Archive for May, 2008

Joey Stanford

Buntu Family Theater

Ever get confused as to the differences between Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu? In need of some humour?  If so, check out this video by Shawn Powers.  Don’t miss the bloopers at the end!

Joey Stanford

Where is Ubuntu-Bhutan?

<loco team hat>

Noticeably missing from our LoCo Team list is Bhutan. Bhutan currently runs Debian translated into Dzongkha.  I hope that with Ubuntu’s increased ease of use, principles, unique community, and that it’s a Debian-based distribution, Ubuntu would find an equally favourable position at the DIT.  Apparently it has with some of their users as we have a few forums users from Bhutan that run Ubuntu. If you’re a Dzongkha Ubuntu user, make yourself known!

</loco team hat>

Joey Stanford

RescueTime on Ubuntu

Published on: 25 April 2008 at 15:53 except it was published as a page, not a post. So, here it is for everyone:

A few of us on Launchpad have been playing with Angus’ RescueTime Linux Uploader which feeds data up to RescueTime is billed as

Ridiculously Easy Time Management and Analytics.

So far, it’s been very informative.  For me though it doesn’t count the time I spend talking on the phone when not actually taking notes on the computer.  I’m currently only using the Gnome information applet and the firefox plugin and it works surprisingly well.  You might give it a try if keeping track of time is interesting to you.

Joey Stanford

EeePC 900 running 8.04 OOTB from ZaReason

I picked up an Asus EeePC 900 from ZaReason and it arrived today. Now, on the order form it says Xandros but I mentioned in a comment that it would soon be running Ubuntu. Within two minutes of placing the order they replied saying they can put a basic Ubuntu install on it, so I said “heck yeah!”.    So, today when I opened it up, it booted Ubuntu out of the box. :-)   By all accounts they did a great setup but this isn’t ready for anyone other than an experienced user for certain (e.g. if you install the kernel upgrade from the repositories it breaks wifi so you have to recompile it.)  If you happen to go this route, here are some tips.

  1. You need to set the bios to power saving mode for CPU scaling to work properly.  Mine now runs as 112 idle and 900 max. CPU scaling is a MUST for battery life.
  2. Following this guide will help a lot. In fact, you can even run this script (after you audit it of course so you know what’s going on) and it will finish the setup for you (except for all of the CPU scaling so make sure you do those changes by hand).  Note that you must revert the audio driver back to “mode=auto” as it says here.
  3. For additional information you can visit our own help wiki entry.
  4. Optional: Install and run powertop to make your system use less energy.

So, after all that, how does it work? Great!  Any issues? Yeah, the keyboard is too darn small to touch type. If you are a “hunt and peck” person, you’ll do fine.  Also, you’ll have to watch kernel upgrades as you’ll need to rebuild wifi modules and re-enable the ACPI fixes.

Anyway, obligatory pictures!

The box

The Screwdriver

The Contents

The Proof

p.s.  For fun, I set my hostname to “ubuette”. :-)

Joey Stanford

Wanted: LP QA Engineer

If you excel at breaking things, can create python doctests, and can whip up a mean software testing plan, you might be interested in the Launchpad QA job post.

Joey Stanford

My History with Terminator

Nov 2006, UDS MTV: I run into Chris Jones who, between VOIP requests, is hacking on something weird on his gnome-terminal. It looks like windows in a terminal. I think it looks like a toy for console hackers and dismiss it.

April 2007, Canonical Offices in London: The office is still being worked on but we’re using it anyway (it is much nicer than the old office). I stop for a moment to chat with Chris in the hallway about the flaky wireless issues we were having at the time and notice he’s got his computer up with four terminals in a single window.  I remark that it looks interesting and he says “yeah, it’s a little something I wrote to help me do my job.”.  He shows me how he’s tailing logs in a few and has some ssh connections open in others.  I casually think of how that would be useful to a SysAdmin or when doing war-walking.

Nov 2007, UDS Boston: There’s Chris with his “robo-console” going. Again, he’s doing wifi troubleshooting.  I inquire further as to his code and where I can get a copy.  He says “I have some hacking I want to do over the holidays and then I’m thinking about releasing it on Launchpad. It’s over on Freshmeat if you want to play with it.”  I think to myself that it might be something fun to play around with but promptly forget about it as other UDS interests catch my eye.

2008 Spring: Chris releases his code as Terminator on Launchpad and is awash with fans of his program and community members submitting enhancement branches.  It took me some time after hearing about it to make the connection. I downloaded it and immediately realized it’s convenience (and why Chris wrote it!).  I now only use Terminator instead of gnome-terminal due to it’s utility.

If you haven’t given it a try yet, and you use the gnome-terminal to look at logs or for ssh, you should give it a try. You might like it.