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.

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.

Finally wireless in Ubuntu!

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

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.

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.

Ubuntu 8.10 announced

Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 23:19 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu | 2 Comments

While preparations for release of Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), to be released in April, are still intensively in progress, Mark Shuttleworth yesterday announced that planning for the version after that is starting. Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) is expected to be out in October 2008. For me personally, the best part of Mark’s message is this:

A particular focus for us will be pervasive internet access, the ability to tap into bandwidth whenever and wherever you happen to be. No longer will you need to be a tethered, domesticated animal – you’ll be able to roam (and goats do roam!) the wild lands and access the web through a variety of wireless technologies. We want you to be able to move from the office, to the train, and home, staying connected all the way.

That is exactly what I have been waiting to hear for quite a while. If even half of it will happen, I may be a long step closer to getting rid of the Windows partition of my laptop for good.

via Susan

Unable to upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10

Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 8:13 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu | 20 Comments
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I have tried to upgrade from Ubuntu 7.04 to 7.10 for a couple of days now but have so far not succeeded in doing so. First I thought it was the crowded servers but now during early morning hours here in Europe, the upgrade proceeded considerably faster than hitherto but hooked up at exactly the same point as before. The upgrade does not go further than fetching the files because three files can apparently not be found. The error message (the same every time) says:

Failed to fetch http://wine.lowvoice.nl/apt/dists/feisty/Release.gpg Could not resolve ‘wine.lowvoice.nl’
Failed to fetch http://wine.lowvoice.nl/apt/dists/feisty/main/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2 Could not resolve ‘wine.lowvoice.nl’
Failed to fetch http://wine.lowvoice.nl/apt/dists/feisty/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz Could not resolve ‘wine.lowvoice.nl’

I do not get it. There is nothing wrong with the network connection at my end. Also, the repository wine.lowvoice.nl is opted for as this screen shot shows:

I am less than enthusiastic about the prospective of having to make a clean install. While my important files are all in the web, there is quite a lot of software and personal installations which I am not too eager to start from scratch. Nevertheless, I have no idea as to what I could possibly do other than a clean install.

Video posting button and other Vodpod goodies

Saturday, September 8, 2007 at 6:05 | Posted in Blogosphere, gadgets, internet, linux, ubuntu, video, Web tools, WordPress | 4 Comments

On The Air TV reminds me of what I discovered yesterday about Vodpod’s video posting button which can be installed as a Firefox extension and used for posting in WordPress blogs. The button as such is cool and works perfectly. I tested it to make a post in my Finnish blog. It has hitherto only been possible to post videos hosted by YouTube, Google or Dailymotion in WordPress.com but this button practically opens all borders.

However, I have not been able to discover a way to install this gadget to Firefox under Linux Ubuntu. I am sure somebody will soon enough invent a way to do it if it does not exist already. I am now able to use the button only in my Windows partition which is not bad when I work with my own footage. There are several reasons for me to work with my videos under Windows. But if I detect a clip while doing my regular work under Ubuntu, it would have to be damned good if I wanted to re-boot.

Fortunately, though, I am not totally dependent on that button. I registered to Vodpod and soon enough detected that I can collect footage from just about anywhere, both my own and that of others, and store it at Vodpod. And even more importantly, I was able to store the URL’s of my blogs in WordPress.com, my user ID and password to make automated posts from the Vodpod interface to my blogs.

This means that I do not necessarily have to re-boot to Windows as I can post footage hosted anywhere to my WordPress blogs regardless of the button. So I just need to log in to my Vodpod account to collect a clip hosted, let us say by On The Air TV, and post it right here. And it appears here as a clip hosted by On The Air TV.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is cool.

Edit: I was able to install the button after upgrading to Ubuntu 7.10.

Another Ubuntu version coming

Monday, September 3, 2007 at 20:17 | Posted in linux, ubuntu | 4 Comments

While I am still looking forward to upgrading my Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) to Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), expected to be released 18th October, Jono Bacon has already announced the release of the version after Gutsy. It is going to be Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). Heron is expected to be ready in April 2008. It is going to be a Long Term Support (LTS) version and will be supported with security updates for five years on the server and three years on the desktop.

Time sure flies fast. The latest LTS is Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake, supported till 2009) which feels like obsolete already when compared to 7.04 which I have running in my laptop.

via Suzan

Why am I seeing this?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 12:44 | Posted in computer, linux, ubuntu | Leave a comment
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A while ago I wrote about Automatix which is a “graphical package manager for the installation, uninstallation and configuration of the most commonly requested applications in Debian based Linux operating systems.” As I wrote, Automatix is a fabulous piece of software which makes life so much easier. I have not changed my mind about that but I have one small complaint.

Why do I get this disclaimer every damned time I run Automatix? It is so annoying to get it every fucking time. In fact, why am I getting it at all? I have never even been to USA and have no plans to go there in the foreseeable future. Maybe I will some time and I am naturally going to respect their laws if I do. But at this point, I could not care less what is legal or illegal in US when it comes to installing any codecs. I do not need to see this on every start up.

Logitech QuickCam Connect running

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 22:28 | Posted in bookmarks, computer, linux, ubuntu, webcam | Leave a comment
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I just noticed by accident that my Logitech QuickCam Connect is running in my laptop under Ubuntu 7.04. It has hitherto been working only in my laptop’s Windows partition. I have no idea how this happened. It must have been something in the load of packages I picked up with Automatix the other night.

The camera collapsed a couple of weeks ago in my desktop which has Ubuntu 6.06 and the usual procedure did not work that time. To be exact, the mich still works in my desktop but the video has gone.

How could I manage without Automatix?

Saturday, June 2, 2007 at 2:21 | Posted in linux, ubuntu | 2 Comments

As I wrote yesterday, I installed Ubuntu 7.04 in my new laptop. I was expecting quite a lot of configuring to be done. Getting all audio and video bells and whisles tuned up is quite an enterprice. Luckily I disovered that Automatix has been available for Ubuntu for a while already.

If Automatix did not exist, it should immediately be invented. I’ll let them speak for themselves rather than try to describe it myself:


Automatix2 is a free graphical package manager for the installation, uninstallation and configuration of the most commonly requested applications in Debian based Linux operating systems. Currently supported are Ubuntu 7.04, 6.10, 6.06, Debian Etch and Mepis 6.

I would call the above a modest way to put it. Just about everything you would want is available and quite a lot of goodies in addition to that. The installation is amazingly easy: You just dowload the .deb file and double click it, that’s all. The file for Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty i386 is here, links to other distros here.

After the install, Automatix appears in Applications/System Tools. You just run it and select what you want to get and Automatix will then make honor for its name and take care of the installations. Some programmes do, however, require user input as licenses need to be accepted.

Just about everything of importance is available. Web browsers with plugins, audio and video players and editing tools, messengers, Google Earth, the lot of it. I entered a large tray of my wishes to Automatix about an hour ago and it is in the process of fulfilling them. Approximately 75 % of the work is done at the moment. Not bad considering that I needed about a week to get all that stuff to 6.06 in January as I needed to make a fresh install after a self inflected system collapse.

I honestly do not know how I was able to get along without Automatix. That is of course not important at all. What matters is that from now on I do not need to.

Bureaucratic computing

Friday, June 1, 2007 at 3:54 | Posted in Bureaucracy, computer, helsinki, internet, linux, Personal, ubuntu | 3 Comments

As I told in this declaration of economic interest, my bad finances forced me to enter into an eight month contract of employment in a suburban unit of the Culture Department here in town. They needed somebody who would agree to work mostly evenings and weekends. I was supposed to see that the visitors behave themselves and also take care of the practical side of a project involving a couple of computers installed for the general public to surf with. The house was also to get a wireless network.

When I started for almost two months ago, I soon detected that maintaining public order was not a big issue. Most of the visitors are friendly and have been regulars for ages. There was not very much to do but I enjoyed reading what the book shelve had to provide.

Having read the best books in a few weeks, though, I was becoming somewhat bored. I am used to having a 24 hour access to the Internet at my home office and I certainly could have used that. The funny thing is that there was a computer connected to the Internet on my desk but I was not allowed to use it. The computer is hooked to the internal network of the city and I have not been given a user ID there although my employment is for eight months.

Even the regular staff have silly restrictions imposed on them. They are strictly forbidden to visit their personal e-mail accounts through the city network. On the other hand they can not access their office mail from anywhere else. So I was a bit worried when the book shelve was about to be exhausted and there was no word of my project being kicked off. I had talked with the IT manager of the administration by phone for several times but delays and obstacles seemed to be rather a rule than an exception.

As I came to my post last Thursday, I detected a brand new ADSL router on my desk. I called the IT manager and learned that the web connection was indeed up and running but the WLAN box and WLAN adapters for the two computers would not come so soon. I did, however, connect one of the old computers to the web using the existing ethernet card and installed Ubuntu in it. I also installed and configured some software and intended to do the same with the other computer the day after.

As i came in the following day, I detected that I was unable to proceed with the project. The WLAN box had arrived and the ADSL router was well hidden somewhere under the surface of the wall. Alas, the house had a wireless network but no hardware to connect to it. There was also a reprimanding message for me saying that connecting to the Internet direct through the ADSL router was inappropriate.

At that point I was less than amused. I decided that whatever is going to happen with the bureaucracy, I for one was going to ensure that I have access to the web at work. I started browsing laptop ads and found somewhat of a bargain yesterday as I was in what my friend Peter would call a Männerladen.

Open source is not particularly popular around here. Many people who would not know what to do with Windows Vista must absolutely have it. It is as important as having a cooler car than their neighbour. Which is why it is by now almost impossible to find laptops in stores here with a pre installed XP. The dealers just want to get rid of them.

So I bought a basic laptop yesterday for 450 ‚ā¨. It is a HP Compaq nx6310 notebook with 512 Mb of RAM and 60 GB hard drive. And a preinstalled Windows XP.

So this afternoon before and during my working hours, I was pretty much occupied with adjusting the laptop. I even posted a short note into my Estonian blog. The WLAN connection seemed to be almost as fast as mine at home. That will no doubt change if several people are going to be on line simultaneously but for now I am happy with it.

I installed Ubuntu 7.04 onto the laptop and have quite a bit of configuring to do. It is early to say anything about whether or not 7-04 is better or worse than 6.06 which is running in my desktop. I am going to let the XP partition stay as well, at least for some time. It is probably going to take a while before I am going to be able to put my webcam to work under Ubuntu 7.04. And the latest Windows version of Skype has lots of bells and whisles that we Linux people still dream about. Stuff like video calls and Skypecasts.

The funny thing with bureaucracy is that it is mostly slow and sleepish but it may once in a while surprise you with unforeseen velocity. The computer project at my job has been planned for nearly two years after the decision was formally made. As I went to my post yesterday, for the first time with my own laptop, two WLAN adapters were waiting for me on the table.

The customer computers are supposed to be available for the general public some time in the autumn. Since I am going to work all weekend with no bureaucrats present, I thought I could just as well get over with the installation and configuring by Monday morning. There will be nobody to stop me or interfere with directives. And then we are going to have two computers ready for customers who will probably be allowed to use them three months later.

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