Category Archives: technology

the system is down

In this case, it’s medibuntu. Or more specifically, their Ubuntu repository. As far as I can tell it’s been down for about a week now and was also down a while back for some time. For anyone who needs to utilize this pretty important resource, there seems to be mirrors out there which I wasn’t aware of. Enter Andrew’s blog post on

Firstly you’ll have to find out where your Medibuntu repo is located. Run this in a terminal:
ls /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

If the file exists, press ALT + F2 and enter:
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

If running the above command lists the medibuntu.list as not found (“ls: cannot access /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list: No such file or directory”), then do the following:
Press ALT + F2 and enter:
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Then for both cases, search for the lines which point to the main Medibuntu repository, which should look something like this:
deb lucid free non-free
deb-src lucid free non-free

Of course, if you’re not using Lucid, it’s going to say “karmic” or “jaunty”, etc.
Replace these 2 lines with any of these 3 mirrors:
Mirror 1:
deb lucid free non-free
deb-src lucid free non-free

Mirror 2:
deb lucid free non-free
deb-src lucid free non-free

Mirror 3:
deb lucid free non-free
deb-src lucid free non-free

If you’re not using Lucid, replace “lucid” in the above lines with “karmic”, “jaunty” or whatever Ubuntu version you’re using.

Finally, a remote desktop service for linux that doesn’t require opening firewalls!

As the topics says, we finally have a remote desktop solution without the need to open ports on a firewall or do reverse tunnel trickery. I’ve been using TeamViewer for a long time now to support my Windows and Mac customers and to remotely control the same at home. Now I have one single solution for all of them.

I downloaded and tested the desktop app right away. At first I just thought it was a client. But then I noticed it was giving a key/pass for someone to connect. I said to myself … “noooo , it can’t be”. Then I connected to my laptop remotely using the teamviewer client on my iphone  over 3G.

Even better, the service is completely free for personal usage. I will be looking into buying a license since I use it often and they certainly deserve the money.

Welcome to the linux community Teamviewer!

samba, stop being so selfish!

So not long ago I noticed that some of my samba shares weren’t working properly. By that, I mean, I could access the main share, but some of the subdirectories were giving me an “access denied” error when trying to traverse them. It was one of those things where it was just an annoyance that I didn’t have time to research and fix so I was just working around it in different ways.

A little digging into my shares I narrowed down the issue to only subdirectories that I had Symlinked to other directories not within the original folder. The link was fine, the Linux permissions were fine, as were the the settings in my smb.conf. Regardless, I still couldn’t access the symlinked subdirectories.

Off to google. The second link pointed to an ubuntu forums post where others were having the same issue. One of which had traced it back to a security news post on samba’s website. Apparently the default setting:

wide links = yes

is too much of a security risk and has now been changed to “no” unless you set it manually in the smb.conf. So to get my shares working properly again, I added the above as well as:

follow symlinks = yes

unix extensions = no

A “sudo service samba restart” and all is as it should be. Yay google! 🙂

Canonical backtracks its decision

No, unfortunately, not that decision. The decision to use Yahoo has the default search engine in Mozilla Firefox in Ubuntu 10.04 has been changed back to Google. Granted, I could care less what default search engine is used in Firefox. It’s a setting that can be changed in a very easy and user friendly manner. I’ve also stopped using MemoryLeakFox in favor of a slightly less memory hog, Google Chrome. What gets me is the comment made by Rick Spencer in regard to the decision:

In this case, choosing Google will be familiar to everybody upgrading from 9.10 to 10.04

Last I checked, familiarity was not a valid or adequate reason for  basing decisions on. If familiarity has now become a good enough reason, then I know some other bugs that could use another once-over.

Songbird halts major support for linux

update: Songbird has now been forked and will keep supporting linux! The new project is now Nightingale.

As many of you know we’re hard at work on NOFX and the release is looking really good – lots of cool improvements, including video playback. Some of you have noticed that the Linux version has fallen behind, leading to some heated, but healthy debate internally about how to prioritize the development hopper.

After careful consideration, we’ve come to the painful conclusion that we should discontinue support for the Linux version of Songbird. Some of you may wonder how a company with deep roots in Open Source could drop Linux and we want you to know it isn’t without heartache.
 We have a small engineering team here at Songbird, and, more than ever, must stay very focused on a narrow set of priorities. Trying to deliver a raft of new features around all media types, and across a growing list of devices, we had to make some tough choices.

Article continued…

Songbird was usually my answer for people when they asked about iTunes on Ubuntu(linux). Good thing we have the Ubuntu One Music Store now. Maybe this was part of the reason they gave up on linux. Who knows. Such a shame when decent projects just up and throw the towel in.

Well, that settles it…

It’s official, Canonical (Ubuntu) has stopped caring about what its community actually wants and instead will go with the bad decision by it’s design team. Enough has been said about this issue so I’m not going bring up the reasons why this is a bad decision again. There are plenty of blogs, forum posts, polls, the bug report and even a website dedicated to it.

Now my dilemma is deciding if I want to continue advocating Ubuntu as a good alternate solution to Windows users.

Earth Hour

From :

• Earth Hour is World Wildlife Fund’s global initiative where individuals, schools, organizations, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour to cast a vote in favor of action on climate change. By voting with their light switches, Earth Hour participants send a powerful, visual message demanding action on climate change.

• Earth Hour is the largest climate event in history. In 2009, more than 4,000 cities in 87 countries went dark. Here in the United States, and estimated 80 million Americans participated, along with 318 cities and 8 US states.

• Participants in this movement are encouraged invite friends and family to take action, and incorporate ideas and solutions for combating climate change into their daily lives.

So EathHour is tomorrow, March 27th at 8:30pm your local time. I participated in this last year by turning off all the lights in my house as well as all possible computers and electronics. It’s also a good time to just “unplug” for at least an hour.

Feel free to leave comments on how or if you’ll be participating as well.

The Gnome war on features continues…

We’re back with another fun-filled episode of “How long till Gnome has a single button as it’s only feature?”. On today’s episode, Gnome has removed the ability to toggle between the text-based location bar and breadcrumbs with the touch of a button. This has always been a handy feature in nautilus for quickly navigating to hidden directories( .local ), to Windows (SMB) shares, FTP or SSH shares while toggling back the “better” looking breadcrumbs with only the click of a button. Not anymore folks! Remember, buttons are the devil!

UPDATE: The original bug in launchpad can be found here and the corresponding bugzilla bug for gnome here. And here is David Siegel’s post about the bright idea to remove yet more features including this one.

P.S. Yes, I know you can use CTRL+L or / or use the menu’s to bring up half the functionality of the button. The average user (who yes, does/did use this) shouldn’t have to learn hundreds of magic combo key’s to navigate their computer. Nor should they have to use the command line.

My first bug fix

Continuing on from my last post.

  • step #4 fix the problem. So it turns out that the way in which the icons were being displayed wasn’t exactly incorrect. We were just letting the “gtk-menu-images” overwrite us and not show the menu icons for the application. The solution is in gtk_image_menu_item_set_always_show_image (). This forces the display of the icons we specify. Thanks goes out to Glatzor and his comment to my original post about this issue. Thanks also goes out to kklimonda from #ubuntu-app-devel on FreeNode for helping me figure out the right syntax and areas to add this item. There was some grepping and reading involved on my part. I had the right file and was close to the right area, just didn’t have it 100% on my own.
  • step #5 submit fix to launchpad. Thanks goes out to doctormo for helping with this one. I had already used Ground Control to pull down a branch of my own to work on. Now it was just a matter of cleaning up the added files from compiling and committing my changes. After that you upload the changes to launchpad and propose the changes to be merged into the main trunk. I also linked my branch to the existing bug to keep things in order. Now I just wait for the maintainer to hopefully merge my changes and for them to make it into the next build of gSTM in some future version of ubuntu.
  • step #6 Now what I’d like to do is take my changes and the changes made in trunk that aren’t in the version of gSTM in the Ubuntu repositories, compile them all together, package them and submit them to my own PPA until they all make it into the main repositories. It’s going to be a bit pick and choose or at least involve some more bug fixing since one of the branches made a change that broke the notification icon.  I might revert these changes in my PPA build since I don’t care for the intended new icon anyway.

Daily Accomplishments:

  • fixed my first ubuntu bug!