Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pinguy OS

I loaded Pinguy OS on the Dell Mini 9.  This distro has a funny name but it is based on Ubuntu and it looks great.  I did a little tweeking on Conky to fit the tiny Mini 9 screen but the results look great..

From the Pinguy website...

Ubuntu is a great OS and undoubtedly the most popular and easiest Linux based Distro to use but even with its default setup and chosen programs it's still  lacking functionality and ease of use for most new users. So what I decided to do was build a Distro that looks good, could do everything most user would ever want to do and that was very simple to use.

I started out by listening to what my friends and family wanted to use their PC for and found the most user friendly programs for the task they wanted to do. After a while I got a good idea what most people use their PC for and what programs where the easiest to use. Like using Shotwell for easily uploading images to Facebook, gtkpod for putting music, photos and video on a ipod/iphone and mvPod for converting the video to a iPod friendly format.

So all the programs in Pinguy OS have been chosen because of their ease of use and functionality, I also changed every file type to open with the right program, like for some reason by default .iso are opened with Archive Manager so I changed that to Brasero Disc Burner.

As I already said apart from it being easy to use I also wanted it to be a very good looking operating system. There are now a lot of programs out there for Linux to give the OS a very smart and polished implementation, like CoverGloobus, Gloobus Preview, GNOME Do, and Docky. These programs don't just give the OS a good look and feel but they are also very useful and handy.

Pinguy OS is an optimise build of Ubuntu 10.10 Minimal CD with added repositories, tweaks and enhancements that can run as a Live DVD or be installed. It has all the added packages needed for video, music and web content e.g. flash and java, plus a few fixes as well. Like fixing the wireless problems, gwibber’s Facebook problem and flash videos in full-screen.

Everything is set-up for samba, all you need to do is right click a folder you want to share and add a password in samba using system-config-samba.
It also has a UPnP/DLNA server (pms-linux) so you can share your music, video’s etc. With a PS3, XBOX 360, Smart Phones or any other UPnP/DLNA media reader.

Nautilus has been replaced for Elementary-Nautilus with added plug-ins so it can get music and video art from the web. The default theme is Elementary using ttf-droid font with Docky and a custom Conky.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Super Structures

Image: Safe Harbor

Monolithic Domes are constructed following a method that requires a tough, inflatable Airform, steel-reinforced concrete and a polyurethane foam insulation. Each of these ingredients is used in a technologically specific way.

Our domes can be designed to fit any architectural need: homes, cabins, churches, schools, gymnasiums, arenas and stadiums, bulk storages, landlord dwellings and various other privately or publicly owned facilities.

Monolithic Domes meet FEMA standards for providing near-absolute protection and have a proven ability to survive tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, most manmade disasters, fire, termites and rot.

They are cost-efficient, earth-friendly, extremely durable and easily maintained. Most importantly, a Monolithic Dome uses about 50% less energy for heating and cooling than a same-size, conventionally constructed building.

Beginning in 1970, Monolithic Domes have been built and are in use in virtually every American state and in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Monolithic Domes are neither restricted by climate nor by site location. In terms of energy consumption, durability, disaster resistance and maintenance, Monolithic Domes perform well in any climate, even extremely hot or cold ones. And they can be constructed on virtually any site: in the mountains, on beaches, even underground or underwater.


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Big Kahuna and his Yarn Ball

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)
English physicist & science fiction author (1917 - 2008)

Checking the morning random Internet info and I clicked on http://www.quantumjumping.com
An interesting concept, I have read about the work of Dr. Brian Greene on mirror symmetry, relating two different Calabi-Yau manifolds (concretely, relating the conifold to one of its orbifolds). He also described the flop transition, a mild form of topology change, showing that topology in string theory can change at the conifold point. The whole 26 dimensions thing.

Interesting ties into the teachings of Max Freedom Long @ http://www.maxfreedomlong.com/


Your local Calabi-Yau manifold ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why Sugar ?

Why lifeinthesugarbowl?  My wife and I and the cats live in Sugar Land, Texas.
Sugar Land is a city located in Fort Bend County in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area (about 20 miles South of Houston).  It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas, having grown more than 158% in the last decade (scary). 

Sugar Land is home to the headquarters of Imperial Sugar and the company's main sugar refinery and distribution center was once located in this city. As a nod to this heritage, the Imperial Sugar crown logo can be seen in the city seal and logo. The city also holds the headquarters for Western Airways and a major manufacturing facility for Nalco Chemical Company. In addition, Sugar Land has a large number of international energy, software, engineering, and product firms.


My Linux experience started on the kitchen table with Red Hat Linux about 2004, when I took an old P3 PC at the house apart to identify the hardware.  Red Hat went commercial around 2005 I discovered Ubuntu and I been a fan ever since.  I moved to the KDE desktop (Kubuntu) for many years but I left after the KDE4 fiasco and it always seemed Kubuntu was always a bit behind the curve.  I tried OpenSUSE KDE for awhile and liked it but lately I've be in the Xfce desktop kick, Xfce is light, it's fast and it does what I want.  I am always tweaking better and better Conky code, rocking to my music.

Speaking of music, most of my digital music collection is open sourced.  I have three Sansa music players runing Rockbox.  I used Rockbox with Linux and most of my music is the .ogg format.  I still have a bit in MP3 but it is proprietary.

I love Ubuntu because of the community it has around the world, it is truly global.  The best computer operating system in the world is free!   Recycle old computers with Xfce and Ubuntu.  Spread the word…

I am a member of the Houston Ubuntu group but I do wish we had a group in the Sugar Land area...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

crazy about Conky

Ok, I am crazy about Conky, editing Conky code is a great way to learn a bit about programming and your hardware.

Conky is a free, light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on your desktop. Conky is licensed under the GPL and runs on Linux and BSD.

Conky Hardcore http://conkyhardcore.com/

The Conky Links http://conkyhardcore.com/beginners/conky-links/

The Conky PitStop http://old-cps-do-not-use.wikidot.com/

Many thanks to code from Conky by Hanna, The Conky Queen!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Conky - code is never done!

Tweeking the conky code for my Mini 9 (Fedora 14 Xfce) - thanks Hanna !

# Use Xft?
use_xft yes
xftfont Trebuchet MS:size=8
xftalpha 0.8
text_buffer_size 2048

# Update interval in seconds
update_interval 1

# This is the number of times Conky will update before quitting.
# Set to zero to run forever.
total_run_times 0

# Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)
    own_window yes
    own_window_transparent yes
    own_window_type desktop
    own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)
double_buffer yes

# Minimum size of text area
minimum_size 180 0

# Draw shades?
draw_shades no

# Draw outlines?
draw_outline no

# Draw borders around text
draw_borders no

# Stippled borders?
stippled_borders 0

# border margins
border_margin 5

# border width
border_width 1

# Default colors and also border colors
default_color white
own_window_colour white

# Text alignment, other possible values are commented
alignment top_right

# Gap between borders of screen and text
# same thing as passing -x at command line
gap_x 35
gap_y 50

# Subtract file system buffers from used memory?
no_buffers yes

# set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase
uppercase no

# number of cpu samples to average
# set to 1 to disable averaging
cpu_avg_samples 2

# number of net samples to average
# set to 1 to disable averaging
net_avg_samples 2

# Force UTF8? note that UTF8 support required XFT
override_utf8_locale yes

# Add spaces to keep things from moving about?  This only affects certain objects.
use_spacer none

SYSTEM ${hr 2}

Kernel:  ${alignr}${kernel}
CPU: ${cpu cpu}% ${alignr}${cpubar 8,60 cpu}
RAM: $memperc% ${alignr}${membar 8,60}
Uptime: ${alignr}${uptime}

DATE ${hr 2}
${alignc 35}${font Trebuchet MS:size=26}${time %H:%M}${font}
${alignc}${time %a %d %b %Y}

HD ${hr 2}

${fs_free /home}/${fs_size /home} ${alignr}${fs_bar 8,60 /home}
${fs_free /root}/${fs_size /root} ${alignr}${fs_bar 8,60 /root}

NETWORK ${hr 2}
${if_existing /proc/net/route wlan0}
Up: ${upspeed wlan0} kb/s ${alignr}${upspeedgraph wlan0 8,60 789E2D A7CC5C}
Down: ${downspeed wlan0} kb/s ${alignr}${downspeedgraph wlan0 8,60 789E2D A7CC5C}
Upload: ${alignr}${totalup wlan0}
Download: ${alignr}${totaldown wlan0}
Signal: ${wireless_link_qual wlan0}% ${alignr}${wireless_link_bar 8,60 wlan0}${else}${if_existing /proc/net/route eth0}
Up: ${upspeed eth0} kb/s ${alignr}${upspeedgraph eth0 8,60 789E2D A7CC5C}
Down: ${downspeed eth0} kb/s ${alignr}${downspeedgraph eth0 8,60 789E2D A7CC5C}
Upload: ${alignr}${totalup eth0}
Download: ${alignr}${totaldown eth0}${endif}${else}${if_existing /proc/net/route eth1}
Up: ${upspeed eth1} kb/s ${alignr}${upspeedgraph eth1 8,60 789E2D A7CC5C}
Down: ${downspeed eth1} kb/s ${alignr}${downspeedgraph eth1 8,60 789E2D A7CC5C}
Upload: ${alignr}${totalup eth1}
Download: ${alignr}${totaldown eth1}${endif}${else}${font PizzaDude Bullets:size=14}4${font}   Network Unavailable${endif}

MUSIC ${hr 2}
${alignc 35}${font Buttons and Switches JL:size=38}J${font}
${voffset 7}${exec conkyExaile --datatype=TI} by ${exec conkyExaile --datatype=AR}

WEATHER ${hr 2}
${if_existing /proc/net/route wlan0}
${voffset -8}${alignr 56}${font ConkyWeather:style=Bold:size=40}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=WF}${font}
${voffset -52}${font Weather:size=40}y${font}   ${voffset -38}${font Trebuchet MS:size=26}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=HT}${font}

${voffset 0}Humidity: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=HM}
${voffset 0}Moon Phase: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=MP}
${voffset 0}${font}Wind Speed: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=WS}
${else}${if_existing /proc/net/route eth0}
${voffset -8}${alignr 56}${font ConkyWeather:style=Bold:size=40}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=WF}${font}
${voffset -52}${font Weather:size=40}y${font}   ${voffset -38}${font Trebuchet MS:size=26}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=HT}${font}

${voffset 0}Humidity: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=HM}
${voffset 0}Moon Phase: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=MP}
${voffset 0}${font}Wind Speed: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=WS}
${endif}${else}${if_existing /proc/net/route eth1}
${voffset -8}${alignr 56}${font ConkyWeather:style=Bold:size=40}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=WF}${font}
${voffset -52}${font Weather:size=40}y${font}   ${voffset -38}${font Trebuchet MS:size=26}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=HT}${font}

${voffset 0}Humidity: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=HM}
${voffset 0}Moon Phase: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=MP}
${voffset 0}${font}Wind Speed: ${alignr}${execi 600 conkyForecast --location=FIXX0020 --datatype=WS}
${font PizzaDude Bullets:size=14}4${font}   Weather Unavailable


Monday, November 15, 2010

Salix Xfce and Twitter maintenance

Linux activity
I loaded Salix Xfce 13.1.2 to my Panasonic Toughbook (CF-72). Salix uses a text based installer that is fairly simple to follow if you have some Linux experience. Salix is a Linux distribution based on Slackware that is simple, fast and easy to use. Salix is also fully backwards compatible with Slackware Linux, so Slackware users can benefit from Salix repositories, which they can use as an "extra" quality source of software for their favorite distribution. Like a bonsai, Salix is small, light & the product of infinite care.


A great website for keeping up with Linux and UNIX releases..

A good Twitter App
After hitting the following 2K limit in Twitter, I checked out http://manageflitter.com/   An excellent app for filtering out how is not following back, no profile image (a pet peeve), inactive, talkative or too quiet users.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fedora 14 Xfce on the Dell Mini 9 - Sucess !

I got Fedora 14 Xfce installed on the Dell Mini 9. After the typical Fedora install, I had head over to RPM Fusion with Firefox to load the Free and Nonfree Repositories, but this was very easy just click-and-load and authorize as root. I loaded the “non-free” kmod-wl driver due to the Broadcom wireless card in the Mini 9. After a restart, we got wireless LAN.

If you run Fedora, the RPM Fusion Repositories are at: http://rpmfusion.org/Configuration

My Mini 9 has had so many distros on it, but the SSD is holding up well. It came with the Dell tweeked Ubuntu remix, I updated to the latest immediately, ran with Kubuntu for awhile till I ran into the KDE 4X issues (too wiggy for me). I tried #! Crunchbang Linux and that was a winner. It’s dark and ran very well but my “hackerness” brought me back to Xfce. IMHO, it seems Ubuntu is getting a bit wiggy. First it was the menu buttons on the top left, which I promptly fixed back, and Kubuntu is ok but always held back a bit., now the whole Unity thing. Anyway it's Fedora for awhile. You mileage may vary ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Roku TV

I have been watching the Roku box often. TV is moving away from cable and satellite to internet based distribution and Roku is a great deal. I love the Roku box and service and at under $70, it is a great deal

Powered by Blogilo

Fedora for me?

Thinking about moving the Dell Mini 9 to Fedora 14 LXDE. I am getting too many wierd errors on Kubuntu....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Web TV Research Notes

Revision - 3:30 PM 7/19/2010

(Moving the WWW from the PC to the living room)

What are the holdups? licensing issues, payments?

The Internet is taking over everything these days including television (cable and satellite).

A few examples of how the 'net is taking over television!

(Step 1 - connect your TV to a PC and the web)
By connecting an Internet connected PC to your television, you can download TV shows, movies, etc.

How to connect a TV to a PC?
Using various cables

HDMI cable (the best way but you would need a video card with an HDMI output) The old "High-Definition Multimedia Interface"

DVI Cable ("Digital Visual Interface", It is partially compatible with the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard in digital mode(DVI-D), and VGA in analog mode (DVI-A).

S-Video CableVGA Cable

See the following websiteshttp://www.howcast.com/videos/185705-How-To-Connect-Your-Laptop-To-Your-Television


If you can handle techi issues. Check outhttp://www.neurostechnology.com/The Neuros LINK runs Ubuntu Linux and it comes pre-installed with the Firefox web browser, Boxee and many other applications. Thousands of othersfrom Google Chrome to Miro are just a few clicks away. The Neuros LINK is also the ideal platform for playback of downloaded content and archivedvideo content, you can plug in a USB storage device or stream from your local network.

http://pc.neuros.tv/welcome/ (Firefox browser and registration required) !!!

TV is moving to the Internet, examples of personal favorites..http://www.hulu.com/search?query=Legend+of+the+Seeker&st=1


A list of Web TV Sites


(New Sites)
http://www.epixhd.com/ (need a Verizon, DISH, Cox Media or Media.com subscription)http://www.ovguide.com/
http://www.getmiro.com/ (The free open source Miro video player!)http://revision3.com/diggnation/
http://www.netflix.com/ (Subscription based but a big dog)(Coming Up)http://www.google.com/tv/

(Net TV Guides)http://www.titantv.com/


The Web for TV (per Google TV)FactsThe average American watches TV five (5) hours per day$70 Billion Dollars a Year on Television (US)There are about 4 billion TV users world wide, mobile phone market ~2 billion, PC users market ~1 billion http://www.youtube.com/googledevelopers#p/p/B09682344C2F233B/0/ASZbArr7vdIWeb

Radio Sites


This document is a work in progress, if you know of any good TV video websites, please let me know. brjones53@gmail.com

This document is at...