Thursday, April 17, 2008

7 Habits of Highly Effective Linux Users

You can find the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Linux users over at http://hehe2.net.

In condensed form:

1. Never login using root
2. Properly name your files
3. Place home on a different partition
4. Proper Crash Management
5. Play the Field
6. Nurture your CLI adoption
7. Always be Ready to Unleash the Power Within

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 107: Commands I Know About

Its Day 107 23:41 Philippine Time. Darn it is hot tonight. Lights are out outside so far nobody is watching in the dark. Otherwise my spider senses are broken. This is a personal log of the commands that I can summon from my razor sharp encyclopedic memory.

  • The same with dir, lists folders and files. I assume it must mean list.
  • Use with | more to view large lists of things
  • The same with copy, copies files and folders from one place to another
  • The same with move, moves files and folders from one place to another
  • Another way of renaming a folder
dpkg -i
  • Cool command to install *.deb files that I download from the Internet
apt-get install
  • Cool command to install cool stuff from inside the repositories
apt-get remove
  • Command used to remove uncool stuff from the repositories
  • Apt-get's cousin. Instead of apt-get remove, use aptitude remove
  • This is apt-get's from the city. Explains more and talks more.
apt-cache search
  • Searches for cool stuff that you could find in the repositories
  • Use with care. Command use to boss around the computer if it does not do as you wish
  • Tells computer that I Am Who Am so you better do as I say.
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
  • Used to reconfigure xorg and basically graphical thingies
  • Must be run by a sudoer or by root. Reboots the system!
shutdown -h now
  • Shuts down PC properly
  • Removes files. Similar to windows del. Can also be used to remove folders. NEVER run rm -rf: Deletes entire system!
More to come when I remember them.

Linux Demotivators

Found a link to this in Debian Forums. Extremely funny. If you don't go there I'll make you go there! Booyah!


374 People to be Executed During Olympic Games in China

An estimated 374 people will be executed in China during this summer's Olympic games in Beijing, Amnesty International has claimed.

A new league table of the world's most frequent executioners showed China officially used capital punishment 470 times last year. But some campaigners believe the true figure may be 8,000.

The human rights group called on Olympic athletes and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to press for greater openness about executions by the host country.

Nearly 70 crimes can carry the death penalty in China, including tax fraud, stealing VAT receipts, damaging electric power facilities, selling counterfeit medicine, embezzlement, accepting bribes and drugs offences.

No wonder they have become an economic powerhouse. Death for taking bribes?! I am pretty sure that such could lessen lower level corruption in our country. Imagine if a quota hungry MMDA officer flags you down for no reason and issues you a violation for no good reason and you whip out your wallet to give him 500 pesos. Then you whip out your camera then say "smile!"

There are lots of lessons to be learned from China.

[SOLVED] Sound Broken with Debian Lenny Kernel 2.6.24

Upgrading to Lenny has its share of pros and cons. Among the problems I have encountered were 3D acceleration and sound problems.

You would find them here.

Both of the problems have been solved and this is my way of sharing the experience should somebody experience them again.

The first symptom that I encountered was the sound was muted. When I clicked on the Gnome Mixer (Volume Control) icon, it showed an error:

The volume control did not find any elements and/or devices to control. This means either that you don't have the right GStreamer plugins installed, or that you don't have a sound card configured.

You can remove the volume control from the panel by right-clicking the speaker icon on the panel and selecting "Remove From Panel" from the menu.

I solved this problem through Google Groups:

Get the firmware package


and run ./configure && make && make install

After this you should have the following files present:


Then, run rmmod snd_maestro3 and modprobe snd_maestro3 again.

Thanks to Gabor Burjan on this one.

[MOVED] Internet Cafes in the Philippines

I am moving non FOSS related content to my dannybuntu.i.ph blog
for reclassification purposes.

This non-FOSS post is now located at:

this blog page

The Nigerian Scam Changed Nationality

They're now Russian. ROFL. On a serious note. I hope nobody is stupid enough to fall for this. Really. Be careful. For every victim scammed by these people translates to motivation for them to send a bazillion spam to my mailbox. Google 's spam filters are working overtime but these guys don't stop working at all!

Beware the Russian Spammer Scammer! Beware!

Good Day,

Kindly accept my apology for contacting you via this medium. Although,we have
never met before. Nevertheless, I have every reason to believe that you are a
highly respected and trustworthy personality. I got your contact through your
country's chambers of commerce and Industry.Although, I don't know you
personally but I believe God has made this contact possible and also hope you
will not disappoint me for trusting you.

Permit me to seek your attention in so informal a manner.I am Mr.Vadim
Alexandrovitch Petrov, Bank Manager of URALSIB BANK OAO RUSSIA and i have an
urgent and very confidential business proposition for you.On November 6, 2003,a
British Oil consultant/contractor with YUKOS OIL COMPANY(Russia's Largest Oil
Company), Made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve calendar months,
valued at US$40,000,000.00 (Forty Million United States Dollars) in my
branch.Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address
but got no reply.

After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract
employers, the Russian Solid Minerals Corporation that he died from an
automobile accident. On further investigation, I found out that he died without
making a WILL, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. I
therefore made further investigation and discovered that he did not declare
any kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit
paperwork in my Bank.

This sum of US$40,000,000.00 (Forty Million United States Dollars) is still
sitting in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum
at the end of each year.No one will ever come forward to claim it. According to
Laws of Russia, at the expiration of 6 (six) years, the money will revert to
the ownership of the Russian Government if nobody applies to claim the fund.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand in as
the next of kin to the man so that the fruits of this old man's labor will not
get into the hands of some corrupt government officials.

This is simple, We shall employ the services of an attorney for drafting and
authorization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents and letter of
probate/administration in your favor for the transfer.A bank account in any
part of the world that you will provide will then facilitate the transfer of
this money to you as the beneficiary/next of kin. The money will be paid into
your account for us to share in the ratio of 50% for me and 50% for you.

There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done
by the attorney and my position as the Branch Manager guarantees the successful
execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please reply immediately
via my private email

Please observe utmost confidentiality,and rest assured that this transaction
would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require your assistance
to invest my share in your country.

Awaiting your urgent reply via my private email

I wonder if posting this would - ehh nevermind...

Wow, I am in my country's chamber of commerce? Wow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Self-Delusion and Debian - Codehelp

I am not a programmer at all. Therefore I see GNU/Linux in a different way than how programmers do. I was wrong. Some, developers. specially of Debian seem to view GNU/Linux and understand it in a manner that is different from how or what a commercial enterprise views a 'free' Operating System. I am glad they do. The fact that they view it as more than an operating system always appealed to me as a novice GNU/Linux user. People accused me of having my head high up in the sky for holding my beliefs - therefore it has been a great relief for me to know that I am not alone in how I view GNU/Linux, specifically, Debian. How I came to this idea is a matter of serendipity. It started from Daniel posting this:

So, I decided to try deliberately believing a false thing: namely that my Debian work is valuable and worthwhile. And hey, it worked! I still know that what I'm doing is worthless, but I can convince myself otherwise for stretches of time, and I have enough fun while I'm working on the project that I consider it worth a small amount of unreality. It sure beats the heck out of computer games (which I still spend a distressingly large amount of time on). The doublethink aspect of it creeps me out, but I can't argue with the results.

It came like being doused with a bucket full of ice water while sleeping. I began to question myself. I began to doubt.

Is using GNU/Linux only about the code? Is it merely a bold marketing ploy to lure computer users away from Windows? Is it limited by all of that?

I guess I will always be a man of questions. To some extent, the answers are forthright. Computers were invented to be tools. Code is a tool. GNU/Linux is a tool. As to what it is used for, is a matter of choice. It could be used for good it could be used for evil. It is a tool.

An even greater question lies: to what end should the tool be used? Who decides on how it should be used?

The easy answer to that is the user. Me. You. Everyone. Should it be like that? Yes and no. The developers call Debian the Universal Operating System. Use it for all intents and purposes as you see fit. It is therefore apolitical, agnostic and stand to be used only as a tool.

In my opinion, I hope that I don't offend anyone with it - that is sad but all too realistic. I don't know why I believe that it should be the other way around. I know I am wrong to say that it should be just like that. Somehow, deep inside, I feel that it is something more than that. Maybe I have watched too many movies and too much Matrix. Just maybe.

A screwdriver is apolitical. It was meant to screw. But for some reasons it could also be used as a weapon, a lever, a magnet, whatever. All of those are possibilities.

But again, for me: code is different. It was created at a higher level of thought than the screw driver. Not anybody could make software. People who can are usually those with adept analytical and mathematical skills beyong that of the average human. But apolitical, amoral it is.

The conflict that is happening on my mind now is this: if it were only a tool why come up with a blind adherence to guidelines. Come to think of it, I figured out just now - to make a good tool.

It's like the effort to make the best darn screwdriver in the world. Which is not bad. It gives everybody the chance to screw efficiently.

I am failing at this rationalization.

Neil says,

Voluntary work is generally for the benefit of others. In free software it is about writing code to solve our own issues in a way that others can use without facing the problems that we had to solve. Writing new code to solve a problem or fixing bugs in existing code to solve a new problem can only help others if the solution is shared. So the validation of that work is in helping someone else accomplish a task without having to spend the time fixing that issue, leaving them time to fix the next one.

Improving Debian won't make us more important to the universe, life and everything (the answer to that is 42 as we all know), but it will help others do what they do, it will improve their lives and their ability to spend their time on what they want to do instead of having to fix problems that we have already solved.

Debian, to me, is about sharing solutions. Helping someone else do something that Debian could not do before, without requiring them to fix all the problems that I had to solve to devise the solution in the first place. Sharing not just the solution but the method of the solution and the means to extend the solution to new problems.

Well said. But still the questions remain: solutions to what end?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Somebody Watching You in the Dark

This is one for the books, Yours truly was browsing the Mythbusters Discovery Channel site at 23:00 pm Philippine time, when my spider senses tingled. I felt I was being watched. True enough, when I heard something, I looked out the window and saw that there was indeed somebody. Darn, my fingers are shaking as I write this. Not out of fear but of anger.

It was a small person probably a female. I shouted at her "What are you doing there?" and proceeded to chase to the back part of the neighbors house. I climbed up our water tank and banged on the roof. That's the time when the owner of the house went out. He said, the maid was texting and couldn't find a signal and was accosted accordingly, he wasn't apologetic at all.

This would surely be an issue tomorrow and would probably have both a financial (perhaps a higher fence?) and social consequence, speaking to the neighbors.

[SOLVED] Unable to Install 3D Acceleration on Debian Testing 2.6.24


The path to 3Dness was not forthcoming. It took me 13 reinstalls to get this right. It appears that the 2.6.24 kernel has a hidden agenda: to stop me from playing 3D accelerated games and playing music.

My Kungfu is weak. Therefore I climbed the mountains of linuxquestions.org, to seek a kung fu master, To which I got relief.

After several days of training, I now know that I have learned a new kungfu style, the path to righteousness is not easy.

With several masters training me, I have learned the way. As root:

# aptitude linux-image-2.6.24-1-686
# aptitude install linux-headers-2.6.24-1-686
# aptitude install build-essential module-assistant
# module-assistant prepare
# aptitude install gcc-4.1
# export CC=gcc-4.1
# cd to directory where NVIDIA drivers are saved
# CC=gcc-4.1 sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-96.43.05-pkg1.run

Now I can move on.

[UPDATE] Edited steps: apt-get replaced with aptitude. Sudo replaced with root.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Google - The Ultimate Game Publisher

This is another free dumb idea from yours truly. I mean who else could pull this off? Okay, okay, you might be asking: "what in tarnations is this ravingloonietic talking about? Google as a game publisher? That is just so dumb."

Well this idiot woke up with a slight headache and thought, hmmmm, Google has two very cool applications or shall we say, "services": Google Earth and Google Maps: Street View.

Google Earth: flight Simulator

Google Maps Street View, (just ignore the guy in spandex)

Well, in definition these two "services" aren't games. But they are truly fun to "play" with.

Okay, okay, I'll get to the point.

Now, some visionary, a few months back thought that as processors become more powerful, people would continuously find ways to entertain themselves with the corresponding increase in computing power. That it is all leading to "Greater Virtual Reality". Yes that "visionary" has been crucified so many times already for crimes such as having his "head in the sky" and for being too "idealistic". The visionary doesn't care.

That being said, I thought about these two premises:

  1. Computing Power will definitely increase and its cost will decrease as stated by Moore's Law
  2. Google has the resources financially and technically.
From there, I was thinking, "what would Google do" next with these?
  1. Google, would use these services to introduce a new web commerce model, oh wait, they already did!
Now here comes the big one, everyone can see where these two services are heading: a greater mimicking of the reality that they try to emulate. The two might fuse they might not. But ULTIMATELY:

Nothing is stopping Google from putting ogres, trolls, 16 tentacled space aliens, laser blasting marines, cars and space shuttles from these "services".

Nothing is stopping Google from merging these two services into one application or two concurrently running symbiotic applications.

Nothing is stopping Google from turning these two applications into something better than Second Life.

Finally, nothing is stopping Google from turning these services into the ULTIMATE MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE SHOPPING/ROLE PLAYING/REAL TIME STRATEGY GAME.

The 3D world is already there, and it is there in astounding detail. Heck, it might even have pictures of your own backyard! Some MMO game developers I know cite that perhaps one of the more challenging things to implement in an MMORPG is creating an "Immersive and Interesting 3D World."

The Truth is Stranger than Fiction.

The real world is more Interesting than Azeroth or some random spawn place. Why do you think Second Life is so famous these days? Yet despite Second Life's reputation, users will always see it as "just" another 3D game with a fake world with a fake environment with an altogether inadequate representation of reality.

You might contend that engaging in such a gargantuan endeavor simply takes too much resources for even the Web Search giant. But consider this: The gaming industry earned $ 9.5 Billion last year. Isn't that enough motivation for any business entity? Let's set aside for a moment , web commerce, and think of the idea - web commerce is a cumbersome task to purchase things and/or services.

Let us turn that idea into web commerce is a fun game to explore.

Imagine yourself, commanding legions of other Googlites to attack the alien hideout in the North Pole. Or better yet, imagine yourself as the army captain who must capture Manhattan from the Cloverfield monster. Your ground troops and fellow Googlites, are getting beaten black and blue, eaten alive, decapitated so you decide to call in the Stealth Bombers to Carpet bomb the cloverfield menace and then hit a couple of buildings created with Google Sketchup. The bomb hits and whammo, large buildings fall and destroy the nearby Armored Cavalry regiment, they would have to respawn as infantry again.

Google Maps: as Briefing Screen

To conclude, there is no other company that I know of that has the adequate amount of resources to embark on such an endeavor. Furthermore, Google being an "Open Source Friendly" giant, could utilize this to their advantage.

In the end, I am not saying this would happen, what I am saying is that if it does, I am pretty sure that Google stands to benefit from entering the arena of online gaming, because indirectly it already has.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Learn Something New - Free from MIT: OpenCourseWare

We've seen our share of "Free" Online Courses on the Internet from different sources. Some of them are 'good' and some of them are mere commercial ploys for you to whip out your ever ready credit card and pay for extra content.

Most of them are from virtually unknown and unrecognized "Online Colleges and Universities" that have been sprouting like mushrooms as of late. Some of them are credible and useful, but no Free Online University could match the respectability and reputation of none other than the Massachussetts (did I spell that right?) Institute of Technology. Everybody knows and respects M.I.T. Who would imagine that a top notch University would offer some 1,800 courses online for - FREE for everyone to learn from? To top that they also have quite a collection of video and audio courses to offer.

Anyway, I recently received this email from them enjoining their subscribers to promote this great offering. Therefore, in the spirit of spreading free information I would gladly do so in my own tiny little itty bitty way:

What's New at MIT OpenCourseWare and How You Can Help

Dear Daniel,

Last November, MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) celebrated a key milestone – 1,800 courses now online, representing virtually the entire MIT curriculum. More than 40 million people worldwide have accessed OCW to date and many have told us how OCW has changed their lives.

Today, as users continue to visit OCW in record numbers, we are publishing more new and updated courses, producing more video content, and adding to Highlights for High School. We are as busy as ever.

What's New at OCW

As a permanent part of the MIT academic program, OCW continues to publish about 200 courses per year – dozens of new courses that are introduced at MIT each semester, as well as updates to courses already on OCW. Here are some examples of what is happening in 2008:

  • More than 50 new courses, including brand new courses from Health Sciences and Technology, Sloan School of Management, Literature, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  • About 150 redesigned and refreshed courses from departments like Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Chemistry, and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

  • New video lectures for courses in Mathematics, Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and the Engineering Systems Division – Note: we are in the process of adding video subtitles and transcripts to improve access for hearing impaired users.

  • OCW audio and video on distribution channels such as YouTube and iTunes U

  • Expanded content in the new Highlights for High School section of OCW

  • New pages that link OCW courses to key MIT initiatives in energy and the environment

What It Takes to Support This Work

MIT OpenCourseWare is more than simply educational content from MIT made public. Each course we publish requires an investment of $10,000 to $15,000 to compile course materials from faculty, ensure proper licensing for open sharing, and format materials for global distribution. Courses with video content cost about twice as much, but your feedback about the significant value of these video materials helps to justify the cost.

On top of the production costs, we must also sustain a considerable technical infrastructure that manages content and distributes it through a worldwide network to a global audience and to mirror sites in bandwidth constrained regions. The total annual cost of OCW is about $4 million. The cost of free education is substantial.

MIT, which is committed to keeping OCW free and open to all, contributes significant resources to keep OCW going and growing. In addition, we depend on important support from:

How You Can Help

We look to you and other supporters around the world to help us continue our mission to share knowledge openly and to realize the vision of knowledge as a public good. OCW is a resource that benefits you and improves your world, and we are asking you to take an active role in securing the future of open education. Here are some ways you can help:

In five years, OCW has gone from a bold experiment to a global educational resource. With your help, we can keep OCW going and growing. Thanks for your support!

Without their permission, I am also going to put a big banner on my blog that would link to their website. Come to think of it, they should act like Yahoo and Blogger, and make nifty and shiny promotional buttons that bloggers could put on their sites to link to them. But I guess...they are MIT.

HowTo: Download Torrents on the Terminal

GUI clients can really be resource intensive specially for older hardware like mine. I usually use Azureus but find that it pushes my system down so much that it crawls. I just want to download the latest iso of that new shiny Linux distro with as minimal interference as I could from a cumbersome GUI app. Amazingly, a default Debian install has just the thing that I need: a text only application that can download torrents.

To utilize this tool:

1. Open a Terminal as an ordinary user and type the following command:

$ btdownloadcurses [insert torrent_filename_url.torrent]

Viola, express bittorent downloading.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

HowTo: Browse the Internet on Your Terminal

To noObs like me, I always felt the need to know how things started. I know for example, that there was already an Internet before Firefox, Opera, IE and for that matter before GUI's even came into existence. The question that I postulated from this knowledge was "How did people browse the Internet in an age where there were no fancy buttons, shiny interfaces and gleaming GUIs?

Enter the world of text browsing. I'm not here to discuss the history of browsing. That task is best left to the historians and experts. What I am here to discuss is text browsing and how it can be done today on our GNU/Linux PC specifically through the terminal.

Several software come to mind when we speak of text browsers but I would choose only one: w3m.

Browsing Google on the Terminal with w3m

w3m is a text-based web browser as well as a pager like `more' or `less'. With w3m you can browse web pages through a terminal emulator window (xterm, rxvt or something like that). Moreover, w3m can be used as a text formatting tool which typesets HTML into plain text.

w3m Home

To install w3m on your Debian system, just do this:

$ sudo apt-get install w3m

To browse the interwebs simply do:

$ w3m www.google.com

1. TAB is a useful key and so is enter
2. To go back, press ESC + Down Arrowkey
3. To search something over at Google,
  • Use the arrow keys to get over the blank space and press the ENTER key
  • Then type the search term and press the ENTER key
  • TAB over to the text equivalent of the 'Search Google' button
  • You can download stuff from the Internet by pressing ENTER on the link text (usually blue)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Crazy Quadruple Booting: XP, XP, Kubuntu 8.04 and Debian Etch

Log date: April 8, 2008 Tuesday

Installed Kubuntu 8.04 Beta on spare 5 GB partition. I am now quadruple booting Debian, Kubuntu, XP and another XP.

Here are my notes on Kubuntu.

1. Konqueror looks so damn sexy

2. In human terms, it feels slightly slower than Debian when the "circley" thing rotates

3. However, when typing text, it's noticeably faster. If I press a letter it immediately appears.

4. Connecting to ADSL PPPOE went without a hitch. I used the usual:
$ sudo pppoeconf.

5. Wow! Firefox-3 is in the Ubuntu repositories. I had to enable it in the repositories though, via Adept. I didn't know how to execute Kate in root mode.

6. Took me a while to execute Kate. Ugh that didn't sound good did it? I was trying to run kate in sudo mode. But finally gave up.
$ kdesu kate
-didn't work
$ sudo kate
-didn't work
$ kate
-didn't work, what the hell?
*Kate in KDE 4 gave new meaning to Advanced Text Editor. Suddenly Kate feels so heavy.

7. Show Desktop Applet/Widget is not on the panel

8. Panel Preferences has been simplified (maybe over simplified)

9. Konqueror cannot type in blogger...(No compose buttons and no Edit HTML)

10. Did I say that KDE 4 is so damn sexy? (in a chubby sense)

11. Kubuntu organized folders in my Home. There are folders for Pictures, Documents, Music, Public, etc.

12. Everything is just so shiny. Well, except maybe Firefox 3. It looks like it came from Windows 95. Really.

13. Clock is set to wrong time again - I have the same experience with previous versions of Kubuntu. Right clicking and trying to adjust Digital Clock settings does not have any option to set the time. Maybe it is somewhere else.

14. Dolphin is "OK" by my standards. Lots of shiny buttons. And it glows when you highlight files and folders. IT GLOWS!

15. WTF all of my partitions are automagically mounted!?! Not good really (for me) since I don't want Kubuntu playing with the 3 other OSes on my system. Other users may find this feature convenient.

16. I won't install Nvidia cards yet so that I won't break my new toy.

17. My user password is also my root password. Strange.

18. Ha. My favorite font is here! Deja Vu.

19. The Panel is really big. If I adjust it to 'small' it becomes jagged specially when windows cover it up.

20. Kopete is missing. Installing it now.

21. Computers menu in K-Menu shows the current capacity of the storage devices in cute bar indicators.

That's it for now. Updating this later.

Oldies But Goodies: StepBill - A Game From the Wonder Years of Old...

Don't mind the strom trooper, check out the funny game I accidentally found in synaptic. I was searching for "mouse themes" (silly place to look I know) when I found this game. Actually I didn't even know it was a game when I saw its description:

"Get rid of those nasty Wingdows viruses
 This is a port of the MacBill, which is based on xbill, source to GNUstep.
Ever get the feeling that nothing is going right? You're a sysadmin, and
someone's trying to destroy your computers. The little people running
around the screen are trying to infect your computers with Wingdows [TM],
a virus cleverly designed to resemble a popular operating system. Your
objective is to click the mouse on them, ending their potential threat.
If one of the people reaches a computer, it will attempt to replace your
operating system with the virus it carries. It will then attempt to run off
the screen with your vital software."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Nvidia and Testing Woes

Followed wiki

1. uname -r
2. # apt-get install module-assistant gcc nvidia-kernel-common
3. # m-a update
4. # m-a prepare
5. # m-a auto-install nvidia

Package nvidia-kernel-source is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package nvidia-kernel-source has no installation candidate

6. Edited sources.list to include sid repositories
7. # apt-get update
8. Tried to install nvidia-kernel-source package from sid but it has too many dependencies that might break something. (N)
9. Gave up. Will try Envy
10. Followed instructions to modify Envy here
sudo nano -w /usr/share/envy/instun/classes.py

However, file does not exist. Sigh.
11. # sudo apt-get --purge remove envy
12. Experimented with this patch over at debianhelp
13. Searched google for nvidia-glx_1.0.8776-4_i386.deb and nvidia-kernel-source_1.0.8776-4_i386.deb
14. # dpkg -i nvidia-glx_1.0.8776-4_i386.deb
dpkg -i nvidia-glx_1.0.8776-4_i386.deb
Selecting previously deselected package nvidia-glx.
(Reading database ... 81340 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking nvidia-glx (from nvidia-glx_1.0.8776-4_i386.deb) ...
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of nvidia-glx:
nvidia-glx depends on nvidia-kernel-1.0.8776; however:
Package nvidia-kernel-1.0.8776 is not installed.
dpkg: error processing nvidia-glx (--install):
dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:

15. This has to go first:
# dpkg -i nvidia-kernel-source_1.0.8776-4_i386.deb

*That didn't work..
16. I will try this:
# apt-get install nvidia-kernel-1.0.8776

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package nvidia-kernel-1.0.8776 is a virtual package provided by:
nvidia-kernel-2.6.18-4-k7 1.0.8776+6
nvidia-kernel-2.6.18-4-686 1.0.8776+6
nvidia-kernel-2.6.18-4-486 1.0.8776+6
You should explicitly select one to install.
E: Package nvidia-kernel-1.0.8776 has no installation candidate

17. Gah. I'm tearing my heart out
18. Hopped over to linuxquestions.org and I found something
19. Going to test rickh's post
It's always better to stay with the official Debian packages. Running Lenny, you should now have kernel 2.6.22. Check that first. If necessary install that kernel, reboot, then... this is the right way to do it.

Add these lines to your sources.list file

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main

Create a file named /etc/apt/apt.conf if it does not exist. It should include this line:

APT::Default-Release "testing";

# aptitude update
# aptitude install linux-headers-$(uname -r) module-assistant build-essential
# aptitude install -t unstable nvidia-kernel-$(uname -r) nvidia-kernel-source nvidia-xconfig
# m-a prepare

Reboot into Single User mode, then...
# m-a a-i nvidia
# modprobe -v nvidia
# nvidia-xconfig

Then reboot back as a regular user.

20. Been at it for 6 hours. Wow. Don't complain danny. Don't think about your Windows Nvidia CD ROM (that could install in 5 minutes) :(...
21. That's it. I mean its dead again. Pshaw.....

Funny Novell/Linux Commercial @ PinoyTux

Check out the nice 3D animation. I kept on going over to kamotegirl's blog to see this just to make me happy. I'll use mind control on you: "Go ahead and click here."

Day 98: Observations on Upgrading and New Install

After reinstalling cleanly (meaning format, install) 5 times, I am finally able to get Debian Lenny working. But now I have a Gnome Desktop, which isn't really that bad. Here are some observations I made :

Installation Notes

1. You can add and mount existing linux compatible partitions during installation. I used to do this after the installation by editing fstab. However, the mounted partition belongs to root. This was resolved in fstab by adding the following options:
iocharset=utf8,umask=0333 0 0

Upgrade Notes

*I am reluctant to name this post as a "HowTo: Upgrade Debian Etch to Lenny" since upgrading is such a pain. I am not so sure that this would work for others.

I. Generally upgrading involves the following:

1. Modifying sources.list, as root:
#[Insert text editor] /etc/apt/sources.list

2. Find and replace all instances of the word "stable" with the word "testing"
3. Find and replace all instances of the word "etch" with the word "lenny"
4. Press CTRL + ALT + F1
5. Update sources.list, as root:
#apt-get update

6. Start upgrade, as root:
#apt-get dist-upgrade

II. At first I was not successful because I did not do CTRL+ALT+ F1. I am not entirely sure what exactly this does but from an ordinary guys point of view - it did away with the GUI. Possibly, enabling xorg and other video card related stuff to restart properly.

III. Upgrading meant that I could install Firefox 3 beta 5 in Debian, but right now I won't since FF3 does not yet support Gooble Browser Sync. For the meantime, I'm using Iceweasel

IV. Upgrading changed the looks of my icons.

V. I see no humanly noticeable change in terms of performance. Actually, Gnome feels comfortable enough, though there are minor quirks that sometimes annoy me.

Plan for Today:


1. Install Nvidia driver the debian way - I would have to NOT use Automatix2 now to help me be accustomed to not using it. I have actually successfully installed Nvidia on Etch before, but this got ruined once I upgraded to Lenny.

Long Term

1. Install Glest
2. Install Tremulous
3. Maybe try Nexuiz

Sunday, April 06, 2008

John Eikenberry on "Linux and Philosophy"


"...our tools are not separate
entities so much as extensions of ourselves. As such the computer is an
extension of the mind and must be understood from the psychological perspective
that we can, and should, attempt to know its workings. Having free access to
all parts of the system is a core requirement to allow for this exploring and
understanding of your own mind...."

"...Non-free software just doesn't make sense.
You are basically granting someone else control over part of your mind..."

-- John Eikenberry, M.A, M.S.

1. Please tell us something about yourself.

I studied psychology, philosophy and artificial intelligence in school. Getting
an BA, a MA and an MS along the way. I've been using free software and Linux
for going on 13 years now. I am married with 2 children currently residing in
Georgia, US. I work for a great little company (Kavi) based in Portland, OR,
US doing back-end web application development.

2. Which distribution do you use and why?

Debian. I've used Debian for the last 7 years or so and have almost always been
happy with it. Its breadth of packages, high quality, rock solid stable
distribution, technical excellence, vast community support and openness have
kept me loyal even while always on the lookout for something better. Previous
to Debian I used Slackware then RedHat, while occasionally dipping my
proverbial toe in others (eg. Caldera, Arch, Ubuntu).

3. How would you link Philosophy and Linux?

Philosophically I am most interested in Phenomenology, particularly in relation
to psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Historically this translates into
fairly diverse group of authors such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche,
William James, John Dewey, Joseph Campbell, George Herbert Mead, Adi Shankara,
and many others.

Influenced by the above I consider a few basic principles guide my
philosophical approach to computers and the appeal of Linux and free software.
The first is the seemingly simple insight that our tools are not separate
entities so much as extensions of ourselves. As such the computer is an
extension of the mind and must be understood from the psychological perspective
that we can, and should, attempt to know its workings. Having free access to
all parts of the system is a core requirement to allow for this exploring and
understanding of your own mind.

Pragmatically (a la William James) non-free software just doesn't make sense.
You are basically granting someone else control over part of your mind. This
point is particularly poignant with the growing restrictions propagated in
proprietary software, particularly in operating systems. Things like the
disabling of dtrace for itunes in Leopard or Vista's registered drivers are
prime examples of this.

4. Does writing about Linux bring you revenue? If not, then why do you write about it?

I do not get paid for my writing per se. As a developer I get paid for my
ability to solve technical problems, and my experience and knowledge with Linux
do play a part in this. But this is not really directly related to my

I write about Linux and free software primarily as a way to give to the
community. The free software community is built, at least partially, around the
idea of sharing for the common good. Basically I do what I can to give back to
free software as I can. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

5. How do you feel about Linux the way it is now (in terms of trends,
prospects, future,)?

I'm not much for prognostication, at least without a large grain of salt, but I
think it is pretty easy to see where things are headed if there are no dramatic
events to alter the course. Free software is on the slow and steady course to
fill all the commodity aspects of software. It is going to take a while, due to
the strong network effect in software, but I don't see any other outcome.

Beyond that it is harder to say. The basic principle of 'building on the
shoulders of giants' that free software embodies seems to have done very well
for the scientific community over the past few centuries. So I see the
potential for free software becoming the prime mover in advancing computing.
But, this is starting to get into the realm of science fiction, so I'll stop

More know about John Eikenberry and his contribution to the FOSS community at http://zhar.net/

He currently works for Kavi a leading provider of enterprise solutions for standards organizations.


"Linux and Artificial Intelligence"

Programming Scripts and Projects

1999 Interview

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Day 96: Installing Debian Again

1. Installed Debian: Gnome Etch

2. Changed theme to something more pleasing to the eyes, default gnome theme really hurts my eyes

3. Ran alsaconf in terminal as root

4. Sound working, playing mp3, (is mp3 codec included in default debian etch install)

5. Changed gnome terminal current profile to black bg and white fg

6. Text can be cut and copied off epiphany

7. Nautilus (annoyingly) opens a new window everytime I click on expand arrow beside folders

8. Adjusted Sessions Options

  1. Ticked Automaticall save changes to session
  2. Disabled Startup Programs
    1. bluetooth-applet
    2. update-notifier
    3. gnome-power-manager
9.Noticed difference in behavior - File Management
  1. If I click on a folder in Desktop Nautilus opens without an address bar
  2. If I choose Applications>System Tools>File Browser, the same programs appear with different options and appearances. With Tree View, Navigation Toolbars, Location Bars
10. Double click and single click options located in File Management Options in Desktop Preferences.

11. Cannot cut folder in secondary hard disk - this is mounted in the root directory (strange)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Crash and Burn: Discovering Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs text (Abelson and Sussman)

Lately I have been busy tinkering with Debian Lenny, hoping to upgrade its KDE to the new and controversial version 4. I failed. Miserably. Somehow, I missed a few steps or misunderstood a few ones and ended up with several bazillion broken packages.

Hmmm, "broken packages". What are they? All I know is that these broken packages are somehow *in* my computer's operating system and that they are in fact, broken. It's not good to have something broken in something even if it appears not to be broken. To illustrate, a broken idea could not be good even if it were inside a non-broken mind. Could it be?

Alas, such is a question that I am too lazy to answer. So I did the most expeditious of all acts, I reformatted and reinstalled.

While doing so, I decided to try Kubuntu Hardy beta with KDE 4. The sword for this Gordian knot. Alas. I see naught but shiny panels and windows with programs too few to tinker with. Themes and colors too dreary to speculate on their worthiness. So to my old orange CD-R with the label "Debian: Gnome" I come back. Wishing for its simplicity and uncomplexity in these myriad of knots that form on my brain.

Here I am with an epiphany, rather than a fox which is on fire. Lacking the powers to search when inside a Cascading Style Sheet. Ah, Etch must give way to Lenny and Lenny has and possesses in it the intricate web of libgtk2.10 that would perhaps give me the chance to see that fox on fire. Weasels that are frozen are simply too frozen to move. So much like the sloth, taking its sweet time.

Swappiness you say? Perhaps.

Still, I happened across and not "stumbled upon" these vendors of mundane and not so mundane ideas. Alas, they do have a trinket today. One of great value to a clueless wanderer like me in these dry days. And so I queried the giant with these words, as if spoken to a soothsayer, "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs text (Abelson and Sussman)". To which the mighty soothsayer pointed to the mighty Oracle.

Interesting, I went to the Oracle and I found these lying at the floor. Lo and behold I grabbed hold of it and thanked the heavens for their gift.

Now, Etch is slowly moving towards Lenny, counting counting, never really making its mind over whether its 2h57m39s or faster at 1h34m45s. Still I have yet to peruse the gift that I found lying on the floor of the Oracle.

  • "a computer language is not just a way of getting a computer to perform operations but rather that it is a novel formal medium for expressing ideas about methodology. Thus, programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute."
- Preface to the First Edition of SICP