Xperience 1.0

Graphical User Interface for XBMC Media Center.

Xperience has now been updated to 1.0 and is no longer in beta. The project has also been added to the XBMC Skins SVN.



A simple and lightweight highly Ubuntu Lucid  integrated GMail Notifier which takes advantages of  notify-osd and indicator-applet. Because of this it will not run with older Ubuntu versions.

Option  to select a sound when new incoming mail, a must-have for Gmail users.

Installing from a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gm-notify-maintainers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gm-notify

GM-Notify on Launchpad

Yes, that’s right, this blog is 1 in 2 million, 1,718,711 to be exact.

There are 1,718,710 sites with a better three-month global Alexa traffic rank than Indlovu.wordpress.com. Search engines refer about 42% of visits to it, and visitors to it spend approximately 78 seconds on each pageview and a total of two minutes on the site during each visit. We estimate that 68% of its visitors are in the US, where it has attained a traffic rank of 420,158. About 85% of visits to Indlovu.wordpress.com consist of only one pageview …


Matt Parnell has an interesting method of speeding up his apt-get downloads by utilising the axel downloader.

A shell  script appropriately called apt-fast is available from the link above.

Here is what Matt has to say about the project:

The apt-fast script I have created is a little shellscript that increases the speed of apt-get by many times. You need to have the axel download accelerator installed, which is a simple, short process, but everything else is extremely straight forward. I started out downloading the upgrades for Kubuntu, at 32kb/s. Not terrible, but not that great. When I was done with the script here, I was getting up to ~850kb/s. That is great, huh?

To do this, you first need to download and install the axel download accelerator. It is really a good drop-in replacement for wget, as it is bash based. Once installed, we are ready to setup apt-fast. On K/Ubuntu apt-get install axel should do it.

Then, either find a package somewhere (or install it from a repo if one of them has it), or just download the latest apt-fast source from the link mentioned at the top of this post. Then, just place the script somewhere (/usr/bin or /usr/sbin is ideal), rename it to apt-fast (without the .sh extension), and sudo chmod +x apt-fast.

Once done, just use it like apt-get. To install a single package, make sure your database is up to date (apt-fast update), and run apt-fast install packagenamehere. Watch it download with incredible speed, and install your requested packages. To upgrade or dist-upgrade, do the same thing. Just use apt-fast dist-upgrade or apt-fast upgrade. That’s all there is to it!

Should your download stall for any number of reasons, you’ll need to do an apt-fast clean.


Zen Kernel

Zen Kernel needs a Zen Tux

Although there hasn’t been any time to test this rather radical approach to the Linux kernel , the zen of kernel development is worth reporting about. After my initial fore’s into kernel evolution, here and here, I stumbled across ZenKernel.

“Zen Kernel is a the result of a collaborative effort of kernel hackers to provide the best Linux kernel possible for every day systems. We include code that is not included in the mainline kernel in an attempt to create an all-around better kernel for desktops (although it can be compiled otherwise). This is done by including new features, supporting latest hardware, and including various code and optimizations to better suit desktops. Zen is a 100% community oriented project so, as a result, everybody can contribute to the project”

“Zen is almost always more up to date than your distribution’s default kernel. Zen is split up into two trees, these are stable (zen-stable.git) and unstable (zen.git). The stable tree follows Linux releases while the unstable tree follows the Linux git tree (linux-2.6.git).”

You have a choice between doing it the ZenKernel way or cheating and using the buildZen script. Remember, using scripts to build kernel’s is strictly speaking, cheating. Not recommended if you want to understand what is going on and/or contribute to development. There is also some good advice and information on the Ubuntu Wiki

Upgrade Alsa

If you have sound issues then upgrading Alsa could be the solution.

Here is a great script for doing this

Follow the instructions

Short Alsa-Upgrade script install instructions:

1. download the script and save it somewhere
2. cd <your-download-dir>
3. tar xvf AlsaUpgrade-1.0.23-2.tar
4. sudo ./AlsaUpgrade-1.0.23-2.sh -d
5. sudo ./AlsaUpgrade-1.0.23-2.sh -c
6. sudo ./AlsaUpgrade-1.0.23-2.sh -i
7. sudo shutdown -r 0

Check the original posting on Ubuntuforums for more information and support.

If you like to do things the long way round, then check Stéphane Gaudreault’s blog, which appears to be exclusively focused on Alsa upgrades.

His latest post is upgrade-alsa-1-0-23-on-ubuntu-lucid-lynx-10-04

NOTE: After the upgrade and in order to get ALSA working properly I had to open a terminal and type alsamixer. The only levels showing were volume and input. Something was also wrong with the sound which was jerky. Pressing  F6 allowed me to select my sound card which wasn’t selected!!!  After selecting the card,  ALSA is better than it was before.  Hope this helps.

Getting into one of these situations is not uncommon. Sometimes packages aren’t packaged properly and you end up with a broken package which refuses to fix itself.

If you try:

sudo apt-get -f install

You will get a message like this:

Unpacking replacement vlc …
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/vlc_1.1.0-1ubuntu1_i386.deb (–unpack):
trying to overwrite ‘/usr/lib/vlc/plugins/access/libxcb_screen_plugin.so’, which is also in package vlc-nox 1.1.0-1~ppa1~maverick
dpkg-deb: subprocess paste killed by signal (Broken pipe)
Preparing to replace vlc-nox 1.1.0-1~ppa1~maverick (using …/vlc-nox_1.1.0-1ubuntu1_i386.deb) …
Unpacking replacement vlc-nox …
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/vlc-nox_1.1.0-1ubuntu1_i386.deb (–unpack):
trying to overwrite ‘/usr/lib/vlc/lua/playlist/anevia_streams.luac’, which is also in package vlc 1.1.0-1~ppa1~maverick
dpkg-deb: subprocess paste killed by signal (Broken pipe)
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

For reasons why this happens see point 7.6.1 from the debian policy manual

The fix for the problem is pretty easy if you know what to do:

sudo dpkg -i --force-overwrite <filename>

eg. sudo dpkg -i –force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/vlc-nox_1.1.0-1ubuntu1_i386.deb

THANKS www.absolutelytech.com