Who's Dabbling

Friday, September 25, 2009

FLOSS needs commercial software

This is a post to be considerably fleshed out, but using Mac OS X has made me think a lot about the quality of FLOSS on different platforms. 

The quality of the commercial software on OS X seems to have a positive effect on the FLOSS available for the platform: If a developer wants their app to be used they have to make sure it is of a high standard.

The potential financial gain of innovating in an ecosystem where paying for software is considered normal also stimulates creative solutions and new ideas. There is an incentive to get your idea or technology out the door before someone else takes the market share. The same motivation does not seem to exist on Linux.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Sometimes, when I'm bored, I run my mouse over Gnome Do Dock, just to see the smooth animation. If it's a really dull moment I might even click on the clock.

Kudos to the Do developers. Almost all other Cairo/graphically intensive things run like treacle on my Hp 2133... Do somehow manages to be fast :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You know what wasn't ruining my Ubuntu experience: Notifications

I know that Ubuntu needs to make progress in all directions, but the from my experience the notifaction daemon really wasn't a big problem, nor one worth introducing breakage over.

If the sound I was being played didn't glitch out and stop then maybe I'd care more whether the notification was pretty. Pulseaudio FTL

Monday, February 11, 2008

Treo keyboard.prc Endless Loop

I just spent a very long time working out which app on my Treo 650 was causing That Endless Loop Thingie ("TELT") (i.e a looping reboot/reset) after I installed the keyboard.prc app - the drivers for a Palm Wireless Keyboard.

It was the excellent Profiles application. I was worried I'd have to get rid of it, but it seems that the problem was just in the 'general' page for a profile: there's an option to turn ON beam receive. You don't want to do that!

For anyone struggling with a similar problem, this page has instructions on how to 'Warm Reset' your Treo so you can boot it to change the profiles as is required to allow it to boot in normal mode.

Hope this helps someone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Radiohead still popular..move along....

So, among last.fm listeners at least, Radiohead's new 'Pay what you want' album is getting a pretty thorough listening to!

See for yourself at http://www.last.fm/music/+charts/track/

I guess it isn't really a surprise, but I didn't expect to see _such_ a strong popularity...

Apart from the fact Radiohead are being massively more listened to than other bands, the fact that the popularity lines up with the tracklisting probably tells us that people are still listening to the album as a whole, not picking and choosing indivdual songs that much. Reading too much into the curve, we might even say that (among last.fm users) Faust Arp, Nude and Jigsaw Falling into Place are the more popular individual songs at this stage.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Compiz and Stuck Windows Key

After Edgy-> Fesity upgrade my windows key seemed to be stuck down/always on (in software - I don't have a physical windows key) in Compiz and it made the whole thing rather useless. There were a few other people google showed me with similar problems but no answers.

After hunting for a while I remembered that a while back, to get keybaords to work properly with compiz, you had to set the xmodmap - so I tried

xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/xmodmap.uk

And now it works well. Hopefully now google will find answers not just questions about this.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ubuntu: Some like it Blue - Your help needed

This is your chance to ensure that when Ubuntu Edgy Eft ships in October there is slick, modern, consistent blue theme installed automatically!

Note: If you just want to go straight ahead and start contributing to the Blubuntu theme then go here. We are currently wanting motifs, style ideas and designs that can be used for wallpapers, GDM and the splash screens, but any ideas are always welcome.

One of the new things happening in Ubuntu Edgy Eft is that the Ubuntu Artwork team is getting really organised, and coming up with some great ideas. Mark Shuttleworth blogged about it here

For the first time, we now have theme teams - groups of people whose job it is to make complete, polished themes for potential inclusion in Edgy.

One of those themes will be a slick, clean, blue toned theme called Blubuntu. We want everyone with ideas for this to submit them to us NOW. The current style uses Ubuntulooks in Blue as here, and the NuoveXT icons (By Saki) that you can see here. These are not too set, but what we are really looking for at the moment is motifs, styles and designs for Wallpapers, GDM screens and Splash Screens.

The great thing about this is that anyone can contribute their ideas - all you need to do is head over to the wiki page at


Please note the guidelines for submissions
  • All submissions are to be made to a SUB PAGE of the main wiki page. Please try and keep one sub page for each element

  • Where possible add a screenshot of your submission.

  • Post the actual theme, xml, svg, xcf. so people can play with it and try out your ideas :)

  • Provide some way we can contact you (use the BlubuntuContributors) page (if you are in the art-team then your nickname will be fine)

  • Submissions must be under the CC-Share Alike license

Whether a theme makes it in will depend on how good is, and how much space is available on the CD - we can't do anything about the second, but we can make sure we have the best, most consistend and coolest blue theme Linux has seen!