ACT1 Database

Wading through 2987 ACT! Birmingham records :-(

Its my Birthday too!

Yep its my Birthday too, on Monday the 21 of September I shall have been making my mark on this planet for 48 years which makes me old enough to be Jono Bacon’s dad Laughing
Seeing as others pimp their wish list I thought I’d sling mine out on the Internet too:

Dell Mini 10 (#2)

Hooray! We have GUI. I installed GDM and LXDE now works? I did have a GTK icon theme error but it works.

Outstanding problems

  • Keyboard reset to US (This will probably be something to do with policykit).
  • Locales up the creek as per usual “Falling back to default”.
  • Still no WIFI (Need to install the broadcom-wl apparently).
  • Wicd horribly broken (Dunno will need to have a look).

Still to be done

  • Camera
  • USB (Do they work? Will they mount?)
  • SD slot
  • Function keys

Need some answers

  • Should I install laptop-tools?
  • What else is there that would be good specifically for this machine?

Dell Mini 10 (#1)

Dell Mini BlueI’ve owned a Dell Mini 10 for about two weeks now it came pre-installed with Ubuntu which was OK and worked fine but was just not my cup of tea.

I ran the Chakra Live to see what it looked like on the Dell and also to find out what was not working and would need tweaking. As I suspected WIFI was not working wicd reported that no wireless network points could be found which was clearly a fib, smearing the blood of a virgin chicken had little effect either and obviously some stronger Voodoo was going to be required. Now I’ve used Arch for about two years and have a rough idea of what I’m doing so downloaded the USB image and went ahead and installed the base system, by the way glad to see the default IP has been changed to ‘dhcp’ why it was never that in the first place is beyond me.

I set up sound and installed Xorg along with LXDE, Wireless is not sorted yet. X works doing startx brings up the basic xterm however doing exec startlxde fails? To be honest I’ve been doing most of this at the wrong times generally when I only have 30 minutes to an hour spare which is nowhere near enough time. I now need to trawl through the logs to find out whats going on so for the minute I’m stuck with a CLI interface.

If anyone else owns a Dell Mini 10 feel free to get in touch and pass on any wisdom you have, the Wiki page for the Dell Mini 10v is a bit sparse information wise.

Hope that helps

Updating was up the creek for me over the past couple of days, I’m not 100% sure what was wrong it seemed to take anything from 20 minutes to an hour just to sync let alone update. I hopped over to the Arch Forum half expecting some sort of message “Sorry folks pacman has got swine flu” but did not see anything that jumped out at me so did a few searches.

I ran across this post; pacman -Syu error thinking maybe this was my problem I read on, unfortunately it was nothing of the sort it turned out that a new user to Arch Linux had got himself into a bit of a mess with regards his mirrorlist seeking help he was, in a nutshell, told to “Go away and use something else and come back when you’ve learnt more” I’ll be honest, it made my blood boil!

I posted a step by step walk-through which so far has seemed to raise a few hackles which is sort of funny if you think about it apparently helping someone with a problem on forum that is there to, um help, is a bad thing? Hoarding knowledge so as to disenfranchise potential converts is a good thing? Oh and the icing on the cake pat them on the head and suggest another distro! This reminded me of I post I read recently New User Retention.

Here’s a pledge: If you want to know how to do something and I know how, ask me and I’ll tell you, I’ll even work with you to sort it.

What a nice group

I was minding my own business yesterday on a number of IRC channels when I was pinged by a member of the Arch Mobile team. Apparently they had come across my post regarding installing Arch on the Nokia N810, panicking that I’d written something wrong I hopped over to #arch-arm where I came across a very friendly group of people.

After a few questions about my seriousness of installing Arch on my N810 the main protagonist threw me curve ball which took me by surprise “How’d you fancy being a Dev?” Now I keep telling everyone who will listen I don’t code and I’ve never written a program. This did not seem to phase them;

welcomeCan you configure X?

Er yeah I have done on the odd occasion.

Can you use /make /make install etc?

Yeah with varying levels of success.

Then you should not have any problems and we can help you with packaging

I was totally shocked, surely these people are not Open Source developers? Where’s the grouchiness? Where’s the put down line? Where’s the wall of silence? No what I found was some friendly people who went out of ‘their’ way to track down a nobody who had shown some interest in their project.

If you’re what I’d call a proper developer and fancy helping these people out or would like to get involved then hop over to or #arch-arm

As soon as I buy a bigger Micro SD card I will definately have a go at installing then hopefully I will feel less of a fraud and take them up on their offer.

Midori. Feel the love

I spent a some time customising Midori which I have installed on my Arch laptop, not only is the speed of this browser awesome but its jam packed with time saving features.

Under ‘Tools’ you will notice a menu entry ‘Manage Search Engines’ here you can add custom search criteria, “whats the point?” I’ll tell you, you set whats called tokens then add the URL so for example lets say you want to add the Arch Linux wiki you add the following URL:

I then added the token: aw

This (For me) stands for Arch Wiki then all I now need to do in the browser address bar is type: aw xorg and Midori brings up the Xorg page on the wiki which is a heck of a lot faster than typing in then typing my search criteria.

I currently have;

  • g = Google
  • wp = WikiPedia
  • fd = The free dictionary
  • aw = Arch Linux wiki

As I fathom out more I will write some updates.

Midori Web Browser

I wouldn’t say my hardware is exactly poor but its not cutting edge up to date either so over the years I’ve evolved towards low foot print applications and services for most of my systems.

With this in mind I use slim and LXDE on my ArchLinux Laptop, the other day I heard about Midori which came out as the fastest browser around at the minute. At work I have an openSUSE box so thought I would give it a try on there, oh whoa is me, its installed but refuses to run complaining;

sales@linux-du10:~> midori
** (midori:19553): CRITICAL **: katze_array_get_nth_item: assertion`KATZE_IS_ARRAY (array)' failed
(midori:19553): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion`G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
** (midori:19553): CRITICAL **: katze_array_get_nth_item: assertion`KATZE_IS_ARRAY (array)' failed
(midori:19553): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion`G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
** (midori:19553): CRITICAL **: katze_array_get_nth_item: assertion`KATZE_IS_ARRAY (array)' failed
(midori:19553): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion`G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
** (midori:19553): CRITICAL **: katze_array_get_nth_item: assertion`KATZE_IS_ARRAY (array)' failed
(midori:19553): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion`G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
** (midori:19553): CRITICAL **: katze_array_get_nth_item: assertion`KATZE_IS_ARRAY (array)' failed
(midori:19553): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion`G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
midori: symbol lookup error: midori: undefined symbol: soup_session_get_feature

So I had a little moan on my local mailing list whereby everyone came back with "Works fine on Ubuntu" yeah cheers great help.
Anyway I gave it a try on my Arch system and its perfect, the speed is 10x faster than Firefox the only thing I miss is Foxmarks.

Public Flogging

floggingI goofed, yep I goofed up big time I thought it strange that nobody had signed up for for a few days then I received an email this morning basically telling me that the registration process was broken! “Rubbish I tested it myself” so off I trotted to the website and sure enough you could fill out all your details but when you answered the incredibly hard maths sum authentication it just went in a loop!

“Hm whats wrong there then?” I had a quick look in the back-end but nothing obvious stood out so hopped on the Forum where I got the login module from. “Aha I wonder if that’s the problem” Yep sure enough I had disabled the ‘Show in front end’ in the configuration file.

I have now been publicly flogged which is funny really as I normally have to pay for that sort of service. :-)

Drop Box Fail

Dropbox logoI’ve been doing a fair bit of stuff at work that I also need to work on at home, usually I copy to a USB drive and transfer files that way but thought I would take another look at DropBox.

Given the current hype with cloud computing, or at least my idea of cloud computing this fits in well, its a synchronisation application that lets you transfer files from one machine to another (Or multiple machines) the only downside is your data is on the DropBox server so for the paranoid its probably not ideal.

Going off on a tangent, a couple of years ago I was involved with the iFolder Project by Novell this was prior to its current revamp under Kablink basically its the same principle except you can host the ‘Server’ yourself so long as you have access to the Internet with that machine there is nothing stopping you syncing folders pretty much anywhere in the world.

Any way I don’t keep my machines at home switched on 24/7 so this is not an option for me hence the DropBox. I’m not the head of a multi national organisation or a bank so most of the stuff I sync is pretty inert (“Inert? yeah wouldn’t ert a fly”) I run a few different machines Arch Linux obviously but also openSUSE and (Waits for spam hate mail) Windows XP Pro. As you can imagine the XP installs of DropBox was fine also the openSUSE install was pretty painless unfortunately Arch Linux is another story.

Now dear reader my system is KDE-Mod which to be honest should not have made a difference so I went ahead and did $: yaourt nautilus-dropbox of course the clue was in the Nautilus bit but hey who concentrates when they are excited? No errors was reported so in theory we should be good to go?

Oh no we aren’t, OK lets hop over to the wiki and see whats what. Ah so I should have done the manual install “Without Nautilus” OK I’ll have a go at that. Now I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong should I have done all this as Root? I can see the three folders they are talking about but the ‘test’ script refuses to work. :-(

For the minute I’m just logging on to my DropBox account via Firefox and doing the old “Drag-n-drop” routine I suppose I’ll have to lift the hood up and have a rummage around to try and fix it or at least clean up the part installs spewed over my system.