Friday, 31 July 2009

LXDE and Ubuntu

If you've got Ubuntu (or any derivative) and try LXDE. It has impressed me because of its light footprint in the system (I'm trying it on a netbook), its looks and functionality. The first time I saw LXDE was with Knoppix v6.0, and liked it much.

There's a concise article in Spanish at BolivarLUG with information plus screenshots. Summarising, runs acceptably on a PentiumII (192MB RAM), well on a PentiumIII, and very fast on an AMD Athlon 1.6 (the last two with 512MB RAM).

The only problem, if you have a laptop or connect to a network wirelessly, is that LXDE does not start the Network Manager by default. This solution was tried and tested on Ubuntu 9.04 and worked flawlessly.

You need to use the terminal. Of course ;-)
cd /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/
sudo nano autostart
All you need to do is add the following line at the end of the file:
then press CONTROL X, press Y, and ENTER/RETURN. Log out and back on, and you're all set.

The only way I've found to add icons to the desktop (don't have much time to play with these things, sorry) is to copy the .desktop file(s) from the /usr/share/applications/ folder (corresponding to the application you want) to your home folder's Desktop folder.

Using the terminal, this would be an example:
cd /usr/share/applications
cp gnome-terminal.desktop ~/Desktop

More information on LXDE at:
  • LXDE & Ubuntu

SDL Basic

Well, it could be useful. That's why I'm posting it, so I don't lose track of it. It's a nice version of BASIC available here.

If you're using Ubuntu, its package name is sdlbasic, so you can install it via Synaptic or the terminal:

sudo apt-get install sdlbasic -y


Thursday, 30 July 2009

A fast and lightweight IDE

My favourite tool for coding (well, together KDE's KATE and Gnome's Text Editor).

It's Geany, a native Linux GTK2 application available to most distributions and ported to Windows as well.

Check its home on the web and download it!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Linux counter and more

Yes, I'm a Linux user. If you are, too, have your machine(s) counted at the Linux counter.

My favourite distro is Ubuntu (easy guess, probably), although I prefer KDE (still a fan of version 3.5) over Gnome. I like Gnome, Xfce, and LXDE, as well, Linux = choice and that's why I am so fond of it.

Other distros I like are Sidux, Mandriva (One), and openSuse and Fedora, in that order of preference.

Other sites you should know, related to Linux of course, are distrowatch and tuxradar.

New to Linux? Read this article on choosing the right distro for you.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

64 bit mania

I've been eyeing again at the possibility of running the 64 bit version of Windows (Vista or 7 RC1).
Especially after an encouraging success with Ubuntu 9.04 (64-bit), I got the itch again.

I found these interesting and useful web sites:

The frist one, called, which I'm reading now. It has information regarding 64-bit technology for Vista, Windows 7, and also Linux.

Second, this article at, which explains things you should know about Windows, 32 vs 64 bit. If you want to skip the details, at least read the article's conclusions.

Third, Microsoft itself. They have a "Windows Vista Compatibility Centre", a one-stop databse where you can check whether your hardware and software is compatible with Windows or not. Just check the 64 bit option and you're all set. Check the screenshot below for reference.

GarageBand-like applications for Windows

If you have ever used GarageBand (included with iLife, from Apple), but are a Windows user, you probably would like something similar that you could use in your Windows PC at home...

Fortunately, there are alternatives such as:

My recommendation: Music Maker by Magix.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Fixing PC

I've been really busy taking my desktop PC apart and putting it back together after my Windows Vista -_- installation got corrupted and wouldn't boot any more.

Tried repairing it using the Vista install DVD ~ no luck.
FYI, I tried the methods described at and

So ended up replacing motherboard, SATA cables, and checking for greener (less power demanding) components. Video cards may end up consuming far too much power nowadays, and I don't think most of us need them.

Now everything is back to normal, and I suspect that the problem was a malfunctioning/broken SATA connector on the motherboard.

Oh, well, at least it's fixed, over and done now.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Linksys routers

Who hasn't had a problem like this before?

It's happened to me ever since I got my first router. The more stupid passwords I have, the more I forget. Maybe it's one of Murphy's laws?

Anyway, the easy answer is reset the router. Find the reset button, press it for 30 seconds, and it's all back to factory defaults.

For Linksys/Cisco routers, head to their website to grab their manuals (usually PDF format) and firmware ("ROM") updates.

I've also had Dlink network hardware in the past, so here's their support/downloads link.

OOP Principles and UML

These are my favourite explanations (so far) regarding the principles of OOP: Abstraction, Encapsulation, Inheritance and Polymorphism. They...