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Install the Theme Selector Gnome Shell Extension

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Gnome 3 includes support for themes, but does not include a convenient way to select them. The Gnome Shell Theme Selector Extension by Finnbarr P. Murphy provides a simple way to change themes from the Activities screen. read more...
permapage | score:9086 | -mcasperson, June 17, 2011

Compile Crystal Space in Ubuntu 10.04

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If you are a budding game developer, there is a wide selection of 3D engines that you can use to get your ideas off the ground. The first step when using a 3D engine (or any library distributed as source code) is to compile it. Crystal Space is no different. The steps below will show you how to get Crystal Space up and running on your Ubuntu PC. read more...
permapage | score:8974 | -mcasperson, July 2, 2010

Installing Android x86 in VirtualBox

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In a previous post I showed you how to install and configure the Android SDK emulator to boot up quickly. What you may have found out by now is that the emulator is incredibly slow. In fact it is only any good if you have the kind of PC that can render the entire Transformers movie in a few minutes.

If you are just interested in running Android applications on your desktop PC, a project called Android x86 provides a copy of the Android operating system compiled for x86 processors. The latest release is Android 2.2, which is a little bit behind Honeycomb (Android 3), but is still capable of running almost all Android applications. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8882 | -mcasperson, July 4, 2011

Changing resolutions in Android x86

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Chances are, if you are installing Android onto a desktop system, you will want to make use of the higher resolutions that are available, since your desktop probably has a bigger monitor than the average mobile phone or tablet. Android is quite flexible in the resolutions it offers, and most Android apps can take advantage of higher resolutions.

(here are some high resolution prints) read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8848 | -mcasperson, August 29, 2011 (Updated: April 24, 2012)

Run Android apps on Linux: Boot the emulator quickly

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One of the great things about Android is the fact that anyone is free to develop applications for the platform. Google provide Android SDKs for Windows, Linux and MacOS, and part of the SDK is an emulator that lets you run the latest Android operating system from your PC desktop. The aim here is obvisouly to allow developers to test their applications without having to swap to an actual Android device, but it can also be used to run your favourite Android based applications alongside your traditional desktop apps. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8811 | -mcasperson, June 28, 2011

Using an ISA Proxy server in Linux

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NTLM (NT LAN Manager) is a Microsoft authentication protocol. It is used extensively in older versions of Windows, and Microsoft has embedded the NTLM authentication into several communication protocols, such as HTTP, POP3 and SMTP. One benefit of NTLM authentication is that Windows users can get transparent access through an ISA proxy server. While the proxy does require a username and password, IE will happily send the users current credentials without any additional prompt.

Linux users don't tend to be so lucky. Most web browsers will support NTLM authentication when using an ISA proxy, but there are some cases, like when using the proxy settings in OpenSuse 11.2, where the lack of support for NTLM can effectively prevent internet access.

Fortunately there is a fairly simple way around this limitation. A small Python utility called NTLM Authorization Proxy Server can be used to ferry internet traffic between the OS and a ISA proxy server. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8798 | -mcasperson, July 7, 2010

Create native looking Firefox web apps

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HTML5 and Flash have been used to great effect in recreating traditional desktop apps that can be run through your web browser. Google is so confident that web apps can replace your desktop apps that it has released the ChromeOS, which is not much more than the Chrome web browser presented as a desktop operating system.

Firefox has long supported running web apps in a kind of desktop mode through projects like Prism, WebRunner and Chromeless. But a lot of these projects are either dead, in their early stages, or require a lot of mucking around to get running.

The good news is that it is quite easy to launch your favourite web apps in a chromeless Firefox 4/5 window with just a few simple steps. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8763 | -mcasperson, August 5, 2011

Gnome 3 Music Player Extension

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Even though I never really warmed to Unity, I did like the way Ubuntu integrated controls for music players right into the interface. And now, thanks to a Gnome Extension from ycDref, you can have this functionality inside Gnome 3 too. read more...
permapage | score:8726 | -mcasperson, June 16, 2011

Placing system icons on the top bar in Gnome 3

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"System Tray" icons were a great idea in Windows 95, but over the years the concept has been abused. It's not uncommon to get a new Windows PC with a dozen system tray icons, usually serving no purpose other than to advertise the existance of the application to which the icon belongs.

Linux machines are not quite as bad, but this hasn't stopped the designers of Gnome 3 from hiding these icons in a hidden bottom bar that appears only when you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen.

If you still prefer to have these icons on the screen (and lets face it, the Gnome 3 top bar is mostly empty space anyway), you can use the icon manager extension to selectively move icons from the bottom bar to the top bar. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8715 | -mcasperson, July 7, 2011

Use Webshots as Gnome 3 backgrounds

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The ability to use Flickr images as a background was a much advertised Gnome 3 feature that unfortunately just doesn't work in most distributions. But with a few simple hacks, it is possible to have your Gnome 3 desktop displaying Flickr images. read more...
permapage | score:8680 | -mcasperson, June 6, 2011

Install FB4Linux in Eclipse

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Flash development in Linux is often left to a generic text editor used with the free Flex SDK. It is certainly possible to code this way, but you do lose out on a lot of the functionality of a more specific IDE. The FB4Linux project provides a plugin for Eclipse that provides a similar environment to FlashBuilder 4. The only downside is that the installation instructions gloss over a few of the details required to get the plugin installed in Eclipse 3.5.2, which is the version of Eclipse that is available in the Ubuntu software repositories at the time of writing. This article shows you how to get FB4Linux up and running from start to finish. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8595 | -mcasperson, July 27, 2010

Quick Install: Screenlets in Fedora 15

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Screenlets provides a huge variety of desktop widgets, including support for Superkaramba themes and Google Gedgets (through a converter). The project supplies a convenient package for Ubuntu users, but it appears that there is no RPM for Fedora users. But, with a few simple commands, it is possible to get screenlets up and running in Fedora 15. read more...
permapage | score:8562 | -mcasperson, July 8, 2011

beesu: Fedora graphical front end for su

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Anyone who runs Linux regularly will know the sudo or su commands well. The first will let you run commands and applications with root privileges, while still retaining the more common environment variables like $HOME. The benefit of sudo is that you only need to supply your own password, and not the root password. The su command does much the same thing, except that it requires the root password. The su command will drop you into shell that has all of roots environment variable set.

These commands are great, but they have to be run from the terminal. So what if you want to run a file browser or something similar with root permissions? Traditionally the gksu application provided a GUI front end to su, but a decision was made quite some time ago not to include this with Fedora. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8460 | -mcasperson, August 15, 2011

Boot C64 games in Linux

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It's lunch time, and you have 5 minutes to chill out and forget about those reports due by the end of the week. You could play some solitaire, but why limit yourself to the same old dull card games? Some of my favorite games were made for the Commodare 64, and to this day still provide a quick and enjoyable distraction for those otherwise dull desk based lunch breaks.

The good news is that don't have to remember a bunch of archaic commands to get your favorite C64 games up and running. Using the VICE emulator, it takes nothing more than creating a desktop icon to boot a C64 game. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8459 | -mcasperson, August 15, 2011

Display Google Gadgets in Gnome 3 with Screenlets

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One of the cool features of Screenlets is the ability to display widgets from a wide range of tools, including Google Gadgets. With its simple conversion feature, Screenlets allows you to easily place Google Gadgets on your Gnome 3 desktop. The following instructions show you how this can be done. read more...
permapage | score:8312 | -mcasperson, July 11, 2011

HTTPS Everywhere: Firefox plugin

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HTTPS Everywhere is an initiative by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that boosts the security of Firefox with a clever plugin that will automatically encrypt your communications with a number of web services that support HTTPS. This provides an automated way to move users from the insecure HTTP protocol, which is the default for many web sites (like Google and Facebook), even though they may also support HTTPS.

I personally applaud the initiative on a technical level, and if I was a Firefox user, I would install the extension in a heart beat. But, on a fundamental level, the extension will fail to make any real improvement in the security of the web for one simple reason users are the biggest weakness in any security system, and there is no patch for users. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8309 | -mcasperson, August 9, 2011

Rotating Gnome 3 background images

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There are a lot of desktop background switchers available, but Gnome 3 has changed it's interface just enough to stop most of them from working. But a little project from Dhananjay Sathe provides a fairly easy way to setup a Gnome 3 desktop background slideshow. read more...
permapage | score:8188 | -mcasperson, August 8, 2011

Add a kill window applet to the Ubuntu Unity launcher

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This screencast shows you how to add a Kill Window applet to the Unity launcher. This applet is a must have for anyone who was a fan of the kill applet in Gnome 2. read more...
permapage | score:8172 | -mcasperson, December 31, 2011

Ooo2gd and LibreOffice

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Where cloud storage fails is when you just need to get access to one or two files, and your local application does not have any functionality for accessing files stored online. I find myself in this situation all the time with a few OpenOffice documents that are synced with a Dropbox account, but the Dropbox account itself is not synced with all the devices I use. Editing files in this siutation is a case of logging into Dropbox, downloading the file, making some changes, and uploading it again. It's a tedious process.

This is where the Ooo2gd (which stands for OpenOffice.org 2 Google Docs) extension comes in handy. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8136 | -mcasperson, June 28, 2011

Gnome 3 Themes Explained

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So, you want to pimp up your Gnome 3 desktop? The good news is that Gnome 3 is incredibly customizable. The appearance of the icons, mouse pointers, window decorations and the Gnome 3 Shell itself can all be altered to suit your tastes, and web sites like Deviant Art have a huge range of themes to choose from.

The bad news is that customizing Gnome 3 is not really a point and click affair. While every element can be customized, generally these are customized separately, and it can be confusing. What I will show you is what tools you need to customize the various aspects of Gnome 3. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:8094 | -mcasperson, July 19, 2011
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