July 27, 2008

GNOME Do 0.5.97 released!!

The GNOME Do project have released our first alpha in preparation for the 0.6 release. 0.6 will build upon the success of the 0.5 release by adding a host of new features and improvements on existing features.
  • Text mode with better handling of large text inputs with
  • Multiple item selection with ','
  • Massive speed improvements, we can now have universes over 50k and still be blazing fast.
  • Faster start up time, regardless of number of plugins
  • Enhanced learning capabilities
  • Enhanced string matching on item searches
  • A beefed up results window with item count, and breadcrumb display.
  • Shelf is now optional (thank god right?)
  • A plugin updating mechanism
With all of these awesome new features, we need some help from you. WE NEED TESTERS!! Ubuntu (hardy and intrepid) packages can be found at https://launchpad.net/~do-core/+archive, and a source tarball is available as well. Please upgrade and let us know about any bugs you find! We love making do better, so any help from the community is appreciated and needed. Our bug tracker for core can be found here, and the plugin tracker for plugins, can be found here.

July 7, 2008

Wall-E: Unbearably Cute, Bitingly Ironic.

Gabby and I saw Wall-E last night. It was adorable, those little robots broke our hearts. Wastefulness is a huge issue right now, and I hope Wall-E's target audience, and more importantly their parents, pick up on the obvious anti-waste/anti-consumerist message. However, while I was trying to hold back the tears (robot love gets me every time), I couldn't help but feel the sting of irony. Wall-E takes place in a Dystopian future (some will disagree with that statement) where humans have been forced to evacuate Earth after its surface has been covered with trash, making the planet unsustainable. Could anyone else not help thinking about all of the plastic shit Disney is going to produce for this movie? So many Wall-E toys will be sold to kids in toy stores and happy meals, and so many Wall-E toys will make their way into landfills. Plastic production is nasty business, and making all of this non-recyclable garbage in non-sustainable factories is complete hypocrisy and an affront to this adorable crusader of an animated film. All I can say is I'm glad I'm not the parent of a young child, because I'm 20, and I can hardly stop myself from buying Wall-E toys.

June 13, 2008

Another radio interview with Gene

Tomorrow morning Lyz and I will be returning to Gene Mitchell's Computer Corner on WCOJ 1420AM. We're doing a follow up interview about improvements in Ubuntu 8.04, and some other stuff too I imagine. I really recommend tuning in on time (8am) because the theme song is AWESOME.

June 9, 2008

GNOME Do 0.5.0 Released!

The GNOME Do team is proud to release version 0.5! Biggest improvement? A preferences UI that makes installing and managing plugins very easy. There are a bunch of sweet new plugins too. I was going to write a nice long post about it, but David Siegel already did a really good job. Really nice work everyone, I'm really proud to work with this team and release such awesome free software.

June 7, 2008

Vote for my Brainstorm Idea

Vote for my idea (#9626) on Ubuntu brainstorm! I think all developers will agree with me on this one, how great would it be if launchpad had a way for your users to donate money to your project? It already allows them to donate time, code, and expertise. Three is a crowd, make it a party and add money to that list.

May 22, 2008

Vote for Do; best launcher!

Lifehacker is holding a "best launcher" showdown. GNOME Do is one of the contestants, if you like doing things quickly and with freedom, vote for Do. http://lifehacker.com/392569/best-application-launchers http://lifehacker.com/392569/best-application-launchers I've blogged about GNOME Do a few times before, so I'll spare you, but in case you're not sure what Do is, here's a quick list of the sick things Do can do. Launch programs, open web pages, send emails, send instant messages, manage windows, play music, add events to Google Calendar, what else? Whatever else you want..

May 14, 2008

Best Friends

I always do this, so here is the direct link for when the video doesn't get aggregated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JiJzqXxgxo

May 3, 2008

Ubuntu on NPR!

NPR had a small segment on Ubuntu, they interviewed Ubuntu member Tony Yarusso. It's a short interview, but worth a listen if you've got 5 minutes. It's great to see Ubuntu getting some bigger media exposure.

April 29, 2008

What is being sold to me here?

I was browsing Facebook today; as always taking note of the advertisments when I noticed this little gem. I'm not exactly sure what's being sold to me... Any guesses? Seriously!? So ok, let's take a closer look. I'm a student, I see that it's for getting my grades up, but I'm not sure the grades I'm trying to get up are academic. I think it's trying to help me get something else up. What are those little blue pills? I mean, I know what they look like, but I'm only 20 years old, and neither impotent nor a frat boy.

April 24, 2008

Brush it off, Obama

Sorry to the places that aggregate this blog and got no content. Here's the direct link.

April 17, 2008

America needs this

This is one of the best pieces of legislation I've seen in a while. Why can't we do something awesome like this in America? The American fashion industry really needs to step up and start not only protecting its models, but the millions of men and women who are affected by them.

April 4, 2008

Excitement! new Do plugins! Other stuff too!

This has been an exciting and busy week. I don't where it went but I cannot believe it's already Friday. Generally I live for the weekend, but I've been so productive this week that I almost don't want to take a break. I've spent most of my time this week working on my Google Calendar Do plugin. I'm really excited about it and actually put some of the polish on it right before beginning to write this blog post. The other project I've been putting a decent amount of, although considerably less, time into, is the Twitter plugin for Do. It's always bugged me that I had to remember my contacts names to reply to a tweet, so I added a modifier that would suck down Twitter's friends list and make it so replying to Tweets was hella easy. Very Do. I also cleaned up the code a little bit and made it more extensible if Jacob or I want to add more functionality to it at some point in the future. And of course, I've got a screenshot for you. Now, more exciting, and probably something a lot of people who use Do have been wanting for a while is the Google Calendar plugin. I will space you the gory details and simply give a short description, a link to the Wiki page (please expand if you can!), and of course, a screenshot. The GCalendar plugin lets you create an event, search your events, or browse through the events in a given calendar. It then lets you open them up in your browser so you can inspect or change any details you want to. Here's the Plugin wiki page. And a screenshot!! I don't have .dll's available yet, but if you want to please feel free to grab the code from launchpad. To pull the code, you just need to branch it from launchpad.
$ bzr branch http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~do-plugins/do/do-plugins
So what else has been going on? Not a whole lot. I recently signed up for netflix and LOVE it. Last night I watched Before Sunrise with my friends Hannah and Becky Miller. Was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to getting Before Sunset in the mail. Next to watch is Buffalo 66. This weekend is Evan's birthday BBQ. I think Hannah and I are going to head down for some grillin' and chillin' in scenic North Philly. I invited Dave Siegel, author of Do, and a fellow Philadelphian (sort of, he goes to Penn). I hope they both come, Evan usually throws a decent party. I've got class in the morning and need to get a decent night's sleep before another, I'm sure, short weekend.

April 1, 2008

Dear Lazyweb, Anyone familiar with GData?

Dear Lazyweb, I'm almost finished my Do Google Calendar plugin, but I'm having a very hard time getting a crucial piece of data out of the GData feed. After I've queried for an EventFeed, and have my list of events, how can I get the URL of the event, for opening in a browser, and a string of the date range? The URL of the event is essential, the date range would be nice, but I could live without it for the first release of the plugin. If anyone knows how to get this little piece of information out, I would be really thankful. If it helps, This plugin is being written in C#.

March 27, 2008

Vinagre VNC Do Plugin

I finished my first Do plugin tonight. It's a plugin for the Gnome Vinagre VNC client that allows quick connecting to VNC servers through Do and Vinagre. The cool part about it is that it will Parse your Vinagre bookmarks so that you can connect quickly (the Do way) to the hosts you commonly connect to anyway. So far it's come in handy for me since I do a lot of VNCing to peoples' computers to help them fix glitches. Here is the plugin wiki page, https://wiki.ubuntu.com/GnomeDo/Plugins/Vinagre. You can get the link to download, as well as usage and other goodies from there. If you're not using Do yet, you should really start. It's a life changing experience. Oh, and here is a screenshot.

March 19, 2008

A few words about my weekend

Getting punched in the face sucks. Thanks Hannah and Becky for bringing me to that party, and then reminding me to blog that I got punched; as if the broken nose and John McCain style lump on my face wasn't enough of a reminder. Next time I think I might just stay in Fennario and act like an intellectual With Mark and Dan. Oh, and I went to an honest to god toga party (not the party I got punched at). Talk about surreal experiences.

March 11, 2008

Using gmail as the default email on Ubuntu, done right!

If you're like me, you love gMail. If you could, you would marry it. I would anyway.. A big pet peeve of mine in Ubuntu has been when I click a mailto:// links, Evolution would open up instead of the system just somehow knowing that I use gMail and taking me there. As some of you know, I'm also in love with Gnome-Do, it's a messy love triangle but it's getting cleaner thanks to this script. This little hack allows you to use the built in Gnome-do Email function with gMail. I initially stole this from the How-to Geek, but it did not fit my needs exactly. I'm posting it here so that everyone can benefit from my changes. In its current state a la how-to geek, you need to decide if you want to open a new firefox window, or a tab, you cannot do both. I love tabs, and despise multiple instances of the same program running, however with How-to geek's method, if you don't have FF open, the script throws an error and will not open firefox and gMail for you. This script is my fix for that. For the complete how to, please head to http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubuntu/set-gmail-as-default-mail-client-in-ubuntu/. They've done a great job, and I don't see any point in duplicating their efforts, so use their howto, but substitute my script for theirs.
 #!/bin/bash  function gmailinFF  {    firefox -remote "openurl(https://mail.google.com/mail?view=cm&tf=0&to=`echo $1 | sed 's/mailto://'`,new-tab)"  } RUNNING=`ps -e |grep firefox`  if [ -z RUNNING ]  then    firefox &    sleep 2    gmailinFF $1  else    gmailinFF $1  fi
C'est tout! I hope this helps someone..

March 10, 2008

Enabling Composite with Metacity in Ubuntu 8.04

One of the more exciting changes (for those of us who like eye candy and freedom) in Metacity 2.22 is the ability to use Metacity as a composite manager. This means that you can use cool stuff like Avant Window Navigator, or see the pretty version of Gnome-Do without running something like Compiz-Fusion. This is particularly exciting for me, because the compositing in metacity does not rely on GL extensions in graphics drivers. I personally value freedom over shine, so I have chosen to use the free radeon drivers vs. the proprietary fglrx ones that include AIGLX support. I know that on some cards the radeon driver supports AIGLX (better than fglrx does too), but my card is a goofy one, the Mobility Radeon x200m, and the radeon driver does not support 3d on my card. Here is how to enable metacity to run as the composite manager for your gnome desktop. I'm doing this on Ubuntu 8.04 (flock 6).
alex@hardy-test:~$ gconf-editor
In gconf-editor, go to apps > metacity > general and check "compositing_manager." C'est tout! You now have a composited desktop, without running Compiz! Enjoy, mes amis!

March 4, 2008

Breaking up is hard to do

Breaking up is a bitch. Gabby and I were together for almost 3 years and have been on and off since October. It's now officially over. I'm trying to remove the evidence from my room, but it's everywhere. Every photograph, and piece of her crap I unpin from my walls, or pick up off the floor is like breaking up all over again.

February 18, 2008

f(x)/Prague Rokk show Satuday Feb 23!!

Despite being rather down the past few weeks some very exciting things are happening in the near future. Next Saturday, in Burham, PA, f(x) has our first show in I don't know how long. It's been quite a while. We've been practicing and the old songs are tight and we've got some new ones for the kids upstate. We are super stoked to be playing again after a long hiatus. Unfortunately with Derek away at Penn State University, and me at Temple in Philly, we haven't been able to practice or play shows, luckily for us though last time we played in central PA, the kids dug it and want us to play their cancer benefit show or something like that. It's going to be a lot of fun. Even more exciting is that our best friend band Shinke are also booked! Shinke are pretty much the best band since Six Foot Smurf. If you live in or around State College, Lewistown, or Burham, come check out the show. It starts at 2pm at the Burham Lion's club 1st Ave Burnham, Pennsylvania 17009 US The show costs $5, but that's for 10 bands and some (all?) of the proceeds benefit the Lewistown Area High School Art Club's trip to Europe. Support Art Education and local music by coming out to this awesome show. We are playing 5th, and Shinke are playing 8th, so if 2 is a little bit too early, you can still come and see us! We're expecting to be going on around 5 and Shinke around 8. KIDS FROM PHILLY! Drive up!! We will partying like crazy after the show, I know there are already a few cars of kids driving up so ask your friends maybe you can bum a ride, or start your own caravan.
Which member of Six Foot Smurf are you?
You're Ben! You play bass and think people are goofs! Take this quiz! Quizilla | Join | Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

February 4, 2008

A sad day for Cyclists everywhere :(

There isn't a cyclist today who hasn't at some point in his or her cycling career ran into the encylopedia of cycling and bicycle knowledge that is www.sheldonbrown.com. Sheldon Brown was on of the cycling communities most enthusiastic and knowledgeable members. The other night, our dear friend Sheldon passed away by means of a heart attack. He leaves behind a wife, two children, and an entire community of cyclists. My own relationship was Sheldon was rather small, we had emailed back and fourth a few times starting when I was restoring a 1970s Peugeot UO-8 and needed to find some french threaded parts that are hard to find, and more recently when I was fixing a Specialized M2 Comp. that was given to me. It had an incredibly stuck seat post, and Sheldon gave me advice to try to dissolve the chemical corrosion between the seat post and tube. Despite his godlike status in the cycling commutity (or at least in my own eyes, I have an affection for eccentric old men, as well as cyclists), Sheldon was always prompt in his replies and seemed to actually care whether or not my issue got solved. It felt good to have someone to ask who wouldn't harass you for asking a dumb question. Sheldon is going to be deeply missed :( R.I.P. -- Sheldon Brown, 1944-2008.

January 17, 2008

Collegeville Deli II: An Apology

Since July of 2007, I have been in a constant state of anguish over the loss of my beloved, Planet Hoagie. Planet Hoagie was home to my favourite food on planet Earth. The Tuna Inferno. A Planet Hoagie tuna hoagie could bring me out of the deepest depression, but on July 6th, 2007, its heavenly taste sensation was mercilessly torn from my salivating jaws and replaced with Collegeville Deli II. Some of my readers may remember this day as the day the sun set and never rose again, but alas my friends! Raise your heads and wipe the tears from your eyes, I'm happy to say that after 5 long months, it's finally dawn. About a week ago I decided I might give 'the usurpers' a second chance, they are after all the most convenient place to get lunch around my office in Frazer. Luckily for them, and me, they passed the test. I did not, die, vomit, burst into flames, or develop a slack-jaw. However, please do not confuse this acceptance as a treatise of equality, quite the opposite. Collegeville are not, and will not, ever be a replacement for Planet Hoagie. Collegeville's tuna is premixed and over mayonaissed, but their hot sandwiches are divine. What Planet Hoagie was to the Tuna Inferno, Collegeville Deli II is to the meatball and roast pork sandwich. It's so damn good. I actually have a meatball sub sitting in front of me half eaten right now. In conclusion, Collegeville Deli, I'd like to apologize. I was young, brash, and upset. I hope we can move past this and into a long, hot, and saucy relationship. Bon appetit mes amis!

January 7, 2008

Twittering: and it's not because of too much coke!

Today I discovered Twitter (www.twitter.com). I know twitter isn't new, I've been reading about it, and seeing blog posts, but never got around to checking it out until today. I love it! I've been hyping it up to my friends with mixed responses. Gabby in particular thinks it's really lame, but her dad and her friends think it's cool, so I'm sure she'll succumb once it takes off in our group of friends. It's an awesome concept and a great way to keep in touch with friends. I'm envisioning seeing that my friend who I don't talk to much is having a party, he twitters it, I see it, and catch up with an old friend thanks to twitter. The trick is getting my friends into it! Does anyone have any tips on selling your friends on MORE web2.0 bs? The facebook app is a pretty nice touch, my friends are addicted to facebook so maybe that's the way to their hearts bookmarks. If anyone has any ideas, or already uses twitter let me know. I'm lamalex_ over there.

January 4, 2008

2-Mile Challenge

It’s now 2008, people, we’re running out of time. Bike riding is fun, and healthy. I personally challenge anyone who happens across this blog to the Clif bar 2-mile challenge. 2 miles is literally a 10 minute ride, and that’s not even if you’re gunning it. Ride to work, to the store, friends’ houses. If it’s close, ride. I know it’s winter and it’s cold, bundle up! Gloves, scarves, face bandannas! You’ll soon find that a cold weather ride can be really enjoyable if you’re properly dressed and have the right attitude. So here’s the 2-mile challenge, if any of you decide to take it I’d love if you’d post how you’re feeling about it. And I just realized that in syndication the embed doesn't follow, so here's a link to the youtube video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz3zMzVdlX8

January 3, 2008

New Home!

So this is my new home over at blogger. I must say I like it already. I'm a big fan of google's tools (reader, gmail, gdocs, igoogle). Love it all. I've just moved from wordpress, which I'm sure would be awesome if I wanted to host my blog on my own server, but I don't, so I'm switching to blogger. My old blog was at http://lamalex.wordpress.com. Should I move my posts here? I'm undecided about that one. Any suggestions? Is that a faux pas of blogging?