Linux Systems Update

Done, done, and done. All systems go.

I dropped Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on the 17″ Dell, via an old image-having CD I had in the man-lab. Updated via the manager to 10.10, on my makeshift table:


Laptop Stand

No problem what-so-ever. Works like a champ.

I snagged the 10.10 image from Ubuntu, and created a bootable USB. I backed up my photos on said drive…so that sucker is one sweet USB. I have been packing it in my pocket, in case anyone needs some Linux on the fly…not holding my breath however.

Anyhow, my wireless card needed some update action…had to go manual on the little guy:


hiding spot

So the secret is out…I keep my modem and router in a wire-jumble behind the TV. It works. As does Meerkat on my Mini 9…with which I’m posting this tale at this moment.

So, I have a Ubuntu trifecta going on right now. Seems like they should have me on the payroll or something. Free shirt, or something. Not having Windows is prize enough.

State of Affairs

I’ve been busy. General business…not so much free time business. Here is a brief run-down of what is in the works:

Item: Environment updates

I am in the middle of re-purposing my computers. I have three flavors of Linux that I use on a regular basis. Gone will be that setup, along with all dual-boot machines. I am going to dedicate my Mini9 netbook as my ‘work at work’ machine…my old 17″ Dell will become my bench computer for my electronics projects…and my slick 15′-er will be my couch computer slash backup unit. All will run Ubuntu 10.10 with Gnome for the time being. I am toying with online storage options, so that I can drop files to and from my Droid without using’s server space. More to come on that.

Action shot…updating the Mini 9 from Ubuntu 10.4 Netbook to Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop…


little guy --------------------------------^

Bonus from above…real time apt-get Arduino V0022 action

Item: PIR sensor work on the Arduino

I actually had a little POC put together last week, before the system reboot. I made a generic little alarm, using the passive infrared module and a piezo. Once I can get the Arduino IDE up and running on all three boxes, I’ll snap some pics, clean stuff up, and let it rip. Stay tuned.

Item: General EE work.

I’ve been tearing apart all sorts of stuff. Two CRT TVs, some media players, etc. I didn’t document much, but managed to keep from discharging some big ass capacitors. For the win. The goal is to locate points of failure, and swap out components on the board level. This all stems from the flat-iron failure…for which I’m searching for a replacement switch and diode. Pretty cool.

That is about it. It looks like my wireless on the Mini is non-functional. Great. I’m off to track down an ethernet cord.

Buy an HP… Really

Maybe I am a bit jaded. I have spent far too many hours digging around in Dell laptops…that might make a guy sort of jaded. Maybe it is the fact that I am tired of all of the Dells sitting around my garage; time for a new toy, perhaps. Regardless of the root cause, I’ve been taking note lately to the HP discounts hanging around out there, and I really want one.

Case in point. Last week at work, my home slice bjordan and I were talking about Unity, and how Ubuntu might be dropping the ball on their netbook OS. I suggested that it was pretty much designed to be run on a tablet, and that it (was) getting good reviews from some power users, even though I hate the term “power user.” Long story short, we both decided that perhaps our netbooks needed upgrades…a la touchscreens. There are kits available to upgrade the Mini 9’s screen to a touch…but, why do that, when this bad boy is on the market:

hp image

FTFY = Fixed That For You, FYI

The HP TouchSmart units are awesome. Especially the TouchSmart tm2t series. Imagine that bad boy, WITH WINDOWS TOSSED STRAIGHT THE CRAP TO DEV NULL, running Ubuntu 10.10 with Unity…perfect. No hardware issues, with a slick touchscreen interface. I would love to get my hands and fingers on that sucker…swivel touch swivel awesome. For the win, of course.

Antivirus Protection Chat

It pains me somewhat to admit that I still have a dual boot set-up on my primary laptop. 2010 is not the year of the Linux desktop, although Linux has gained all sorts of ground on Windows. Yes, citation needed. Google it…Ubuntu has brought Debian to the masses in the way of an easy-to-use Linux distro. That said, running a dual boot machine is easier than keeping a virtual machine up and running. I know, citation needed again.

That said, I still need to run Windows. I have Vista on my main box, since Quickbooks Online requires IE. I have no idea why this is so, but that is a different story entirely. My options are slim in this case; keep a Windows setup (with security issues and all) handy or go all Windows…pretty sure you all know what way I lean there. I have absolutely no idea if I can run IE on Ubuntu, and have no intention of finding this out. Pride is what it is.

That leaves me still subject to virii. Computer viruses and Windows go together like peas and carrots.

computer virus

for the loss

So, what to do? I’ll tell you what not to do…buy anything Norton is peddling. Not only do they offer poor protection at a premium price, but they have an awful track record of getting the ‘hard’ bugs until they are moot.

I have been searching for something to boost my security on my dual boot, and think I have found the answer. I ran across bullguard antivirus protection, and think they will be my next answer. AVG absolutely failed on Katie’s XP machine in regards to Anti Virus 2009, so I will not use that suite again… BullGuard looks to be on top of the game in regards to the new stuff.

They have a 30 day trial for free-99, so I’m all over it. Check back to see what comes of the whole deal, but I’m fairly certain I will be issue free. Issue free-99.

Stellarium on Ubuntu

It has been too long since I have sang the merits of Ubuntu. Meerkat is great. 10.10 LTS has been flawless for me, even since the beta, on both my notebooks and my Mini 9 netbook.

Anyhow, I have had Stellarium running for some time. I realized I have yet to mention it. Here is the view from my ‘laboratory’ from two nights ago:

moon venus

I apologize for my camera. Whatever.

Awful photojournalism. Wanna fight about it? Pictured is the Moon, Venus, the Moon, and Venus…the two former live, and the two latter via Stellarium. Pretty sweet. I have had Stellarium cranked up several times looking at stars, but my BlackBerry is far worse when it comes to photographing stars than it is when photographing planets and the Moon.

Check it out…price is FREE.99 via the Ubuntu Software Center. FTW.

Ubuntu Naming History

I started thinking about my first Ubuntu experience…8.04, Hardy Heron. Good stuff. I got curious and looked up the previous version names…and found them fairly interesting.

ubuntu FTW


Warty Warthog 4.10
Hoary Hedgehog 5.04
Breezy Badger 5.10
Dapper Drake 6.06
Edgy Eft 6.10
Feisty Fawn 7.04
Gutsy Gibbon 7.10
Hardy Heron 8.04
Intrepid Ibex 8.10
Jaunty Jackalope 9.04
Karmic Koala 9.10
Lucid Lynx 10.04
Maverick Meerkat 10.10

The trend is self-apparent. Now, the names are alphabetically similar, and in a descending order. Shitty sentence, yes, but too is this sentence shitty. The numbers correspond to the year of release, and month of release…meaning that the Meerkat drop that I have will remain beta for another 5 months. Nerd points.