So I recently (last week) upgraded my lappy to Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, and, so far, I’m a fan. I’ve been using Ubuntu for nearly two years now (since Feisty Fawn) and have only briefly looked back at Windows or over at Macintosh just for a sense of ubiquity and compatability. With Jaunty, I’m content with the slick new interface combined with the traditional ease of use that Ubuntu has come to offer.
I am by no-means an expert with Ubuntu–or Linux, for that matter–but I am a long-standing fan of Open Culture and Open Source. I’ve been working with Windows for years trying to come up with ways to tweak it and customize it to fit my own personal tastes and expectations, so, naturally, Linux was a Godsend with its seemingly endless customization options.
I started this blog with the idea that I would keep it as a repository for all the knowledge I’ve collected from the seemingly endless changes and tweaks I put my systems under. Mainly as a way to organize them and recall them in case of other blogs and forums going by the wayside. Second, I thought that others might have the same questions that I did and would like an easier method of finding answers than scouring hundreds of pages of forum posts.
Last thing of note for this introduction, the name is not a typo. Well, it is (and probably a common one), but intentional as I like the play on words implied (Ubuntu Nut, Ubunut). The only other semi-clever idea I could come up with was “Sit, Ubu, Sit.”
Calendar synchronization has been the main reason I haven’t used Google Calendar or the native BlackBerry calendar has been a lack of synchronicity. I’m just annoyed with the idea of having to enter multiple instances of an event in multiple places, so I never used them. Facebook got smart and integrated calendar sync with the new Facebook for BlackBerry, and now I can keep track of my Facebook events with my Storm. I finally found where Google has developed a sync application that updates the calendar and contacts list.
“Using your BlackBerry smartphone’s native calendar, you can now access your Google calendar even when you don’t have network coverage and be alerted for upcoming appointments with sound or vibration. Your Google Calendar stays synchronized whether you access it from your computer or your phone. You can add or edit entries right on your BlackBerry smartphone or on your Google Calendar on the web.”
Just point the BlackBerry browser to http://m.google.com/sync.
There’s been a lot of buzz about this extension for OpenOffice.org that will allow you to sync your documents with Google Docs. I ran across it looking for a solution to my (apparently not unique) problem of automating a system of backing-up documents to Google Docs. Ubuntu users will have to uninstall their out-of-the-box version of OOo and reinstall via terminal before this will work. The setup is actually pretty simple:
1. From the Ubuntu main menu, select Add/Remove Programs.
2. Search for “openoffice”, and uncheck all the installed components. OpenOffice.org Drawing may give you a required package error, but this is no problem. Uninstall the other components, then go back to uninstall Drawing.
3. From the terminal: sudo apt-get install openoffice.org
5. From the OOo main menu, select -> (Alt-T-E for those who like keyboard shortcuts.)
6. Click “Add…”, select the downloaded file (“gdocs[version number].odx” or something to that effect), and “Open”. The extension will then install. Click “Close” when complete and restart OOo.
You should notice a new floating toolbar with 5 icons. The first two (from the left) are specific to Google Docs (upload and download respectively). The latter are for Zoho and WebDAV, which I don’t use (at least at this point). Click either of the GDox buttons and you will be prompted for your username and password. The rest is fairly self-explanitory.
The only gripe I have with this extension is the lack of true document synchronization. When uploaded, multiple copies of the same document will exist on the Google server until you manually delete them. This is currently under revision and should be fixed when the update is released.
‘Free like a puppy’ is certainly much, much better than an atrociously priced and uncontrollably incontinent, rabies-infected mad hound.
Posted on Android Authority (www.androidauthority.com)
Admittedly, this is more for my own future reference, and a little behind the times (this tutorial is based on Eclair and Froyo), but if any of you still have a first-generation Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S), you may find this handy. Rooting the phone was the first thing that excited me about getting an Android phone, and is still one of my biggest selling points. Verizon tends to bog their phones down with lots of bloatware that comes preinstalled, whose removal is otherwise prohibited, and requires a separate purchase or subscription to use (BAD, VERIZON! BAD!).
Before you follow the tutorial in the video, you will need to download and unzip the following archive:
If you’re like me and enjoy delving into a little hackery on your devices to make them “function correctly”, then welcome! I did a little futzing around with my Galaxy S to try and get a particular email notification working, so I thought I may share the process with you all here. First and foremost, you must have enabled root access on your phone, so go check that post out if you haven’t already. As always, no warranty is implied and you might void your warranty following this procedure. Perform at your own risk!
You will need:
Galaxy S phone with root access
Computer with Audacity installed and Bluetooth connectivity Root Explorer application installed
Open the sound file you wish to use with Audacity.
Export the sound as *.ogg (Ogg Vorbis) format.
Rename the new file “22_FILENAME.ogg” where FILENAME is some short name describing the file.
Bluetooth transfer the file to your phone.
Open Root Explorer on your phone.
Navigate to ../sdcard/bluetooth/
Tap-hold the filename to bring up the options menu.
Click “Move” from the dialog.
Navigate to ../system/media/audio/notifications/ and make sure that “Mount R/W” is selected.
Exit Root Explorer and reboot your phone.
Change your sound settings and enjoy!
I’m going to link you to a couple files that I used and, specifically, the email notification that I specifically figured this process out for. Enjoy!
I was working with the VCR today when, after a reboot, all the USB ports went dead. After much consternation (and a little bit of cussing), I was able to determine a solution.
Fortunately, I already had TeamViewer installed, so jacking in remotely was a snap. Without any kind of remote access, this process would be nigh impossible since the entirety of input devices are USB.
Navigate to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Device Manager (listed under Devices and Printers).
The last item in the tree should be Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
Expand the USB Controller branch to expose the list of USB devices connected to the computer.
Right-click and uninstall each of the listings, thus removing it from the system. One or more of the controller drivers was likely corrupted and removing all of them will ensure a clean installation.
Reboot and allow Windows 7 to recognise and reinstall all the connected USB devices. Everything should work like new again!
More information on this problem as well as other solutions can be found here.
The motherboard that I picked up for the VCR project provides out-of-the-box full-resolution HDMI video under Linux, but requires an additional proprietary Intel graphics driver to process audio through the HDMI port. Thankfully, this is not a terribly difficult process thanks to the fine folks at Intel providing an easy graphical installer package.
Assuming you have installed your graphics card drivers correctly, you will still want to quickly verify your HDMI audio out is working before any further mucking about in the operating system environment. In Ubuntu 14.04, this is done quite simply from the menu bar.
Click the sound icon in the upper-right corner, then in the context menu that appears, click on “Sound Settings”
In the Sound Settings dialog box, verify that your sound card is activated and click the “Test Sound” button.
Click the test button for each channel and verify the output.
Other derivatives of Ubuntu (particularly the lightweight Lubuntu) do not have the robust GUI that Ubuntu features. In these cases, a little terminal jiggery-pokery will be necessary.
Verify the HDMI audio output with this terminal command:
What HTPC setup would be complete without a remote control to command your rig from across the room? For the VCR, I chose the SIIG Vista MCE Remote for its compatibility and range of functions. It also happened to be reasonably-priced at Micro Center when I bought it.
To get started, plug in your IR receiver USB dongle and install LIRC from the terminal:
sudo apt-get install lirc
During installation, you will be presented with a dialog asking you to select the specific remote control you have.
For the SIIG Vista MCE remote, choose “Windows Media Center Transceivers/Remotes (all)”
Then, choose your brand of IR blaster (if applicable). In this example, I do not have one installed, so I chose “None”.
Allow the installation to finish, then install LIRC X Utilities from the terminal with the following command:
sudo apt-get install lirc-x
Test your remote’s communication with the irw terminal command.
Point the remote at the receiver and press a few buttons, you should get some coded output on the screen. If so, congratulations! Press C to quit IRW.
If there is no output, verify that the dongle is working (there’s usually a red light that accompanies keypresses) and that the correct remote was selected in setup. You may need to reboot for the computer to recognise the new hardware.
To maintain a level of authenticity, the VCR required an external display like the one originally installed to show status, function, channel number, etc. I opted to replace the original 7-segment display module with a USB-powered LCD to put a modern spin on the old look. There aren’t many display modules available, so I did a little research to make sure that the nMedia PRO-LCD would be compatible with Linux drivers. Fortunately, it is, but it took much cursing and gnashing of teeth to get it working.
First, make sure that the USB cord and power supply are plugged in.
Power-on the computer, and the display should show a test pattern with the words “MCE Indicator TM for Media Center” dancing around. Now, it’s time to install drivers!
From the terminal, execute the following:
sudo apt-get install LCDproc
Once LCDproc is installed, configure the daemon by editing /etc/LCDd.conf in Nano or another text editor. Change the following settings to the appropriate values:
Reboot, and your LCD is ready for input! Or is it output?