The People Who Made Blogging Worth It

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Linux-Games: New Linux/Ubuntu Game - World of Goo

I heard about the game World of Goo from kees over at

"World of Goo is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls who live in the beautiful World of Goo don't know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.

- 2DBoy Games"

I am trying out the demo version now.

View video of game here: World of Goo

Download DEMO version here:

The Death of Romance

This Valentine's day beyond the star smitten shores of Love land is the monster called Loveless. It's green and ugly horned head reared itself within the shores of Love land a few years after the great disillussionment. Very few people saw the monster rear its ugly head. In fact when the few people who saw the monster saw it, they tried to notify the authorities. But what the authorities saw was not a monster - but a large piece of Black Forest cake. They were enamoured of it.

They wanted a piece of Loveless and soon everyone saw the monster that pretended to be a Black Forest cake. They saw it everywhere, on tv, heard songs about it on radio, in centerfolds of magazines, billboards, books, newspapers. I meant everywhere. There was no escaping Loveless.

The power of the Black Forest cake monster was all enveloping and all encompassing that soon noone knew nothing about Loveless. Everybody knew about Loveless.

To the farthest of barrios to the slinks and corners in every urban center. There was no escaping Loveless.

The funny thing about Loveless was that it wears a funny cone shaped hat with the letters: L.O.V.E.

People wanted Loveless' hat. They wanted it so bad that they asked him to give them the funny cone shaped hat. At first Loveless said, "This is my hat. I can't give it to you."

Eventually, Loveless, was convinced by the gray pinstriped man to part with the hat by fooling the people. The gray pinstriped man said to Loveless, "Take off your hat and I will keep it for you. I will keep it for you but it would still be yours. It's like, it's like keeping money inside a bank. We are going to make copies of your hat and sell them to your admirers. We'll make different colors of it, we'll make tiny versions of it, we'll show it on TV, we'll even package it with Gold glitters, Silver glitters, we'll even make a water proof replica of it. The people won't know the difference and it will make them happy to think that they have your hat. Because, Loveless, that is what they will think it is. They will think that what they have is your hat. when in fact your hat is hidden in our burglar proof, underwater, underground, vault sealed, laser guarded bank. "

Loveless was happy to keep his hat (somewhere) and at the same time make money out of it.

He said "yes".

The gray pinstriped man became happy and needless to say - rich.

Yet, despite that, the gray pinstriped man chose to remain obscure. For the people of Love land what was important was they have the hat.


The Truth About Firefox

The truth is overpriced and overvalued these days. That's why when I personally have some sort of epiphany I feel a strong sense and urge of vindication. Nevertheless, the truth is sometimes revealed at the precipice. If you have seen the movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", you would glean that precipice.

Maybe someone or something is at the precipice that would merit us being handed the truth at least about Firefox. As to what it is, we could only guess.I have long campaigned for objectivity that is much needed about our beloved open source cause. We should introspectively swat away at the demagogues and the self proclaimed prophets promising salvation in an era of despair.

Such plague is crippling the very movement that they we are all trying to advance.

It is high time for introspection as individuals and as a group. I am not perfect. We are not perfect. The GNU/Linux/Open Source/ Software Freedom movement will never reach the pinnacle of its potential if within ourselves we cannot resolve the simple raging storm of discontent. We have to cease lying to ourselves that if we cover up the truth with jargon and technical explanations we are going to lose the trust of the very people that we are trying to convince - that our system is indeed superior.

At the end of the day, the mindless and droning sheeple would remove their cloak of relative indifference and apathy to what they perceive as a benign marketing propaganda.

The universal truth about us is this: Our system is superior.

A system can evolve but it can also devolve. A system being the dynamic strata of all these belief systems, technical jargon, subsystems, pronouncements, components, and ultimately - software, is a continuing project that would do way better than it is now if we got rid of the attitude of being superior.

Contrary to normal application, the attitude of being superior will not make us superior. It would only make it seem like we are superior. And, to those who have a certain broader latitude of experience, though they may be lacking in the concrete justifications such as benchmarks and tools that would proclaim such, their opinion stands not as a mere opinion - but something far stronger, far more potent than all the benchmarks could proclaim. Their opinion about their experience is a testimony far more poisonous than any propaganda. Specially, if that testimony gets brushed aside as the rambling of an uninclined and uninformed non-technical user.

Yes Firefox is slower on Linux compared to Windows. 

I do not care about PGOs and what not. I care about the stymied and repressed sentiment that pops out every now and then that gets maligned, repressed, covered up in obscure places such as little known fora. The "You sir are a dumbass because you do not know the essense of sudo" is all but an upliftment of the justified cynicism about Software Freedom propaganda.

"Firefox is slow because you did not configure your system to the optimal configuration that it needs to be configured to."


These may all be true. You might say that Linux is Not Unix, Mac or Windows.

Then what is Linux then?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

HowTo: Play Mp3 on Terminal

Let's see, I have shared with you guys how to Browse the Internet using a Terminal, how to use Bittorrent on the Terminal, and how to Chat on IRC using the Terminal, how to Encrypt Files on the Terminal using CCRYPT, and now I am going to share how to Play Mp3s using XMMS2 on the Terminal.

It isn't much really and is fairly straightforward.

Heard any good Audiobooks lately? Get one free!For most of us, XMMS is really a Linux clone of the famous Windows application called WinAmp. I got confused myself when I tried to install XMMS2 and did not find any gui. Anyway, if you do want a GUI to have that WinAmp feel, do install Audacious.

For those of us who want to save precious screen real estate and just want to play music here is what we have to do:


1. Install XMMS2

dan@ubuntu$ sudo apt-get install xmms2

That's it.


Now most of us keep our mp3s in those things called folders. I for example, arrange my music folders according to Album. Let's start with an example:

I want to play this song: song.mp3 located in /home/dan/music/album1/song.mp3

To play that, I run this command:

dan@ubuntu$ xmms2 play /home/dan/music/album1/song.mp3

There is no visual feedback and no fancy schmancy Album art and graphics, that's just the way it is. Lean and mean.


I admit that the whole process is too long specially if you have to type in the path of the song every time you play a song. So, another way to resolve that is to add the whole Albums folder to the playlist.

Using our example above, we can do that by typing in the following command:

dan@ubuntu$ xmms2 radd /home/dan/music/album1

Now, to make sure that our playlist actually has something on it, and that the folder has been added, we execute this command:

dan@ubuntu$ xmms2 list
-> Random Artist - song (1:00)

    Random Artist - song2 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song3 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song4 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song5 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song6 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song7 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song8 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song9 (1:00)
    Random Artist - song10 (1:00) 

Total Playtime is 00:10:00

Take note of this sign: -> 
This shows you the currently selected track. It also shows the following information from left to right:

1. Artist name
2. Song Title
3. Time of Playback
4. At the bottom you'll see the Total Playtime which simply is the sum of all the playback times of each song in the playlist.

After adding the folder to the playlist, xmms2 would still have to be told to play the songs in its playlist. To start playing the songs in the playlist execute:

dan@ubuntu$ xmms2 play

Basically that's it. To show a list of commands that you could use simply do this:

dan@ubuntu$ xmms2   

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Do You Love iGoogle?

Official Google Blog: Share the iGoogle love

I am led to believe that loving inanimate objects could lead to dementia. I suppose dementia is becoming a widespread disease since the marketing geniuses at Google, in all their omnipotence and glory decided that we should share our love for some bits of 0's and 1's. 010100010001.

So in the spirit of unfettered allegiance to the great zombie maker called Google, I would share this information about our professed affliction and devotion to this particular agglomeration of 0's and 1's called iGoogle.

Do I love iGoogle?

Uh, I think so. I use it everyday, before going to sleep, just when I wake up, I spend most of my time with it, I play with it, I put things and gadgets in and out of it, I get inspired by it, I get motivated by it, I stare at it all day, and sometimes - I even see things in it, things that I shouldn't see!

Okay, can I get my sticker now? Oh, wait. I don't have a laptop to put the sticker on. And I am not a resident of the United States.


In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we're asking all iGoogle fans to share the love by submitting a written story or video describing what's special about their homepage. Your story can mention anything you want about your page — from something practical to something heartwarming. If you aren't a video whiz, don't worry. You can just tell it like it is. But we do encourage you to spice up your submission however you'd like — the best ones will be showcased for all to see.

For each entry received, we will 'share the love' back by sending you a free set of iGoogle artist theme laptop stickers.* You can choose from six popular themes, by Radiohead, Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Ecko, kate spade and Paul Frank.

Visit to find out how to submit your story and receive your stickers. We're looking forward to reading (and watching) your love stories. To help you get inspired, we've put together this short video that shows some of our favorite ways to use iGoogle.

Bad Case of Deja Vu: Steorn Resurrected from its Grave Where it Should be by Now

Oh, dear. They have come back from the dead. Well, not really. They're still as stinky as zombies for fooling the world that the laws of physics could be violated. So, what are they up to now? Selling snake oil and rotating magnetic thinga-ma-jigs that would light the LED inside your PC.


Dublin, 10 February 2009.

Well, I have been banned from their forums specifically for calling their founders d*ckheads. Well d*ckheads they are, for using deception, hype and overall marketing savvy for deceiving all of us while we collectively wait at the edge of our seats gasping in awe at -- nothing but hot, stinky air.

I got this when I woke up, for all of us to collectively laugh - at ourselves for believing these people in the first place.

The Email:

Dublin, 10 February 2009.

After six years of research and development, Steorn launches the first of the four technology streams associated with the development of Orbo technology.

SteornLab is a range of laboratory and test equipment targeted at organisations developing rotary and magnetic systems. The first two SteornLab products are available to purchase from today.

A second technology range, ZeroF passive magnetic bearings, is scheduled for commercial launch during summer 2009.

The Steorn commercialisation and e-learning platform, SKDB, will launch alongside the much-anticipated Orbo technology towards the end of 2009.

The final testing of the SKDB commences with a call for 300 engineering organisations / qualified engineers to sign up. There will be no subscription charge for those involved in this final testing phase, just a requirement to enter into our standard developer licence agreement.

"2009 represents a turning point for Steorn, Orbo and our other technology ranges," said CEO Sean McCarthy. "It marks the end of a long cycle of R&D and sees us making a strong push towards commercialisation - our plans show the business reaching profitability in the next 12 to 18 months."


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HowTo: Chat on IRC via Terminal

Well, I know that several blokes have already written on how to chat on irc via the terminal, I am doing this to entertain myself.


There are several applications you could use to do the trick. But I would only be discussing: irssi 

Description as found on: irssi homepage

Irssi is a terminal based IRC client for UNIX systems. It also supports SILC and ICB protocols via plugins.

Joost Vunderink wrote a summary of the most beneficial Irssi features.
# Autologging

Irssi will automatically log any channels, queries or special windows that you want. The logfiles will be separated per IRC network, and even log rotation is supported. Log file formats, themes and destination directories can be easily configured with the Irssi log settings.

# Formats and themes

Theming is a popular item in todays desktop enviroments, it's an easy yet powerful way to customize your Irssi client's look and feel. Irssi's formatting is modular which means you can just change the appearance of the objects and all items contaning that object will change into that format.

# Configurable keybindings

This feature is a piece of art; it allows you to modify the default keybindings and create your own so you can customize your client. If these keybindings are tuned, you can switch through the windows in no time, execute commands and even complete objects with these bindings.

# Paste detection

If you have ever pasted a bunchload of text into a wrong channel, you know how hard the consequences can be. Irssi tries to detect when you are pasting large amounts of text, by looking at the speed that characters are entered; if such pasting is detected [TAB]-characters are sent as-is instead of being tab-completed and eventually ending up in a wrong destination window. When Irssi detects such a pasting, you will get the option to either abort the paste or execute the paste, this way you have total control of the pasting.

irssi irc client

# Perl scripting

Perl is one of the most used programming languages around the globe and integrating Perl into applications means flexible and powerful scripting capabilities. The entire behavior and appearence of Irssi can be modified within these Perl scripts. Irssi provides a script archive with many contributed Irssi scripts which provide both useful extra features and the required assistance to make your own scripts.

# Irssi-proxy

This is much more than just a bouncer, Irssi-proxy is a plugin which allows to bind a port to each IRC server you are connected to. This means that instead of having to remember to identify with a password, you can just connect to the Irssi-proxy with a server password. The copy of Irssi running the proxy works just as a normal client which you can use, but you can also connect one or more clients to it to share the connections. Using Irssi as a proxy has the major advantage of Irssi's power as an IRC client. You never have to worry about losing your connection to IRC. Even if you don't want to use Issi as a client, I can strongly recommend it as a proxy because you can just connect to it with any IRC client by just connecting to the specified port instead of SSH-ing to the machine that your Irssi is running on.

# Upgrades

Upgrading your Irssi client to the latest version can be easily done without losing the connections to the IRC servers and without restarting Irssi. You can use the UPGRADE command to load the new Irssi binary and restoring your connections.

Installation on Ubuntu

To install on Ubuntu simply do the following:

1. Install via the apt-get command

dan@ubuntu$ sudo apt-get install -y irssi

2. Run on terminal

dan@ubuntu$ irssi

3.  To connect to a server (for example freenode) type:


4. To join a channel (like #ubuntu) type:

/join #ubuntu

5. To switch between 'screens' (for example from The Message of the Day Screen to #ubuntu) press:


6. To change your nick name, simple type:

/nick yournewnickname

7* For more information type:

dan@ubuntu$ man irssi 

8* To make irssi beep whenever someone types your nick do this:

/set bell_beeps ON 


9* For further information go and visit their documentation web page:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Linux Games: Chromium BSU - The Not Browser

First, there's Google's browser Chromium , which is described as "an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. The Chromium codebase is the basis for Google’s Chrome browser" and there is Chromium B.S.U., which is is a fast paced, arcade-style, top-scrolling space shooter that runs in Linux. So there. Let's get that out of the way.

Chromium B.S.U. is cool. Very cool. Here are a few pics to prove it:


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Linux-Games: StarVoyager

StarVoyager is a 2D space game inspired by the hit TV Trek Series, Star Trek Voyager. It's an explore, kill, upgrade space game where you play the role of a Star Trek, Klingon, Dominion (Jem Hadar),  Navigator / Commander / Communications Officer / Engineering and Captain. You get to explore new planets and annihilate enemies. You could install Klingon cloaking devices and Transporters to beam up Phasors, Micro Torpedos, Quasor Torpedoes, etc.

The most dominant enemies of course would be the Borg cubes (invulnerable bastards they are). It's kind of old and no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to get hold of Mr. Richard Thrippleton who is the one who created this venerable masterpiece.

Call me old fashioned but the old games rock!




To Install on Ubuntu

1. Open up your Terminal Application (eg., Konsole, Xterm, Gnome-Terminal)

2. Type this:

dan@ubuntu$ sudo apt-get install starvoyager

3. Run

dan@ubuntu$ starvoyager -f

-f    fullscreen
-h   large window