Ubuntu – Linux on the Desktop (Event Notifications)

As I mentioned in a recent post, my friend Matthias got a notification the other day that the battery on his wireless mouse needed to be charged.

Well, a mouse battery isn’t the only thing those notifications are good for.

I live in a pretty remote part of the country. There’s only one fiber line in and we get at least a few (5 so far this year) power outages a year. The fiber outages tend to be caused by constructions crews (mostly in Wisconsin) but wild animals, mother nature and single fault tolerance equipment make the power unreliable. A UPS is a good investment; at the very least, it will let you shut the computers down properly.

The last time the power went out, I couldn’t figure out what was beeping. That’s where the message that showed up on my screen was useful:
UPS power

Ubuntu – “Hey, idiot! The obnoxious beeping is the giant battery you connected to me!”

Have a picture of an event notification you’ve gotten from Ubuntu? Post it in a comment.

Debian Etch and Apache2

Anyone running Debian Etch and Apache2 may have noticed that a recent update (to version 2.2.3-3) has rendered AuthDigest unusuable. Here’s what you need to do to get it working:

  • Change any instances of AuthDigestFile to AuthUserFile (in apache2.conf, your VirtualHost definitions, etc.)
  • The recent update unlinked authz_user.load from the enabled modules. You’ll need to relink it.
    ln -s /etc/apache2/mods-available/authz_user.load /etc/apache2/mods-available/authz_user.load
  • That should fix the problem for you. There are a couple of bug reports that have been filed, so hopefully it gets fixed soon.

    Ubuntu – Linux on the Desktop (Add/Remove Programs)

    There’s more than one way to install applications in Ubuntu. You can use apt, the Synaptic Package Manager, or, you can can even use the Add/Remove menu under Applications.

    It brings up a nice interface that allows you to select software to install by category and even lets you sort them by popularity. (Ubuntu comes with a package called popularity-contest that submits back anonymous information to Ubuntu about what software is installed.)

    I checked the box next to xpdf since it is one of my favorite PDF readers and pushed Apply. After confirming and asking me for my password, it began the install.



    After an absolutely painless install, I head back up to my menu to find that the program launcher is already there. Gone are the days when you would have to logout/login for your menu changes to propogate.

    Ubuntu – Linux on the Desktop

    Recently, I made a post about how Linux on the Desktop (LotD) has been getting closer. I’m starting to think that I was wrong, and that LotD has already appeared in the form of Ubuntu.

    Now, I’m not the only one that thinks this way. My friend Matthias recently posted on how Ubuntu told him he needed to charge his wireless mouse.

    Jorge Castro has been talking about this for quite a while now. I’ve always considered him to be a bit of a Gnome and Ubuntu fanatic, so until recently, I’ve always taken the things he says with a grain of salt (well, I still do, but it’s a smaller grain).

    So, what brought this change about? Ubuntu’s Edgy Eft release. Yeah, Dapper was polished, but it just felt like some things were either missing or just didn’t work the way I thought they should. Well, those complaints have mostly disappeared.

    So, starting tomorrow, as a semi-regular feature (at least for now), I’m going to be posting some of the things that make Ubuntu a Linux desktop for me.