Skype Muted Microphone Issues with Ubuntu 10.10 on the Acer Aspire One.

After installing Skype onto by Acer Aspire One netbook with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat I was at first unable to get the internal microphone to work with Skype. Click here to read an easy solution to the problem should you be affected as well.

Composted Drivers

The internel reasons for KDE 4.5's compositing breakage.

For an intersting read on the KDE 4.5 compositing issues from one who should know, follow this liky to "Martin's Blog"

Some of the Problems with Catalyst FGLRX 10.6

Some of the Problems with Catalyst FGLRX 10.6

The ATI Catalyst 10.7 drivers are just about here and that brings me to contemplate my thoughts on the 10.6 drivers that came before it. As my desktop system in 100% Linux the best video card option in the past had been nVidia. Their Linux drivers are the best on the platform so even where another brand may have had slightly better hardware, nVidia's superior driver meant that as a total package, nVidia was the most stable and performant way to go. Having taken the plunge and bought an ATI card I found out for my self just what other ATI users had been putting up with. Read on...

Noctua Fan Upgrade - System Chillage

Noctua Fan Upgrade - System Chillage

After updating my system with an ATI HD 5870 graphics card I wanted to reduce the system's internal temps. One particular area of concern was the temps that the hard drives were running at. Here's a look at how things went with the addition of some Noctua fans. Read on...

The Humble Indie Bundle

Indie Games Goodness for the Linux Desktop.

If you're looking for some games for your Linux PC, the Humble Indie Bundle games offer could be just what the doctor ordered. Not only does it provide some solid games for the Linux gamer, but comes with a "pay what you want" price tag. Read more here...

Internode Streams.

Amarok Script for Internode Unmetered Streams.

Internode make a range of internet radio streams available to their customers by rebroadcasting them to special Internode addresses. Well here's a script to make them easily available to Amarok users. Installation instructions here.

Unigine Demo.

Unigine Heaven grahics demo for Linux Is Here.

The Unigine Heaven grahics demo has finally been released for the Linux platform after a delay of many months. Here's some screenies.

Kick the Boot Along.

Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 Alpha3 Memory and Boot Speed Benchmarks.

I started off running a set of memory usage benchmarks for i386 versions of Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha3 to see what it'd be like on a slightly memory constrained PC configuration. What I found along the way though was that the new Ubuntu boots really fast even on old hardware. Here's the results.

Relocate Dem Buttns

Ubuntu Lucid Window Button Position.

So you want to change the buttons from the left to the right of the window in Ubuntu Lucid Alpha 3? Well here's how to do it.

Kaffeine Cant Play DVD

Kaffeine DVD Playback in Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala (Updated)

Kaffeine in the current version of Kubuntu seems to be hard wired to play DVD's from only one particular device in the system. The way Kaffeine references the DVD drive is through a file in the dev directory and this device is referenced as /dev/dvd. Read more......

(Permenent Fix)

Kaffeine Cant Play DVD

Kaffeine DVD Playback in Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

Kaffeine in the current version of Kubuntu seems to be hard wired to play DVD's from only one particular device in the system. The way Kaffeine references the DVD drive is through a file in the dev directory and this device is referenced as /dev/dvd. Read more......

Xinerama Triple Head

Enabling a composited desktop with Xinerama on Kubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10.

Unfortunately for Linux users who want to use more than one graphics card in a multi monitor setup, there's a bit of a catch. In order to make your desktop seamlessly span the multiple cards, you need to enable Xinerama. And, when Xinerama is enabled, you can no longer use a composited deskop. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

Kubuntu Samba Share Fail.

Sharing a file or folder on a network should be a nice, simple procedure on any modern Desktop these days. And it is on some, but not Kubuntu. Their policy in the past has been to not ship this functionality in the default install, and instead, assume an end user will have the know how to enable this for themselves. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

The trouble with running kdesudo dolphin with Kubuntu 9.04.

There's a problem when running Dolphin as root via the kdesudo command in Jaunty Jackalope 9.04. This can be rectified temporarily by executing a simple command. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

The Classic Gnome Desktop on the Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

The netbook remix of Ubuntu is a wonderful thing for sure. It's performance on an Atom based netbook is noticably better than the standard Ubuntu distro however some people don't like the noobaliscious program launcher and this discourages them from running it. Well there's good news for those folks, and that is that it's trivial to switch to the standard style desktop that you know and love from standard Ubuntu. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

Creating a Kubuntu 9.04 USB Key.

As of this wrinting I'm unaware of a USB image for Kubuntu 9.04 so in order for me to install it on my CD Driveless Apire One, my options were to either get a USB DVD Drive or make my own USB memory stick installer. I chose the second option, and here's what I did to make it. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

Running Video4Linux 1 Software with Video4Linux 2 Devices.

As per the documentation for the v4l library, the wonderful video4linux developers have created a compatibility library that makes various applications that only support v4l1 devices work with v4l2 devices.

I've tested this myself with both Kopete and Skype and can confirm that it does indeed do what it says it does. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

Fixing KDE's broken filesharing.

When it's working, the file sharing in KDE 4 works rather nicely, but both Intrepid Ibex as well as Jaunty Jackalope both ship with it in a broken state. It's fixable thankfully, so all is not lost. This guide starts at the point you'd be at if you'd just installed your O/S or just haven't yet installed the file sharing packages. The second part deals with the final steps of deborking file sharing, which, if followed correctly should have you file swapping before you know it. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

USB Hub 5V Boostage.

Most people have USB hubs connected to their computers and more than a few of those would have noticed that not all devices work with them, This is usually because there's not enough voltage coming out of each port on the hub. The four port hub I was using for instance only provides about 4.5V from each of its ports instead of the required 5V. This is usually solved by powered hubs using an external power supply that plugs into the wall to supplement what comes from the PC. I'm not happy with the wall-wort solution however. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

Kubuntu on Aspire One.

Went shopping the other day. I was off to find myself a nice security camera for my PC based security system, and while I was in the local Office Works, I noticed they had the Linux version of the Acer Aspire One on special. And well I just couldn't resist. Read more......

KDE Dropshadow

Turn Off KDE3 Menu Shadows in KDE4.

Anyone running any KDE3 programs on Kubuntu 8.10 with its KDE4 desktop will probably have noticed annoying shadow artifacts around drop down menus. They appear as a consequence of a clash between KDE3's menu drop shadows and compiz or KDE4 kwin's shadows. There's an option to switch them off in KDE3 that doesn't seem to be available in KDE4 but there is a way to switch them off manually.

Amarok 2

Amarok 2 Beta Installation.

Amarok 2 beta pre-built packages are available for both Kubuntu 8.04 and 8.10.

I thought I'd give it a go to see just how far down the track they've gotten with the new version. I was pleasently supprised by how stable it was but there were some issues in installing it thought.


Copyright Bullshit.

Ars Technica has a rather good article relating to the state of US estimates of the cost of piracy.

It's nice to see more and more balanced and rational public debate on the subject being posted to the bigger sites on the interwebernets these days. There needs to be a lot more though. And mores the pitty that the crap that spews from the mouths of the RIAA, MPAA, etc. not only influences American legislation, but Australias' legislation as well. Makes you wonder about the level of critical thinking that goes on in the heads of out legistalors. Me thinks more sense would come from children sometimes. Anyway, for a good examination of the figures bandied around by the copyright gestapo, click here.

KDE logo.

KDE4, Compiz and nVidia.

Using KDE4 with Compiz on an nForce 430 based system with nVidia 6150 embedded graphics.

Specifically, this is a short story about the problems you can have when using Compiz with KDE4 as shipped with Kubuntu 8.10 beta.

When using desktop effects on an nVidia based system, naturally you'll want to install the nVidia drivers. Only problem is that the hardware drivers app suggests you install the 177 series drivers and normally I would agree. But not when your system is based on an nForce chipset with the embedded nVidia 6150 graphics. In this case, I found that the 173 series drivers are the ones to use. I'm talking about the drivers as shipped with the distro and can't yet speak for the abolute latest drivers from nVidia site.


The system suffered from slow logins, very sluggish performance at the desktop, laggy application startup and slow navigating between programs. Some applications also misbehaved. The performance replicated what you would find on a hopelessly undermemoryed system, however this box had 1 GB so shouldn't have been like this. The screen redraw was fine, as in the frame rate was excellent but loading new programs was appaling.

The Fix.

The fix was easy. Switching to the 173 nVidia drivers made all the problems go away. There was no problem with KDE4's own composititing effects and the 177 drivers, but Compiz didn't like them for some reason.

So basically, all I did was:

  • Disabled Compiz.
  • Disabled 177 nVidia drivers.
  • Rebooted.
  • Endbled 173 nVidia drivers. They're the 173.14.12 version.
  • Rebooted.
  • Enabled Compiz and vwala! Nice bling and performance.


Nanos The Way They Were Ment To Be.

The new nanos have been released and reviewed. See here for the full details.

The best of the old and new wrapped up with new firmware that adds both accellerometer and the same 'Genius' playlist features of the iPod Touch.

One of these is definately on the shopping list.

Windows logo.

The Bloody Windows Installer.

After having to do another Windows repair, all I can say is "Bloody Windows Installer!"

Click here to read why.

Desktop Cube.

The Desktop Cube.

Take one DVD with Linux, insert, install and away wee go!

Click here to read how.