How to turn on Num Lock on GNOME startup?

Unofficial Ubuntu 5.04 Starter Guide: “

sudo apt-get install numlockx

sudo cp /etc/X11/gdm/Init/Default /etc/X11/gdm/Init/Default_backup

sudo gedit /etc/X11/gdm/Init/Default

4. Find this line

exit 0

5. Add the following lines above it

if [ -x /usr/bin/numlockx ]; then

/usr/bin/numlockx on


6. Save the edited file (sample)

7. Read How to restart GNOME without rebooting computer?”

How to make Ubuntu/Debian .deb packages from source tar.gz

This is my abbrevitated version of : Hands On

Step 1: Make the source files

Un-tar your source files. This should result in a directory ./the_app

cd into the_app directory: cd the_app

Make the application according to the instructions in the README file, usually just means running the make command in the the_app directory: ./make

Step 2: Prepare the “control” file

Then create a directory DEBIAN: mkdir DEBIAN

cd into DEBIAN: cd DEBIAN

Create a file called “control” based on the following example:

Package: your_package_name_without_ext

Version: 1.0

Section: base

Priority: optional

Architecture: all

Depends: prog1 (>= 2.05a-11), prog2 (>= 2.0-12), prog3, prog4 (>= 1:2.0.7-8), prog5 (>= 3.02-8), prog6 (>= 2.4.2-3), prog7 (>= 5.0-5)

Maintainer: Yusuf

Description: A little sumthing sumthing on your program

Step 3: Put all the files in their places

Now you’ve got to create a directory structure with the files needed as they will be installed on your system.

So if you need the bin files in your /usr/local/bin directory then copy the bin files into the_app/usr/local/bin : cp usr/local/bin

Step 4: Create the Package

Decend into the directory containing the_app and run: dpkg-deb –build the_app

Thats it! You should now have a the_app.deb package

Extract a gzip compressed tar archive in Linux

To extract the archive filename.tar.gz into the current directory:

tar xzf filename.tar.gz

If this fails, the version of tar may not support gzip compression. In this case, you can use the traditional two-stage command:

gzip -dc filename.tar.gz | tar xf –

APT syncing a home machine

Thanks to Hellkom, its not worth it for me (or any South African for that matter) to get an ADSL line at home. I won’t even mention dialup (ok I have, but I regret it). So this creates difficulties. One of them is the fact that it is a pain to keep my home maching up to date with the latest ubuntu packages.

I sought advice and I found it (courtesy Thomas Fogwill):

There are at least 3 other ways to do what you want:
1) Repository on notebook
2) Manually generate fetch lists
3) Use automated tools

(1) Repository on notebook (I do this)
I keep my downloaded packages on my notebook
(in /var/cache/apt/archives/). Things I want to install at home, but not
on my notebook, are downloaded with apt-get -d install …
I have a www directory linked to /var/cache/apt/archives/,
and generate a Packages.gz file here like this:
apt-ftparchive packages . | gzip -c > Packages.gz

Then, I add this www directory to my wife’s sources.list (at home). If
any packages are ever missing from this dir, I rebuild them with

The following is a useful little script to rebuild ALL installed
dpkg –get-selections | grep [^De]install | cut -f1 | sh -c “while read STRIN; do dpkg-repack $STRIN ;done”

Note: dpkg-repack uses the files on the filesystem to rebuild the
package. Thus, any config/customisation you’ve done will be included in
the deb.

2) Manually generate fetch lists
This should also work (untested). Apt stores its downloaded package
files here: /var/lib/apt/lists/
You should be able to copy your updated files over from your notebook,
then do an apt-get –print-uris install|upgrade|dist-upgrade on the home
machine. This will print out the uri’s of the files that need to be
downloaded. You then take these uri’s, download them (at work) with
wget, copy them to the home machine and dpkg -i *.deb to install them.

This will dump the apt-get output into a file that wget can use to
download in batch mode:
apt-get –print-uris -y install … | grep http | cut -f1 -d’ ‘ | cut -f2 -d’ > debs.toget
To batch fetch the debs:
wget -i debs.toget

This should work fairly well, except when packages on the mirror change overnight.

3) Use automated tools
e.g. apt-zip. apt-zip basically automates (2) above.

Ubuntu – Linux for Human Beings

My 1st experience with a pc was with a ZX Spectrum way back in 1990’ish. I later progressed to a Commodore 128 and then finally in 1992 I mananged to get my paws on on my dads 286, which he intended to use for bussiness. DOS was a dream, it was complex enough (at the time) to keep me challenged for hours on end, especially when I had recover (on more than one occasion) from the odd virus, DIR II, Michaelangelo, Stoned, the good old days. When I discovered Windows in 1995, it really was not my forte, it hid the complexity of the pc too much and made things too easy. But, I had to stick with the times and the Games, which soon required Windows and Windows soon lost DOS.

To cut a long story short, for now, until I get to update this, I discovered Ubuntu Linux, much better than my previous encounters with Linux (Mandrake, Red-Hat), works like a charm and its FREE! Check out: Ubuntu – Linux for Human Beings

George Dubya vs Einstein

RmEinstein was a genius….

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despiceable an ignoreable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” — Albert Einstein

“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” –Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Dubya is not….

“The reason we start a war is to fight a war, win a war, thereby causing no more war!”
–The first Presidential debate

“The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself.”-Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 29, 2003

Online entry form for the Young Science Writer’s Competition

Yep, I considered entering the competition Online entry form for the Young Science Writer’s Competition ,couldnt decide on a topic so I though I’d explain EVERYTHING, that is Life the Universe and everything..

Heres my 1st paragraph:

Its the question that we’ve all asked ourselves at some point, what is Life? But how many have started answering the question by first asking, what is a point? A point is a position in time and an instance in time, two of the three defining axis of our Universe. Energy, the third axis is what everything is made of. You, your peanut butter sandwich and the 3rd left udder of a mountain goat on Table Mountain are energy in its slowest form, matter. On the other hand, Egoli on its way to your TV, the orange warmth of sunrise on its way from the sun and the flux that heats your microwave noodles are energy in its fastest form, electro-magnetic waves.