Currently viewing entries from 2007

Odd Updates Today

Today I aptitude updated-ed my Etch system and found an unusual assortment of updated packages. In addition to a new security-fix kernel (2.6.18.dfsg.1-13etch6), Google, Opera, and Adobe (via Debian Multimedia) have all released updates to their applications. I’ll address each individually:

Google Desktop for Linux, 1.1.1.0075 (release notes): the biggest update here is that GDL now works on 64-bit platforms, but there should also be some stability bugfixes included. I am personally looking forward to a fix for firefox’s GDL plugin crashing the browser randomly.

Adobe Acrobat, 8.1.1-0.5: Adobe doesn’t seem to post release notes, bugfixes, etc, and I have had no problems with Acrobat as of yet. Plus I don’t want to open a terminal and re-syslink plugins again. I won’t be upgrading.

Opera, 9.25-: Hopefully, for Opera users, this fixes that nasty Flash bug (the one where Flash doesn’t work at all) . Easy package upgrade, even though I don’t use Opera anymore.

Firefox for Debian

When a Debian GNU/Linux user gets tired of the few (but irritating) IceWeasel problems, or simply prefers the latest and greatest from Mozilla, he or she may wish to install the official Mozilla Firefox build. But it can be a daunting task. Debian systems are equipped to handle DEB packages so easily, sometimes Debian users and administrators forget (or never really learn) how to install an application any other way.

Fear not, fellow Debian users, I have forged the path and will now share with you my journey (it was actually pretty easy). Now, notice that I have chosen to install both Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, and that I have installed them in my home directory, so that they are only accessible to me, and not to the rest of my system. This is important if you wish to allow Firefox and Thunderbird to update themselves.

  1. Open a terminal. Konsole, Xterm, whatever. The rest of these things will be done from inside it.
  2. cd ~;mkdir mozilla
  3. wget http://ftp-mozilla.netscape.com/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/latest/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-2.0.0.11.tar.gz; wget http://ftp-mozilla.netscape.com/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/releases/latest/linux-i686/en-US/thunderbird-2.0.0.6.tar.gz
  4. tar zxf firefox*tar.gz; tar zxf thunderbird*tar.gz
  5. cd ~;mkdir bin;cd bin you may not need to do 5 or 6 if you already have a user-level bin. If you don’t know, then you probably don’t.
  6. ln -s ~/mozilla/firefox/firefox firefox; ln -s ~/mozilla/thunderbird/thunderbird thunderbird This will create links in your binary directory to firefox and thunderbird, making it easier to run each application.
  7. Using the KDE Control Center or the GNOME equivalent, you’ll probably want to change your default web browser and mail client to your newly-created firefox and thunderbird shortcuts. Here are a firefox.desktop file and a thunderbird.desktop file.
  8. Now you will want to get your browser to use all of the typical plugins. My list includes: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Java, Mplayer, and Google Desktop Search
  9. Using the debian-multimedia repository, apt-get install sun-java5-plugin mozilla-mplayer mozilla-acroread.
  10. Once they have installed, you will need to copy them into your own ~/.mozilla directory. A quick cp /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/* ~/.mozilla/plugins/ should do it.
  11. If you wish to use the Google Desktop plugin, make sure that GDS is already installed and run ln -s /opt/google/desktop/plugin/firefox/ ~/.mozilla/firefox/*default/extensions/desktop@google.com; ln -s /opt/google/desktop/plugin/thunderbird/ ~/.thunderbird/*default/extensions/desktop@google.com The first of these creates the link for the Firefox plugin, the second does the same for Thunderbird.
  12. The last plugin is Flash. If you want Flash, you’ll need to download and install it from the Adobe Download Center. Install as instructed by Adobe.

Well there you have it. Mozilla Firefox, complete with Mozilla Updater, Talkback, and all of the major plugins. Extensions for both Firefox and Thunderbird can of course be installed and removed via the respective application’s GUI.

Doom on your iPod

Wow, I just found the Rockbox project. Apparently I am joining the party pretty late? My iPod Mini (2g) is fully supported. My wife’s iPod Touch isn’t, but she would kill me if I tried to install something that wasn’t Apple-branded it, anyway.

The RockBox project adds more than just games, it adds functionality. I can now play back OGG files, not just MP3 and AAC. There is also a neat battery benchmark test, hard drive tidy-er, and a JPEG viewer. Of course, the JPEGs are black and white, but it is useful, nonetheless.

More iPod news: iFixit.com sells not only the original 400 mAh iPod mini battery, but also a longer-lasting 600 mAh iPod mini battery. Both go for $15 and the web site has great instructions on how to repair your iPod yourself. Again, not new, but new to me.

New Opera Tabs from KDE Applications

kde-browser-config-snap.pngI use Opera, and I use Kontact, Kopete, and the many other KDE applications. So Opera is sort-of the sore thumb in the mix. But it can integrate with the KDE Desktop almost as well as Konqueror itself, plus it renders more quickly and handles javascripts better (in my experience).

But I had one very annoying problem until today: After setting KDE Component Chooser to use /usr/bin/opera as the web browser, opening new links would replace the current tab. That is not a big deal, until the user wants to open a few different stores from aKgregator, and each URI open sin the previous stories’ page.

But the fix is simple enough (though not in the man page, it is in opera –help). Instead of mucking around with the remote flag, just use the newpage flag itself. THe complete command (as shown in the screen capture) should be /usr/bin/opera -newpage

Opera for Linux seems to have a few more small quirks about it, and I hope to document their cures as time passes.