I have moved my blog to Wordpress at theunixgeek.wordpress.com. I will still be checking back periodically on this one as well, though. 19 April 2009


Merging Mkdir and Cd | 280 Slides Interview | I Switched to KDE 4

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Most Popular Linux Environments


OST POPULAR LINUX ENVIRONMENT IS...................................................................................

58% out of 44 people
KDE - 25%, XFCE - 9%, Other GUI - 4%, Command Line - 4%

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fun Programming Quotes

"There are only 10 types of people in this world: those who can read binary and those who can't."

"There's no place like ~" (can also be "There's no place like")

"Linux: Be Root. Windows: Re Boot."

"If architects built houses like programmers build programs, a woodpecker would destroy all of civilization." ~Gerald Weinberg

"Make install, not war."

"#define Question ((be))||!((be))" ~Shakespeare

"He who play in root, eventually kill tree." ~Confucius

"The number of the beast — vi vi vi."

"BASIC programmers never die, they GOSUB and don't RETURN."

"The only problem with troubleshooting is that sometimes trouble shoots back."

digg it

How to Make Wallpaper with the GIMP

Believe it or not, you can make beautiful wallpaper...... FROM


It's quite simple, and you can do it (provided you have the GIMP) in 10 simple steps.

1. Fire up the GIMP.

2. File > New>Template:800x600
3. Select an animal. Say, an elephant. Scribble its out
line with one of the animal's colors.

4. Now select another color that animal has and fill in the outline, scribbling.

5. Now scribble in a quick scenery; don't add too many objects.

6. Select Filters>Artistic>Cubism. Set the the cube size high; same with the saturation.
7. Marvel at your work. Save this point. If you like it as is, go to step nine. If you'd like to change it a bit, we're not done...

8. Go to Filters>Artistic>Gimpressionist and under the "Presets" tab, select whichever one suits you. For this example, I'll pick "Feathers."

9. Save it as a new name.

10. Set it as your wallpaper!

*Scribbling is the key to getting this right.
*Some of the presets might not go well with the result of step 6. Ctrl-Z (yes, Ctrl even on a Mac) to undo step 8 and continue to step 9.

digg it

Linux Pro Magazine

A nice magazine worth taking note of is Linux Pro Magazine. With it, you get articles on Linux in the world, some guides and tutorials, and a Linux distro packed with it.

Linux Pro Magazine homepage: http://www.linuxpromagazine.com

Today's Linux: Edubuntu

Edubuntu, the Ubuntu version aimed at educational institutions and students, is a great choice for a distro if you work at a school or are a student yourself. It features a whole set of educational applications which include making graphs (perfect for Algebra), studying angles and shapes (geometry), practicing vocabulary (in both English and Foreign Languages), notating music, and much more! It also comes with the standard Ubuntu software, such as OpenOffice.org, the same games, etc. Overall, it's a nice little distro, and the standard wallpaper is nicer than the regular Ubuntu wallpaper.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

GIMP : Another Graphics Software

The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a nifty little cross-platform tool. It's as good as Photoshop, but free (in both senses). A nice little feature of GIMP are the filters.  Using the filters, you can turn some simple scribbles into aesthetically-pleasing desktop wallpaper. The "clone" feature is also really nice to remove unwanted parts of a picture.

The Way of the Ocean - example wallpaper done in GIMP:

Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 3 Review

I recently did a little review on Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 1; there wasn't much too it. Now, this isn't really a review on Tribe 3, but more of a feature overview, including those not mentioned in the official list.  Now, I'm downloading Tribe 3. According to the
Ubuntu website(NOTE: THIS LINK WILL GO OUT OF DATE IN OCTOBER), all the appearance options are in one window now, like in Windows. It's pictured here.
Another thing that I'm extremely happy about is the fact that now ther
e are the regular Documents, Photos, Videos, Downloads, etc. folders in the home folder! That's the biggest feature of Ubuntu I missed, comparing it to Fedora, Knoppix, Mandriva, etc. See picture, taken from here.
Gran Paradiso (Firefox 3 Alpha) is also included. Gaim is now Pidgin (yay, pidgeons)!

I'm downloading the Tribe right now. Updates coming soon!

After testing it out, I found three other neat little features (some of them might not be really "features," though.

One of these "features" is the fact that after login, the desktop opens automatically; there is no splash screen, which is a big jump from previous Ubuntu versions.
The "Human" cursor theme has been replaced by "DMZ white" and "DMZ black."
Tabs have a pleasant fading color effect.
Stay tuned 'till October for more new Gutsy features!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Something done with Blender

I've finally been able to create 2 renderings in Blender! Here they are (they're supposed to be porcupines).

The Results are In!


Here's a pie chart of OS popularity with fellow online hackers!

5 out of 10 people choose Linux! Thank you, Linus!
3 out of 10 people choose OS X! Jobs is getting popular....
2 out of 10 people choose Windows! Where's your best, Bill?

digg it

October '07 is Computer Month

It can very easily be said that October 2007 is International Computer Month with the releases of:
  • Windows Server 2008 (codenamed "Longhorn" and "I Can't Believe it's not Windows NT Server!" - if you don't believe it, watch the naming video on Microsoft's website)
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (I think it should be OS 11 or Xi; I mean, it's really different from all previous OS X versions.)
  • Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (read article below)
I think it's too big of a coincidence that Apple switched the Leopard release date to October :P

Today's Linux: Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

I know Gutsy hasn't been released yet, but why not comment on how it's doing? I downloaded it recently, and the only major difference I see between Gutsy and Feisty is that the window borders are smaller and it improves laptop battery life. I'll wait 'till October.

Blender Manual

Here's a nice official Blender manual for those who want to learn it: 

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Today's Linux: Gobuntu - is it a useless distro?

I think Gobuntu is a wonderful step forward in the software world. It pushes for a complete wipeout of proprietary software. I used to think this was bad, since PDF's, DOC's, AVI's, etc. are so popular, yet so proprietary. I think Gobuntu is basically useless. According to Mark Shuttleworth's blog:

It is a flavour of Ubuntu (like Kubuntu or Xubuntu) that is basically the same desktop environment as Ubuntu (a GNOME desktop) and a very strict set of restrictions on the licences of code and content. This means that we try to strip out ANYTHING which is not modifiable and redistributable, including firmware, PDF’s, video footage, sounds etc. We are trying to apply the FSF “rights” definition to everything in the platform. Gobuntu will not correctly enable much hardware today - but it exists as a banner for the cause of software freedom and as a reference of what IS possible with a totally rigorous approach. The goal is to make it a real point of pride to be able to run Gobuntu on a laptop or desktop or server, because it means that all of the stars have aligned to ensure that you have complete freedom to use that hardware with free software.

What in the world!? No proprietary software? That'll make the distro basically... useless. PDF is one of the most common file formats available on the internet, and WMV-AVI/ MOV-MP3-MPEG/ and RAM are much more popular media formats than OGG. I'm not really going to bother downloading this, because it won't run on my "proprietary" hardware - and if you have a Sun Microsystems workstation, unless you have FreeSPARC or something like that, you won't be able to run Gobuntu. I'll just stick with the regular Ubuntu for now. However, because of my lifestyle, I need to use some of the proprietary software disabled in Gobuntu, so I'll stick with Feisty for now.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Unix Geek magazine

Here's the current plan:

Summer07 : Focus on Apple
Autumn07: Focus on Microsoft
Winter08: Focus on Linux
Spring08:It's an Open World (software and the internet)

Would you like to contribute?

Would you like to contribute to The Unix Geek blog? If so, submit your article to theunixgeek.contact@gmail.com, where it'll be reviewed and edited for grammar and clarity. You will be e-mailed back on whether or not your article will be posted. By submitting your article to The Unix Geek, your article may appear in The Unix Geek magazine, which will be published online quarterly (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring). The first edition will be published July 2007. We await your articles!

Blender 3D and Elephants Dream

Blender 3D is a cross-platform 3D graphics application, where you can create either pictures or movies. I've been using a lot of YouTube videos on The Unix Geek lately, and here's another one. It's called "Elephants Dream." "Elephants Dream" is a project by a group called Orange; it was designed to be the first open movie. We all know of open-source programs. You can get the source code to see how the program works. "Elephants Dream" can be downloaded either in its entirety or as visual source code. It's also called an "open movie" because it uses open-source applications, including Blender and Linux.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Microsoft has recently created its competitor for Flash - Silverlight. I don't see much difference between Flash and Silverlight, and most people use Flash, such as in WebOS's, for example. Anyway, here's a YouTube movie with more info.

^is that OS X I see in the demo? O.o

Microsoft Surface

Oh, here go the Apple-Microsoft wars again. This time, we're being faced with the Battle of TouchScreen Computing. Yes, with Apple's release of the iPhone, Microsoft is releasing Surface. Although this is sort of like saying that the turtle is copying a dog, both include touch screens.

Microsoft Surface is a tabletop computer designed to be in the living room. I'm not really sure of what its OS is - whether it be Windows or something new - but it seems that Microsoft has written it from scratch. Apple's iPhone is basically OS X Mobile, because the iPhone is apparently built from a Darwin kernel, and also has a touchscreen.

Which one will win the public's heart? iPhone. Now, I'm being impartial here, even though I'm a big Apple fan. Apple had better advertising with this, and because of the iPod, especially, Apple has attracted much attention to them. However, they did not invent multitouch.

Microsoft, on the other hand, licensed their OS to be run on various different computers, and so when computer-illiterate people go to buy a computer, they don't care much about OS. Heck, they think Internet Explorer is the internet! So I think it'll be harder for Microsoft to attract attention to Surface, although it's a great work of technological art, I believe.

**UPDATE: There's also a Linux competitor for Surface. Click here for more info.

Computer Nostalgia...

Do you ever want to try an old machine, just because you're curious as to how it works? It's happened many times for me, and in all those times, I give up on the 3rd day. Why, you ask? Because it's basically useless today! Old browsers don't support Flash, Silverlight (article coming soon), etc. And most old computers don't have ethernet (hello, dial-up!). I still wonder how dial-up internet companies still make money today.

The biggest reasons as to not buy an old Apple computer is because that nothing's really compatible with it anymore. Apple's move to Unix in OS X was great, but it left many classic apps behind. So if you're going to buy an old Mac, it'll be hard to find software for it, unless it's a System 7 machine. System 7 Today is a great website for info on integrating System 7 into your daily life.

The same goes for most old PC's, although you might be able to find some programs that still run in Windows 98. Forget 95 and earlier. Microsoft has left DOS as an integral part of the modern Windows OS, so if you have one of those old DOS games on a Twiggy, you can probably fire them up in XP or Vista.

The Unix Geek RSS

Hey, just a quick announcement. The Unix Geek RSS feed is at http://theunixgeek.blogspot.com/atom.xml

By the way, did you get a chance to vote in the poll??? (information bar)>>>>>>>>

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Wonder of Handheld PC's

Today I came across an old handheld PC (NEC MobilePro 790, to be specific - pictured) at a garage sale, and I was unsure whether I should buy the old Windows CE 3.x machine for $25. After researching the same machine on the internet, the lowest price was $190! I was surprised at how good a deal this was!


  • It loads more quickly than any other PC I've ever used (well, then again, it is an embedded system...)

  • It has a touchscreen (meant for a stylus, but still works with the finger). I wonder at times why this touchscreen technology isn't integrated in most modern notebooks.

  • It's perfect for students - it's tiny and you can carry it around


  • Battery life isn't the best Turns out it's better than my MacBook's :0

  • Wouldn't fit in your pocket

  • only includes a modem; no ethernet, sadly - but hey, at least it has IE!

What are your opinions on these old little beauties? Post your opinions as comments :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cupertino, start your copiers!

I think Apple's going a tad bit too far with mocking Vista. I think that now, Apple's beginng to take some ideas from Vista (and note this - I'm quite a big Apple fan). Here's my list:

  1. Transparencies

  2. Moving Tabs around in Safari (already existed in IE7)

  3. QuickLook with movies and documents - it's already in Vista

That's really all they copied, along with the Dock looking just like the Project Looking Glass dock...

I went into the Apple IRC channel and I asked about these things, along with the question "Is it to ease Windows users to the Mac?" - and they got extremely angry at me, saying that Apple innovated it all and Microsoft just copied it.... I'm disappointed at Apple.

Introducing Vista 2.0.....

digg it


There's an update on "Did Apple invent the Live CD?" post. Thanks to K. Reese for the info!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Did Apple invent the Live CD?

Did Apple invent the Live CD? According to one of my friends,
"it seems like an Apple idea."
Really, if you think about it, the first Macintoshes didn't have internal hard drives. They had to boot from floppies with the system software on it. Did this inspire the idea for bootable CD's in Linux?

Actually, no. This is not an Apple innovation...

The first live distribution would have been CP/M by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. for Intel 8080/85s in 1974. AppleDOS and MS-DOS came along after that (about 1978 was the first Apple release.) Once the Hard Drive was put into Normal use for OS's, LiveDistros died out.

It was Yggdrasil Linux that brought the live distribution idea back (unfortunately it died in 1995) and Yggdrasil created the first hardware detection that is used by Live Distros now. Knoppix took this even further and allows for a graphical interface, unlike the previous live distros that were release.

digg it

***Thanks to Kris Reese for information!***

iPhone Review

Yesterday, I got my hands on an iPhone at the Apple Store. I loved it, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5.

1 = Multi-touch works great
2 = AT&T finally works!!
3 = Easy to use
4 = Internet is ... WOW! ... is that really a mobile phone????
.5 = keyboard isn't the best

Sunday, July 1, 2007

iPhone released!

The iPhone was released a few days ago, and it's been a great hit! Being sold at all Apple stores and AT&T company stores, this touchscreen device is an iPod, an internet device, and most importantly, a phone. Sporting Mac OS X mobile, many people are wondering what the fate of the iPhone will be - is it like the first iMac in 1998, selling millions, or like the Lisa (1983) - the first graphical business computer* - and Newton (1990's) - the Apple PDA -, products that lost attention because of their price ($10,000 and over $800, respectively). Only the future will tell.

*Note: The Xerox PARC was made before the LISA, but Xerox turned the idea down, and the Lisa was the first GUI computer sold.