Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ubuntu and Kubuntu aren't the same?

I thought the are the same except the look.

Just proved that last night they aren't the same. I started off recently again from Ubuntu 7.10, turned it into Kubuntu. KDE 4 looks very attractive but I ended up with duplicated applications at the user interface. I learnt also how to improve font rendering etc.

I then decided to install just the Kubuntu to get rid of duplicated applications. Downloaded the latest image and installation went OK. To my surprise I got all sort of troubles when activating the restricted NVidia driver and even software updates by KDE's Adept Manager. I ended up updating the installation at command line.

To prove my point I got my ubuntu CD which was dated December 2007 and installed it again. Everything went smoothly without any issues at all.

Ubuntu and Kubuntu aren't the same perhaps it is KDE vs Gnome. If you like history this is a good read. [Edited] The firefox in ubuntu has no trouble finding and installing Flash and Java SE plugins while I can't do that without downloading and installing at command line for Java SE in Kubuntu.

I'll try Sabayon tonight just to have a feel of Beryl.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fonts look ugly on Firefox 3

Below is Firefox 2 which looks good like other applications


This is Firefox 3 which shares the same config file I believe, it's terrible


Friday, February 22, 2008

Firefox 3

I messed up the config of the default Firefox 2 in my ubuntu installation so I followed this post to install Firefox 3 beta 2. Type below in terminal in one line

wget -P ~
linux-i686/en-US/firefox-3.0b3.tar.bz2 && tar xjf ~/
firefox-3.0b3.tar.bz2 -C ~

Run your Firefox 3 by ~/firefox/firefox or double click the shell command in your KDE Dolphin.

Once I got Firefox 3 running I could then get into about:config and locate layout.css.dpi and reset it to the default '-1'. Changing this to '0' was supposed to force Firefox to use system font setting for menu and toolbar. The trick didn't work for me.
[Edited: a setting between 100~110 looks good to me]

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Better font rendering

One of my first impression on Ubuntu is their ugly fonts. It turns out to be my ignorance, there are tons of way to improve the font rendering. First of all I want fonts rendered like what I see in OS X so I followed this quick start. I got marked improvement following simple steps there. A good reference is here if you are new to ubuntu.

If you are in love with fonts available from Microsoft of course you could install msttcorefonts at command line or simply add fonts from fonts folder in your Windows partition.

From Ubuntu guide you could also add extra fonts repositories

deb feisty fonts
deb-src feisty fonts

to /etc/apt/sources.list then

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libfreetype6 libcairo2 libxft2
then reconfigure the fonts by

gksudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config
gksudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig

my selections were 'Native', 'Automatic', 'No bitmapped fonts' during the interactive configuration. After that reboot the system or press Ctrl+Alt+Back Space.

I have also added some fonts from my Windows XP installations.

If you are really hungry for more fonts you could add 3rd party fonts by

sudo apt-get install cabextract gsfonts-other msttcorefonts
t1-xfree86-nonfree ttf-f500 ttf-isabella
sudo apt-get install ttf-larabie-deco ttf-larabie-straight
ttf-larabie-uncommon ttf-staypuft ttf-summersby
sudo apt-get install ttf-ubuntu-title ttf-xfree86-nonfree
xfonts-artwiz xfonts-intl-european

At the end I jumped from 102 to 496 fonts available to me. I would say fonts look 95% like OS X now.

Last but not least the font size still looks odd in firefox they are just too thick and bold. From this thread it seems it has nothing to do with system font, I guess tweaking firefox config is a solution.

Monday, February 18, 2008

KDE 4.0.1

Now I'm on KDE. Followed this good article to turn ubuntu to kubuntu then this one to install KDE 4.

There are lots of new fancy stuff available to the new desktop you could easily spend 30 minutes tweaking them. If you think Vista is fancy try this you may agree that KDE is getting close.

I was so close

We were at the front row. I have not been that close to the stage perhaps since early 70's when I could only afford cheap student tickets at Arts Festival.

I felt the sound pressure of the cello played by Alisa Weilerstein. New York Phil was doing good that night.

My dear said what if I learn cello as well. It was her who said I have too many instruments at home.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ubuntu is still best

I have been learning Ubuntu paving my way to learn Linux at command line. That latest 7.10 doesn't really impress me at the GUI so I also tried Mandriva 8 and Fedora 8. The KDE desktop is better, I think, so I should just switch to Kubuntu.

I'm a bit disappointed at Mandriva and Fedora GUI design when I tried installing them into my harddisk. If you aren't geeks in Linux yet or don't bother reading long documentation while installing then don't try. Obviously one would be concerned if the Windows partition would be destroyed by a wrong click.

At the end I went back to Ubuntu 7.10, updated it, and found that there were recently improvements on installing Adobe flash and Java SE plugins for Firefox. I was delighted because these were the things that I felt necessary for people switching from Windows. If software/feature installations are further improved for no-brainer then Ubuntu will gain further popularity in no time.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Hit this mark yesterday. I've been very lazy I should really be either updating some of these downloads to make them work or remove the link.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mouse for the Year of Rat

I brought a mouse recently. My second attempt for wireless mouse. My first, a Filand, was terrible. Matchinig by pushing a button was necessary and batteries are running out fast.

This one Ci75m by Kensington is a lot better. I specificially looked for one with wired USB option in case I have flat batteries on the road. It's also flat/small enough for my notebook carrying bag.

It was fairly OK at first when used at home running XP. I took it to office and it behaves sluggishly in wireless mode for some reasons. Luckily I have the wired mode. When used with my MacBook it works perfectly OK.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Let's do it

Book I'm reading.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Goodbye for now Vista

I reinstalled my PC with XP that other night, it wasn't that easy.

I did it with a copy of XP prior to SP2, it could't see the whole harddisk of 320MB. It showed 131,071MB only, the installation didn't go through. I repeated it a few times then had to use another copy of XP with SP2 then I realize that it must be Grub that was bothering the installation. XP with SP2 saw the whole harddisk of 305,245 MB (304,660 free) with 1 partition. At the end it was OK with that partition removed first.

I was so frustrated that other day when unzipping a small file of less than 1MB. Vista took nearly 10 minutes to do it. How could Bill release something that is so lousy? I'll be watching SP1 and reviews before I go back to Vista. For now XP is good, ubuntu is better and Mac OS X is best.

I may just put a little harddisk on this machine such that I could boot ubuntu to avoid boot manager or Grub.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My server

Just apt-get update and apt-get upgrade my server as there are some important apache and kernel fixes that came up recently.

Accidentally found that theme files page.single.php and search.php have not been updated (change from include 'post.php' to include 'entry.php') therefore none of my pages load. This is now fixed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

No worries = worries

I have enviable figures. Figures that most worry about at my age such as Urea, fasting glucose, uric acid, triglycerides and cholesterol etc.

I did 2 checkups in 15 months all figures look good.

However no worries could mean worries. I recently have heart beat problem which is now diagnosed as Ventricular Ectopics. Perhaps I worried too much recently about work.

This is theory of the opposite again. Imperfection is natural.