Saturday, April 30, 2005

BBC - On This Day
1975: Saigon surrenders
The war in Vietnam ends as the government in Saigon announces its unconditional surrender to the Vietcong.
1973: Nixon takes rap for Watergate scandal
President Richard Nixon takes responsibility for the Watergate scandal but denies any personal involvement.
1999: Dozens injured in Soho nail bomb
Two people are killed and at least 30 injured in the third nail-bomb attack in London in two weeks.
1993: Tennis star stabbed
The world number one women's tennis player, Monica Seles, is stabbed in the back during a quarter-final match in Hamburg.
1952: Anne Frank published in English
The British public gets the chance to read The Diary of a Young Girl, written by Anne Frank who hid from the Nazis in Holland during the war.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Mars rover stuck in sand

Slashdot mention that the Opportunity Mars rover isstuck in sand. According to Nasa officials all six wheels have sunk deep into a large ripple of soil. However Rover operators are optimistic that they can rescue the rover from the jam.

phpBB hacks
Topic title as web link
View category name

Fungames has a lot of flash games accessible from one page

Debian wins Munich Linux deal
Suse passed over , in favour of Debian.

Namibian comic teaches KDE

Boing Boing makes $40000 a month
Bacteria made to behave as computers
Montavista Linux phones within the next year
Anti Google Domains
Google Satellite Maps

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Extinct Woodpecker found

CNN report that the ivory-billed woodpecker, long feared extinct, has been rediscovered in a remote part of Arkansas some 60 years after the last confirmed U.S. sighting.

A whole new internet?

File upload Rails patch
Ruby On Rails patch for file uploading - graphical upload progress bar without a browser refresh.
Bring on the new web
Michael Buffington writes about Ajax apps and google maps.
Its a whole new internet
Linux From Scratch
How to build your own custom distro from the ground up.
The mass amateurisation of everything

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Intel wireless and graphics with Debian Sarge

Intel 2200 wireless and 855 graphics with Debian sarge

PHP Cheat Sheet

PHP cheat sheet
PHP reference ,designed to be printed out on a single sheet of A4.
Writing secure PHP code
3 page article.



Cassini Finds Organic Material on Titan (AP)
Microsoft Says PC Users Drowning in Info (AP)
MySQL CEO pans software patents, touts open source (InfoWorld)
Book giant feels wrath of Jobs
Hungry Sun customers must wait to feast on product hog heaven
A Yahoo! phone? Nokia can help
French court bans DVD DRM
Comments are More Important than Code
Longhorn Beta is Disappointing
Firefox nears 50 Million Downloads
Microsoft Word to Writer
Linux is the Logical Choice for the Classroom
The buzz about Apache Beehive
Review: Kanotix: Debian/Sid on steroids

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Madpenguin reviews VectorLinux 5.0
Review of the built-for-speed Slackware derivative, that can resurrect your older machines.

Step by step intro to PHP OOP with lots of explanations.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Stallman: Bon Voyage Bitkeeper

Running php4 and php5
Useful info for migrating to php5
Desktop for Dad
How to customise a Linux desktop.
Bittorrent Usage guide
Lots of info, tips , urls.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

BBC - On This Day
1979: Teacher dies in Southall race riots
A 33-year-old man dies from head injuries after a bloody battle breaks out between police and demonstrators in Southall.
1984: Scientist finds Aids virus
The discovery of a virus which may cause Aids, the fatal disease sweeping through America, is hailed as a "monumental breakthrough"in medical research.
2001: Royal aide on trial for murder
A former personal assistant to the Duchess of York stands accused of murdering her boyfriend.
1968: Decimal coins reach the high street
The first decimal coins make their way into purses throughout Britain in preparation for replacing the current system of pounds, shillings and pence by 1971.
1998: Martin Luther King killer dies
James Earl Ray, the convicted killer of black American civil rights leader Martin Luther King dies in prison

Taking PHP the OO way
Good explaination , with example code, of encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism

Friday, April 22, 2005

Just launched - my own site

Today I've just launched my own personal website. It wont replace this blog , as I always wanted this site to be more of a collection of bits and bobs that i've come across - a kind of ultra-bookmark system. My own site will be more in depth and highly technical - so , if i discover something cool in Ruby, PHP , Python etc , I'll have a tutorial on exactly how to do it. Since I also have a few of the in-laws and relatives now using Linux , I also intend to have step by step tutorials on how to do things in KDE , Fluxbox, Gnome etc. They wont replicate whats already documented ,more a case of "here's how you do X" or "Here's a feature you didnt know about" kind of thing.

Feel free to drop by - and if you have any interesting stuff to let me know about, just mail me or leave a comment here. Thanks.

Ruby 1.8.2 package on Mandrake 10.1 - updated

UPDATED: Jim Ruthorford in the comments of this post points out that ruby-1.8.2-5mdk.i586.rpm is no longer valid - it should now be ruby-1.8.2-6mdk.i586rpm. He also says that in order to get GEM to work, you need to install ruby-devel-1.8.2-6mdk.i586.rpm

Thanks for the update Jim.
Ruby 1.8.2 is available in the development repository of the forthcoming Mandrake 10.2 release. Unfortunately Mdk 10.1 has Ruby 1.8.1 which is no good for Ruby On Rails.

So, instead of moving to the unstable 10.2 release, here's what you can do to upgrade to Ruby 1.8.2

First off , you'll need the libgdbm3-1.8.3-2mdk.i586 package.
From the command line urpmi libgdbm should install it.

The Ruby 1.8.2 package has a dependency on the new version of libreadline, which you'll need to install.

The 10.2 rpms are:

If you have any ruby libraries installed you might want to go here to grab them.

Now cd to the directory where you downloaded the rpms to , and do this

urpmi libreadline5-5.0-2mdk.i586.rpm
urpmi ruby-1.8.3-2mdk.i586

after installing , just type ruby -v to confirm the version.
It should now say:
ruby 1.8.2 (2004-12-25) [i586-linux-gnu]

UPDATE:The Ruby Gems method of distributing Ruby libraries (similar principle to Debians apt-get or Mandrake's Urpmi) fails to work if you follow the instructions above. I've not found a workaround just yet.

Adobe Macromedia merger FAQ in plain English
Ludicorp and Game Neverending

Google GlobeTrotting

Google GlobeTrotting allow people to submit interesting Google maps satellite images. The images are categorised according to type. For example, famous homes

Google reports record revenues

Google reports a year-on-year jump of 93 per cent in Q1 revenues , at $1.256 billion. Profit margins were at 35 per cent of revenue.

Drag n Drop CD ripping with Konqueror
Google pays sys admins only $35k?
Monitor Linux file systems with inotify
Professional Sound Editing with Audacity
Ten Mysteries of about:config
Pope gets emailed up

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Creating a custom Linux Live CD with PCLinuxOS

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Google Maps launches in Ireland and Britain
Beattie on Ubuntu
Microsoft patents 911
Steve Pemberton and XHTML2
Google linking strategies
Linking for Google
Firefox Adsense statusbar extension
KDE 3.2 drop shadow rpms for Mandrake 10.1

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Playing an MP3 remotely

mpg123 playing an mp3 remotely on one of my boxes upstairs (connected to a hi-fi) from an ssh login via my wireless laptop downstairs. Sidenote to Plan 9 fans : Yes I know about "import /dev/audio"

One of the best articles on Web design ever?

The Dao of web design - absolutely essential reading if you are into the new buzz surrounding CSS/XHTML hacking and Ajax design. Key points are to avoid pixel perfect layout, and to avoid absolute font sizes - make them both proportional.

"Margins, text indentation and other layout aspects can also be specified in relation to the size of the text they contain, using the em unit for specifying margins, text indentation and other layout aspects. If you specify

p {margin – left: 1.5em}

you are saying that the left margin of paragraphs should be 1.5 times the height of the font of that paragraph. So, when a user adjusts their font size to make a page more legible, the margin increases proportionally, and if they adjust it to make it smaller, the margin adapts again."

"We can make headings and other elements stand out using font size by specifying that headings of level 1 should be say 30% larger than the body text, level 2 should be 25% larger, and so on. Now, regardless of the size that the user chooses for their main text, headings will be scaled to be proportionally bigger than the main text."

Linspire boss says running as root is OK

In this interview Mike Robertson, head honcho at Linspire , says that running everything as root is ok.

Robertson says, "I defy anybody to tell me why is it more secure to not run as root. Nobody really has a good answer. They say 'oh, yeah, it is!', but it really isn't. Here's why: What's the most important thing on your desktop? It's the data. If someone gets access to your libraries or whatever, who cares? Your data is the most precious thing on your computer. And whether you log in as root or log in as user, you have access to that data, technically anyone who's compromising your account has access to your data as well."

Needless to say this provoked a flurry of responses on Slashdot

Monday, April 18, 2005

More nifty corners

How to create rounded CSS corners without images - these examples also use a neat bit of javascript to keep your html code clean (no multiple nested divs)

Nifty Corners - the full article.

tabbed menu nav
rounded corners
More examples

Windows is easy?

The following is from the email newsletter Windows Advisor.

******************************************************************** we are...the Windows Advisor E-Alert has made it to #26...our first proud six months.In honour of it being #26, I've decided to dedicate this alert to a personal account of doing battle with evil viruses, spyware, adware and things that go bump in your PC...sit back...for I have a tale to tell.

I was in a hurry and my usually excellent (well...passable) judgement temporarily deserted me as I rushed to find the driver software for a specific piece of hardware. I have several tried and tested websites that I rely on to provide me with drivers. Unfortunately, none of them had the required file and I resorted to a web search. I followed a link that seemed legitimate. Perhaps, the pop-up ads should have been enough of a warning...but I persisted. There was the file I was after!
Just one click was required to download it. I should have stopped right there. The promise of something for nothing on a dodgy looking website...but I did it. Click! Just that one mistake cost me two days of work time to fix it.

snip - you know the rest of the drill...

Bartelme design
choice of 3 css styles on this blog (at the bottom)

Premium Weblog Designs
A blog about the best blog designs out there. Inspirational if you are coding/designing in CSS.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

BBC - On This Day
1964: 'Great Train Robbers' get 300 years
Some of the longest sentences in British criminal history have been imposed on men involved in the so-called "Great Train Robbery".
1993: UN makes Srebrenica 'safe haven'
The United Nations Security Council votes to create a safe haven for Bosnian Muslims under siege in the town of Srebrenica.
1970: Paisley victory rattles NI parliament
Protestant right-winger Ian Paisley has won a seat in Northern Ireland's parliament.
1987: MP on gay sex charges
Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has appeared in court charged with indecency.
1953: Queen launches Royal Yacht Britannia
Thousands welcome the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they arrived in Scotland to launch the new royal yacht, Britannia.

Friday, April 15, 2005

48 hours enduring Ubuntu
Very long list of user interface problems - written by an Ubuntu employee.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Ubuntu Human XMMS skin

Came across this gorgeous Human XMMS skin to fit in with the default "Human" desktop theme in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu button

I used brilliant button maker to make this Ubuntu button

Tom Yager on why Linux will never kill off Windows
Slashdot post with a predicatably enormous comment response.

Robert Clark : cameraphone roadtrip

Armed only with a Sony Ericcson cameraphone, Robert Clark is taking a trip across America, taking photos as he goes. He usually does stuff for the likes of National Geographic.

Via Jason Kottke

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Make your own annotated Google map
Paul Rademacher Housing Map Hack
Google Maps plus Craigslist real estate combined
PyCon blog
Python conference blog , posted by Googlers
How to create antigravity in your room
Python library created by Google

RAD with Python and Glade
Intro to Glade with Python

Ubuntu starter guide

The Unofficial Ubuntu 5.04 starter guide has lots and lots of well documented tips and hints to do with installing the recent Hoary Hedgehog release, such as how to install DVD playback support, how to install a menu editor for Gnome, and much much more.

Python versus Php
On why PHP became more popular than Python

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Cant we all just get along
Ian Murdock muses about compatibility issues between Debian and Ubuntu.

Intel 845G, Audacity and aRts - soundwrapper solution

The Intel 845G on my laptop doesnt appear to support hardware based mixing (well, the Linux drivers for it dont appear to). This lead to conflicts whereby if I wanted to record Amarok output in Audacity , Audacity would complain of lack of access to /dev/dsp.

The solution is to run audacity with the soundwrapper in KDE - this forces Audacity to use the aRts sound engine (which Amarok also uses).

Execute Audacity as "soundwrapper audacity"
In aumix , make sure that the green button on Vol is changed to red (just click on it)
In the Audacity toolbar make sure the drop down menu is set to "Vol" (as we're recording from Amarok)
Adjust the volume settings in Audacity and aumix to get your preferred recording level.

UPDATE: Recording Flash audio streams from Firefox wont work - use Konqueror instead (as this automatically talks to the aRts sound engine)

Monday, April 11, 2005

If you have an ssh keychain in place you can issue remote commands such as
ssh uptime or ssh mkdir /home/username/somedirectory

Freakonomics : What the Bagel man saw

Linux audio blog

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Mark Shuttleworth answers Slashdot questions at length.

Mandrake renames itself to Mandriva

Mandrake has renamed itself to Mandriva. The name is a merge of Mandrake and Connectiva (which they recently bought). Reactions on Slashdot and MandrakeUsers aren't favourable.

Well, at least they didnt go for ConMan...

BBC - On This Day
2003: Saddam statue topples with regime
Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader, pulling down a statue and tearing it to pieces as US tanks roll into the centre of Baghdad.
1976: Young Liberal leader cleared of robbery
The president of the Young Liberals, Peter Hain, has been acquitted of robbing a branch of Barclays bank.
1984: Dozens arrested in picket line violence
About 100 pickets are arrested during violent clashes with police outside two working coal pits in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
1999: President of Niger 'killed in ambush'
The president of Niger, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, has been shot dead in an apparent coup attempt.
1969: Sikh busmen win turban fight
Sikh busmen in Wolverhampton have won the right to wear turbans on duty after a long-running campaign.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Waxy on the Wordpress hoo-hah
Explains the Wordpress /Google pagerank affair.

Cartoonizing pictures with the Gimp

62 million year life cycle
Fossil records show that biodiversity follows a 62 million year cycle, that is currently unexplained.

More CSS stuff

Rounded corners in the Gimp
CSS Rounded boxes
With code and graphics.
Nucleus skin browser
The Leaf skin is v.nice.
CSS Cheatsheet

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Cobalt Networks in 2000

I used to work for Cobalt Networks, so it was great coming across this image gallery of visit to the Cobalt HQ in the year 2000, by the Japanese Cobalt fan site CobaltQube. They've set up a post-Cobalt open source version of the Qube, called Blue Quartz

Perched Upon A Lily Pad

Position Is Everything has this excellent 3 column CSS example. The left and right column remain static , but the central content column wraps if you resize your browser.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Html dog
CSS tips techniques and tutorials
CSS Zen Garden
pick a stylesheet

Global Land Cover Facility
Landsat and other satellite imagery.

Adsense channels go real time
Previous 2 day delay in reporting on Adsense channels has now gone realtime

Here's a funny one.
Type in 'Where is Google Heading?' into Google Maps

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Linux for Kids

As the proud father of a young child, I'm currently setting up an Ubuntu box tweaked with educational and child friendly entertainment applications. However, I wasnt sure , besides Tuxpaint or KDE-EDU on what exactly is out there for kids on Linux. So I did a bit of googling.

In this article on the setup of Linux for young children the author describes several child friendly applications, such as xjig, xaos and Linux Letters and Numbers

Using Linux with kids - an introduction

Other apps i found:

PAW branch of Xjig
Circus Linux

Found a distro - Debian Junior. No news since 2003 on this however.

Monday, April 04, 2005

How Google created a brand out of the ether

Click Harder 404 page

Saturday, April 02, 2005

BBC - On This Day
1982: Argentina invades Falklands
Argentina has invaded the British territory of the Falkland Islands in the south Atlantic.
1998: Papon guilty of war crimes
Former French cabinet minister Maurice Papon has been found guilty of war crimes for his part in deporting Jews from France during World War II.
1986: Bomb tears hole in airliner
Four people, including a baby, are sucked to their deaths through a hole blown in the side of a passenger jet.
1977: Hat trick for Red Rum
Red Rum has galloped into racing history by winning the Grand National for a record third time.
1962: New pedestrian crossings cause chaos
A new style of pedestrian crossing causes confusion among both drivers and pedestrians following its launch in London.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Yahoo launches Yahoo Slacker
Look for the sly dig at Google...
Google gSat will pass overhead
go out and wave.
The Jeeves 9000 robot
Ask Jeeves goes all reality.

Gentoo on NT
Interesting reading - i'll open up another bottle of Google Gulp

SQL Injection attacks by example
Security check
Katamari Damacy 2 screenshots
big ball of sticky stuff
Google Ride Finder
shuttlebus googlemap tracking
Radio David Byrne
talking heads playlist
Linux looks to Hilton for exposure
ha ha - check todays date..

Google Gulp
Quench your thirst for knowledge