Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stop it Ubuntu. Just...stop.

     It seems that with every release, Ubuntu seems to be getting closer and closer to the dark side...

    Each new release (since Hardy) has brought us darker themes. And the new login screen? Atrocius! It's disgusting! I'm going to go back and show what it was like back in Ubuntu 6.06.

    Ubuntu 6.06 LTS was the first ShipIt CD that I recieved Ubuntu in the mail in. It was absolutely beautiful, the desktop was a chocolate brown, but that was just the background, not the actual themes themselves. And that could easily be changed with the themes that came along with it. Now, I can't include pictures, as I am writing this from school, but trust me, Ubuntu used to have TASTE man.. But then they started this up. Oh god, why?!?

Was it really necessary that we do this? And don't get me started on the login screen. It's just plaing awful.

The reason why I'm complaining so much is... are we really ready to present this as an Operating System to the masses? As Ubuntu we should be embracing a more easy look torwards our desktop. Right now, it looks like some basement nerd's pet project. Do you know why so many people hated Vista? Not only was it because of the awful security and the way it treats hardware, but the new look of it too. Microsoft went from nice subtle shades of blue and green with WindowsXP to harsh translucent blacks and light blues.

Now tell me, which one is more pleasing to your eye. The simple blues and greens? Or the translucent shades of black. I would have to say that the shades of greens are the more pleasing in my opinion, and I once read that the eye is more attracted to greens and blues than any other color. On the left there is serenity, while on the right there is technology. I'm all for technology, but would it be possible to combine the two? Even OpenSuSe understands the need of a peaceful green background combined with shades of blue. If Ubuntu wanted to go technological then they should be pointing people to crunchbang , which is completely techy nerdy. Ubuntu really needs to stop, and look at it's self. Are we an operating system for the basement nerds who don't get out? Or are we an operating system that even the most technologically inept person can be proud of. Now I know I can always just contribute to this and make my own theme. But you wouldn't want that... Trust me, you definantly wouldn't want that. As a 17 year old teenager, I understand a little about design choice and usability. In particular, I think OpenSuSe's Gilouche is a great theme. It's simple border and GTK makes it pleasing and fast. I understand that Brown is ubuntu's "thing" but with the new themes coming out, I think it's understandable that we take on a new color scheme. Preferably one that is not brown.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009


Well, I can't really say that it's the first conky twitter client. Any twitter client from cli should be able to work. But I can say that this is something that I am very proud of it because I MADE IT!!!

In order to get this on your sexy conky configuration, you are going to have to jump through some hoops. So bear with me.

First up is to install python-twitter.

sudo apt-get install python-twitter

Now that wasn't so bad was it?

Now we are going to have to edit your conky configuration.

put "text_buffer_size 10000" (no quotes) into your ~.conkyrc file. This allows conky to display more text than normally. Make sure that it goes before TEXT.

now download the script, or copy and paste for your enjoyment.
'''This piece o' junk hack of python and twitter was created by
Travis Moore (@travist120). Some 17 year old kid who decided that he
was severely bored one day and decided to create this instead of doing
his Essay and french homework.

'''Oh, and the licence. I have to make sure that those who copy will give back.'''

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see


for s in status:
i = i+1
print, "(@"+s.user.screen_name+")"
print s.text
import os
import string
import twitter
#set your user name and password here.

api = twitter.Api(username, password)
status = api.GetFriendsTimeline()
#how many tweets you want displayed at a time
twitterSize = 5;
i = 0 if i == twitterSize:

Make sure that if you copy and paste it, you name it

Now to make it show up in conky.

${execi 60 python | fold -w45}

stick that under your TEXT and you are done. I have set the time (60 seconds) as default because it's nice and safe on Twitter's servers. Feel free to change that.

-w45 might also need to be changed. This is the word wrap settings, so you are going to have to manually figure that one out by trial and error.

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Download now or preview on posterous
clitwitter.doc (270 KB)

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

I don't have hopes for Windows 7

Before I begin, let's get this straight.

I am an avid Linux and Open Source Software follower. I also have not personally used windows 7, but I know plenty about it. I am also 17 years old and still in high school.

That said and done, I will now be talking about my opinions on Windows Vista  7.

So here's the scoop. Microsoft, after a carefully laid out plan and 5 years, released one of their worst operating systems since Windows Me. It really just sucked. I'm not trying to be funny or clever by bashing on it. I'll give you some examples as why it was so bad.

Vista Capable
   -Your desktop is Vista Capable I see....
    This was one of the serious blunders of their marketing programs. It was a neat thought, but it was one of the killers when Vista released. For those who don't know, Microsoft would slap a sticker on any computer that they deemed "Vista Capable". Then, due to many changes to the kernel (how the operating system determines interfaces and the such), a vast amount of those computers knighted as "Vista Capable" were no longer "Vista Capable" but "Vista Incapable". Microsoft made an early stab at the hopes of what is known as  "hype". Example.

    "Fred! I just got this bombin' new desktop today! It's even "Vista Capable"!

Multiple Versions
    -Which one should I buy, Vista Home Basic? Vista Home Premium? Vista Home Basic Premium Plus?
    There were so many versions of Vista that it was ridiculous. I mean, it might seem like a clever idea if it was all the same price! You are buying a $100+ operating system that you want to make your computer "work". And by "work" I mean not sit there like a brick. You want the computers "magicks" to connect to your email, write a paper, edit a photo, whatever you do daily that only a computer can do to make your life easier. Each version of Vista was a difference of $100. And each one was THE EXACT SAME THING! With 3rd part applications, they all equaled to the same version of Vista!

Device Drivers
    -The reason why Geek Squad exists.
    I've had the worst experience with drivers ever! My first copy of Windows Vista came from my Dell XPS Laptop that I got for my birthday. Not only was I excited about having a computer with dual core (my other only had Pentium 4), I was excited to experiment with a new OS. At first, with the OEM installation, I was fine.

Then things got ugly.
    I bought Halo 2 for PC, and I spent a lot of my time playing it. Then one night, whilst playing on a stalemate of capture the flag on Coagulation, I got a disconnection error. "Ah, no problem" I said. I exited out of it, went down to network connections....
There was a little itty bitty icon. Just a little one. A triangle with an exclamation point in it.
"Awww... cute!"
I disconnected then reconnected and went back to Halo again. Needless to say, I got disconnected again shortly after.

    -As a snail some say...
    When first unveiled, Vista seemed like it would do well in a market where computers are getting cheaper and faster exponentially. It was an operating system that had been redesigned from the ground up to take full advantage of the new hardware capabilities that were emerging on the desktop market. Simply said, it was going to be "da bomb". When it finally did release many were.... disappointed. I know when I first started up my new laptop with Windows Vista, I was thrilled because it was going to be faster. And to me, a person who came from an old Pentium 4 desktop, it was! But now that I have had more experience of installing Windows XP onto the thing and Ubuntu as well, I've learned that Windows Vista...treats my hardware like it's an infant. A 512MB Nvidia card is nothing to laugh at, but Vista seems to think it's a comedic act. "Your graphics card can't handle games like these" was one of the first prompts that I encountered when installing Halo 2.

Now on to the main event.

    Windows 7 will more than likely be another failure. The formula is definitely set up right! Out of the four things that I have listed for Windows Vista's failure, 3 of them are going to be in Windows 7. How? Because Windows 7 will use the exact same kernel as Windows Vista. How can a new OS be faster if it's using the same kernel?

Multiple Versions
    -Didn't they learn from this?
    Here is is again, Windows 7 will have multiple versions. And do you know what the worst part about it is? Windows Starter Edition--the edition that will be used on the increasingly popular netbooks--will only allow you run 3 applications at any given time. Please excuse this outburst.


    SERIOUSLY!!! ARE WE IN 1990 AGAIN? I don't know about you, but I have at least 10 or more applications running at any given time; Instant Messengers, Music Players, Firefox, Email, Open Office. I mean, I could understand a 3 application limit on cellphones, but on a laptop? That's just retarded!!!

Device Drivers
    -Still hasn't changed much.
    You know something? Microsoft has always been a pain in the ass to Hardware Manufacturers. "If you want a device to work with our OS, you have to do everything yourself." And that's what they still are going to do. Because Windows 7 will be using the same kernel as Vista, the Manufacturers will be given a slight break. Their Vista drivers would theoretically already work with 7 after a bit of tweaking.

    -Windows 7 is a pig with makeup.
    Many people who are currently using the beta of Windows 7 insist that it is faster. And that may be. But not when you start buying laptops and computers preloaded with Windows 7. OEM's always try to bring the price down of their computers by including 'crapware'. This 'crapware' is pre-installed and ready to start crappin' the first time you boot the thing. Windows 7 may seem faster, but in reality it is only because it's a fresh installation. However, I do admit that the Microsoft Team has made adjustments to help speed up interaction between the processor. It has also optimized the usage of RAM and graphics cards.

User Interface
    -Changes are a comin'...
    I once used Office 2007. Once. Everything was topsy-turvy, and I couldn't figure out how to do half of the things that I used to in previous versions of Office. Why? The Ribbon. Instead of getting some work done on my Essay, I spent half of the time trying to figure out how to double space it. This is from somebody who 'gets' things and how they work with a few short clicks. The Ribbon is a medieval torture device sent from the past to give it's users brain hemorrhages and break our keyboards. Younger folk should be able to get over this fairly easy. What about the old folk. The people who have been around so long they remember when "640K ought to be enough for anybody". The new interface will be a difficult transition for them, and more than likely they will be sticking to the soon-to-be-unsupported Windows XP. Another thing that the ribbon does is make 3rd party applications stand out. It is likely they will not be allowed to use the Ribbon interface for their programs, and even if they could it would be a pain to recode the entire application just so it could fit in.

    I'm not hopeful for Windows 7. Microsoft clearly hasn't learned from it's mistakes; not only do they still have the same crap as before, but they've added some new crap to the mix. Windows 7 could spell the end of Microsoft (I know that is a stretch), or more likely spell the end of it's dominance. If some changes aren't made before the final release sometime later this year, it will heftily effect it's hold on the market.

I do have an open message to Microsoft.


You can fix everything if you would just START LISTENING to your users instead of insisting that your way is the right way and the only way.

That is all.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Don't do it!!

I don't seem to understand something. It seems that a lot of iPhone and iPod touch app developers seem to think that we have use for turning our iPods upside down. Don't do this!! What id the use for this?
Let me explain it this way. Sometimes when I can't sleep at night I browse the Internet with safari. I sleep on my side because my back whacks out when I sleep on it. But the beauty of it is that it doesn't flip UPSIDE DOWN!!!
It makes reading and life so much easier when you don't do something as STUPID as that!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ubuntu 8.10 64bit with SLI

Back in October, I got a new desktop for my birthday. It is a Dell 630i with SLI Nvidia cards.

A 64bit quad core beast.

One of the first things that I tried to do was install Ubuntu Linux on it. That was total failure. I got it installed, but as soon as I updated my graphics card, it completely died on me. So I gas up for a while and just left Windows Vista intact.

A few months later I was sick of bullshit.

I had a score of 4.8 only because of my RAM. Everything else was maxed out. Not only that but I was getting random BSOD's.

For a while I had to use a USB wifi card that windows managed to make it seem like it sucked ass. When I was using Windows XP, I would play a game and it would run fine. Now that I was on Vista, that card would ALWAYS disconnect me after 5 minutes into the game and then the computer would freeze. So I gave up on gaming for a bit until the BSOD's finally drove me nuts.

(note: Mine was different.)

I went over to Best Buy and bought a new wireless card, but since that thing was expensive as hell, I didn't get games.
After a while of just using my computer for browsing the web watching YouTube and hulu, I finally gave Ubuntu a thought once more.

I thought "Well.... let's try Kubuntu! Maybe things will be different!!";

I downloaded Kubuntu 64bit.

As soon as my computer ingested that it went off like a car alarm! So I groaned, kicked, and cursed and put Ubuntu in instead.

About 10 minutes later, I was up and running, though not at the right resolution. I put that off, installed all of the new updates, rebooted annnnndddd........

It still wasn't fixed. No matter, I know better methods. Quickly, I opened up the terminal, typed in "sudo apt-get install envyng-core envyng-gtk envyng-qt"

What the hell? Doesn't work with gtk? Who was the idiot that ruined a perfectly good and working program?!?!? I then traversed over to Nvidia's website and downloaded the drivers myself.
I hit [CTRL]-[ALT]-[F1]
I began to install the drivers.
It told me I needed to stop GDM.
I did.

It broke again!!!! I was back to square one!! But then I had an idea. What if I could get wireless working?

No beans. Desperately I Googled every search term that I could think of that related to my problem.

Only one page had hope to me. Somebody else with SLI cards was having the same problem. He eventually gave up and took a card out, but somebody posted their method anyway. He gave a link to a .txt file that had his configuration in it. Tentatively I tapped on it.... (I was on my iPod Touch at the time)

"Safari cannot open this file"

AGGGGGHJJHHHHHHHH!!!!! iPod's Safari cannot open something as simple as a text file?!?!
I ran into my brothers room, brutally shoved him off of his computer.
"Runescape?" I shouted. "NO! I NEED MAI XSERVER FIX'D!!!!!!"
I typed in the page and got the text file. Wrote down two things

Option         "SLI" "SFR"
BusID          "01:00:0"

Ran back in my room. Sprayed "sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf" into the terminal and put those options in. I saved. Typed in "startx".....

I think  this twitter message can express how I felt.

But for those of you who have been having problems with Dual SLI Nvidia cards, here is the post that saved my ass.

I will now get back to my Ubuntu awesome'd computer.

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