Monday, November 3, 2008

More on the new laptop

as you can see from my screenshot in the previous post it looks very OS X like. As I have said before I think Apple does a great job designing their hardware and OS in regards to appearance. So I loaded the dock called AWN. I originally just loaded the regular AWN, but it didnt come with any applets that I really wanted. You can find a link to get AWN installed here. I wanted the applets though and found them difficult to install manually. I ended up finding a repo that had awn-trunk to install. I think you have to add the repo, sorry I dont have better walkthrough available for this. The thing I found though is that the original AWN didnt have any applets and the trunk version didnt allow me to add shortcuts. It would add the shortcut but it would delete is after my session ended. The work around I found for it was to set up and install AWN and configure the shortcuts I want to it. Then when I load AWN trunk it would have those shortcuts saved and I could then add my applets on top of it. I'll keep talking about how I configured everything more and more, but I know that AWN is a popular program and many people really love it. I think it still needs some work, but am very happy with how I have it configured. I think the dock is a great idea as it keeps my desktop very clean, and some information I used regularly at my fingertips. I would suggest using it or at least checking it out.

God Bless,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Been a while

So I got caught up doing a lot of stuff and my fiance was in a bike wreck and required a lot of care for a while.

Anyways the big news from here is that I am now officially switched to Linux. My work provided me with a "new" laptop. New to me but used. I did some research ahead of time and realized that I could run everything I needed to run for work from Linux just as well as I could in Windows. The only thing I can't do is run Visual Studio C# Express for school. I figured I could load up a VM with no problem and run it from within there. So I was thinking about running Ubuntu since that is what I am most familiar with but after hearing so many good things about Linux Mint I decided to at least check it out before I set myself up with Ubuntu. After running the live CD I was very impressed with the look of it. Everything worked right away except for wireless which had a proprietary driver that installed very easily. As a lot of you might know the worst thing about Ubuntu is that is just looks awful because of the brownish orange theme. Linux Mint however looked great. I also felt very comfortable with Linux Mint because it is based from Ubuntu. I have come to love Linux Mint for many more reasons besides looks since then but I plan on leaving some of these for a future post so I can hopefully keep this blog a little more up to date.

Anyways I have been running linux now and loving it. I joined a LUG and have been thoroughly loving it also. I encourage anyone else even if you arent running linux to join their LUG if they are remotely interested. It has been a great networking opportunity and very informative also.

Here is also a screenshot of my new desktop.

Also thanks to my friend Joyce for commenting on here. It reminded me to keep this more up to date.

God Bless,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LVM Update

So I was able to get the whole process worked out and everything was ready to go, but apparently right now there is a bug in ubuntu that is not allowing LVM to work properly. I will try again maybe next version

Also coming up I am getting a new laptop and will be running ubuntu as my primary desktop. I will surely keep everyone updated on my problems and moments of bliss that I run across.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


So I am working on adding a 320GB drive to my MythTV box. I already know how to add the drive and create the mountpoint for it. What I really want to do though is make the computer not know the difference between the two drives. If it runs out of space on one it will just start using the next. I have figured out to do this I will have to use LVM(logical volume management (I think)) to do this. I will post directions once I figure this out. I am getting close but havent had time to follow up on some of the research I did recently.

Thanks and God Bless

Monday, June 9, 2008

Facebook Chat

So for all you Facebook people out there as you probably know they just added a chat feature to the site. Well my only complaint is that you can not yet connect to this network except signed in through the site. Well I found a way around this. I found a windows program called Bubbles. It is kind of like Prism that google recently released except I found it a little easier. It just runs a webpage as if it was a desktop application. I have not tried to see if this will run under wine, but it seems to be using IE6 to render the web pages even though it is not my default browser, so it may need IE6 installed under wine to run properly.

thanks and God Bless

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MythTV upgrade transfer

I recently switched my MythTV computer out to a newer one, mostly because the new one is a dell and it much much quieter than the old one. There were two things I wanted to do to use this new computer. I wanted to transfer all my old recordings, and I wanted to transfer the database that tells mythtv what shows I have already recorded, what I have marked for recording and all that stuff. The first was easy I just hooked my hard drive up through USB and copied over all my recordings. The second took quite a bit of effort. I found a site (after quite a bit of searching) that walked me through it but I still had some issues.

This was EXTREMELY helpful in getting my database transfered to the new computer. But there were a couple of things needed to figure out.

I didn't know the password for the database, but I think it was in /home/[username]/.mythtv/mysql.txt

I also copied over my whole home directory folder. For those that don't know almost all your installed program configurations and everything is installed into home.

Also in the tutorial linked above had two ways of getting data from your backup of sql data, and the second worked for me not the first. To sum up the link above these are the commands I used.

$ mysqldump -u mythtv -pmythtv mythconverg -c > mythtv_backup.sql
$ grep "INSERT INTO \`record\` " mythtv_backup.sql > restore.sql
$ grep "INSERT INTO \`recorded\` " mythtv_backup.sql >> restore.sql
$ grep "INSERT INTO \`oldrecorded\` " mythtv_backup.sql >> restore.sql
$ grep "INSERT INTO \`recordedprogram\` " mythtv_backup.sql >> restore.sql
$ grep "INSERT INTO \`recordedrating\` " mythtv_backup.sql >> restore.sql
$ grep "INSERT INTO \`recordedmarkup\` " mythtv_backup.sql >> restore.sql
$ grep "INSERT INTO \`recordedseek\` " mythtv_backup.sql >> restore.sql

Then to restore data type this on the new computer after moving the restore
file to it.

$ mysql -u mythtv -pmythtv mythconverg <>

Thanks and God bless,

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Installing Programs on Linux

One of the first things I found confusing was how to install a program. I am used to using Windows where I go out and download the exe file and install it. With Linux it is a whole different ball game. I suggest you refer to my package management post here. With Linux instead of an exe you install a package or install from source (which is the hard way). Usually a distro will provide you with an add/remove programs option or a GUI package management program so you can check and uncheck what you want to install and what you don't want to install. I will focus on how to install programs in Ubuntu since that is what I am most familiar with, but these suggestions will work with almost any Debian based distribution.

Add/Remove Programs...
Sounds very windows like doesn't it. Well in the Ubuntu menu in the top left of the screen there is a link to Add/Remove programs. This is the easiest way to install programs in Ubuntu. It lists all the programs that are available from the repositories (where the packages are stored) and you can just check and uncheck the programs you want to add or remove. Very simple.

With synaptic you are given more control but still have a GUI. It lists every package including dependency files that are available for your distribution. You can check parts of programs that maybe aren't working to remove certain files, or add a certain dependency if you are installing software that needs the dependency. Synaptic gives you a lot of control in a nice interface.

The fastest way to install and remove programs. This is a CLI program. It is the hardest of the three to use but like I said the fastest. Many Linux enthusiasts are command line junkies and would easily give up any graphical interface for the command line. I have no reached that point yet, except with apt-get. I love popping open a terminal typing "sudo apt-get install firefox" and boom it downloads and isntalls really quick. You can also remove with this line by typing "sudo apt-get remove firefox" this will remove any program files that only firefox was using from your system. Apt-get is very versatile and very fast. The only part I have problems with is figuring out the names of something I want to install and then have to open synaptic to find the list of available packages.

Like I said this all applies to Ubuntu but can be applied to other distros as well, espcially debian based distros. Others have yum, or rpm, but I can not remember how to use them because I mostly use Debian based distros.

Thanks and God bless,

Thursday, April 17, 2008


A couple of things out there scare people off from trying Linux, a couple of them being don't know how to install it, don't have an extra computer to install it on, don't want to deal with partitioning and dual booting. Well thanks to a program called Wubi and Ubuntu this has been resolved. Wubi was originally developed seperately from Ubuntu but in the newest version of Ubuntu they have included this program. OK so what is it? Wubi is a windows installer that creates an image file that acts as a hard drive. Now I know virtual machines have been doing that for a while now, but this gets better. Wubi then boots directly to the image. You DO NOT have to run Ubuntu inside of a virtual machine. You just install Wubi and then it walks you through getting it installed. NO more excuses installing Ubuntu is easy, requires no partitioning, and very little overhead compared to a virtual machine. I strongly suggest you give it a try.

For those who don't know Ubuntu is a version of Linux that I prefer. It is very easy to use and newbie friendly.The new version with Wubi built in is coming out in 1 week and I suggest you try it. If you are new to Linux this is where you should start, because it is so very easy. If you know how to burn an ISO file you can download the CD immediately, if you don't Ubuntu will send you the CD FOR FREE.

For the free Cd's go to

Thanks and God bless,

Friday, April 4, 2008

Facebook and Picasa

So I use Picasa from Google as my photo manager. I wanted to add a Facebook button to Picasa. Facebook has a button that does this for you at This however did not work for me because my Firefox did not have a protocol for Picasa ( in other words the link says picasa://... which Firefox had no idea how to handle). I tried to add the protocol manually but was having no luck. So here is how I added the button without the install script. This worked on Windows for me but should work within any operating system.

Go to your Picasa folder. For me this was c:/Program Files/Picasa2. Then go to the buttons folder. Open up a text editor, ie notepad. Paste this code inside of the file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?><buttons format="1" version="1">
<button id="custombutton/facebookupload" type="dynamic">
<icon name="outputlayout/poster_icon" src="runtime"/>
<tooltip>Upload photos to Facebook</tooltip>
<action verb="hybrid">
<param name="url" value=""/>

I got this code from and take no credit for it at all. Save this file as facebook.pbf. Restart or open Picasa.

Hope this helps anyone having problems.

Thanks an God bless,

Friday, March 28, 2008


So this post is mostly for the new linux user, as I believe most experienced linux users know about this website. The website it This is a site that just lists almost every linux distribution there is. Tells you when they have new releases and has a somewhat accurate list of the most popular linux distributions. Also when you click on a distribution for more details you get what version of the most popular packages/programs it has installed, how much the distro costs, how many cd/dvds it needs to install, any distribution it is based off of, and a discription about its main purpose. This is a great site for someone who needs to know more about a number of different disributions. It is also a good way to keep up with new releases and see what is going on in the linux distribution world out there.

Thanks and God bless,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Linux Package Management

One of the main things I like to teach the new linux user is the idea of linux packages. The two main package systems out there are rpm and deb.

Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) - This is a package system that is based from the Red Hat Linux distro. This package management system is still heavily influenced by Red Hat. Any distribution that is based off of rpm packages is usually derived from Red Hat, or a derivation of a derivation or so on. In my opinion rpm based distributions usually have a more business feel to them. They feel little more professional oriented. They aren't done more professionally or look better per say but feel like they should be in a business environment rather than a personal desktop.

Debian Package Management (DEB) - This is a package system that is based from the Debian distribution. Most distributions based from the debian package system feel like they are made more for the personal desktop. Debian is a lot more community based than rpm based distros giving it more options it seems. Ubuntu is a debian based distribution. I prefer debian based distributions because it seems to work faster than rpm based distros when installing packages and seem more designed for personal use instead of the corporate situation. Part of this is also just because I have used debian distros more than rpm based distros so they are just what I feel more comfortable using.

There are other package systems too. Slackware has its own package system, as well as gentoo, arch and I am sure there are many others out there.

I am not really well versed in the different packages but that is a general idea of the difference.

With most debian distributions the way I install packages is by using the command apt-get.
In Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install *

In Debian:
you must have root privelages

apt-get install *

In RPM distros:
you must have root privelages

yum install *

I think these commands are right. I know the debian and Ubuntu commands are right but like I said I am not too familiar with RPM distros. Hope this informs and helps.

Thanks and God bless,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3 Way Cage Match Part 3 of 3

Linux - My favorite operating system, but only because it suits me best. The thing I love the most about Linux is that you can do just about ANYTHING with it. I can make my Linux OS look fantastic, with lots of desktop effects, screensavers, and themes and almost always at no extra cost. Linux can revive old machines that can't run an up to date version of Windows. I have my mom using Xubuntu on a P3 dell laptop, because it was running Windows NT, and running it slowly. Linux doesn't just do desktops well it does servers extremely well. Also Linux is FREE(as in pizza and source)!!! Linux does not care what you do to it. I have run Windows on my main laptop computer because of work and school, and the lack of an ability to boot from a CD-ROM. I do however use Linux as a DVR using MythTV(another function of Linux). Linux suffers from some of the same pitfalls as OS X. People think they can't get viruses and spyware when really they can there just isn't anything out there that really targets Linux. It is a little more secure than the other two operating systems, but still vulnerable to attacks. Linux's biggest strength is also it's biggest weakness, because you can do anything with Linux people have and that puts a lot of non-standard parts of an operating system out there. There is no standard for linux because of this. Sometimes updates will break your Linux install, and because you can do anything it doesn't hold you back letting you mess up your install by changing a major OS file.

As you can see all of these operating systems fall into the trap of their strength is their weakness. They all have something to offer. In my opinion Linux is the best because it offers the most versatility for the best price tag. However for some people they do not need that versatility or the small price tag. Sometimes people want a standard like Windows, or they want the OS X world of great hardware design with a slick looking system that just works and has the backing of a major corporation out there.

I say to each their own, and I will choose Linux whenever possible, and Linux will probably work for you too.

<-Part 2

Thanks and God bless,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

3 Way Cage Match Part 2 of 3

Windows - Ah Windows. Mostly here when I talk about Windows I want everyone to assume I am probably talking about XP, but most of this will refer to Windows as a whole. Windows just works. Now I know there are a lot of people out there who will disagree with me but I feel this is very true. You have to load drivers sometimes, but usually drivers are easy to find since Windows is the dominant OS out there. Just like OS X this is Window's biggest strength and it's biggest weakness. Almost everything out there supports Windows, this also attracts hackers, viruses, spyware, pop-ups and all the bad stuff. Windows is good because it is familiar. It doesn't look the best, including Vista, it doesn't run the best, especially including Vista, but rarely does someone sit down at a Windows computer and have no idea what do to next. If Windows is used properly, it does not crash often; it will freeze from time to time and needs to be rebooted, but excluding viruses, spyware, and hackers, Windows doesn't break that much. It is usually something the user has done that broke it, and this applies to all operating systems in my opinion. Windows is not free (as in pizza or source), it does not let you tinker, Microsoft is king but their are a relatively fair ruler. Sure they think of themselves first, but they don't disregard the customer all together. Apple is the worst when it comes to this in my opinion, but I am not talking about them right now. Microsoft can be mean and controlling yes, but so are a lot of large companies.

Thanks and God bless,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

3 Way Cage Match Part 1 of 3

So I have heard more and more talk about how much better one OS is than another. I used to feel that Windows was the best solution, Linux was just a crazy idea, and Apple was for artsy people. Since about 2 years ago my feelings definitely changed. Two things contributed to this: Apple switched to Intel, and I tried Linux. I started to realize that an operating system is just a tool to use a computer. Sometimes one is better for somebody than another. In most cases each operating system's strength is also it's greatest weakness. I am also going to do this in three parts so the posts aren't so long.

Apple - People are always saying I love apple because it just works, it doesn't come with tons of extra bloatware, and you cant get viruses or spyware. Well I am not going to say these aren't completely true, but there are reasons behind it. Apple just works because they come with almost all the software the general user needs in order to have a complete system, the problem with this is that you pay for all this software even if you don't use it. Not every user is going to create music with Garage Band or make movies with iMovie, but they still paid for it. The reason it doesn't come with tons of extra software is because Apple is the only company allowed to sell Apple computers, which also causes them to be more expensive. The reason they don't get viruses or spyware is because it is practically useless for someone to write a virus or spyware that only effects 5% (or whatever the market share is) of computers in the world. This is also the a drawback of Apple because why develop software for only 5% of the computers out there. Apple does a nice job of making people feel good about their Apples. They add a whole lot of ooh's and ah's both with hardware and software. All of this comes standard with Apple but at the downside of high cost and very limited options, both hardware and software.

Thanks and God Bless,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day

I wanted to just say Happy Pi day to everyone. Also I warned everyone this would be a geeky blog so you should have expected nothing less. Actually today was pointed out to me by someone else today and I thought it was very clever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Adding a Hard drive to Linux

So I have a birthday coming up on the 18th of March and I had no idea what I wanted for it. Then the other day I had my laptop battery sitting next to me on some hard drives and it was stupidly next to a candle. Well my table got bumped and the battery was hovering over the candle. Now if you do not know much about lithium-ion batteries if they get too hot they literally explode. Well I noticed this before it exploded but part of the battery was melted. I am too cautious to try and use the battery so I had my girlfriend get me one for my birthday. I know what does this have to do with adding a hard drive in linux, I'm getting there.

So my hard drive died in my MythTV linux box. MythTV is a program for linux that, using a tv capture card, turns your computer into a Tivo like machine, or DVR, or PVR whatever you want to call it. I will talk more about MythTV in the future. Well I asked my parents to buy me a new one, or actually sent them a link on Newegg to the hard drive I wanted. I had a very foggy idea of how to add a hard drive to a linux box so I looked up some sites I will link to here.

I mostly used the first walk through, but had to tweak a little with some help from the second site. The issues I found with the first site was it didn't tell me how to mount the hard drive in some other location then /mnt/hdc1, but I replaced that with /recordings which is where I needed my hard drive to be mounted. Also the first site said to use the "default" in your fstab when I needed to use the word "defaults". I am not sure if this change is for everyone or what the deal was there, but everything is working great for my set up and I have tons of room to record all the tv I want.

To sum up adding a hard drive I did this:

ls /dev/hd*
This showed me all the IDE devices that linux was seeing
fdisk /dev/hdd
This started the partitioner for my particular hard drive
Inside of fdisk I used "m" to bring up the menu, "p" to show partitions, "n" for new partition.

mkfs -t ext3 /dev/hdd1
this created the file system for hdd1
Then edit your fstab

I hope this helps you.
Thanks and God bless,

Two more podcasts

I forgot to mention the other day about 2 other podcasts I listen to. Well kind of.. one hasn't launched yet but I am excited for it to launch soon.

Escape Pod - A podcast with great production and sound quality. It presents a short sci-fi story weekly. It covers a whole range of sci-fi. Sometimes the content is a little edgy, but the host, Steve, gives a warning if this is the case. Although in my opinion it could be a little stricter, but I have not been truly offended yet just sometimes caught off guard.

PodCastle - Done from the same people who do Escape Pod except this one is fantasy based, which is another genre I enjoy. This was has not officially started yet but they are ready and are just waiting for April 1, no joke.

I should also mention that the stories presented in these podcasts are usually very good. They pay authors for their stories and frequently these authors are famous or at least well known.

That's it for now.

Thanks and God bless,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I wanted to go ahead and add a real post on top of just the welcome post.
About 2 years ago I got hooked on podcasts. For those who do not know... a podcast is basically a downloaded radio show, you can then take with you and listen whenever and wherever you want. You DO NOT need to have an iPod to listen to a podcast. I do have an iPod and have loved it but if I were to go back and do it again I would get an mp3 player that was more OSS friendly. Anyways Here are a few podcasts that I love.

Linux Reality - This was the podcast that got me hooked on podcasts and Linux. Unfortunately it is about to be retired, but the episodes are just incredible for the new Linux user.

LottaLinuxLinks - This podcast is more advance but I love the host. He is very funny, and very humble. He also does a lot of work for his church which I love to hear about.

The Linux Action Show - This podcast is more on the news side of things than the others, also this podcast sometimes has some foul language, but nothing too harsh in my opinion.

Antioch Church of Christ Sermons - Full disclosure I run this podcast. I am not responsible for the content as these are the sermons of the church I currently attend. For more info on the church go to

Woodland Hills Church - The pastor is Greg Boyd who is amazingly smart. Rarely I disagree with some of his theology, as I tend to agree more with the Church of Christ. However if you ever have any questions about Christianity I suggest you do what I do and read the Bible, it is the only 100% true and accurate authority.

Also if you like literature I suggest you check out They have freely downloadable audio books. If you like the book I would then suggest giving money to the author for their work.

Hope y'all enjoy!

As I find more podcasts I will let everyone know.

Thanks and God bless,


First off welcome to the blog. I started this blog mostly out of personal desire. I wanted a place where I could just put down my thoughts and discoveries, so I can find them when I need to. I also wanted to put a blog out there that focuses on Linux from the viewpoint of someone who has always worked within a Windows environment. I also do not plan on abandoning the Windows platform all together. I still have to use Windows for work and for school. I use Linux whenever I can. I want to tell people about free software, open source software (OSS), and free and open source software (FOSS). I do not like to pay for stuff when I don't have to but believe that some products are worth purchasing, and do not condone stealing, including software and media. I believe that all operating systems are just tools in order to use a computer, sometimes the best answer is OS X, sometimes Windows, and sometimes Linux. I think that Linux has the most to offer and is usually the best answer and I believe in their OSS philosophy. However since I work for a lot of people who are not very good with technology Windows or OS X is a better answer for them. I love Linux but it is definitely not for everyone. Once Linux is installed and not updated it runs forever with no problems, but changing and updating Linux has definitely caused problems for me. Also my Christian walk is the MOST important thing in my life. I try to incorporate it into every part of my life. I will definitely mention it from time to time on this blog, and hope to strengthen Christians and create new Christians with this blog.

Hope everyone stays tuned for what I have to offer.

Thanks and God bless,