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Sabtu, 31 Oktober 2009

Nvidia Graphics Drivers 190.42 For Linux Released

After several beta versions, Nvidia has released version 190.42 of their graphics drivers for Linux. This version, in addition to fixing bugs found in previous versions, VDPAU video playback improvements, adds support for GeForce G102M, GeForce GT 220, GeForce G210, Geforce G210M, GeForce 230M GT, Geforce 240M GT, Geforce GTS 250M and 260M. These drivers also support OpenGL 3.2 X.Org xserver (1.7.0 RC1) and Nvidia Quadro SDI Capture.

Also, NVIDIA 190.42 drivers bring support for configuring the NVIDIA GPU's fan - speed, and support for configuring the GPU PowerMizer mode.

Download Nvidia 190.42 graphics drivers for Linux | Ubuntu users: there is a PPA repository for installing these drivers.

Things To Fix / Tweak After Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

Everybody posts about applications to install after upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. That's interesting, and some applications in those posts are quite useful. But those are just lists of applications like any other "Top 10 Ubuntu applications" list.

I'm not saying they are not interesting, I'll even post some links to such posts from other blogs (look at the bottom of the post) I really liked, but to get there, you must firstly fix everything that's not working for you, tweak some things and so on.

1. You basically can't do anything without an Internet connection. While it might work right out of the box for some, I always had trouble making it work after an upgrade to the latest Ubuntu version. That's mainly because the Network Manager is very buggy. To get the Internet connection working (either if you have a static or dynamic IP (DHCP)), see this post: How To Manually Set Up Your Wired Internet Connection in K / Ubuntu without Network-Manager

2. While tweaking, Ubuntu might freeze. Hitting the reset button it's not the best way to get it up and running again. The Ctrl + Alt + Backspace behavior has been changed and it no longer restarts the X-server. To fix this for Ubuntu Karmic Koala, go to System -> Preferences -> Keyboard settings, then to the Layouts tab and under Keyboard settings, click the "Key sequence to kill the X server" option to expand it, then check "Control + Alt + Backspace" to set it.

3. If you installed (not upgraded) Ubuntu Karmic Koala, there should be lots of updates available. The Update Manager behavior has been changed ever since Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope:

Ubuntu 9.04 introduces a change to the handling of package updates, launching update-manager directly instead of displaying a notification icon in the GNOME panel. Users will still be notified of security updates on a daily basis, but for updates that are not security-related, users will only be prompted once a week.

To fix the Update Manager behavior, open a terminal and paste this:
gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

4. The log-in sound in Ubuntu in general is quite disturbing and it doesn't turn off, even if you disable sounds. But you can disable it using the following command:
sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/sound/event_sounds --type bool false

5. Gnome 2.28 comes with no icons in menus and buttons, so this is also the case for Karmic Koala. To enable these icons, run the following two commands in a terminal:
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/buttons_have_icons --type bool true
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons --type bool true

Then go to System -> Preferences -> Appearance and under the Interface tab, check the "Show icons in menus" box.

6. If you need to tweak some settings regarding you graphics card / display, you will notice that xorg.conf does not exist anymore. Also, saving the changes made through Nvidia Settings fails to create an xorg.conf file / modify it. To fix this, open Nvidia Settings, then delete xorg.conf if you already created it. Then click "Save to xorg.conf" and manually enter the path to /etc/X11/xorg.conf - this will create a new xorg.conf file and Nvidia Settings will be able to save any changes you make.

7. If you are experiencing a popping sound (like me) every once in a while and have and Intel sound card, then this might fix it. Press Alt + F2 and paste this:
gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf 

And comment (add a "#" in front of it) the last line called "options snd-hda-intel power_save=10". Basically, this is how the line should look after editing it:
#options snd-hda-intel power_save=10

8. If you use Firefox (3.5), you will most probably be experiencing some really bad scrolling issues. At least, that's the case for me. First of all, you should try Swiftfox which is an optimized Firefox build. If that doesn't fix it (it didn't for me), try Firefox 3.6 (currently beta). The scrolling works perfect and it's much faster. To install Firefox 3.6 beta in Ubuntu Karmic Koala:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install firefox-3.6

Don't worry, all your extensions will still work with Firefox 3.6, here's what to do: Open Firefox and type about:config in the address bar. Then click the button promising to be careful. Right-click anywhere on the screen, choose: New -> Bolean and name this bolean:

Press OK. Then set it to false and press OK again. Now right-click again anywhere choose New -> Boolean and make the name of this one:

and set the value of that one to false.

9. This isn't something annoying for most people (or crucial for that matter): Make the Super Key bring down the applications menu. The Super Key behavior was changed in Ubuntu Karmic Koala and now it must be used in combination with another key. This is not bad, but for people how got used to using the Super Key to bring down the Applications menu, it can be quite annoying. To change it, there is only one way of doing it. Open a terminal and paste this:
gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/panel_main_menu --type string "Super_L"

More info about this.


10. In Ubuntu Karmic Koala, the notify-osd notifications allow a lot of space for the volume control/brightness semi-notifications; this is rather jarring when the volume/brightness isn't being adjusted, unlike in Jaunty where application notifications default to above the volume/brightness. Basically, if a notification other than the volume control/brightness is being displayed, it won't show up in the top right corner of the screen, but a lot lower, which for some might look like a bug and / or out of place. To fix it, download the .deb packages for notify-osd from this PPA (or add the PPA). Direct download:

notify-osd_0.9.24-0ubuntu2~gilir1_i386.deb – 32 bit
notify-osd_0.9.24-0ubuntu2~gilir1_amd64.deb – 64 bit

Thanks to Ryan (via mahboy) for this tip.

11. Fix Mouse Clicks Not Working in Flash and Ubuntu - because this contains multiple solutions and the post is huge, you'll have to head over to that post to see the fixes.

This post isn't finished and the fixes aren't something big. But little things like this make a huge difference for some Ubuntu enthusiasts like me (or us). I'm still discovering Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala and will update this post with some other fixes. Unfortunately, I cannot post how to fix the sound, WiFi and such, because most of those issues are specific to each computer hardware. But the Ubuntu Forums users will most likely provide fixes for these issues.

Like I told you in the beginning of the post, here are my favourite lists of things to do after installing Ubuntu Karmic Koala (from other blogs):

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Scary Halloween Wallpapers

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And a bonus, the scariest of them all:

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And if you use Firefox, don't forget the now 90+ Firefox Personas for Halloween.

Integrate Live SkyDrive in Windows Explorer

windows live skydrive wxplorer

Windows Live SkyDrive is a file storage and sharing service that allows users to upload files to the computing cloud, then access them from a web browser. It uses Windows Live ID to control access to the user's files, allowing them to keep the files private, share with contacts, or make the files public. Publicly-shared files do not require a Windows Live ID to access.

The service currently offers 25 GB of free personal storage, with individual files limited to 50 MB, but this can only be accessed through a browser. However, there is an application which integrates with Windows Explorer and displayes the Windows Live SkyDrive as a drive on your computer.

The application is called SkyDrive Explorer and it's a free, easy-to-use extension for Windows Explorer. With SkyDrive Explorer you can make any every-day operations with your documents from Microsoft Live SkyDriv service using Windows Explorer, as if they were on your computer. Moreover you don't need to install and configure any additional programs or ActiveX components. SkyDrive Explorer will organize the interaction with the online storage itself.

SkyDrive Explorer currently offers the following functionality:

  • View the structure and contents of folders in SkyDrive.
  • View files information (type, size, creation date in GMT format).
  • Create new root folders and subfolders.
  • Copy files into the storage.
  • Delete files and folders.
  • Copy files from the storage to the computer.
  • Copy folders and subfolders from the storage to the computer keeping their structure.
  • Use Drag & Drop for files operations.
  • Rename files and folders.
  • Create links to SkyDrive folders on your computer.

SkyDrive Explorer makes it easier to work with files that are hosted at the Windows Live SkyDrive service. It provides access to some features that are not offered by the web service itself including multi-file-operations like renaming, deleting or copying multiple files or folders. The standard Microsoft library for Windows Live ID services is used which means that the personal information are not passed to the SkyDrive Explorer engine. The traffic between the local computer system and the online storage uses the https protcol to protect against network snooping.

Windows Live SkyDrive Explorer is available for 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Download SkyDrive Explorer.

[via ghacks]

Jumat, 30 Oktober 2009

Skylight Launcher Application for Windows

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Skylight is an application launcher for Windows that can be used to launch application, search files, look up meanings of words in online dictionaries, search Google, YouTube etc. For those familiar with this type of applications, Skylight is very similar to Blaze or Gnome-Do.

After installing the application, a small icon will show up in your tray bar. You can run the application either by clicking the icon, or by a hot-key combination (the default one it Alt+Space). It works quite quickly, despite the fact it uses over 70.000K out of the Memory Usage.

You can start by typing the name of the application you want to launch and it will generate a drop down list with all the programs matching your search criteria (as you can see in the screenshot above).

If you want to search for a file, a word in the dictionary, or search YouTube, you have to click the extreeeemly small arrows in the left (when not selected they have the same colour as the background so you'll have to really want to find them).

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Skylight also understands acronyms, missing letters and typing errors. This allows you to type any letters that are be in the name of the program you are looking for and Skylight will find it.

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Main Features

- search inside any document, e-mail or notebook
- inline calculator
- folder browser with filtering
- YouTube search
- send e-mail (using default application)
- built-in text to speech converter

Download Skylight

Application seen on Instant Fundas

aria2: Cross Platform Command Line Tool To Download Files From HTTP, FTP and Bittorrent

aria2 is a command line utility for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX you can use for downloading files, which supports HTTP(S), FTP, BitTorrent, and Metalink. The cli tool can download a file from multiple sources/protocols and tries to utilize your maximum download bandwidth. Really speeds up your download experience. Also, aria2 has all the features you want in a BitTorrent client: DHT, PEX, Encryption, Web-Seeding and Selective Downloads.

To install Aria2 in Ubuntu, simply run the following command in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install aria2

There is also an Ubuntu PPA.

If aria2 is not present in your Linux distribution repositories - download it (downloads also for Windows and Mac OSX). There is also a PAGE for distribution specific download / installation instructions.


aria2 is as lightweight as it gets and uses from about 4MiB of RAM (normal HTTP/FTP downloads) to 9MiB (BitTorrent downloads). CPU usage in BitTorrent with download speed of 2.8MiB/sec is around 6%.

Why aria2 and not Wget or another tool?

There are other alternatives, such as wget and curl, but aria2 has two distinctive features:

- aria2c can download a file from several URIs(HTTP(S)/FTP/BitTorrent)

- If you give aria2 a list of URIs, aria2 downloads them concurrently. You don't have to wait for the current download queue to finish one file at a time anymore. aria2 tries to utilize your maximum download bandwidth and downloads files quickly.

aria2 usage

-BitTorrent Download:
aria2c http://site/yourfile.torrent

- BitTorrent Download (torrent yourfile present locally)
aria2c –max-upload-limit=40K yourfile.torrent

- Repair damaged downloads (only for bitTorrent and metalink)
aria2c –check-integrity=true yourfile.metalink

- Download/upload speed throttling
aria2c –max-download-limit=100K http://server/yourfile

- Quickly specify multiple urls
aria2c -P http://{server1,server2,server3}/yourfile
aria2c -Z -P http://server/image[000-100].png (to download multiple sequentially named yourfiles)

A simple file download:
aria2c http://server/yourfile

To see all the available options, open a terminal and type: man aria2c or see THIS page.

GUIs for Aria2

If the command line tools scare you, there are some graphical front-ends for Aria2, and you can find all of them HERE.

Thanks to Gnome Tips for pointing out the application.

Linux: Format Your USB Drive Via Command Line

Formating your USB memory pen / stick via command line is pretty easy. Once you know how to do it, that is.

Just follow these steps to quickly format your USB media in Linux:

1. Insert your usb memory pen / stick or whatever into the USB drive and immediately after that, open a terminal and paste this:
dmesg | tail

You should get an output of something like this:

andrei@andrei-desktop:~# dmesg | tail
[ 2143.440053] scsi 6:0:0:0: Direct-Access JetFlash TS1GJFV30 8.07 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[ 2143.464348] sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
[ 2143.466113] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] 2002942 512-byte logical blocks: (1.02 GB/977 MiB)
[ 2143.466607] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[ 2143.466610] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
[ 2143.466612] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 2143.468733] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 2143.468737] sdd: sdd1
[ 2143.476393] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 2143.476398] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI removable disk

See the "sdd" between the brackets? That's your usb media you just inserted. Remember it (it may be different for you, obviously!)!

2. Unmount your USB drive using the following command:
sudo umount /dev/sdd

Where "sdd" is your media drive you had to remember at step 1.

3. Format the drive using the following commands:

a) Format to FAT:
sudo mkdosfs -n 'Label' -I /dev/sdd

You can also use the "-F 32" parameter to create a FAT32 partition.

b) Format to EXT3:
sudo mkfs.ext3 -n 'Label' -I /dev/sdd

For both:
Where Label is will be the name displayed for the USB media so you can set it to whatever you want; and sdd is your usb drive you had to remember at step 1.

If your are not friends with command line tools, you can use a GUI for this called Gnome Format.

UbuntuTweak Released

ubuntu tweak

To celebrate the release of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, UbuntuTweak was released, bringing:

-New PPA's:
  • Gartoon Redux icon theme
  • GMPC
  • Mingming’s PPA
  • Rico Tzschichholz’s PPA

Updated third-party sources:
  • osd-lyrics
  • Dropbox
  • Amark
  • Blueman
  • Christine
  • Smplayer
  • PlayOnLinux
  • XMBC
  • Vlc
  • Clutter
  • Gloobus
  • Bisigi

Removed third-party sources:
  • Ubuntu-CN
  • Transmission daily
Also, you can now install even more themes, through the new Themes submenu:

ubuntu tweak

To add ther UbuntuTweak PPA repository in Ubuntu Karmic, simply run the following command in a terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa

Then, install UbuntuTweak using the following command:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

If you have previously installed UbuntuTweak, use the following command instead:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

You don't use Ubuntu Karmic Koala yet? See instructions for adding the UbuntuTweak PPA in Ubuntu Jaunty.

Alternatively, you can go ahead and just download the .deb files.

Motorola to Launch the New Motorola Droid

Motorola DroidMotorola and Google are about to launch a new product, the new Motorola Droid.
Motorola Droid is a touch-screen (multitouch enabled) device with a huge 3.7 inches capacitive display running on the brand new version of Google's operating system, Google Android 2.0 (Eclair). It also features a sliding full qwerty keyboard, accelerometer for auto screen rotation,proximity sensor for auto turn-off, 16 GB of available storage using the microSD card (card included) and another 16 GB of internal memory.

The processor is an ARM Cortex A8 at 550 MHz. In terms of connectivity, this device has it all. It has GPRS, EDGE, 3G (HSDPA, 10.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps), Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 (with A2DP) and microUSB 2.0 port. It doesn't have IR port but i'm sure no one will miss that.

If you're not much of a talker and you "speak" better using a keyboard, the new Droid offers you SMS, MMS, Email, IM and Push Email support.

Another wonderful feature of this phone is the new Google Maps Navigation system with voice which can be easily used along with the built-in GPS receiver and an Internet connectivity.

Although the new Android device is not a big "musician", it has a 3.5 mm headphones jack so that you can listen to your favorite artist using any kind of regular headphones and supports MP3, eAAC+, WAV, WMA9 music file formats. For video playback it has support for MP4,H.263,H.264, WMV9. The release date for this devices in the US (Verizon) is Friday, November 6th. Hopefully, the Europeans will be able to get their hands on this product by the end of this year or maybe the next one.

ScramDisk for Linux: Truly Open Source On-The-Fly-Encryption Software

scramdisk for linux

Many people believe TrueCrypt is open-source but actually is not because even though the source code is available, it's development is kept secret and it isn't considered Free Software by the FSF nor Open Source by the OSI. A truly open source application for encrypting your partitions is DiskCryptor, but this app only works on Windows.

So if you want an open source application for Linux which works great, you should try ScramDisk.

ScramDisk for Linux (SD4L) is a great OTFE alternative that also supports TrueCrypt containers. Official description:

SD4L is a suite of Linux tools and a graphical user interface (GUI) which allow the creation of, and access to ScramDisk encrypted container files. In particular, SD4L provides a Linux driver which enables mounting ScramDisk containers. ScramDisk for Linux also encrypts partitions on a hard disk or storage media such as USB sticks or floppy disks entirely as devices. Version 2.0, moreover, opens and creates TrueCrypt containers from TrueCrypt version 4.1 to 6.2.

ScramDisk for Linux features:

  1. Access to ScramDisk containers generated on other platforms — either by another SD4L installation, or by the original Windows ScramDisk v3.01r3c version.
  2. Creation of compatible ScramDisk containers.
  3. Access to TrueCrypt containers generated on other platforms — either by another SD4L installation, or by the TrueCrypt software versions 4.1 to 6.2 on Windows, MacOS or Linux.
  4. Creation of compatible TrueCrypt containers which can be opened by the TrueCrypt versions which are equal or higher than the chosen format version.
  5. On Linux, SD4L would provide privacy for sensitive data through the use of strong encryption, which are transparently accessible via a mounted container.
  6. SD4L includes a repair tool for damaged ScramDisk and TrueCrypt 6 containers. It is accessable by the Change button in the GUI or by sdchange.
  7. ScramDisk containers can be reformatted to TrueCrypt containers without creating a new container and copying its contents. The created formats are that of TrueCrypt 4 or 5.
  8. Containers can be automatically unmounted after they have been inactive for a period of time given on mounting the container. Here, inactivity means that no read or write operation has taken place on the container within this period of time.
  9. Encrypted hard disks or containers which comprise several partitions can be opened and the partitions will be automatically mounted on mount directories created below a chosen directory.
  10. A new container can be formatted as swap space and such a container can be used for swapping out areas of the main memory.

Download ScramDisk for Linux (SD4L) (Ubuntu .deb, Fedora .rpm and source files available).

Google Maps Gets Demoed on the New Motorola Droid

Here is a little demo of Google Maps application running on the new Motorola Droid (Android 2.0 OS).:

More about Google Maps for Android 2.0.

PDF Annotator Software For Windows, Linux and Mac OSX


Whyteboard is a simple whiteboard and PDF annotator application for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

It supports the the annotation of PDF, PostScript documents and various image formats with common drawing tools (pen, rectangles, ellipses, text). Your drawing history is stored, allowing you to replay it.

Whyteboard uses tabbed painting, having multiple sheets, with each sheet having its own live-updating thumbnail. Each sheet has its own *unlimited* undo and redo operations as well as its own history replay list. Closed sheets can also be undone, restoring its data.

Download Whiteboard (.exe, .deb, .rpm and source files available)

How to Add CPU and Memory Meters to Your Windows 7 Taskbar

CPU and memory meters windows 7

You can add CPU and memory meters to your Windows 7, by using Taskbar Meters, a program that includes two applications: one that shows CPU utilization and another that shows memory.

You can also quick access the Task Manager and the Resource Monitor in order to determine what's slowing down your computer.

The meters make use of the Windows 7 taskbar's progress indicator kung fu. Using the sliders in the options screens you can choose the update frequency and set at what percentage of utilization your indicators switch from green to yellow and then to red. Pin them to your taskbar and that's it.

Each meter uses about 18Mb of ram and work under both 32 and 64-bit builds of Windows 7.

Download Taskbar Meters

Kamis, 29 Oktober 2009

Huge Collection Of TV Shows / Movies / Anime To Watch Online For Free

So you're somewhere with no TV access, Bittorrent ports blocked or just want to watch some TV shows or movies for free, with no hassle. If so, you'll love Videostic.

http://videostic.com is a website where you don't have to pay and there's even no registration required for watching TV shows such as American Dad, 24, CSI, Desperate Housewives, Doctor Who, Family Guy, Everybody Hates Chris, Friends, Futurama, Geek, Grey's Anatomy, Hannah Montana, House, Jericho, Lost, My Name Is Earl, Prison Break, Scrubs, South Park, Stargate Atlantis, The 4400, Top Gear or The Big Bang Theory, just to name a few. Yes, 'just to name a few', because the list is huge. Take a look for yourself.

But that's not all, there are also thousands of movies, Cartoons / Anime and Bollywood, for free also.

Fore other resources on watching movies / TV shows or online TV for free, look below:

Websites to Watch TV Online for Free
Free: Watch Thousands Of TV Channels On Your Computer [Windows, Linux and Mac OSX]
Application for Watching TV On-line For Free In Linux: Tivion

WebUpd8 New Domain Name

WebUpd8 has finally got it's domain name, and starting today, you can find it at http://www.webupd8.org. Don't worry, the old links will redirect back to the original posts, the feed address remains the same so you don't have to update (or upd8 :-) ) anything.

Nothing else has changed. Well, except the fact that Ireena will be posting here more often (she actually has done that for a couple of days) and a small change to the logo.

Thank you very much for reading Web Upd8. And a special thank you to the subscribers!

25% of All Twitter Users Have LISTS

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The waiting is over for some Twitter addicts. Twitter employee Nick Kallen has tweeted today, a month after the official announcement has been made, that "25% of all users have lists". Thanks to TechCrunch for pointing it out and for the screenshot!

So yes, some lucky people can now curate lists of Twitter accounts, thus being able to follow only people who are truly interesting for them. We haven't received one yet.

What is interesting about these lists?

Lists are public by default, but can be made private, and the lists you created are linked from your profile.

Also, other Twitter users can then subscribe to your lists, according to Nick Kallen, so if somebody creates a very useful link with people that tweet things you are interested in, you can follow that entire list.

Update: Nick Kallen has just announced that about 50% of the Twitter users should have lists by now.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Was Officially Released

Finally! I'm sure most of us were expecting this all day.

Ubuntu 9.10 (9 - the year, 2009; 10 - the month, October) Karmic Koala was officially released just a few moments ago so head over to download your copy from Ubuntu.com until the servers stop responding. This happens because a lot of people will be downloading Ubuntu 9.10 in the next hours. If you cannot download Ubuntu from the official servers, use Bittorrent or THIS link. The best way to get a copy of the final Ubuntu Karmic Koala iso is (if you have previously downloaded an alpha, beta or RC release of Karmic) to use ZSync.

To learn more about Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, I suggest the following links:

And finally, here are some bugs I encountered and explanations on how I managed to fix them, when upgraded to Ubuntu Karmic Koala beta (some might / should have been fixed).

More Firefox 3.7 And 4.0 Mockups, This Time For Linux Too

We've seen Fireofx 3.7 and 4.0 mockups for Windows, but let's take a look at some more mockups, but this time for Linux and some more info on the future of Firefox.

Firefox 3.7

firefox 3.7 linux

Firstly, there were some changes made to the icons, so now there will be the same icons used on all Linux distributions (and all other platforms too - Windows and Mac OSX). Also, some changes have been made to the tabs appearance which should now incorporate a loading bar.

Besides the appearance, Firefox 3.7 should also provide bookmark sync functionality, optimization for even faster loading web pages and so on. You should be able to install extensions without restarting Firefox.

Moreover, Mozilla will integrate the Prism technology into Firefox 3.7, so you should be able to start a website as an application. Does this mean that each tab is loaded as a different process, Chrome style? We shall see.

Some more Firefox 3.7 mockups for various Linux distributions / display managers / themes:

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Firefox 4.0

firefox 4.0 linux

Everyone knows Mozilla is already working on Firefox 4.0. One of the things they are most interested in, for Firefox 4.0, is ergonomics, which actually makes sense when you look at the difference between Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Unlike Firefox 3.6 or 3.7, Firefox 4.0 will be presented as a major update to the browser. This is the Firefox version when the bookmarks (and not only!) synchronization application which is currently available in Mozilla Labs called Weave should be fully integrated into Firefox.

Also, the Extension Manager will be fully reviewed, Jetpack will come as a part of Firefox (a tool for easier extension integration based on web 'languages' such as HTML / CSS / JavaScript) and finally, TraceMonkey JavaScript engine will be further improved.

You can find a complete roadmap, here.

If you want to make Firefox 3.5 look like Firefox 4.0, see THIS article.

DockbarX Available for Ubuntu Karmic


DockbarX, a taskbar with grouping and group manipulation with some "experimental" features compared to Docbark - great for replacing a Gnome panel, is now available for Ubuntu Karmic Koala. To install it, simply run the following commands in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dockbar-main
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install dockbarx

Here is a video with DockbarX in action:

Please note that you don't need to use Compiz to be able to run DockbarX. You can just use Metacity Compositing Manager.

DockbarX GnomeLook page | via Ubuntu Life

Netvibes Morphing to 'Wasabi' - a Stream Reader That Has It ALL

netvibes wasabi

The next version of Netvibes is morphing into a stream reader which will consolidate news feeds, blogs, Twitter and Facebook streams, e-mail and much more.

This version, dubbed Wasabi, will become available early next week in a private beta, but you can start signing up for it now on the Netvibes Wasabi website.

There are no invitations to hand out, but registering you should get one really soon. Here's what they say about this: "We're sending out invitation code progressively, so be patient. An invitation code can only be used once."

In addition to the traditional widget view, Wasabi now also has a "smart reader" viewm where all the feeds and widgets you subscribe to are presented together in one column, updated in reverse chronological order.

It looks almost like Google Reader, except that Netvibes will support more than just RSS feeds. You can import your Twitter and Facebook streams, as well as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Flickr photos, weather widgets, stock widgets, and any other service that has a stream.

Netvibes will also be supporting both the Pubsubhubbub (PuSH), which also launched at the Realtime CrunchUp, and RSSCloud standards aimed at eliminating the lag time inherent in RSS and Atom feeds.

Rabu, 28 Oktober 2009

Trying Out IBM Lotus Symphony Office Suite In Ubuntu Karmic Koala

IBM Lotus Symphony Office Suite

Not so long ago, IBM teamed up with Canonical to create an application which contains an office suite featuring word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications based on IBM Lotus Symphony, an e-mail client that is based on IBM Lotus Notes, the social networking and collaboration cloud-based tools provided by LotusLive.com and the underlying Ubuntu operating system. Alternatively, companies can opt to use the cloud-based LotusLive iNotes application instead of IBM Lotus Notes.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical CEO, said that:

"Canonical is proud to partner with IBM to help open up the American corporate desktop through Ubuntu. [...] IBM's smart client package running on Ubuntu will allow U.S. organizations the financial freedom to redistribute the costs of expensive software licenses into IT projects that will innovate and drive critical growth."

[via softpedia]

Because of this, I decided to test the IBM office suite called Lotus Symphony. From what I've understood, Symphony is available in Ubuntu Jaunty repositories, but I couldn't find it in Karmic so I downloaded a copy (comes in Ubuntu .deb package) from the IBM website. You can, however, search for in in Synaptic Package Manager if you use Jaunty or older Ubuntu versions.

Download IBM Lotus Symphony [works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX]

Please note that although the application is free, it does require an account to be able to download it (which is also free). Also, there are no packages available for 64bit.

The package available on the website (version 1.3) was released on September 10, 2009, yet the Ubuntu .deb package name point out that it would be for Ubuntu Hardy Heroen. Don't worry about this, it does work on other Ubuntu versions, as I've just installed it in Ubuntu Karmic Koala (due to be released tomorrow).

After installing IBM Lotus Symphony, you can find it in Application > Office (for Gnome). Upon opening the application, we are presented with an interface which allows us to choose the type of document we want to create: Presentations, Spreadsheet or text Document:

IBM lotus symphony ubuntu

All of these open in tabs, Firefox-style - even if the document types are different. This seems pretty straight forward and intuitive, even useful I might say. But unfortunately, this is where the useful part ends. The Spreadsheet, Presentation and Document interface seems like an old version of Microsoft Office:
ibm lotus symphonylotus symphonylotus symphony office suite

But don't get me wrong, competition is always good and OpenOffice will have to prove itself better with something other than the ribbon interface they will offer in version 3.2.

One really strong point of IBM Lotus Symphony office suite is that it opened all the documents created with MS Office I could find on my computer (although I didn't have too many). This includes word processor documents and Power Point presentations.

I do not have a final verdict for IBM Lotus Symphony, but like I said, it does have some pros and cons. I'll test it for a couple of days to see exactly what it can an cannot do.

Note: this post is only my view on things, others might see things differently. What do you think of IBM Lotus Symphony? Have you tried it?

Credits for the idea of this post: ubuntizando el planeta

NScripts: A Nice Set Of Nautilus Scripts [Linux]

NScripts is a set of Nautilus Scripts, such as:
  • Apt - Perform a set of operations with apt-get
  • Apt Cache - Perform a set of operations with apt-cache
  • Chkmd5 - Check md5sums
  • CopyTo - Copy selected files/folders to a certain folder
  • InstallTheme: Install a Theme to - install themes for: exaile, mplayer, cairo-clock, GTK themes, GDM, Emerald, Grub, icons and so on
  • OpenInGEdit - Open all selected files in GEdit
  • Rootilus - Open the current directory in nautilus, as root
  • RootOpenInGEdit - Open all selected files in GEdit, as root
  • RootTermInCurdir - Open a gnome-terminal with the currentdir as workdir, as root
  • Shredder - Shred (delete using the shred command) seleted files forever
  • TermInCurdir - open a terminal with the currentdir as workdir, as the current user
  • SetAsWallpaper - set the current file as wallpaper
  • SendShortcutTo - send links to a folder or wherever you want
  • SendToMenu - send desktop-launchers to menu ("Other"-Submenu)
  • MkPatch - compare two files [selected via a file-selection]
  • And other distribution related commands / actions

Installing all these scripts is very easy, simply download the package and extract it's contents to:

Obviously, some of these Nautilus scripts will have some dependencies you need to install. More about this and download link at gtk-apps website.

For more Nautilus scripts, tips and customizations, browse our Nautilus posts.

Last.fm to Launch Last.TV Starting January, 2010

last.fm logoCBS, the owner of Last.fm is trying everything to gain some money from the site it acquired in 2007, the next step being Last.TV, a project where they will add a video component to the online service.

The service is set to debut in January and will be FREE for users in the US, the UK and Germany. Users outside the countries will have to pay.

The company will offer a mixture of exclusive video content from music festivals and live studio performances from popular acts. The site's video content is expected to be made accessible through both Last.fm and a dedicated Last.tv site.

The move is part of CBS Interactive's bid to expand the Last.fm brand globally, both online and offline.

Killer App: Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0

android google maps navigation

Google attacks yet another industry, by introducing a FREE navigation system for Android 2.0 powered mobile phones that offers turn-by-turn directions, 3D views and automatic rerouting.

So that, if you haven't bought an Android phone by now, you should clearly buy one in the near future. Because, of course, Google Maps Navigation is only available for Android 2.0 phones.

The features include easy search, you don't need to know the exact address you want to go, voice search, traffic information (from data sources and crowd sourced from app), and street view close up pictures when you get near your destination. Google Maps Navigation is initially available in the United States, according to the official Google Blog.

More images and video:

google maps navigation android 2.0android 2.0 navigation


- search in plain English. No need to know the address. You can simply type, for example, the name of the restaurant you want to go to, just like you would on Google, then press "Navigate", and you're on your way.

- search by voice, if you're an English speaker. Speak your destination instead of typing. Hold down the search button to activate voice search, then tell your phone what you want to do (like "Navigate to Pike Place in Seattle"), and navigation will start automatically.

- traffic view. An on-screen indicator glows green, yellow, or red based on the current traffic conditions along your route. If there's a jam ahead of you, you'll know. To get more details, tap the light to zoom out to an aerial view showing traffic speeds and incidents ahead. And if the traffic doesn't look good, you can choose an alternate route.

- satellite view or street View.

- car dock mode. For certain devices, placing your phone in a car dock activates a special mode that makes it easy to use your device at arm's length.

For more info, see: TechCrunch and Google Blog.

Adobe Lightroom 3 Available for Beta Testing For Free

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Adobe lets you download and use the recently released Adobe Lightroom 3 public beta, for FREE! There is however a catch. You can download the beta and use it until the product expires. The current Lightroom 3 public beta will expire on April 30, 2010.

Adobe Lightroom 3 is a digital darkroom and efficient assistant designed for serious amateur and prefessional photographers. With Lightroom, you can organize, enhance, and showcase your images all from one fast and nimble application that’s available on Macintosh and Windows platforms.

For more details on the new functionality in the Lightroom 3 beta you can watch three short videos about what's new.

New enhanced features:

- watermarking tool that helps you customize and protect your images with ease
- new performance architecture, building for the future of growing image libraries
- portable sharable slideshows with audio-designed, in order to save and export your slideshows as videos and include audio
- film grain simulation tool for enhancing your images to look as gritty as you want
- new import handling designed to make importing streamlined and easy
- more flexible online publishing options so you can post your images online to certain online photo sharing sites directly from inside Lightroom 3 beta (may require third-party plug-ins)

Download Adobe Lightroom 3 Public Beta

For a free Adobe Lightroom alternative (multi-platform), see: RAW Therapee.

Bisigi Gnome Themes Updated For Ubuntu Karmic Koala

bisigi project gnome themes

You do remember the 9 (now 12) Gnome themes for Ubuntu which are part of the Bisigi Project, right? The great thing about them (other than the looks) is that they are complete and come with Metacity or Emerlad themes, wallpapers, logon themes, icons and so on.

Well, with Karmic Koala to be released in less than a day, the Bisigi themes have been updated and now work on Ubuntu Karmic Koala. To add the Bisigi project themes repository in Ubuntu Karmic, paste the following command in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bisigi

Also, since the original post, an easier way to install of the themes has been added. Simply install the zgegblog-themes package - with it, all the 10 Gnome themes will be installed:
sudo apt-get install zgegblog-themes package

Further reference: preview the Bisigi project themes | Our original post.

Integrating Facebook Share Button Into Blogger Blogs

Facebook recently updated it's Share Button, which now includes a share count and analytics. The button is fairly easy to integrate, as long as you don't specify the base URL (meaning that it will not work for the main page of a blog - it will only submit the blog URL, not a post URL), or you manually enter the URL.

facebook share mini button

Configuring the Facebook Share button for Blogger blogs is a bit tricky but achievable. Read on.

The first thing you need to do is decide over what format you want to use for the button. You can find info on this, on the Facebook Wiki. After you decide on this, remember the 'type=', as that will define the type of Facebook share button.

Then, to implement the button into your Blogger template, go to Layout > Edit HTML and use the following code for inserting the button (of course, in the template you need to go to where you want the Facebook Share button to show up):

<a expr:share_url='data:post.url' name='fb_share' rel='nofollow' type='button_count'/>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/connect.php/js/FB.Share"/>

You may change the:

code, with the style you picked for your button (I explained in the beginning of the post).

Of course, if you want to align the button to the right, etc, it will need some styling using CSS, but you need to take care of that for yourself.

You can see a live preview of the button, right here on Web Upd8. Test it on a post page and on the main page (it's different).

For more info on this, head over to BloggerPlugins.

Stylizer Allows You To Preview CSS Changes In Real-Time


Stylizer is an application which allows you to work with CSS in a much more comfortable way: the changes you make to a website can be previews in real time.

The application is for Windows only, but it works on Linux too, through Wine. The basic version is free and while some more advanced features are missing compared to the Ultimate version, it should be enough to really improve your workflow and allows you to actually see any changes you make to a website. You can see the difference between the two versions, HERE.

Also, a Mac OSX version is on it's way, so if you really like Stylizer, be sure to enter your email to be notified when it will become available.

Download Stylizer

[via linwind]

Official Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Feature Tour

Official Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Feature Tour

With 1 day until the Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 release, the official feature tour page is already available.

Take a look: http://www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu/910features/

Selasa, 27 Oktober 2009

More Free CAD / CAE Software

We recently posted about a free AutoCAD alternative called BRL-CAD, which is very advanced and build by the US military in collaboration with NASA. But the application is not that easy to use by normal people, not very much into CAD applications (or the army :-) ). So for something easier to use, I suggest the following two applications:

1. FreeCAD, a free general all-purpose 3D modeling application, focused on mechanical engineering and related areas, such as other engineering specialties or architecture. FreeCAD features tools similar to Catia, SolidWorks or Solid Edge, and therefore also falls into the category of MCAD, PLM, CAx and CAE. FreeCAD works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.


FreeCAD is still in early stage of development, but most of the functionality is already present. Still, you need to know a bit Python to fully use it. But it's definitely easier to use than BRL-CAD.

Download FreeCAD (official packages available for Windows and Linux (.deb files for Ubuntu and Debian) but also unofficial .rpm files). MacOSX: You'll have to compile it.)

Note: for Ubuntu Karmic Koala there are no packages available yet, but you can install freecad_0.8.2237-1testing1_i386.deb (which is for Debian) and python-pivy_0.3.0-1jaunty1_i386.deb (which is for Jaunty). You can get these packages from HERE.

2. QCAD. When I wrote about BRL-CAD I mentioned QCAD. Well, QCAD is actually enough for a basic CAD user, the only problem for some being that it's not free. There is however a community version of QCAD which is free and open-source:

The community edition contains the source code of QCAD, released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). This package contains dxflib, fparser, qcadlib, qcadcmd, qcadactions, qcadguiqt and QCAD, all in one tar ball. A script to build everything from scratch on any Linux / Unix system is also included. Note that the community edition does not contain the scripting module or polyline support. Sources are usually released some time after the professional editions.

More info: QCAD website.

I find QCAD to be the most easy to use from the 3 CAD applications I mentioned (BRL-CAD from the other Web Upd8 post included) and if you're just getting started with CAD, or you don't have to create anything highly advanced, I strongly suggest QCAD.

qcad ubuntu

Downloading / Installing QCAD:

In Ubuntu Linux, simply run the following command in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install qcad

For other Linux distributions: search for QCAD in your distribution repositories. If you can't find QCAD, you can download the source packages (look for QCAD Community Edition).

Windows users: download QCAD binaries (qcadbin-win- > Binary with fonts).

Domain Names Written in Non-Latin Characters Starting with November, 16

non-latin domain name

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is finalizing the last set of rules that will allow Internet addresses to be written in characters not belonging to the Roman alphabet. So, soon we will see domains written in Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and Cyrillic characters.

The proposal was past last year, the final plans will be approved this Friday, on the 30th of October and the first applications will be accepted from the 16th of November.

The chairman of ICANN explained that out of the 1.6 billion Internet users around the world, more than half uses language with characters not related to the Roman alphabet.

Some countries such as China and Thailand, had already introduced "schemes" that allow users to enter the web addresses into their own languages, but these maneuvers have not been approved internationally and do not necessarily work on all computers.

[via pplware]

D2X-XL: Unique 6 Degrees Of Freedom Game (Descent 2 Mod) [Windows, Linux, Mac OSX]


D2X-XL is an OpenGL mod for the classic 3D game Descent 2. D2X-XL is based on D2X 0.2.6, has all bugs from D2X 0.2.6 fixed and has restored all features from the original D2_3dfx (official Voodoo graphics version). D2X-XL is free and runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

Descent is a 3D first-person shooter video game which has a strong following due to its unique 6DOF gameplay.

To understand better, take a look at this D2X-XL video:

Descent never achieved the popularity of more contemporary 3D shooter games due to the demands on the player to keep his or her sense of orientation in a fully 3D environment with a 6DOF flight model. Additionally, learning to "tri-chord" — increasing movement speed by simultaneously pressing the acceleration controls for several movement directions — took some time to master. Nonetheless, the challenge the flight model poses continues to attract certain sections of the gaming community to this day.

It is said that some players initially suffered from nausea and confusion since there is no fixed sense of up or down with the zero-gravity effects of space applied to the planet's mines as well.

D2X-XL key features:
  • Colored lighting and lightmap support
  • Full CTF mode
  • Entropy multiplayer game mode
  • UDP/IP multiplayer code and tracker support
  • Automatic mission download
  • In-level teleports
  • Cameras and monitors
  • Speed boosts ("wind tunnels")
  • Screen resolution up to 1600x1200
  • All cockpit views available in all resolutions
  • Mission folder with sub directories to allow for improved mission file management
  • Support for playing D1 missions

Download D2X-XL for Windows, Linux (including packages for Ubuntu) and Mac OSX.

Please note that to use D2X-XL, you also need Descent 2 data. The link is broken on D2X-XL website, but you can download it from D2X-XL Sourceforge page (direct download link).

For installation, see the instructions.

Mozilla: SeaMonkey 2.0 Released

mozilla seamonkey 2.0

Mozilla has announced the availability of version 2.0 of SeaMonkey, which includes several new features, such as support for HTML 5 tags, improved JavaScript performance and off line data storage for applications. Also, the addition of a new Add-on Manager lets users install, update, disable and remove extensions.

Main SeaMonkey 2.0 Improvements:

-The Password Manager, Cookie Manager, Form Managers have been improved and a new download manager has been added, which supports cross-session resumable downloads, as you can see in the photo.

-Support for Windows 95, 98, Me and NT 4 was dropped. GTK 2.10 or higher is now required on Linux/UNIX. Support for Mac OS X 10.3 ("Panther") and 10.2 ("Jaguar") was also dropped, according to SeaMonkey 2.0 release notes.

-Session restore (crash recovery) has been added, so, when SeaMonkey crashes, all your browser windows and tabs will be restored automatically or on request. Also, users can select to always restore the browser windows and tabs from their last open session when starting SeaMonkey.

-Extensions installed under SeaMonkey 1.x are not migrated to SeaMonkey 2, and may not be compatible for reinstalling in this version due to major changes in our architecture. Extensions and Themes for SeaMonkey 2.0 can be installed from the SeaMonkey Add-Ons website or the "Get Add-Ons" section in the Add-Ons manager.

Poorly designed or incompatible extensions can cause problems with SeaMonkey, according to its website, including make it crash, slow down page display. When encountering strange problems relating to parts of SeaMonkey no longer working, the browser not starting, windows with strange or distorted appearance, degraded performance, you should restart SeaMonkey in Safe Mode.

On Windows, start using the "Safe Mode" shortcut created in your Start menu or by running seamonkey.exe -safe-mode.

On Linux, start with:
./seamonkey -safe-mode 

and on Mac OS X, run:
cd /Applications/SeaMonkey.app/Contents/MacOS/
./seamonkey-bin -safe-mode

When started in Safe Mode all extensions are disabled and the Default theme is used. Disable the Extension/Theme that is causing trouble and then start normally.

Download SeaMonkey 2.0.