Saturday, October 30, 2010

Xperia X10 updates to Android 2.1

Finally an announcement for upgrade of the X10.

See Sony Ericsson Blog


The major open source conference in Malaysia is on 2-3 Nov 2010. Registration as participant and exhibitor is on going...see you there!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Setting up Flex on Eclipse for Linux

Flash development on Linux is done with Flex SDK. Some nice people started at FB4LINUX have provided a GUI to develop Flash on Linux and this can be integrated into Eclipse IDE.

By the time I wrote this rticle, Adobe placed a notice that they will no longer continue with the Flex Builder development. This means that you can only use command lines to work on Flex. I guess this will affect FB4LINUX.

I refer to a number of sites before starting the installation and found one worth mentioning here. Matthew wrote with clarity and did cover what most other instructions provided and maybe a bit more.

Pre-installation checks: Have you installed Eclipse 3.5+ and Java Development Kit 1.5+

Step 1. Download the fb4linux files in 4 parts from
  • FB4Linuxaa
  • FB4Linuxab
  • FB4Linuxac
  • FB4Linuxad
Merge them together into a BZIP2 format and extract using the command prompt at the terminal. At the folder where you downloaded the 4 files, just type

cat FB4Linux* >FB4Linux.tar.bz2
bunzip2 FB4Linux.tar.bz2
tar -xvf FB4Linux.tar

I renamed the folder to Adobe_Flash_Builder4 since I did not want spaces between the folder name.

Step 2. Download the eclipse plugin for FB4Linux from

Unzip the file ecplise and copy the plugins to /usr/lib/eclipse/plugins

The plugins are;

Step 3. Start Eclipse and apply the plugins.

In Eclipse select Window->Preferences->General->Capabilities and make sure that the Classic Update option is checked.
Click Help->Software Updates->New Feature to Install.
Click the New Local Site button, and type in the location where you extracted FB4Linux in step 1 (you will need to specify the eclipse subdirectory to be specific).
With the Adobe Flash Builder 4 site selected, click the Finish button. You will be asked which features to install. Tick the Adobe Flash Builder 4 feature and click Next.
Accept the terms and click the Next button and click Finish button.

Restart Eclipse.

Step 4: Install the Flex SDK from
Download and extract a copy of the Flex SDK from Adobe into a folder flex4.1.0

Set Eclipse to use the Flex SDK by right clicking on your Flash project and selecting Properties. Select the ActionScript Compiler option.
Click the Add button to add the location of the Flex SDK you have extracted.
Click on the Run toolbar menu item and select the External Tools Configuration option.

Right click on the Program option and select the New option. Then fill out the Location and Arguments settings to point to your Flash standalone player and SWF file respectively. to look for more flash tutorials.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Installing Libre Office 3.3


Open source licensing is now showing how main stream OSS products can be shifted if those in control is not respected. The (I hope this name wont be part of power tussle) is now looking at a branch off called Libre Office. Though its in Beta but I expect lots of the bugs I am facing with the present provided by the long term support version of Ubuntu 10.04 to be fixed.

Most notable is the page numbering of the slide handout in Impress. Impress is still showing page 1 in the footer for all pages in 3.2.1.

Currently all testing packages of the first Libre Offfice can be found at

From what I have read, looks like this will override the OOo in Windows but should co-exist with OOo in Linux. I will update this page with progress I make in installing the Libre Office(beta) 3.3. The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 (size of upto 92Mb) needs to be installed before installing the Libre Office. This can be done with synaptic or at the command prompt type

sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre sun-java6-fonts icedtea6-plugin

Step 1: open a terminal prompt. Download the Libre Office (LO) which is about 150Mb with either of these commands;


Step 2: Extract the tar.gz

Step 3: Switch to the folder en-US then install the DEB packages
cd en-US
sudo dpkg -i DEBS/*.deb
sudo dpkg -i DEBS/desktop-integration/*.deb

Internet crawling so slow. Will Unifi change things?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

[Kubuntu] Updating 3.2.1

I have installed OOo 3.2.0 but there are a number of issues that seems to persist on Kubuntu 10.04 (LTS). For example;
  1. When I create a macro to delete selected cells, it does not work. (Solved on 3.2.1)
  2. Impress printout of handouts, I do not get the page foot numbers. All pages display as number 1.
[Upgraded OOo has not fixed the bugs I am facing]
Backup all of the extensions you have for 3.2.0, if you intend to use it in the future. Now, the steps to upgrade to OOo 3.2.1

Method 1:
  1. Download OOo 3.2.1 from
  2. Open a terminal line and extract the tar.gz file
    tar -xzvf OOo_3.2.1_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz
  3. Remove existing OOo 3.2.0
    sudo apt-get remove openoffice*.*
  4. Enter the extracted directory and install the .deb files
    cd OOO320_m18_native_packed-1_en-US.9502/DEBS
    sudo dpkg -i *.deb
    sudo dpkg -i desktop-integration/
Method 2:
  1. In the software sources, enable the "software Sources"
  2. Update packages and install

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reset user desktop for CentOS

On CentOS, after installing the Oracle (OOo), everything works fine. Since by default the PCs have auto update enabled, the users tend to update and this causes the CentOS version of OOo to corrupt the installed OOo.

One way to avoid this is to disable the auto update. Since it is a lab environment, I can easily delete and replace user1 account to remove previous configurations in OOo for user1.

Step 1. Create the 2 simple scripts to disable the auto update and reset the desktop for user1.
echo "Resetting pc:"
chkconfig yum-updatesd off
tmpwatch 0 /tmp
echo "Creating user user1"
userdel -r user1
useradd -m user1
passwd oscc
echo "User created, going to reboot"
echo "Enter server name:"
if [ -e $SERVER ]
scp root@"$SERVER":~
ssh root@"$SERVER" ./

Step 2. execute (run) the script named


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Install Windows on Linux

To get MS Windows programs installed on Linux (Ubuntu this case), install Wine and other related files.

Step 1: Open a terminal. Or through the Kpackagekit, install packages below.

Step 2: Install packages by the command below;
sudo apt-get install libmpg123-0 libwbclient0 samba-common smbclient ttf-symbol-replacement winbind wine wine1.2 wine1.2-gecko pptview

MS PPTX and DOCX files can be viewed with 3, or the viewers from MS Office (I am yet to try these 2).
  1. PowerPoint
  2. Word

Friday, September 10, 2010

Disable Nautilus on KDE automount

After installing KDE on Ubuntu 10.04, there were some challenges. One of it is that the USB disk when plugged in, opens (mount) automatically and launches the Gnomes Nautilus. This is not a real problem but when you are used to KDE's environment, the preferred File browser is either Konqueror or Dolphin. In this case, I choose Dolphin.

The most likely cause is that Gnome's GVFS is running and opens the disk automatically. Doing a "ps aux" you will find the following processes running;

/usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-trash --spawner :1.39 /org/gtk/gvfs/exec_spaw/0 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-gdu-volume-monitor /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-burn --spawner :1.39 /org/gtk/gvfs/exec_spaw/1 /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-afc-volume-monitor /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-metadata /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd

What is GVFS?
GVFS replaces Gnome's virtual file system (VFS). Programmes built with the library GIO or Gnome I/O will be invoke automatically and managed by the gvfsd service.

The gvfs-fuse module is used only when the application is not built with the GIO library. With GVFS, Nautilus takes over the automount/autorun responsibilities from gnome-volume-manager. A good read on GVFS is in this 2006 article.

Stopping processes
If I stop (kill) the gvfsd and gvfs-gdu-volume-monitor, Nautilus does not get open anymore. But instead of killing this process, I will approach this by assuming that gvfs reads from Gnome Desktop Manager configuration files.

Step 1:
Open a terminal (e.g. konsole) and type

Step 2:
In the left window of Gconf-editor, choose /apps/nautilus/preferences and remove check mark for
1) media_automount
2) media_automount_open

Step 3:
Close the Gconf-editor and log out. After you log back in, no more Nautilus.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Installing ubuntu 10.04 and KDE

KDE 4.4 looks good on the Ubuntu 10.04. Yup, finally have the time to upgrade but I only had the Ubuntu CDROM, so later after the install had to manually install KDE4.

Using reference from my previous blog on Installing Kubuntu 9.10. Launch from KMenu the Synaptics or Kpackagekit to install additional applications and libraries. Below is a checklist of items to install.

note: to install via the terminal (CLI), e.g.
sudo apt-get install wvdial

A. Adding KDE desktop manager to Ubuntu
  1. kdebase-workspace
  2. kde-window-manager

B. For the web experience to surf and email
  1. openjdk-6-jre (using hotspot)
  2. thunderbird & enigmail
  3. icedtea6-plugin
  4. adobe-flashplugin
  5. See item D.
C. System tools
  1. gdecrypt
  2. password-gorilla
  3. ssh sshfs ksshaskpass
  4. khelpcenter4
  5. wvdial
  6. nmap
  7. wireshark
  8. ksnapshot

D. Multimedia, Fonts and codecs
  1. ttf-mscorefonts-installer & cabextract
  2. kubuntu-restricted-extras
  3. vlc videolan-doc mozilla-plugin-vlc vlc-plugin-sdl (include libvcdinfo0)
  4. k3b libk3b6-extracodecs
  5. gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad
  6. gimp-help-en & gimp-data-extras
  7. kdenlive
  8. recorditnow
E. IBM Thinkpad utils
  1. tpb
  2. tp-smapi-dkms
F. extra stuff
  5. & mysql-server
  6. myspell-en-gb
  8. libmysql-java
  9. mdbtools

G. Software development, Eclipse and Android (refer to previous post)

G.1. Apache, PHP & mysql (see previous post)
  1. apache2 & php5 & php-pear (after done check that modules are enabled, run command a2enmod php5 )
  2. mysql-server
  3. php5-mysql libapache2-mod-php5 libapache2-mod-auth-mysql

Not everything can be done via the synaptics. Others that require downloading from the internet manually;
  1. truecrypt-6.3a & libstdc++5_3.3.6-17ubuntu1_i386.deb
  2. Extract PCL_ZTEDCV.tar.gz and install (ZTE usb modem) & libqt3-mt_3.3.8-b-0ubuntu3_i386.deb
  3. Download AdobeReader (to view PDF files) from

Monday, August 30, 2010

Plasma widget error - "could not create a python scriptengine"

In Kubuntu 10.04, Adding widgets may give webkit and scriptengine errors. Here are some of the solutions.

"could not create a python scriptengine"
When installing Solar System widget to desktop, that error appears. Solution is to install plasma-scriptengine-python, e.g. at the terminal (CLI) type;
sudo apt-get install plasma-scriptengine-python

"could not create a webkit scriptengine for the scripted image widget"
When installing Scripted Image widget to desktop, above error appears. Solution, install plasma-scriptengine-webkit. E.g. at CLI type;
sudo apt-get install plasma-scriptengine-webkit

-the end-

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Android development on Eclipse

My notes on Android development

Install Eclipse and the java base (about 256Mb)

Install Java

Ubuntu 10.04 provides Java6 in the form of OpenJDK (openjdk-6-jdk). This is great for developers, but for those who wants to install Sun (Oracle) version of Java6, I will also provide the steps here

A) Install OpenJDK (check if its already installed before doing this!)
Step 1: open a terminal and type the following;

update-alternatives --query java

If you already have OpenJDK, then you do not need to install it anymore. If you do not have any Java JDK listed, then continue to step 2.

Step 2:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jdk openjdk-6-jdk icedtea6-plugin

B) Install Sun (Oracle) Java JDK.
Step 1: Add the repository for Sun Java. Open a terminal and type the following;

sudo add-apt-repository "deb lucid partner"
sudo apt-get update

Step 2: Install the JDK along with the plugin

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-plugin

Step 3: Make it your default
Sun Java is now installed, but you need to make it the default java to use:

sudo update-alternatives --config java

Install Eclipse

Open a terminal and type;

sudo apt-get install eclipse eclipse-pde eclipse-jdt eclipse-plugin-cvs

Install Android plugin for Eclipse

Refer for details at
Download and add the Eclipse plugin for Android by (update 15 Feb 2010)

previous post was;
$ wget

The tgz is for the android SDK.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Applications that need the .Net framework on Linux

The Genting web site gave some challenges to book their shows. It was directing Firefox to install Silverlight (a MS Windows based programme). On Linux, this is done via the Moonlight package. Here are things I tried on Kubuntu 9.10 using Firefox version 3.5.9

1. Installed via the terminal
sudo apt-get install moonlight-plugin-mozilla

Still cant work...maybe its Mono 1.0?

2. Installed the Mono 2.0 via URL
Still cant work!

3. Installed the prerelease Mono version 3 via the URL
The size was 13.2Mb
Still cant work! Firefox keep closing (crash) each time I click on that page.

I am sending rwgenting a feedback.

Those websites who choose to use the .Net framework keeps most Linux users away from their services. Unless there are plans to get these fixed. If anyone have gone to rwgenting to do booking of shows on a Linux machine and it works, do let me know how it can be done.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Android on Sony Ericsson

The Sony Ericsson X10 runs on Android operating system. This is an X window on linux kernel 2.6.29-rel. Its really responsive in my
opinion when I do the following;
1. Using the standard virtual keyboard.
2. Switching between application.
3. Using Timescape to read messages and mediascape for multimedia.

Among the 10 main apps I Installed and will keep;
1. Dolphin web browser.
2. MP3 download.
3. Ringtone Editor.
4. Task manager.
5. PasswdSafe.
6. Astro File Manager +smb module.
7. Connect Bot.
8. Android vnc viewer.
10. Mytask.

But i still cant open OOo documents. PDF AND MS WORD WORKED!

Next, android will be on tablet PCs like the Cisco Cius.

The Android can be built with ecipse and the java development kit. See

Monday, May 24, 2010

Convert AVHCD to AVI and burn as VCD

Getting AVHCD from a video camera into a PC a making it into a VCD. This is a weekend project.
Next, AVIs are great for the PC, however, to distribute to people who do not use PCs to watch movies or just to have a larger screen, it is better to convert the AVI into a VCD.

Step 1: Copy the files from the AVHCD camera
PC: ~/Documents

Step 2: Convert to AVI.
Future action can consider direct preparation for MPG. Here it is in AVI because there was a need for me to prepare in various format apart from MPG or VCD.

Start KDENLive
- File -> Save As ->
- Project -> Add clip
- In the Project Tree window, drag the clips into the ti
meslots (bottow window)
- Click Render button ->AVI DV

Step 3: Get the converter programme called vcdimager
$ sudo apt-get install vcdimager

Step 4: Convert to mpg and the cue / bin
ffmpeg -i inputfile.avi -target pal-vcd outfilename.mpg
# create the cue and bin files. The label did not allow for spaces.
vcdimager -t vcd2 -l"Martha-Swimming-May-2010" -c vcd2.cue -b vcd2.bin outfilename.mpg

Step 5: Using K3B, choose project for Burn Image
Insert a blank CDROM
Image to burn ->Select the .cue file.

Image type ->Cue/bin

Click "Start"

K3B version 1.68.0
KDE 4.3.2
CDRDAO 1.2.2
VCDimager 0.7.23
Kubuntu 9.10

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Add Screensavers in KDE4

Screensavers are graphics that replaces the normal desktop screen when it is idle too long (it depends on the user setting). This should reduce the burnout of the screen and also hides the desktop contents from passing eyes.

Default install of Kubuntu did not have any of the nice screensavers. Check the screensavers by choosing the KMenu ->system Settings
Choose the General tab ->Desktop ->Screen saver

To install additional screensaver, use the Software Management such as KPackagekit or synaptic and install


This can also be done at the terminal by typing
$ sudo apt-get install kscreensaver-xsavers-extra

This installs

Install optional items;
$ sudo apt-get install xfishtank qcam streamer

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Start programming with QT4

If you ever are into open source software, eventually contribution of codes becomes part of the cycle. Trolltech from Oslo, Norway popularised the QT, which is a set of programming libraries that is used to develop graphical applications. In Linux, there is the KDE desktop manager that uses the QT libraries. Other popular applications that use QT are Opera,

Here is a guide to get started with QT programming (qt4 in this case) on Kubuntu 9.10. You will need the demo and the Graphical development tool

A. Setting up the environment
Step 1: Install the libraries and compilers. This include libraries such as "QLabel" and QLayout from the QtGui
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential kdelibs4-dev libqt4-qt3support libqt4-assistant

Step 2: Install the demos
$ sudo apt-get install qt4-demos

Step 3: Configure Linux to compile with qt4 instead of the default qt3
$ sudo update-alternatives --config qmake

Step 4: # install the Graphical development tool
$ sudo apt-get install kdevelop

Step 5: Read info on QT4 through the manuals at /usr/share/qt4/doc/html/index.html
$ assistant-qt4

B. General programming setup of project, compiling and execute

Step 1: Create the source files. E.g. .cpp, .h, etc.
Just copy from the demo files in /usr/lib/qt4/examples. I will use files from the example tabdialogs.
$ cp -r /usr/lib/qt4/examples/dialogs/tabdialog/ ~
$ cd ~/tabdialog

Step 2: Create the project file. The project file (.pro) define headers, sources, form and other files which the application consists of.
$ qmake -project

Step 3: Compile
$ qmake
$ make

Step 4: Run the programmes.
$ ./tabdialog

Alternatively, use the KDevelop to manage the project. Start KDevelop and open to .pro file.
$ kdevelop

C. References
Wishing you all the best in QT4 programming!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Scanning the hard disk status

The hard disk performance effects how people perceive their Linux box. If you say a system is slow, what is causing this? There are many reasons, among them are;
too many programmes running, lower processing speed of hardware, insufficient resources, etc.

You can use basic linux tools to give readings on the hard disk for benchmark purpose. Here are among commands that anyone can use via a terminal;

  1. Get timing of cache and device reads on inactive systems. This means nothing else is running during the test.
    hdparm -tT /dev/sda
  2. Shows the files opened by processes.
  3. Monitor balance between input/output load of physical disk using the sysstat package. iostat -x
  4. Space on mounted devices.
    df -h
  5. Monitor load on a Linux system, default every 10 second updated.

Details on how to use the above commands can be found in the respective man pages.

Now you can tell someone, my disk is faster than yours.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Impressive Impress and Converting Slides to AVI

Just completed an Impress slide and converted into AVI and MPEG. Final presentation was in AVI, the MPEG can be used for the web as its only half the AVI size.

Tools useds;
  1. Slides - 3.1 Impress
  2. Recording slides - recordmydesktop
  3. Video editing - Avidemux
  4. Graphics - GIMP
  5. Audio - Audacity
  6. OGV to AVI converter - mencoder
  7. AVI to MPEG converter - Download helper (extension for firefox) + mencoder
  8. Operating System - Ubuntu & Kubuntu (2 PCs)
Side note:
The Impress extensions installed to improve the presentation was "Presentation Minimiser" to reduce the slide file size and "" to add slide transitions. Here are examples of how the additional slide transitions looked like.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Installing ZTE MF110 on Ubuntu Linux

Maxis offered their broadband along with the ZTE's MF110 HSUPA modem. Thus far, I have not gotten a chance to get a Digi offer to try their broadband,....maybe some day.

The MF110 features
Network: HSUPA/HSDPA/UMTS 2100 MHz,EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Data transmission speeds: 7.2Mbps DL 5.76Mbps UL
Weight: 21.5 gramme
Application: Join Air with SMS service, Data service, Applications management, Data concurrent. This allowed me to add other service providers (yet to be tested) with the same modem.

Installation on Linux KUbuntu 9.10
  1. Install wvdial from KPackageKit
  2. Plug the MF110 into the USB slot. Mount the MF110 and enter the directory "Linux"
  3. Extract "PCL_ZTEDCV.tar.gz" to your HOME directory.
  4. Open a terminal and type "sudo ./"
  5. Launch the application "Join Air" from the KMenu
  6. In Join Air, at the Internet menu (A globe icon), click "Connect". Minimise this window but do not close as its needed to maintain Internet connection.
  7. It connects directly with initial IP 121.121.X.X and tries to open the web page
It defaults to the setting of
Dial number: *99#
APN: static: maxisbb
username: maxis
password: wap

Connection has been pretty much inconsistent. Its fast at times, then no connection, then have to keep reloading the page. I like its thumbdrive size and the blinking lights. The Join Air application is also easy to read and use.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Naming USB drives

For the simple reason that USB drives go missing often is that they are portable and sometimes small. The best way to mark ownership is with one of the permanent marker pens. However, naming the USB drive will tell everyone who it belongs to when it is plugged in.

Just maybe, that missing USB drive containing your phone number will come back to you if found.

Here is how to name the disk on Kubuntu 9.10 or other similar Linux like CentOS.

Step 1:
Insert the USB disk and determine the device and partition. E.g. /dev/sdb1
Easily done with the mount command.

Step 2:
Unmount the disk (Do not unplug from the USB).

sudo umount /dev/sdb1

Step 3:
Check existing disk name

sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdb1 -s ::

Step 4:
Rename the disk label. E.g. below, replace the word "myphonenumber" with anything you like with a limit of 12 characters.

sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdb1 -s ::myphonenumber

Step 5:
Remove the USB disk, and reinsert back to confirm the name has changed.

For more details see

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ThunderBird 2.0 Add-ons

Thunderbird 2.0 reached EOL Aug 2009 but Thunderbird 3.0 still does not have all the stuff and attractions for an upgrade, so here I am still using Thunderbird 2.0. What is Thunderbird?

Its an Email client, Calendering, Task and Contact Management. Allows access to Email accounts via POP or IMAP. It also supports GMail accounts, Unix mailbox and Newsgroup account access. A really great application to work with.

Some of the must have add-ons for my Thunderbird 2:
  1. Contacts Sidebar 0.7 - Allows me to forward VCards and access via F4 the addresses, copy and paste info of the VCard into email.
  2. Lightning 0.9 - The calendar and task Manager
  3. FG Printers 0.4.4 - Format printing if the calendars
  4. VCS Support - Allows me to import/export VCS calendars
  5. Automatic Export 0.3.0 - Allows automatic backup of the calendars

Other optional add-on:
  1. Provider for Google Calendar
  2. Bidi Mail UI
  3. PGP
  4. ThunderbrowseLink
There is a great forum at MozillaZine for updates and help.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Linux driver in use

From a terminal window;

To view all device drivers and the module names
$ lspci -k

To view a specific device (e.g. 03:00)
$ lspci -vv -s 03:00

To view all the loaded modules (The letter 'K' is uppercase in Kernel)
$ lsmod
$ lspci -k |grep Kernel

Monday, March 1, 2010

Installing Kubuntu 9.10

Just did a fresh install for Kubuntu 9.10 based on my previous install. Here is a list of steps I took to get my most common applications working.

Post installation recommendations
Start the Kubuntu software(package) installer by Kmenu ->Application ->Systems ->KpackageKit

Choose following packages:

  1. openjdk-6-jre-hotspot
  2. mozilla-thunderbird-
  3. lightning-extension
  4. flashplugin-installer

Install Firefox web browser
Choose Kmenu ->Internet ->Firefox Web Browser Installer

To allow Java applications to run in the web browser, open a terminal and install the openjdk plugin;

$ sudo apt-get install icedtea6-plugin

To get the wireless working, run at terminal this command and reboot. My wireless router for WPA, TKIP did not connect until following steps were taken. Open a terminal and type

$ sudo /etc/init.d/network-manager restart

Install the other stuff for common applications to be used. At the terminal run

$ sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

For multimedia, fonts and assorted codecs support

This will add JRE, mp3, mpeg, odbc, unrar and other useful support.

$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras

This allows the disk to be encrypted and manage passwords. Additional encryption can be downloaded from or mediafire.

$ sudo apt-get install gdecrypt password-gorilla

Allow secure SSH connection to and from SSH servers.

$ sudo apt-get install ssh sshfs ksshaskpass kdessh

Install the VLC video player to watch CD and DVD movies.

$ sudo apt-get install vlc videolan-doc mozilla-plugin-vlc vlc-plugin-sdl libvcdinfo0

Install basic Thunderbird add-ons to enhance its usage. From a web browser enter the URL

Download and install the following;

  1. Automatic Export
  2. Bidi Mail UI (not needed if installed as earlier)
  3. FG Printers
  4. Lightning (not needed if installed as earlier)
  5. Provider for Google Calendar (not needed if installed as earlier)
  6. Thunderbrowse

To improve web browsing, these are my download addons from

  1. FoxTabs
  2. Speed Dials
  3. Zotero
  4. Server spy
  5. Video download helper
  6. Firebug

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How a small office can switch to open source?

During small talk sessions the topic of having offices switching to Open Source Software (OSS) intrigued me to write this piece. Its in no mean very deep but gives you considerations to start the office moving towards a secure, efficient, cost saving and almost virus free environment.

Must have apps for the office hard working staff:
  1. Office productivity suite (prepare letters, reports, spreadsheet and presentation slides) -
  2. Email clients - Thunderbird + Calendar
  3. Document viewer - Acrobat Reader
  4. Desktop publishing tools such as flyers and posters - Scribus
  5. Financial tool - GnuCash
  6. Project management and monitoring - OpenProj
  7. Graphics and photo editing tool - GIMP, F-SPOT, GwenView, XSane Image Scanning, Mobile Media Converter
  8. Backup data to CDROM or DVDROM, network - K3B, Simple Backup
  9. Web browsing - Firefox
  10. Encryption of files/data - GDecrypt, TrueCrypt, Password Gorilla
  11. Internet calls/VOIP - Skype
  12. Multimedia player - VLC
  13. Base apps/interpreter for other programmes to run - Java Runtime Environment, Flash, Wine, PHP5
If you need to have an office with Linux, consider the above as your checklist of must haves. The next question would be, which Linux would you install? There is already a good write up at Tuxradar. All of the above can be installed on Fedora and Ubuntu without much hassle but final choice of desktop is yours.

Once you have gotten all of the staff interested and comfy with the Linux desktop you can then start integrating with linux services in a networked office.

An office of 4 or more people should have a server or more with the following must have services:
  1. Printer sharing - CUPS
  2. Cetralised file/document sharing - PLONE or Open Atrium
  3. Global address book - LDAP or Customer management suite (see below)
  4. Local DNS - BIND
  5. Customer management - vtiger or SugarCRM Community Edition (Asertiva)
  6. Automated networked backup - Bacula
  7. Centralised time server - NTPD
  8. Local email server? Most small office use public email services.

There are loads of other projects that can be done once you have the above in order and your tech guy is happily getting used to OSS.

Monday, February 8, 2010

MCRYPT module for PHP (RHEL5)

RHEL5.3 did not have support for the MCRYPT module that many PHP applications use to create basic security. Well, anyone could download mcrypt from sourceforge and recompile PHP to support this module. I found another way which I hope also will work for you;

Step 1: Login as admin and install MCRYPT
yum install mcrypt

Step 2: Install epel
rpm -Uvh epel-release*.rpm

Step 3: Install the module
yum install php-mcrypt.i386

Step 4: Restart Apache
service httpd restart

Confirmation of the installed module can be found from the phpinfo() page. The module I had included cipher for

Friday, February 5, 2010

Print repeat header in Calc

Calc is a great electronic spreadsheet and have lots of functions to create a diverse range of apps.

Since my upgrade to 3.1.1, I have not explored Calc much. When I tried to print a spreadsheet that ran across 40 pages. I tried to have the first 2 rows repeat as headers in every page, an error appeared "Invalid Sheet Range".


  1. Open the Calc spreahsheet.
  2. In the menu choose Tools ->Option -> Calc ->Formula
  3. In Formula Syntax, it shows "Calc A1". Click on the dropdown box and choose "Calc A1".
  4. Click "Ok".
Some trigger must have failed to detect the values as "Calc A1". Thank you Arnel for giving the solution in Oct 2009.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oracle takes out the Sun

Oracle has finally taken over Sun Microsystems. Days of darkness are here but how long will it be?
Sun is not only about hardware. What will happen to, Java and MySQL? How about the Sun and MySQL Certifications?

How will Jonathan, being the last Sun Microsystem's CEO end his career there?

All the debates are ongoing in the internet but I look forward to Oracle making clear statements on these concerns.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kubuntu 9.10 on PIII

Ubuntu released the 9.10 Karmic last year. Due to all the hectic schedule I finally managed to install Kubuntu 9.10 today.

Kubuntu is installed on a Pentium III with 200Mb RAM having 20Gb hard disk. Mouse is with the Nano wireless and keyboard is PS2. With the L2 cache being 512k, it should mean something to Kubuntu to run smoothly (almost). Working just ok, and the desktop looks neat. Swap is taking up 144Mb of the 1,400Mb allocated during installation.

Following are among the first thing I did after install;

1. Did a system update and removed the package kubuntu-firefox-installer.
2. Set the screen to resolution to 1024x768
3. Checked with Konqueror the Internet connection...connected to the broadband via router.
3. Used KPackagerKit to install Firefox 3.5
4. Added stuff like password gorilla, Kphotoalbum

List of things to do next:
1. Install Java and Flash
2. Get a PDF reader. Currently Okular is installed by default.