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Linux Gaming

I love open source software and I especially enjoy playing open sourcegames. On Linux I had many options, but haven’t really looked at all my Macoptimal,yet. Some games I want to check on to see if they have Mac versions include:

Hopefully, some of these will be Mac-ready.

In the meantime, I’ve bought Starcraft 2 and hope to get it installedshortly.


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Changing the URL of a Mailman list administrative web site

As I've mentioned in the past, I run several Mailman lists. On occasion, I have need to make changes, as since Mailman is a beast to configure (but powerful!) I try to keep my how-to's here for my own and others general reference.

Recently, my server IP address changed. Since my Mailman web admin site is tied to an IP and not a domain name, that means I had to regenerate the Mailman adminstrative web site so that it all pointed to the new location. Apparently, Mailman thinks it's a good idea to hardcode the full URL (with domain) in every link it creates. No relative paths here. :-\ Kind of a pain in the ass, but I'm sure there's some reason that makes sense that I can't see from my vantage point. anyway, in case you have to do the same, here is how you will regenerate the Mailman admin web site if it moves to a new web address:

  1. First I created a file called listconfig.txt.
    nano -w /path/to/listconfig.txt
    Inside that file I added one line of text:
    web_page_url = 'http://70.165.74.137/cgi-bin/mailman/'
    That is the new IP address I find myself on. If you are using a FQDN, you'd put that in the URL instead. In either case, make sure you type the full path al the way to the root of your mailman directory. It will not find it otherwise.
  2. Then I moved to the mailman bin directory.
    cd /usr/lib/mailman/bin
  3. Inside that directory, I run the config_list command and feed it my new config file.
    sudo config_list -i /path/to/listconfig.txt -v name_of_list_to_fix
    where the "name_of_list_to_fix" is whatever name you've given your email list inside Mailman.
  4. You must run this last comment once from each list on the box that you want moved to the new domain. You must also, of course, have moved the list to that domain otherwise the web site links will be broken...duh.

That should do it. Or, at least, that did it for me. Some notes: The config_list command will only update those properties of the list that you explicitly set in the config file to which you point. It will not affect the other list properties. If you want to see what other stuff you can change about your list via this method, try running sudo config_list -o /path/to/currentlistconfig.txt then open the created file and check out the current settings. Any of those settings can be added to the input file and updated through this command. Pretty straightforward once you are "in the know". Not so straightforward when you are hunting through mm_cfg.py files trying to figure out how to retroactively change list settings on stuff. Could be made more straightforward, but who am I to complain, It's open source and Free. I'm just glad someone is offering what I got at no charge. :) If I really don't like it, I could always submit code patches to fix things I hate or just write my own. Mailman is good enough for right now.


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These are a few of my favorite things

So, there are 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 things I like. I'll limit this point to 3:

  1. Linux
  2. Movies
  3. High Definition Video

#intellectualproperty #movies #tv #linux

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I'm Linux

I haven't blogged in a while and yet this is all I'm offering in this entry? I should be ashamed of myself.


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Problem with Guild Wars in Ubuntu Linux

So, I got Cedega running nicely under the latest version of Ubuntu, but when I installed Guild Wars (a seamless install process!) it told me that my video card was undetectable and asked me if I wanted to continue or cancel. When I selected Continue, it hung indefinately. This was a problem.

The fix was straightforward, though. I set my Cedega app to run games in a window, then when I entered the game and the error popped up, I hit Continue and it showed me the screen. I set the video up manually there, then exited to save the changes to disk. Then I restarted Cedega (not sure I needed to, but I did) and changed the Cedega optiosn to open full screen again. Viola! All was fine.

What was the problem, you ask? Many modern games have all sorts of card-specific commands they utilize to take advantage of native card performance. Cedega, however, only shows them a generic card, so the game could not detect the card properly. The video was all skewed and the result was what looked like a black screen. In the window mode, however, I could see that the screen was there and running, but in a small corner of the open window. Manually setting the video options to what I want saved them to disk so that the next time the game was opened it didn't try to detect the card and change the settings. All worked fine after that.

If you have a similar problem, I hope this helps.


#howtos #computers #linux

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Fixing the Ubuntu Dapper and Cedega xlibs error

So you say you are having a problem installing Transgaming's Cedega on the latest version of Ubuntu (Dapper Drake or 6.06 LTS)? Me too. In short, when I tried to install the deb package, I got an error telling me "cedega depends on xlibs (>> 4.1.0); however: Package xlibs is not installed". So uncool. The issue is that xlibs has been deprecated in favor of a more modern x package. Thankfully, there is a solution.

  1. Go to the Transgaming site, log in, and download the latest Cedega package for your system.
  2. cd to the directory where the package was downloaded.
  3. Make a new directory in which to work:
    ~/downloads$ mkdir cedega
  4. Extract the downloaded deb file top the new directory:
    ~/downloads$ dpkg-deb --extract cedegaXXXXXX.deb cedega
  5. Make the package editable:
    ~/downloads$ dpkg-deb --control cedegaXXXXXX.deb cedega/DEBIAN
  6. Edit the package to remove the dependency on xlibs:
    ~/downloads$ gedit cedega/DEBIAN/control
    Remove the reference to Xlib (X.X.X) from the depends list.
    Save and exit.
  7. Build the new package that doesn't depend on xlibs:
    ~/downloads$ dpkg --build cedega
  8. Install the new package:
    ~/downloads$ sudo dpkg -i cedega.deb

Why does this work? Well, the short answer is that though xlibs is missing and cedega does depend on it, the API functionality has been replaced, so though cedega says it depends on xlibs, it really just needs those API calls, which are present in a different package in Ubuntu Dapper in the default installation.

Enjoy

10/8/2006 Update:

A reader emailed me an example of a simpler workaround. Instead of building a new package that does not depend on xlibs, you can just using the "ignore-depends" flag to install the original package:
dpkg --ignore-depends=xlibs -i cedegaXXXXXX.deb
This will install cedega, though you'll need to do it every time you install the package. If you want the package fixed, use the original method I outline instead.


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More mock ups of a next generation Gnome interface

I found more mock ups of what people are wanted/expecting out of the next version of Gnome. I've added them to my existing photo gallery of mockups so that you can go to one spot and look at them all.


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Mock ups of a next generation Gnome interface

These are not my own, but I was quite impressed with these ideas for a next gen interface look and feel for Gnome. I found them on gnome-look and art.gnome.


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AWStats in Ubuntu

I've been using Webalizer for purusing my logs to see what visitors frequest my site. Webalizer is a good free software application for getting a quick overview of site trends, but I wanted more detail than it offered.

I consulted the Great LazyWeb (via his esteemed oracle Google) and was given a vision that I should install awstats.

To install awstats in Ubuntu all i had to do was "sudo apt-get install awstats". Afterwards, I modified the /etc/awstats/awstats.conf file to point to my apache logs for the log location and to a directory I created called awstats for the working directory (ie, where it puts everything). Specifically, the following bits from the conf file are the bits I changed:

LogFile="/var/log/apache2/tomde.access.log.1"
LogType=W
LogFormat=1
SiteDomain="tom.digitalelite.com"
DNSLookup=1
DirData="/var/www/awstats"

There were two small gotchas for the uninitiated. First, when I tried to run it with the command "perl awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -update" it told me it couldn't find the file awstats.pl. Well, a short find command later and I discovered that Ubuntu put it in the /usr/lib/cgi-bin/ directory. So I changed my command to "perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -update" which worked like a charm. The app ran and did...nothing that I could see. Thus the second small gotcha. Apparently all that command does it compile the log data into a database format for it to use later for report generation. So I found the commands to run for each report (again, the Great LazyWeb provided me the guidance I sought, Oh Great LazyWeb, Thou art grand indeed.). It suggested that I could run some particular script that would run all the reports at once, but I could not find it, so I took all the commands for each report, copied them into a single shell script and ran that. The shell script looks like this:

perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -update
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=alldomains -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.alldomains.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=allhosts -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.allhosts.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=lasthosts -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.lasthosts.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=unknownip -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.unknownip.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=alllogins -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.alllogins.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=lastlogins -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.lastlogins.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=allrobots -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.allrobots.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=lastrobots -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.lastrobots.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=urldetail -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.urldetail.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=urlentry -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.urlentry.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=urlexit -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.urlexit.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=browserdetail -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.browserdetail.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=osdetail -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.osdetail.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=unknownbrowser -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.unknownbrowser.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=unknownos -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.unknownos.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=refererse -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.refererse.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=refererpages -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.refererpages.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=keyphrases -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.keyphrases.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=keywords -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.keywords.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=errors404 -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.errors404.html

After running that script, suddently awstats provided me just what was promised. Not as simple as webalizer, but not too difficult either. And the details it provides are greater than webalizer! I am pleased.

Now, go forth and do as I have done that we may show glory to the Vision of the Great LazyWeb in out words and deeds.


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AWStats in Ubuntu


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Mailman server set up

I run several mailing lists from the server, so I had to set up Mailman on the new server. This was a bit more involved than the other services. Here's how I did it:

  1. I used apt-get to install Fetchmail (to be used to retrieve mail from the pop server).
    apt-get install fetchmail
  2. I used apt-get to install Mailman (which also installs Postfix as a dependency).
    apt-get install mailman
  3. I moved to the newly created mailman directory.
    cd /var/lib/mailman
  4. I check and fix any install problems. You may have to run this multiple times. Do it until it tells you that all is fine.
    bin/check_perms -f
  5. I edited my apache2.conf file.
    nano –w /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
    I added this to the bottom:
    ScriptAlias /mailman/ /var/lib/mailman/cgi-bin/
    Alias /pipermail/ var/lib/mailman/archives/public/
  6. I edited my mm_cfg.py file.
    nano -w /var/lib/mailman/Mailman/mm_cfg.py
    I added this to the bottom:
    MTA = 'Postfix'
    I changed the values of the following two settings:
    DEFAULT_EMAIL_HOST = 'digitalelite.com'
    DEFAULT_URL_HOST = '68.106.156.239'
  7. I ran the genaliases script.
    /var/lib/mailman/bin/genaliases
  8. I changed the user and group owner of the generated files to 'list'
    chown list:list /var/lib/mailman/data/aliases*
  9. I edited the /etc/postfix/main.cf file to look like this:
    queue_directory = /var/spool/postfix
    command_directory = /usr/sbin
    daemon_directory = /usr/lib/postfix
    mail_owner = postfix
    unknown_local_recipient_reject_code = 550
    debugger_command =
        PATH=/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin
        xxgdb $daemon_directory/$process_name $process_id & sleep 5
    sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail
    newaliases_path = /usr/bin/newaliases
    mailq_path = /usr/bin/mailq
    setgid_group = postdrop
    manpage_directory = /usr/share/man
    sample_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix/sample
    readme_directory = /usr/share/doc/postfix/readme
    default_destination_concurrency_limit = 2
    alias_databases = hash:/etc/aliases, hash:/var/lib/mailman/data/aliases
    local_destination_concurrency_limit = 2
    alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases, hash:/var/lib/mailman/data/aliases
    home_mailbox = .maildir/
    owner_request_special = no
    recipient_delimiter = +
    inet_interfaces = localhost
    local_recipient_maps =
    mydestination = $myhostname, localhost.$mydomain
  10. I edited the fetchmailrc config file to look like this:
    #wake fetchmail daemon every 60 seconds
    set daemon 60
    #go to the mx server
    poll pop.1and1.com protocol pop3
    #get members list mail
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is members;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is members-request;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is members-admin;
    #get dnd list mail
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is dnd;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is dnd-request;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is dnd-admin;
    #get faithlinks list mail
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is faithlinks;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is faithlinks-request;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is faithlinks-admin;
    #get bluebook list mail
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is bluebook;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is bluebook-request;
        username [username edited out] with password [password edited out], is bluebook-admin;
  11. I added the main mailman list (required, even thogh I don't personally use it).
    /var/lib/mailman/bin/newlist mailman
  12. I added all the other lists.
    /var/lib/mailman/bin/newlist members
    /var/lib/mailman/bin/newlist dnd
    /var/lib/mailman/bin/newlist faithlinks
    /var/lib/mailman/bin/newlist bluebook
  13. I restarted all the appropriate services to make sure everything used the new conf files.
    /etc/init.d/postfix restart
    /etc/init.d/mailman restart
    /etc/init.d/fetchmail restart

Not as straighforward as DNS or Apache, but easy enough for me to handle. Also, I copied over the archives from the old server to the new (they go in the /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/ directory). That seems to have worked except that Mailman doesn't see to be adding new messages to the existing archives. I suspect that it's just a permissions issue. I'll know next month. When it creates the new month's archives, everything should be back on track. I have enough archives that I'm OK with a half a month of archive blackout if it means keeping all the older stuff.


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Apache web server set up

Setting up Apache2 Web Server in Ubuntu Linux is pretty easy stuff---almost not worth writing down---but here goes:

  1. I use the apt-get command to install Apache2
    apt-get install apache2
  2. I add a .conf file to /etc/apache2/sites-enabled for each domain
    touch www.kungfugamers.com.conf
  3. I edit the .conf files to look like this for each domain (adjusting for the web root I chose and the name of the domain itself.
    <VirtualHost *>
    DocumentRoot "/var/www/kfg"
    ServerAlias www.kungfugamers.com kungfugamers.com
    ServerName www.kungfugamers.com
    </VirtualHost>
  4. I restart apache2 so it grabs the new conf settings
    /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
Suddenly, I have an operational web server! Don't beleive it's that easy? Well your browser beleives it, cuz that's the server from which you just got served this web page.


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Small correction to DJBDNS below

Just an fyi, I made a small mistake in the description below for setting up a DJBDNS server in Ubuntu. I've fixed the text below for the sake of anyone looking to use my text as a guidepost for setting it up themselves. Also, since this is documentation for future use and to help others, I cleaned up the formatting to be a bit clearer. Hopefully that helps others figure out what I've done. If you have quesitons about DNS setup, I'll be happy to venture a guess, but bear in mind, I kinda just muddled through it and may not be too useful to you. But I promise to try. :)


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Setting up the DNS server

For those curious about how to set up a DNS server, here's a brief overview of how I did it on Ubuntu Server edition:

  1. I use the apt-get command to install DJBDNS, becuase I prefer it over BIND for many many reasons.
    apt-get install djbdns-installer
  2. I then set up the dns service in the /etc folder.
    tinydns-conf tinydns dnslog /etc/tinydns 192.168.0.7
  3. I made a symbolic link to it in the /services folder (it uses daemon-tools, which is why it uses the /services folder).
    ln -s /etc/tinydns /service
  4. I checked to make sure it was running. At this point the DNS service is working, but I still needed to add my specific DNS entries.
    svstat /service/tinydns
  5. I moved to the service root folder.
    cd /service/tinydns/root/
  6. I tell the dns server that I am authoritative for this IP address.
    ./add-ns 239.156.106.in-addr.arpa 68.106.156.239
  7. I tell the dns server that I am authoritative for this domain.
    ./add-ns kungfugamers.com 68.106.156.239
  8. I tell the dns server that I am authoritative for another domain.
    ./add-ns daystromsolutions.com 68.106.156.239
  9. I tell the server where this domain is hosted.
    ./add-host www.daystromsolutions.com 68.106.156.239
  10. Because this domain is hosted at the same IP I've already used, I have to treat it as an alias, but essentially, I'm just saying that this domain is also at that IP address.
    ./add-alias www.kungfugamers.com 68.106.156.239
  11. I run the make command to compile the changes I just made to the service config.
    make
Voila. DNS is working. Much better than BIND!


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Just 'cause of Halloween

Here's a costume of someone dressed as the FreeBSD devil mascot. You're welcome.


#holidays #linux

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VideoCD follow up

I've since learned that when k3b burns the video to disk it does so based on video length, not file size. Firstly, that's odd because it implies that the video is being re-encoded in some way. I may be misunderstanding what I'm seeing. Secondly, it means I can't fit one week (four episodes) of the Daily Show on 1 CD (I mean, assuming I were to illegally download and try to do such a thing, which I've not done. Nope. Not me. Never.) because the show is just over 20 minutes in length per episode and the VideoCD can only hold 80 minutes of video. That means it inches over the limit by a scant two to five minutes, depending on how many commercials were taken out. So close. Not close enough. The only way to get all of a week's episodes onto one disk would be to open it up in something like Kino to edit the video and cut out the last few minutes myself. That's kind of a pain in the butt. Putting two to three episodes on a disk seems easier to me. It's just that, it'd be so good for my OCD if the episodes could be burned at a [one disk = one week] ratio. I suspect this will be one of those many things that will not be accomodating to my OCD. I think I need some sweet tea now please.


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Converting AVI files to VCD disks in Ubuntu Linux

Since I dropped my paid TV subscription, I've missed the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I'm not saying that I'm gonna start downloading The Daily Show and burning it to disk to watch---because that would be wrong and bad and evil---but if I were to do it, here's how I would go about it:

1) Convert the downloaded AVI files to MPG files.
ffmpeg -i The_Daily_Show_08-03-05.avi -target vcd dailyshow1.mpg
ffmpeg -i The_Daily_Show_08-04-05.avi -target vcd dailyshow2.mpg
etc...
2) Burn the video to disk with k3b (I normally prefer native Gnome applications, but k3b is an outstanding KDE app!). To burn to disk with k3b, I just started a New Video Project, then selected the MPG files to go on the disk, then hit Burn. Simple.

One caveat, k3b gave me a "charset conversion failed" error at first. I went into the k3b preferences, and added the "--filename-encoding=iso8859-1" parameter to vcdxbuild (an app it calls internally). That solved the problem.


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Memorial Day weekend

All went well. I visited Dr. and Mrs. Kessler (who mentioned that they'd seen my blog!), finished upgrading Meghan's computer to Ubuntu Linux, played some D&D, and took Delaney to breakfast. I also chilled out a great deal.


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Fedora Core 3 Wireless NIC Installation (Linksys WMP54G.v4 card)

For anyone who, in the future, needs to install one of these cards on a Linux box. Here are my notes on the topic. This entry, like the earlier one on the Netgear card, will change as I learn more.

1) get and install gcc if you don't already have it
2) cd /usr/src/RT2500-Linux-STA-1.4.4.0/STA/Module/
3) cp 2.6.x/Makefile .
4) make -C /lib/modules/2.6.9-1.667/build SUBDIRS=$PWD modules
5) make -C /lib/modules/2.6.9-1.667/build SUBDIRS=$PWD modules_install
6) /sbin/depmod -a
7) /sbin/modprobe rt2500
8) Start configuring it to connect to your network


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Fedora Core 3 Wireless NIC Installation (Netgear WG511 PCMCIA card)

Fedora recognized the Netgear WG511 PCMCIA card right away. All I had to do was plug it in and then download the firmware and copy it to /lib/firmware/. Slick. I'm having some trouble with getting it to start on bootup. I'll be adding to this entry as that problem is resolved.


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Geek Pr0n

So, I'm re-reading my own blog (ego much?) and I scanned the title below "F-Spot and gThumb" and all I could think was "ewww". It's like geek pr0n. "So I was rubbing her F-Spot with my gThumb, suddenly she had a kernel panic...four times!" I got problems. :-)


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A Monk Moment

So, I decided after reading a bit about udev that I wanted it. I emerged it. Then, before rebooting, I happened across a forum entry that mentioned that udev will only work if you update to the 2.6 kernel and all sorts of other stuff, otherwise it'll just hose your system. Fuck! So now I fretted rebooting and I backed up all my stuff. I took forever, then I rebooted. Nothing. a small error on boot up but no other issues. The problem, though, is that now my system feels tainted. I know it's stupid, but it does. I need a wipe-n-reinstall to feel good about it again. I'm certifiable. Oh well.


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Monodevelop

Monodevelop gets its own web site. Additionally, it has put out its first release!


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Straw

Just emerged Straw. Doesn't work. Fails because of a "gnome" dependency. I guess I didn't compile Gnome with Python support or something lame like that. Irritating.


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F-Spot and gThumb

I'm all about Mono and I wouldn't mind seeing more of Gnome built on it, but I really like the gThumb application and it looks like F-Spot is starting to take hold in the Gnome community.


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Fuzzy Clock

Gnome gets a fuzzy clock. Neat.


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GTKFileSelector Widget

The new GTKFileSelector Widget is starting to look good. It's long overdue.


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Monodevelop

I'm really starting to drool over the upcoming release of monodevelop. Much goodness will be had.


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