Archive for July, 2009

This is where I am putting configuration information for Pidgin

Configure for Google

Configure for Yahoo

Configure for Twitter

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It’s the principle that matters. And if we can get our banking system to work, then we can make a lot more of a contribution in the future. So, my apologies for the inevitable bank charge but this is a dry run. My first contribution to the FSF -- DRL

Dear David Robert Lewis,

Thank you very much for your donation of $1.00, made on 2009-07-03.

We have successfully processed the payment. No goods or services were received in return for this donation.

The Free Software Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization, so your contribution is tax deductible in the
USA. Our Tax ID is 042-888-848.

Thank you for your support! If you have any questions about this
transaction, please contact us at .


Deborah Nicholson
Membership Coordinator

Free Software Foundation Phone: (617)542-5942
51 Franklin Street, 5th Fl. Fax: (617)542-2652
Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA http://my.fsf.org

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After struggling with a number of consoles, all of which claimed to provide the drop-down “Quake” experience, I found Yeah Console, which does exactly what it promises, nothing more, nothing less. I was pleasantly surprised, even though the installation details are not what one could call smooth sailing. If you want to grab the console, you’ll have to pop over to this page

While waiting for the release of Guake for Hardy Heron, I came across Tilda, which is another nifty console, that is less of a killer app, than a good excuse to play around with an alternative to the default. Good work people, keep up the pressure on Canonical, to develop even better terminals.

Instructions for setting up YeahConsole

First, it needs to run every time you log in. So, go to System > Preferences > Session, select Startup Programs, click Add, and add a new command, name “YeahConsole”, command “yeahconsole”. Next, it looks a bit rubbish when you start it up. Here’s how bare-bones yeahconsole is: you configure it with X resources. Party like it’s 1989! I had to go look up how to do this; for the more tender in years among us, X resources were a sort of central configuration for all your apps, round about the same time that humanity was fighting off sabre-toothed tigers and wondering whether that hot flamey thing in the corner could actually be useful. On Ubuntu, you need to edit (actually, you probably need to create) a file called .Xresources in your home folder*. In that file, you put the configuration for yeahconsole, like this:

yeahconsole*toggleKey: None+F2
yeahconsole*consoleHeight: 20
yeahconsole*aniDelay: 0
yeahconsole*stepSize: 10
yeahconsole*faceName: ProFontWindows:style=Regular
yeahconsole*faceSize: 9

The toggleKey one is the important one: it sets which key you use to summon the terminal. I like F2, myself, but pick whatever. What all this stuff means is documented in the man page (man yeahconsole), apart from which font to use. This is the faceName and faceSize options above, and here you have to delve a bit (I told you this was old-fashioned; I started writing a yeahconsole-properties configuration utility that did all this for you, but couldn’t be bothered). In a terminal, run fc-list. This lists all the TrueType fonts that you can use in an xterm. Choose one, and put it in faceName above. Now, simply start yeahconsole for the first time (press Alt+F2, type yeahconsole), and then press F2 (or your key of choice). Pow, a dropdown terminal, like Tilda, but one that won’t keep crashing and make you cry. One other thing: if you hit Ctrl-D to log out by mistake, it’ll close yeahconsole (tilda did this too), and that’s really irritating. To fix this, put the following in a file called bashloop in your home folder:

while true; do bash; done

and change your Startup Programs command above to be yeahconsole -e /home/username/bashloop. Now Ctrl-D won’t close yeahconsole.

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The Electric Toolbox has an excellent tip on enabling your BASH history page up and page down which is a simple task because Ubuntu already contains the definitions in the /etc/inputrc file, just commented out. Thanks for pointing out some of the power behind Ubuntu.

The file looks like this by default:

# mappings for "page up" and "page down" to step to the beginning/end
# of the history
"\e[5~": beginning-of-history
"\e[6~": end-of-history

# alternate mappings for "page up" and "page down" to search the history
# "\e[5~": history-search-backward
# "\e[6~": history-search-forward

So it’s just a matter of commenting out the original definitions for “\e[5~” and “\e[6~” and uncommenting the ones for history-search-backward and history-search-forward like so:

# mappings for "page up" and "page down" to step to the beginning/end
# of the history
# "\e[5~": beginning-of-history
# "\e[6~": end-of-history

# alternate mappings for "page up" and "page down" to search the history
"\e[5~": history-search-backward
"\e[6~": history-search-forward

And that’s all there is to it. You need to log out and log in again for the changes to take effect.

The above makes the change global in scope and affects all users on the system.

Please visit Electric Toolbox if you want more information on making changes only for your login.

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This is the fastest “safe” fixkey method around, since it does not involve aliasing which strictly speaking should be kept for shortening or modifying commands that you already have in your shell, nor does it update software sources, which can slow down valuable time, especially if you have a lot of them.

1. Create a new file named ‘fixkey’ at ‘/usr/bin’ with your favorite text editor:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/fixkey

Then, paste this code:

#! /bin/bash
echo please input your key
read KEY
apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com $KEY

2. Give the file executable privileges with this command:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/fixkey

3. Start fixing keys using the command line by typing ‘fixkey’ [wait for prompt] [key]. See example below:


please input your key


5. You have just fixed a PPA key via the Linux command line!

Previous threads on this subject can be found here and here.

6. Now to fix the key for the chromium-daily ppa:


please input your key


For a more inclusive but slower method of updating keys, you might like this script from Dominic Evans, which was first noted here. If you have a lot of keys that need to be updating then I suggest you use it, at least once.

If you like my method, please let me know.

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