Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Art Show

My paintings went up  March 29 2010, @ the The Half Moon Gallery  it is at a local Yoga Center. Pretty exciting it always nice to have my work out in the world instead of at home collecting dust. Below is one of nine paintings that are on display, I am grateful to everyone at Sri for having my work up for the month of April! The work can be viewed during regularly scheduled classes or you can contact the Gallery Coordinator, Jennifer Bristol, at 937-610-9832 to arrange a time to see the work. I would encourage people to check out Sri and see what they have to offer. Map and info for Sri Yoga Center

I/O Error Encausitc/oil on canvas

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fix for Network Manager: Hidden Wireless greyed out connect bitton

I was having an issue with the "Connect to Hidden Wireless Network" dialog the connect button  was greyed out. It was a pain to connect, so a bit of searching turned up a bug on Launchpad. The bug on launchpad that fit the description ... bug/446394.

What fixed it for me, was to add the PPA for Network-manager.

Code: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:network-manager/ppa

I did an update/upgrade

Code:sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Then a reboot, now I am able to select connect button to connect my hidden wireless network.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Saving iptables rules

I have a set of iptables rules I wanted to restore automatically on reboot, here is how I got them to restore after reboot.

After setting my rules I ran this in a terminal

~$ sudo iptables-save >/etc/iptables.rules

 then I opened up /etc/network/interfaces in a text editor

~$ sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces

I added this line   pre-up /sbin/iptables-restore < /etc/iptables.rules to /etc/network/interfaces

After that I did a reboot and ran sudo iptables -L to make sure the rules were set.

I read a couple of different post and web pages to learn to set my rules for iptables. The first was from the ubuntu forums  another used was from these were two that I bookmarked. Of course there is always "man iptables" in a terminal the man pages are quite helpful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ubuntu Edgy for old time sake

I wanted to try out Ubuntu Edgy Eft out for nostalgia, this is the release that got me hooked. I was curious of the look, because of all of the discussions of the new Ubuntu look in Lucid Lynx.  As soon as it booted I had to mess with xorg.conf file and set it to "VESA" ,  this brought memories from my first install. I spent hours tweaking it when I first tried Ubuntu in 2006, first just to get it working with my ATI card, then of course to run Beryl. It was fun to run I still liked the look of Edgy, I was an interesting contrast to the new look of Ubuntu. 

Fun find at a thrift store:Mac Powerbook 190cs

I am by no means a Mac fan, but; I do like messing with old tech. My wife and I went  to her parents home this past weekend. We went thrift store shopping, this is one of our few common interest. Saw a lot of old skies, bookcases, eighty plus copies of Neil Diamond LP's and The Road Less Traveled. I always look for old computers and turntables and cool records find any of those for a good deal is always fun. Usually the computers are way overpriced, however this time I found a Macintosh Powerbook 190cs, the last model to use the Motorola 68040 processor with a 500MB HDD and 8MB of RAM. I got it for $5USD it would not boot at the Thriftstore, for 5 bucks it was worth the risk. I got it home cleaned it up a bit, plugged it in had to hit the reset button and voila it fired up. Have not got to tinker with it much, I may try to install Linux on it at some point. Here a few picks of my find.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rotate screen app for my netbook with Python

I got my little python screen rotate app (script) to work today. I had stop messing with it, one because I have been studying, two creating keyboard shortcuts satisfied my needs. That aside I was still curious to figure out how to make it work here are two screen shots of it working.

Nothing all that impressive I am sure, but; I learned something which is always cool. Now to figure out how to make it a drop down menu as a gtk applet. Below is the messy script.

#!/usr/bin/env python
# Rotate Button

import sys
import os
import pygtk
import gtk

class ToggleButton:
    # Our callback.
    def call(self, widget, data=None):
        os.system ('xrandr -o normal')
    #first try a second button
    def call2(self, widget, data=None):
        os.system ('xrandr -o right')
    # This callback quits the program
    def delete_event(self, widget, event, data=None):
        return False

    def __init__(self):
        # Create a new window
        self.window = gtk.Window(gtk.WINDOW_TOPLEVEL)

        # Set the window title

        # Set a handler for delete_event that immediately
        # exits GTK.
        self.window.connect("delete_event", self.delete_event)

        # Sets the border width of the window.

        # Create a vertical box
        vbox = gtk.VBox(True, 2)

        # Put the vbox in the main window

        # Create "Normal" button
        button = gtk.Button("Normal")

        # When the button is clicked, we call the xrandr -o function
        # and the program exits
        button.connect("clicked",, "Normal")

        # Insert the Normal button
        vbox.pack_start(button, True, True, 2)

       # Create "Right" button
        button = gtk.Button("Right")

        # When the button is clicked, we call the xrandr -o function
        # and the program exits
        button.connect("clicked", self.call2, "Right")

        # Insert the Right button
        vbox.pack_start(button, True, True, 2)

        # Create "Quit" button
        button = gtk.Button("Quit")

        # When the button is clicked, we call the main_quit function
        # and the program exits
        button.connect("clicked", lambda wid: gtk.main_quit())

        # Insert the quit button
        vbox.pack_start(button, True, True, 2)

def main():
    return 0      

if __name__ == "__main__":

Putting the buttons back to the right side in Mint, Ubuntu

Ok, I do not like the buttons on the left with the new Ubuntu themes, however I do like the the Ambiance theme. I had installed the theme following the Web Upd8 tutorial. I moved the buttons back to the right side, it is kind of funny that the movement of a colon to left or right would cause such a stir.  I opened up gconf-editor using Alt+F2,

Then selected  apps>metacity>general>button layout

Then all you have to do is move the colon from the right of close as it is above to the left of maximize as it is below. You can see the title bar reflects the change.

Of course now I got curious to mess with the order I tried it "maximize,minimize:close" and "close:maximize,minimize"

 Interesting how even a dislike can be learned from, I have  left my buttons split like the bottom example.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Create RSA key with ssh-keygen

 Ssh-keygen, by default creates a 2048 bit, rsa protocol 2 key.  There is options for rsa1 and dsa, which you can  use with the -t option (-t=type)  ex: "ssh-keygen -t dsa"  Using the default options in a terminal I type:

~$ ssh-keygen

below is the output
It ask for a passphrase, which is recommended,but you can leave it blank. After that it generates the key and that is it. My use is very vanilla there many other options if you check man "ssh-keygen", I will write another post about using ssh-copy-id to share keys.

I am currently running Linux Mint 8


Watched a film from Madonna called "I am because we are" which is the meaning of ubuntu. I was turned on to this video from Leonardo Fontenelle's blog
Donating to and organization like Madonna's seems great, but; it raises a bigger question for me. What will my legacy be? What can I leave behind that will better the world? I would like to start something where my wife and I can make a change. I may not be able to do what Madonna has done. We will have to start small,  I know the small scholarships I received in Art school helped immensely, I know a little can go a long way. We are pragmatic a dollar in Africa can go really far, but; I feel obligation to start something here(US) no matter how small. Something without religion or obligation from the recipient except to try hard to succeed.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I started using Ubuntu in 2006, one thing I liked was that it looked different from XP and OSX. Ubuntu was distinctively Ubuntu, that was part of the draw. In the last year it seems like Ubuntu has started to want emulate OSX. I really do not get that, not because I think OSX aesthetically is bad, it is just OSX . If you want to tweak your desktop to look like OSX, cool. That is the beauty of FOSS, we have choice. I just believe that introducing a distro to someone and saying well it looks like OSX is bad , like a FREE OSX clone. It could  set people up for a let down, because at the core Ubuntu is very different.  Ubuntu should be the light, not follow in the shadow. I love the innovativeness of this community and this seems like a departure.

 There is a lot of innovation in the Ubuntu,Linux and FOSS community at large. The breakthrough of the Nouveau drivers. Challenges like Jono's call for Apps got people like me to try to create an applet, he inspired quite a few people to innovate. Also the way this community bands together, like the reaction to Shawn Powers tragic house fire, the community pitched in what they could.  There is always amazing community art being added, all of this is what I love about Ubuntu and FOSS. Maybe this OSX look is a step towards something else, something different. Like a sketch you start with what is familiar then work in the other elements. I just think we have to be careful and not confuse imitation for innovation. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Think like a squiggle

, originally uploaded by highfructose327.

 "if trying harder isn't working try different" paraphrase quote from -Seth Goldin

if you dig him I would also check out, Derek Sivers  


"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" -Yeats

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" -Yeats

"if you're scientifically literate, the world looks very different to you" Neil DeGrasse Tyson

"if you're scientifically literate, the world looks very different to you" -Neil DeGrasse Tyson

I saw the quote in the video below, at symphony of I really dig how they have put what I have always felt about science to music. I think it could bridge some gaps of understanding.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"we need to install software", NOT!

I am continually surprised how companies want us to install software for trivial ends.  I saw an add on Hulu for a Pedigree product, I clicked the link, there was an offer for a 1 dollar off coupon. I clicked that link, it gave me a "we don't support your OS" warning. To try to get the coupon,  I  used user agent switcher , I thought it would just pop up a simple print dialog screen, instead of this.

Wow, they really don't support my OS it is not just user agent issue,  you may wonder why was I surprised. Well because I have got that warning with other sites, by using user agent switcher, I was able to bypass it. I wonder how many people will actually install this software(seems like adware to me) for a 1 dollar off coupon. I am always surprised when companies want to install software on my computer for stupid stuff like this.  This is like a friend saying "Hey can I piss in your potted plants" , NO!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Programs guilty for security?

Today at my Moms, she complained that her program Family Tree Maker 2005 was not working. I got to messing about and saw that it would run in the Admin account, but; not in the user accounts. Ugh, this is annoying I checked the registry keys, adding my Moms user to have full access, did a reboot still no dice. I am sure once I search around there will be a tweak to remedy this issue. The problem I see is, if I was not around their answer would be to make everybody admin. What is more valuable, running all the software you want regardless of how lax security is or tight security limiting the use of certain programs. The obvious answer is, you should be able to have decent security measures and run the software you want. Limiting access of the Family Tree program only to admin seems silly. This makes me wonder how often Windows gets blamed for the poor security polices of other software vendors. It would be nice to know if a program met Windows basic security standards, like seal of approval. I would hope the Family tree product has solved this bug with there newer versions.