Archive for July, 2009

This posting from Oh my God, its still breathing, caught my attention. I haven’t implemented it yet, not wanting to increase the RAM and CPU overhead on my already strained system. What is the pay-off? If you’re typesetting, this could be a lifesaver, if you’re just surfing, there is no real need to have every bell and whistle turned on. But nice  knowing it is possible. Also, anybody know what the Hardy Heron defaults are, or how to backup and reinstall the fontconfig safely? Methinks there is a lot more here than meets the eye, and somebody should write a nice fontconfig application -DRL


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I have been looking for a way to favourite my commands. Turning on Bash Smart autocompletion is a start. I found this posting at Ubuntu Blog:

The Bash shell has this sweet feature where you can use the TAB key to auto-complete certain things. For example, when I am in my home directory, the following command:

$cd Do[TAB-key]

will automatically yield:
$cd Documents

If you are an absolute novice, like I was, not so long ago, discovering tab completion in the terminal can make you go “Wow!”. Wait till you hear the rest now 🙂

Though you can use the TAB key to complete the names of files and directories, by default the completion is pretty “dumb”. If you have already typed $cd D you would expect that the tab key would cause only the directory names to be completed, but if I try it on my machine, the tab completion tool uses filenames too.

Now, don’t despair! There is now a smart bash tab completion trick you can use. Smart completion even complete the arguments to commands!!

To enable smart completion, edit your /etc/bash.bashrc file. Uncomment the following lines, by removing the # in the beginning of the lines:

#if [ -f /etc/bash_completion ]; then
# . /etc/bash_completion

Now you can use tab completion to power your way through commands.

You can even extend bash smart completion to your own favourite commands by using /etc/bash_completion, the “complete” utility and /etc/bash_completion.d . Explaining the nitty-gritty is beyond me. I refer you to the Debian Administration gurus for more information regarding smarter bash completion.

Thanks Carthik, I do believe this is the solution. First turn on smart autocompletion, check to see if your favourite commands autocomplete, and if not, then create a file containing these commands using the link provided.

UPDATE: Working with history in Bash

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Found a cool Nautilus Subversion Integration tool that allows one to execute SVN commands using Gnome scripts.

sudo apt-get install nautilus-actions

Requires Zenity and Subversion.

Link to download the scripts

Also, found the SVN Workbench  from Tigris.org – Open Source Software Engineering Tools

sudo apt-get install python-svn

sudo apt-get install svn-workbench

Also a newer beta version of Nautilussvn which imitates TortoiseSVN on Windows.

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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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