Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shortcuts for Firefox

Silly me. I forgot the shortcuts to firefox and actually googled it. Found it here just for reference next time: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Shortcuts

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A new dawn.. :)

The whole of MAMPU will soon be using OpenOffice exclusively. Starting from 1st April 2008 all desktop and notebooks will be installed with OpenOffice (and this ain't no joke ;) , and taking it a step further they will completely uninstall MS Office by the the end of the year. Check it out at http://www.oscc.org.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=189&Itemid=128. So many things are happening here in Malaysia currently, truly we live in historical times. I can't wait to be able to tell to my grandchildren, "yes.. grandpapa was there when we first took steps towards our digital freedom!" :)

"What will you do without freedom?!" - William Wallace, Braveheart

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Open Office Extensions

Wow! I had no idea there were so many. Or that they did so many things. Haven't tried any of them yet but going to in the near future. Get your open office extensions at: http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Switching display modes on a laptop using xrandr

I have written this script quite a while back and already forgot where I've got the original idea. I think it was from somewhere inside the ubuntu forums. Whichever way it is, I find it quite useful when I have to use a laptop to display to a projector but the function keys to switch display is not configured or is not working. You have to have zenity installed though. Just a simple "sudo apt-get install zenity" on Ubuntu (or "pacman -S zenity" on Arch linux ;) and you can use it.

#!/bin/sh

whichmode=`zenity --list --radiolist \
--title "Change Display Mode" \
--text "Choose where you want to display your desktop." \
--column="" --column="" --column="Options" \
"" "1" "Just the Laptop's LCD" \
"" "2" "Just the Output Monitor" \
"" "3" "VGA Dual Monitor" \
"" "4" "VGA Cloned (projector mode)"`

if [ $whichmode -eq 1 ]
then
xrandr --output VGA --off --output LVDS --auto
fi
if [ $whichmode -eq 2 ]
then
if xrandr -q | grep -q "VGA connected"; then
xrandr --output LVDS --off --output VGA --mode 1024x768
fi
fi
if [ $whichmode -eq 3 ]
then
if xrandr -q | grep -q "VGA connected"; then
xrandr --output VGA --mode 1024x768 --left-of LVDS --output LVDS --mode 1280x768
fi
fi
if [ $whichmode -eq 4 ]
then
if xrandr -q | grep -q "VGA connected"; then
xrandr --output VGA --mode 1024x768 --pos 0x0 --output LVDS --mode 1280x768 --pos 0x0
fi
fi

I have to warn you thought that I have my monitor on the left of my laptop. So if you have it on the right of your laptop, then you might want to change --left-of to --right-of. Pretty neat.

p/s: If the Dual Monitor mode does not work, try running it from a terminal and see what error it output. If it says something along the line of "screen cannot be larger than x y" then go edit your xorg.conf (Most of the time it is at /etc/X11/xorg.conf, got to be root to edit it) and add the line "Virtual x y" (replacing x and y from the error) in the "Display" subsection under the "Screen" section.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Freedom of free software

One of the things which made me love free (free as in freedom) software was the choice of options open to you. What? You don't like this feature of this software? Look for another. Sometimes you change just because you can. In the beginning I distro hopped quite a bit. I enjoyed learning how each distro did things. Each unique and beautiful. I loved learning how to tweak every aspect of the system. It took me two weeks to get just the right display driver for X, but it was a great learning experience. Loved every agonizing ugly screen day of it. And then it came...

I tried out Ubuntu. OMG!!! What??? It has set up everything to work properly out of the box? I don't have to do anything? Even the brown colour looks kinda nice. Oh man... This is so cool. And the days passed. I usually develop using php. On personal projects I like to use python. So I don't really need to do much of the technical stuff so Ubuntu gave me a good platform to just start working. I don't actually need to compile anything. The last time I had to compile anything for my laptop was when I was running Slackware. Oh.. that was sweet hacker heaven. You HAD to tweak everything. And since I didn't know much about using packages under slackware then, once I had ./configure, make, make install, the programs never ever leave. I just didn't know which file to delete. If it have make uninstall option I might use that but not all had that.

And one of the distros that I had used in my distro hopping days was Arch linux. It was one of the more memorable ones. Actually used it for almost a year. Loved the pacman -Syu to keep my system updated. But of course you still had to tweak quite a lot. But I remembered there was wiki and forum for everything you need.

One of the sad things about having things made easy is that you tend to like it being easy. And in Ubuntu almost everything was already configurable using some graphical tool. There wasn't even any need of iwlist wlan0 scan to see what wireless network was available. It was just displayed there. Soon I got a bit rusty with the good old CLI. And I said to myself, enough is enough. I'm going back. Hmmm... Arch was pretty good. So this morning I decided to install good old archlinux. But guess what? I was pretty scared. I WAS SCARED!!! I thought what if I had to take the whole day configuring it? What if some of the drivers I can't figure out again how to install it? I had FEAR!! I had UNCERTAINTY!! I had DOUBT!! Everything you need to launch a full scale FUD attack. Ubuntu made me forget that is how most people felt about Linux and free software in general. Ubuntu did a great job. If ever you wanted proof that Linux is ready for the desktop prime time, that was it. You could just install it without worrying about anything. And actually, personally I think installing Ubuntu is even easier than installing windows because there was no need to hunt for drivers. So I said this is ridiculous. I went ahead and installed arch...

Now I'm posting this from epiphany because I haven't finished installing all the software I need yet. Not even firefox. My display is stretched because I haven't install 915resolution yet and in general everything looks pretty retro 90's kinda style. Sweeeet... :)

Haiya ala Solah