Saturday, March 26, 2011


I read some good things about UCC (Ubuntu Control Center) earlier today and decided to check it out. The author of this page wrote some instructions for installing UCC.  I followed these instructions perfectly but when I ran the command to install UCC I encountered an issue.  I received errors about packages not being installed (see below).

sudo dpkg -i ucc_051_i386.deb

(Reading database ... 127247 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to replace ucc 0.5.1 (using ucc_051_i386.deb) ...
Unpacking replacement ucc ...
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of ucc:
 ucc depends on bum; however:
  Package bum is not installed.
 ucc depends on gufw; however:
  Package gufw is not installed.
 ucc depends on simple-ccsm; however:
  Package simple-ccsm is not installed.
 ucc depends on startupmanager; however:
  Package startupmanager is not installed.
 ucc depends on gparted; however:
  Package gparted is not installed.
 ucc depends on deja-dup; however:
  Package deja-dup is not installed.
 ucc depends on libglew1.5; however:
  Package libglew1.5 is not installed.
 ucc depends on libnotify-bin; however:
  Package libnotify-bin is not installed.
dpkg: error processing ucc (--install):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils ...
Processing triggers for python-gmenu ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/desktop.en_US.utf8.cache...
Processing triggers for python-support ...
Errors were encountered while processing:

Shortly after this happened Update Manager asked me to install some updates.  I said yes and I received a "Update Manager is broken" error.  The error suggested I run the following command:

sudo apt-get install -f

The command fixed the broken packages.  I completed the installation procedure for UCC successfully.  I did not dig into this tool too much but from what I can see it can be useful.  I like how the majority of the settings in Ubuntu can be changed from one place.

More information about apt-get can be found in it's man pages.

man apt-get

So far so good

I have been using Ubuntu 10.10 for about a week now.  I have not had any problems what-so-ever.  I have not tried to import my music or anything from my previous hard drive yet.  I thought I had an extra hard drive connection in my tower, but I did not see one a couple of days ago when I tried to connect it. 

I mainly use my Ubuntu box remotely from a laptop.  Everything looks choppy although I believe that is due to VNC.  I would like to be able to switch users while connected VNC.  I believe that Ubuntu prevents this for security reasons.  I'm thinking that this can be changed.  More details to follow.

I'm thinking I will connect my hard drive through USB and start downloading my music.  I might even get crazy and write a script to move all of my mp3 files to a folder on my new hard drive and format the other.  I can use it as a backup.  I also would like to get another hard drive cable (a SATA cable I believe). 

Until next time...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Twitter Client

This is related to a previous issue I had with Twitter clients.  I un-installed gwibber and installed Hotot to resolve an issue I had with gwibber.  However, my hunger for a better Twitter client remained.  I could only start Hotot from the command line and the command line continued to stay up while the client ran.

I found a much better way of installing Hotot here.

I think I may be due for a new computer at work...definitely in the next year.  I wonder if can pay less on a machine without an OS...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Twitter Client Issues

In this post, I will write about two twitter clients I used with Ubuntu 10.10.  I noticed Gwibber when I first started using Ubuntu.  I set up my twitter account and tweeted a few times.  I noticed that every three to five minutes a box would appear listing the status of my accounts.  This began to disturb me after a while so I googled it.  I read a page that listed this as a bug and recommended uninstalling Gwibber.

So I un-installed using tips I found on this page. I then did some research and settled on Hotot as my new client of choice.  I followed instructions from this page and I tweeted a few times.  I like everything about Hotot except for the way you call it.  This page uses a command to start Hotot, but I would like to start it from a shortcut on my desktop, or automatically on start up.  I'm sure this can be done, but it will take more research on my part.  It's March Madness for gosh shakes!

Until next time...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

VPN Works!

I spent a great deal of time working on an issue.  At first I set up the connection to my work network in Network Manager.  I set up my host name, user name, and password and attempted to connect.  I received a message "The VPN connection % failed because the VPN service failed to start."  I fought this issue all day and could not find a resolution.  I found several different sites that suggested checking or un-checking the "Available to all users" checkbox but neither helped.

I then realised that when I connect to work from my laptop I use a Cisco client.  I included this in my search and found connecting through a Cisco device was a little tricky.  I did some searches and finally found a helpful blogpost that explained what was going on.  The page explains the process of converting your pcf file from a Cisco client into a conf file that can be used to connect.  This requires downloading the source code of a converter, installing a library, compiling the converter, and then running the converter on your pcf file.  You then have to install vpnc, and then run vpnc on the conf file created in a previous step.

I can run the following command to start my VPN connection:
sudo vpnc <conf file> --enable-1des

After which I enter my password I use to log on to my employer's domain.  I then receive a message saying that the connection is successful.
VPNC started in background (pid: 2817)...

I can run the following command to end my VPN connection:
sudo vpnc-disconnect

This affected my ability to connect using Network Manager; I do not receive the "Failed to start service" any more.  The connection still does not work, but I do have a workaround.

Until next time...


I received the correct email server settings from my network administrator friend.  I was able to send and receive email using Evolution.  I am pleased with Evolution so far.  I use Outlook at work and Evolution seems to be pretty similar (at no cost to me I must say).  I especially like how Evolution can work with an Exchange server.  Unfortunately I cannot connect to my exchange server at work unless I vpn in...something new to try :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Beginning

I am beginning an experiment that will help me decide whether an open source operating system (OS) can replace a Windows operating system in the workplace.  I believe open source software will be better than commercial software simply because the people that develop and maintain open source software do it because they love it, not because they are paid. 

To give a brief explanation of my computer experience, I have a BS in Computer Science and I have been working in the software engineering and IT fields for the past six years.  I have about three years of experience with a UNIX environment, so this is not new to me.

I have a computer that I purchased in 2006 through one of the big computer distributors.  The computer came with Windows XP Home edition.  Except for a new 160GB hard drive, I have not modified the computer in any way.  The computer came standard with 2GB of memory and a dual core processor.

I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 10.10 onto the new hard drive.  After performing the initial setup, audio, video, and networking worked correctly.  The flash plug-in allowed me to watch video online.  I could also remote desktop although for some reason it did not work right away.  I enabled remote desktop and for a few minutes Ubuntu told me that only local connections could access remote desktop.  This issue resolved itself.

I attempted to set up email but I do not remember my email settings from my ISP.  A quick message to my buddy the network administrator should provide the settings I need.

At some point I will need to access the music on the second hard drive.  I also need to test VPN connectivity to my workplace's network.  It would also be nice to have a VNC client that will scale the desktop to fit automatically.

So we will see how it goes