Friday, July 27, 2007

Make Firefox Pretty

The Firefox default buttons in Ubuntu are ugly, here's an example:
old Firefox Ubuntu radio buttons

But It's easy to make them pretty. Notice that the buttons, radio buttons, check boxes, text fields and drop down menus (not shown) all look much smoother.
new firefox ubuntu radio buttons
more pretty firefox ubuntu radio buttons

In a terminal type:
get the updated widgets

uncompress the downloaded file
tar -xvzf firefox-form-widgets.tar.gz

move the files from your home folder to the firefox folder
sudo cp /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res/forms.css /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res/forms.css.bak

set the widgets
cat firefox-form-widgets/res/forms-extra.css | sudo tee --append /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res/forms.css > /dev/null

sudo cp -r firefox-form-widgets/res/form-widgets /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/res

rm -rf firefox-form-widgets

Now that Firefox is pretty, you can customize Firefox to load faster, block ads, get rid of useless features. Also check out my list of the best extensions. Check It Out Here
edited by pHreaksYcle

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Conexant Modem on the Dell 1501

amaurynieto just sent me the .deb file to get your Conexant Modem to work in Ubuntu.

This .deb is the Conexant driver for the 1505n officially supported by Dell, however it also works in the 150 because it's the same D110 Chipset.

Conexant Modem .deb from Dell's Website
You can wget in a terminal (default save is to your home login folder /home/YOUR USER NAME)

It's good to see Dell involvement is giving back to the open source world. I wish I could test it out but I don't have a phone line or access to a dial-up account. If you get it to work, let me know how it went.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My .conkyrc File

A lot of people have been asking me about my system monitor in the upper right hand corner of my 1501 desktop, it's called Conky.


Conky is a system monitor software for the X Window System. It is able to monitor almost all systems variables including CPU, memory, swap, disk space, temperature, top, upload, download, system messages, and much more. It is extremely configurable, however the configuration can be a little hard to understand. To learn more vist the Conky website

To get conky in a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install conky

If you need help or just want to see mine .conkyrc file:
you can find your .conkyrc once installed in your home folder, once you enable show hidden files under View>Show Hidden Files. Ctrl+H is the shortcut


# maintain spacing between certain elements
use_spacer yes

# set to yes if you want tormo to be forked in the background
background no

use_xft yes

# Xft font when Xft is enabled
xftfont Bitstream Vera Sans Mono-7
#xftfont Andale Mono-9
#xftfont Clean-8
#xftfont cubicfive10:pixelsize=8
#xftfont squaredance10:pixelsize=14
#xftfont swf!t_v02:pixelsize=10

# Text alpha when using Xft
xftalpha 1
mail_spool $MAIL

# Update interval in seconds
update_interval 4.0

# Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)
own_window no

# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)
double_buffer yes

# Minimum size of text area
minimum_size 280 5

# Draw shades?
draw_shades yes

# Draw outlines?
draw_outline no # amplifies text

# Draw borders around text
draw_borders no

# Stippled borders?
stippled_borders 0

# border margins
border_margin 9

# border width
border_width 1

# Default colors and also border colors, grey90 == #e5e5e5
default_color grey90
default_shade_color black
default_outline_color DarkGrey

# Text alignment, other possible values are commented
#alignment top_left
alignment top_right
#alignment bottom_left
#alignment bottom_right

# Gap between borders of screen and text
gap_x 24
gap_y 24

# Subtract file system buffers from used memory?
no_buffers yes

# set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase
uppercase no

# stuff after 'TEXT' will be formatted on screen


${color #EFEBE7}CPU: $freq_g${execi 5 cpuspeed}MHz $cpu%$color
${color #EFEBE7}$cpubar
${color #EFEBE7}${top name 1} ${top pid 1} ${top cpu 1} ${top mem 1}
${color #EFEBE7}${top name 2} ${top pid 2} ${top cpu 2} ${top mem 2}
${color #EFEBE7}${top name 3} ${top pid 3} ${top cpu 3} ${top mem 3}
${color #EFEBE7}${top name 4} ${top pid 4} ${top cpu 4} ${top mem 4}

${color #EFEBE7}RAM: $memmax $memperc% $color
${color #EFEBE7}${membar 6}${color}
${color #EFEBE7}${top_mem name 1} ${top_mem pid 1} ${top_mem cpu 1} ${top_mem mem 1}
${color #EFEBE7}${top_mem name 2} ${top_mem pid 2} ${top_mem cpu 2} ${top_mem mem 2}
${color #EFEBE7}${top_mem name 3} ${top_mem pid 3} ${top_mem cpu 3} ${top_mem mem 3}
${color #EFEBE7}${top_mem name 4} ${top_mem pid 4} ${top_mem cpu 4} ${top_mem mem 4}

${color #EFEBE7}Upload: ${upspeed eth1}kb/s Download: ${downspeed eth1}kb/s

edited by pHreaksYcle

Friday, July 13, 2007

Show Off Your Dell Inspiron 1501s

I love that people have been sending me pictures and screen shots of their Ubuntu 1501 setups. I want to write an article on mine and others. So, please send me some pictures/screen shots and anything about Ubuntu on the Dell 1501 that you want to share. All I ask is you tell everyone what's running on your desktop, send me your background image if you want to share it, and maybe a brief paragraph on why you chose Ubuntu on the Dell 1501. You can really just write as much or as little as you want. This is just a chance for you to show off your cool and personalized setups. Everyone knows mines is pretty much the standard gnome desktop.

edited by pHreaksYcle

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

How To Install a TTF Font In Ubuntu & Microsoft Fonts

Step 1: Download a ttf font you like. Here is a cool website that has a ton for free. Save your fonts onto your desktop.

If you font is zipped or uses any other compression make sure you uncompress it. Your font should end in the extension .ttf

Now make a directory for your custom ttf fonts
in a terminal type:
sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype/custom

Step 2: Put the ttf font into the custom folder
In a terminal type:
sudo nautilus

This will bring up a nautilus window
go to /usr/share/fonts/truetype/custom

copy in your fonts

Step 3: Rebuild your font cache
in a terminal type:
sudo fc-cache -f -v

To get the free Microsoft fonts, and make opening MS Office documents easier in OpenOffice
in a terminal type: sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts
edited by pHreaksYcle

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

akabrek's fix for people having trouble with ndiswrapper

People are reporting that every time at startup they have to do a "sudo modprobe ndiswrapper" to get their WiFi working again when using the ndiswrapper guide. akabrek has come up with a solution.

You could solve this problem by doing as follows:

sudo ndiswrapper -m
gksudo gedit /etc/modules

and simply append the word ndiswrapper at end of file. Then save and reboot.
It will boot ndiswrapper module everytime Ubuntu kernel is loaded.

Thanks redDEAD for your good work, very useful. Don't give up.


akabrek, thank you for you good work and keep reading!
edited by pHreaksYcle

Monday, July 9, 2007

Niall's Question

Hello, redDEAD. I have a small problem and was wondering if you could help me, sorry I had to post it here, I couldn't find another way to contact you.

I think the problem is with my BIOS version(2.4.1), however I managed to get my ATI card to work on 2.1.0 so I'm not sure. Do you think you could help me solve the problem?

I think Niall is asking me to help him get the ATI driver installed on his Dell 1501 with the 2.4.1 BIOS. Niall, all you have to do is use Restricted Driver Manager found in System>Administration. It won't give you the most recent ATI driver but it will give you a solid ATI driver that really works. The BIOS shouldn't matter, in fact, if you are worried about your BIOS version you should be using BIOS 1.7 you can find it here

Cheers I hope that helps.

A quick reminder to people, if you want my help you have to get me as much info as possible. Paint me a pretty picture and tell me exactly what your problem is. If you need to contact me you can always email me at redDEADresolve at that fancy google

Now since this post is kinda boring here is the greatest Marvel/DC TEAM UP EVER
edited by pHreaksYcle

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rewrote the Wi-Fi Guide

Ross has sent me two comments which I have pasted below. He couldn't get the WiFi working on his Dell 1501. He begged and pleaded for me to fix the guide. The guide wasn't very broken, it just required a cognitive ability. I did notice it lacked the polish and feel of my later guides. So for Ross and everyone else who complains that they can't get the WiFi working and my guide isn't working I rewrote the guide. It is truly idiot proof and in my opinion, my best guide yet. It's almost 100% command line meaning you just have to copy and paste. If it doesn't work for you you can always try the alternate native Linux driver, which guide you can find here. Good luck Ross and enjoy the new guide.

I have tried this like 8 times now. and have just started fresh by reinstalling it and trying again but it won't work for me
I have a dell 1501 same as you. but i got the 1g mem and i have the dvd burner too but this just will not work the light does not come on. even when i restart and all the other lights flash , (the lock with 9 and the A and the down arrow) but no wifi flash , i will attach all my workings on my next post after i try once more. wish me luck!! i realy want my wifi.....
doesn't WORK!!

I've tried sooo many times i got the same thing as the guy who started this everything seems to work
but in the end nothing is actually installed at all!!
am i doing it the wrong place should i do this entire guide in root. i did it and saved both downloads to a file named .driver(wich i created ) (is there supposed to be one in there allready?)
its a hidden file. anyway inside that folder i created another folder named wifi for my driver download (the zipped one) so after that i un TAR the ndiswrapper file to the .driver folder and do everything as the guide says, thousands of dell owners have. it doesn't work for me.
the guide seems to be a bare skeleton when it comes to the informative and descriptive side...

getting no where and have reinstalled twice can you edit your guide a little, starting at the verry first line,,,,

after you suggest the root folder option you say to enter the 2 previous command's again....

which 2? the first 2 in the guide or the one to become root . there are some other confusing factors too. it seems to work for some people but i am having trouble.

and your guide for the beryl thing dont get me started....

you should tell people what it means to log in as XGL not everyone knows its a profile.. i can proof read your guides to make them idiot proof , I am half idiot after all..
edited by pHreaksYcle

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Microsoft Case Study

First a rant: it isn't Windoze or M$, it's simply Microsoft Windows. Windows isn't a horrible operating system, it works just as well as many Linux distros. Each operating system has it strengths and weaknesses, it's just Windows isn't for me. I do not like having to pay for software that I have no rights to. If I spend money on your product, please do not tell me I don't own it. I paid for it, it's in my house, how is this product not mine? Why can't I look at the code, or modify it? In the same vein I hate DRM. I paid for the song or movie, it's mine. If I want to put it on a backup CD for my car, put it on my iPod, or stream it across the net to buddy so he can hear how cool it is; don't tell me no or restrict my ability. In Ubuntu, I can customize everything, the desktop enviroment, package handler, themes, skins, code and etc. The most important reason I use Linux is that I love my FREEDOM. So don't say M$ Windoze sux, both Windows and Linux get the job done and have some really great programs. Tell people you love free, as in freedom.

Now that the rant is over, back to the story. All this stuff doesn't mean a thing to my kid sister. She wants to surf the web, use iTunes and do her work in Microsoft Office. She would trade her freedom for compatibility and usability and that's okay because it's her choice. So I setup Windows XP on her new Dell Inspiron 1501 this week. Wow, the difference between installing Ubuntu and Windows is night and day. Below is a picture of all the drivers I had to install to get her Dell 1501 to work.


The Ethernet, audio, smbus, ricoh card reader, touchpad, graphic and wireless drivers had to be installed. Basically nothing worked. During installation of the drivers I had to reboot 6 times. Then I still had to install flash, Microsoft Office and VLC to get the media codecs that Windows didn't come with.

In Ubuntu all you need is an Ethernet cable and a LiveCD. You don't even need to install the Ubuntu on your Dell 1501 to have a pretty functional computer. You can use the Ethernet connection and the LiveCD session to surf the net,listen to audio, use the card reader and touchpads advanced features.

An Ubuntu install isn't perfect, but it's still much easier than Windows. The only drivers you need to install are the wireless and graphic card. Wireless card issue is being worked on and future kernel updates should have support built in and Ubuntu's Restricted Driver Manager helps you install the ATI driver with 3 clicks. An office suite comes installed and media codecs and flash also take three clicks of a mouse button.

Overall I find the Ubuntu install to take half the time and half the headaches.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Full Circle Magazine

Every once and a while I'll think about posting a news story, but my blog isn't really about news. If I start writing about current Linux development, I would have to actually update my blog on a semi-regular basis and would make it more of a job then an actual hobby. That why I'm excited about Full Circle Magazine. It is an independent magazine for the Ubuntu community. It covers all the Ubuntu flavors and has great articles and information that are useful for every Linux user. It covers Ubuntu news that I would love to blog about if I wasn't too lazy. If the first two issues are indicative of where this project is going, then I'm an excited Full Circle reader.

In case you missed them: Issue one covered - a MythTV and Scribus tutorial, a guide to the Linux directories and an interview with the Deluge BitTorrent client developer (which I am a fan of). Issue two covered - installing Kubuntu, Virtual Private Networking, an overview of great software for Ubuntu and a guide on installing Ubuntu on the Mac Mini.

Check out the magazine, let me know what you think, and maybe help contribute. Download Issues & Wallpaper Here
and yes I know this post would be considered a news story.
edited by pHreaksYcle