lishevita's blog

Coffee shop Internet problem

So, I have this thing where I hate staying inside the house for days at a time while I work and do my little thing all in a small space. I need to get OUT. I need to have the hubbub of people around me while I do my thing. (Note, not the hubbub of people who want me to pay attention to them. Just the hubbub of people who are doing their own thing while I do mine.) But something odd has happened to me two days in a row.

Can you say "unschool"?

Seth Godin wrote about what school is good for in his post on January 31st, and then followed it up with another post on February 8th in which he discussed the fact that many people just stop actively trying to learn the day that they graduate from school.

Firefox always starting in offline mode?

I got a new laptop a little over a month ago and ever since the first day I've had an annoying little problem with Firefox. Whenever it started, it was stuck in "work offline" mode. I checked the user prefs in my .mozilla folder, and they said that I should be fine. (There is a setting for starting the browser offline, but it was set to false.)

Where the computer ends and the entertainment center begins

A little incident with my nine year old son got me to thinking a bit about how we define computers in our lives and how we interact with them on different levels. There has been a lot of scholarly talk about exactly this, and I'm not really adding anything to the discussion except a tidbit of personal experience. Still, perhaps this thought will get you thinking a bit, too.

First, the story:

Kernel driver changes

I learned how to add in or swap out a Linux kernel module today. Kinda cool.

Let's start with the problem. My new laptop has both a wireless card AND an Ethernet card that are incompatible with Ubuntu Linux. So, after a little bit of testing and research, my ever patient friend, savior and all things *nix tutor discovered that the problem was that Ubuntu picks the wrong kernel driver for the Ethernet card on this machine and that it didn't have the wireless driver at all.

Creating a bootable USB disk

With all the MID stuff I've been doing lately, I've had need to create bootable USB disks from img files twice now. As noted previously, I am a dork, so I always forget how to do things like this that I don't do terribly often. To save myself heartache and search time, here are the destructions instructions in short:

  1. Get .img file for the OS you need. (via download, Moblin image creator, or whatever)

  2. Find out which /dev your USB disk is.

Compiz-Fusion: Some basic commands

So, it dawned on me the other day while I was watching a colleague zoom through windows and workspaces with keystrokes that I am not using all the juicy goodness of my desktop GUI. Compiz-fusion is installed by default on Ubuntu 8.10, but I'd never bothered to figure out how to use it properly. So, today I'm learning a bit and writing in commands I find here.

First, a definition. The super key is the Windows key on Windows keyboards. I have not the foggiest notion what it would be on other keyboards.

When to write a script in a language you don't know

Sometimes there is a long, repetitive task that you know would be much better off if done by a small script, but the problem is that you don't know how to use the tools available at the moment.

Nvidia controls aren't in the GUI menus

My computer at home has an Nvidia graphics card, and it's running Ubuntu 8.10 at the moment. We have the living room set up as a combo family room/dining room/play space/study/office with an open layout and furniture sort of compartmentalizing the areas for each usage. We do not have cable TV, but we do have a nice TV/computer monitor that we watch movies and YouTube videos on. We pipe in all video content from the computer, whether it's from a DVD or from the Net. In order to make that work, we have the TV monitor set up as a secondary monitor plugged into the video card.

Bash Readline Commands

One of the cool things about most versions of the Linux command line is that you get a built in text editor to allow you to move around and edit your line easily. I generally use the Bash shell, and that comes with Readline. I know a few commands by heart and use them constantly, but there are more that never quite stick in my head. So, I figured I'd write about them here so they'd be easy to find and, possibly, pressed a little more firmly into my gray matter by virtue of having written them down.

Ctrl-e Go to the end of the line


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