How to install Google Earth on Ubuntu/Linux?

I am sure Google Earth will be among the first few things you will want to install on your Ubuntu machine. The installer which you get online is not a regular installer which Ubuntu default installation will be happy with. You can’t just double-click to install it.
That’s why I thought of providing the steps to install Google Earth on your Ubuntu or any other linux machine for that matter. Steps are as follows:

  1. Download Google Earth to your desktop.
  2. Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal.
  3. Type in cd ~/Desktop
  4. Type in sh GoogleEarthLinux.bin
  5. Follow the on screen prompts to complete the installation.
  6. You will see Google Earth icon on your desktop after the installation is complete.
  7. At the same time it will also give you an option to launch it for the first time after the installation is complete.
  8. Google Earth should have been installed in the default location “/usr/local/Google/Google-earth“.
  9. That’s it. Enjoy the cool Google Earth features.

TIP: By the way, you might have already guessed the trick. To install any software on Ubuntu with a *.bin extension you can do the same to install it. Just browse to the directory, at the terminal type sh *.bin. Your software should be installed properly.

Keep reading Technomania for more tips and tricks on Ubuntu, Linux and Open source community updates. You can subscribe to the feed or receive email as and when I update anything on this blog.
Cheers…
Anurag Bansal

How to get different wallpapers on each workspace in Ubuntu?

I am sure you have always used to think if it is possible to have different wallpapers on different workspaces in Ubuntu using GNOME. Isn’t it? Don’t worry I have a tip for you, and it is very simple too.
Assumptions:

  • You have Ubuntu 8.04 running. (Though it should work with 7.10 as well. But I haven’t tried it.)
  • You have installed CCSM. Check under System ->Preferences if Advanced Desktop Effect Setting is there.
  • For better results you have Avant Window Navigator installed. (Else you won’t be able to use any shortcut on your desktop.)

If you have set up all that then it should be pretty easy for you. Just follow the following steps:

  1. Go under System> Preferences > Advanced Desktop Settings
  2. Select Desktop Cube >Appearance > Background images
  3. Desktop Cube
  4. Click New under background images and add all the images you want as background.
  5. Desktop Cube - Appearance
  6. Alt + F2 to launch the Run Terminal.
  7. Enter gconf-editor and hit Run.
  8. gconf-editor
  9. Go under apps > nautilus > preference
  10. Nautilus
  11. Deselect ‘Show Desktop’.

That’s it. You are all set. Check all the workspaces. You should have the images you selected as wallpapers on these. Cool…

Screenshot

Note:
You will notice that you can’t right-click on the desktop and all your existing desktop shortcuts are gone. But don’t worry they are not gone. You will have to go under Places > Desktop to see all the thing you kept on original desktop. Going forward if you save something on desktop they will also appear on that location only. This is one thing you will have to sacrifice if you want to have different wallpapers on each workspace.

But hold on…there is a good news for you if you enabled Avant Window Navigator, then all your shortcuts should be there.  Enjoy different wallpapers on all your workspaces. Did you like it?

Desktop with AWN
I would like to see your screenshot with all the workspaces as I have shown here. Or if any other customization you did to achieve better results, drop a comment here so that others also can learn from you.

Keep reading Technomania for more tips and tricks on Ubuntu, Linux and Open source community updates. You can subscribe to the feed or receive email as and when I update anything on this blog.
Cheers…
Anurag Bansal

What is Compiz, Beryl, Metacity & Emerald etc. in Ubuntu?

You might have been hearing lots of terms for desktop managers in Ubuntu or any other distro. I was also confused initially but I collected some information which I wanted to share with you.
Compiz is a Desktop manager which is enabled by default in Ubuntu 8.04. It controls how all the windows appear on the screen, like the title bar, colors, icons, cursors and borders etc. Ubuntu already has one which is called Metacity which is very basic. The advantage of using Compiz is that it has lots of cool effects. Which can make you windows transparent, enable Desktop cube, many customized effects while minimizing, maximizing, opening, closing & moving windows as well as many eye candy effects.
Compiz-fusion was originally called Compiz and had some limited effects. Another window manager Beryl had some other effects and some common effects as Compiz. Eventually Compiz and Beryl combined resulting in Compiz-Fusion.
Emerald is another desktop manager which helps you modify the settings further and help you cutomize the entire theme itself. But you can enable either one of Compiz or Emerald. This is a short explanation of the terms.

There are some other plugins like cairo dock and AWN also which provides you the ability to get a Mac OS X like dock. There are definitely lot of things you can do to get better look than Vista.

Now how to enable those effects:

  1. Ubuntu 8.04 by default has Compiz enabled.
  2. To enable advanced features :
    Go to System > Preferences > Appearance > Visual Effects and select the last option ‘Extra’.
  3. Restart the computer.
  4. Search for ‘Compiz’ in Synaptic Package Manager or Add/Remove software and install ‘Advanced Desktop Effect Settings’
  5. Once installed, play around to get the required effects.

Keep reading Technomania for more tips and tricks on Ubuntu, Linux and Open source community updates. You can subscribe to the feed or receive email as and when I update anything on this blog.

Cheers…

Anurag Bansal

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta : A complete Office Suite

The public beta release of OpenOffice.org 3.0 is now available for download. You can install it along with your existing OpenOffice.org 2.4 installation. You don’t need to uninstall 2.4 to give 3.0 beta a try. 3.0 Beta has got some cool interface. Other than that some noticable features are:

  • You get a desktop icon to launch OpenOffice.org 3.0
  • Once you start you will see a Start Centre where you can select what you want to do, new fresh looking icons and a new zoom control in the status bar.
  • View multiple pages in Writer.
  • OpenOffice.org 3.0 supports Microsoft Office 2007 file formats (*.docx, *.pptx, *.xlsx etc.)
  • Calc now has a linear optimization solver. It finds a set of values that maximize or minimize an objective function while satisfying a set of constraints.
  • At some places you will see new theme, kind of glass effect.
  • The most sought feature in Impress : native tables is now available with 3.0. You will get some cool table designs as in Office 2007.
  • Instead of only 256 columns, now it supports 1024 columns.
  • 3.0 supports for spreadsheet collaboration through workbook sharing.
  • Numerous chart enhancements.
  • Improved crop feature in Draw and Impress.
  • And a good news for Mac OS X users, OpenOffice.org 3.0 will run without X11 with the look and feel of any other aqua application.
  • Read here to know more about what is new in OpenOffice.org 3.0.

About OpenOffice.org 3.0

Start Centre

In nutshell, OpenOffice.org 3.0 is an excellent release. Considering the fact that it is still in Beta, we may expect couple of other enhancements going forward.
For the ones who haven’t tried it yet, OpenOffice.org is a complete Office suite of applications like Microsoft Office and is available free of cost. Ubuntu and other Linux users get this by default with their distro.

If you are not a big fan of MS Office and haven’t got a free copy, then OpenOffice is the way to go. It is FREE and at least will save some $200 for you. You can install it with any operating system, Windows, Linux (already installed) and Mac OS X.  If you don’t want to install the beta version, then you can download the stable version of OpenOffice.org 2.4 from here.

Some useful keyboard shortcuts for Ubuntu

Most of the times it so happens that we want to do something quickly but don’t want to move our hands from keyboard to the mouse. There are some shortcut keyboard keys/combinations which lets you save couple of clicks. These shortcuts make our life easy. It is true for everything : Windows, Mac or Ubuntu Linux.
Today I am going to provide information about some such shortcuts in Ubuntu. Though there is always a shortcut for all applications menu items. But for a start couple of ‘ALT’ and ‘Fn’ key combinations are here, learn them by heart, they will be useful for your Ubuntu life:

  1. ALT + F1: Displays application menu and expands it. Use arrow keys to navigate further.
  2. ALT + F2: ‘Run application’ dialog box
  3. ALT + F4: Closes the selected window.
  4. ALT + F5: Reduces the size of current window if it is maximized. Use arrow keys to change the size.
  5. ALT + F7: Move the selected window. Use arrow keys to move it around.
  6. ALT + F8: Resize the selected window. Use arrow keys.
  7. ALT + F9: Minimize the selected window.
  8. ALT + F10: Maximize the selected window.
  9. ALT + Tab: Cycle through the open windows. Brings the window in focus to front.
  10. ALT + Space bar: Displays context sensitive menu.

These are couple of ‘ALT’ and ‘Fn’ function key combination which helps you navigate through the desktop quickly without using your mouse or touchpad.

Keep reading ‘Technomania’ for more Ubuntu related stuff. You can subscribe to the feed as well.
Cheers…
Anurag Bansal

Ubuntu 8.04 is released now

As I mentioned in my yesterday’s post, the Hardy Heron is finally released today. The Desktop Edition of Ubuntu 8.04 is a LTS (Long Term Support) and will be supported till 2011, while the server edition is supported till 2013.
Go and download Ubuntu 8.04 known as Hardy Heron.
Download/upgrade options:
Direct Download: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
Torrent Options: http://releases.ubuntu.com/hardy/
Upgrade Option: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/upgrading
Enjoy the latest Ubuntu Linux release 8.04. I am sure you will never wanna go back.

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

Get Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron Shipped to your door

Ubuntu ShipIt is accepting pre-orders for 8.04 Hardy Heron, the latest Ubuntu release. Hardy will be released on 24th April, 2008. ShipIt will send you a CD free of cost, but it may take around 8-10 weeks. If you are not in hurry to get the Ubuntu Hardy Heron official CD for your collection and otherwise have a fast internet connection, then please prefer downloading it. I am listing both the options below:
Download : http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
Get it shipped : https://shipit.ubuntu.com/
Enjoy…!!! I already ordered mine…have you??? Remember, if you prefer to download and burn yourself, you can use a rewritable CD.

Ubuntu 8.04 ‘Hardy Heron’ Release Candidate is here

Today Ubuntu 8.04 ‘Hardy Heron’ Release Candidate has been released. RC is late by one day though. But that won’t affect the final release date of 24th April, 2008 for final release of Ubuntu 8.04 ‘Hardy Heron’.
Those who don’t know, Ubuntu is one of the finest Linux OS which gives every user the ability to perform all activities with ease without worrying about the commands which used to be case earlier. Ubuntu has got a very nice Coffee brown theme and a clean user interface. To know more what is there in Ubuntu 8.04, read this release note. Ubuntu doesn’t need heavy resources like other operating systems as Windows need. 25 such reasons to try Ubuntu are listed here, if they give you a boost to give it a try. And if you decide then this guide will help you try Ubuntu without messing with your existing operating system.
you can download the release candidate here…. If you want you can get all other Ubuntu flavors like Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio & Mythbuntu also from this location.

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How to try Ubuntu without messing with your existing OS?

Now when you have 25 reason to use Ubuntu instead of Windows, then I am sure you will like to try it. How you do it is a question? And most probably you are afraid to mess around with your existing operating system.
I tell you what, it is very very simple and with Ubuntu 8.04 it is even simpler than ever. (Will be covered in a future post.)

  1. Download the Live CD *.iso image (after 24th April, 2008 for latest Hardy Heron) on your hard drive for your machine. (i386 if Intel processor and AMD 64 if AMD processor)
  2. Burn the image file to a CD or DVD with your choice of software Roxio, Nero or whatever. I will suggest using a RW (re-writable) disc so that if you don’t like it, you don’t waste a CD (chances are very low, but in case)
  3. You can even get it shipped to you free of cost through Shipit if you don’t even want to download.
  4. Insert the burnt Live CD in your CD drive.
  5. Restart your machine.
  6. Go to the system BIOS and change the booting option to CD/DVD drive. (You have to be quick to go to the BIOS, else you will end up booting your existing OS.) Generally you have to press F2, F8, Delete or some specific key to go to system BIOS. Refer your system manual.
  7. Boot Ubuntu from the CD.
  8. Ubuntu Live CD will load and give you a screen to select what you want to do further. (You might have to wait 2-5 minutes depending upon your system to see this screen.)
  9. Select ‘Try and Install Ubuntu’. Don’t worry it won’t load Ubuntu on your machine and you won’t lose any data.
  10. It will take another 2-3 minutes to give you a desktop.
  11. Now you are in Live session of Ubuntu OS. You can test your machine to see all your hardware works on it. You can play games and do lots of other stuff.
  12. If you like you can double-click on the ‘Install Ubuntu’ icon on the desktop. (Next post will elaborate on the install options.)
  13. You don’t have to install now, if you wanna try it for some days.
  14. To exit, just click ‘Quit’ and ‘Shut Down’ the system.
  15. Remove CD from the CD drive when prompted. Hit enter.
  16. Reboot to use your existing OS. No changes have been made to your system…right. Cool….
  17. Come back to this blog to see what you need to do to Dual boot your system keeping your existing OS. (Dual Boot : You will have option while booting to select which OS you want to boot from. You can select if you want Windows, Ubuntu, Mac or any other thing.)

    Hope this post helped you in trying Ubuntu for free without affecting your existing OS.

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    25 Reasons to use Ubuntu Linux instead of Windows

    Lots of people argue why I should use Linux (any distro, I prefer Ubuntu) when I am currently using Windows or Mac. Given a chance to select your choice of operating system (OS), people may prefer to use Linux than anything else. The other thing which prevents users using Linux is the hardware support which is not that good currently for Linux. But that is because we have been living in a world where Windows is being forced to everyone when they buy PC. That’s why hardware manufacturers are also forced to support Windows first than any other thing. But this support has increased tremendously over last couple of years. At the same time Linux community has developed itself in making Linux (Ubuntu in particular) more user friendly.
    Anyways that is an ongoing debate whether you should use Linux or Windows or Mac. And at some point it is a personal choice as well.
    I thought of collating some reasons which might make you think twice while buying another Windows PC. And if you currently use Linux, then please add a comment to this post, why you use Linux and which distro you use so that others can get more information about it:

    1. Ubuntu is Free and so any other Linux distro. (Saved ~ $250)
    2. You don’t have to buy Office (Word, Power-point, Excel etc.) separately. It comes with OpenOffice preinstalled. (Saved ~ $200)
    3. You don’t have to buy costly hardwares for the basic need. (RAM. Processor, HDD etc.)
    4. Ubuntu is more stable.
    5. You are free from Viruses so you don’t have to buy another upgrade of Norton or any other Antivirus software. (Saved ~ $75)
    6. When you have installed Ubuntu, you don’t have to install anything else to get you started with your productivity.
    7. You don’t have to wait for years for the bugs to get fixed. You can track them down in Ubuntu.
    8. You can update everything on your system with just one update manager. No need to run separate Update manger for all the softwares you installed. (Saves your system resources.)
    9. Don’t get tired restarting your computer all the time. You do it almost never with Ubuntu.
    10. You are free from Pirated softwares. With Ubuntu you can share it with as many people as you want and it is LEGAL.
    11. Don’t have to bother searching the web for new softwares. Ubuntu gets a whole lot of software free of cost to you.
    12. Play hundreds of games for Free.
    13. Your PC won’t get slower day by day. It happens in Windows only.
    14. Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, Gtalk, Yahoo and many more with a single program. No need to install separate software for the same thing.
    15. Tired of managing multiple windows on your screen. You can use workspaces to manage your work.
    16. You old computer will get a second life. Because Ubuntu does not need those high resources as Windows.
    17. Jump into the next generation of desktop themes with Compiz fusion and all with lot less resources than Windows Vista.
    18. With Ubuntu, you are always free. Free as in Freedom and in Free Beer. Ubuntu is free and will always remain free. (Saves ~ $200 every 2 years when Microsoft releases a new version of its operating system and you have to buy it.
    19. All future upgrades of Ubuntu are provided free of cost. Upgrades are released every 6 months.
    20. Upgrades are installed automatically. You don’t have to bother about losing your data and redoing lots of personalization. *Edit* The updates are installed with your permission and only if you want them…not in the background without you knowing it. – Thanks freeber – A Ubuntu User
    21. You can tweak your desktop wallpaper or any other setting the way you want it. You can make it look like Windows or Mac (if you want.). You can even get the sidebar you were fascinated in Vista.
    22. You don’t have to defrag your hard disk every now and then to boost the performance. Ubuntu does it for you automatically.
    23. You don’t have to go to a shop to buy operating system. You can download it anytime you want it and burn it on a CD. You can even burn it on a re-writable CD to save some CDs.
    24. Thousand of user are there to help you with when you are stuck. Become a part of Ubuntuforums.
    25. You will get free and Long Term Support (LTS) for Ubuntu. Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop version also will get a LTS. (17 days to go for the release version.)

    I think these many reason are enough to get you started with Ubuntu or any other Linux flavor. Keep visiting this blog for more information on Linux, Ubuntu in particular.  If you want to try it now you can download Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron (Beta) now and later it will be updated to the released version.

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    Technomania gets a new direction

    I know I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a little over 2 months now.  But now I have got altogether a new direction for this blog.  What is that….???  Guess…!!!

    In this era when there is increasing open source awareness and the support from all the talented people out there supporting so many open source forums and communities, I thought it will be a good idea to give this blog a new direction.  Going forward, this blog is converting into Ubuntu only blog or any information related to Linux or any Open Source application or resource.  I will keep posting on this blog the tutorials, suggestions or any resource list for any of these subjects will be part of this blog.

    Reason for doing so, you can obviously guess is because recently I somehow got involved with Ubuntu.  I installed Ubuntu on couple of computers for my friends and including mine.  And I very proudly say that I loved it.  That’s why I thought of helping this community by providing some resources or share my knowledge with them with this beautiful medium.

    So stay tuned…You will enjoy it, specially if you enjoy Open Source applications.

    Christmas and New Year Wishes

    Anurag Bansal wishes Happy Holidays to all readers of Technomania.
    Have safe and fun filled holidays with your family and friends.
    Merry Christmas
    and
    Very Happy New Year 2008
    to all of you!
    May the New Year 2008 brings lots of happiness and prosperity in your life.
    If you haven’t already, then do it now. Subscribe the feed in a feed reader or get updates through email.

    Technomania is ‘Best Blog of the Day’

    Its my pleasure to share with you this honor that Technomania has been awarded as the ‘Best Blog of the Day’.

     

    All this has been possible because of you, the readers of this blog who appreciated it. I hope you like the style and the content of this blog. My purpose of this blog is to share the knowledge and information I happen to gain in my life. Be it science, politics, computers, internet or any other thing by which I can share the knowledge with you not limited to only technology and blogging.
    Blogging is relatively a new medium. Though there are 50 million or more blogs in the blogosphere, yet more than 50% around the globe don’t know what blog is? how to blog? how to read blogs? and how to write for the web? If you are among one of those, then don’t worry, you will get answers of all those questions in this blog. Just browse the content of this blog by labels or the archives. You will get all your questions answered.
    Keep reading Technomania or subscribe the feed. If you prefer to get the updates emailed to you then subscribe for the email updates.
    Cheers….

    Wi-fi in Sky on JetBlue Airways

    As you might be already aware of that the low-cost airline JetBlue has equipped one of its Airbus A320 planes with an on board wireless network to give passengers access to the companies’ e-mail and instant messaging functions while in the air.

    JetBlue

    JetBlue is the first domestic carrier to test it with their new BetaBlue airplane. Passengers with WiFi-enabled laptops or Blackberry devices on the plane can connect for free to the on-board wireless network. Once connected, they can communicate with friends, family and colleagues on the ground using customized versions of both Yahoo! Messenger for the Web and Yahoo! Mail.

    YMAfter signing into Yahoo! Messenger you will see which of your Yahoo! or Live Messenger friends are online. You can send them instant messages. Even if a friend isn’t online, you can use the built in SMS feature to send a text message right to their mobile phone. If they reply back, you get it right in Yahoo! Messenger.

    A few special status messages that let your friends know you’re flying high with JetBlue. “Head in the clouds – seriously”, “Sleeping on the Plane” and “Ugh! Crying baby on flight” are just a few. Or choose “Custom Message…” and get creative.

    When your status is set to one of the flight-specific messages, your friends will see your airborne status and be able to click on it, where they can view your flight location and status in real-time. (Credit : Yahoo!)

    JetBlue’s BetaBlue plane is the first to offer these free services to its passengers. While you can’t specifically request the BetaBlue plane for your next JetBlue journey, be sure to keep your laptop handy the next you fly with them. You might just get a chance to try out Yahoo! Messenger from 30,000 feet in the air. Passengers won’t be able to surf the full Web. BlackBerry owners who have Wi-Fi-enabled handsets will be able to access their personal and corporate e-mail. BlackBerry models that have only cellular connections rather than Wi-Fi won’t be compatible.

    Whether or not the airlines charge for WiFi, there is a cost, and that cost is likely to be passed onto consumers in one form or another. Well, I would love free WiFi on planes, but I think charging a small amount for those who choose to use it would be fair. Other problems which users faced were the power outlets, simultaneous wi-fi access and battery recharging. In the coming time hopefully those issues will get resolved.