Thursday, 25 September 2008

BSOD on Linux

Yes, you can get the Blue Screen of Death in Linux. Too funny.
is a package you can find in your repository. It has all sorts of screensavers, including popular OS error screens. Install via Synaptic Package Manager, Adept, or what have you.

Good for confusing the hell out of a roommate, friend, or spouse, though I really don't recommend messing around with the desktop environment settings of a person who you may want to continue relations with.

For a temporary trick, try this Flash trick. The ESC key exits full screen mode in Flash.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

tar switches for command line

tar -xzvf /path/to/your/file.tar.gz
xkcd? xfce? No. xzvf.

I'm sorry, that's a really bad nerd joke. I'll bet the nerds didn't even laugh.

Flash player doesn't install in Firefox

Flash wasn't working for me in Firefox. At one point, I had installed several flash players via Symantic or Adept, until learning I should only install flashplayer-nonfree. I removed the other ones, but still no go. I tried downloading the package from Adobe manually, and installing via the command line, but got this error:
Please enter the installation path of the Mozilla, Netscape,
or Opera browser (i.e., /usr/lib/mozilla): /usr/bin/firefox

WARNING: /usr/bin/firefox is not a directory.
Here are the tricks to fix it:
  • it seems the Adobe installer wants the actual numbered version of the firefox directory. "whereis firefox" didn't help me in this respect (as suggested on help forums). I ended up using /usr/lib/firefox-3.0.1 Yours might be slightly different. Why Adobe couldn't have indicated this in the installer... I don't know. Twits.
  • when testing out whether flash works on something like YouTube, make sure you don't have something like the "NoScript" add-on preventing anything you may need. (D'oh!) I had to allow both and in NoScript.
... that brings up the question whether flash was actually working all along and my NoScript was thwarting all my efforts. Oh, probably.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Distributions, Applications, and Toolkits

Programs that "run better/faster" on specific Desktop Environments

Keep in mind your distribution uses different programming toolkits for their applications, so to minimize the amount of overhead that gets loaded up you may want to make sure your applications are native to what's already running. For this reason, you may want to use Transmission instead of Ktorrent if you're using Xubuntu.

gtk toolkit users:
Transmission bittorrent client
Synaptic Package Manager
Gimp (yes, rly)

qt toolkit users:
Adept Package Manager
qt browsers include Konqueror and Opera. I'm guessing you'll just stick with Firefox anyway!)

You may have seen "apt-get" and assume it refers the Adept Package Manager. It doesn't. APT is an acronym "Advanced Packaging Tool", package management system for Debian-based distributions. Synaptic and Adept are merely front-ends for this tool (i.e. they make it look purty).

Wikipedia articles on pieces of software often mention what toolkit the software uses, either in the first paragraph, or in an infobox on the right.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Ktorrent runs in background with no interface

kTorrent runs as background process with no interface (GUI). This fixed it for me:
rm .kde/share/config/ktorrentrc