Skinning Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy

This will just be a short topic on how to skin ubuntu and get it looking a little sweeter than the standard orange look. Basically, will find all that you ever need, including heaps of themes, wallpapers and icon sets at on gnome-look.

However, if you are like me and just download a theme for, in my case GTK 2.., and expect it to install, then get ready for a suprise 😛 . In most cases it was just a matter of opening “Appearance” under System -> Preferences -> Appearance, then dragging the theme tar-ball onto the theme section and away it goes. But if you are like me, then you may also want the icons that go with the theme to be applied as well? Some of the doco that I read suggested to copy the icon folder to /home/you/.icons. Then they would just show up in the appearance app under Customize -> icons. But every time I tried that nothing happened :( .

What i ended up finding was a few short commands that will get you started, at the very least:

    sudo apt-get install gnome-themes-extras

    sudo apt-get install gnome-extra-icons

    sudo apt-get install gdm-themes

Between these three commands you will be automatically provided with a new list of themes, icon sets and even login pages.

I can really take no credit for this find, as the instructions came straight from Kris at Geekybits. So a big thanks to chris for putting this together for us 😉

Strange Lurching In Defender

Well this seems to be an ongoing process and will probably end up making me replace everything! Just kidding, my current status for this problem is that I have already replaced the balljoint and bushes in the rear Aframe which has removed a lot of the backlash I was getting when changing gears. It also seems to have removed a little of the lurching when I slow then speed up again. A perfect example is when going over a speed bump it is real bad.

Anyway, continuing on, I have asked a lot of questions on forums for advice on this problem and it seems to be leading me to the next fix which will be the rear trailing arms. Supposedly, when these are worn it will allow the diff to rotate in the direction of the wear which will give a sensation of lurching. Well this sounds like a perfectly valid explanation so this is where I might go next. However, they do look new but how would I know 😉

I will keep you appraised of my progress!

Land Rover Diagnostics

I will start by telling you about the landy. I have a 1994 Land Rover Defender which was brought second hand about 1 year ago and I have trying to get it running sweet ever since.

The things that I would like to do are:

  • Give it a bit of sound proofing without being too pretty
  • Track down the reason for a strange lurching when getting off then on the “gass” again.
  • Remove the slight clunking that runs through the drive train when not being gentle with the clutch.
  • Upgrate the diffs to some soft of lockers :)

I have been using Land Rover Owner(AULRO) quite a bit for finding my information, or at the very least a starting point for my investigation. I will not include answers to these posts in this one to make it easier for people to find what they are after, so have a look at the answers to these posts by clicking the links in the dotpoints 😉

Mac’s serving Windows software

Recently I was asked to set up and network using OSX Server. This sounded like a fun challange considering I have never administered, and barely used mac’s before :).

Just to clear up the situation, the mac is file serving the quicken data file. The clients are using pc’s and the client install for Quickbooks to connect to the mac share.

Anyway, I will try to stick to the topic! I wanted to talk about something which appeared yesterday, when the Quickbooks Premier install/file share sitting on the mac server started to give the customer headaches. It started with the Quickbooks clients locking up and not allowing the users to log. Well, I went about checking the perms on the data file and access rights on the clients but could find nothing wrong. So, I started googling, then discovered that Quickbooks uses the client “service” to manage user connections. This meant that I would have to install Quickbooks on the mac server :(.. At first I thought that was bullshit/sucked but then I had the idea to try “VmWare Fusion”.

What I ended up doing was installing vmware fusion on the server and a fully patched install of xpsp2. It was set up in bridged mode to allow the pc’s in the workgroup to see shares and connect to it via ip/name. Then I just preceded to move the quickbooks data files to the vmware instance of xp and created sim links on the server, so the clients would be transparently redirected to the new vmware files. Then somthing amazing happened.. it actually worked…weee

Well, now that has enlightened me to other prospects that you could use this same methodology on any non windows server for any software. The only downside would be a little performance lag, but that is better than not working at all 😉

Running Scribes as root

For a little while I had a painful time in getting the text editor scribes to run as root. You are probably wondering why i would want to run the text editor as root, but when you cant be bothered using vi or gedit and would like some pretty code highlighting then that is what you need to do. Anyway, as you may know I am running Ubuntu 7.10 Gusty and it is going “pretty” well for the most part. So the objective i wanted was to be able to launch scribes from the shell then have it edit my “whatever” configuration files. The problem that i was having looked somthing like the following :

binneyd@HAL:~$ sudo scribes /etc/fstab[sudo] password for binneyd:Traceback (most recent call last):  File "/usr/bin/scribes", line 38, in    main(argv[1:])  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/SCRIBES/", line 45, in main    __open(uris)  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/SCRIBES/", line 58, in __open    __open_via_dbus(uris)  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/SCRIBES/", line 76, in __open_via_dbus    dbus_service = __get_dbus_service()  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/SCRIBES/", line 109, in __get_dbus_service    from info import dbus_iface, session_bus  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/SCRIBES/", line 34, in    session_bus = SessionBus()  File "/var/lib/python-support/python2.5/dbus/", line 218, in __new__    mainloop=mainloop)  File "/var/lib/python-support/python2.5/dbus/", line 107, in __new__    bus = BusConnection.__new__(subclass, bus_type, mainloop=mainloop)  File "/var/lib/python-support/python2.5/dbus/", line 121, in __new__    bus = cls._new_for_bus(address_or_type, mainloop=mainloop)dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.

After quite a bit of searching i found out that the Scribes application does not like to be run as root and will, not very gracefully, fail if you try to do it. So, you need to bypass this problem by using the dbus launch and away you go eg. :sudo dbus-launch scribes /etc/fstabThis was a little ugly of a solution so i just cleaned it up with an alias and that is about it.alias suscribes=’sudo dbus-launch scribes’So hope this helps and saves you some time as well 😉

CD ripping with ubuntu – fiesty

At the moment i am attempting to rip a cd to mp3 format. As a new user of Ubuntu i am not that familiar with all of the apps and packages that you need to effectively use this system but for some simple tasks like this, it does seem a little more difficult than it should be.

Anyway, i have tried a few apps so far like soundjuicer, songbird and amarok. i am trying to make it work with amarok because i would like to not have to use multiple apps to do common tasks like audio. When using amarok and trying to import the cd tracks into the library via right click, all i get is some grayed out options which is not much help. However, I will keep looking for a solution to the amarok problem and will provide an update when i find one??

Well after some messing around with packages and other crap like that, i have given up on the idea of using amaroK to do the ripping and moved to soundjuicer. It does seem to do the job but is extremely slow to the point of sleep, and does not seem to have even gotten track names or any of the correct information. Uuuumm, it turns out that there is more to track information than i originally thought.

What seems to happen when you insert a disk, is that the track lengths and number of tracks are sent to one of many online directories eg. cdda and there the cd information is compared against a database to see if there is a similar cd available. Now, considering that there will not be a similar cd, because this is a custom one, it will find no results. This will leave you with a cd full of songs and no associated information, which sucks. Anyway, it turns out that you can upload the newly created cd, using iTunes to the appropriate online directory and then move to the new computer where the track information will be grabbed. Definitely, not an ideal solution but it is late and i am getting annoyed. Another alternative is: If you have a friend who has a mac, you can use a script CD Text to CD Info v1.2″ to apply the tag information to the songs before they are burnt or imported. This means that when you go to import/record the disk you will be able to grab the track information automatically which is a lot better of a solution.I know that this is not a solution for ubuntu but i have given up for the moment in hope that someone else can shed some light on a better alternative.