Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

To all of you that celebrate, Merry Christmas! If you are still not in the Christmas spirit yet, then maybe the following wallpapers might help!

Christmas Wallpaper

Xmas Firefox background

Xmas Tux Wallpaper

If a wallpaper for your computer just isn't enough then why not try out a fancy little application called Xsnow. Read my post last year to find out how to install and run: Xmas Xsnow!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

YouTube-HTML5-ifier For Google Chrome

Google Chrome Beta has been out for a few weeks now for Linux, and after a lot of playing around with it, it has soon become my most used browser. The only problem I could ever find with it is the large CPU usage when using any flash applications. Browsing websites such as Youtube and watching videos on there was a bit of a painful, and slow task - Until I came across the Youtube HTML5-ifier.

Youtube HTML5

This useful extension contains a script which replaces the standard Flash based videos on Youtube with the new HTML5 video tag. These video will require much less CPU power. Not only using less CPU power, it automatically attempts to play in the best possible format (HD if available). The only down side to this extension so far is that any videos that are embedded on sites other then Youtube will still use the old Flash based player, and annotations will not be displayed for any videos. However, this extension is still in development, and the developer is currently working on these issues.

To download this extension, visit: Youtube HTML5-ifier

Monday, 30 November 2009

Install Backtrack Applications On Your Ubuntu


Backtrack is one of the most top rated Live Linux Distributions (meaning you can run straight from the CD). Backtrack is focused on penetration testing, and comes pre-packed with many applications to analyse and test your LAN, Wifi, Bluetooth... the list continues.

I have often had a play around with Backtrack, and find the tools and applications very useful. However, with the free storage space on my laptop is becoming ever more limited, and I have no room to install it under a Virtual Machine. The below instructions will show you how you can install all of the Backtrack applications on your current Ubuntu installation.

Add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list
deb binary/

Now to import the Backtrack GPG key and to update the sources:
wget && sudo apt-key add public-key && sudo apt-get update

Fantastic! Now we have all the new Backtrack applications ready to install. You can find these applications in your Synaptic Package Manager, under the sections BackTrack - Web (for example). If you are wanting to install all of the new applications quickly, you can run the following command:
links -dump | awk '{print $3}' | grep -i deb | cut -d . -f 1 > backtrack.txt

This command will use the links text browser to grab a complete list of packages and store them into the file backtrack.txt. Each application will then be installed one by one. Be warned! There are 182 applications listed within the text file that you make. This may take some time downloading, all depending on how fast your internet connection is.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

GetDeb V2 Beta

For the past three years, has been the home to newest updates of many of the popular applications available for Ubuntu. In the past, the only real way to obtain any of the software is to go onto their site, download, and install. There was a way to download using apt-get by adding the following line to your sources list:
deb getdeb/

If you were luckily enough not to get the classic 404 error message, the downloads were often on the slow side.

GetDeb V2 Beta now offers a fully functional repository that gives users access to the pre-compiled deb packages as soon as they are available on the site. They are very often placed on GetDeb's managed servers before they are placed within their own official repositories!

Gaining access to their repository is made very easy by downloading and installing their GetDeb Package[Right Click, Save As]. Once downloaded, double click to install. If you prefer to do things via the command line, then run the following command:
wget && dpkg -i getdeb-repository_0.1-1~getdeb1_all.deb

If you prefer to add their repository manually, then you will need to add the following line at the bottom of your /etc/apt/sources.list file:
deb karmic-getdeb apps

Then to add the GPG key:
wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Falling Sand Game

Be Warned! This is a very addictive game! I am not normally a fan of any type of computing games, but I found myself playing on this for hours on end.

I'm sure most of you would have heard and played the flash version of this game somewhere on the Internet. There are many different version of it now, each with their own set of elements to play around and experiment with. The original version of this game is now available to download for Linux. You may wonder why you would want to download it, and just play it online. Well The main benefit of downloading this game, is that you get to install and use hundreds of different mods that various people have made for it. Some of the mods include a fireworks pack, volcano add-ons and an acid mod. Some of the more extreme mods give you the ability to make guns, cars, and even life forms!

Falling Sand Game

To download The Falling Sand Game:

Once downloaded, you must set the correct permissions so that you can execute it:
chmod u+x fgs-4.4

Many people have said that they are unable to get this game to work. Tinivole from the UbuntuForums has found the solution for this:
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 Wallpapers

Spice up your new Ubuntu 9.04 installation with some of these fantastic wallpapers. These are all Alpha release wallpapers that didn't quite manage to make it into the final release. I am sure you will agree with me that many of these really should have made it!

All of the below images, and many more can be found from the Artwork section of the official Ubuntu Wiki

Ubuntu 9.01 Background

Ubuntu Wallpaper

Jaunty Background

Ubuntu wallpapers

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Save A List Of Installed Applications On Linux

Firstly I would like to apologize for the lack of updates to this site over the last few weeks. This is down to some personal problems I have been having, and due to Jaunty messing with my display on my MSI Wind. All is back to normal now, and I'm ready to go!

I have recently used this very neat trick within the dpkg packet manager. Have you ever started a fresh install, and forgot which applications you had installed on your old installation? It's a pain. Even when you think you have them all installed, you go to do something, and realize Damn! I forgot to install that.

If you load up a blank terminal, and run the following command:
dpkg --get-selections > apps.txt

This will store a list of every application that is currently installed to a file called apps.txt. If you are wanting to re-install your OS, then make sure that you save this file to a USB stick!

Once you are ready to install all your applications again:
dpkg --set-selections < apps.txt
dselect update
apt-get dselect-upgrade show

Now after a lot of downloading and installing, you will once have all of your applications installed again. It may be an idea before you re-install your OS to back up the /etc/apt/sources.list file, so that you are able to download the applications that you may of got else where.

If you have any questions about this methord, then please leave a comment!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Twittering With Ubuntu

Over the past 6 months, the popularity of Twitter has sky rocketed, with the worlds most biggest celebrities using it - With @Obama being one of the top users with the highest amount of followers.

So what is Twitter? Twitter is known as a 'micro-blogging' website that allows the user to send a short message (know as a 'Tweet') to their friends (known as 'Followers'). The idea is to update what it is you are doing, thinking, working etc. at that moment in time. Your status update can contain a maximum of 140 characters, and once sent, anyone that is following you will receive your update. If one of your followers updates their status, you will then receive their updates. It is a really quick, and simple way of staying in touch with your friends, family and co-workers.

Twitter Clients

Rather then going to every time you want to update your status, or view your friends updates, you can download a Twitter Client. This is a small application that will let you update, view updates, send Direct Messages etc. A few of them have more features then the others, and below are the most popular ones available for Ubuntu.



gTwitter is a simple GTK based application for the GNOME environment. gTwitter is inspired upon the Mac twitter client Twitterrific
At the moment, gTwitter is still in its Beta stages, so there are only the basic features that are available, which include reading both your friends, and the public timeline (with users avatars) and updating your status.
To install gTwitter:
sudo apt-get install gtwitter

You will now be able to run gTwitter from Applications -> Internet -> gTwitter


Twitux for the GNOME desktop environment, is very similar in design and looks of gTwitter. When you recive a new tweet, you will be notified by a notification bubble.
To install Twitux:
sudo apt-get install twitux

You will now be able to run gTwitter from Applications -> Internet -> Twitux

Adobe Air Clients

There are many Clients that run using Adobe Air. View the following post for instructions on installing and using Adobe Air on Ubuntu.


Twhirl being one of the more popular clients to run on Adobe Air, has many features that other clients do not have. You have the ability to choose from many different themes, and to change how the application behaves. Twhirl gives you the ability to login not only to Twitter, but to, FriendFeed and Seesmic. With Direct Messaging, Tweets, favorite tweets, search, archive and many more features, I think this is the best Twitter Client out for Adobe air.

To download Twhirl, you need Adobe Air installed. Once installed: Right Click, Save As the following link: Download Twhirl 0.9


Tweet Deck

Tweet Deck is a unique way of interacting with Twitter. This client will enable you to categorize your tweets into different columns. You could have your Tweets in one column, your replies in another, and your direct messages in a third column. If you are a Twitter-Whore, then this is the client for you! Within TweetDeck, you can customize to which columns you want, and where you want them. Once an update is available (eg, you get a new Direct Message) the columns will automatically update.

TweetDeck TweetDeck TweetDeck

After installing Adobe Air, Right Click, Save As the following link: Download Tweet Deck



Spaz is a simple to use Twitter client. Included with Spaz are a number of different themes to get the look and feel that you want. This client comes with built in short URL creation (,, etc.) - The shorter your URL, the more characters you have to tweet! To find out what the Spaz dev-team are up to, follow them on twitter here: @Spaz

To download, Rick Click, Save As the following link: Download Spaz

Alert Thingy

Alert Thingy brings all of your latest updates from all the most popular social networking sites (Digg, Facebook, & many more).

Alert Thingy

To download, Right Click, Save As the following link: Download Alert Thingy

FireFox Plugin Clients

Don't want more applications running then you really need? Well there are a few plugins available for FireFox that will allow you to update your status


Twitter Fox For UbuntuTwitterFoxis a plugin for Firefox that adds a small icon on to the status bar, which will notify you when any of your followers posts a new tweet. This client comes with the ability to send and delete, and re-tweet your tweets.

Twitter Bar

Twitter Bar turns your address bar into a Twitter Bar! This is a very simple methord of posting to twitter. Simply write your tweet in the address bar, and click the twitter icon, or end the message with --post
Twitter Bar

Command Line Clients / Methods

Yes, you can even update your twitter account from the command line! This is great news for if you are running a server, or you just prefer life without the graphical user interface.


The most popular way of doing this is by using cURL. If you haven't already got cURL installed, then you really should download and install it right away! It can be a very useful and powerful program.
sudo apt-get install curl

Now you are ready to update your Twitter account. Using cURL, you are able to update pretty much everything using Twitter's API. To update your Twitter stats, you can use the following command:
curl --basic --user "USERNAME:PASSWORD" -d status="TWEET MESSAGE"

I recommend using HTTPS as you are sending your password over the net...


Using wget to update your status is very similar to that of cURL:
wget --keep-session-cookies --http-user=USERNAME --http-password=PASSWORD --post-data="status=MESSAGE"


Unlike the previous two in this section, TTYtter is a command line based Client, with the functionality to send and relive tweets, direct messages, follow / un-follow a user, and re-tweeting. For more in-depth information and instructions on how to install this client, please visit their website at:

I hope that this post has made things a little easier for you when it comes to picking what Twitter Client you want to work with. If you have any questions about the above clients, or you would like to tell me about any other clients that you use, then please use the comment section below.

If you would like to receive updates from JamsUbuntu, then you can follow us on @JamsubuntuBlog
And if you would like to see what I am up to, you can follow my personal account @HomeMadeJam

Thursday, 26 February 2009

25 Useful Shortcuts To Make Life Easier

The one thing that I really like with using Ububntu is the amount of shortcut keys that you can use. Shortcut keys can really speed up your tasks, and make like so much more easier for you. I have listed what I find the most useful shortcuts below. I have decided to leave out the ones that I think everyone will know - like the Copy & Paste etc.


Window Management

Some of the below shortcuts may require Compiz to be enabled on your Ubuntu system to work.

Switch Workspace
Switch Workspaces in Ubuntu (win + E)

1. Win +E - Shows all workspaces in a nifty way and lets you switch between workspaces easily.

2. Alt + Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow - Move to Workspace on Left/Right

3. Alt+Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right Arrow - Move current window to another workspace

4. Alt + Shift + Up Arrow - This initiates a cool looking window switcher interface with which you can switch between windows using Arrow keys while holding Alt + Shift.

Ubuntu Window Shifter
Ubuntu Window Switcher (Alt + Shift+ Up Arrow)

5. Alt + F9/F10 - Minimize/ Maximize current window.

6. Alt + F5 - UnMaximizes Current Window.

7. Alt + F7 - This shortcut activates the move window option that lets you move current window using arrow keys. You can even move window to
other workspace.

8. Alt + F8 - Resize current window with arrow keys.

9. Ctrl + Alt + D - Show Desktop/ Restore open windows if show desktop used earlier

10. Alt + Shift + Tab - Switch Windows in Reverse Direction as done using Alt+Tab


11. Shift + Ctrl + N - Create New Folder, Very useful shortcut

12. Alt + Enter - Show properties of a selected file/folder without requiring to right click on it and select Properties.

13. Ctrl + 1/2 - Change folder view to icon/list.

14. Ctrl + W - Closes the current Nautilus Window

15. Ctrl + Shift + W - Closes all open Nautilus Windows

16. Ctrl + T - Open a new tab in Nautilus

17. Alt + Up/Down Arrow - Move to Parent Folder/ Selected folder

18. Alt + Left/Right Arrow - Move Back/forward in Nautilus

19. Alt + Home - Move directly to your Home Folder

20. F9 - Toggle display of Nautilus Side-pane

21. Ctrl + H - Toggle Display of hidden files and folders


22. Ctrl + Alt + L - Quick shortcut to Lock Screen if you nipping to the loo

23. Alt + F1 - Open Applications Menu

24. Alt + F2 - Open the Run Application dialog Box

25. Win + Mousewheel - Zoom in / Zoom out Desktop. This shortcut is useful if you are having a wireless keyboard/mouse.

If you know of any other useful Ubuntu shortcuts, feel free to share them with everyone in comments below.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Using wget To Download Entire Websites

Basic wget Commands:
To download a file from the Internet type:

If you are downloading a large file, for example an ISO image, this could take some time. If your Internet connection goes down, then what do you do? You will have to start the download again. If you are downloading a 700Mb ISO image on a slow connection, this could be very annoying! To get around this problem, you can use the -c parameter. This will continue the download after any disruptions. eg:
wget -c

I have came across some websites that do not allow you to download any files using a download manager. To get around this,
wget -U mozilla

This will pass wget off as being a Mozilla web browser

Downloading Entire Sites:
Wget is also able to download an entire website. But because this can put a heavy load upon the server, wget will obey the robots.txt file.
wget -r -p

The -p parameter tells wget to include all files, including images. This will mean that all of the HTML files will look how they should do.

So what if you don't want wget to obey by the robots.txt file? You can simply add -e robots=off to the command like this:
wget -r -p -e robots=off

As many sites will not let you download the entire site, they will check your browsers identity. To get around this, use -U mozilla as I explained above.
wget -r -p -e robots=off -U mozilla

A lot of the website owners will not like the fact that you are downloading their entire site. If the server sees that you are downloading a large amount of files, it may automatically add you to it's black list. The way around this is to wait a few seconds after every download. The way to do this using wget is by including --wait=X (where X is the amount of seconds.)

you can also use the parameter: --random-wait to let wget chose a random number of seconds to wait. To include this into the command:
wget --random-wait -r -p -e robots=off -U mozilla

Other Useful wget Parameters:
--limit-rate=20k : Limits the rate at which it downloads files. (20Kb/s)
-b : Continues wget after logging out. Very useful if you are connecting to your home PC via SSH.
-o $HOME/wget_log.txt : Logs the output of the wget command to a text file within your home directory. Useful for if you are using wget in the background, as you can check for any errors that may appear.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Top Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu

You have just installed Ubuntu, and you are staring blankly at the human themed desktop... Now what?

1. Enable Multiverse Repositories
The first ting to do on any new install is to enable the Multiverse Repositories. This will then give you access to the 'non free' applications, allowing you to install many more programs.To do this navigate to System -> Administration -> Software Sources
Once the new window has appeared, make sure that there are a tick in all of them boxes

Multiverse Repositories

2. Install Some Must Have Applications
Alien : Convert RPM files to DEB's
Cheese : An application that uses your webcam to take pictures and videos
Dia : Diagram editor, capable of creating UML Models
EasyTag : small application to edit the ID3 tags of your MP3 & OGG files
Feh : Simple image viewer. (Can also be used to set an image as your desktop background)
GParted : Partitioner editor for Gnome
Terminator : Open up multiple terminals in one window. Gives you the ability to split the current terminal horizontally or vertically.

To install all of the above, run this command:
sudo apt-get install alien cheese feh dia easytag gparted terminator

3. Install All Needed Codecs
Due to legal reasons, the codecs to play MP3, AVI (and a few other) file formats cannot be included within the default installation. Installing them is an easy process, and after doing so, you will be able to play all of your Music & Video files.

To find out how to install the codecs, please visit the following page on Ubuntu Geek.

4. Install Shiki-Colors Theme
Although I like the default color scheme, I know many people don't. The best theme that I have came across for Ubuntu is the Shiki-Color theme. NOTE: This will only work on Ubuntu using the Gnome environment

[Click Image To Increase Size]

wget && tar -zxvf colorizeme-shiki-0.2.tar.gz && sudo ./install

This will download, unpack and install your new themes - giving it the sexy new look that you want!

5. Disable Un-needed Services
Ubuntu has many services that are enabled by default. As I don't use a printer, there is no need for this service to be enabled. Disabling the ones that you do not need will speed up the boot time for Ubuntu. To disable the ones you do not need, navigate to: System -> Administration -> Service Settings Unlock, and un-tick all un-neded services (eg: bluetooth, samba)

6. Install Microsoft Fonts
Having the default microsoft fonts could benefit you in may ways if you are viewing presentations or word documents that were created within windows.

To install these fonts:
sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

More information on installing Microsoft fonts can be found here: /2008/10/install-microsoft-fonts-in-ubuntu.html

7. Install ubuntu-restricted-extras
This is a must have install for any new Ubuntu install. This package includes:
> Ability to play quick time files
> Flash Plugin for Firefox
> MP3 support
> Java 6 Runtime
> Microsoft Core Fonts
> Un-Rar
& many other codecs for videos and music

To install this package, run the following command:
sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras

If you have any other things that you do after installing a fresh copy of Ubuntu that you would like to share, then please leave a comment!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Add/Remove Applications Shows No Applications

It's not often that I use this feature, but this morning when I tried, It would not show any applications.

No Applications
[Click To Enlarge]

After a little bit of searching online, I found out that many people have had this problem after installing Adobe Air. I am not quite sure on why this is, so if anyone does, please do share with us!

To resolve this problem, re-installing the Add / Remove application will do the trick. To do this, run the following command into the terminal:
sudo apt-get --reinstall install gnome-app-install

Monday, 2 February 2009

Oxygen Mouse Cursor Theme

Bored of the default mouse cursors that come with Ubuntu? Yeah, it doesn't take long to get fed up of them really. Well luckily, there is a great set in the repositories available for download.

Apart from the default white set that you can get [above] that wo other colors to choose from: black or gold set. Personally I prefer the white...

To install this cursor theme:
sudo apt-get install oxygen-cursor-theme oxygen-cursor-theme-extra

Below is a video from Youtube that I found , demonstrating the new cursors:

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Enable Automatic Login

If you are the only user of your laptop / computer, then you may want to disable the login screen to begin with. This is very simple to do, just follow these steps below:

1. Navigate to System -> Administration -> Login Window
2. Enable Automatic Login in the Security tab
3. Enter your Username into the provided box

Automatic Login

How Do You Pronounce Linux?

How do you pronounce Linux? I pronounce it as lin-ex, but I know a lot of people that say lie-nux. After a while, this really started to bug me, so I decided to find out once and for all how you say it!

I managed to come across this video from Youtube telling you how to pronounce it correctly:

This is a bit of a pointless post really, I just want to make it clear, that it is Lin-ux! :)

Installing Stellarium

Stellarium is a cross platform planetarium application which is capable of rendering 3D photo-realistic skies in real time. This means that what you see on your screen will be what you will be able to see with the naked eye, or with a telescope. This is a fantastic way of learning what is what in the night sky, as it displays stars, constellations, planets and nebulas.

Stellarium's Night Sky
Image From:

To install Stellarium:
sudo aptitude install stellarium

Once installed (May take a while, as it is quite a big application) you can find it under the Educational section within your main menu (or by running the command stellarium in the terminal).

If you are having problems running the application, this may be due to some problems with the resolution that the application is running at. You can change the default resolution by running the following command:
gedit ~/.stellarium/config.ini

and changing the following lines to the correct screen resolution for your computer:
screen_w = 1024
screen_h = 768

Friday, 30 January 2009

Command Line Games

The object of the game is to eat as much of the game board as possible by navigating around the board of numbers. If you land on a 5 for example, you can move 5 places in any direction. You cannot move or cross any spaces that have been eaten. How much of the screen can you clear?


To install Greed:
sudo apt-get install greed

nInvaders is a command line based version of the old classic game Space Invaders. Make your way though the levels, as shooting down the aliens gets harder and faster!


To install nInvaders:
sudo apt-get install ninvaders

Overkill is a bloody death-match game that runs within the Ubuntu terminal. This game can only be run over a network against multiple players. As far as I know, the public servers are all down at the moment. I am unsure of whether they are closed, or just down at the moment. This site here has more information on the public servers:


To install OverKill:
sudo apt-get install overkill

And use the following command to run the game:

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Terminal History

Just a short and quick how to here on viewing and deleting the history in the terminal.
By default, up to 500 commands that you have used are saved into a hidden file ( ~/.bash_history). You can access these commands by using your up/down keys on your keyboard - which makes it easy to retrieve and reuse them. To view all the entries within the history, run the command

This will then display each entry within the .bash_history file. IF you are wanting to clear your history, rather then deleting all the information within the above file, just use the command:
history -c

If you have a number of different users on your laptop / pc, you will need to run this command on each user account.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Firefox Wallpapers

Spice up your Ubuntu desktop with some of these Firefox wallpapers.
Yes, not only do they make the best Web Browser, they also make some of the best wallpapers available! The images below are some of my favorites.

firefox wallpaper
Image From:

Firefox wallpaper
Image From:

Ubuntu Firefox Background
Image From:

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Alternative Web Browsers

I'm quite a big fan of FireFox. All the extra add-ons you get, and the themes has to make FireFox one of the best browsers out there. Luckily for me, FireFox comes installed by default on Ubuntu.

There are of course people who do not like Firefox, and people who need other web browsers to test out their web sites, here is a quick list of alternative web browsers that you can install and run on Ubuntu.

Opera 9.6
Opera has to be my next favorite web browser. Just it's speed of both of general browsing, and searching. It also has a few good features like opening up a previously closed tab, and a speed dial function for your home page.

To download Opera for Ubuntu, then simply go to the Linux download page:

This fantastic web browser is based upon Google's web browser 'Chrome'. As Google doesn't yet support Linux, the people at CodeWeavers have created Cross Over Chromium that can be installed free of charge.

Right Click - Save As:
Download .deb [Ubuntu 32bit]
Download .deb [64Bit]

Lynx is one of the best text based web browsers that are available for Ubuntu. Now a lot of people may ask what the point is in using a text only browser now a days. Well, I often use it to check out my websites for how good my SEO is. Another good use for it is so that if you ever use SSH to connect to your PC, you can use Lynx as your web browser.

To download Lynx,
sudo apt-get install lynx

and to run lynx, you will need to provide a URL for it to load, for example:


In my opinion, the above browsers are among the best in which you can get for Ubuntu. There are many more web browsers that are available which you can easily find within the Add / Remove Programs application.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Convert Youtube Videos Into MPG Format

To begin with, you will need to download the Youtube video that you want. There are a number of ways in which you can do this. The most popular ones are to use the online service Vixy. there are also a number of diffrwent Firefox addons that you can use to download the video of your choice. a few of my favriout addons to do this are either Fast Video Downloader", or VidoDownloader

If you are not a fan of Firefox, then you can always use this handy little program called Youtube-dl. To install this, run the following command:
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

Then to download the video that you need:
youtube-dl http://YOUTUBE_VIDEO-URL

Now that you have your Youtube video downloaded, you can now convert it.
To do this, you will need the ffmpeg package installed:
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

To convert your flash file, you will need to do something like this:
ffmpeg -i FlashVideo.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500 -s 320x240 FlashVideo.mpg

So what does all this mean?
The FlashVideo.flv is the name of your flash file.
-b : video bit rate. The default bit rate is 200. So you will only need to include this if you want a different bit rate
-ab : audio bit rate. the default is 64
-ar : sample rate. This default for this is 44100 Hz
-s : Frame Size. the format of this is Width x Height. The default is set to 160x128

This can be used for Youtube, Google Videos, and many of the other popular video hosting sites (as long as the format is .flv)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dynamic Clock Background

This is a very cool feature that I have on my Ubuntu. A background that automatically updates according to what time of day it is. Want to see what I mean? Then have a look at the image below:

Dynamic Background

As you can see at the moment, the background image is displaying 19:12, 21st January. After a minute, yeah, it will automatically update to 19:13.

So, how do you do this then? First thing is first, you will need to install the Screenlets package:
sudo apt-get install screenlets

Great, now to install some other little things so that everything will update fine:
sudo apt-get install python-imaging-tk

So now that all the applications that we need have been installed, it is time to download the Wallpaper-Clock add-on for the Screenlets application: [Right Click - Save As] or:

Once downloaded, open up the Screenlets application from System -> Preferences. Once loaded up, you will need to install the Wallpaper-Clock screenlet. There is no need to unzip the file! just click install within the window, and browse the the zip file. Once installed, you can launch the Wallpaper-Clock screenlet. Notice the little clock that now appears on your desktop?
You can either keep the little widget that appears, or you can download a background to go with it. I have found the following website to be the best for the backgrounds that are suitable to use: Once you have downloaded the WCZ file of your chosen background, you will then need to install it by right clicking on the clock widget, and choosing the option 'Install Wallpaper Clock'. It will soon install, and then will be displayed when you right click on the widget again, and choose 'Change Wallpaper Clock'. There you have it!

Please do share your new sexy desktop with us!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Why Ubuntu Linux Is Better Then Windows

I cannot stand Windows. I do everything to avoid using it. The only possible reason I could see people using Windows is to play some of their games on, but as I am not a gaming type of guy, this doesn't bother me.Windows

Mac users always go on about how their operating system is the best. Well, I cannot comment on that at all, as I don't think that I have used the operating system well enough to comment on that. Windows on the other hand, I used to use a lot. I grew up using Windows, and went through the whole of school, and the start of college using it... so I think I know enough about it to comment how bad it is. When I first found out about Linux, I just had to give it a try out. After having a mess around with a few difference distributions, I settled on Ubuntu.Ubuntu

So now I am a Ubuntu guy, never to switch back to my old ways! And why is this? Because in my opinion, Windows just doesn't come anywhere near to how good Ubuntu is. These are my reasons why:

1. No viruses
This has just got to be the best thing about Ubuntu hasn't it? Even with my up-to-date Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware controls etc on Windows, I still manged to catch a virus. The cure to this virus? Uninstall my current Anti-Virus, and install a different one on. Then what happens if you catch another on? Switch to another one. And of course, this is if the anti-virus can detect and delete the virus of. If not, then comes hours of searching through the registry keys, deleting and changing keys, restarting your computer, and installing a bunch of applications that you will never need to use again. Viruses on Linux? - I don't think so.

2. Easy To Upgrade
Ubuntu makes it so simple for you to upgrade to a newer release. Simply navigate to the update manager, and if there are any new releases, it will tell you. A simple click of a button, and your Administrator password, and the upgrade is under way!

3. Easy To Update Software
Again, Ubuntu does a fantastic job of making it easier to upgrade any applications that you may have installed onto your computer. Every so often, Ubuntu will run a scan on your computer, and if it finds any out-dated software, it will notify you of it. A simple button click, and your administrator password, and the updating is well under way. No need to search the Internet for the latest packages, un-installing your previous versions, or to apply any type of patches.

4. Free Software
That's right, free software. No need to fork out thousands of dollars for a new piece of software that you may need for your college work. And isn't it annoying when a new application comes out that you want to have a play around with, but you don't want to pay a fee of £100 for it? Okay, you can get a free trial... but they always suck don't they?

99% of the software available for Ubuntu is free. Not only are they free, I find that these applications are better then the ones available for Windows. The support you get for using the applications are much greater then Windows apps. Not only that, if there is a bug that is found within an application, within a matter of days, maybe even hours, an upgrade is available for download.

5. Desktop Effects
Aero? Oh common! Haven't you seen the effects that can be achieved using Compiz & Beryl? If you havne't, then please do watch the video below. Then try telling me Aero is cool...

6. Open Source
Unlike Windows, most of the applications for Ubuntu is open source... meaning that you can view the source code - free of charge. Why is this a good point you may ask? Well, that means that not only can you help developer it, you can change it for your needs, or just see how things work. This can be a great help if you are a software developer yourself.

7. Live CD
Live CD
Try before you buy? What a fantastic idea! Ubuntu comes on a Live CD - Meaning that you can boot from the CD, and use Ubuntu just like you would do if it were installed on your computer. Now this means that if you do not like it, you can just eject the CD. Of course, the best thing about being able to boot from this live CD is that if anything were to go wrong with your installation... you can access all of your files!

8. It's Easy To Use
Yeah, you heard me! I have no idea where all this talk has came from about Linux being hard to use. Ubuntu especially, is the most easiest operating system that I have ever used - far more then Vista, and I would even say better then XP. Any settings that you may need to change you can access via menus and settings windows. Yes you can use the terminal to do things, however if you do not want to use it, you don't have too. Many Window users have the false impression that you need to know 5 different programming languages, and how to talk in binary to use Linux. I cannot tell them how they could be more wrong.

9. Highly Customizable
Don't like where the start menu is? Want to change the theme of the terminal? Sure! Ubuntu makes it so easy to customize anything whether it is down to the appearance, how it handles files,or how they applications start up - without a million different registry hacks.

10. Community Help
Have a problem? No problem. Ubuntu has an amazing community willing to help you with any problems that you may have. is a good placce to start if you need to know anything Ubuntu related.

11. Learning Experience
A monkey can learn how to point and click. One thing that I love about Linux is that you never stop learning. This is not to say that you need to know everything about it before you begin to use it! The fact that applications are open source also greatly helps your learning ability.

12. Synaptic
What a fantastic idea this is huh? You want an application, so you open up Synaptic, tick the applications that you want, and click apply. Installing applications has never been so easy! No need to be installing programs from the Internet, or from CD. And don't you just hate it after spending two hours downloading and installing an application to only find out that it cannot install because of a missing DLL file?

13. Install To A USB Flash Drive
Want to take your Ubuntu installation with you anywhere in the world? Then install it onto a USB device. Not only will you have all your personal files with you, you will have a damn good operating system to manage them for you!

14. /home Folder
Need to re-install Windows? Make sure you back up all of your personal files! Then when you re-install it, and put all your files back on, it will be as good as it was! Well, no actually. All the settings that you changed for each application.. to get it running just how you want it to.. will be lost. With Ubuntu, it will store all your settings into your home folder, so if you want to re-install the OS, you can backup your /home folder. Now that is what I call a good idea!

15. Choices
Don't like Okay, try Abi Word! Not too keen on the default Gedit, then try Kate, nano, vim... they go on and on. The one thing that I really dislike about Windows is that you cannot change the window manager. I cannot stand the default one at all... it's just so.. ugly. and with Vista, it consumes so much RAM. If you don't like something about Ubuntu, go and install an alternative!

16. Good Reputation
Windows 7 is coming out! - Great, another one... let's hope it isn't as worse as Vista was. Ubuntu 9.04 will be released in April... Great! Let's go and download the Alpha version! Yeah, Ubuntu has a great reputation. Every time a new version is released, (every 6 months!) you get the advantages of all the newest upgrades and tweaks, making your Ubuntu experience ever more better. You will never need to worry about a 'Vista' when it comes to Ubuntu. The Ubuntu Linux team will listen to what YOU want, and they will try their best to implement it. Have you got an idea for the next release? Then why not submit it to the Ubuntu BrainStorm website?

To Window Users: If this article has interested you, and you are now wanting to give Ubuntu a try out, then take a look at this website: Learn More. It will give you all the information needed to downloading, installing and using Ubuntu.

To Ubuntu users: If you have anything that you would like to add to this list, then please do leave a comment! I will gladly add them :)

L33t Sig

This is a must have application if you are a member of any type of forum. the image below is in my signature on many of forums. The information will update when I a using more RAM, or more CPU power.

L33t Sig

To have your very own signature like this, you will have to sign up and register at Once you have created an account, you will need to download and unzip the client:

You will now need to add execute permissions on the setup application, and on the daemon:
chmod u+x l33tsig l33tsigd

Now you are ready to set up what you want to be displayed on your signature. Run the l33tsig file (either double click on the file, or run ./l33tsig within the directory in the terminal). You will need to enter your login details to begin with, and then you can select what you want to be displayed. When you have finished, run the l33tsigd, and login to

To make life a little easier, add the daemon application to launch at start up. To do this, go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions. Click Add, and browse for the l33tsigd file.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Budge Over - I'm Linux

Well we have all seen the great Mac adverts on TV, having a laugh at Windows. And I'm sure many of us have seen the horrid 'I'm A PC' adverts from Microsoft. I think Windows really did fail at this... specially when you find out how much it costs! Could have easily spent that money on Windows 7. So, from these two TV adverts, can you think of anything that is missing? Linux!

If you would like to contribute to the I'm Linux adverts, then please view the contest rules here: Of course Linux hasn't no where near as much money as what Mac and windows spent on their adverts, although two things we do have... determination & a damn good operating system! Let's all try and work together here, and show Mac and Windows how it is done!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 Released!

Although a day late, Ubuntu has uploaded 9.04 Alpha 3 to the official mirrors for download. So, what's new in 9.04? They have finally replaced the 2.4 packages with 3! EXT4 of course will be supported by Jaunty Jackalope - But not by default. If you want to install Ubuntu on an EXT4 partition, you will have to chose the option Manual Partitioning.

Ubuntu 9.04
Image From:

Other new features include a new Volume control, and the ability to encrypt your /home folder. At the moment the new visual looks are not implemented, but there is still a bit of time to go before the official release on the 23rd April 2009. So how many of us want a change from the Orange and Brown colors? Personally I like the colors, but what do you think to them?

You can view many more screen shots of the alpha 3 release at this site:

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

OpenBox Window Manager

OpenBox is well known for it's minimalistic appearance. It is just like any other *box WM, but provides a lot more options then the other *box WM's do to change the appearance and themes.

As a lot of the applications for Ubuntu are designed for either gnome or KDE users, Openbox WM provides a suitable environment to allow the applications run how they should do. As well as this, you can run the Openbox inside the Gnome or KDE environment. - What are the advantages of this? - Not only can you have your familiar Gnome/KDE appearance, you also have the ease of using OpenBox alongside. Being minimalistic, running OpenBox within Gnome/KDE will reduce the amount of RAM that it takes to run. What could be better?

To install OpenBox, extra themes, menu editor and the OpenBox configuration GUI:
sudo apt-get install openbox obmenu onconf openbox-themes

OpenBox Screen Shot

OpenBox Screen Shot
All images from:

Below are a few of the applications that I run with OpenBox:
Conky - System monitor
Feh - Image viewer & background manager
gDesklets - Display widgets on your desktop
PyPanel - A very customizable, light-weight panel.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

How To Get Samsung YP-S5 Working With Linux

Time to spend my Christmas money!
So the other day I went out and brought a Samsung YP-S5. I'm not going to go too much in the device, (follow the link to find a review and the specifications on it) but this has to be one of the most amazing MP3 players available. Built in speaker, bluetooth, games, the lot. -Pfft to iPods!

Samsung YP-K5I had the old YP-K5, and I remember when I went to put all my music onto it, I had to upgrade the firmware as Linux didn't recognize the device. Now there are a number of ways in which you can download, install, tweak around with settings etc. to mount the MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) file system. If you have all the needed applications etc. then you can still follow this guide.

I found the easiest way was to use... *looks over shoulder* ....Windows.
So, to start off, make sure that you have backed up all the data that you want to keep.
then, download the file on this site:

Once installed, extract the ROM and the DAT file to the root of the MP3 drive.
Now disconnect form your PC, and turn on your YP-S5. It will display a message telling you that it is updating the firmware. Once finished, the device should turn itself off. Turn it back on, and all should work well!

- Apart form one thing, the language is set to Korean by default. No biggie here, as the main menu are images. Navigate to the Settings menu, and look for the language option. This is where they have been nice to us non-Korean speaking people, as they have the English translation next to the Korean language option (How kind :). Once switched over to English, have a play around with the new features that you have!

To find out about the extra features that you now have, please visit the following link:

You can now plug in your Samsung YP-S5 into your Ubuntu system, and mount it how you would normally do for a USB stick. If you have any problems with upgrading the firmware, please leave a comment below. Many people that have upgraded their firmware say that they have had a problem, and just repeated the above steps again, and reported back saying it worked... If you have no luck with that, please do not hesitate to contact me!

unmount: command not found

Just a short and simple note here to new Ubuntu users...
When I first started using Ubuntu, this error message that I received drove me crazy. I could not understand why it would not work for. I was running a command like: sudo unmount /dev/sda3. Then I realized that I had been totally stupid, and had miss read it. The command should have been: sudo umount /dev/sda3 umount, not unmount.

I know this is a pretty dumb post for the more experienced Ubuntu users out there, but I just remembered how much it annoyed when when I first started. If you are like me, and still type unmount, and remember it's not, you could always set up an alias for it. View this post to see how you would do this:

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Heatsink For The MSI Wind Notebook

Although the heatsink that comes pre-installed with the MSI Wind does it job just fine, if you have the newer BIOS, ( and have it over clocked, you may find that your Notebook seems to heat up a little bit.

The below link will take you to a German site that produce custom made heatsink for the MSI Wind:

WindStille Heatsink
Image From:

I have now installed this heatsink onto my MSI Wind, and I have to say it really does do a good job. The average temperature of the CPU has decreased by 8-10°C. If you are thinking about buying the Windstille Heatsink yourself, then I would recommend using the Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound