Offline RSS Reading on Ubuntu

I sometimes have time to read RSS feeds when I have no Internet connection. Granted this is happening less often these days with wireless connectivity pretty much ubiquitous, but I frequently have that need. Most often it's in an air-plane when you want to catch up on non-essential news and don't have any connectivity. This is where Lightread comes in handy. It synchronizes your Google Reader Account with excellent integration into the Ubuntu UI (desktop notification of new items ...). sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cooperjona/lightread sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install lightread

Continue ReadingOffline RSS Reading on Ubuntu

CoffeeScript on Ubuntu 12.04

Installing CoffeeScript on Ubuntu 12.04 is a complete no-brainer by the looks of it (since both node.js Core as well as Node Package Manager are in the Ubuntu repos). sudo apt-get install nodejs npm sudo npm install -g coffee-script To check the installation coffee -v Just as a reminder for myself & in case it helps somebody ...

Continue ReadingCoffeeScript on Ubuntu 12.04

Saving Video Streams in Ubuntu

Flash Media rtmpdump apt-get install rtmpdump rtmpdump -r "rtmp://domain.tld/video_name.flv" -o video_name.flv Docs: Windows Media mimms apt-get install mimms mimms mms://domain.tld/video_name.wmv Docs: mplayer mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile video_name.wmv mms://domain.tld/video_name.wmv

Continue ReadingSaving Video Streams in Ubuntu

Disable services on boot – Ubuntu 12.04

To keep my desktop (notebook) machine light and responsive I don't want unnecessary services starting on boot-time. Turns out Ubuntu is surprisingly cumbersome to configure in this area (compared to RedHat / Fedora). Two services I need on my notebook, but don't want them to start unless I require them running are MySQL and Apache. But it looks like some services are started using upstart init daemon and it appears there is no management tool for this. Services can pe prevented from auto-starting either by renaming the config file or commenting out the start line in the config file sudo cp /etc/init/mysql.conf /etc/init/mysql.conf.modified sudo rm /etc/init/mysql.conf Or comment out the following line in the config file sudo vim /etc/init/mysql.conf #start on runlevel [2345] Reference: Other services are still started using rc.d such as Apache. They can be disabled using sudo update-rc.d -f apache2 disable Now these services should not start up when the machine boots and can be started manually sudo service apache2 start sudo service mysql start EDIT (2012-08-07): thanks to a comment below from Van Luu there is a GUI option that I was unaware of called BootUp Manager ( sudo apt-get install bum

Continue ReadingDisable services on boot – Ubuntu 12.04

Galaxy Nexus Firmware Upgrade on Ubuntu (manual)

As a Galaxy Nexus Owner I have been waiting for months for an OTA (over the air) upgrade to the factory installed Firmware (4.0.2). I am finally sick of waiting and complaining to Google (an absolute lost cause). After some research it turns out that (contrary to popular opinion) not every unlocked Google Nexus actually has the 'official' Google Firmware. Some of them have a Samsung variant (WTF !?) of the firmware. Now I really don't want to get off the technical topic, but I personally think that this means Google is misleading their most loyal customer base. The reason I chose a Nexus device over the (from a hardware perspective) superior HTC One X was the fact that they were supposed to have the official Google Firmware and I did not have to wait forever for bugfixes from the manufacturers. There are a reportedly several different versions out there. Google's 'official' build for the GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus is named 'yakju'. Samsung builds 'yakjusc', 'yakjuxw' and 'yakjuux'. While they appear mostly the same, only Google’s yakju build is likely to get updates as they happen. Go figure why there was a need for others ... :( To find out which version your Nexus uses you can use this key combination (in the phone app) *#*#4636#*#* or for a more permanent option grab "Android System Info" from the Google Market. Disclaimer: this procedure obiously has the potential to 'brick' your mobile. Only attempt this if you are absolutely…

Continue ReadingGalaxy Nexus Firmware Upgrade on Ubuntu (manual)

Running Android 4.0 (ICS) on Virtualbox

Debugging things on the Android Emulator (incluced in the SDK) can be a very slow and cumbersome process. Thanks to the Android-x86 Project it's quite easy to run Android in VirtualBox. This is highly useful when you need to test mobile apps and websites from the Android Browser (as well as Chrome Mobile). Download an Ethernet enabled ISO from Tablets x86 wget transmission android-x86-4.0-eth0-generic_x86-20120426.iso.torrent Create new ViratualBox VM Important Settings (see screenshots) OS: Linux, Version: Linux 2.6 Enable VTx/AMD-V Use Bridged Network Adapter (if you want to allow direct Internet Access) Mount the ISO file downloaded previosly and start the VM Create the Root Filesystem (ext3) on the VBox .vdi created with the new VM, mark as bootable Write the Filesystem changes to disk (VDI) and format the disk Install GRUB Boatloader Copy files from ISO to VDI Unmount the ISO image and reboot Note: You need to disable the mouse pointer integration (if you have installed VirtualBox Client Add-ons) in the menu of Virtualbox ('Machine' --> 'Disable Mouse Integration') when you start the VM (see screenshot). I have not found a way to disable this by default on Virtualbox on Ubuntu (If anybody has managed this I would love to know how !) Start the Android Setup Wizard to set locale and you should be up and running (network should already function to test external sites from Android browser) !

Continue ReadingRunning Android 4.0 (ICS) on Virtualbox

Install GIMP 2.8 on Ubuntu 12.04

Since the latest version of GIMP has not been included in the main 12.04 repositories because it was not ready at release time you have to use a PPA at current. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install gimp TIP: Go to the "Windows" menu and select 'Single-Window Mode' to use Gimp in one window (see screenshot).

Continue ReadingInstall GIMP 2.8 on Ubuntu 12.04

Intel Ultrabook tweaks on Ubuntu 12.04

After upgrading my Toshiba Z830 Ultrabook to 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) I noticed that the ability to control the screen back-light was not working using the Toshiba Fn F6/F7 keys. Thanks to the solution was found quite quickly. sudo vim /etc/default/grub This will open the grub configuration file. (Grub is the initial boot selection software) To be able to dim the screen brightness, You've got to modify the line: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="" to these two lines: pcie_aspm=force GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="quiet splash pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 i915.lvds_downclock=1 acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor elevator=noop" Another neat tip: intel-gpu-tools can be used to control brightness from the commandline. # will set brightness at 50% intel_backlight 50 EDIT [2012-08-24]: to avoid issues on resume you need to add a script to the sudo vim /etc/pm/sleep.d/20_wakeup Add the following: #!/bin/bash case "$1" in suspend|hibernate) #do nothing ;; resume|thaw) echo 7 > /sys/class/backlight/toshiba/brightness ;; *) exit 1 ;; esac exit 0 Mark the file as executable sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/20_wakeup

Continue ReadingIntel Ultrabook tweaks on Ubuntu 12.04

Accessing Samsung Galaxy Nexus as USB Media Device Ubuntu 12.04

To use a Samsung Galaxy Nexus as a media device (MTP) there is a utility called gMTP. sudo apt-get install gmtp mtpfs mtp-tools NOTE: Unfortunately there is a bug in the 64-bit version at the moment ( - which means it's not all that useful to me at the moment.

Continue ReadingAccessing Samsung Galaxy Nexus as USB Media Device Ubuntu 12.04