The murky future of Open Source software directories

A shift is occurring in the world of free and open source software (FOSS) directory sites.   Freshmeat.net, in recent years rebranded to Freecode, seems to have been sunset. On almost the same day, Ohloh have suddenly rebranded as Black Duck Open Hub to better spruik the name of the parent company. Maybe they needed a […]

Move Ubuntu window close/maximize/minimize buttons to the left or right side: quick one-liners.

For Gnome2 with the metacity window manager (eg Ubuntu versions prior to 11.10): Open a Terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal), or press Alt-F2 to bring up the Run Application dialog. To put window buttons on the left-hand side, OSX-style, on a single line type: gconftool-2 –set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout –type string close,maximize,minimize:menu For the right-hand side, […]

Zero hassle auto-updates for Ubuntu

I recently discovered that a feature that I’ve always wanted in Ubuntu (and Debian) already exists, and has actually been available in past releases for years. By tweaking the settings in /etc/apt/apt-conf.d/10periodic and /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades, you can enable periodic auto-updates and auto-cleaning of downloaded package files. Essentially something equivalent to running sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get -y –force-yes […]

Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) on Dell Vostro 1500 laptop

I know, I know, this post might seem a little dated already, considering the release of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) is imminent. My fault .. I sort of … um .. just forgot to press publish about four months ago … 😛 I’ve previously documented my experiences with installing Ubuntu 7.10, and then an upgrade […]

Ubuntu Laptop ACPI hard disk ‘clicking’ bugfix on the way

You may remember I had some issues on my Dell Vostro 1500 with a scary sounding periodic hard disk ‘click’, related to a bug in the pm-utils package. In brief: this bug effectively puts the disk into powersaving mode far too often, drastically reducing it’s working lifespan. Well, good news … it looks like the […]

Hide the Desktop icons in Gnome for a clutter free Ubuntu

Quick tip … want to hide all the icons cluttering up your Gnome Desktop ? Run gconf-editor (Alt-F2, type gconf-editor, Press “Run”) and navigate the tree to find /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop. Set the value to false (uncheck the checkbox), and your Desktop icons should disappear. You can still access any files on the Desktop using the file […]

Asus Eee PC 4G (700) setup notes, links

I recently got an Asus Eee PC 4G so I could avoid lugging around a heavy notebook when traveling. The Xandros distro which came preinstalled was cute and booted very fast (~17 secs), but ultimately I felt I needed something a bit more versatile (oh, the stock Xandro also lacked WPA2 wireless support, which was […]