• Don’t use this it is dangerous

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    November 23, 2008 /  Technical Help, Ubuntu

    Well just learned an Ubuntu lesson the hard way 🙂

    My daughter had left a session logged on, with some annoying background music repeating. I thought I’d figure out how to log her out via the command line while I was logged on. Always used Process Explorer to do this in Windows, doesn’t seem to be a Linux equivalent (not that I’ve looked that hard). Anyway did a few searches & found this little beauty ‘sudo pkill -KILL -u username‘. I assume it logged her off, unfortunately I couldn’t tell, as I lost any ability to interact with the OS. No mouse or keyboard functioning 🙂 I can only assume that it killed all of the processes associated with her login, including the mouse & keyboard drivers for my laptop! The only way out was a hard reboot. So let this be a warning beware of ‘sudo pkill -KILL -u username

  • Happy Birthday to me

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    November 13, 2008 /  Uncategorized

    Well it’s now been my Birthday for 11 minutes – Happy Birthday to me 🙂

  • Amarok Rules :-)

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    October 20, 2008 /  Music, Ubuntu

    Amarok is simply the best music player ever. Eeven if all the rest of Ubuntu wasn’t as great as it is (& it is!) this would be worth switching for.

    Yes it’s a KDE app, but it is pretty easy to run it under Gnome

  • Last FM

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    October 17, 2008 /  Music

    Discovered last FM. So it’s distracted me a bit 🙂

  • Everyone I know goes away in the end

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    October 1, 2008 /  Music

    What have I become
    My sweetest friend
    Everyone I know goes away in the end
    You could have it all
    My empire of dirt
    I will let you down
    I will make you hurt

  • Emails to Dell’s Josh Claman regarding Linux Printer Drivers – Part Three

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    September 25, 2008 /  Ubuntu

    response from Dell:
    Dear Mr. Taylor,

    I am sorry but I confirm that we do not have any Ubuntu/Linux drivers for these printers. I have tried to get all the information I could to see if we can get around this but unfortunately we cannot at this point of time.

    Please let me know if you require any further information, I will be happy to be of assistance to you.



    My reply to this:
    Hi Josh & Siddharth,

    Thank you for your reply & for looking into this. This does seem to confirm though that on your website you are offering printers as accessories to Dell laptops with Ubuntu, that will not work with Ubuntu! Josh, wouldn’t it perhaps be good PR for Dell to develop some Linux drivers? Ubuntu is going to be big in the future, this could be an opportunity for Dell to establish a good name for itself in the Linux/Ubuntu world.


    2 Days later and still no reply from Dell, but they still promote these printers on their site as accessories for Dell laptops with Ubuntu!

  • Dell Ubuntu Printer Drivers – Emails to Dell 2

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    September 22, 2008 /  Ubuntu

    Had an email back from one of their senior support people.

    Dell’s email:

    Dear Mr. Taylor,

    I am writing in response to your Email addressed to Josh Claman. Thank you for making us aware of this scenario with Ubuntu. However, could you please email me back with any Dell specific number like Customer number, Order number or Service Tag of the laptop and Printer. I will be glad to assist you further.


    Siddharth Jain
    Executive Support Resolver
    Dell Inc.,

    My reply:
    Hi Siddharth Jain,

    Thanks for your mail. I think that the issue is bigger than just mine, I think that you may have overlooked the fact that you can buy a laptop on your website configured with Ubuntu,  & as part of the customization process you can add a printer, the recommended printer is the All In One Photo 928 & as far as I’m aware, there are no Linux drivers for this printer.

    I have an Inspiron 1501 tag = 8f3253j, I have configured this to dual boot Windows & Ubuntu. My only problem is that I have a Dell All In One Photo 926 printer  & there do not seem to be any Linux drivers for the All In One series (sorry can’t get to the tag number easily for the printer). From my investigations, it doesn’t seem that Dell have written Linux drivers for any of their printers, but recommend that one should use a printer that supports PostScript, which the 926 & 928 do not support (I’m not sure if any of the All In One series do). If you do have Linux drivers for these printers, but haven’t released them into the public domain, it might be good to do so & keep those thousands of Ubuntu users happy 🙂

    Many Thanks
    Paul (Desperate for Drivers 😉 )

  • Dell Ubuntu Printer Drivers – Emails to Dell 1

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    September 22, 2008 /  Ubuntu

    Having been trying to get my Dell All In One Photo 926 printer working under Ubuntu (on my Dell laptop!), I ran into problems. Dell do not seem to have written Linux drivers for the All In One series printers (or perhaps not any of their printers?). This lead me to an interesting discovery – If you go to Dell’s website, you can order a laptop with Ubuntu installed, if you then click on the Accessorize My Dell tab, they offer several of the All In One series as options.

    Now this is interesting, either Dell have written some Linux drivers for these printers, which they haven’t released into the public domain, or they are selling printers to go with their Ubuntu laptops that won’t work (apart from going down the VirtualBox route, which isn’t really a proper solution).

    I decided to email Josh Claman Vice President and General Manager, Dell Channels – EMEA, to see what he could do about this. Here is my email to Josh Claman & his response. I will post updates here with all of my communications with Dell on this subject.

    My email:
    Dear Josh Claman,

    I notice that Dell are now selling laptops with Ubuntu installed. I praise this as a great move, however I notice that when you configure your laptop, you can add a printer, the ‘Photo 928 All In One’, but there do not seem to be any Linux drivers available for this printer for download from your site! I have made the move full time to Ubuntu this year & I have a ‘Photo 926 All In One’, which I cannot get working under Ubuntu, as there do not seem to be any Linux drivers available for it. Please can you let me know are there Linux drivers for the 928, which you are not making publicly available, or is this an oversight on Dell’s part & you are in fact shipping a printer which will not work with the Ubuntu laptop selected to go with it on your site? If you do have Linux drivers which work with the ‘All In One Photo’ series, please could you make them publicly available, so that Linux/Ubuntu users can get their Dell printers working. I look forward to your reply.

    Many thanks
    Paul Taylor

    Josh Claman’s reply:
    Paul – thank you for your e-mail. I will ask a member of our team to
    contact you, asap to discuss this further and keep me appraised of your


  • Ubuntu Hardy With AWN

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    September 21, 2008 /  Ubuntu

    Now this looks nice & is a great UI.

    This is Ubuntu Hardy Heron, running AWN (Avant Window Navigator), and stalonetray (you can see stalonetray at the bottom right of the screen), with all gnome-panels removed. Interface is great, lots of screen real estate & easy navigation). Here’s how to do it: IMPORTANT:Read all of the instructions below before starting so that you understand what needs to be done.

    • Follow this excellent softpedia tutorial to install AWN, with the following extra considerations (which is why you need to read all this through before you do it!):
      • Follow the softpedia tutorial BUT BEFORE removing the gnome panels do the following:
      • Follow the instructions found later in this post to install stalonetray, this is because the Notification Applet for AWN is very ugly & you really don’t want it.
      • Follow the instructions later in this post to add the Trash Can icon to your desktop, this is because the AWN Trash Can Applet is broken in Hardy.
      • Follow the instructions in the softpedia tutorial to remove the bottom gnome panel only. DO NOT REMOVE THE TOP GNOME PANEL YET!
      • Start AWN & drag any application shortcuts you want onto the AWN toolbar. You can set them up later through the launcher section of awn-manager, but this is easier & will save you time & hassle (finding the right icons etc.). I dragged shortcuts for Firefox, Thunderbird & Text Editor.
    • You can now follow the instructions in the softpedia tutorial to remove the top gnome panel.
    • Now configure AWN using awn-manager (right-click on the AWN toolbar & select Dock Preferences), my settings are as follows:

    • Next add the following applets still using awn-manager:
      • DesktopManager
      • Awn Main Menu
      • Awn Terminal Applet
      • File Browser Launcher
      • Stacks Plugger
      • Volume Control
      • Weather Applet
      • Battery Applet
      • Cairo Clock
      • Quit-Log Out Applet

      Now you can drag them into the order you want in awn-manager (my order shown is below – notice there is a Launcher/TaskManager applet – this seems to be automatically added by AWN, if this applet is here, DO NOT remove it – you can drag applets to the left of it to make sure they appear on the far left of the toolbar).

    • If you have now done everything, close all applications, then log out & log back in again & it should all be working.

    Installing stalonetray

    • Install stalonetray using Synaptic Package Manager
    • Download stalonetray.txt and save (right-click save as) in your home directory as .stalonetrayrc  – this will set stalonetray up as you can see it in my screenshots. You can reconfigure it – run man stalonetray for configuration options.
    • Now go to preferences/sessions and add stalonetray to StartupPrograms:
    • IMPORTANT: Gnome can only handle one notification area on the desktop, so to see stalonetray working, you need to remove the notification area applet from the top gnome panel.
    • You can run stalonetray from a terminal & see it, or wait until you have finished everything & logged out & back in again to see everything working together.

    Add TrashCan icon to your desktop

    • Open a terminal & type gconf-editor (do not run this under sudo, as then you will edit root’s desktop, not your own).
    • Navigate to apps/nautilus/desktop & tick trash_icon_visible.

    OK that’s it done. Configure away to your hearts content & enjoy 🙂 Now if you screw up, or you hate it all, here’s how to set Gnome back to how it was when you first installed Hardy (then uninstall awn & awn-extras if you want to):

    • Remove the following hidden folders/files in your home directory:
      • .gconf
      • .gconfd
      • .gnome
      • .gnome2
      • .config/menus/applications.menu (only this file – not the whole directory structure).
    • Log out & back in again & the original installed desktop should have returned.
  • Is this possibly the best love song ever?

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    September 6, 2008 /  Music

    Baby Baby by The Vibrators, it’s a fantastic love song, just
    Mmm, you’re so pretty,
    Not to talk to you would be a crime.
    Aah, let me put my arms around you,
    Just wanna use up a little of your time.
    (And I’m going -)

    Baby baby baby,
    Baby baby baby,
    Baby baby baby,
    Won’t you be my girl.

    Aah, your eyes are so pretty,
    And the clothes you wear they’re so fine.
    Hey won’t you come round to my place
    Just wanna use up a little of your time.
    (And I’m going -)

    Baby baby baby,
    Baby baby baby,
    Baby baby baby,
    Won’t you be my girl.