linux n00b

Get more Gnome Themes

Posted in Howto, Window Managers by downforce on April 27, 2007

When I ran Windows I was never a theme person. Windows themes just took too much of a hit on system performance. Under Linux, it seems that the impact is far less. As such I decided to look for more GNOME themes, bored with the selection offered by the standard Ubuntu installation.

The best site I’ve found so far is! Head on over to their Gnome theme sub-category.

There is even a page on how to install them, although I think it’s slightly out-of-date (2002).

To install them in Ubuntu do this:

  • System -> Preferences -> Themes
  • Click on Install
  • Browse to the .tar.gz file and import

Now I hit a little snag. Some of them said Installed correctly and sometimes I got a message to choose between Revert theme or Switch to new theme.

  • When I saw Installed correctly, it appears in theme list.
  • When I saw Switch to new theme, I had to say “Yes” then below the Install button is Save. I then saved the theme so it appeared in the list for later.
  • Now you can have a pretty new desktop. I’ll post back with more Gnome themes sites I find.


    A Rundown of Top10 Linux Desktops

    Posted in Desktop, Distributions by downforce on April 27, 2007

    New to linux? Read this!

    Found an article today on, Top Ten Distributions.

    It’s a good read, especially for the n00b to linux. It gives a really quick rundown of the history, the pro’s, con’s and some alternatives to the different major distributions to be used as a desktop.


    Posted in Applications by downforce on April 27, 2007

    I found this software a few weeks ago to help organise some thoughts on a new project I’m undertaking at work.

    I just found the latest beta 0.9.0 Beta 9 and all I can say is wow! v0.8.0 was impressive but v0.9 takes it to a new level.

    You can add embedded HTML notes and can even publish it to a website with either an applet or as flash.

    It’s a tool that’s becoming a regular in my arsenal of computer apps and being developed in java, works on any platform!

    My brief flirt with Debian 4.0 Etch

    Posted in Desktop, Distributions, General by downforce on April 23, 2007

    I feel my Linux journey is coming to the point where trying one distro over another actually means something slightly more rather than looking at the window manager/desktop. Don’t get me wrong I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I’m getting a better feel.

    So with that, I went and installed Debian 4.0 Etch via a netinstall. In fact I’ve installed it 3 times now, 2 different VM images and also on a partition of my main rig. I’m mainly dealing with the install on my main rig as that’s the one I really tried to use.

    Not surprisingly it installed almost exactly the same as Ubuntu. I even tried it with the installgui option. TBH this is just fluff and without the video card acceleration, it’s painfully slow refreshing.

    I decided on a “Standard Installation” and “Desktop Installation” and went with KDE (as I’m tending to favour over Gnome now).

    Everything installed great and was working fine, with the exception of sound. Sound under every installation has been painful, woefully painful. Oh I lie, Ubuntu (7.04 beta) with a seperate wajig install kde worked great!

    It wasn’t before long I got frustrated. The main reason? The packages in the repo’s are sooo old compared with Ubuntu. As a desktop, I want bleeding edge, I want wine 0.9.35, OpenOffice 2.2, not wine 0.9.25 or OpenOffice 2.0.

    In a commercial setting where stability is key I’d go for Debian, as felt nice and stable, not didn’t work. I know if, or should I say when, I need to rebuild my server, I will go for Debian instead of Ubuntu.

    I’ve just installed openSUSE instead on that partition. It’s my first non-debian based distro. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    How to get Google Services working with Opera

    Posted in Desktop, Howto, Knowledge Base by downforce on April 23, 2007

    I found this on the Opera forums whilst looking how to report bad sites.

    There is in Opera the ability to create UserJS or userjavascript. I haven’t fully researched how it works, but taken from their Opera UserJS Tutorial:

    User JavaScript allows you to specify local JavaScript files for Opera to include on every page that you visit.

    User JavaScript can be used for many purposes, including:

  • Fixing broken scripts on Web pages
  • Enhancing Web pages by changing or adding your own content to the page
  • Controlling what scripts are allowed to run on a page, and what they are allowed to do
  • Simplifying bookmarklets by adding functions they depend on to the User JavaScript
  • So with that a nice guy called xErath wrote a UserJS which fixes Opera with UserJS! There forum thread is here.

    Basically, here is what to do:

  • Download his script and save it somewhere where your Opera can access it. I created a new directory ~/.opera/userjs/.
  • In Opera go to Preferences or press CTRL-F12.
  • Go to Content -> JavaScript Options
  • In User JavaScript files enter /home/user/.opera/userjs/ (where user is your username)
  • Goto and it’ll work!
  • All credit goes to xErath. Thanks for the script!

    Wow – A 1000 views!

    Posted in General by downforce on April 23, 2007

    The blog is only just approaching a month old and I’ve already had 1000 views. I’m quite impressed I’ve had that many!

    Of the total views almost half are from the two articles on installing VMWare Server on Feisty and another 25% on fixing Opera from one of the Feisty patches.

    Thanks to everyone whose reads my blog!

    EDIT: Wow, I wrote this Friday night, but didn’t post it til Sunday. Over the weekend I had a HUGE flood, it’s already 1800!!  I guess with all the installed of Feisty, this is a common problem!

    Setting Opera Searches to your local Google/Google Linux

    Posted in Applications, Desktop, Howto by downforce on April 19, 2007

    One of the thing Opera can do it address bar searches. I like this feature alot, as around 75% of new tabs I open lead are for doing some sort of Google search.

    The keyboard shortcut to enter the address bar is either ctrl-l or F8. I used to use F8 more until I started using Epiphany which is only ctrl-L.

    To do a normal google search simply type “g I want to search for this

    Easy as hey?

    So now I live in Australia I want this to default to Google Aus. To change it do this:

  • Tools -> Preferences or ctrl-F12 then Search tab.
  • Click on Google and press Edit.
  • Click on Details
  • Just change to your local Google, in my case I added .au to the end so the string became
  • Whilst you are there, you might as well check that Google is the default and tick both default search engine and Speed Dial search engine.

    Now, I also use Google Linux alot, so I’ve created a new search called gl. Can you guess why?

    To do this:
    Press Add
    Name: Google Linux
    Keyword: gl
    If you want to use this as default, then check the default boxes.

    Now you can type gl wajig and it uses Google Linux!

    On a side note, change the part of the string num=50 to another number to change the number of results on each page.

    Nifty hey!

    PengiunPete &

    Posted in General by downforce on April 18, 2007

    This is a response to PengiunPete and your posts about I wrote this comment on your site, but seeing you’ve disabled comments I’ll post it here until I can post on your site.

    Once reading your posts, I became slightly more suspicious. I have to admit I did have some reservations to begin with, mainly on the basis of the short period of time they are attempting to do this in.

    So, I did some research of my own and I tend to this this isn’t a scam. I might be overly ambitious, but I don’t think it’s a scam.

    My evidence:
    Check this LinuxToday editors note:

    [Editor’s Note: As full disclosure, it should be noted that I am acting as an volunteer independent auditor for this fund-raising project. This is being done as a personal project, and does not imply endorsement of this project by Linux Today or Jupitermedia. I will be happy to answer any questions regarding the project to the best of my knowledge. -Brian Proffitt.]

    Next, the image. Check out that article and look at the bit at the bottom right “Web:”. Go to his website and you’ll see he’s a graphic designer of car liveries. He did the Firefox car, so it’s no wonder you think Tux500 one looks like the Firefox one. Also, as a racing fan (F1 not Indy, but still), those actual cars don’t look that similar.

    Now I’m not saying you ARE wrong, but I think there are way too many people involved for this to be a scam.

    Helios has been going crazy promoting this. It’s his project so why wouldn’t he? Some of his posts are obnoxious but at least he’s giving it a go.

    It may not be the best cost/benefit solution but at least someone’s trying something different. It’s created a reaction in the Linux community, maybe someone will do something else that works better, and it may come off the back of this.

    Lastly, to Helios, who I’m sure it checking back here … what will happen to the money if you don’t reach $350k? Going for a small sponsor package, giving it to other FOSS communities? Please tell us.

    For this alone I haven’t donated yet.

    GKnow – A possible knowledge base solution

    Posted in Desktop, General, Knowledge Base by downforce on April 17, 2007

    I was thinking about my problem finding a personal knowledge base app that I can host on my web server.

    I did a stint doing software documentation and thinking in the shower the other day (1 of 2 places where I tend to do some good thinking not in front of a computer screen) of exactly what do I want from a personal knowledge base solution.

    Here’s a brief summary:

  • Easily viewed and edited
  • Easy to reference and cross-reference
  • Easy to navigate between references
  • A search function which searches both titles and content (context-based search – right?)
  • Can be easily printed/pdf’ed
  • Can be marked private or public
  • Whilst running through it, an brainwave hit me … what I wanted is form of GMail, hence the name GKnow. Other just as googley names included Google-Know or GKBase. Knock yourself out thinking of others.

    Anyway, it has pretty much all the features I wanted, the ‘tag’ emails, a great search engine, it’s *very* easy to use, can groups items with the same title and can be controlled with key presses to navigate around. It even has the ability archive old items. Attaching files can be done the same way I used to transport files home from work by saving attachments to drafts but never sending them.

    There are a couple of missing features from GMail which would apply here:

  • Ability to sort columns
  • Ability to sub-group tags into categories
  • Now, if only Google would read this and fulfill my wish!

    Linux videos

    Posted in General by downforce on April 15, 2007

    I found these cool videos on Lobby4Linux, whilst reading about the Linux Indy 500 car.

    I’m a huge motor-racing fan, but more in the F1 circles than American race series, so I’ll follow this closely and more than likely donate a few bucks once I sort out that funny PayPal thing.