there's always a wind-up

Monday, August 14, 2006

Latest but not greatest

I've downloaded yet another blogging client. I normally use w.bloggar, but have had trouble with it, and am looking for better alternatives. So far, none of the free clients are as good. BlogJet is limited in its options, as are others. So now I've downloaded the Microsoft (shudder!) Live Writer Beta version, installed it, and am now writing a post with it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bumping Along

I haven't posted much here since last year, partly because I'm working on other things, but a bit because Blogger has been making it more of a chore than is necessary. For some reason they've set up a screening procedure that means I have to use their web editor, which I hate. So I haven't posted as much as I would have otherwise. I'll be fiddling around with other blog software, and when I get something satisfactory I'll move outta here.

Kubuntu Queries 1

I have installed a Linux variant called Kubuntu on my new old laptop, and am working my way through various beginner's-type issues, and managing to answer some of them on my own, but would appreciate pointers from anyone. I have been compiling a list, and have copied it here for my own reference

This list is categorised by broader topic, with the category in curly brackets. I've added answers to some of them

{Application Setup}
Installing applications from tarballs. Occasionally I find applications in places other than the repositories, such as some applications at For example, a desktop manager called KConfigEditor links to kconfigeditor-0.9.6.tar.bz2 and kconfigeditor-0.9.6.tar.gz. I am trying to find out what to do with these files. Do I download them to my hard drive and point the repository manager at them? Do I need to extract the contents first? Should I add something to the Repository Manager that points to Is there a Kubuntu documentation page that explains this?

dmacdonald111 replies
For me, the easiest way is to download them to a dir called tar, change to that dir, uncompress so you have the dir, go into that dir and then ./configre. Once done, I delete the dir that was created and put the tar onto a DVDRW so I always have them

nanotube replies:
for an excellent tutorial on how to install software, check out the second link in my signature.
there is a section on how to install from source tar.gz files, that you will find most helpful, i think.

1. My Comprehensive Ubuntu Breezy Customization Howto
2. An excellent guide on various methods of installing software on Ubuntu (For 6.06 but mostly useful for 5.10, too)
3. How to ask questions the smart way

{Application Setup}
Why is it that I can hear CD recordings just fine, and can hear audio (.wav, .mp3, .ogg) using Beep Media player, but when I try to play *anything* using Amarok, I get a message that says 'not playable'?

{Application Setup}
How to remove applications – specifically Amarok?
Answer: Use Adept. Search on Amarok, Right-click on the entry, select Remove, then commit changes.

{Application Setup}
What do I have to do to record from microphone? I have set up Audacity, and can fiddle with the recording level settings, and with Kmix, but I do not get a satisfactory level. Most often I either get silence or an overdriven signal. The number of control settings is confusing, and I'm not sure which ones are producing the excessive gain.

{Application Setup}
Open Office: how do I search on carriage/paragraph returns? In Microsoft the search string is ^p. What is it in Open Office?

{O/S Basics}
Special Keystroke Patterns: Ctrl+Esc, Ctrl+Alt+Backspace, etc. Is there a list of special keystrokes somewhere?

{Desktop Configuration}
Multiple taskbars: is there a way of distributing taskbars around the desktop? My taskbar is getting too crowded, so I want to split it and move the bits around the perimeter of the screen.
Answer: A combination of the panel configuration manager and adding new panels via the right-click menu. Go to an existing panel, right-click, and from the Add to Panel menu, select Panel, and from that menu, select Panel again. This creates a new panel somewhere on the desktop. Right click on the new panel, and select the Configure Panel option, and, in the Layout window, fool around with various settings til you get what you like.

{Desktop Configuration}
Konqueror: Is there a cascading folder view option? The Web SideBar module has an expanding tree style of folder views, but I'm looking for something that works within the Konqueror window. Is there a setting I can change, or an extension to install?

{Desktop Configuration}
Konqueror: Why do my folder views always revert to the default even after I set them to Detailed?

{Desktop Configuration}
Dialogue Boxes: why do I have to mouse over a dialogue box for it to recognise my keystrokes? I would rather avoid using the mouse to select a given dialogue box. Is there a keystroke (~Ctrl+Tab) that will select successive boxes? Alternatively, can I disable the automated function?
Answer: this has to do with mouse settings in KDE. Somewhere there is a tick box that says 'follow mouse strictly', and it makes a hovering pointer automatically select the window beneath it.

{Desktop Configuration}
Oversized Dialogues: Some dialogue boxes extend off the bottom or sides of the display. For example, the Network Settings dialogue extends below the lower edge of the display, which means I cannot access the 'Administrator Mode' button. The box does not allow me to resize it, nor to move it upwards. There are other examples of windows /dialogues that extend beyond the edges of my display, and which I cannot adjust and gain access to. Why are these boxes doing this, and how do I get them to stop?

How to connect to Internet via router.
Answer: go to System Settings | Network Settings. Enable Administrator Mode, and if it recognises the LAN/WAN hardware, select a device and enable it.

Networking with TCP/IP: I have a network with manually-configured network addresses. How do I get Kubuntu to play?
Answer: go to System Settings | Network Settings. Enable Administrator Mode, then using 'Configure Interface', 'Routes', and 'Domain Name System', set up the relevant DHCP/bootp, DNS, TCP/IP and other settings.

Access to printer on Windows machine: what do I have to do for my Kubuntu machine to see the shared printer?

Rinzwind replies:
1. Choose “Network Printer” and “Windows Printer (SMB)”
2. put your Workgroup in the Host field
3. Put “guest@/” in the Printer field (replacing and with your host & printer names)

Web server: how do I set up a machine as a web server?

Chriscando replies:
Use Synaptic to install apache or type 'sudo apt-get install apache2' in a terminal. Then goto http://localhost <- thats you!
Then you can also make a directory in your home folder called 'public_html' and can access the webpages there by going to http://localhost/~your_username

Rinzwind replies:
Read this for some install suggestions (also includes MYSQL):

Local area networking with Windows (2K Pro) machines. What are the necessary steps to ensure that the Kubuntu laptop and the Windows machines have access to files on each other's drives?

Rinzwind replies:
a: "samba": install instructions are here: