Thursday, November 17, 2011

Must have console apps

I thought I would write about my favorite console apps.

Most of the apps I have chosen are installed for that occasion when x dies or something like that, and I am stranded in the console.

I have found it a good idea to install these apps before your computer has that painful disaster.

Midnight Commander (sudo apt-get install mc)

GNU Midnight Commander (mc) is a free cross-platform orthodox file manager and a clone of Norton Commander originally created by Miguel de Icaza.
Midnight Commander is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
(Thanks to Wikipedia for this data)

MC is sooo useful. If you are stranded in the console, you can fly around the hard drive's folder structure with ease. It makes a lot less work than using the console comands to navigate folder structure. (ls, cd, is so slow.)

Htop (sudo apt-get install htop)

This is htop, an interactive process viewer for Linux. It is a text-mode application (for console or X terminals) and requires ncurses. Tested with Linux 2.4 and 2.6.

Although this is part of my tool kit for fixing things in console, I find myself using htop when x is running fine, but some app I ran has locked up. It runs faster than the other gui process viewers, and is easy to hunt down and kill that rogue app. (Which always seems to be a Wine app.)

IRSSI (sudo apt-get install irssi)

Irssi is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client. It is a text-based client as it lacks a graphical user interface (gui) such as XChat, Chatzilla and others. It was written from scratch using the C programming language, and was designed to run on Unix-like operating systems. It has been ported to the Windows platform using Cygwin, and for the Macintosh under the name MacIrssi.

This is your life line. If you are stuck in console, you can still reach the helpful hands at, channel #ubuntu.

If you don't have an account at, that's fine, the server will just give you a name like Guest12345.

To connect with IRSSI, type /connect

If you have an account with, and you want to use it, you will first need to change your nick with /nick (yournick).

My nick is hylian, so for me it wold be /nick hylian

Then you will have to supply identification to nickserv.

You do that by typing /msg nickserv identify (your password)

Once you are either using a Guest account or your own account, you then need to join a channel.

To do this type /join #ubuntu

Always be polite, and always just ask your question. (Don't ask them if it's ok to ask them a question)

Links (sudo apt-get install links)

Links 2  is  a  text mode WWW browser with ncurses interface, supporting colors, correct table rendering, background  downloading,  menu  driven configuration interface and slim code.

Frames  are  supported.  You can have different file formats associated with external viewers. mailto: and telnet: are supported  via  external clients.

Links 2 can handle local (file://) or remote (http:// or ftp://) URLs.
(modified a little from man links)

Just for clarity, this is the non x version. They make a www browser called X Links 2, also a very good browser.

Links is another very usefull tool. If you are stranded in the console, you can still research your problem via,, etc..

The next section of console apps are not related to computer repair, but are just apps I enjoy.

MOC (sudo apt-get install moc) (runs with the mocp command, not moc.)

MOC (music on console) is a console audio player for LINUX/UNIX designed to be powerful and easy to use.

You just need to select a file from some directory using the menu similar to Midnight Commander, and MOC will start playing all files in this directory beginning from the chosen file. There is no need to create play lists like in other players.

If you want to combine some files from one or few directories on one play list, you can do this. The play list will be remembered between runs or you can save it as an m3u file to load it whenever you want.

Need the console where MOC is running for more important things? Need to close the X terminal emulator? You don't have to stop playing - just press q and the interface will be detached leaving the server running.

You can attach it later, or you can attach one interface in the console, and another in the X terminal emulator, no need to switch just to play another file.

MOC plays smoothly, regardless of system or I/O load because it uses the output buffer in a separate thread. It doesn't cause gaps between files, because the next file to be played is precached while playing the current file.

Internet stream (Icecast, Shoutcast) are supported.

What I like most about moc is that i can set it, press q, and it will continue to play without terminal being open or having an interface. To make changes like turning MOC off or changing the song, volume, etc.. you just open the terminal and type mocp again. Capital Q shuts it off.

Mplayer (sudo apt-get install mplayer) (May need extra gstreamer codecs for some audio and video types)

MPlayer is a movie player which runs on many systems (see the documentation). It plays most MPEG/VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, RealMedia, Matroska, NUT, NuppelVideo, FLI, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5, WMV and even H.264 movies.

Another great feature of MPlayer is the wide range of supported output drivers. It works with X11, Xv, DGA, OpenGL, SVGAlib, fbdev, AAlib, DirectFB, but you can use GGI, SDL (and this way all their drivers), VESA (on every VESA compatible card, even without X11!) and some low level card-specific drivers (for Matrox, 3Dfx and ATI), too! Most of them support software or hardware scaling, so you can enjoy movies in fullscreen. MPlayer supports displaying through some hardware MPEG decoder boards, such as the Siemens DVB, DXR2 and DXR3/Hollywood+.

MPlayer has an onscreen display (OSD) for status information, nice big antialiased shaded subtitles and visual feedback for keyboard controls. European/ISO 8859-1,2 (Hungarian, English, Czech, etc), Cyrillic and Korean fonts are supported along with 12 subtitle formats (MicroDVD, SubRip, OGM, SubViewer, Sami, VPlayer, RT, SSA, AQTitle, JACOsub, PJS and our own: MPsub). DVD subtitles (SPU streams, VOBsub and Closed Captions) are supported as well.

I use mplayer for playing ShoutCast audio streams (as shown in the screenshot) and for playing the music in .flv music video files in the console, which can be accomplished with mplayer --novideo (filename).

Cowsay (sudo apt-get install cowsay)

Cowsay is entirely useless, and pretty fun.

If you type cowsay Hello World!  you will get a cow saying "Hello World!".

There are actually a lot of commands for cowsay, changing everything from the kind of cow you get, to how the eyes look, and even replacing the cow with things like Tux the Linux mascot, or Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, just to name a few.

There is also a cowthink app that will act like cowsay but give the cow a cartoony thought bubble.

I used cowsay to add a little shameless Denny's Homeworld plug, as seen here:

(I added the apostrophe afterwards)

Does it have a use? Not really, unless your very creative. Maybe a command that uses fortune with cowsay to display useful hints and tips on how to use your newly programmed console app?

BSD-Games (sudo apt-get install bsdgames)

BSD Games is a collection of the classic text based games distributed with some BSDs like FreeBSD and NetBSD.
The included games are, alphabetically:
  • adventure - an exploration game
  • arithmetic - quiz on simple arithmetic
  • atc - air traffic controller game
  • backgammon - the game of backgammon
  • banner - print large banner on printer
  • battlestar - a tropical adventure game
  • bcd - reformat input as punch cards, paper tape or morse code
  • boggle - word search game
  • caesar - decrypt caesar cyphers
  • canfield - the solitaire card game canfield
  • cfscores - show scores for canfield
  • cribbage - the card game cribbage
  • fish - play Go Fish
  • gomoku - game of 5 in a row
  • hangman - Computer version of the game hangman
  • hunt - a multi-player multi-terminal game
  • huntd - hunt daemon, back-end for hunt game
  • mille - play Mille Bornes
  • monop - Monopoly game
  • morse - reformat input as punch cards, paper tape or morse code
  • number - convert Arabic numerals to English
  • phantasia - an interterminal fantasy game
  • pom - display the phase of the moon
  • ppt - reformat input as punch cards, paper tape or morse code
  • primes - generate primes
  • quiz - random knowledge tests
  • rain - animated raindrops display
  • random - random lines from a file or random numbers
  • robots - fight off villainous robots
  • rot13 - rot13 encrypt/decrypt
  • sail - multi-user wooden ships and iron men
  • snake - display chase game
  • teachgammon - learn to play backgammon
  • tetris-bsd - the game of tetris
  • trek - trekkie game
  • wargames - shall we play a game?
  • worm - Play the growing worm game
  • worms - animate worms on a display terminal
  • wtf - translates acronyms for you
  • wump - hunt the wumpus in an underground cave 
Personally I only use this to play Boggle. Hangman is kind of fun too, and yes, I have even played go-fish.

I have to admit this is one of the strangest collections of "games" I have ever seen.

How generating primes or ascii rain drops constitutes a game, I will never know.

Above all, my most used console app is apt-get. I made mention of the proper codes to install these. Apt-get is so usefull for installing Ubuntu apps, whether they be graphical or not.

It's also the fastest way, if you know the name of the repository it installs from, to install any app on Ubuntu.

I hope these apps bring you help and enjoyment.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Watchtower Library under Ubuntu 11.10

*** Added extra info as of Nov 6th, 2011 ***

*** Added extra info as of Nov 9th, 2011 ***

*** Added extra info as of Nov 10th, 2011 ***

I have had several comments mailed to me about the Watchtower Library not functioning in Ubuntu 11.10.

I've been able to get it to work by using the desktop config file created during install of the library. (The file with the Watchtower Library icon on it, on the desktop.)

I hid the file in my home folder to keep the icon out of the way, so I did not delete the file on accident, so this is optional.

If you are interested in this option, I did it by using a hidden folder. You can do this by right clicking in your home folder, choosing add folder, and when naming it add a period before the name, i.e. .hidden, is a hidden folder named hidden.

You can see the folder again by holding control and typing h.

Run the library using the icon, and then I suggest while the library is running you go to the bar on the left, right click the library icon, and choose "keep in launcher".

again this is optional, but if you use the library as much as I do, it will pay off in spades later.

If the icon does not launch, then right click it, choose properties, and then click  on the permissions tab,which will be on the top left of the properties window you just opened.

Then if the "Allow executing the file as a program" is not checked, then check it.

Press close, and try to run the library through the desktop config file again.

If you disposed of the file, then I have a copy of mine available here:
Denny's Linux Box File Storage

If your browser does not offer to download the file, then you can choose file, and then save page as, or ctrl s in most cases. make sure to save the page as "Watchtower Library 2010 - English.desktop"

If you have to use my file, you will have to make a small change.

This file is designed around my user name, denny.

If your user name is different, and most likely it is, then you will have to edit the file. you can do this by right clicking the file and choosing properties.

in the 'command:' box, it will say this:

env WINEPREFIX="/home/denny/.wine" wine C:\\Program\ Files\\Watchtower\\Watchtower\ Library\ 2010\\E\\WTLibrary.exe

if your user name is peter, for instance, then you will have to change the line to read:

env WINEPREFIX="/home/peter/.wine" wine C:\\Program\ Files\\Watchtower\\Watchtower\ Library\ 2010\\E\\WTLibrary.exe 

This is the extent of my knowledge currently, since I have not had this problem personally. If anyone gets this error, and can get me the error reports from wine, I may be able to continue helping you.

Please feel free to comment here or e-mail me at

Added Nov 6th, 2011. 

I wanted to mention that one of the causes of the library not functioning is a problem with wine not recognizing where the dll's for the library are.

This doesn't happen all the time, and didn't happen to me on my install, so I assumed that the old problem no longer existed. 

Thanks to a brother named Andrew that wrote me about this very same problem, I am posting my fix here.

Copy the dll's from the /home/denny/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Watchtower/MEPS Platform 2.3/ folder to the /home/denny/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/ folder.

You may need a complete reboot for this problem to be solved. I also have added these same dll's to the /home/denny/.wine/drive_c/windows/system/ folder. (This should not be neccessary, I am just always taking extra steps just to make sure problems don't arise.)

Keep in mind once again my username denny should be replaced with your username. (i.e. paul, would be /home/paul/.wine/drive_c/etc... )

Also keep in mind that the wine folder is hidden (hence the .wine, instead of wine folder name), which means you might have to hold control and type h to see the wine folder.

Again, if there is any problems with this work around please email me at

Added Nov 9th, 2011

Dave, an Ubuntu user from the Hartlepool South congregation in N.E. England  has just succeeded in installing the Watchtower library on Ubuntu 11.10 (after some difficulty). 

Thanks to Dave, here are some tips if you still don't have the library running, in Dave's own words:

Here's what DID NOT work:

1. Open terminal, type sudo apt-get install wine1.3 (neither did wine1.2) Watchtower library installed but would not run. Sadly, swapping dlls around did not help as per Andrew's suggestion.

2. Using Synaptic Package Manager to install Wine.

So here's what I did - I completely removed every last vestige of Wine from my PC.

1. Firstly I used Synaptic to un-install Wine but this did not remove it completely.

2. So using the terminal I entered sudo apt-get purge wine1.3

3. Then I sudo apt-get purge wine1.2

4. Then sudo apt-get autoremove to get rid of all other Wine-related programs.

5. Then I went to and followed the instructions to the letter.

Following "I completely removed every last vestige of Wine from my PC." I should have added that I deleted the hidden folder .Wine in my home folder.

Also, I used the Alternative Command Line Instructions for installing Wine.

I now have the Watchtower library up and running just fine.

Best regards,

Added Nov 10th, 2011:

A brother in my kingdom hall had this very same problem, and this fix mentioned at wine hq solved it.

In terminal (hold control, alt, and press t) i typed this in:
rm ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/winsxs/manifests/*.vc90.*_deadbeef.manifest

After running that command, type exit in the terminal, and try running the library again.

As a side note, I worked out this command on my machine, it will copy the dll's over for you automatically:

cp /home/*/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Watchtower/MEPS\ Platform\ 2.3/*.dll /home/*/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/

It worked for my brother, perhaps this is your issue too.

Thank you Andrew and Dave for helping me and others to solve this problem!

-Denny :)

This is how my set up looks like after my work around:

Monday, September 12, 2011

SDF a great free UNIX shell

This is my shell, my home away from home...

Here is what SDF has to say about itself:

" The Super Dimension Fortress is a networked community of free
software authors, teachers, librarians, students, researchers, hobbyists,
computer enthusiasts, the aural and visually impaired. It is operated
as a recognized non-profit 501(c)(7) and is supported by its members.

Our mission is to provide remotely accessible computing facilities for
the advancement of public education, cultural enrichment, scientific
research and recreation. Members can interact electronically with each
other regardless of their location using passive or interactive forums.
Further purposes include the recreational exchange of information
concerning the Liberal and Fine Arts.

Members have UNIX shell access to games, email, usenet, chat, bboard,
webspace, gopherspace, programming utilities, archivers, browsers, and
more. The SDF community is made up of caring, highly skilled people
who operate behind the scenes to maintain a non-commercial INTERNET."

If you are interested in diving into this unique group of people from all walks of life, then go here:

And remember to click on this:

***To create your own free shell account click here***

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mageia, a fork of Mandriva

Mandriva is one of my favorite Linux based operating systems.

But Mandriva has had some serious problems in the past year or two that has shaken users and developers confidence in it.

That is why I want to bring out a new fork to Mandriva who's sole purpose is to work around those failings, and develop a system for which the users, designers, developers, packagers, translators, testers, and advocates can have a say as to how it is developed.

It is also not orientated around business. It's not owned by an entity trying to make financial gain on the project, it's owned by a not for profit organization.

It's called Mageia.

I personally find this idea very freeing.

If your a fan of Mandriva, but have had concerns about it's direction or lack of development, then I encourage you to give it a try.

Here is a screenshot of the operating system:

If you are interested in downloading it or reading more about it, their website is

I also suggest you read the article they wrote about the foundation behind the group making Mageia. I think you will find it's well thought over and will give the project strength.

It's available here:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Minitube, Youtube in style!

If you are like me, and not a huge fan of installing the flashplayer plugin to watch Youtube videos, then I suggest you try Minitube!

It does not use flash to view the Youtube videos, and in my opinion works much better than Youtube on Firefox or Chrome with Flashplayer plugin installed.

"Minitube is a YouTube desktop application.

With it you can watch YouTube videos in a new way: you type a keyword, Minitube gives you an endless video stream.

Minitube is not about cloning the original YouTube web interface, it aims to create a new TV-like experience. " -Minitube's Website

I suggest that whether you are a Windows, Mac OS, Linux or Other operating system user, that you download it directly from the Minitube Website, especially if your a Ubuntu user, because the version in the repos is too old, and doesn't work properly.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ubuntu help, in live chat form!

One of the nicest things i like about Ubuntu, is the dedicated people surrounding it.

For some of you, that might mean the hard working people at Canonical, or the people working on projects or software.

All these people do help a lot, and i am personally very greatful for their work.

Who i am referring to though are the people who help others out with technical issues on the Ubuntu irc chat channel.

If you know about IRC, you probably have already been there, but in case you havent, it's at, and the channel is #ubuntu.

If you are not familiar with IRC (Internet Relay Chat), then to get assistance, you can go here:

Once you are there, type in a nickname, and where it says channel, type #ubuntu (you do need the pound sign... #)

Then just type in the "reCaptcha" code, if you can't see what it says, you can hear an audio word by clicking the audio captcha box, or you can click the reload button for a different word.

Then click on the connect button, and ask your question once you are connected.

If this all seems a bit too technical, i have a link that will give you a nickname and automatically connect you to the ubuntu channel, it is here:

*Please don't ask to ask a question, just ask your question.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tux Paint, kids being creative

"Tux Paint is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (for example, preschool and K-6). It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program.

Kids are presented with a blank canvas and a variety of drawing tools to help them be creative." -Tux Paint's website

My nephews love this program!

There are tons of "stamps" which are images of everything from animals to fruit to band equipment, cars, old world buildings, planets, and on and on..

And a "Magic" button that has filters and drawing tools enough to almost make a GIMP or Photoshop enthusiast green with envy, without the difficulty associated with those 2 programs.

And my 6 year old nephew giggles at the goofy sound effects, everything from a dialog box sound "Na na na!" to the stamp for duck, that says "Duck". (And many more...)

It's a great way to get them into computers while actually doing something creative instead of them just being plunked down in front of a video game, becoming mindless zombies. :)

If you want to download/install this program, you can get it from apt, synaptic, (or other package manager) or from their website

Friday, August 12, 2011

XFCE Desktop Environment

"Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly." -XFCE Website

I love this desktop environment!

With a hint of gnome-ish design, but a much smaller footprint, XFCE is an awesome alternative to the big brutes like KDE 4, Gnome 3 and Unity. (Especially KDE)

The one small drawback I personally have with XFCE is no gui menu editor.

It's pretty easy to change the XFCE menu though, so this is a small setback at best.

With the change to Unity in Ubuntu, I think more people will find Xubuntu a faster, more adjustable solution to their needs.

You can get XFCE via apt or synaptic, or by going here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gnome 2, still the best

I have been trying to find a suitable replacement for Gnome 2, slated to be off the repos in Ubuntu in 2013.

I came up with nothing.

I do see a glimmer of hope from a post made at

I have tried every desktop environment in the repositories, and some not in the repos, like AWN.

I must admit, if there were only Unity or Gnome 3 to choose from, I would choose Gnome 3.

XFCE is nice, and very "Gnome 2"-ish. But it has some quarks and ties to Gnome 2 that make it iffy for me. I hope XFCE survives long past Gnome 2, because it is better than Unity and Gnome 3 combined.

Having had no luck finding a KDE 4 minus all the glitz and extra junk, KDE 4 is out for me as well. (I miss simpler older KDE 3. KISS!)

To those of you who are going to comment that I could remove the junk, keep in mind that I am writing for the person who just turns it on and is new to linux, and it's desktop environments.

I hope that Gnome 3 will grow, because the direction that Unity is going is wrong.

A person on the Ubuntu forum pages said "How long will you stand still?"

I tell you that if i stand still while you walk backwards with Unity, I am at a better position.

In closing, this is of coarse my opinion, but I believe it also accurately portrays the strongly negative feelings for the currently offered Unity and Gnome 3, by a large percentage of the Ubuntu user base.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Unity, slightly less annoying.

I absolutely hated Unity to the point of writing some slightly heated stuff on the Ubuntu message boards on the net.

I have to admit that although I am, and was right about Unity not being very user friendly, I do see the Ubuntu team(s) working to make it better though, and hopefully they have heard our voices.

The main pet peave for me is that the min max and close buttons belong on the right, and in that order, and should be an option (without going into gconf-editor) for the end user immediately, if not the default setting.

The world is used to and likes those buttons where I mentioned they should be, and shouldn't have to change because someone on one of the Ubuntu team(s) or someone at Canonical thinks that's the way it should be.

Just my rant on an otherwise beautiful operating system. I still love Ubuntu,

I just want Unity developers to keep in mind that Unity should fit the user, not the user fitting Unity, which is ridiculous.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Celestia, Your gateway to the stars

I have been using Celestia since the beginning of the decade.

It is an excellent tool for letting you take a 3d look at the universe.

This is what the creator(s) of Celestia have to say about the program:

"Welcome to Celestia
... The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy.
All movement in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A 'point-and-goto' interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit.

Celestia is expandable. Celestia comes with a large catalog of stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft. If that's not enough, you can download dozens of easy to install add-ons with more objects."

Here are some of the pictures I have taken from my own Celestia usage:

ISS coming over the sunrise of Earth

Mars Odyssey overlooking Mars

Neptune and it's moon Proteus aligned together and facing the Sun.

I personally like the verbose information option, and I like to use the ] key to make as many stars visible as possible, although for the images here I didn't, to keep them from being overly bright.

If you are interested in this program for Windows, it is available at the Celestia website, under the download tab, which is available here:

If you would want the program for Ubuntu, then I suggest using synaptic package manager.

You will want celestia-gnome, celestia-common and I also suggest celestia-common-nonfree, or some planets and the moon will have no texture. (I.E. Mars will be a simple colored sphere.)

For other versions of Linux and Mac OS X, the Celestia website can get you started on the right path, if you don't have a package manager for your distro, or if your distro doesn't have the package available yet.

I personally put a copy onto cd and gave it to my old high school, It's a great way to get kids interested in astronomy.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Creating ISO images in Ubuntu

I have been looking for a tool for a while that would allow me to create,
open and edit ISO's on the fly as I saw fit.

I am still looking for this program, but I accidentally stumbled upon the best ISO creator I have seen yet for Ubuntu.

It's simple, already installed Brasero.

I don't burn CDs, or rip audio files from them, so I haven't really messed with Brasero until now.

It doesn't edit or open ISO files, just so I don't confuse the matter.

To make an ISO using Brasero, first you must choose "Data Project" from the Brasero main screen.

If there is no blank CD in the drive, then Brasero might have chosen on the very bottom 'Image File: "/home/(your user name)/brasero.iso"'

If this is the case, then all you have to do is drag the files you want onto Brasero, and then choose burn.

If it doesn't give you the "Image File:" option on the bottom, you can click the down arrow to the right of the bottom field to choose the option you want.

(P.S. the "/home/(your user name)/brasero.iso" will change to whatever username you have chosen upon installation of Ubuntu, so mine would look like this: /home/denny/brasero.iso.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

UNetbootin - USB key iso installer

UNetbootin is a tool for installing live Linux iso files to your usb thumb drive, as is stated on their website at

"UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions without burning a CD.

It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

You can either let UNetbootin download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you've already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn't on the list."

I personally like to use it for my usb key, with something that already has flashplugin installed and is fairly rounded out, like Simply Mepis.

If you are interested in the program, you can download it here:

Or If you have a Linux distribution like Ubuntu, you can use a package manager, or from terminal you can install it via apt: (sudo apt-get install unetbootin).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Radio Tray: A Shoutcast Linux app

Radio Tray is an online radio streaming player that runs on a Linux system tray. Its goal is to have the minimum interface possible, making it very straightforward to use.
Radio Tray is not a full featured music player, there are plenty of excellent music players already. However, there was a need for a simple application with minimal interface just to listen to online radios. And that's the sole purpose of Radio Tray.
Radio Tray is Free Software, licensed under the GPL.


plays most media formats (based on gstreamer libraries)
bookmarks support, with sorting
easy to use
supports PLS playlist format (Shoutcast/Icecast)
supports M3U playlist format
supports ASX, WAX and WVX playlist format

*Preceding images and information about Radio Tray from the Radio Tray website:

I personally am a fan of the program because of it's minimilistic nature.

I set it to start automatically. (I add it to System > Preferences > Startup Applications on Ubuntu.)

A station i suggest is anything from the series, including their awesome 80's station. I also like Highway 181.

Here are the addresses of my favorite channels: Classic Hits -

977 Classic rock -

977 80's - 80's - 70's -

And my favorite, a channel from An excellent classic country station:

If your interested, you can download Radio Tray here:

There is no apt-get option (or synaptic, for that matter) available for this program as of Ubuntu 10.04/10.10, but their is a .deb package that will work just fine for Ubuntu.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Watchtower Library 2010 in Ubuntu under Wine, Updated...

Their have been enough updates to my Watchtower Library 2010 in Ubuntu article to warrant an update notice. the original article including all the updates is available Here.

The article solves problem with the Library not running, and the blocks instead of text error.

I hope this is informative and helpful, and if there is any questions you can contact me via

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Portable Apps to the rescue

Portable Apps ( is a wonderful resource for people who use a usb key for their own documents and want apps not available everywhere.

For instance, want to use the library computer to do some homework, but there is no decent office software available? You can get OpenOffice, or Abiword from to do it for you, and carry it with you.

Here is the list of portable software as of Tuesday, May 31 2011: (From


Firefox Accessibility Extension - Make Firefox more accessible
On-Screen Keyboard Portable - Easily access an on-screen keyboard
Virtual Magnifying Glass Portable - A full-featured screen magnifier


AkelPad Portable - lightweight plaintext editor
Database Browser Portable (Freeware) - Database management utility
Frhed Portable - free hex editor
Geany Portable - Text editor and basic IDE
gVim Portable - advanced, feature-rich text editor
HM NIS Edit Portable - NSIS development environment
Notepad++ Portable - A full-featured text editor with syntax highlighting
Notepad2 Portable - Simple, lightweight text editor
Notepad2-mod Portable - Lightweight text editor
NSIS Portable - Windows installer and launcher creation
Nvu Portable & KompoZer Portable - The easy-to-use Nvu web editor Installer - the easy way to package portable apps Launcher - make apps portable without writing code
SQLite Database Browser Portable - Simple SQLite database management tool
SWI-Prolog Portable - Prolog programming environment
XAMPP - Apache, mySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, etc in one package


BPBible Portable - bible study tool
Celestia Portable - portable space simulator
FreeMat Portable - scientific prototyping and technical computing
GoldenDict Portable - dictionary and encyclopedia lookups
Gramps Portable - genealogical research software
Marble Portable - virtual globe and atlas
Mnemosyne Portable - flashcard memorization tool
Stellarium Portable - portable planetarium
TIPP10 Portable - touch typing tutor
TypeFaster Portable - touch typing tutor


Armagetron Advanced Portable - 3d lightcycle game
AssaultCube Portable - fast-paced, online, first-person shooter
Atomic Tanks Portable - overly-powerful tanks blow each other up
Battle for Wesnoth Portable - turn-based fantasy strategy game
Big Solitaires 3D Portable - collection of 40 solitaire games
Brutal Chess Portable - 3d chess
Canabalt Portable (Freeware) - outrun the demolition of your city with just one button
Chromium B.S.U. Portable - fast-paced, vertical scrolling space shooter
Cube Portable - old-school first person shooter
DOSBox Portable - classic DOS games to go
Freeciv Portable - empire-building strategy game
Frets on Fire Portable - rock out anywhere with this Guitar Hero™-style game
Get Sudoku Portable - interactive sudoku solver
Hedgewars Portable - turn-based strategy, artillery and comedy game
Hex-a-Hop Portable - hexagonal puzzle game
IceBreaker Portable - wall-building-style arcade game
Jooleem Portable - simple and addictive puzzle game with great music and visuals
Kobo Deluxe Portable - 3rd person scrolling 2D space shooter
LBreakout2 Portable - breakout-style arcade game similar to Arkanoid
LMarbles Portable - pattern-matching puzzle game
Mines-Perfect Portable - a classic hunt-for-mines game with advanced features
Monster 2 Portable - retro-style role-playing game
NetHack Portable - single player dungeon exploration
netPanzer Portable - multiplayer tactical warfare
Neverball Portable - 3d rolling ball obstacle course
OpenTTD Portable - urban planning simulation
Pathological Portable - color-matching puzzle game
PokerTH Portable - classic Texas Hold Em style poker at its best
Puzzle Collection Portable - dozens of single player puzzles
Quick Bridge Portable (Freeware) - play bridge against the computer
Quick Cribbage Portable (Freeware) - play cribbage against the computer
Quick Poker Portable (Freeware) - play poker against the computer
Quick Solitaire Portable (Freeware) - seven classic solitaire games
Rocks'n'Diamonds Portable - fast-paced gem collection game
Sauerbraten (Cube 2) Portable - first person shooter
Scorched 3D Portable - turn-based over-powered artillery in 3D
Sudoku Portable - the wildly popular and addictive puzzle game
SuperTuxKart Portable - multiplayer cart racing
T^3 Portable - 3 dimensional tetris
The Mana World Portable - a free, 2D, retro-style MMORPG
Tick5 Portable - 5-in-a-row puzzle game
Tile World Portable - engaging and fast-paced tile-based puzzles
Twin Distress Portable - color matching puzzle game
Warzone 2100 Portable - single or online multiplayer real-time strategy game
WarMUX Portable - turn-based war of Unix mascots
WAtomic Portable - molecular puzzle game
WinBoard Chess Portable - advanced chess engine
X-Moto Portable - 2D motocross platform game
Zaz Portable - color-matching puzzle game

Graphics & Pictures

AniFX Portable (Freeware) - full-featured cursor editor
Blender Portable - 3D modelling, animation, rendering, post-production, playback
Cornice Portable - image viewer with slideshow
Dia Portable - full-featured diagramming tool
Fotografix Portable (Freeware) - lightweight image editor
Fyre Portable - 2D computational artwork
GIMP Portable - Photo and Image Editor
Hot Spot Studio Portable (Freeware) - mix light to create art
IcoFX Portable (Freeware) - full-featured icon editor
Inkscape Portable - vector graphics editor
IrfanView Portable (Freeware) - lightweight graphic viewer
JPEGView Portable - image viewer and processor
K-3D Portable - 3D modeling and animation
PhotoFiltre Portable (Freeware) - image editing and effects
XnView Portable (Freeware) - view, organize and convert photos


aMSN Portable - chat and video chat on MSN/Windows Live
DamnVid Portable - video downloader and encoder
DownThemAll! Extension (for Firefox) - download the files and images you want faster
Feed Notifier Portable - RSS/ATOM popup feed notifications
FileZilla Portable - the full-featured FTP client
FireFTP Extension (for Firefox) - a lightweight extension
Google Chrome Portable (Freeware) - fast, simple, themeable browser
gPodder Portable - podcast receiver and manager
Iron Portable - advanced web browser
Juice Portable - podcast receiver and manager
KVIrc Portable - full-featured IRC chat client
Maxthon Portable (Freeware) - fast, powerful browser
Miranda IM Portable - chat with AOL, MSN and Yahoo users in a customizable interface
Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition - the award-winning web browser that's safe and secure
Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition - the handy email client
Nvu Portable & KompoZer Portable - the easy-to-use webpage editor
Opera, Portable Edition (Freeware) - lightweight, customizable browser
PChat Portable - full-featured IRC chat client
Pidgin Portable - chat with AOL, MSN and Yahoo users in an easy-to-use interface
PopMan Portable - lightweight email notifier
Private Browsing by - enhanced private browsing
PuTTY Portable - lightweight telnet and SSH client
qBittorrent Portable - lightweight bittorrent client
QuteCom Portable - softphone, text, audio and video chat
Sage Extension (for Firefox) - A full-featured RSS extension
SeaMonkey, Portable Edition - complete internet suite (browser, email, chat, newsgroups)
Skype Portable (Freeware) - instant messaging, video chat and phone calls
ĀµTorrent Portable (Freeware) - lightweight bittorrent client
WinSCP Portable - SFTP, FTP and SCP client
WinWGet Portable - take and manage your downloads on the go
wxDownload Fast Portable - multi-threaded download manager

Music & Video

Audacity Portable - A simple audio editor and recorder
CDEx Portable - cd audio extraction and conversion
cdrtfe Portable - CD, DVD, VCD burner
CoolPlayer+ Portable - Lightweight, fast, easy-to-use audio player
DVDStyler Portable - DVD menu authoring tool
fre:ac Portable - extract, convert, and encode audio
InfraRecorder Portable - full-featured CD and DVD burner
MP3Gain Portable - MP3 audio normalization
MuseScore Portable - music composition and notation
Paul Stretch Portable - extreme audio stretching
SMPlayer Portable - Full-featured movie player with support for most video formats
Songbird Portable - Full-featured digital media library and player
VirtualDub Portable - video processing and capture utility
VLC Media Player Portable - Aeasy to use media player that plays many formats
XMPlay Portable (Freeware) - Full featured audio player and library


AbiWord Portable - a lightweight word processor compatible with Microsoft Word files
Dia Portable - full-featured diagramming tool
Evince Portable - document viewer (pdf, ps, djvu, tiff, dvi)
Finance Explorer Portable (Freeware) - personal financial management
FocusWriter Portable - distraction-free word processor
Foxit Reader Portable (Freeware) - small and fast PDF reader
GnuCash Portable - accounting, expenses and financial management
Gnumeric Portable - full-featured spreadsheet
LibreOffice Portable - word processor, spreadsheet, presentations with excellent compatibility
Lightning Extension (for Thunderbird) - A lightweight extension for your calendar and tasks
Money Manager Ex Portable - easy-to-use personal finance software
Mozilla Sunbird, Portable Edition - Calendar and task management with a familiar interface
Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition (Address Book) - Email client's built-in address book with import/export functions Portable - word processor, spreadsheet, presentations with Microsoft compatibility
PDFTK Builder Portable - split, collate, watermark and password protect PDF documents
PNotes Portable - sticky notes to go
RedNotebook Portable - modern journal and diary
SpeedCrunch Portable - an intuitive algebraic calculator
Stickies Portable (Freeware) - lightweight sticky notes
Sumatra PDF Portable - a lightweight PDF viewer
Task Coach Portable - to do list and task manager
The Guide Portable - two-pane outliner
ToDoList Portable - customizable task management
WinDjView Portable - a lightweight DjVu viewer


ClamWin Portable - Antivirus on the go
Eraser Portable - securely delete files and data
EraserDrop Portable - easily secure-erase files and data
KeePass Password Safe Portable - Secure, easy-to-use password manager
Spybot - Search & Destroy Portable (Freeware) - Spyware detection and removal


2X Client Portable (Freeware) - remote server and RDP access client
7-Zip Portable - File archiver and compressor
Ant Renamer Portable - Advanced file renaming utility
AquaSnap Portable (Freeware) - Screen productivity enhancement
BleachBit Portable - cache, temp file and history cleaner
CamStudio Portable - screen recorder and video producer
Checksum Control Portable - create and verify MD5/SFV checksums
Command Prompt Portable - Simple link to a customizable command prompt
Console Portable - console window enhancement
Converber Portable (Freeware) - convert units of measurement
ConvertAll Portable - convert units of measurement
Cook Timer Portable - simple countdown timer
CrystalDiskInfo Portable - disk health monitoring tool
CrystalDiskMark Portable - disk benchmark utility
CubicExplorer Portable - advanced file manager
Daphne Portable - process explorer, killer and debugger
Diffpdf Portable - compare PDFs textually and visually
Disk Cleaner Portable - cache, temp file and history cleaner
Ditto Portable - clipboard manager and extender
DM2 Portable - window control enhancer
Don't Panic! Portable - one-click application hider
DShutdown Portable (Freeware) - remote PC shutdown and wake up
DTaskManager Portable (Freeware) - advanced task manager
DSynchronize Portable (Freeware) - directory synchronization
Explorer++Portable - multi-tab file manager
FreeCommander Portable (Freeware) - easy-to-use windows file manager
Free UPX Portable (Freeware) - advanced executable compression
HDHacker Portable (Freeware) - MBR and boot sector manager
IObit Uninstaller Portable (Freeware) - uninstaller and cleaner
JkDefrag Portable - Disk defragmentation and optimization
jPortable (Freeware) - Java virtual machine made portable
jPortable Launcher - Run Java JARs portably
Lightscreen Portable - easy to use screenshot tool
Listary Portable (Freeware) - find-as-you-type search for Windows Explorer and more
PeaZip Portable - Easy to use file archiver and compressor AppCompactor - shrink apps without affecting functionality Backup - integrated backup utility bundled with the platform Menu - integrated start menu bundled with the platform
Regshot Portable - registry and file comparison
Revo Uninstaller Portable (Freeware) - easy to use uninstaller
SIW (System Information for Windows) Portable (Freeware) - software/hardware info
Smart Defrag Portable (Freeware) - disk defragmentation and optimization
Synkron Portable - file and directory synchronization
System Explorer Portable (Freeware) - task manager and process analyzer
TeamViewer Portable (Freeware) - remote PC support and screen-sharing
Texter Portable - text substitution utility
TinyTask Portable - simple macro record/playback
Toucan - backup, sync and encrypt for advanced users
UUID-GUID Generator Portable - generate unique identifiers
Virtual Volumes View Portable - drive and disk cataloger
VirtuaWin Portable - virtual desktop manager
WinDirStat Portable - disk usage analyzer and cleanup tool
Windows Error Lookup Tool Portable (Freeware) - find windows error code details
winMd5Sum Portable - check md5 sums to verify files on the go
WinPenguins Portable - penguins running around your desktop
WinMerge Portable - file comparison and merging
WinMTR Portable - network diagnostic tool
Workrave Portable - repetitive stress injury prevention
Xenon File Manager Portable - portable file browser
XN Resource Editor Portable -lightweight binary resource editor
Zint Barcode Studio Portable - barcode generator
ZSoft Uninstaller Portable (Freeware) - uninstaller and cleaner

This is what has to say for themselves: (Found at

" is the world's most popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, iPod, memory card, portable hard drive, etc). With millions of users all over the world and a full collection of open source software as well as compatible freeware and commercial software and partners in the software and hardware industry, is the most complete solution for life on the go. was founded by John T. Haller, the developer behind numerous portable applications including "Portable Firefox" which started the portable software trend. We've been making software portable since March 2004. Today, our team stands at nearly 100 developers, translators, application packagers, designers and release testers. Our goal is to centralize the knowledge and development of portable software efforts and build a single, open platform which any software or hardware developer can use."

My personal favorite portable app is IrfanView.

If you would like, or need a portable app, check out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chromium Web Browser (Chrome)

As much as I love Mozilla Firefox, There are some pages that run poorly on it, one in particular is, which I frequent, and which slows down almost any machine to a crawl when displayed via Firefox in Ubuntu.

I also find it quite useful to have more than one browser when doing web editing.

Chromium is my close second choice in the Ubuntu world for several reasons.

One is that it's built quite differently from Firefox, and is not a WebKit browser, which is built on Firefox technology.

The second is that Chrome, and it's Linux counterpart Chromium, are becoming (or are) quite popular, which helps you to see how your webpage will react to an up and coming web browser.

Enough of the reasons why I use it, here is what the
Google people have to say about their product:

*From the webpage "".

Chrome is designed to be fast in every possible way. It's fast to start up, fast to search and load web pages, and fast to run all your web apps.

Chrome is built to help you browse more safely and securely on the web. Chrome's sandboxing, Safe Browsing, and auto-update technologies help protect you against phishing and malware attacks.

Chrome's browser window is streamlined, clean and simple. Its combined search and address bar makes it easy to search and navigate the web, all from one box.

The Chrome Web Store is an online marketplace where you can discover thousands of apps, extensions, and themes for Chrome.

My suggestion is to use the wrench icon to add your favorite start up page, and to add a home button, both found on the main "wrench" options page.

Other than that Chromium is pretty much ready to go upon installation.

In all fairness I must point out that the actual page for chromium itself differs, and is found here:

What the good people at have to say specifically about Chromium (not Chrome):

"Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all users to experience the web. This site contains design documents, architecture overviews, testing information, and more to help you learn to build and work with the Chromium source code."

If your in the market for another browser on your Linux machine, consider Chromium, I have found it to be rather reliable.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

XChat, open the comm

If you are an Ubuntu user or have another version of Linux, then you are probably a user of x-chat, or irssi.

The Ubuntu and Linux community offer extensive support for most if not all Linux distro's.

This support is run through what are called "IRC" channels.

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat.

X-chat is my first choice for talking with the people at Ubuntu's IRC chat room.

I also suggest installing irssi, just in case something happens to your distro and you need help, or if you are a fan of the console, or don't use X.

Ubuntu's IRC channel can be reached at, the channel being #ubuntu.

If you are interested in this program, which is available for Linux and Windows, you can download it at:

If you use Linux, including Ubuntu, you can install it by either using "sudo apt-get install xchat", or by using the synaptic package manager found in the system menu, then administration.
(Atleast for Ubuntu you can find it there.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

IrfanView Image viewer and editor

Irfanview is my favorite image editor and viewer because of it's speed of use (by user) and many many formats it can use.

I also love the add ons available for it, which make it almost as good an audio and video player as vlc, even though that's not irfanview's intent.

The website states:

"IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 , 2008, Vista, Windows 7.
(click here for IrfanView EULA)

It is designed to be simple for beginners and powerful for professionals.

IrfanView seeks to create unique, new and interesting features, unlike some other graphic viewers, whose whole "creativity" is based on feature cloning, stealing of ideas and whole dialogs from ACDSee and/or IrfanView! (for example: XnView has been stealing/cloning features and whole dialogs from IrfanView, for 10+ years).

IrfanView was the first Windows graphic viewer WORLDWIDE with Multiple (animated) GIF support.
One of the first graphic viewers WORLDWIDE with Multipage TIF support.
The first graphic viewer WORLDWIDE with Multiple ICO support.

Some IrfanView features:

* Many supported file formats (click here the list of formats)
* Multi language support
* Thumbnail/preview option
* Paint option - to draw lines, circles, arrows, straighten image etc.
* Toolbar skins option
* Slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD)
* Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen etc.
* Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
* Fast directory view (moving through directory)
* Batch conversion (with image processing)
* Multipage TIF editing
* File search
* Email option
* Multimedia player
* Print option
* Support for embedded color profiles in JPG/TIF
* Change color depth
* Scan (batch scan) support
* Cut/crop
* IPTC editing
* Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.)
* Screen Capturing
* Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs
* Lossless JPG rotation
* Unicode support
* Many hotkeys
* Many command line options
* Many PlugIns
* Only one EXE-File, no DLLs, no Shareware messages like "I Agree" or "Evaluation expired"
* No registry changes without user action/permission!
* and much much more"

I actually use this program in Ubuntu using wine, because it is just that much better, in my honest opinion, than the alternatives.

If you are interested in this software you can download it here:

(I would also download the add ons pack for it here as well.)

The official website is here:

P.S. to Linux users, as of Tuesday, May 31 2011...

If you want to use this in linux, I suggest getting the Portable Apps version, available here:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Removing Facebook Apps

Do you have that Facebook app that's either annoying or improper and you want to remove it?

Click here:

Then click on the "x" on the right of the app you want removed.

I hope this helped others out there with an annoying facebook app.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kompozer your website

If you do any website editing, this might be your best friend.

As Kompozer's Official website states:

"Easy web authoring

Finally, a top-notch WYSIWYG web page program for the rest of us! Now there's no need to pay a little fortune for a program to create and edit great-looking web pages, including powerful and easy to use CSS capabilities.

KompoZer is a complete Web Authoring System that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing capabilities found in Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe DreamWeaver and other high end programs.

KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding.

Reliable technology inside

KompoZer is based on Gecko, the layout engine inside Mozilla; it's a super-fast, very reliable, standards conformant engine maintained on a daily basis by a wide community of developers. Its remarkable support of XML, CSS and JavaScript offers the best authoring platform on the market. Its architecture based on XUL makes it the most extensible editing tool ever.

KompoZer is a stand-alone tool; hence its small size and fast speed.

Those who are familiar with the DreamWeaver interface will feel right at home with KompoZer:

WYSIWYG editing of pages, making web creation as easy as typing a letter with your word processor.
Integrated file management via FTP. Simply login to your web site and navigate through your files, editing web pages on the fly, directly from your site.
Reliable HTML code creation that will work with all of today's most popular browsers.
Jump between WYSIWYG Editing Mode and HTML using tabs.
Tabbed editing to make working on multiple pages a snap.
Powerful support for forms, tables, and templates.
The easiest-to-use, most powerful Web Authoring System available for Desktop Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh users.
Details about key features and capabilities

FTP site manager

With KompoZer, all the sites you have specified in your Publishing Settings become browseable in a sidebar. You can get a tree view of a site, la Explorer's folders pane, or a one-dir-only view, la Explorer's directory view. It is also possible to filter files and show all files, or only HTML documents or image files. The browsing area also allows to show for each file its size and the date of last modification.

A new color picker

KompoZer has a new extended colorpicker, more conformant to what most users are used to. Set a color from its red blue and green components, or its hue saturation and brightness. Or just use your mouse to pick up the color you want.


One of Mozilla Firefox's killer features is now available in KompoZer! Have one window only on your screen and edit several documents at once, each document having its own Undo/Redo stack! Just glance at the tabs to know if a document needs to be saved or not!

CSS editor

Create stylesheets easily and manage the styles attached to your documents. You can see your style settings applied '"live" to the document you're editing.

A dash of style(s)

With KompoZer, right-click on any element in the hierarchical toolbar at the bottom of the window and set directly its style properties.

Customizable toolbars

Just customize your toolbar and show only the buttons you want/need.


Take advantage from a XUL-based UI to edit all your forms, and edit all your form elements.

Cleaner markup

KompoZer contains some machinery to get rid of most of those annoying
. Combined with the ability to call W3C's HTML validator from within KompoZer you'll make valid, clean documents.


When you create a new link to an external resource, or when you edit an existing link, you can now add XHTML Friends Network information to say that the owner of that resource is someone you know and trust.

Visible marks

In a complex page layout, you often need to see visible carriage returns and block borders. KompoZer can now do that for you. And of course, everything is controlled by a CSS stylesheet so you can customize those marks and replace them by your own.

Table/Cell resizing rulers

On the left and top side of the opened tab you will find the convenient table resizing rulers which will help you easily adjust the size of rows and columns in any table in the web page you design.

Automated Spellchecker

The integrated in-line spellchecker will underline all misspelled words as you type to ensure correct spelling throughout the entire web page."


What I like most is the easy editor built with a decent html editor, very usefull.

I used to use bluefish and firefox... this combines all that into one package.

I still suggest checking your work with Firefox, sometimes Kompozer's view and Firefox's are not one in the same.

If you are interested in this software, here is the website:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

OSDisc may I have some more?

OSDisc is a website that sells you free operating systems...

That's right, they sell you FREE operating systems, but their is a purpose.

OSDisc is perfect for those of us who have limited bandwidth, or are still stuck on super slow dial up.

I personally have purchased about 20 os's from them in my time.

I have 3 on the way, right now.

If you are like me, give OSDisc a try:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Watchtower Library 2010 in Ubuntu under Wine

I am a Jehovah's Witness, and one of my interests is always in getting a digital publication offered by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania to run under Ubuntu, it is called the Watchtower Library.

As of the 2010 edition, the normal wine offered in the repositories of Ubuntu 10.10 (and earlier versions) is no longer sufficient to run the program.

In particular, it will always report an error, and then close, being non functional.

I figured out how to solve this problem, and thought it a good idea to help any other brothers and sisters out there that are a linux user and also like to use the Watchtower Library.

Here are the steps I took:

Open the Software Sources menu by going to Applications->Ubuntu Software Center, then selecting Edit->Software Sources. Choose the Other Software tab and click Add.
System->Administration->Software Sources->Other Software

* Some of you may not have the menu item "Software Sources", to gain access to the area I mention here, you can find the same area for entry under System-Administration-Synaptic Package Manager. Once in Synaptic, click on settings, then repositories, and you will have the same menu mentioned above.

Then, copy and paste the line below into the APT Line: area.

Then click the "add source" button. it is below the APT Line: area on the same window.

Once Ubuntu reloads the new repositories, click this link:
"click this link to install the wine1.3 package."

This link is found on this webpage:

Once this process is complete, if you have already installed Watchtower Library 2010, it should now just work without the error.

I hope my little how to on this problem was helpful.

Most of this information is available at 'Wine HQ' under downloads, and then Ubuntu. I did some small editing in order to be as clear as possible.

Also, this was not intended to in any way encroach upon the rights of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, this information is released solely as a remedy to a technical issue with Wine 1.2 or earlier releases and the Watchtower Library, edition 2010.

(P.S. Some people might find that once the library is running all the letters are blocks. This can be fixed by pressing F2, or by going to the Library option on the top left, and then under the text tab choosing another font category or type, i.e. browser text, printer text, etc for category, or arial, freesans, comic sans, etc in the font type.)

This fix may be undone by system updates, or upgrades. Just follow the steps again to repair the non functioning Watchtower Library.

Monday, February 7, 2011

INX not X!

I found this Linux distribution while looking for a replacement to the standard graphical X server driven gui desktop.

As INX's website states:

"Briefly, INX is a Live CD currently based on Ubuntu 8.04
It has no GNOME, KDE, XFCE... or any other desktop or window manager for that matter.

It is console-only - the idea is to give you a tool to learn more about the command line, while having some fun. You might be surprised how much can be done with such a system."

It is amazing what a non x distro can do.

I think you will enjoy this intuitive and easy to use operating system, the menu driven "desktop" is very easy to use.

If you are interested in this os, here is the website:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sylpheed - lightweight e-mail client

If you are like me and have a pop3 or imap account or like to use the news boards, but you don't want the bloat of a huge program like Microsoft's Outlook or Mozilla's Thunderbird, then you may be interested in Sylpheed, a "lightweight and user-friendly e-mail client."

As the website states:

Sylpheed is a simple, lightweight but featureful, and easy-to-use e-mail client.

Sylpheed provides intuitive user-interface. Sylpheed is also designed for keyboard-oriented operation, so Sylpheed can be widely used from beginners to power users.

Sylpheed runs on many systems such as Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and other Unix-like systems.

Sylpheed uses GTK+ GUI toolkit. The newest version of Sylpheed works with GTK+ 2.4 or later (2.6 or later is recommended).

Sylpheed is a free software distributed under the GNU GPL (the library part is GNU LGPL). You can freely use, modify and redistribute it under the license.

Sylpheed has the following features.

* Simple, beautiful, and well-polished user interface
* Comfortable operationality which is built in detail
* Well-organized, easy-to-understand configuration
* Lightweight operation
* High reliability with one-mail-corresponding-to-one-file format
* Extensibility by plug-in faculty
* Powerful filtering and search
* Junk mail control
* Security features (GnuPG, SSL/TLSv1)
* Various protocols support
* Internationalization and Multilingualization support
* High-level Japanese processing
* Flexible cooperation with external commands

My personal reason for the use of Sylpheed is simplicity and speed.

And it works great for my google mail account, which is set up for pop3 via the settings menu.

If you would like to read more about Sylpheed or download it, the address is here: