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