Thursday, March 29, 2007

Are you still using Yahoo! ?

Yahoo! Messenger: Virus,, that opens which will execute ActiveX commands remotely. Now, if your company or your home computer has Windows installed, then you're out of luck. Another layer of protection is Firefox with a NoScript extension installed.

Yahoo! Mail: The heavy weight contender. You read it, bloat! There's way too many features and eye-candy that it eats up your bandwidth and CPU/Memory resources. Because of those unneeded features, you cannot fully enjoy reading your friends email. Click on a message then fix yourself a coffee, click another message then you could wash your hands and take a leak... it's that slow. Not to mention very crappy SPAM filter. It managed to tag a legitimate email that was even signed by a GPG key. Take note of this, it also blocks emails with a domain. Haha!

Did I forget to mention? Bloat... And because it eats up a lot of resources, even their servers can't display the page properly.  I'm amazed that their servers can still handle the load.

Geocities: Oh my god, hosting provider that spits out ads while providing measly megs of space.

Homepage: Unneeded features(?) links on the left.

Maps: Too Slow

Launchcast: Advertisements

Briefcase: 25MB isn't enough

Groups: Advertisements and SPAM

Sports: too much Flash

Search: can't customize

Answers: what's with the Avatars?

Flickr: Now this is the only service worth using and signing up with. I just hope that Yahoo! doesn't add additional unneeded features that'll make this site slow. Hint: if it ain't broke, don't fix.

I almost forgot, I only use Yahoo! Mail when signing up to porn sites. It's useful after all...

Blogged with Flock

Beware of KMail's Mailing List Management

Just last week, I unintentionally sent a very very personal email to Ubuntu-PH's Mailing List. Imagine my surprise when Ulinskie pointed this out... My first reaction was !@**$###%!! what the hell happened here. It was a very personal email and my friends was forwarded a copy and boy, I was way beyond embarassed with what happened. So anyway, I've been trying to determine what happened here, and it took me hours to find the culprit.. Oh yeah, it's KMail's Mailing List Management feature. Let's recreate that shall we.

So first open up Mailing List Management...

Then add an email address and OK out of that window.

Then select a message and click on Reply to All

And verify if it did add a mailing list email to the TO or CC field.

Yup, there it is.

KMail's Mailing List Management is very useful in specific situations, like you've filtered out incoming messages to go to a specific folder and wanted to  make sure that all emails you reply to on that folder gets forwarded to your Mailing List.

One word... Beware!

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, March 17, 2007

HP NX9040 Notebook

My dad got himself an HP NX9040 Notebook. The first thing I always do is read the documentations while letting a new toy charge. I am pleased with my dad's decision to buy an OS-Free (actually Microsoft-Free) notebook and not let himself succumb to Draconian contracts and costly licenses. This is the first document that I read.

And according to this doc, there's no crappy microsoft software to deal with. It comes preinstalled with FreeDOS and if I want to install Linux, then I should first check out their "Certified Linux" (no Kubuntu though) page so I can choose a compatible distro... Ahhh, to hell with that, I'm really confident with  my Kubuntu Feisty even though its' still in beta. Why? I already have it installed on my desktop, the one where I'm typing this post in, and I can surely say that it's stable enough for everyday use (even server use) and the bugs that pop in and out are pretty trivial and once reported (and corrected, of course) it'll fix itself using the dist-upgrade manager.

Now, lets move on to the problem I have with this notebook...... the laptop is pre-installed with Windows XP Pro! Nope, no Serial, no Recovery Disc.... just the Driver disc. Damn! Anyway, my dad will be reporting this to proper authorities, so I guess I have to wait. Although I'm compelled to say that my dad is happy with this since he has Windows OS but without paying for it. Heh! I still don't like it. Anyway, I'll probably install Feisty once it's released to the public.... with my dad's permission of course!

Blogged with Flock

Friday, March 16, 2007

The most critical bug in Ubuntu

This is both humour and reality. This is the most critical Bug in Ubuntu, for the benefit of those who don't know:

Blogged with Flock

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Linux Diaries' New Logo

I wanted to have a site logo so I decided to create one.

First, since this is a diary, I wanted to look for a diary image. Then, type in Linux Diaries as Courier (ahhh, typewriters).

Of course, since I can't integrate Kubuntu or Ubuntu's logo, I just decided to use Jucato's adaptation for Ubuntu-PH (mind you, this is not an approved nor authorized logo). Besides looking cool, it signifies our desire to use K/Ubuntu here in our country, as represented by the colors of our flag. Yeah, I did ask permission from Jucato, so don't worry.

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Flock: My newest Friend

My Firefox Add-ons now consists of:

  • Adblock Plus
  • Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer
  • Gmail Space
  • NoScript
  • VideoDownloader
  • and IE Tab if I'm in XP or 2000

Yup! As you can see, there's no more Performancing for Firefox and OakFlickr extensions installed because I got fed up of repeated parsing errors whenever I include the ampersand (&) anywhere (title or body).

Where do I turn to now? Flock of course (currently at v0.7.11 Beta). Yup, you read it. It's a beta software, but it's stable enough for me. Besides, it's still the same Mozilla Firefox that I love and also uses the same extension or add-ons.

Flock got a few "pogi" points for adding a blog editor, wherein posts could also be saved in your home directory, a newsreader (haven't tried that yet) and a Flickr & Photobucket upload featured on it. And once uploaded, you can just drag and drop the images to the blog editor. You could choose a large or small version and there's even BB Code integrated. But what I really love is the fact that I can resize the photos inside the blog editor. No more calculating ( Performancing for Firefox should take note of this). Plus the animation is cool!

So now I see Flock as a complete bloggers tool. My Firefox would have to serve its' intended purpose, as a research tool. Now that'll free up a few system resources and make my browsing faster. No more additional extensions to load when starting up. Nope, I'm not gonna ditch Firefox for Flock because I intend Flock to be just that, a bloggers tool.

Now, I hope Ubuntu would take note of this, since I wanted this nice piece of software in the repository... for convenience sake of course. The MOTU's might wait for a final version, so once I boot back to Kubuntu and Slackware, I'll be downloading and installing it there.

The praise: The developer's thought of everything. The wish: I wish they also include Picasa's Web Albums, that way, my blog is exclusively hosted by Google.

Blogged with Flock

Linux & Windows Drivers

If you're following my post, you'll know that my wife left me. So, what's a guy to do? My friends suggested a few things:

  • Drink till I drop
  • Go to a nightclub and knock myself out
  • Get a hooker
  • Party out of town
  • Cry myself to sleep
  • Find a pretty and alluring distraction
  • Find a hobby
  • and Tsongki!
Well, a conventional guy would just do the drinking and hooking but I decided to find a pretty and alluring distraction. So I bought an Intel D845EPI/D845GVSR motherboard, Intel Celeron 2.70GHz Processor, and a regular 266MHz DDR RAM upgrade which costs less then PhP 5,000.00.

So here comes the upgrade. First my Partitions:
hda1 - 13GB - Windows XP Professional
hda2 - 3GB - Windows 2000 Advanced Server
hda4 - 20GB - FAT Partition for my files
hda5 - 2GB - Swap Partition
hda6 - 13GB - Kubuntu 6.10
hda7 - 6GB - Slackware 11.0

Hey, you might ask why I still need Windows. I'm a C++ Programmer, and I got used to using MS Visual C++ 6. Microsoft... damn... hard habit to break. Although I rarely now boot back to XP. The Win2000 AS would be used to teach myself various Win Servers and their configuration as I have yet to get use to *Nix servers.

Kubuntu is my distro of choice and would be my near-future development workstation. Since I am currently unemployed, I might as well make good use of my time by teaching myself Java, Phyton, PHP/MySQL, XML, Joomla!, Eclipse, KDevelop, and of course, C++ in Linux. Unfortunately, most companies here in Baguio still requires Visual Basic 6 skills. I don't know where to go to or how to develop VB6 apps in Linux, but that's the least of my priorities right now... so I'll Google it out once I reached that point. For now, it's C++ in KDevelop and Java in Eclipse.

So first, I partitioned my 60GB HDD using Ranish Partition Manager packaged with Ultimate Boot CD. And then I install Windows 2000 before Windows XP, then Kubuntu and finally, Slackware.

I hit a few snags on Windows while I'm at it. Here's my list:
  • Windows 2000 owned the C:\ drive. When I installed Windows XP, it was assigned E:\ and some programs I installed kept on installing to the 3GB partition (Windows 2000). I wanted XP to see itself as C:\ whenever it boots. So I have to run Ranish Partition Manager again and hide all the other partitions (highly recommended especially if you're going to install 2 or more Windows on 1 computer) and reinstalled XP. This workaround enabled XP to see it's home as C:\ and and assign 2000 to E:\. 2000 on the other hand, still sees itself as C:\
  • Windows 2000 replaced the ntldr file on Windows XP and installed a dual-boot manager. The problem now was I can't boot to XP and the error kept on advising me to run the installation CD and recover it using the Recovery Console. No amount of fixboot and fixmbr, well, fixed it. This was fixed by replacing XP's ntldr with my other XP's ntldr file.
  • Windows (both 2000 and XP) kept on deleting my ext3fs and swap partitions... that bitch!
  • I have 2 Primary and 4 Logical Partitions. Windows kept on deleting my 3 other non-FAT and non-NTFS logical partition and made it into primary. I have to resize my Extended Partition using Partition Resizer (still using the Ultimate Boot CD) again and again.
  • Both 2000 and XP kept on asking for drivers. Who would've thought that the installers only have the generic ones for video. I was surprised that I have to install the driver for ethernet since I assumed that both 2000 and XP has a generic 10/100 Ethernet drivers so all the other drivers can be downloaded via Windows Update (now Microsoft Update). In Kubuntu? I don't need drivers 'coz each and every one component already has a driver. So all I have to worry in Linux is install my free softwares.
  • There is no such thing as batch install in Windows.... ever!
  • Every single program, regardless of its' license (yes including the Open Source ones), would prompt a EULA page. I only encounter such EULA's in Linux when I install Flash, Java, and Opera.
  • 2000 and XP almost always prompts you to "check on the FAT partition for consistency".
  • An Intel "HardDisk Driver" (forgot the exact name) shuts down 2000 and XP... no prompts... just like unplugging the power cord from the back of the casing. Fixed by uninstalling Intel Application (or Program) Accelerator.
  • Win32 Application installer don't know exactly where to install the programs. Is it the home (E:\) or the "standard" Partition (C:\). Hah!
  • Windows 2000 Server took me around 6hrs to install the OS, install the drivers, install Firefox and Irfanview, and configure the desktop settings.
  • Windows XP Professional took me a total of 24 hours (span of 2 days) to install everything (OS, Drivers, OSS Programs, MS Office 2003, VC++6, Corel Graphics Suite 11, etc.) and configure the desktop and Outlook 2003.
  • While Kubuntu took me a total of 1 hour to install the OS and configure the desktop. 5mins to sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg (because Kubuntu 6.10 can't detect the make and model of my monitor which is AOC LM525 and should run at 60Hz). And around 2hours to install Firefox, Flash, Java, Opera, SANE, KDevelop and download & install time of security, application, and KDE updates. Another 5mins to configure KDE settings including user accounts and login convenience. Kubuntu install and configuration time: 3hrs and 20mins (That includes the download and install time of Picasa). (Beat that Microsoft!).
So... to wrap things up, you'll notice that, in Kubuntu, I only configured my monitor settings and installed SANE for my scanner (see previous post). The drivers for my motherboard/chipset, video, AC'97 sound, Genius Video Cam Express V2 and HP Deskjet 5160 didn't need drivers.

After install, I still have to worry about spywares, worms, viruses, trojans, etc. and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death lingering in your head. Not so in Kubuntu... ahhh peace of mind at last!

Performance? Please! Anti-Virus (AVG), Anti-Spyware (Super Anti-Spyware), and Firewall (ZoneAlarm) eats a lot of resources that my OS and apps should be using. I don't need all of that in Kubuntu (unless I run LAMP in which case I just download and configure FireStarter).

This is my personal experience in Windows and Linux. What do you think?

On a side note... Linux should have the "It Just Works!" motto while Microsoft should retain the "Who do you want to screw today?" motto.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Genius Colorpage Vivid4X on Kubuntu 6.10

This is a How-To on setting up Genius Colorpage Vivid4x scanner on my Kubuntu 6.10.

If you have a different brand of scanner, better check out the SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) page located here:

Also make sure to read the ReadMe file located here:

If you have a different brand of scanner, check it out here:

If you're a busy man, there's a few instructions that I myself used to get my scanner working here:

Of course you need to download and install the following packages to make your Genius Colorpage Vivid4x work:
libsane (already installed in Kubuntu 6.10)
sane (the graphical frontend) and
sane-utils (SANE utilities)

You may install the above apps using Adept or Synaptic or Aptitude or you may download and compile them yourself.

As for the firmware, you will need to check on what firmware you need to use. Check the backends links above so you'll know exactly what you need.
As for my case, I need CCD548.fw located on the "C:\Program Files\ScannerU" (/media/hda1/Program Files/ScannerU). If you have the same exact brand of scanner and need the exact same file, please contact me so I can email it to you.

As you can see above, we have to copy the firmware file on the /usr/share/sane/gt68xx (You may do this via the command-line or by issuing the kdesu konqueror command since you have to be root to copy the firmware file on the /usr/share directory)

Next, run sane-find-scanner to check if your Genius Colorpage Vivid4x was detected by your system.

If it says No USB scanner found, then you have to make sure the scanner is connected properly and that it has a power light in front. Also try issuing the lsusb command and check if your system has detected it.

After all of this is done, you may now test your scanner. Since I'm using Kubuntu 6.10, I'll be using Kooka Scan and OCR Program. If you haven't launched Kooka before, then this window should appear prompting you to choose a device to use.

And I tested it out by scanning the front cover of Pugad Baboy 18.

So here's the output of Pugad Baboy 18 at a Resolution of 75

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