If you’ve ever made a web site and wanted it to look consistent from one browser to the next, then you’re well away of the difficulties that are involved. Fixing these sorts of styling issues can be a major annoyance, however, I like to hunt down issues on my own pages from time to time and stand up to the challenge.
One issue that I can across today was dealing with horizontal menu positioning using unordered lists (<UL>) and some positioning. The positioning wasn’t consistent between browsers or even operating systems.
A couple of days ago I decided to reinstall my operating system since it was failing. I quickly realized that the only functional system that I had at the time was my MacBook Pro. After a bit of Googling, I came up with a pretty straightforward guide, but they really could have formated it to make it easier to follow.
I’m going to run you through the same steps and you should be able to use this guide to create a bootable USB stick for Windows, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.
Creating a bootable Windows 7 x64 flash drive from within a 32-bit install of Windows is not as straight forward as it may seem. I recently had to go through this process myself, so I’ll document the steps below.
Here’s a funny screenshot that I took earlier today that shows how little I actually use Windows these days.
Its funny to me, because for a while now I’ve only booted up in Windows to manually run updates and quick virus checks with the occasional Steam gaming session.
I run updates and scans almost religiously, so I know that October 3, 2010 was the last time that I even used this partition. Thats nearly 4 months of booting only in Linux (Ubuntu and Fedora) on my Desktop.
I do, however, use Mac OS X now on my new MacBook though. I’ve still not gotten around to installing Ubuntu on it, but maybe one day I’ll stop being lazy and just give it a spin.
I’ve known for a while that I could finally cut the cord from Windows, but this just officially confirmed it for me. That said, I won’t soon be giving up my free (via School) copy of Windows 7 Professional. 😀
A few years ago, while I was up late working and listening to what was then known as Virgin Radio at the time (and now as Absolute Radio), I happened to catch an episode of the “Deep Blue Radio Show.” Since then, it appears to have been renamed to “Solaris International.”
If you’re unfamiliar with this show, its simply a two hour mix of electronica and trance tunes by Solaris International with Solarstone. You can listen to their previous airings straight from their website, but I’ve finally come across their podcast in iTunes and found that it works perfectly in Linux as well with Rhythmbox!
Their site doesn’t seem to be as intuitive as it could be, which is why it took me so long to stumble across their podcast link. If you’re interested in subscribing, the link is posted immediately below. Copy and past it into your media player. If you’re unsure how, take a look at this excellent guide from GoingLinux.com.
Podcast Link to copy and paste: http://www.solarstone.co.uk/listenAgain/deepblueradishow-podcast.xml
At the moment, there are over 220 previous podcast episodes available to download, so if you’ve got the time then they’ve got the tunes. 😉
I’m usually not a fan of podcasts, but I have a select few that I frequent. This will easily become my favorite.
If you’re not a fan of electronica or trance music then you can kindly disregard this post or use this as a reminder to search for podcasts featuring music you yourself may enjoy! 😀
If you have podcast recommendations, I would love to hear about them in the comments!
Here are some pictures for your entertainment. If you’d like to use this, you need to install the Google Voice plugin first and then restart you web browser.
Keep in mind that you need the plugin to do this (and obviously a microphone) and that you’ll be calling friends or family using a number provided to you by Google Voice (so they may not recognize it at first).
The best thing going for Google’s new calling feature (if you ask me) is that its completely free for me to call any phone in the USA. While this pricing may not be permanent, it should at least last through the course of this year (my source for that is linked somewhere up above 😛 ).
I’ve been in talks with the GSPCA maintainer for a week now discussing possible issues that the Microsoft LifeCam VX-1000 was having in Linux. In case you don’t know (which I didn’t at first either), GSPCA stands for “Generic Software Package for Camera Adapters.”
This software package contains drivers to a wealth of webcams and other video input devices, the Microsoft LifeCam VX-1000 included. The problem I had was that the built in microphone would stop working as soon as you turned on the camera. If you never used the camera and only opened a sound recording application then the microphone would work perfectly. In the long mailing list discussions that let me to this post, we discovered that the bug was is in setting a GPIO register that instantly breaks communication with the microphone. I’ve worked up a patch that I would like to get tested by others. Basically, the patch just includes conditionals that tell the driver not to apply this GPIO register change if the camera is using the OV7660 sensor. What I would like to test is, does disabling for this sensor affect other OV7660 devices? If not, then this patch will likely go into the main Linux kernel. If you’re using the Microsoft LifeCam VX-1000 or VX-3000 and are having trouble with your microphone, could you please do the following?
Extract the zip file on your Desktop (so you have the folder “gspca-2.9.51-vx1000-patch-20100712”).
Open a terminal window and enter the following commands: cd Desktop/gspca-2.9.51-vx1000-patch-20100712/ make sudo make install
Reboot your computer and test your webcam in an application such as Cheese (which can easily be found in the Ubuntu Software Center).
Make sure that when you start your webcam in Cheese that the microphone continues to work. You can verify this in the Sound Preferences window if you click on the Input tab (make sure you have selected “LifeCam VX-1000” as your input device). Let me know in the comments below or in the Ubuntu thread regarding this issue how it works for you! In case anyone is interested, here is the “diff -uNr” for the original sonixj.c against my modified version:
UPDATE 2010-07-13: As of today this patch is included in GSPCA v2.9.52+! It looks like my hard work paid off after all and now all Linux users, not just Ubuntu users, will be able to enjoy the fruit of my labor since GSPCA is merged into the official Linux Kernel. 😉
If you have an active Last.fm account and like to switch up your wallpaper from time to time then you’ll love Wallpaperfm!
This python script, by Koant, has been around since at least 2008, but I’ve only recently stumbled across it. It’s easy to start using and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users!
I’ll help you get started in Linux since that’s what I’ve set it up on. If you need more help or want more configuration options you should look to the information that Koant has posted on his website.
That’s the most basic set of options you can use to create your wallpaper (which you will find after running the script in the “wallpaperfm” folder that was created).
There are three options for the type of wallpaper created:
To specify one of these modes, simply run the wallpaper script with the mode flag set to your choice.
./wallpaperfm.py -u YOURLASTFMUSERNAME -m collage
There are plenty of other settings you can specify such as size, canvas size, filename, profile period, final opacity, cache, excluded albums, local copy, etc.
Suggestions and Ideas
User Interface and Packaging
I’m sure that this script could be simplified further for Linux users (and more specifically, Debian/Ubuntu users) if a user interface were created. It actually seems like a rather simple task since the parameters for the script are well bounded.
Adding this interface to an installer package would also be a very simple task and would most likely get more attention to such a neat tool!
Cron Jobs, Regularly Updating Your Wallpaper
Another thing, if your music preferences are constantly changing like mine, you may be interested in updating your wallpaper in regular intervals. To do this you can setup a Cron job that runs in the background.
While this may sound difficult and confusing, its really not at all and this helps explain a lot. I can even walk you through the steps.
sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule
Open the application (in Ubuntu) through the Applications menu -> System Tools -> Scheduled tasks.
Click the New button and select the Recurrent task type.
Give the task a description.
Enter the command that runs your script. If you followed the steps above then it should be something similar to: