Writing down my thoughts once ince a while

Archive for the ‘Ubuntu’ Category

Keyboard Auto-Repeat disabled automatically with KDE 4.2 and X.org/X11/HAL

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I was having this problem all day and I think I found the culprit, finally –> me!
Running KDE 4.2 and HAL-configured keyboard and mouse.

I am posting this only to help others who might be having the same problem and have found nothing relevant after Googling all day (like I have).
You can share your different problems in the comments but I’m not sure I can provide you with any assistance in solving this or other problems.

If you ever went to your KDE 4.2 “System Settings” dialog, clicked on “Keyboard & Mouse” then selected “Enable keyboard repeat” but later decided to disable it (thinking it was only a way to customize your keyboard repeat rate and delay, not enable or disable it —  how embarrassing), after a reboot of your system, you will soon find that you don’t have auto-repeat turned on anymore. I didn’t notice this immediately after I turned off auto-repeat from withing the Settings dialog :/.

So all you have to do now is turn it back on. The default delay and rate should be 500 and 30 but you can now set them to whatever values you want.
I also had other problems when this was disabled, like Shift acting as Caps Lock but I later found out it was because Sticky Keys was on — be sure to disable that along with the Activation Gestures from the “Accessibility” dialog.

I wonder if starting KDE under a new user will still have this problem… but too lazy to test after I found my fix.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone.

EDIT: Check the user comments. The issue seems to be fixable in different ways.


Written by brokenthorn

February 15, 2009 at 02:46

Posted in KDE, Linux, Ubuntu

Tagged with , , , , ,

How to play Real Media in Ubuntu Hardy

with 8 comments

I use Gentoo and Ubuntu systems generally. While playing .rmvb files on Gentoo was just a matter of emerging the win32codecs or the win64codecs (w32/64codecs on Ubuntu), w64codecs aren’t available for you to apt-get install. Fortunately all you have to do to play .rmvb files with mplayer is to get the binary codecs package from mplayerhq for your specific architecture and platform. In my case AMD64/EMT64 Linux. Go to the download section on the mplayerhq web site and download your codec package. Create the /usr/lib/codecs/ folder if it doesn’t exist already and extract the .so files from the archive you download to that folder. Change the folder permission to a+rx and the .so files permissions to 0644. Be sure to use mplayer or gmplayer to play your .rm or .rmvb files.


sudo -i
mkdir temp1
cd temp1
wget http://www8.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/essential-amd64-20071007.tar.bz2
tar xjf essential-amd64-20071007.tar.bz2
# if after running ls you don’t see a lot of .so files but instead you see a folder, run:
# cd that_folder
mkdir /usr/lib/codecs
mv *.so /usr/lib/codecs
chmod 0755 /usr/lib/codecs
chmod 0644 /usr/lib/codecs/*
rm -R temp1

EDIT: In the 64bit version of Arch Linux, this was very easy to install just by doing “pacman -S extra/codecs” (Non-linux native codec pack. (Win32, Real9, QuickTime)).

EDIT: The above instructions should work on all systems, but there’s even an easier way to get w32/w64/codecs and keep them up to date: go to the medibuntu site and read the Repository HowTo.

Written by brokenthorn

May 11, 2008 at 12:41

Posted in Ubuntu

Tagged with , , , ,

New blog

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I’ve started a new blog for Romanian users, to help them learn more about the FSF, GNU, Linux, Ubuntu, rms, sabdfl, etc. It’s running on my host, but thanks to WordPress’s export feature, I will be able to move it out if I find a place.

Romanians gather round now!

This new initiative is slightly motivated by that fact that I know a lot of Romanian Linux users, and some who are friends, that do not have the slightest background knowledge on the OS they are using and that’s sad for me. And perhaps because I’m liking WordPress, but consider I’m still testing it :).

Written by brokenthorn

October 16, 2007 at 17:10

Posted in Linux, Ubuntu

My dad would have never switched to Linux if it wasn’t for GNOME!

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I’ve came to realize an important fact in the last couple of days.

Personally, I have always liked KDE better. After all this time I came to realize that GNOME is not bad, or even a little bit “evil”. I could say I’ve softened up on my previous impressions left by GNOME. While Ubuntu is a great product by marvellous people, I have thought of GNOME as being a lot unprofessional. But it isn’t, it has its very good purpose and good use. That is why I have used Kubuntu. Now, it still tempts me to install GNOME as I would like to see how it evolves practically (even if probably a lot slower than KDE, :P). But no, I’m a big KDE fan and I’m not going to change that easy. GNOME developers would have to rewrite a lot of stuff to give me any reason to use it as my (other) main DE.

Now back to the main idea: why my dad successfully switched from Windows to Linux. I’ll say it out loud. It’s because there is GNOME! If you think I’m wrong, that it’s because I made him use GNOME first and not KDE, you’re wrong. I made him use both desktop environments. After 3 weeks with GNOME, 2 weeks with KDE was a disaster for him.

What I’ve really come to realize is what changed my previous idea about GNOME. While KDE isn’t hard to learn to get used to for the first time for people like me (although not really a nerd, I like to consider myself one), it is a headache for people like my father. For some time I thought that the GNOME developers are writing unprofessional software, because the software they write hides or removes a lot of functionality an advanced and even moderately experienced user expects to find.

My dad used to think that Linux is not a desktop OS :D. The first few times I showed it to him, it didn’t impress him even a little (I was using Gentoo and Fluxbox for a long time then). After I managed to convince him to try Ubuntu for a while at first because XP is lacking drivers for his laptop and he hates Vista even more, everything changed. But a while became a long while :). One day my dad told me how happy he was that when he went to work with his laptop and plugged in the USB printer, Ubuntu automatically set up the printer.

I hope Ubuntu and GNOME will continue to make Linux easier for people like my dad. Ubuntu and GNOME is what contributes mainly to new users coming to Linux.

Written by brokenthorn

October 10, 2007 at 16:50

Posted in Gnome, KDE, life, Ubuntu

Gutsy will be released October 18th

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I just wanted to say that I think the release may be a little rushed. I’ve been running Tribe 5 and I’ve been submitting bugs. I admit, the beta is pretty stable… only one – constant – crash per day is nice, but there are pretty more bugs that were submitted. And I’ve only ran Kubuntu Tribe 5 long enough; Ubuntu Tribe 5 had much more problems when I tried it… Will everything be fixed by October 18th? Will strigidaemon stop hogging the CPU and crashing? Will kwallet stop creating env and share folders in homes? Will Adept be able to cleanly install new packages and update the system?…


Written by brokenthorn

October 4, 2007 at 15:52

Posted in Linux, Ubuntu

Wiping Gutsy off the hard drive

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That is what happens after you wipe your entire hard drive (wipe -qkD /dev/sda).

No, it’s not my hard drive! It’s my brother’s. He wants Windows back until Gutsy is released for the general public but he had previous partition table problems so he wanted the hard drive completely erased. I granted him his wish. *big grin*

Written by brokenthorn

October 2, 2007 at 17:50

Posted in Linux, Ubuntu

Matthew’s Technology Blog: GNOME 2.20 released

with one comment

Matthew must be pretty happy: Matthew’s Technology Blog: GNOME 2.20 released

As I and Matthew have always had our differences in choice of Desktop Environments, there’s no sign of it dissolving. GNOME is still following the same path of design: utterly annoying simplicity.

The improvements in GNOME 2.20 include: Improved support for right-to-left languages; desktop search integrated into the file chooser dialog; convenient new features in the Evolution email and calendar client; enhanced browsing of image collections; overlysimplified system preferences; efficient power management and incredibly accurate laptop battery monitoring. Developers receive more help with application development thanks to a new version of the GTK+ toolkit, improved tools, and a great new documentation web site.

Overly simplified is what I would say. GNOME just keeps putting “simplified something” in their roadmap. While that is not a bad thing, if done with a bit of subtlety, GNOME overdoes it. As always.

For GNOME 2.20, the control panels have been reorganized slightly to reduce the number of control panels, making it easier to find what you need.

Some of you who didn’t stick with GNOME and chose a different Desktop Environment may know how overly simplified the File Chooser is in GNOME, how little options you have for the file printing dialog and lack of many other advanced but useful and important features. A total lack, because they are not “smartly” hidden but “smartly” removed!
GNOME thinks it simplifies configuration when it splits all of the configuration modules in several menu entries in the System->Preferences and System->Administration menus but it’s not! Why are several desktop related configuration modules split apart, like Mouse Settings, Screen Resolution or Appearance? I get eyesore trying to point out where the configuration module that I want is. And because of the way modules are named, instead of getting to the configurations I want, I find something totally unrelated to the configuration I clicked (System->Preferences->Appearance->Interface — is that even interface-related? or Preferences->Preferred Applications->Accessibility — what is that doing there? :-?).

In spite of this continued development road to total simplicity, GNOME 2.20 has notable new features and improvements that no-one can deny. Evolution has smartly evolved, Epiphany also, Eye of GNOME has cool new features for managing photos taken with your digital camera, Evince really looks like the PDF/Postscript viewer of choice for the Open-Source platform, the File Chooser dialog integrates desktop searching capabilities using popular desktop searching engines, the GNOME panel is improved, Accessibility has been improved (GNOME’s strong point? lol) and other new improvements and features.

There are developer new features and improvements also, but this post is not targeted at developers though I am going to point out the *new* GNOME Documentation Library site, direct result of a Google Summer of Code project which contains a platform overview. This ensures all online-documentation remains up-to-date.

Please notice that I haven’t made any comparison with other Desktop Environments in this article, not because I want this to seem like a well thought article and wrote after very good prior documentation, because it’s isn’t, but because I don’t want this article to be added to the flame wars that are already going on and because I’m talking about the important things, that GNOME needs to switch mentality and that it is a really good Desktop Environment, it is beautiful, integrated, stable and has a lot of great applications.

Written by brokenthorn

September 23, 2007 at 18:40

Posted in Gnome, Linux, Ubuntu