Everything You May Have Wanted To Know About Me But Didn’t

I’m Wayne Richardson, the owner, admin, and lone writer at fsckin w/ linux – a swift kick in the *nix.

This website is the culmination of nearly 10 years of experimenting with Linux, and three squirrels that spoke to me in a dream.  We held a televised debate on the topic of macadamias verses pecans.  It was weird.

My first introduction to Linux was by a good friend of mine near the end of 1998.  I eagerly put the borrowed Redhat 5.2 CD into the caddy of the 1x CD-ROM drive in my 486DX.   At the time, Linux was not very friendly to new users back then.  If you could get anything working at all, it felt like a miracle.

Since then, trying out new Linux distributions became a hobby of sorts, I kept a keen eye on Slashdot (UID 69114) and DistroWatch, downloading and installing new distributions, and getting really frustrated when something didn’t work.   Two years passed before I got my ISA SoundBlaster 16 card working to hear Linus Torvalds “pronounce Linux like Linux.”  He’s from Cannuckistan, isn’t he?

Fast forward to not so long ago, my computer had rebooted for the nth time that night unexpectedly, and I was at my wits end with Vista.  I contemplated two options:  Reinstalling to XP, or jumping off the top floor of the tallest building in Salt Lake City.  Lucky for you, I decided to try neither of those options.  Also, there’s a chance that the tallest building in Utah may not be a lethal jump.

After taking a short break from the computer to collect my thoughts, I came back to my desk and while rifling through a spindle of CDs, the Ubuntu Feisty Fawn disc that I had burned a few months prior stuck out of the pile.

“This is it,” I thought to myself.  “If my hardware works on this distro, I’ll try it for a month.”

On that fateful night, August 22nd 2007, I installed Linux on my desktop and everything was automatically detected and worked right out of the box.  I sat back, grabbed a keyboard and started writing about the ride of my life.

Here I am, a couple months later, still writing about things I find interesting, and recieving more than 5,000 visitors daily. 

The revenue from advertising pays the tiny hosting bill, keeps me interested in doing something other than playing Team Fortress 2, and eventually will pay for some geeky things I’ll write about here.

If you have any private comments, suggestions, or are really annoyed by something on the website (i.e. the scrolling RSS icon that I loved) just shoot me an email… wayne(@)fsckin(.)com.   I’ll beat you around a bit with a large trout and consider your inquiry.

I can’t store my sig in /dev/null?


Installing Second Life Takes Seconds In Linux

What a refreshing concept. Installing a software package from a third-party developer who doesn’t have anything sitting in a repository or pre-made installable package makes it stupid easy to install.


Gutsy Gibbon Enabled 3D Compiz Fusion Effects – But Where Are They?

Most of the 3D visual effects are controlled by keyboard shortcuts by default in Gutsy Gibbon. Obscure keyboard commands like Super(Windows Key)+E to emulate Expose, or Super+Right Click to Zoom around… but where’s a list of all the shortcuts? Who knows, it’s probably hidden in the Gnome configuration somewhere.

What I do know is that we can install the Compiz Fusion configuration tool and setup our desktop the way we want to. It’s easy as baking no-bake cookies. 🙂


Shopping For Linux-Compatable Hardware Is Easy!

Shopping for Linux-compatable hardware is only slightly more difficult than finding out if that RAM upgrade for your computer needs 168, 184 or 240 pins on it. I have been in the market for a new motherboard for a couple months now, and I will detail what steps I took before finalizing a purchase decision.

The reason why I’m writing this article about selecting a motherboard instead of another component is because it requires the most research. There are a dozen different components that need to be analyized before knowing for sure that everything works in Linux. Things that are trivial to get working in Windows, such as USB, RAID, or Sound chipsets may need to be validated to work properly in Linux.


Intel PowerTOP – Not Just For Laptops

When I originally read about PowerTOP from Intel, I figured it was designed completely for laptops. I decided to install it on my desktop with a Core2Duo and see what happens… strangely enough, it worked!

Although there is less data available when using a desktop CPU, it is certainly VERY useful in determining what is using the most power.


Partitioning or Resizing Drives In Ubuntu Using GParted

Ubuntu does not come with any graphical tools to repartition or resize a drive. Luckily, GParted comes to the rescue!


I Found A Good Use For The 98 Page Gentoo Installation Manual

gentoo manual aka tinder

That’s about it. 🙂


Digg “Linux Nation” for Thursday October 18th 2007

This is the 6th weekly edition of “Linux Nation” where I talk about the top stories of the week in the Linux/Unix section on  I’ll be out of town for the next couple of days, so expect a huge update on Monday after spending a weekend with my brand new black Macbook that I’m getting tomorrow!


1. The Gutsy Gibbon is out!

I’m reminded of a scene in a pretty famous movie…

Yippee-ki-yay, motherfu(BANG)! -John McClane

2. Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Torrent RELEASED

See #1.

3. Go to school on how to admin a server

Wow! After going through in detail, this website has TONS of very in depth articles on setting up all sorts of Linux servers. Very nice!

4. Linux vs. Patents : first round 🙁

Ahh… IP Innovation. Notice the singular innovation? I did. Apparently these patents go all the way back to Xerox Parc, and if you’ve ever seen the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, you’ll know EXACTLY what this is about. It’s quite comedic. Apple settled with these folks awhile back, I wonder when Microsoft is being sued?

5. Red Hat sued for patent infringement!!

See #4. Goto your local library and pickup Pirates of Silicon Valley and watch it for free… you’ll understand.

6. Ten Funny Quotes By Linus Torvalds

Linus, Linus, Linus. You’re so passionate about the right things, good read.

7. Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) Release Candidate

Apparently this week is going to be a Gutsy Gibbon marathon. See #1.

8. Linux Jeolousy: My Wife Switched to Ubuntu

Not only does she like Linux, she can do neat tricks with her tongue – watch! Just kidding.

9. Wine is Getting Good – there’s less and less need for Windows every day

Amen! By the way, check out my article on running the Orange Box in Wine, it’s seriously easy. I haven’t had any need for windows at all, other than my pesky iPhone… arrrg. I guess that’s what a laptop from work is for, right?

10. 13 reasons why Linux should be on your desktop

I like this quote from the article:

“Once the gloss wears off, it’s about applications” – Kim Brebach

11. PICTURES: Ubuntu gets gutsy, Screenshots


12. Wired Review: Ubuntu’s New ‘Gutsy Gibbon’ Brings Linux Out of the Jungle

This is a really sweet article, I hope it makes it into print.

13.465 Free Fonts for Ubuntu

These aren’t really “free” as in speech, but they are “free” as in beer.

14. A Look at Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” RC1

See #1… again. I have a fever, and the only cure is more Gutsy Gibbon!

15. 7 reasons why Ubuntu is so successful

Probably the biggest reason is the last one listed:

7) Fragmented competitors: When Ubuntu started it’s “march to glory” there were three “big” distributions, SuSE, Mandriva, and Fedora. Debian and Slackware were popular but were not very appealling to newbies (Debian still had a text based installer…). All of the “big three” were not at their best when Ubuntu came out and started gathering users. SuSE had recently been bought by Novell and was still undergoing internal reconstructions, Mandriva has in the middle of a severe financial crisis, and Fedora was just at FC2 which wasn’t nearly as easy as it now is. – Linux4Coffee

That’s pretty damn insightful. The rest of the article is a great read, have a look.

That’s it this week, enjoy Gutsy Gibbon without me!

Linux Microsoft

notepad.exe vs vi: Which Is More Difficult To Learn? The Answer Isn’t Quite What You Expect.

Migrating from Windows to Linux is no simple task. One of the things that some people complain about is the difficulty of text editing in console mode.

You may or may not know that Notepad.exe is actually pretty damn complicated. Just take a look at all the documented keyboard shortcuts:

New Ctrl+N
Open Ctrl+O
Save Ctrl+Save
Save As Alt, F, A
Page Setup Alt, F, U
Print Ctrl + P
Exit Alt+F4

Undo Ctrl+Z
Cut Ctrl+X
Copy Ctrl+C
Paste Ctrl+P
Delete Del
Find Ctrl+F
Find Next F3
Replace Ctrl+H
Goto Ctrl+G
Select All Ctrl+A
Time/Date F5

Word Wrap Alt, O, W
Font Alt, O, F

Status Bar Alt, V, S

Help Topics F1
About Notepad Alt, H, A

Here are some some undocumented keyboard shortcuts:

Goto Beginning of Next Word: Ctrl+Right Arrow
Goto Beginning Previous Word: Ctrl+Left Arrow

Select From Current Position To Next Word: Ctrl+Shift+Left Arrow
Select From Current Position To Previous Word: Ctrl+Shift+Left Arrow

Select From Current Position to Beginning of Line: Shift+Home
Select From Current Position to End of Line: Shift+End

This list of undocumented keyboard shortcuts for notepad are pretty long, that’s just a start from memory. If you count all the extra undocumented keyboard shortcuts, notepad has tons of functionality that is under utilized.

Did we ever notice or care that notepad had that many shortcuts? Most power users simply knew these shortcut commands by heart and never even had a second thought that notepad was difficult to learn, or poorly documented.

Using the vi editor is not complicated. I think most people just assume at first glance at a huge list of commands that it’s really hard to remember everything. It’s not that hard! Remember how ‘easy to use’ notepad seemed at first? Apply that attitude to learning vi!

The hard part about learning vi is that it doesn’t have a graphical interface for training wheels. You get right dropped right into a window that doesn’t necessarily want to help you get up and running quickly. So here are a few keyboard shortcuts for vi starting from the equivalents for notepad that are listed above:

New vi newfile
Open vi filename
Save :w[Enter]
Save As :w filename[Enter]
Exit :q
Undo u
Cut y
Paste P
Delete d
Find /text
Find Next n
Replace :%s/search/replace/g
Goto :linenumber
Help F1

Here’s where you, my readers come in. I’ve been looking all over, but I just can’t seem to find replacements for the following commands that have similar function without making things difficult:

Copy ?
Select All ?
Time/Date ?
Word Wrap ?
Font ?
Page Setup ?
Print ?

I assume since these were something I couldn’t find really easily that they are probably configuration settings, somewhere, but I’ve been looking for awhile and no luck.

Also, here is a pretty fantastic cheat sheet for vi (or vim) that I’ve found pretty handy:

vi-vim cheat sheet


Few more announcements: Friday is my birthday, and I’ll be out of town. The the next several days will be pretty quiet. I’ll probably do the 6th edition of Linux Nation tomorrow morning, but that should be all you see from me until Monday, and I’ll be back with a vengeance.

Good news if anyone is keeping up with the times here, girlfriend has been quoted as asking, “can’t we just take off Windows?” Needless to day, that experiment is also going much better than I expected.

Also check out the right sidebar, Atlas carrying the Firefox icon was an idea I came up with, it was all done using Inkscape and GIMP. Let me know what you think of it. If you’re too lazy to scroll up, here it is:

atlas with firefox

See ya next week,

Games Linux

How To: Run Team Fortress 2 (TF2), Portal, Half-Life 2, HL2 EP 1&2, and Counter-Strike In Ubuntu Using Wine

For those of you who are not familiar with The Orange Box, it’s five games in one box. It contains Half-Life 2, Half Life 2 Episode 1, Half-Life 2 Episode 2, Portal, and the one everyone has been waiting for: Team Fortress 2. My god! For 50 bones this IS the best deal in video game history.

Let’s start with a overview of what we need to accomplish: Copy DVDs to Hard Disk, Install & Configure Wine (including obtaining a proprietary, non-free font), and finally, configure the game to run properly.

I highly suggest finding some music to listen to while you do this. It takes about 30 minutes total, but well worth the time invested, as you could conceivably spend hundreds of hours playing these games.

May I suggest some Led Zepplin? OK, now that you’ve got something to kill time with, let’s get down and dirty.