Saturday, August 14, 2010

HowTo: The Ideal Dual Boot Setup, Part I

So you've decided you want to install Ubuntu, but you're not quite ready to give up on Windows just yet. What's the most ideal setup you should use for your system? Well, doing this involves some math. You will be setting up multiple partitions on your computer as you begin the install process. In addition, you will require the following install discs: Windows (XP, Vista, 7, etc.) Installation CD-ROM (Not the upgrade disc, it has to be for a fresh install) (The instructions will be using Windows 7) Ubuntu 10.04 Alternate Installation CD-ROM Now, you need to get out a piece of paper and a pencil and write down the following two pieces of information about your computer: Hard Drive capacity and RAM inside your system. With this information, you will be determining how big the partitions you will be creating will be. In my case, it is a 160GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM. Copy the following table in order to help you determine what size each of your partitions should be:

Hard Drive Partition Allocation
Partition DescriptionFormatPartition Size
Windows C:\DriveNTFS
Windows Swap FileNTFS
Shared Windows/Ubuntu DriveNTFS
Ubuntu Installation Partitionext3 / ext4
Ubuntu Home Partitionext3 / ext4
Ubuntu SwapN/A
Some given calculations:
  • Your C:\ drive should be at least 20GB for Windows XP and at least 40 GB for Windows Vista or Windows 7.
  • Your Windows Swap File partitions should equal at least 1.5xRAM for XP or 2xRAM for Vista or 7.
  • Your shared data partition will be your largest, so make it last with all remaining space.
  • Your Ubuntu installation partition should be at least 10GB, but make it 20GB if you can.
  • Your /home partition does not need to be very big as most personal data will be stored on your shared drive, so make it 10GB at the most to cover your hidden files and whatnot
  • Your Ubuntu swap again should be 1.5-2xRAM, just as it was in Windows.
So, for my hard drive and RAM combination, I have the following setup:
Hard Drive Partition Allocation
Partition DescriptionFormatPartition Size
Windows C:\DriveNTFS40GB
Windows Swap FileNTFS4GB
Shared Windows/Ubuntu DriveNTFS88GB
Ubuntu Installation Partitionext3 / ext420GB
Ubuntu Home Partitionext3 / ext45GB
Ubuntu SwapN/A3GB
So there's the Math. That's what you do before you even think about taking your computer, reformatting, and deleting all existing partitions. In Part Two, I'll get into the actual installation process further.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Howto: Install Python 2.5.5 on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

So, you're a Python developer and like to use the 2.5.x track instead of the 2.6.x or the 3.x track. Well, never fear! Despite the fact that 2.5.5 is not installed in 10.04, or available in the repositories, you can still install it into your system. The following steps will show you how.

Open your terminal and type the following commands line by line:

sudo apt-get install build-essential gcc
cd Downloads
tar -xvzf Python-2.5.6.tgz
cd Python-2.5.6
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/python2.5
make test
sudo make install
sudo ln -s /usr/local/python2.5/bin/python /usr/bin/python2.5 

There you have it! Python 2.5.5 is installed. Now if you want to run it, you can either type python2.5 from the terminal, or you can make a shortcut for it by doing the following:

  1. Right-click on Applications.
  2. Select Edit Menus.
  3. Click Programming
  4. Click New Item
  5. Type "Python (v2.5)" in the Name Box
  6. Type "python2.5" in the Command Box
  7. Type any comments (optional) in the comments box or just click Ok

Now it should show up in your programming menu. Have fun with Python 2.5.5!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Game Review: Progress Quest

Progress Quest: easily the best game to play when you don't have time to play games. Progress Quest is a game that is played either single player or online as an MMORPG. The game practically plays itself, which is great for times when you have to be AFK, but need to continue through the quests in the game. It takes the hard parts of MMORPGs, such as leveling up and repetitive and mundane attacking of creatures that is involved in that.

How to Install

Open a terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install pq

Now it will be installed and you can run it from the Games menu under Applications.

The game will walk you through the initial part of the game, such as choosing the type of character you are and initial stats, and whether your game is played online or offline. After that, it's game on. Just watch the magic go.

Now, obviously, if you haven't figured it out, this game isn't really a game at all, but at best a parody of the MMORPG market of games like Everquest and World of Warcraft. In addition to being a parody of the game, it has also become a parody of the entire genre and the players of the community. On the Progress Quest web site, there are forums that you would find similar to the ones at the big game sites. There are also two strategy guides for the game up on Gamefaqs, which is saying a lot for a game that isn't really a game.

If you're looking for something that's somewhat interesting, give PQ a shot. There's not a lot going on, but if you leave it run for long periods of a time, it gives you something to check on every time you get onto your system. I give it 4/5 overall.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 Release!!!

Well, today they finally released the new version of 8.04, Hardy Heron. It is a LTS release, and I encourage you to all download it. Please, please, please, use the Torrents. The download servers will be crawling for a few days so if you download using torrents, it will help us all. Help out your fellow downloaders and do not close your program after they download. Here are the links:










Saturday, March 22, 2008

How To: Special Characters While Typing

In Windows, if you wanted to type a special character such as the one in the following custom emoticon: =þ, there was the ALT+xxxx format. In the case of þ (the letter thorn in the Icelandic alphabet), the code was 0222. Holding the left ALT Key and typing the numbers in using the 10-keypad was a viable way to do that, but it doesn't work under Ubuntu. What does work however, is Unicode. Unicode is a universal international format that strives to create a standard for writing letters.

In Ubuntu, all you have to do is hold Ctrl+Shift, type U, which will show you an underlined and then you will type the Unicode. For example, to get þ, you would hold Ctrl+Shift, then press U, type 00FE, and press enter.

Now, you're probably telling yourself, "that's great and all, but what if I wanted to put 蠍, the Japanese symbol (kanji) for scorpion, in a text and I don't know the Unicode for it? Well, never fear, the Unicode creators have a handy list of charts in which you can look up special characters and other text obscurities. In there, you would learn that the Unicode for scorpion is actually 880D, or any other character you are interested in. Thinking about creating a new chapter of Tri-Λ? Open the Greek code chart and toss in the code. There are codes for nearly every script in every language, so look for what you need and type to your hearts content!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

HOWTO: Install Gourmet Recipe Software for GNOME

*EDIT* May 3, 2009
Gourmet has finally been added to the repositories as of Ubuntu 9.04, so check out my modified instructions to install it in a much easier way.

Since recently becoming vegan, I have found it important to make it easier to save recipes. I knew I could make a database in OOo Base, but that seemed difficult and more work than I was willing to do. I searched through the package manager and found KRecipes and anymeal, but both are for the KDE environment. In the interest of keeping my system GNOME only, I decided to search further. A quick look on Sourceforge found a few promising choices, but the best was a program called Gourmet. If you want to install this, understand that you will be installing a DEB from outside the Ubuntu repositories and it could harm your system. It worked fine for me, but I cannot guarantee it will for you. If you want to install Krecipes or anymeal if you're using Kubuntu, or if you just don't want to use software outside of the repositories, I will give those instructions as well.

Installing KRecipes for KDE/Kubuntu

  1. Verify you have the universe repositories enabled.

  2. Open Konsole, or the terminal of your choice.

  3. Type (or Copy/Paste) the following into your terminal:
    sudo aptitude install krecipes krecipes-data

  4. Run the program.

Installing anymeal for KDE/Kubuntu

  1. Verify you have the universe repositories enabled.

  2. Open Konsole, or the terminal of your choice.

  3. Type (or Copy/Paste) the following into your terminal:
    sudo aptitude install anymeal

  4. Run the program.

Installing Gourmet Recipe Manager for GNOME/Ubuntu (Ubuntu 9.04 or later)

  1. Open the Terminal.

  2. Type (or Copy/Paste) the following into your terminal:
    sudo apt-get install gourmet

  3. Run the program.

Installing Gourmet Recipe Manager for GNOME/Ubuntu (Ubuntu 8.10 or earlier)

  1. Open the Terminal.

  2. Type (or Copy/Paste) the following into your terminal:
    sudo apt-get install python-reportlab python-pysqlite2

  3. Type (or Copy/Paste) the following into your terminal:

  4. Type (or Copy/Paste) the following into your terminal:
    sudo dpkg -i gourmet_0.13.4-1_all.deb

  5. Run the program.

Gourmet Screenshot
Figure 1: Gourmet Recipe Manager working under Ubuntu

Figure 2: A recipe in Gourmet Recipe Manager

I hope this helps some of us out there who are not only Ubuntu Linux fans, but budding chefs as well.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ubuntu through the Years: Introduction

I have decided to try out Ubuntu, every version of the desktop release beginning with 4.10. Why? Well, mainly it's for myself so I can get an idea of just how much the OS has come along over the last few years. I'm going to be starting with 4.10 and will be going all the way up through the most recent alpha release of 8.04 Hardy Heron.

I've decided to do this in my older laptop that I pretty much use to do all my messing around with now that I have a permanent system that I can use. Here are the system specs for the computer:

System Specs

IBM Thinkpad R40
2.0 Ghz Intel Celeron
768 MB RAM
16 MB ATI Mobility Radeon Video

First up is Ubuntu 4.10, the Warty Warthog. I'll run the install and see what I think.