app.

Wash away the photo workflow blues with blueMarine

Photo buffs who are fond of open source software would do well to look at blueMarine. Right now, the free, cross-platform application's strength is image management, but it is on its way to becoming a complete workflow tool. Its cataloging features are robust, its architecture is extensible, and it takes some intriguing new approaches.

Firefly extension turns Firefox into a file browser

Nowadays, Web browsers can act as front ends to many other kinds of applications. For instance, if you want to browse and open the files on your hard drive from within Firefox, turn to the Firefly extension.

Understanding the Ubuntu package repositories

During a thread about daylight savings confusion here in Sydney, Martin Barry asked the SLUG list why updates to Ubuntu packages go into a separate “updates” repository. John Ferlito suggested that I blog my answer…

Create a Web-Based Audio File Manager and Audio Server with Ampache

Today I finally replaced my out-of-date streaming music server with something a little more recent.  I had long been using gnump3d, and even wrote up a tutorial on it some time ago.  Development on the project has pretty much died off completely and even though it has worked great for nearly three years I felt it was time for a change.

Enable Metacity Compositing in GNOME 2.22

In GNOME 2.22, included in Ubuntu 8.04, the default Metacity window manager has compositing built in. This means that you can get your eye candy effects without switching window managers!

Disable Prefetching in Firefox & Epiphany

I recently found out that Firefox has a feature called “prefetching” that tries to pre-download items that it suspects you might click on soon.  This could help in pre-downloading content that you would visit next (ie; it is linked on the page you are visiting therefore you might access it next), but it can also have the nasty negative effect of wasting your bandwidth on items you don’t ever want.  This can also download cookies from sites you haven’t visited, etc.  Seems like a nasty feature to me!

Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter - Issue 84

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 84 for the weeks March 23rd - March 29th, 2008 is now available. In this issue we cover: new MOTUs, Ubuntu 6.10 End-of-Life, Xubuntu refocuses, Ubuntu countdown graphics, Launchpad 1.2.3, Launchpad logo contest closing, Ubuntu UK Podcast #2, Reside@HOME: Linux Health Care, PWN To OWN (Ubuntu wins), and much, much more!

How To Troubleshoot Wireless Network Connection in Ubuntu

In setting up their wireless connection for the first time, Im discovering many individuals having problems connecting through Network Manager or other GUI wireless connection tools. In fact my Network Manager is intermittently buggy, connecting sometimes and not others. This guide benefits all users in case the GUI tools are not working, and is useful for testing a wireless connection during initial installation of wireless drivers since it provides for good debugging output.

Create Flash Content in Linux - A Missing Link for Developers?

Last month we posted “Top 100 of the Best (Useful) OpenSource Applications“, which listed some really good open source applications. One of the things missing was a good OpenSource, Flash content creation tool.

Change The PDF Printer Output Directory

Since Ubuntu 7.10, a PDF printer has been installed by default. The behavior of this feature has changed from Ubuntu 7.10, instead of asking for a name and location for the PDF, Ubuntu 8.04 will guess a name for the document and place the file in a folder called PDF in your home directory.

Automatic FTP Backup System - A Very Simple Solution

Earlier last week I was reading some posts in a web hosting forum “Site Backup - Virtual Private Servers (VPS)“, within the post a forum member was trying to facilitate an automated backup system for his important files. In this case they were web based files.

[old news] OpenOffice.org 2.4 Released, Already Included in Ubuntu 8.04

OpenOffice.org, productivity suite included in Ubuntu, just released version 2.4. OpenOffice.org 2.4 is a minor release, the last before version 3.0, but it includes plenty of new features and fixes. OpenOffice.org Ninja has a post with screenshots, and The official release notes detail every change and fix.

Full Circle Magazine Issue #11 released

This issue contains…

  • Linux Mint vs. Ubuntu
  • TrueCrypt on Ubuntu, iPod Classic + Amarok, Introduction to LaTeX, and more!
  • Lenovo 3000 C200 and Ubuntu
  • Top 5, My Desktop, and more!
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