Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Playing with iGoogle

Tonight I have been playing around with iGoogle, and I'm unusually impressed. I don't normally go for this sort of thing AT ALL! Yet this is interesting, and it works surprisingly well.

Daz tried to show me iGoogle ages ago. I didn't even listen, I just thought it was like all the others. I'm sorry baby... My cynical nature often gets the better of me.

This is my home page. I am still playing around. Yet there are many many things to look at, and play with.

I have never liked the idea of a web portal, yet I think this has been done quite well. Especially when you add the functionality of other google applications, e.g. gmail, iCalender, iSpreadsheet.

I certainly think it is worth a look. I can see uses for it other than just a homepage. Yet I want to look more into this.

I put the games: "Frogger" and "PacMan", in a tab :) So I wasted a bit... of time playing them tonight :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What do you think?

Yesterday I was looking at: freshgasflow.com. There are some very interesting things to examine. This page here particularly intrigued me:
Which one is Booba ?

Have a look at it and see what you think. I have my own theories, yet I would LOVE to hear what other people think.

Why do you think nearly 100% of people chose the same one?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Microphones & Skype on Ubuntu

Today I installed Skype in Ubuntu 7.04. There can be a number of problems running Skype in Ubuntu. Yet my biggest concern was getting my microphone working.

Microphone Troubleshooting
After doing an Internet search I found the following things to try:

A) The microphone capture is turn off by default to turn it on:

  1. Double click the volume icon on the panel.
  2. Now click Edit, Preferences.
  3. You then need to make sure Microphone, Mic boost, and Capture are ticked.
  4. Now there should be a Recording/Capture tab in volume control panel.
  5. Go through each volume setting and make sure nothing is turned down or muted.
  6. In the Switches/Options tab make sure you select the Microphone as the input source.
B) Edit /etc/esound/esd.conf to look like this:
spawn_options=-terminate -nobeeps -as 1
# default options are used in spawned and non-spawned mode

Restart alsa-utils:
# sudo /etc/init.d/alsa-utils restart

If all of the above fail you can try installing the new version of the alsa drivers. This is the only thing that worked for me:
# wget ftp://ftp.alsa-project.org/pub/driver/alsa-driver-1.0.14.tar.bz2
# tar -xjf alsa-driver-1.0.14.tar.bz2
# cd alsa-driver-1.0.14
# ./configure
# sudo make
# sudo make install

If all of these things fail you can visit: Ubuntu Forums.

For more info please see: Zero-Sum: Ubuntu Microphone Problems and solutions, and DebuggingSoundProblems

Installing Skype

I installed Skype from the Skype Repository
  1. Add the Skype repository*: deb http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free
  2. Reload or update the package information
  3. Install Skype: # sudo apt-get install skype
Once Skype was installed I went into the options and played around with the sound device settings until they worked. Now I have Skype running in Ubuntu.

If you have problems running Skype Please see the Ubuntu community Skype page. If you need help adding a repository then please see: Repositories/Ubuntu.

**Edit 29/10/07
: I've written a new post called: Microphones and Skype on Ubuntu 7.10.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Looking at Ubuntu 7.04

I have decided to take a look at Ubuntu 7.04: Feisty Fawn. My partner Daz has been using it for a couple of weeks, and he said that he is reasonable happy with it. He said that it's not good nor bad, it just seems to work.

I just finished installing it on my computer. The installer was dodgy. After the install finished I rebooted, the system did a file system check, which failed, it booted again. Did another file system check then continued booting properly. I thought that I must have done a dodgy install, so I wiped the hard drive and reinstalled, but with the exact same results.
Yet after the final fsck I haven't had any further issues.

First impressions are; the system seems slow. Even sitting here typing now I am typing way faster than the words are appearing on the screen. The system seems to wait and be particularly slow when Firefox is open. Overall it feels very heavy.

Yet nothing has gone wrong yet. All of my hardware was detected and appears to be working. Everything else looks really good.
I'm excited to see what the view will be like from here.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Women in Computing: addition

I was just reading my rant from the other day and I feel I need to make an addition.

I have never been treated unfairly by people online or in the IT industry. Only in some computer stores, and by others in the community, especially in businesses. I don't really know why.
Yet I don't want to whine about it anymore.

I just wanted that to be clear! Thanks...