How to install Workaholic 0.1.0 on Ubuntu

Workaholic can be used to remind you to take a break. It will show you a transparent window with a progress bar. You can walk away from the computer for a while.

Cool Awn Applets to adorn your Ubuntu Linux Desktop

In the previous article, I explained how to install Avant Window Navigator in Ubuntu Linux (Gutsy Gibbon). By default, it doesn't install any applets. But a dock without any applets is as boring as a desktop without a dock right ? So here are a couple of AWN applets which I found really interesting. But first the installation ...

Announcing 5-A-Day

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Dick and Dom(1), I am pleased to announce a brand new initiative in the Ubuntu community that we have been working on for a little while, and one that has been alluded to by some members of our incredible community. It is of course…5-A-Day!!

A Sneak Preview of Google's Picasa 2.7 Beta for Linux

From Techthrob.com:

Google's Picasa software is a powerful tool for managing your photo collection. It provides a simple interface for organizing your pictures, as well as some easy-to-use, yet powerful image manipulation tools. However, until recently the Windows version of Picasa has had some features that put it above the Linux version; some of these features, like Picasa Web Album integration, are at the core of the program, without which Picasa isn't very useful. With its newest release, the Linux version is being brought up to par with its Windows counterpart.

Public Key Authentication for SSH Made Easy

Instead of logging in to SSH using a traditional password, you can also authenticate yourself without a password using a technique called public key authentication. This has more advantages than you would expect: as well as being convenient and more secure, you could use it to allow applications on your computer to access a remote system without knowing anything about the authentication, and mount SSH filesystems without being prompted.

Blending photos with Enfuse

Combining multiple photographs taken at different exposures lets you create a single image with good highlight and shadow detail. Tone-mapping applications like Qtpfsgui are the traditional way to do this, but tone-mapping is slow, difficult to use, and can produce strange visual artifacts. A new tool on the scene is easier, faster, and produces nicer results: Enfuse.

Explore the Universe from your Desktop with Celestia

From Techthrob.com:

While it may not let you go where no man has gone before, Celestia is an amazing desktop application that lets you go anywhere in the known Universe.You can view any object in the Solar System, travel to distant stars, and even leave the Galaxy, traveling faster than the speed of light, viewing high-res images of objects millions of miles away.

Kids - Let Them Create Art on Your Computer with Tux Paint

If you have kids and want to get them to do other things on the computer besides watching Drake and Josh or playing video games, institute an embargo and have them discover programs that are pre-installed on the computer. One often overlooked program is MS Paint, a simple graphics painting program that is included with almost all versions of Microsoft Windows. However, we highly recommend your look at the better alternative for your kids to start their computer drawing careers; Tux Paint, an award winning open source version of Paint features more extensive tools than Microsoft’s version and it is free.

Create a backup server with Restore

Perhaps the number one reason why people neglect to back up their desktops is the lack of workable solution. It can be difficult to find a method configurable enough to suite everyone's needs. One promising answer may be Restore, an application for enterprise and data center backup for Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix/Linux systems. It is GPLv2-licensed and freely available to download as a set of Debian/Ubuntu packages, virtual machine, or 455MB installable live CD.

Free software Easter eggs

It is grey a dull, overcast day here in downtown Amsterdam. The weather is rather oppressive, summer’s smile long gone and my wine cellar miraculously has grown to quiet emptiness. However, I know a not too-well guarded secret. Hidden in the cracks, just at the edge of your eyesight, is extra humorous functionality in your favourite free software applications. Silent professional Easter eggs are waiting stealthily to make you smile.

Fix your desktop shortcuts

Kiven of That Damn PC wrote about improving your desktop layout in Windows by reducing the number of mouse clicks you have. I also do the same thing on Linux. I put the icons of the apps I commonly use on Gnome panel.

For GNOME CD burning, viva Brasero

Brasero will replace Serpentine as the CD-writing utility in the upcoming April release of Ubuntu 8.10 (code-named Hardy Heron). Brasero extends the functionality of Serpentine to include data CD and DVD projects, file integrity checking, and multisession support.

How to use your Nokia to connect to the Internet in Ubuntu

OS X is without a doubt the easiest OS for configuring Bluetooth devices. Adding phones, keyboards and headsets is (more or less) as easy as it could be. Windows is way behind. You can add your phone, but where OS X automatically sets up the phone as a modem connection, you will have to download some PC Suite crap or hack your way onto the phone. Ubuntu is somewhere between Windows and OS X, but (sad to say) closer to Windows.

"Kindling" an Old Laptop is easy with Ubuntu.

The relatively recent phenomena of "kindling" a laptop confuses and frightens me. I mean, yeah, orienting your screen to the portrait mode is a nice way to read a book, and it's a little unusual, but it's not something unique to Amazon's Little eReader That Could. I've been reading ebooks this way since long before the Kindle. I'm that cool.

Customize the Update Manager in Ubuntu

From Techthrob.com:

One of the great things about using open source software is the frequency with which bugs are fixed, security holes are patched, and new features are added. Ubuntu includes a very convenient update manager but constantly upgrading your system can be a burden. This guide will explain howto customize the manager to run less often, or automatically install updates.

Linux on a stick part 2: Ubuntu 7.10

After some thinking and further reading on the net, I finally figured out a fairly simple way create a bootable Ubuntu 7.10 LiveUSB stick. And all under Linux. Here are the simple details I came up with to set up and configure a very minimal Ubuntu 7.10 Live USB thumb drive.

Put your program in, Pull your program out. That's what it's all about.

If somebody were to ask me which feature of Linux I liked the most I would have to say without a doubt the packaging systems that are available for it. The packaging systems for the biggest, baddest and best distributions would have to be the biggest, baddest and best difference between Linux and proprietary systems.

Agave is an Intuitive Color Selection Manager

Agave is a color palette selection tool used to pick design layouts for desktop themes, web site designs, icon creation, and much more. It simplifies the process of choosing colors by generating a palette based on an initial color selection according to the selected rule and color set. Supported color sets include GNOME Icon, Tango Icon, Web-Safe, and Visibone.

Planning for Ubuntu 8.10ish - The Intrepid Ibex

With Hardy now past feature-freeze it’s time to start to plan features that are being lined up for inclusion after Ubuntu 8.04 LTS is released in April. And so I’d like to introduce you to the Intrepid Ibex, the release which is planned for October 2008, and which is likely to have the version number 8.10.

PHP Shell, for secure remote access when SSH isn't available

Many companies offer LAMP hosting, but some of the cheaper LAMP providers do not allow SSH access, reserving that feature for higher-paying customers. Without SSH you may think you'll have trouble executing commands on the hosted server. Not so -- PHP Shell allows execution of some commands without having SSH access to the LAMP server.

gtkpod: a better alternative than iTunes

I have recently been inundated with questions about using an iPod (or iPhone) with Linux. I have written about Rockbox and how to “Open Source” your iPod, but for the average user that is not a viable option (Firmware? Do what????). So instead I am going to introduce those of you who do not know to an application that, in my opinion, is much better than the original (the original being iTunes.)

Tweak Ubuntu for peak performance

One of the first things I noticed after using Ubuntu for a while was how snappy the OS is, especially compared to Windows Vista (which in my experience can't even keep up with its predecessor XP). Then I poked around the Linux forums a little bit and found out that I could work even faster in Ubuntu by changing some default settings, and using a few of the OS's unique keyboard shortcuts.

Plenty to like in newest Firefox version

Don't look now, but the third volley in the second browser war is about to be fired, and it's packing an impressive payload. Mozilla, the folks developing the Firefox Web browser, last week released a new test version. It's the third beta of Firefox 3.0, and it's solid enough that it could become your main browser right now, even before it's formally finished.

Installing and Using a SSH Server

Having an SSH server can be incredibly useful; you can access a “headless” server without a monitor, get shell access to your system from anywhere in the world, transfer files without using FTP, securely tunnel VNC or web browsing, safely restart a locked-up system, and a lot more. However, improperly setting up a SSH server can leave your system vulnerable. Here’s how to install a secure SSH server (specifically OpenSSH) on Ubuntu or other Debian-based distributions.

Creating Custom Ubuntu Live-CD With Remastersys

Remastersys is a tool that can be used to do 2 things with an existing Klikit or Ubuntu or derivative installation.It can make a full system backup including personal data to a live cd or dvd that you can use anywhere and install. It can make a distributable copy you can share with friends. This will not have any of your personal user data in it.

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