Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fun sound commands

I have been having some fun lately.

One way to hear the fun is to

cat /usr/share/icons/*/* > /dev/dsp

which lets you "listen" to your tiny little icon files!

More fun was a little prank I pulled on my co-worker.

I have a server that sits next to my co-worker's desk. I installed the 'beep' program on the server and from the ssh across the room had a great time watching him get more and more worried/confused at the random beeping that he couldn't find.

Just thought I'd share that.

Sorry Mike.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Learn the Shell

I started like many newer linux converts saying "since linux has nice gui tools now, I can finally convert to it and live like I did in the windows world." And it worked for a while until ...

I discovered ssh.

I can control another computer as if it WAS the computer I am sitting at, unlike remote desktop which is a remote computer in a window with limits. The problem is that I could only (not total true) control it at the command line level. (If you start ssh with -x you can tunnel windowed programs too.) Anyway I started learning the shell commands; turns out I rather liked it. I am now trying to learn what I would have learned had I started in linux years ago.

Anyway a short story turned long leads to ...

I found this site that is a great explaination and tutorial.

If you haven't befriended the shell yet, go ahead. Its not as scary as you would think.

Real Player for linux 64 bit

Good news, Real Player is available for 64 bit linux now. Check it out at

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Just a quick post to help those of us who don't have windows or rapidshare premium. Rather than waiting for each of your multi-part rapidshare downloads to finish in turn, and wait the waiting period to start the next. I found a cool program (with a java installer) called jDownloader. Check it out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Spreading the word (The Mom Test)

So I have been telling my friends that linux as a desktop OS is a great idea, because I think it is. Some have even taken me up on it, but it has been hard. Each of them has had issues; issues that I am sure I had when I started this. For me though it was fun challenge to get it all working, to them they wanted something that would work.

I hate to admit it, but I think they are right. I couldn't recommend linux to my mom to have on her computer; I would spend all my time on ssh-ing into her computer and fixing things.

Its getting closer, but the wave of the future is still a ways off.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I created this site to share my experience as a new, but no longer n00b, linux user.

The final thing that pushed me over the edge to make this site was the 64 bit Java plugin.
I think that it is full heartless that sun has not created a 64bit plugin yet. As you can see here it has been over 6 years that people have been asking for it and still, with the rise of 64bit personal computers (can you even buy a 32 bit anymore?) they will wait until the next release in 2009!

I remember that when Java was coming out it was touted as the language that was going to bridge all chasms and work on all platforms. Well apparently only on platforms that they consider important. I guess we just keep using IcedTea and be hostage to what works and what doesn't.

Just to start out ...

Hello everyone, I am about one year into my linux experiment and (mostly) I love it. I hope that this site will let me share some things that I have learned and some opinions that I have.

To get going let me say a word about the boxes that I have. All are running Ubuntu Hardy.

My old baby is a Hp pavilion dv6040us, AMD dual core 64, which after over a year is almost completely up and running as I like it. The remote is not working correctly, but I wonder if that is hardware and not linux as it seems that no one else has had any problems with it.

My new baby is an Ubuntu preload from It features an Intel quad-core 64. This is of course working great.

I am also running a few older boxes, the final one of note is a small webserver, which I am attempting to run in text only (as a challenge).

I am a Physics graduate student, who often need to do computer simulations of complicated systems, so I need all the power I can get and I am always trying to keep my computers on the very edge.