Friday, October 30, 2009

Ottawa Karmic Koala Release Party

It probably wasn't the biggest release party, but a good time was had by all anyway.

I went along to the UMI Cafe in Ottawa for the Karmic Koala release party I had advertised.

On arriving at the cafe I was happy to see that the laptop that myself and Ralph Pitchie had set up there for anyone in the cafe to use, running Jaunty Jackalope, was being used. Since neither Ralph nor myself had been to check on the machine since early September it was great to see it still running without problems.

It looked like it was going to be a one man party for a while. I had assumed that the Karmic T-shirt would tip people off that this was where the party was, but it seems the fronts of these shirts are a bit too subtle -- it wasn't until I got up to take the photo below of the laptop being used that George saw the back of the shirt and realised who I was.

From Karmic release party

I decided not to try and upgrade the cafe laptop, as I expected the Ubuntu servers to be a little sluggish, due to the release. I'd already upgraded my netbook, as had George so we just ended up chatting about each other's linux use.

From Karmic release party

Later the party moved on to the Royal Oak (aka The Sooty Oak) on Bank Street.

From Karmic release party

Monday, October 26, 2009

Karmic Release Party, Ottawa

I've just put myself down to organise a Ubuntu Karmic Koala release party at the UMI Cafe in Ottawa.

With the help of Ralph Pitchie (Ralph did most of the work), I helped set up a laptop there running Jaunty, giving free web browsing to anyone using the cafe.

So the plan is to have a release party 7pm onwards on Thursday 29th. We will no doubt migrate to a pub later in the evening.

I'll have USB sticks with the release candidate on them (might have the distro itself so long as the torrents are working ok on Thursday).

Will try and upgrade the laptop whilst I am there.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Karmic Koala release candidate

I just upgraded my LG P300 to Karmic Koala release candidate. To be precise, I did a fresh install.

I have /home in a separate partition. I followed my usual Ubuntu upgrade procedure is as follows:

  • Take backups
  • Install OS to a new partition
  • Test it
  • Mount the old /home.

The desktop CD booted no problems. The install went well.

On reboot I ran into this bug. The good news was that moving /etc/X11/xorg.conf out of the way was enough to get the machine booting into X without problems.

Once in X I was able to install the proprietary Nvidia drivers and all has been good.

I decided to convert my home directory to ext4.

This is where I ran into a bit of fun. First of all, I'm a plonker and when I partitioned my disk a while back I created too many primary partitions and did not leave enough space for the one extended partition I created.

Once I had karmic running I decided to backup my jaunty partition, then do some re-partitioning, then copy the jaunty install back into a fresh partition.

Now karmic comes with grub2. One nead thing with grub2 is you can just run:

sudo update-grub

and it does just that, including scanning for other OS'es on your system. This nearly worked for me. Unfortunately, I hit this bug. Probably a pretty rare situation, but would be good if the OS probing could cope with this one.

With a little hand editing of /boot/grub/grub.conf (yes, I know you are not supposed to do this) and fixing up the UUID's in the fstab the old jaunty install was up and running again.

In the course of this I discovered: /dev/disk/by-uuid/

This is a folder with links named by the UUID's to the actual partitions in human readable form. Very handy.

What is new?


I had mixed feelings about the switch to empathy from pidgin as an IM client. I've never been 100% happy with pidgin though, so I was prepared for a few rough edges. I really haven't used empathy long enough to give a fair assessment, but so far it is doing the job nicely.

Added bonuses are voice and video support. Voice also working to people running gtalk within firefox on OS/X.

Update: video also working from empathy on Karmic to gtalk running in firefox on OS/X.

Firefox 3.5

This seems very much snappier than firefox 3.0. I was using firefox 3.5 (shiretoko) under jaunty but that was sluggish compared with the karmic firefox3.5

Pulseaudio airtunes support

Pulseaudio now comes with support for airtunes.

You will need to install: padevchooser, pulseaudio-module-raop and pulseaudio-module-zeroconf.

With these it should automatically spot any airtunes devices you have on your network.

You can then fire up padevchooser, configure the local sound server to 'Make apple airtunes devices available locally'.

Now from the pulseaudio volume control, go to the playback tab and you should be able to select your airtunes device as the sync.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lloyds online banking is a bit crap

Actually, it is a bit unfair of me to criticise Lloyds online banking as I've never actually tried it.

I've been going through a kafkaesque process since July trying to set this up. So far the only real beneficiaries are skype and Canada Post.

Now I see that even if I do get the thing set up it might not work for me.

It is 2009 and I'm afraid I never thought to check if they support firefox.

Update: The internet banking was finally set up today! Only taken 3 months and as an added bonus it seems to work OK with firefox on linux. So it appears that far from being a steaming pile of dung, Lloyds TSB is a wonderful organisation that really gets the net. My apologies for any confusion.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Karmic Koala -- sexism

There has been a lot of fuss about sexism in the Ubuntu world of late. I'm not going to comment on that, more than enough has already been said.

However, as far as I can tell these Karmic Koala T-shirts are only available as men's T-shirts.

How am I supposed to explain to my wife what I do if she can't even buy the T-shirt?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Karmic netbook remix on Acer Aspire One

I've just upgraded to Karmic and so far the experince is excellent.

Firefox very much snappier + I suspect the wireless driver is working much more smoothly.

An added bonus, the light that indicates wireless activity now works too.

gwibber (twitter client) keeps crashing on me, but other than that, so far so good.