Protect your computer

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 6:06 | Posted in computer, data security | 4 Comments

Do you think that protecting your computer against viruses and other malicious software is an overkill and not worth the trouble? Well, just watch this four and a half minute video clip and think again.

via Arvutikaitse

Update problem with Ubuntu 9.04

Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 18:09 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu | Leave a comment

I received this error message before installing security updates to Ubuntu 9.04. A moment earlier the automatic update manager had prompted me to update manually:

E: The package cache file is corrupted
E: _cache->open() failed, please report.

What the heck is this? What, if anything, can I do to fix it? I succesfully installed the essential updates so I do not think I need to be worried but I would not mind getting rid of this error message in future and I would appriciate if the update manager worked automatically as hitherto.

Celebrating epoch timestamp 1234567890

Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 1:40 | Posted in computer | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Courtesy of

The epoch timestamp passed 1234567890 for a few minutes ago.

Quote of the day

Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 0:36 | Posted in computer | Leave a comment

Q: I’m having problems with my Windows software. Will you help me?

A: Yes. Go to a DOS prompt and type “format c:”. Any problems you are experiencing will cease within a few minutes.

FAQ‘s in How To Become A Hacker by Eric Steven Raymond

via Kai

Chrome not available for Linux

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 1:02 | Posted in browsers, computer, google, internet, linux | 4 Comments

Google have launched their open source browser called Chrome. Or short of launched, at least. It is funny that an open source browser is not available for the true open source environment. I hear that Chrome is not going to support Linux until it leaves beta.

Judging from the history of other Google apps, it may well take months or even years before I am going to get a chance to acquire first hand user experience of Chrome. Which is a pity as much of what they have cooked sounds like a treat. Not that I would be unhappy with Firefox. It is the best browser in the World until proven otherwise.

This comic book tells you all you ever wanted to know about Chrome and probably a lot more as well.

Google Earth playing tricks

Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 23:51 | Posted in computer, google, linux, ubuntu | Leave a comment

I just installed Google Earth to my Ubuntu 8.04 system. The install seemed to be successful but each time I try to run Google Earth it causes a system restart. I obviously need to do some googling to find out why this happens and how I can fix it.

I would appriciate if somebody could enlighten me.

A long football night

Monday, June 16, 2008 at 23:20 | Posted in computer, Euro-2008, football, Sports, TV, ubuntu | 2 Comments

Ballack just scored and a fine goal it was. I would obviously be happy if no more goals were scored. 🙂

The first half offered little to be seen. Gomez was unfortunate with the ball just bouncing high as he had an open goal at sight. The ball is round as they say.

I did not see what happened with the coaches as I was in the kitchen fetching more coffee. Maybne they were discussing the Anschluss of 1938 as I suggested in Thomas’s live post.

I am going to have a long TV night since, unlike yesterday, I am unable to watch both games in parallel. I did that by watching one game through the Estonian TV and the other from live streaming of the Finnish TV. Can’t do that today.

I suffered another significant computer mishap this morning apart from my laptop being unaccessible for a week. As I was trying to fix a driver bug with my wireless USB adapter, the system crashed and since I urgently needed web access, I decided to make a clean install to my desktop. Unfortunately I just had an Ubuntu 6.06 install CD at hand so it is going to be a long way until I have upgraded back to 8.04 and re-installed all softwear, including everything to make video watchable. No data was lost, though, since I have all of it backed up in the web. Which would make it a good idea to buy a disk tomorrow and make another clean install direct to Ubuntu 8.04 rather than upgrading through all the versions in between.

Meanwhile I am going to watch Poland vs. Croatia on tape through the Estonian TV so please do not tell me the result during a couple of hours after Germany vs. Austria.

Wireless desktop

Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 19:44 | Posted in computer, Uncategorized, wifi | 3 Comments

I bought a wireless card with USB access to enable using my home wifi network on my desktop computer. There are directions in detail on how to make it work under Linux but the card seems to be able to connect without installing the driver. Which is fine because this enables me to move both the desk and the desktop to a more sensible place in my apartment. 18,90 € is not much for a refurnish which makes sense.

Finally wireless in Ubuntu!

Monday, June 9, 2008 at 4:21 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu, wifi | 2 Comments
Tags: ,

Ever since I bought my laptop for a year ago I have only been able to connect to wifi under my Windows partition. Just once last autumn I managed to get wireless access in my hotel room in Tallinn as I accidentally booted to Ubuntu but I have never since managed to repeat the trick. I think my laptop was running under Ubuntu 7.10 at the time. I now have 8.04 Hardy Heron.

I understood as much as it must be one of those driver issues. I have a Broadcom BCM4311 wlan card which would apparently require some restricted firmware to be imported for the driver to work. Although I prefer to do most of my work under Ubuntu as opposed to Windows XP, I have never bothered to find out the steps to solve the problem. That is until now as I installed a wifi network at home last week.

I found a good how to here whereby I had to peek here for an alternative set of commands for step 2. Step 2b turned out to be the right option for me.

Having done all the steps and hence replaced the firm driver with ndiswrapper I rebooted and connected to my own wireless network. I am posting this entry wireless and everything works just fine. One less reason to have a Windows partition in my laptop! 🙂

By the way, my wifi network (actually three of them) is another story to be told separately. I have a free wifi router, courtesy of Wippies, in exchange for pledging to maintain a separate open wifi network to be accessed free by other Wippies members. I am committed to maintaining the visitor network for at least a year and I also get free access to other members’ networks which I have already taken advantage of.

Carnegie students ask for your help

Friday, May 2, 2008 at 7:18 | Posted in computer, internet | Leave a comment

If you have 15-20 minutes to spare during this weekend and you want to help a group of Carnegie students, they would appreciate if you took the time to completing an on line survey about your communication habits. I did it yesterday. As you can see in comments to Jaanus’s blog post, there are minor issues with some of the questions but the survey is overall good. You will help a bunch of very talented post grad students to develop user interfaces.

By the way, did I mention that you have a decent chance of winning a $50 Amazon gift certificate?

A transparency statement: I am by no means affiliated with Carnegie University and I have no personal interest in promoting this survey but Jaanus is a long time on line friend of mine.

Upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04

Friday, April 25, 2008 at 6:53 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu | Leave a comment

I just upgraded both of my computers to Ubuntu 8.04. In the desktop the upgrade went without problems, other than it took several hours to download. The download was much faster for my laptop but after the upgrade I received an error message saying that my system may be unusable. After a restart it seems to work normally, though.

I have not had much chance to evaluate the new goodies. Tracker Searh Tool is fantastic, I can say that much. After indexing the files it finds all files where a searched word occurs. F-Spot photo manager looks interesting as well. The export tool seems to be able among other things to upload pictures to Flickr, Picasa Web and other places but I have not yet tried it.

I am looking forward to getting used to the new features in Hardy Heron. And I hope that no hidden problems are going to appear in my laptop.

Double summer time

Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 18:39 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu | Leave a comment

As I have not booted the Windows partition of my laptop since the daylight saving time was introduced a week ago, Windows today assumed that the computer still had the regular zone time and adjusted the computer’s clock one more hour ahead. As Ubuntu takes care of summer vs winter time adjustments automatically and even if the computer happens to be running at the exact moment of adjusting, this naturally resulted as a double summer time. Fortunately, though, a manual check against international time servers fixed the bug once I had controlled that I had the correct time zone selected.

As if one time switch were not bad enough, two of them is at least one too many. And what the heck makes Windows think it would be the only opsys present at my laptop?

In anticipation of Ubuntu 8.04

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 16:12 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu | Leave a comment

In anticipation of Ubuntu 8.04 to be released on 24th April I just completed three consecutive system upgrades. My laptop was ready for the upgrade next month for ages ago but my desktop this morning still ran under 6.06 which is why I first had to upgrade to 6.10, then to 7.04 and finally to 7.10. The operation took about five hours.

The first upgrade to 6.10 presented minor problems. I had to comment some entries in /etc/apt/sources.list and run the upgrade again. Once I had pulled it through I did not uncomment those entries until 7.10 was up and running. Hence the upgrades from 6.10 onwards went smooth albeit the speed could have been faster.

So far everything is fine. All my data and settings have been imported. Just cannot wait to upgrade both desktop and laptop to 8.04.

Firefox 3: first impressions

Saturday, March 22, 2008 at 5:52 | Posted in browsers, computer, internet, ubuntu | 2 Comments

I installed Firefox 3.0b4 the other day and have been using it in parallel with I must say that I am not very impressed. There is not much visible difference between the two.

To install Firefox 3.0b4 to my Ubuntu 7.10 I first fetched the tarball file here and extracted it to my desktop. I then navigated in Nautilus to the freshly created Firefox folder, double clicked the Firefox file and chose Run. I found these instructions here.

All my settings, including bookmarks and saved passwords, were neatly imported but I suddenly discovered that I was unable to play flash video and audio files because the plug-ins were not imported. To fix this I ran this command line in Terminal:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/* Desktop/firefox/plugins/

Now that it was all settled for surfing I started to compare the two. I soon noticed that while switching between 3.0b4 and I was logged out of many places that I never log out of. That is a small inconvenience which will eventually go away as I am going to use Firefox 3 exclusively. I was glad to notice that bookmarks added or deleted in one version were updated when the other was turned on.

The most hype around Firefox 3 has been about its supposedly faster speed. I do not detect a difference but that might very well be bacause I have taken these steps for ages ago so my Firefox runs fast as it is, much faster than with default settings.

Some buttons in  the navigation toolbar look different but other than that, I do not detect much of a difference. I do not complain, though. It is a good idea to use the latest software versions. Many improvements are not visible but they are there, nevertheless.

I am probably going to use Firefox 2 and 3 in parallel as long as  3 is in beta. As soon as the first regular release becomes available, it is going to be goodbye to Firefox 2.

Keeping things clean

Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 7:27 | Posted in Alcohol, computer, Not serious | Leave a comment

Are there some nasty finger prints or grease stains on your computer screen? Do you need help to clean the screen? You may want to try this screen cleaner.

Me? No thanks. I think I am going to stick with plain vodka. That way I’ll be able to reward myself by drinking the leftovers after a completed cleaning effort.

via Laurie

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