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Posts Tagged ‘kubuntu’

Kubuntu 9.04 Beta working on Mini 9

Posted by anjilslaire on April 1, 2009

So after grabbing the latest Jaunty Beta of Kubuntu, I loaded it onto my usb flash and booted my mini 9. To my pleasure and slight surprise, both the login screen & desktop were perfectly scaled to the 1024×600 resolution. Did I say perfectly? Yes I did.

Playing with it more, I found the built-in desktop effects of Plasma working well, too. The Cube & wobbly windows performed with no lag, and the system was snappy, even via a flash drive.

The one thing that didn’t fly was the wireless connecting to my WPA2/AES-enabled router. The KNetwork Manager didn’t even have an option for WPA2, just WEP & WPA, basically. No love.

If the final release in a few weeks  corrects this and improves a few other things, I may just bump the 8.10 Netbook Remix to the curb and return the the KDE fold, despite my loathing of KDE4.0 & 4.1.

Jaunty with 4.2 seems very nice.


Posted in kubuntu, linux, netbook, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Jaunty Netbook < 1 month away

Posted by anjilslaire on March 31, 2009

With the release of Jaunty on April 23rd, I’m looking forward to what new goodness is in store for netbooks, as I’m still thrilled with my Mini 9. Kubuntu 8.10 is a disaster (IMO) on a netbook, so I’m hoping there are improvements in store.

I’m not so concerned about what 9.04 will do for my desktop workhorse. With an old Athlon XP3200+, 2gigs of ram and a GeForce 6600GT, it suits my needs fine, serving up Compiz, Firefox, Wine-based apps, and Acidrip just fine, along with copius amounts of hard drive space to serve as a media center.

On the contrary, its what Canonical can do on the netbook front that interests me now. Installing a new OS via usb flash is a breeze since I even keep a separate /home on the internal 32gig SSD. In fact, I do it on a whim these days just to see what’s happening with the various DEs at the moment.

To that end, I’ve just downloaded the latest Kubuntu  Jaunty beta to take for a spin via live USB. We’ll see how it does on both desktop and netbook, just for grins.

Posted in kubuntu, linux, netbook | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

KDE 4.2 released – netbook workable?

Posted by anjilslaire on January 27, 2009

After the release of KDE4-only in Intrepid, I found it unuseable for my tastes, even as 4.1. As a result, I switched to Xubuntu 8.10 on my desktop, with my preferred KDE apps installed in order to feel like home. I’ve never been much fan of gnome, and wanted a pretty lightweight DE to run my KDE apps.  This has all been documented before.

Today however, KDE has released 4.2 to much fanfare, calling it  greatly useable for the masses, apparently.

My 1st thought is, “Is is still so much slower than 3.5x?” My desktop hardware is beginning to age, at an AMD AthlonXP 3200+, 2gigs PC3200 RAM, and a GeForce 6600GT 128mb. I don’t do much gaming on the PC anymore, so I haven’t had a need to upgrade in quite some time. I’ve been happy with it.

I’m considering moving back to KDE to test the waters again, because I reallty do like the functionality that KDE provides (Or should I say provided?). Which got me to thinking:

How will KDE 4.2 run on an Atom-powered netbook? I’ve got my trusty Mini 9 loaded up with vanilla Intrepid and the Netbook Remix, with 2gigs of ram no less. Surely it can run KDE, right? Right?!?

Strangely enough, I may have to be a forerunner and try it myself, much like Xubuntu on the netbook a while back.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Posted in kubuntu, linux, mobile, netbook | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Xubuntu running

Posted by anjilslaire on November 13, 2008

So I got pretty tired of KDE4 pretty quickly, and didn’t really care for the performance hit due to *teh new shiny*. I originally went back to Kubuntu 8.04 with KDE 3.5x for a while, but then my insatiable urge to have the latest & greatest distro overtook me, & I went looking for options.

I settled on running a nice lightweight Xubuntu 8.10, and then diligently installed my favorite KDE apps:
and a few others. After some tweaking, I’ve found a nice system. Moderately lightweight XFCE, with my needed components. I’m hoping to keep this moderately aging system running ilke a champ for a while longer, and hopefully become adjusted to XFCE enough to put it on a Mini 9 later on.

I knew going in that Xubuntu (like Gnome) has a simpler menu system and not as many buttons & checks to mark as I’m accustomed to coming from KDE. The 1st obstacle I ran across was the inadequate system menu interface, which doesn’t *really* let you edit the menu much at all. In my 1st day in Xubuntu, I found the following, which helped immensely, as my previous menu settings from my previous OS installs left duplicate entries littered all over the menu, especially in “Other”, including all of my Wine- apps not in the Wine submenu:

I’ll post more thoughts as I continue down this road, but I’m moderately impressed so far.

Posted in kubuntu, linux, xubuntu | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Intrepid Ibex tomorrow

Posted by anjilslaire on October 29, 2008

Well you al likely know that 8.10 drops tomorrow. I’ll probably torrent it for a bit, and then install the Kubuntu image. I love getting a fresh new OS version every 6 months. W00t!

Posted in kubuntu, linux, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Flash 10 released, with deb

Posted by anjilslaire on October 18, 2008

It looks like Adobe has gotten their stuff together. Flash 10 has been RTMed, and they even released an Ubuntu 8.04+ packaged deb for download.

It works. Very well. Get it. The Dell website works correctly now, making me want the Mini 9 even more now.

‘Nuff said..

Posted in kubuntu, linux, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GParted to the rescue

Posted by anjilslaire on October 18, 2008

I told myself I wouldn’t do it. I needed more space at /home, so I was going to move XP to a separate, smaller drive by itself, so I could use the entire 320gig drive for Kubuntu, with 15 gigs at /, 1 gig swap, and the rest for /home. I’ve been tediously ripping all my my movies & CDs to avi & MP3 for streaming from my media system, and was running dangerously low. XP was taking over 100 gigs which I needed back.

So my plan was to order a new 500 gig drive from newegg (done), and wait til Intrepid released before doing any significant changes, since I’d be reloading the OS anyway.

I didn’t wait.

I installed the new drive, and formatted it as ext3, and deleted the XP partitions. Suddenly Ubuntu wouldn’t boot, since the 1st partition (XP) was no longer there, and I received a big fat Grub 5 error, if I recall correctly).
“OK, I’ll just reinstall / and point it to /home and move along as normal, just on Hardy again….” I thought I’d be smart & use Gparted to resize /home to take up the extra space from the deleted XP partitions.
Apparently however, during the fsck portion of the partition move/resize something got borked up in /home. When I installed the OS to / again, verytime th system booted it detected an “unclean shutdown” and forced a new fsck which would fail and error out a 91%.

After much trial & tribulation, along with having over 150 gigs of music & movies on the line, I was able to use a Live CD to move the data (including my /home directory) to the new 500gig Western Digital, format the entire 320gig original drive and recreate the 3 needed partitions:
/, /home & swap.

I then copied my /home data back to the 320gig, and reinstalled the OS. Whrn I logged in, none of my settings were saved, and I received lots of permissions issues in /laire/.kde. a quick

sudo chmod -R laire:laire /home/laire

solved that. After a reboot (probably a restart of X would be sufficient), all of my settings were loaded up perfectly. I then  proceeded to reinstall all of my favorite & needed apps, using my previous entries on this page to get my Creative Zen running, Liquid Weather, etc. Boy, this pag has come in handy…

I’m curious how Kubuntu 8.10 will go with the switch to KDE4 (I believe). I’m hoping it grows on me.

Posted in kubuntu, linux, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

DVD Ripping, Linux-Style

Posted by anjilslaire on August 21, 2008

Yeah, I’m a slacker. been 2 weeks since last post. That’s a problem with Linux: Things don’t often break when you get it up  running 🙂

OK, today I’m going to give a rundown on how to rip & encode your precious DVD movie collection from the original disc to xvid format (.avi) which is playable and convenient to stream across your LAN to your display of choice, therefore removing the need to keep using (and potentially scratching) your discs.. In my case, that’s a TV with an XBMC-enabled xbox.

1. Ripping from the original media
Most DVDs are encrypted with some scheme to prevent your backing up of your own purchased media. Now, truth be told, the decrypting tools native to Linux are not on par with those available to Windows. Sony’s ARccOS protection is pretty crafty, and frankly does a rough job to the dvd standard spec. Luckily, there are relatively few discs with this garbage on them.

In many cases, the now-defunct DVDShrink works great to rip the vast majority of titles, and works perfectly under wine. Just install it, and set the Windows version to XP. I have mfc420.dll, quartz.dll & riched20.dll set to native/builtin. Yes, K9Copy in Linux does this, but I’m a fan of DVDShrink, and I know it has great quality. Your choice.

However, for more stubborn titles, DVDFAB HD Decrypter works great under wine as well, and is even ilsted as supported under Linux via wine by it’s developers. I run it under wine as Windows 2000 with mfc42.dll in the library as native.built-in

Use one of these 2 apps to rip the main movie only, including the single language track of your choice (English 5.1 personally) to your hard drive. DVDFAB does this with no compression, and you need to manually override it in Shrink, unless you’re looking to put it back on a single layer dvd. But that’s another post 🙂

After you have the decrypted files on your harddrive, (they are in a VIDEO_TS directory, comprised of several .VOBs, .BUPs, and IFOs), you’ll want to re-encode them into a cohesive single high quality file for playback. My preference is XVID, because its open source, and high great quality. For encoding, enter Acidrip. It’s in the Ubuntu repositories, and is simply a sudo apt-get install acidrip away.

Launch Acidrip, go to the Video tab, and configure it as follows:
Codec: lavc
Passes: 2
Options: vcodec=mpeg4:vhq:v4mv:vqmin=2

Now, the tricky part. Well, not really. You want the bits/Px to sit at .200, which the hint on this window tells you is a great ratio and the picture will be good. Not too high (wasteful) and not too low (blocky/pixelated). So, go to the Path window and point it at your source directory (where your .vob files are) and hit Load.
Change the bitrate until the bits/px reach .200, and it should change to a grey color. You may need to enable the Lock box to change the bits. On most movies, this ends up with a bitrate of 2067, or somewhere abouts. You can now save your settings, although I prefer to save it without the final destination listed in the Load field, as it changes depending on the film title.

Oh, enable Crop, and hit Detect. This will detect th formatting and avoid processing the blank black bard on a widescreen movie. Saves on quality, and video size. Why waste time & size on blank space?

OK, with all that set, flip over to the General tab, name the movie, and input the destination in th File name field. I prefer this:
/home/username/movies/%T. This puts them in my movies folder, with a filename the same as the Track Title. Handy, huh?

In Audio, I prefer the following:
Codec: mp3lame
Options: abr:br=128
Leave Gain a 0

I don’t include extra subtitle racks, so the rest is empty.

Whern you’re ready, click Start, and away it goes. On my Athlon 3200+ 2gigs ram, the average 2 hour movie takes a couple hours. YMMV. I suggest not doing anything else remotely intensive with the CPU in the meantime.

When it completes (remember, 2 Passes. It improves the quality), be sure to delete the original DVD files to save space, unless you want them for something else, or to burn a backup. I’ve discovered that most movies processed this way have a great picture (on a 31″ standard TV, as well as a monitor) and good sound (through a 100watt receiver) with a file size between 1.2 – 2 gig each.

When I’m done, I store them on a share on my server, and stream them to my XBMC systems connected to each TV in my house (living room and bedroom) It works awesome, and I never have to see the annoying spam & adverts on a movie, or search for my discs stored away in a box or a shelf somewhere.

Enjoy 🙂

Posted in dvd, kubuntu, linux, media, stuff, xbox | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Kubuntu On The Rainslick Precipice Of Darkness

Posted by anjilslaire on May 23, 2008

Yup, a new proprietary RPG released multiplatform. On Windows. On Mac. On Linux. Even on the Xbox 360. Demos available for all platforms
Tycho & Gabe, along with PlayGreenhouse, have released the 1st Episode of On The Rainslick Precipice Of Darkness. For those unfamiliar, you should spend some time reading Tycho’s editorials and Gabe’s comic strips. I love Penny Arcade, and read it every update (Mon/Wed/Fri). I personally find it hysterical myself.

I’ve tried the Linux demo, as well as the 360 version. They both play well, and capture the feel of PA perfectly. Surprisingly, it ran as flawlessly on my Kubuntu box as well as my 360, so I have no complaints. I feel the urge to pick this up for Linux to show my support. At $20 per episode, it seems reasonable. I hear each episode should provide between 8-12 hours of play. Not too shabby, I guess. I’m just excited they threw in a native client. There’s also a thread on the Ubuntu Forums.

Posted in gaming, kubuntu, linux, role-playing, ubuntu, xbox | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creative Zen V Plus on Kubuntu

Posted by anjilslaire on May 16, 2008

OK, I’ve decided to post how I got my Zen working under AmaroK, Gnomad2, etc.

!. Make sure you have mtpfs installed from the repo’s. I’ve never had this package installed before, and connectivity has always been sketchy at best. Install it:
Sudo apt-get install mtpfs
2. Also install libmtp7, available from the repo’s, version It’s very important to make sure you have libmtp6 removed if present. Use Synaptic before installing libmtp7 to fully remove libmtp6 prior to installing libmtp7.

I use primarily Amarok, so you need to add it to the devices Amarok sees:
From inside AmaroK
1.Settings >Configure AmaroK
2.Select Media Devices
3.Click Add Device
4. Choose the MTP Device plugin, and give the player a name, like Zen or Creative or MyMP3PlayerIsCoolerThanYours. Whatever.
5. I left the mount point blank. Click OK
6. Back in the main Amarok interface, select Devices on the bottom left, and on the upper menu select MTP Media Device if needed.
7. There’s a colorful little button right above this that says “Connect”. Click it. You know you want to…

Hopefully, your Zen will be detected, and scanned so your contents are displayed. Now, go add some music 🙂

Posted in linux, ubuntu | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »