Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Giving Open Office Some Skin

No you can't actually change too many of the skins in OO.O, atleast not the way you want to. So what do we do? We tell the company what we want (surprised?), they aren't MicroSoft, so don't treat them that way.


Sign up for an account and then go to that website and hit "vote" The most votes you can add to the thread are 2. So toss them up there along with a comment, and we may actually see this in the next iteration.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Intrepid Ibex! Let's customize

Cool, the newest version of Ubuntu is out.

Here is a record of how I am changing/adding to my version of Ubuntu. or What to do now that you've installed Intrepid Ibex. This is more than a tutorial to get software, this is an instruction book to get things done. I am going to let you know what you are doing, because most of this is basic type stuff that you should be mildly familiar with.

Plug in the Internet, and grab any updates

*ok, just to get this out of the way; This walk-through is pretty thorough, but if a window pops up “Package Installer” and it has a button that says “Install Package?” then click that button. When it is done installing (and it will say it is done), click close (it will usually be the only button you can press). You see what I'm saying? I'm going to hold your hand, but I won't change your diaper. I describe what each piece of software is for, if you think you might not need it don't download it. Oky dokey, let's hit the ground running.

Add Some Software
Applications > Add/Remove Programs
Change “Show” to “All available applications” at the top of this window

You can go through most of the higher starred software/codecs, but here is what I would recommend atleast:
  • K3B - for all of my cd/dvd burning needs
To be able to burn mp3 to audio cd visit apt://libk3b3-extracodecs
(Thanks to ubuntu-unleashed)
  • VLC Player -because it is the best media player out there
  • Skype -Let's you use your computer like a telephone to call ppl!
  • Advanced Desktop Effects- Compiz Graphical Userface -for making your computer do pretty visual things (don't worry, we'll edit this later so that your windows don't wiggle)
  • 7zip -This is necessary to uncompress certain files, it is better to just install it now than worry about it later
  • Gstreamer -Install all of these that you can find, they let you watch DVDs and play MP3s, they are not open source formats, and that is Ubuntu's excuse for not having them preinstalled
  • Microsoft Core Fonts -it is dumb, but needed
  • Pidgin -like AIM and Google Chat all rolled into one
  • Sun Java 6.0 Plugin
  • Sun Java 6 runtime

Software to uninstall
I may have missed a few because of poor note-keeping, so I will update this later, these uninstallations are done in Synaptic Manager as well
  • Brasero Disc Burning We are using K3B instead
  • Ekiga Softphone We are using Skype instead
  • Transmission We are using Vuze instead, you may like this more than Vuze, but whatever it sucks in my book

Sucky installs
And now the software that is a bit more trouble to get a hold of:
  • Crossover Office -codeweavers.com and look for the Debian / Ubuntu install package (32bit) This will let us run Office, and Photoshop
  • Crossover Games -codeweavers.com and look for the Debian / Ubuntu install package (32bit) For games like the awesome Counter Strike: Source

  • Google Desktop - http://desktop.google.com/en/linux/download.html You'll be going with “for Debian/Ubuntu x86” When you download this just open, do not save. It will go straight to package installer for you. If it doesn't then you didn't get a good download, just go back and do it again.
    Once it is done go to Applications > Google Desktop > Google Desktop Preferences. Help improve their service (check the box! Do it!) and agree.
    Firefox will fire up, click on the “Gmail” tab click the Index box, and enter your info. Click on the “Display” tab and change the default search type to “Desktop”, tell it you want 10 results, search by default, 50 results per page in browser, change the hotkey to your super key (windows icon button, it's between alt and ctrl usually... nobody uses it, don't lie to yourself. It's more useless than the Insert key). Save that bad boy and let's keep rolling.

The following two are tricky and thus get their own posts so as not to eat up too much space over here
Songbird (links to other blog post) This is a music player that runs like iTunes (miss it?) and plays nice with your iPod
Vuze (link to other blog post) This is a kickbutt bittorrent downloader (torrents are the files pirates use to share music/movies/anything)

Software Tweaks: See if you would like these and click on over to the blog post
Changing the default saving of Open Office to the Microsoft Office standards, everyone can read doc So let's do it.

Changing Compiz to the most useful settings in the world, or how I got rid of all the overkill and still left Ubuntu looking pretty.

Firefox: Fire up the fox, Tools > Add-Ons > Get Add-Ons
Must Haves (most require reboots and will ask questions after):
  • Adblock Plus -blocks all the advertisements that pop up on pages, you can always allow ads by clicking on the stop sign at the top of the page. Or you can block things by right clicking on them and telling adblock to block. Add whatever the top/recommended list is for your area.
  • Customize Google -take some time going through this, but for gods sake get rid of ads
  • Stealther
I Like:
  • StumbleUpon: for finding and sharing websites
  • Delicious Bookmarks: If you need to access your bookmarks from multiple sites this is a great tool.

Reboot like it asks you (don't worry it will restore your tabs, and thus this page).

and finally send a self addressed and stamped envelope to the following address to get a nifty "powered by Ubuntu" sticker.
System76, Inc. (Free Sticker)
1582 S. Parker Rd. Ste. 310
Denver, Colorado 80231

Installing Vuze

**or you can now do it the easy way and click on Intrepid (8.10) and 32bit here http://www.detector-pro.com/2008/10/how-to-install-vuze-azureus-40-on.html**

Vuze -To download like a champ. Ok so you got that install of Songbird down pat? Cause we got another to do now :P Since it is the same run of commands there is slightly less detail as to what we are doing. If you did the other install everything will look quite familiar.

Go here and dload that sucka: http://www.vuze.com/app
Move it from your desktop to your home folder
Then fire up Terminal (Applications>Accessories>Terminal) and move that file to the /opt folder
sudo mv Vuze_Installer.tar.bz2 /opt

Change to the directory we just moved our file to
cd /opt/

Uncompress that bad boy (j is for .tar.bz2)
sudo tar jxvf Vuze_Installer.tar.bz2

Type the following to change ownership of the file and replace username with your username
sudo chown -R username:username vuze

Make sure it runs
cd /opt/vuze


If it fires up alright, then File > Close vuze and close the Terminal

Right click on Applications
Select “Edit Menus”
A window will pop up, in the left pane select Applications > Sound & Video
Click on “New Item” on the right side of the window
Enter in fields as such
Name: Vuze
Command: /opt/vuze/vuze
Comment: torrentclient
It should find a nice picture of a frog to use as an icon for you :)

Hit OK, and OK, and Close

woot, celebrate by downloading content you didn't pay for!
and then stop celebrating and continue tweaking

Installing Songbird 1

Songbird v 1.0 -It looks like iTunes, and plays nice with the iPod. Strap on a pair, this is the hardest install (shout out to ubuntu geek for doing a lot of the work)

Go to this website (http://getsongbird.com/download/) and click on the giant download button for linux i686
When the box pops up click “save”
Important: Firefox will probably save this to the desktop (check your desktop and see)
Click “places” in your toolbar then “Home Folder”
When this opens up drag and drop the newly downloaded file into your home folder(from your desktop).
Open terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal)
Type the following to move the file to the opt folder (this folder has security in place so we access it from terminal):
sudo mv Songbird_1.0.0-860_linux-i686.tar.gz /opt

Enter your password if it asks you (duh!)
Type the following (hit enter after each line, and caps DO matter, copy and paste via right click):
Change over to the directory we just moved this bad boy to
cd /opt

Uncompress this with the tar command (z indicates our filetype .tar.gz, x means extraxt, v means verbose or display what is happening in terminal which is useful if something doesn't run right, f means filename to follow)
sudo tar xzvf Songbird_1.0.0-860_linux-i686.tar.gz

Type the following to change ownership of the file and replace username with (drum roll) your username (note: the second one is actually group... but you don't really need to know that)
sudo chown -R username:username Songbird

Change directory
cd /opt/Songbird

Start the program and make sure it works (close it when you are done)

Voila (keep reading)! Run through their little menus and your program is up and running!
Well, almost Voila. Since you probably do not want to use terminal to start the program, let's install a shortcut with a pretty picture. You can either follow along with the steps below or you can go to this website (http://mat-u.deviantart.com/art/Songbird-Icons-30962307) and download what I think is a much nicer icon image and then try to follow along (you'll have to save to desktop, double click open, drag and drop the .png file you like into the home folder... starting to feel like a familiar action?)

Kill terminal and reopen (this will close songbird)
Open terminal
Okay we will now change the directory we are in
cd /opt/Songbird/chrome/icons/default

Now we are going to rename the icon file using the move command
mv default.xpm songbird.xpm

Now we are going to copy the icon to a folder where all the icons live ,)
sudo cp songbird.xpm /usr/share/pixmaps

Okay we are done with terminal, so close that bad boy
Right click on Applications
Select “Edit Menus”
A window will pop up, in the left pane select Applications > Sound & Video
Click on “New Item” on the right side of the window
Enter in fields as such
Name: Songbird
Command: /opt/Songbird/songbird
Comment: musicplayer
Now click on the choose icon, and click on “browse” of the window that pops up.
Navigate to usr > share >pixmaps and hit enter
Now you can scroll down to songbird (it looks like an egg)
Hit OK, and OK, and Close

Way to kick butt! You are all done, fire up Songbird (Applications > Sound & Video > Songbird) and let's listen to some music as we continue.

Gimp Tricks

I can't quite give up Photoshop (using it through crossover currently) but for those linux junkies out there, or if you don't have a copy of Photoshop (and don't just use picasa):

Here are 5 Gimp tricks that every linux user should become familiar with. It's easy I promise.

Open Office .org : Defaulting to .doc

Sick of odf (open document format) being the standard format? me too, let's change it

  1. Open up your Open Office program of choice
  2. Go to Tools
  3. Go to Options (you will have to click the little + sign to expand the options there)
  4. Click on General
  5. At the bottom you'll see something labeled Default File Format (hazaa the holy grail)
  6. Make sure that Text Document is selected under the Document type heading
  7. Under the Always save as heading scroll up to Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP
    Now let's rock this a bit further and address file format's for Excel and PowerPoint
  8. Select Spreadsheet under the Document type heading and scroll to Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP
  9. Select Presentation under the Document type heading and scroll to Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP **make sure not to click on the one that ends in template**
woo-hoo it feels good to be feel free from the tirrany of open/free software and back in the safe haven of a money mongering conglomerate! (err... wait)