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Showing posts from 2008

Installing Adobe Air and some AIR applications on Ubuntu 8.10

Adobe Air Environment is one of the hottest new technology around, it allows one to easily create cross platform Internet rich applications combing the strength of Adobe Flex , Adobe Flash , Ajax and HTML to create applications and widget that are Internet ready . Adobe Air allows one to deploy browser less rich Internet applications on desktop that are not bounded by local storage limitations or limited file system access as is the case with Ajax application running inside a browser.

Now Adobe finally has released the stable version of the Air environment on Linux bringing it up to date with the version available on Mac OS X and Windows.

Here in this tutorial , I describe how you can easily install Adobe AIR environment on your Ubuntu 8.10 desktop and some interesting applications that you can run atop Adobe AIR.

Installing Adobe Air :

To install Adobe Air environment open Terminal window from (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal ) and issue the following command in the termin…

Midori : Light Weight WebKit based browser for Linux

The best thing about Open Source World is the number of different choices available whether its in the number of Linux distribution available or applications, and Web Browsers are no exception.

There are a number of different web browsers available on the Linux platform like the popular Mozilla Firefox running on Gecko , Opera or the Konqueror running atop KHTML. However, most of these web browsers are bulky owing to host of features they offer and there are only few lightweight "usable" Web Browsers available on the Linux platform, last one I tried was Dillo which was good for displaying simple web pages. Midori is a notch above Dillo and is based on popular WebKit engine (used by Safari).

WebKit is an open source engine that was created by Apple computers for it's Safari web browser( which is available on a number of different platform like Mac OS and Windows ). Code for WebKit was derived from another Open Source project Konqueror's KHTML Library and KDE's …

UsplashSmooth : TIme Based Usplash for smoother bootup bar

Usplash is an application that uses Linux framebuffer interface/direct vesa to display splash screen at boot up(or while shutting down) while all the daemons are loaded(unloaded during shutting down). Usplash displays a progress bar which shows how much the operating system is loaded, this progress bar increases in a non linear way(is not smooth) , it remains standstill for sometime and sometimes increases rapidly.Progress bar moves in a jerky way , which does sometimes look odd especially if some one is making the jump from MacOS to Ubuntu(or other operating system which have much more user friendly Boot Splashes).

UsplashSmooth tries to correct this problem , by displaying a progress bar that increases/decreases linearly and smoothly, showing you precisely the amount of time that is left for system to start or shut down. Though this is not without hitch , UsplashSmooth uses recorded time of boot/shutdown to synchronize animation of the progress bar , so if something goes wrong …

Review : KDE 4.1 - Next Gen Linux Desktop

KDE was one of the first desktop environment I used when I started using Linux Back In 1998 , KDE was just out of beta and KDE Team had released 1.0 version of the Desktop Environment. At that time KDE was a revolution on the Unix platform, other desktop environment like CDE etc though were extremely good as desktop manager, but were not user friendly and there was non-existent interaction between different applications running atop these Window Manager.The applications running atop these Window Managers felt alike and disconnected from each other.

Over the past decade I have been a distro-junkie, jumping from one distribution to other and from one desktop environment to other.However ,over the past couple of years I have spent most of my time on Gnome (another popular desktop environment that was born because of licensing issues about QT, a framework KDE uses internally) because it was much faster compared to KDE and there was nothing radically different in KDE that gnome did not …

Review : Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex"

Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distribution around and the latest avatar/version of Ubuntu , Ubuntu 8.10 named "Intrepid Ibex" is due to be released in few days (October 30 to be Precise) . Being a huge Ubuntu fan , I decided to give the RC version Ubuntu 8.10(released a day back) a try , to see some of the exciting new changes and additions that we can expect in the latest version of Ubuntu.

One of the first things you would notice after booting into Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop , is the new improved Human theme which has got a tinge of Orange. Status bar,Buttons glow and few icons have been changed and made more friendly looking. Ubuntu 8.10 also includes a brand new theme "Dark Room".
This is how my desktop looks with "Dark Room" theme applied

However , with "Dark Room" theme I noticed I was unable to read text in Menu Bar sometimes.

Improved Shutdown dialog box
Ubuntu 8.10 includes the latest stable version of Gnome - Gnome 2.24 .…

Installing Adoble Flash Player 10 in Ubuntu 8.04

Adobe a couple of days back released the latest version ( 10) of their popular Adobe Flash Player and surprised many by releasing a full fledged Linux version of the Flash Player simultaneously with the release for other popular operating systems.

Adobe Flash Player 10 includes a number of new features like visual performance improvements ,GPU hardware acceleration , native 3D transformation and animation , advance audio processing , custom filters etc. Linux users will notice among other things improved performance of Full Screen Video playback , transparency through Flash, and page elements rendered above Flash support as well as improved overall performance of Adobe Flash Player.

Some of the major new additions to Adobe Flash Player 10 includes :

Improved support for 3D Effects Custom Filters and EffectsDynamic Streaming - Streaming videos that adjust to network conditionsHardware AccelerationDynamic Sound GenerationAdvanced Text Support
etc. For a detailed look into the features…

Dillo : Light Weight webbrowser for Linux hits version 2.0

Dillo is a Multi platform lightweight web browser that has been in development for close to 8 years now, it is feature rich with features like Tabbed Browsing , support for multiple languages , anti-aliased text etc while occupying an extremely small memory footprint.

Dillo has been used as default web browser by a number of lightweight Linux distributions like Damn Small Linux , VectorLinux etc. Dillo supports CGI Forms , SSL , Cookies though it misses support for Javascript which limits its usage slightly. However , Dillo was never intended to replace normal web browser instead it was designed to be usable on simplest of hardware(like really old computers , or may be PDA's ) for displaying simple web pages quickly and accurately which it does extremely well. Dillo could be particularly useful for Kiosk terminals where we don't have access to expensive hardware needed for running modern web browsers. Also Dillo has been used extensively by Web Developers to check for We…

Running CrossOver Chromium aka "Google Chrome" under Ubuntu

Chrome is a free web browser released by Google few weeks back , based on open source Chromium codebase and WebKit engine for rendering web pages. It offers attractive user interface , integration of Google services in the browser ,out of box support for Google Gears , shortcuts for Web Applications , suggestions for web pages while typing them in address bar and other exciting features.

Now even though Google Chrome is based on Open Source Chromium, still Linux and Mac OS X version of Google Chrome were not released with the Windows version as they are still under development. This was a huge(hmm?) disappointment to both Linux and Mac OS users , who wanted to try the latest offering from Google.

However, a few days back Codeweavers( a Linux company specializing in developing customized version of Wine , which is a translation layer that allows running of Windows application atop Linux) released a easily installable package (called CrossOver Chromium) of customized version of Wi…

Launchy : Application Launcher for Linux

Launchy is a popular application launcher , that has been available for windows for quite some time now, recently they launched the Linux version of their application . Launchy is a application launcher that allows you to launch applications , open documents , webpages even search Google or get weather information, just by typing into a centrally located textbox on the desktop. As you type text in the textbox , Launchy tries to guess what you are trying to type(name of application you are trying to start , or document's name).

Launchy trying to guess Application , you want to run.

Launchy is very similar in functionality to Open Source "Gnome DO" file manager which i had reviewed few months back(Read the article here) and Quicksilver application available for Mac OS. Launchy has an attractive user interface , which can be further customized with number of themes available online. Furthermore , compared to GNOME Do , Launchy has much smaller memory footprint.

Right Clicki…

Entering the world of GNU/Linux

Linux is a UNIX like operating system and has been one of the most popular proponents of free open source software. Even though popularly GNU/Linux is called Linux operating system, but the name is somewhat misleading because Linux is the name of the kernel of the operating system, which was created by Finnish hacker Linus Torvalds as a hobby project, infact in the first message posted on newsgroup announcing his project he had the following view about Linux becoming big: “It is NOT portable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.” . The entire GNU/Linux operating system is based upon host of open source tools and libraries of which GNU tools and libraries form a significant chunk (started by Richard Matthew Stallman (rms) one of the most popular MIT based hacker and founder of free software foundation, rms has iconic status in free and open source world), hence the name GNU/Linux.

Since traditio…

Review : gOS 3 Gadgets(beta)

Couple of months back i had reviewed gOS version 2.0(Read the article here ) , which even at that time was quite radical and impressive , a lot different from most of the other Linux distributions in the market right now . Since then as gOS has moved from Ver 2.0 to 3.0, it has undergone a number of major changes and has become even more user friendly , which i have tried highlighting in my review below.

gOS is still Ubuntu based and uses official Ubuntu repositories , with Version 3.0 gOS has moved from using Enlightenment desktop manager to LXDE(Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) . LXDE is a lightweight GTK based desktop environment that integrates a number of lightweight applications like PCMan File Manager , LXPanel , Leafpad ,LXNM etc providing a lightweight alternative to likes of KDE and Gnome. Now based on my experience of using gOS 2.0 , I found LXDE to be bit slower as compared to Enlightenment desktop environment nonetheless it was zippy compared to Gnome running o…

Install Ubuntu(and other Linux distro's) on a Pen Drive under Windows

For close to three months DVD drive of my laptop has not been functioning properly , it fails to read burned DVD's and CD's properly. Now since we have wonderful LAN in the university where i am studying, I never cared about getting the DVD drive fixed. However a few days back as i was tweaking something on my system I inadvertently corrupted partition table of my laptop hence i was stuck with a laptop without MBR to load operating system and no way to install operating system (Windows or Linux ) as both the operating systems were on DVD and i had a non functional DVD drive , and to make situation worse when i called Lenovo dealer here in India they told me fixing DVD drive(My laptop is still under warranty) could take as much as 14 days. Now i knew it was possible to boot computer through a USB Pen drive , however i had never tried installing Linux/Windows on a pen drive. Using Google i came up with a solution to installing Linux on a pen drive , which i have tried docume…