Sunday, June 29, 2008

Praise for Leonov

While I am not a big KDE fan (more a GNOME fanboy), I thought the Leonov project was really neat. I decided to install it this morning. I had downloaded the tarball and when I ran the, it told me I needed to install KDE 4.1-Beta 2. Ok, not a problem. I put the PPA repos in my sources.list, update, and grab KDE 4.1-Beta 2. After that, I ran the setup again. Hmm, I still need to install KDE 4.1-Beta 2 still? So, I make sure that I am running the latest of everything. Yep.

So, it seems I have run into a bug. I hop on IRC and get pointed to #leonov. Stephen Hermann was more than willing to point me to a new updated tarball that fixed the bug. I installed the newer tarball and everything worked (I have run into a couple bugs that I am trying to track down, I haven't done much in Python before, as well as KDE, so it should be fun :-)).

Congrats to the Leonov team! I know this is an "early adopters" release, but I think this will turn out to be an awesome app. I hope I can help out!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Awesome Smoothie Time

Ok, so I was experimenting today with ingrdients for a smoothie and I have come up with one awesome smoothie.

1/2 a banana
3-4 Strawberries (depending on size)
3/4 can Sprite
4-6 Ice Cubes (depending on size)
A couple (big) spoonfuls of Neopolitan icecream (get a good mix of vanilla and strawberry, maybe a little chocolate)

I put in some vanilla protein powder since tonight is one of my workout nights.

Blend and enjoy. Seriously, it rocks hardcore. I will try Vault tomorrow-ish.

Also, thanks to those who commented on my last post about Java. While my reservations for it haven't changed, I have learned more about its functionality (specifically on ARM devices, thanks jldugger!) and conveniences/inconveniences.

Friday, June 27, 2008

tanks, now i r confuzzled

Dear lazyweb,

I don't understand why people seriously use Java. I know that most colleges and schools teach kids to program in Java, but that doesn't mean it should be used in the real world (how much stuff do you learn in school that really is meant to be used in the real world?). It is a "gateway language" if I had to choose a name for it. If you are doing web development, use OO/PHP or Ruby (I don't recommend ASP simply because I write in it almost everyday and it isn't that great). If you are doing desktop development, use C++ and make it portable.

A) PHP and Ruby are (nearly) completely OS independent, and I have never run into problem moving from one OS to another (with PHP, I am just learning Ruby, so I have no personal experience with moving it. I have heard good stories though).
B) C++ is like a hairy Java on steroids. No, it isn't as clean, but it is much faster and more powerful.
C) You can run C++ apps on embedded devices without the bloat of a virtual machine to run the bytecode.

I would greatly enjoy someone explaining to me why Java is taken seriously. It is something that has been bugging me since high school.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have always had a bias towards nVidia. Every year at QuakeCon, nVidia has been an _excellent_ vendor and sponsor. It is instills a great sadness in me to see the way they are acting towards the Free Software community. I am sad to say, the next rebuild I do, it will probably be an ATI card.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Project Euler is cool!

Whoever posted on the planets (debian, ubuntu, gnome, I am not sure) about Project Euler, I love you. I was planning on starting the puzzles today (which I got to eventually, after being sick). I was able to solve problems 1-3 today (about 2 hours of work) in C# on Mono. I am going to upload my solutions to on my projects page, just in case they can help people out... If you are doing the Project Euler problems and having some trouble (and I have done the problem), feel free to check out a solution.

I can't make this meeting

My apologies, but I won't be able to make it to the DFW meeting today. I am not sure if I ate some bad food or what, but I have been living in my restroom the past 12 hours or so.

/me goes back to his restroom.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Woes with upgrade?

My dad has been running 7.04 since it came out (he had a nasty bout with a virus that deleted all his data). This weekend, I was planning on upgrading his computer to 8.04 and let him sit on that till the next LTS release.

I have never done and upgrade that large before. I know I should do it incrementally (7.04 -> 7.10 ->8.04). Has anyone had a problem doing this? All his apps are from the repos, so there aren't any weird apps on there. Should I

cat /etc/apt/sources.list | sed -e s/feisty/gutsy/g | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot


cat /etc/apt/sources.list | sed -e s/gutsy/hardy/g | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

??? Or would you suggest just letting Update Manager handle it?

I would like to try as hard as I can to not have to format.
Any tips (outside of backing up data, that is a no-brainer) that could help are greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Man, I have been busy lately. I didn't have time to update the ClamAV LiveCD this weekend, so I did it tonight. It is now running 0.93.1. Get it here.

I have been doing some research on ncurses for a ncurses-based ClamAV TUI. Not exactly sure how I want to do it at the moment, but I am getting an idea. Hopefully, once things slow down a bit at work, I will get a chance to implement some stuffs.

There is just under a month left in the Ubuntu Texas Logo contest which is plenty of time to get a nice looking logo, so for any artistic Texans out there, you don't have to be a member of an Ubuntu team to help out and join up!

The Dallas team is also having their meeting this weekend on Saturday at Java and Cha in Plano at 3, hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nvidia/nv driver issues

Dear lazyweb,

In my pursuit for the ultimate media center, I have attached my desktop/server to my TV in the living room using S-Video. It was using the nvidia driver originally, but I was only getting black and white color. I figured I wouldn't be playing any games on it, so I switched it to the nv driver. That didn't fix it, that just made it worse. It was just "snow" (it looked like someone was playing an uber fast game of Galaga). After that, I tried the vesa driver, and everything works without a hitch (low res, but it works).

I haven't ever done a bug report for X11 or kernel-level drivers. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about doing this? What logs I need to look at and if it is indeed X11 or the kernel itself? Thanks in advance.

I have a feeling...

I have a feeling that when I am 30, there will epidemics of diabetes and skin cancer because of all the "energy drinks" and tanning going on now.

I have been extremely busy this weekend, so the ClamAV LiveCD may not be updated till late tonight (I have some SQL work I need to do for work beforehand). So, if you are needing an updated ISO, you may need to wait until tomorrow to get it.

Just a reminder: We are having the Ubuntu DFW meeting this Saturday at Java and Cha at 3.

Happy Father's day to all the fathers out there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Installing ClamAV latest from source

I love ClamAV. The team rocks, the project rocks, the idea rocks. While the detection rate isn't as good as some name-brand AV distributors (if you are looking to get some name-brand AV for your Linux boxen, check out Avira, they also rock), the response time for ClamAV is uber high since it is open source. Here is how to install the latest version:

Open up a terminal

cd ~
mkdir tmp
cd tmp

This creates a working directory for you to mess around in. After creating the directory, grab the latest stable version from SourceForge. Now, untar the archive, grab the deps, and create the clamav user and group.

tar xzf clamav-0.93.1.tar.gz
sudo apt-get build-dep -y clamav
cd clamav-0.93.1/
sudo adduser clamav --no-create-home --disabled-password

When you create the user, you will be asked for some information. You should be able to just hit enter a couple times and say 'yes'.

To make ClamAV, we must first configure. We will use the --enable-experimental flag which gives us better virus detection at the expense of reliability. I have never had a problem with this flag :-).

./configure --enable-experimental

Now, just to be safe, we will do a though cleaning to make sure there aren't any previous installations on your computer.

sudo apt-get remove --purge clamav
sudo make uninstall

Now, you can install it.

sudo make install

Before we can update the virus defs, we must first edit the ClamAV config files in /usr/local/etc/. I originally used vim to do this, but sed is faster.

cat /usr/local/etc/freshclam.conf | sed -e s/Example// | sudo tee /usr/local/etc/freshclam.conf
cat /usr/local/etc/clamd.conf | sed -e s/Example// | sudo tee /usr/local/etc/clamd.conf

You can now update your virus definitions and start scanning!

sudo freshclam
cd ~
clamscan -v -r ./

Some people may get an error that references You should be able to run sudo ldconfig to fix the problem.

I am currently learning how to package, so hopefully, I will be able to start packaging the ClamAV releases and you won't have to do this :-).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Intrepid Alpha 1 release tomorrow

Christer has brought to my attention that Intrepid Ibex Alpha 1 will be released tomorrow. I have an old Dell lying around at my apartment that I will load it onto and start testing for bugs.

For more info, please see

catch bugs early, get 'em fixed!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Skimming == Stupid

There has been a lot of buzz about the "Google is making us stupid article". It is bull.

The author, Carr, says that people are more skimming web pages than reading them, not really taking in what they see. They are becoming impatient and "jumpy" as I would put it. I completely disagree with this line of thought. What is happening is that people are gaining the ability to make educated guesses with as little information as possible on the quality of the article/web page and whether it is beneficial for them to keep reading. This is a lot like speed reading, in that you aren't going for all the information, just the information that is pertinent for what you are trying to accomplish. People are learning how to analyse and decipher what they are reading a lot faster than they had previously. If that sounds like stupidity to you, then you might want to take a quick look in the mirror.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My network setup

I set my media network up this weekend. It rocks. Here is how I have it set up:

My main desktop is the server. I have 3 250 GB hard drives and an 80 GB. My Movies are spread out across two of the 250's, Music is on the 80, and OS + Misc is on the other 250. I have setup gnump3d so I can stream my music from anywhere in my apt. I have my movies on an NFS share, mounted on my laptop with an XP virtual machine. The mounted shares are set up as shared drives in VirtualBox so Windows Media Player 11 has access to the movies, so I may stream them on my XBox 360. Not as clean as I would like it, but it works.

All I need now is a really awesome stereo system that can take input from my laptop so I am not using my crappy laptop speakers. If anyone has had good experiences with a nice stereo system (in the $200 range), leave me a comment.

In other news, I am announcing that the Ubuntu Texas Logo contest will end on the 15th of July. You don't have to be a part of any team to participate, so feel free to be creative! Another submission was added this afternoon, so this should turn out to be a lot of fun.

Also, I am looking for a touch screen that will work with minimum configurations with Hardy. If you have any recommendations, they are much appreciated!

Current Ubuntu Texas Logo Submissions

First of all, I would like to to thank Nate Willis, imtehk, and rugby471 for the submissions to the contest.

We currently have 3 logo submissions (actually more, if you count the small and large versions). I can't wait to see what other logos people come up with. There is still plenty of time to submit your logos, I haven't yet decided when the contest will end, probably next month. If you still want to submit a logo, join up and submit!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Technology/Security in Education

I have always had a beef with (most) teachers in the Technology fields of public schools. I got my A+ certification my senior year (I was actually taking A+ and Net+, but the school district screwed up my test waivers), the guy who taught the class should _not_ have been teaching it. He had supposedly gotten his A+ cert ~10 years before, but his knowledge of computers didn't go very far past that initial certification. This wouldn't have gotten to me, but he would walk around as if he knew it all, talk down to the other kids in the class (he wouldn't do it to me, I made it quite clear in the first couple weeks that he shouldn't try to get technical with me), and other small things.

I had brought an Knoppix disc to class one day and booted up to it, just to show the other kids in the class how you can go about removing a password off of a Windows box. When my teacher saw this, he became furious, but he not because of what I was doing per se. He had no idea what Knoppix was (he kept referring to it as Windows 95) and he wasn't happy that I was teaching the other kids something that wasn't on the curriculum. This was before class started, it wasn't on his time, but for some reason, it really pissed him off. At the time I didn't know what to make of it.

The previous year, I was doing some research in the library at school for a paper I was supposed to be writing. I had brought a flash drive with some documents on it to save stuff to. When I had plugged it in and gone to My Computer, I noticed that _tons_ of teachers had shared drives publicly available with a lot of sensitive stuff (IE gradebooks) on them. Now, most students wouldn't know how to get to some of the stuff, but I didn't think that mattered. After I finished doing my research, I went to the IT lady at school, told her what I had found and showed her exactly how to get to the stuff. She got on to me for "hacking into the school system" and told me to go back to class because they had it covered.

The point I am trying to make is that the school districts really need to get a handle on technology, the people maintaining it, and the teachers teaching it. There are too many educators/sysadmins just barely getting by with things that they learned 5, 10, or even 20 years ago, and it is affecting the entire system, whether they realise it or not.

I do understand that schools have a limited supply of educators. I guess it just goes back to the whole "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.".

END rant

Ubuntu Texas Logo Contest

To any Texas Ubuntu'ers: WE NEED A LOGO FOR TEXAS!

We had a previous contest for a logo a couple months back, but due to lack of interest, it went belly-up. We added about 6x the members now on (and I know that they aren't the only Ubuntu'ers in Texas ;-) ) since the last contest, so maybe we can get some steam going on it. Also, I have decided to make it a bit more interesting. Whoever has the winning logo will get to choose one item from the Canonical Store as their prize. And that includes any of the expensive stuff (like the backpack).

So please, if you think have the skillz to make an awesome logo for the Texas team, join up on the site. The contest can be found here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Zombie meme

I saw this on Bastien Nocera's entry:

You are in a mall when zombies attack. You have:
1. One weapon
2. One song blasting on the speakers
3. One famous person to fight along side you.

Ok, let's get creative.

1. I have to agree with Bastien. Pump action shotty.
2. Beware by Deftones (sound quality is pretty bad, but I can see some really awesome slow-motion zombie battles to this song)
3. Abe Lincoln. I am pretty sure he would kick ass.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My plans for the weekend

Don't expect me to have much time this weekend to hang out and stuff. I have a lot of things I want to finish by this Sunday night:

Finish the ClamAV LiveCD tutorial, update the virus defs for the ClamAV LiveCD, and upload the USB image with persistent filesystem enabled (possibly also a script to setup the USB drive for the user).

Learn how to package so I can start helping with the Debian/Ubuntu packages for ClamAV and Banshee.

Start backing up my laptop so I can load 8.04 on it (currently has Windows because of work) some time this week.

Setup my media network separate from my internet network so streaming music from my Ubuntu boxen to my Xbox 360 doesn't stutter when I am downloading/uploading stuffs.

Ubuntu Dallas Launchpad Team

A big thanks to Brian Rogers for setting up the Ubuntu-Dallas Launchpad group! I hadn't thought about doing that (don't ask why). If you are an Ubuntu User in Dallas/Fort Worth, feel free to join the group.

Don't forget, the 21st of this month is the Ubuntu D/FW LoCo meeting. We meet at Java and Cha in Plano, Texas around 3 PM. Meetings usually last a couple hours.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


It looks like the Planet grabbed my last three posts, so I didn't get to formally introduce myself.

Hello Planet Ubuntu!

My name is Brandon Perry and I was given membership last night. I am the Dallas/Fort Worth Team Leader and have been since mid 2007.

I have been running Ubuntu since the days of 4.10, when we thought 4.10 was the best thing to come around since sliced bread. I am not sure what else to put, so cool!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Now an Ubuntu Member :-)

I am now and Ubuntu Member. If you don't know what that means, it means that after working on Ubuntu and related things, I was able to go in front of a panel and be like "Yo, dis is why I think I should be uh Ubuntu Member" and tell them about what you have done to support Ubuntu, help Ubuntu grow, what your plans are for the future, etc... If the panel thinks you are eligible to become a Member, they take a vote and one you go, an Ubuntu Member.

It feels really nice to have the responsibility :-).

Stubbs the Zombie on Linux

Stubbs the Zombie is plagued with a dinput bug in WINE that causes the mouse to move off the window. There is a patch that fixes this, but because of where the bug is, it could possibly break many other apps by fixing it for just a few games that are affected by this bug (like Rainbow Six: Raven Shield, Lineage II, Postal 2, etc...)

Here is how to fix it. You first need to get the patch:


You then need to build the dependencies for WINE and get the sources:

sudo apt-get build-dep wine

Once you have the sources, untar them, then patch WINE with the mouse patch.

untar xvjf wine-1.0-rc3.tar.bz2
cd wine-1.0-rc3/
patch -p0< ~/stubbs.patch

Now, we build WINE. This will take a while (like 45 minutes on my machine). Go grab some food or run some errands:

make depend && make

Once that is done, you can install it your newly built WINE. You have to uninstall any other WINE installations:

sudo apt-get remove --purge wine
sudo make uninstall
sudo make install

Now, you have to start Stubbs the Zombie with WINEFORCEWOUSEWRAP (I play Stubbs through Steam, but it is the same for the standalone game, I am sure)

cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Steam
WINEFORCEMOUSEWARP=yes WINEDEBUG="-all" wine steam.exe

You should now have a fully functioning Stubbs the Zombie! Rock!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The more you know *star falling*

As some/most of you may not know, I am indeed a metal-head at heart (even if I don't look it). Some of my favorite bands include Tool, NIN, APC, Sevendust, and Metallica. I get this from my dad, who has listened to rock music since I was like 0 years old. That being said:

For Father's Day, I got my dad two tickets to OzzFest on August 9th. He thinks he talked me out of getting them for him, but I got two (one for him, and one for my Uncle Chip) and they are being mailed to my dads house. They are pretty nice seats, directly across from the stage. Hopefully, he will enjoy himself and relax. He has had to go through a lot the past couple months. My brother and sister are getting him two Swedish Massage gift certificates.

Monday, June 2, 2008


brandon|work: we already think omfg! brandon|work around here

From the man himself, Christer Edwards.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

System diagnostics and awesomeness

For parties interested in this, here are some neat little tricks I have found lately that have really helped debug problems.


This nifty little progam gives you a lot of really nice info about your motherboard and hardware on your system (say if you are trying to find drivers). Output looks like this (using dmidecode -q)

bperry@w00den-pickle:~$ sudo dmidecode -q
BIOS Information
Vendor: Phoenix Technologies, LTD
Version: 6.00 PG
Release Date: 01/19/2006
Address: 0xE0000
Runtime Size: 128 kB
ROM Size: 512 kB
ISA is supported
PCI is supported
PNP is supported
APM is supported
BIOS is upgradeable
BIOS shadowing is allowed
Boot from CD is supported
Selectable boot is supported
BIOS ROM is socketed
EDD is supported
5.25"/360 KB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
5.25"/1.2 MB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
3.5"/720 KB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
3.5"/2.88 MB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
Print screen service is supported (int 5h)
8042 keyboard services are supported (int 9h)
Serial services are supported (int 14h)
Printer services are supported (int 17h)
CGA/mono video services are supported (int 10h)
ACPI is supported
USB legacy is supported
LS-120 boot is supported
ATAPI Zip drive boot is supported

System Information
Product Name:
Serial Number:
UUID: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-00508D49B91E
Wake-up Type: Power Switch

Base Board Information
Product Name: AN8 Series(NF-CK804)
Version: 1.x
Serial Number:

Another nice one is hwinfo. In conjunction with dmidecode, these can become quite powerful tools. Printout of hwinfo --short below:

bperry@w00den-pickle:~$ hwinfo --short
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3700+, 2200 MHz
/dev/input/event1 AT Translated Set 2 keyboard
/dev/input/mice Apple Macintosh mouse button emulation
graphics card:
nVidia GeForce 6600 GT
Creative CT4850 SBLive! Value
Floppy disk controller
Promise Ultra100
ABIT CK804 Serial ATA Controller
ABIT CK804 Serial ATA Controller
IDE interface
eth0 ABIT CK804 Ethernet Controller
network interface:
eth0 Ethernet network interface
lo Loopback network interface
/dev/sdb MAXTOR 6L080L4
/dev/sda WDC WD2500JB-00R
/dev/sdb1 Partition
/dev/sda1 Partition
/dev/sda2 Partition
/dev/sda5 Partition
/dev/sr0 SONY DVD RW AW-G170A
usb controller:
ABIT CK804 USB Controller
ABIT CK804 USB Controller
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCI Bridge
ABIT CK804 ISA Bridge
Linux 2.6.24-17-generic ohci_hcd OHCI Host Controller
Linux 2.6.24-17-generic ehci_hcd EHCI Host Controller
Main Memory
firewire controller:
ABIT TSB43AB22/A IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)
DMA controller
Keyboard controller
Creative Gameport Joystick
ABIT CK804 Memory Controller
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
/dev/input/input2 Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse

Happy debugging!