‘Technomania’ merges with ‘Knowliz.com’

I have been playing around with couple of blog platforms for some days, Blogger, WordPress, Livejournal & Vox etc.  Because of the complication of using WordPress.org, domain & webhosting and all and overall cost involved, I made up my mind.  Finally I have booked a domain for myself : www.knowliz.com.  I will be moving all my blogs to this address and kind of reduce some burden of maintaining different blogs containing almost same content i.e. Technology related whether it is Ubuntu, linux, Computers, Microsoft, Office, Vista, Web 2.0, Open Source, Blogging or anything related to computer and electronics.

It is hard to say because I kind of liked wordpress.com as well and it was really a tough decision to make between Blogger and WordPress.  But following are couple of concerns I found while using wordpress.com :

  • I was not completely free to use and modify my blog the way I wanted, but I could do that with Blogger.
  • I was not able to use ads or anything containing iframes and scripts…really felt bad about it.  It limits lot of possibilities for me.
  • I can’t modify the default templates available to further customize it for my purpose.
  • It was kind of forcing everyone to switch to wordpress.org if they wanted any customization and wanted to tweek a little bit here and there….
  • In my personal opinion, if wordpress.com is free then let it be free like blogger, please don’t limit the possibilities.
  • I was not able to write the paid reviews which might have helped me to host my blog going forward.
  • I added one recommendation on this blog to use Ubuntu and some non-profit links in the sidebar, they were removed.  Sorry about it….I hate wordpress.com about this.

Though there were some good things about wordpress.com, it was really easy to set up, yet as long as someone tries to force the things on me, I feel bad.  And when there are other options available elsewhere it was very hard to be loyal with wordpress.  I had to take this decision

But that is my personal opinion and kind of constrain right now not to invest too much on web hosting and domain, so I am merging this blog with my own domain on www.knowliz.com.

See you all guys there on that page.  Knowliz.com will have everything you got on this blog related to Ubuntu and open source community as well as other technology updates.  I am sure you will really like it there.

So, don’t wait any longer, click on any of the links provided in this post and subscribe to the feed.

Thank you wordpress.com, but this is not the place I thought will be the best place to set up my blog on.

Edit: I just noticed that the Ubuntu recommendation links are back.  Thanks for that.

Advertisements

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