Ubuntu Forums Firefox Plugin – Finding Answers To Stupid Questions Was Never So Easy

Attention Humor Disabled Digg Visitors, the tagline of this article is actually a joke!  HDDV is a serious disease which effects approximately 23 million Digg front page visitors per month.

I remembered awhile back that I had installed a plugin for the Steam forums that gave me a little menu item up at the top inbetween Tools and Help in Firefox that allowed easy navigation of the Steam forums. I thought about it for a bit and thought,

“Hey! Why not make one of those for the Ubuntu forums?”

Well thankfully someone else already has. I present to you, the Ubuntu Forums Menu for Firefox.  If you don’t have Firefox already, click the button below and install it today!

Install and then goto the Addons settings in Firefox. Click Preferences:
screenshot-add-ons.pngCheck the appropriate boxes:
screenshot-ubuntu-forums-menu-settings.pngMenu at the top:
ubuntu_forums.pngRight Click Context Menu:
ubuntu_forums_context1.pngThis is an “insanely great” plugin. Kudos to Adam Smith.

Linux Rant

Trying out Gutsy Gibbon Part 2

I ran the following commands (again)

sudo sed -e ‘s/\sfeisty/ gutsy/g’ -i /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

12:12 AM Started downloading.

12:30 Installing all the packages.  Downloading from the Gutsy repositories at 6MB/sec didn’t take a long time.

12:42AM I’m concurrently downloading Linux Mint while all the packages continue to install.

12:46AM DONE.  Reboot.

2:45AM Ohsh!t… Houston we have a problem.  I’m gonna rant here for a second.  When I use the brand new awesome thing that smells of a combination of fresh horse manure and burning hair called “Screens and Graphics Preferences” and I select my monitor as shown:


Notice the little description text that shows that I’m choosing an LCD screen that ONLY displays in a native resolution of  1680 by 1050?

Now, see the list of available resolutions once I save that setting:


Where the hell is the 1680 by 1050 option?  NOT THERE!

Now, I know somebody is going to say ‘oh well just go and edit the xorg.conf file and you should be all set.’  Here is my preemptive response:

When is the last time you had to edit the registry in Windows to add a resolution option?

I rest my case.


Microsoft Tried To Give Me $20,000 Of Software

Ever heard of the MSDN Academic Alliance?   I never have until I took a class at the local college.  Apparently everyone who takes any sort of Computer Science class gets enrolled in this Microsoft program at this institution.

Check this out:

MSDN Academic Alliance

That’s the list in it’s entirety that I can download for free from my school.  I ran some numbers, and the retail value of all of that is more than $20,000!  That’s more than I’ve spent on tuition so far. 

Ridiculous!   20 Grand worth of software and I can’t even use it… I would need to buy another computer to make use of this stuff, and the girlfriend probably wouldn’t approve of that.


Digg “Linux Nation” for Thursday September 13th 2007

I saw a post over on Diggnation forums saying that Diggnation doesn’t cover enough Linux articles.  Well here’s the solution:  Make a list yourself!  Here’s a list for the past week with my own comments.  Buy me a beer (located at the end of this post) and I’ll think about making it into a weekly video.

  1. PC World refuse to repair hardware fault, because of Linux
    • Update:  Linux does not actually void the warranty.  Problem has been fixed.
  2. Fix a Frozen System with the Magic SysRq Keys
    • Alt and SysRq (Print Screen) and then typing REISUB will reboot Linux properly after a crash when the commonly used Ctrl-Alt-Backspace or function keys don’t work.  Great Tip! 
  3. OOXML: nice little standard? [PIC]
    • OOXML is well documented.  🙂
  4. Microsoft starts a “Get the Facts” campaign…against itself
    • Vista TCO is lower than XP.  I don’t believe that for a second!  This appears to be Microsoft doing what they do best, sponsoring surveys and such to get the results they want to be able to publish.
  5. Valve recruiting Senior Engineer port Windows-based games to Linux
    • This is great news.  Surely a job posting is not a news release, but now there is some hope that Valve will be porting Steam and their games to Linux.
  6. Vietnam Says Buh-bye to Microsoft Office, Chooses
    • 20k upgrades to Office 2008 is more expensive than  Who knew?
  7. AMD Releases 900+ Pages Of ATI GPU Specifications
    • With these specifications, ATI drivers will likely improve in quality on these specific GPUs.  ATI/AMD driver hackers rejoice!
  8. Latest VirtualBox 1.5 runs Windows apps directly on your Linux desktop
    • VirtualBox Windows Emulator has a new version, still looks like Win95, but works well.  This does seem a little bit better than running in VMWare since you can run the program in its own window which is decorated by your window manager.
  9. AMD: GPU Specifications Without NDAs!
    • Same story as number 7.  Dupe!
  10. Lenovo Interested in Linux, Opens Poll for Distro
    • Surprise!  45% of all surveyed want Ubuntu supported on a Levono Thinkpad laptop, then secondarily they want Debian with 11%.
  11. How Linux is being subverted.
    • Somehow, somewhere, whenever a company that does business with Microsoft (in this case, Novell) they’re up to some evil plot and want to take over the world.  I don’t quite think this is true, but it’s a good headline.
  12. IBM dives into development
    • IBM is paying some people in Beijing to work on  Not a big deal IMO.
  13. Ubuntu Linux Training Software that runs on Windows and Mac only
    • Hmm…. so lemme get this right:  Some folks decided to make training materials for Ubuntu (which they have no relation to as far as i know) and sell it for 89 pounds a pop?  Go them!  Minor problem, it doesn’t run on Ubuntu.  Well… maybe next time guys.
  14. Super-Easy Ubuntu Setup From Windows – For Windows Users Eager To Try Linux
    • Goto and install it if you’re running Windows.  I might tie this into my article about distributing Linux via physical medium.
  15. Edit PDF Files For Free With PDFedit -OpenSource PDF Editor (Ubuntu Feisty)
    • PDFEdit is actually pretty terrible.  The GUI is total shitty and nearly unusable.  I can say this with much certaincy since I actually tried to use it last night for my Tux Mask.  Using a graphical editor and exporting to PDF from actually works MUCH MUCH MUCH better.  PDFEditor is not worth the time spent downloading it right now, in my opinion.

So there you go, 15 articles that made the biggest splashes on this week and a short summary of each.


Tux the Penguin Mask 6.0

Download the PDF here!   Tux the Penguin Mask 6.0

Reccomended Usage:

Lan Parties, Microsoft Developer Conferences, and wasting company printer paper.

Installation Notes:

Always ask for an adult’s assistance when using scissors.

Required Hardware:

Exacto Knife or Box Cutter reccomended.
Elastic String to tie around your big head.
Color Printer (or BW Printer and Yellow Marker or Crayon)
Cardstock Paper

Release Notes:

6.0 Final Release
5.0 Note to Self: While actual penguins are waterproof, penguin masks are not.
4.0 Child Safety Recall after Multiple Reports of Moderate to Severe Paper Cuts and Asphyxiation.
3.0 Complete Re-Write, realized the mask actually looked like a seagull after usability testing.
2.0 Many Bugfixes and Added 3D Rendering Support.
1.0 Initial Alpha Release: Known Issue: Penguins do NOT have horns.

This is released under the Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 License.

Here is the *almost* final product, yours should be better after I made a few changes to the PDF.

Tux the Penguin Mask 6.0

Get the PDF at the top of the post.


Using The US Postal Service To Distribute Linux CHEAPLY And Effectively

This is part one of a journey of wits and determination, in which I will distribute Linux using a physical medium to everyone in my appartment complex in suburban Utah, which has approximately 200 units.

I figure that’s about a thousand people who have probably never heard of Linux, and my apartments have a heavy concentration of US Air Force and is a fairly affluent area.  The parking lot looks like a new car dealership.  I would venture to guess that most of them have computers, and have a higher than average intelligence and willingness to try new things when it comes to using an operating system.  I could be totally wrong here, but we’ll see.

I spent awhile brainstorming some several methods to distribute Linux to the neighbors in my appartment complex.

The easiest would be to burn a bunch of CDs and just leave them where everyone visits at least once a week -the mailbox.  I could probably make a sign and have penguins on it or something but that would not make the impression I’m hoping for.

The door-to-door approach has merits, but I live in Utah, which is the capital of the world for door-to-door marketing.  There are an amazing amount of missionaries here that go door-to-door preaching religion.  Linix is pretty close to a religion, so I figure it wont go super well.

The United States Postal Service has the Electronic Media Box which will hold a CD or DVD case for NO CHARGE, but it’s for Priority Mailing only, which means it actually would cost me something around $4.00 or more apeice to actually ship.  I could always tape over the label and try to pay first class, but I’m sure that’s illegal.

Serious Direct Mail:   This seems like a good idea to send an actual Business Card CD Linux distribution in the mail to someone, but unfortunately it’s VERY VERY expensive.  I could spend an entire paycheck doing this here.  Scratch it off the list.

Corrugated Jewel case Mailers:  About $56 + $10.53 shipping for 200.  These look like the same ones that the USPS gives you for free.

AH!  I found it.  White Paperboard CD Sleeve minimum quanity of 500 for a for a total of $29.15!  Oh snap, $50.00 minimum order.

Ordering free Ubuntu CDs could also work OK, but up to 10 weeks for an order and unless it’s an organized event doesn’t seem like I could get 200 CDs for free to send to people who may not want it anyways.

I’m going to keep looking, but I’m thinking the best course of action will be to get paper sleeves and mail them first class, and if anyone requests another due to it breaking in the mail, I’ll send another out.  It’ll likely be cheaper in the long run.

Part Two of this article will be the actual written material that I’ll put inside the CD Mailer.
Part Three will be a photo journal of the actual shipping process.
Part Four is going to be determined by whether or not I receive feedback from any people that have received the CD.

If you have ideas or suggestions to help me out in this, I would appreciate a comment or an email to

Thanks for reading!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I should avoid using the mail after all. I’m targeting a very specific area with less than 200 homes, and why not deliver these myself? I can burn some calories AND probably deliver more than what I could in a CD mailer envelope.

So I’ve come up with the alternate plan of simply canvasing the area with plastic door bags with an Ubuntu CD and some printed information.

Humor Linux Video

This Guy Installs Linux In Places No Man Should

Every once in awhile I’ll post a worthy Linux-related video on the blog. I just watched this one tonight, and the acting was not great, but I laughed so hard when he installed the Linux File Server on the Toilet running on dial-up. LOL!


Five Reasons Why Using Firefox On Windows Will Help You (Or Your Company) Migrate To Linux

Firefox has been my browser of choice for several years, and prior to that, I first came in contact with the technology that runs behind the browser, called the Gecko Renderer in early 1998. The thing that impressed me the most back then was how much FASTER the Gecko engine rendered pages as compared to Internet Explorer on a dial-up connection.

Here’s a short list of reasons why Firefox will help you if you ever decide to try out or switch to Linux (or Mac OSX for that matter).

  1. Firefox runs on Windows and all popular operating systems.
    Whether you prefer Windows, Mac, Linux, whatever, your favorite flavor of O/S, Firefox runs on it.
  2. The interface is the largely the same on Linux and Windows.
    The default interface and theme for Firefox is exactly the same no matter what O/S you are using.
    For me, the biggest change was where the Preferences item was displayed. Using the Menu Editor plugin for Firefox allows you to move around menu items, or hide them completely. I have found this HUGELY helpful for my own migration to Linux, as Preferences is located in the “Edit” menu at the top of the screen, as opposed to the Windows version of Firefox that actually has the Preferences menu located until “Tools.” Just install the plugin and move it easily.
  3. If you feel comfortable browsing the web, that’s a big step towards being familiar with the computer as a whole.
    Many time, when I have a problem or something I want to do in Linux and I don’t know how, I google for it. Using a browser like Firefox that has a standard interface among all operating systems, lets me feel comfortable while I’m searching on a topic that I am unfamiliar with.
  4. Add-ons that you enjoy in Windows are also available for Linux.
    One of the biggest reasons I like Firefox is because of the practical unlimited amount of Add-ons written for it.
    Do you want the weather in your taskbar? Done. Do you want a music player controller embedded in the browser so you don’t have to alt-tab to skip a song? Done! If you can dream it up, it’s probably already there.
    They function exactly the same way in Windows and in Linux, because they’re built on a framework that integrates with Firefox.
    Some of my favorites include: StumbleUpon, Adblock Plus, IE Tab (when using Windows), and DownloadStatusbar, Menu Editor and Stop-or-Reload Button
  5. Firefox is accepted as the most popular browser for users on any distribution of Linux.
    Firefox is bundled by default on the following distributions: Ubuntu (and it’s derevitives), Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, SimplyMEPIS, CentOS, etc. Most Linux Distributions also make it easy to get and install Firefox if it is not installed by default.

If you don’t think these reasons are enough, humor me and try it out. I bet you’ll love the tabbed browsing and lack of advertisements when using Adblock Plus, which gets rid of nearly all ads out there. It’s terrific and no more annoying talking ads!


Buy a Dell-Supported Ubuntu PC and plant a tree for $385

I think I’ve got a for a new PC for the girlfriend! This is actually CHEAPER than building yourself.  In the end you save a pretty penny, because the upgrade to 1GB of RAM is free, and you save $100 off the total price of the system (limited time offer).

Check out the specs:

Intel®Pentium® dual-core processor E2140 (1MB L2, 1.60GHz, 800 FSB)
Ubuntu Desktop Edition version 7.04
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive
128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8300GS
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Optical USB Mouse

1Yr In-Home Service, Parts + Labor, 24×7 Phone Support
Support Reforestation: Plant a Tree for Me

This is an amazing deal from Dell. And if you’re a really cheap bastard, you can save an additional $6 by not planting a tree.

Help support Ubuntu by purchasing here.


Are Windows users *really* interested in Linux?

I’ve gone though my website logs to see just what kind of visitors I’ve had in the last few days. I’ve received well over 2000 page views over the entirety of my blog, with a majority of those being referred from the Linux section in Digg, where I submit most of my articles.

But this part is what is so puzzling – 46% of unique visitors to my website in the past few days are using Windows. It goes something like this:

1. Windows 46.10% visitors by Operating System
2. Linux 44.96%
3. Macintosh 7.23%
4. Other 1.71%

“Interesting information,” you’re saying, “but why do I care?” I’ll tell you why. I only write about Linux here.

However, Internet Explorer users alone account for 300% more traffic than any of the other browsers. That’s a aneurysm waiting to happen for Microsoft!