The watch command in Linux

A very neat command I learned about today is the watch command. This command line program executes a command periodically and shows the output in full screen. If you've ever used the top command, it's the same concept, but you can use any command.

For example, the command sudo watch cat /proc/meminfo will display the current memory information, updating it every two seconds by default, until the ctrl + c combination is pressed.

Finally splurged and bought a new computer

After realizing my current processor and motherboard was ordered over three years ago, and my current processor, an Athlon XP 3200+, was originally manufactured in 2003, I decided to build a new computer. It has taken me two months to decide what I wanted and to get the funds budgeted, but I finally ordered it tonight.

I purchased the case, an Antec Sonata III 500, over a year ago. It's an expensive case, but one of the best as far as silence and style goes.

Podcast ordering in Amarok

In Amarok, under KDE 3.5, podcasts seem to be in a scrambled order. They definitely aren't in the order the author of the podcast put them in. This is a known bug and is going to be fixed in the next version of Amarok due out very soon.

As a temporary work around, I am using Firefox's ability to subscribe to XML feeds and have associated MP3 files with Amarok inside Firefox.

Using smart monitoring for drives on Ubuntu

SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a technology that implemented by most hard drive manufacturers that records pertinent information about the hard drive, to the hard drive, which aids in the prediction of a failure.

Linux has tools available that harvest that data, perform tests and aide in the prediction of drive failure. Normally, the bios will prompt you if SMART detects a problem with a drive, but you have to reboot in order to get that prompt and many Linux users don't reboot often.

To install the packages under (k)ubuntu, use:

Albert Einstein said it best

"It's not that I'm so smart; it's just that I stay with problems longer."

KDE 4.1 on Ubuntu 8.04

After deciding to move back to KDE from Gnome, I also decided to give KDE 4.1 a try. I had attempted to use KDE 4.0 a while back and quickly ran away. It just wasn't ready for prime time.

I'm typing this in the visual goodness of KDE 4.1, although I still don't think it's ready, but it's very, very close.

KDE 4.1 is much better than 4.0 was. 4.0 was missing many configuration options and had strange errors when opening even a command shell (at least on Ubuntu).

Back to KDE and forward to 4.1

I have been using Gnome at home and KDE at work for the last two months, both with the latest version of Ubuntu. I have decided to go back to KDE for several reasons. By the way, I was able to remove Gnome and install KDE without even rebooting. =)

  • The default torrent client in KDE is much more advanced than transmission.
  • The system settings in Gnome are spread out on a menu rather than all in one dialog like KDE.
  • Integration seems to be better in KDE. For example, using sftp or ftp works by default in most KDE applications and file managers.
  • Kontact
  • Quanta is much better than bluefish in my opinion.

Mount iso image in Linux

Using a simple mount command, you can mount an iso image and navigate the file system.

First, create the directory you want to use to access the iso. This can be any directory.


$ sudo mkdir /mnt/iso

Then, mount the iso.


$ sudo mount -o loop ~/isos/test.iso /mnt/iso

This mounts the iso file to the mount point you just made. The squiqqly line in Linux ~ means is expanded to your home directory.

Windows 7 needs...well..to be more like Linux

An interesting article on Slashdot pointing to an article at gadgetzone.com.au which points out what features Windows 7 must implement.

I'm obviously bias, but I think the author is picking out what he likes most about Linux? It's funny how a few years ago, Linux had to be more like Windows, but now, Windows needs to be more like Linux.

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