Showing posts from April, 2008

7 Habits of Highly Effective Linux Users

You can find the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Linux users over at

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

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 thingscp
The same with copy, copies files and folders from one place to anothermv
The same with move, moves files and folders from one place to anotherAnother way of renaming a folderdpkg -i
Cool command to install *.deb files that I download from the Internetapt-get install
Cool command to install cool stuff from inside the repositories
apt-get remove
Command used to remove uncool stuff from the repositoriesaptitude
Apt-get's cousin. Instead of apt-get remove, use aptitude removeThis 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 repositoriessu…

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 wa…

[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 f…

[MOVED] Internet Cafes in the Philippines

I am moving non FOSS related content to my 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 propositio…

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…

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, 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

Now I can move on.

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

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 alrea…

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 fre…

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.

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…

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 o…

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."

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/
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_1.0.87…

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 "…

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…

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

Ticked Automaticall save changes to sessionDisabled Startup Programsbluetooth-appletupdate-notifiergnome-power-manager
9.Noticed difference in behavior - File Management
If I click on a folder in Desktop Nautilus opens without an address barIf 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 …

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…