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.

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Google Earth playing tricks

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

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! 🙂

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
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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
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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
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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
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I installed Firefox 3.0b4 the other day and have been using it in parallel with 2.0.0.12. 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  2.0.0.12 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.

Ubuntu 8.10 announced

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

Protecting my Windows partition

Sunday, July 22, 2007 at 21:01 | Posted in computer, ubuntu | 3 Comments
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For reasons I wrote about back then, I bought a laptop with pre-installed Windows XP a couple of months ago. Along with the XP there was a 60 day trial of Norton Security Suite. While I mostly use the laptop under Ubuntu 7.04, I decided to leave the Windows partition intact. My Logitech QuickCam Connect is easier to use for both video and still pictures under Windows. Also, I have not yet managed to configure my WLAN card to Linux and some cool features of Skype do not support Linux.

The Norton Security 60 days free trial would have run out in 8 days. I have been reminded for the last three weeks to “renew” it which would obviously no longer have been free. Interestingly, the two options provided each time I logged in to Windows were to renew it now (which was recommended) or renew later. In other words, I was generously left with the option of paying them right away or paying them later. Since I have no desire to pay Norton a cent for their services, I today uninstalled their Security Suite and replaced it with free software.

I first downloaded the Zone Alarm free firewall and then uninstalled the Norton stuff. After re-booting I installed the firewall and went on to download the equally free Avira AntiVir Personal Edition Classic. After installation I let it scan my hard drive. No viruses were found so Norton managed that part during the 52 days, at least.

Now that I had a firewall an and antivirus programme running, I still needed a tool to detect and remove spy- and malware. I downloaded and installed Spybot. Although Norton Security had not reported a single entry of spyware during 52 days, Spybot detected and removed 41 entries at the first run. I wonder what exactly the service is that Norton wanted me to pay for.

Having three separate programmes for free rather than one package for money means that I must do some of the work manually but I do not mind doing it. I used to work under Windows for years before switching to Ubuntu so I am more than familiar with these tools. Besides, running them myself gives me a good overview of the system.

Protecting the system is the price (either in work or money) one has to pay for the dubious luxury of using Windows. In comparison, Ubuntu does not necessarily require any protection at all. I do use Firestarter, though, to be on the safe side. It is good to have it recorded in the firewall log if a serious hacking attempt should take place.

Although I only log in to my Windows partition two or three times a week, I think it was worth while to spend a couple of hours this afternoon to protect the system. Using Windows even momentarily without a proper protection would be as stupid as having sex with a stranger without a condom. In fact, chances of infection are bigger with Windows.

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.

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