Quick Linux Copy/Paste Tip

This is just proof that you can learn something new about Linux everyday.

So, are you tired of trying to copy and paste information from one source to another by means of pressing Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V? Or better still, by right click -> copy and right click -> paste?

Well, there’s a much easier way to do this. No seriously! I just found out about it myself after trying to track down where this bug or accidental copy-n-paste was coming from.

Once you learn to use this, however, it becomes very useful and will most likely replace your keyboard shortcut method. It may even be a cool trick you can tell your friends about. 😉

You see, normally if you want to copy text or anything else from point A to point B you will be using a copy method that stores that data into the clipboard, holding it until it is replaced by the next copy.

With this method, oddly enough, what you already have stored in the clipboard is not altered at all!

The method I’m talking about is copy-n-pasting via middle clicking (that scroll wheel on your mouse of course). Here’s how it works.

When you select any text (any text at all) in Linux, you may not know it, but it is being stored in a clipboard of it’s own. To access that clipboard to paste from it, all you have to do is middle click!

To try this out, select the text here in bold red and press Ctrl-C or right click -> copy. This stores that text in the clipboard that you’re used to.

Now, select the text here in bold blue (it doesn’t matter if you leave it selected or not, it works either way). Now, go down to the comments section of this post and middle click in that text area.

If you’re in Linux you’ll most likely see that it pastes “bold blue” into the text area (color and font weight won’t appear in that simple text area). Now press Ctrl+V or right click -> paste and you should see that it pastes “bold red” into the comment text area!

If you see both items pasted into the text area, then that means you can take advantage of both clipboards as well as a faster method of copying data!

It may take a little time to become familiar with it, however, I’ve not been using it long at all and it’s already nearly replaced the old method for me entirely!

UNIX: 1234567890 on Friday Feb. 13, 2009 @ 18:31:30

This coming Friday the 13th (ahhhh, bad luck!!!!) will be a unique day for me and everyone on earth!

This coming Friday the 13th will be the day that makes a milestone mark in the history of UNIX! That milestone has been running since midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of January 1, 1970, not counting leap seconds.

Basically, if you live if Eastern Standard Time (EST) like I do, then you will see this once in a life time event occur on:

Fri Feb 13 18:31:30 2009

Here is a quick screen shot that illustrates how to find the local time for you as well as the local time for me. 😉

If you want to check the time in your location then enter the following terminal command (compliments of  Gizmodo.com).

perl -e 'print scalar localtime(1234567890),"\n";'

Enjoy the day and maybe down a brew to celebrate the unique timing! Go UNIX!

Trillian Astra Build 78 and Digsby Build 28 in CrossOver 6.2

Digsby LogoI recently tried to install Trillian Astra in Ubuntu using Wine 0.9.61 with no luck. I ran into several errors and am still working on straightening them out, but I think this could take quiet a bit of time.

Trillian LogoAfter googling for some clues and solutions, I came across a program called CrossOver and decided to give it a trial run. The test cases were Trillian Astra Build 78 and Digsby Build 28. I’ll go a bit into detail on the whole experiment with both test cases and let you know what does and doesn’t work.

Trillian Astra Build 78:
I’ve been wanting to get Trillian Astra running on my Linux box for a while now (since I was invited to alpha test with them), but have had little to no luck. The issues seem to almost always be related to the rendering of the application more than the functionality of it.

Please don’t ask me to send you the installer, for a link to the installer, or for a crack. If you want to use Trillian Astra then you can get in line like the rest of us have done to alpha test or you can wait for the public beta and final releases 😛

I started by downloading the latest version of Trillian Astra and right clicked the installer file and selected the option to ‘Open with “run with CrossOver”‘ (I know that sounds weird, but that’s what the menu option says, lol). During the installation process, I noticed that the graphics and overall rendering of the installer were a bit slow and delayed. Everything rendered in the installer, but you could see images load almost like watching an image load on a web page.

I was able to move through the installation steps with errors. Everything seemed to run fine with the installer, however, the installer is the type that is used by several different software developers who just bundle their software with this type of installer. So basically, the installer probably gets used more and therefore debugged more in order to run smoothly than individual applications that are installed with the installer program.

After the installation, Trillian Astra launched the log-in window. First off, the graphics were a bit off and rendering was a bit ugly, but it did work fine. I was able to enter my credentials and successfully log-in to the Astra service.


I think the over-all rendering was better when I tried this with Wine as I mentioned earlier. This window just looks terrible in it’s current state!

Now that I’ve successfully signed into the Astra service, Trillian went a head and grabbed my contact list and loaded the list into the messenger. This was all good and great, but the window turned out to be in a frozen state. I was unable to move the window, select any elements on the window, etc. It was basically a part of my background image.

After spending a few minutes trying to do something with Trillian Astra, I gave up and closed the application. I feel like, even though there are more elements that are visible on the contact window in CrossOver than there are in Wine, that it will be easier to debug and fix this application in Wine. It just seems like Wine was at least a little helpful with the errors it returned.

That’s as far as I could get with Trillian Astra in CrossOver. If you can get further and have any suggestions then please post them in the comments!

Digsby Build 28:
This was a rather disappointing installation. I opened the Digsby installation file with CrossOver and moved through the installation process with ease, except for a simple error message that warned about the python.dll library or something. I clicked “OK” and the installation continued and finished successfully.

Successfully completing an installation, however, doesn’t guarantee anything will work in Linux. 😛 After the installation I attempted to launch the Digsby application, but I was prompted with two different error prompts that were familiar.

Both of these errors were back to back and Digsby did not load at all. This was a mission failed sign. If you get past these error messages and at least get the log-in window then please post your steps in the comments and versions of applications used!

I immediately wanted to remove the application since it appeared that there was no hope, so I found the “Windows Applications” menu that CrossOver made for me and navigated to the uninstall menu item in the Digsby folder. I was impressed that the uninstaller seemed to work flawlessly and even opened a web page in my already open Opera browser upon completion. The page that was opened was the typical uninstall survey web page.

Conclusions:
CrossOver is developed pretty well, however, the applications that you come across and want to install have to be very popular applications, apparently, to work properly. Trillian was much closer to working in CrossOver 6.2.x than Digsby, but neither messenger was in a state worth suggesting to a friend to try.

For now, I’m unfortunately forced to stick with a messenger that is decent, but has never been cutting edge at anything. That messenger is of course Pidgin. Pidgin really isn’t a terrible messenger at all, but when you compare it to the messengers that are available for Windows and do a feature comparison…well, it’s just sad to say the least.

Ubuntu: Feisty Fawn vs. Gutsy Gibbons

Ubuntu has recently become my favorite Linux distro among competitors such as Redhat, Fedora, Mandrake, SUSE and DSL. I’ve found that Ubuntu offers more support from the community than any of the other distros that I mentioned and also have great support for a wide variety of hardware vendors. For example, I found myself frustrated with Fedora Core 6 (Zod) when I installed it on my HP Pavilion dv4000 laptop. The main problem was getting my wireless card working..or should I say finding drivers to install to get it working. With Ubuntu I noticed right away that my wireless card was working from the live disk alone! I hadn’t even installed Ubuntu yet, just put in the install disk and booted up to it and my wireless card was working and as it should have with Fedora after installing.

I installed Ubuntu on my desktop with slight difficulty. Mainly, it would install fine, but Grub would not work properly. I have two hard drives in my desktop, both Sata drives. One is a 300GB drive that I use to install Windows Vista Ultimate x64 and Ubuntu x64 on with ~290GB and ~10GB respectively. The second hard drive is a 750GB drive that I use for storage. I found that Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) and maybe earlier versions do not install Grub well to dual boot on the same hard drive with another drive connected. For some reason it just won’t find the partitions to boot. A simple fix for this was to open the tower and simply unplug the 750GB drive from power and the board (while the power was off of course 😉 ). After eliminating this drive, Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) installed just fine! Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbons) seems to install with no problems from the 750GB drive so you most likely will not need to disconnect your extra hard drive to install this one. Now let me get into the comparisons..

Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)
Feisty Fawn is the code name for this specific release of Ubuntu which was released in April 2007 or 2007 April..7.04. Feisty Fawn is currently a very stable release. It has had plenty of time to receive deep testing from Alpha testers, Beta tester and to the general public and most all of the haunting bugs have been patched and repaired so it is a release that you can count on. Performance is great. It’s a snappy release that is highly customizable and easy to get used to after switching from Windows (like I did). Granted, this transition may be more difficult for others, however, once you find the applications that you need you’ll quickly learn that it can perform any task that you needed in Windows and possibly in a more efficient and easy way.

All hardware was detected properly and worked from installation. The only tweak that I had to make to my machine was enabling restricted drivers (nVidia graphics drivers) so that I could take full advantage of my dual screen display. After that it was just add/remove programs from a huge list of available packages. Anything from games to text editors to media players and tools to Beryl, etc.

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbons)
Just like Ubuntu 7.04, Ubuntu 7.10 has a code name..in this case Gutsy Gibbons. It was first released in August 2007 and has just recently been publicized as a “Stable” release. When I first saw that Gutsy Gibbons had become stable, I received a notification from my update manager in Feisty Fawn and decided to just upgrade from the manager. I would now recommend that if you want to upgrade from Feisty Fawn to Gutsy Gibbons..just do a clean install. My upgrade encountered numerous errors and was forced to quit only after half-way upgrading my system. This left my Ubuntu os unusable and forced me to manually reinstall. I would suggest backing up your documents and any other saved material that you will want later to a disk or jump drive, then do a fresh install over your Ubuntu partition and move your data back. That being said, I would also suggest waiting to let Gutsy Gibbons receive more testing from the general public if you plan on using it as your main desktop. I quickly ran into a problem with video drivers not working properly for nVidia and also read many forums talking about ATI video cards have similar problems. I was encountering random freezes that would sometimes return to normal, but most of the time just lock up the entire computer. Apparently the drivers are not yet stable. I’ll keep you updated when they have become stable enough to use, however, for now I have reinstalled Feisty Fawn so I can use my pc. There are several people complaining about these problems, but who knows..you might not ever encounter them.

With the update, I did notice that the layout had changed a little and several personal folders had been added such as Pictures, Documents, Music, etc. The icons got a small update as well as the mouse cursors. NTFS-3G had been installed and enabled by default to allow reading and writing to NTFS drives with ease. This means you can access your Windows partitions and save files to those drives by default now! If you liked using Beryl in Feisty Fawn to get cool desktop effects such as a rotating cube to switch between work spaces and wobbly windows then you’ll be happy to know that Gutsy Gibbons has all of these features installed by default. There is no longer a need to manually install Beryl, just drop down your System->Preferences menu and click on appearance!

Finally
Gutsy Gibbons definitely takes first place over Feisty Fawn, however, I’ve decided that until Gutsy Gibbons is cleaned up and patched up a little more, I’ll just have to stick with a release that has been through all of the stages already and I can count on.

If you are interested in downloading Ubuntu to give it a try, just go to Ubuntu.com. It is completely free and easy to use!