Great Link: Choosing Colors

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http://linuxsagas.digitaleagle.net/2011/01/14/great-link-choosing-colors/

In tinkering with my time tracking application, I needed to choose colors.  I found a couple of sites that helped with that.  I am not sure how well it turned out, but that is not the sites’ fault.  Here’s the links:

Great Link: GMail Security

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Email security is always very important.  The Google Operating System blog posted a great security checklist for GMail.  As suggested in the post, you can head on over to Google’s security list first, then wrap up with checking the final list of items in the post.

So, check out:

Google Operating System: Gmail’s Security Checklist

After all, you can’t have too much security consciousness out there.

Sound Server Idea

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Yesterday, I ran across a product called a GuruPlug while reading the comments for this article.  I hadn’t heard of anything like this before, but it sounded like something our church could use.

Here is the thought:  Our church has been having issues with the sound equipment going out.  I wondered about using PulseAudio servers and clients to create a network of speakers throughout the auditorium.  Using GuruPlugs would provide a cheap computer to hook speakers into.

The GuruPlug appears to run a version of Debian Linux.  PulseAudio should run on that with no problems.  From what I can tell, it looks like it runs about $100.  Then, we would need a USB soundcard, maybe like this one.  One of the comments mentioned someone getting it to work on Ubuntu 9.10 with no problems.  Right now it is on sale for $17.  Then, all we need is a pair of speakers, maybe like these for $5.  This brings the whole client system to about $125, which isn’t too bad.

I found another person who looked like he was running PulseAudio on the GuruPlug: Linux Plug Computers as Music Servers.  Does anyone else have any thoughts?  Have you tried anything like this?  Do you know of other devices that are similar?

Explorations in Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

I finally got my desktop in my living room working, and I thought I would try the Unity Desktop on it.  Here is a nice little article that gives you some information about it:

First Look at the Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

My computer is rather old, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good fit.  These descriptions threw me off: “Ubuntu Light”, “simpler Unity desktop”, and “stripped down Ubuntu”.  What I found instead is that the Light and simpler interface is designed to make it easier to work with in smaller screen environments, not necessarily light on the hardware.

Unity uses the Mutter Window Manager, which is a compositing Window Manager.  According to this article, the name comes from combining Metacity and Clutter together.  This article mentions the hardware issue: “Interesting as the new directions may be, some people fear that Mutter will not run on older hardware.”  I agree with the reasoning: “Almost any desktop or standard laptop built within the last 5 years has sufficiently good graphics.”, but that just means that it isn’t what I originally thought it was.

Now, Clutter caught my attention on a totally different angle.  “Creating fast, compelling, portable, and dynamic graphical user interfaces” sounds great to me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see Java bindings.  On the wiki page, I only see Python, Perl, C#, C++, Vala, and Ruby.  The javascript option looked pretty interesting also.  I may have to do some experimentation with Seed.  For Java support, I found some references to jClutter, and I found someone else working on something.

Concatenating PDFs

I found a great article to help me with creating the newsletter for our Sparks/AWANA club this month:

Easy way to concatenate PDF files in Ubuntu Linux

First, I had to trim off the last page of the newsletter.  I opened the PDF in Evince and printed it to a file, PDF format, pages 1-3 (not page 4).  That gave me a PDF with just the first 3 pages.

Next, I opened the orginal PDF with Gimp and imported only page 4.  That gave me a graphic of the last page, and I saved that as a PNG file.  Then, I created a new Open Office Drawing and inserted that PNG file as the background in the drawing.  (The last page of the newsletter is just an outline for you to add your own club-specific content.)  I added the news items for a our club and saved the last page as a PDF.

Finally, I used this command to build the final PDF:

gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=Oct-Complete.pdf Oct-Part.pdf Oct.pdf

That was it!  Please comment if you know better ways to do this sort of thing.

Resources for Grub/Lilo

I have been trying to solve a problem with Ubuntu booting on one of my machines.  So, I have found these links helpful:

These instructions were very handy for mounting an already installed system from a LiveCD:

sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt
sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
sudo mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
sudo mount -t proc none /mnt/proc

Then, to be able to get Internet from the system, I had to copy my resolv.conf into it:

sudo cp /etc/resolve.conf /mnt/etc

Then, to work on the system, I ran:

sudo chroot /mnt /bin/bash

And, then, I can run commands like:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install lilo

Here are some more Lilo links:

I still haven’t solved my problem with all of these links, so here is my forum post if you know of anything that I am missing:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=9885240#post9885240

Software to Watch: Memoranda

I came across this tool from SourceForge recently: Memoranda.  It is a great tool for managing information relating to a project.  It seems to work pretty good, although, I would prefer to keep my notes with my time tracking tool.

The feature I was looking for was the ability to paste screenshots into my notes.  Unfortunately, Memoranda did not allow screenshots in the notes.  So, I will have to find another example for that.

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