Saturday, 25 April 2009

How to install Miro in Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope 9.04

After installing 9.04 I began reinstalling all of my programs only to find that many of them don't have official support for the new version and are a pig to setup!

Before installing Miro I had a hunt round on the internet to see whether it was compatible or not. A quick google search only turned up bug reports saying that Miro constantly crashes in 9.04 and sometimes even takes X11 with it! I decided to give it a wide berth until a version for 9.04 exists.

However all is not lost. As with just about any Linux problem there is a workaround and you can retrieve all your feeds!

If you are installing Miro from a fresh copy of Jaunty then all you need to do is go into synaptic search for Miro and install it.

For people upgrading from 8.10 where Miro was already installed then during the upgrade process it will have uninstalled itself. However it wasn't a clean uninstall and the files left behind cause problems when reinstalling.

So the workaround is:

1. Launch Synaptic and search for Miro
2. Remove the package called "Miro-data"

3. Reinstall Miro-data followed by Miro
4. Open Miro and go through the first start wizard, if your feeds haven't appeared by magic continue to the next step.
5. Open your Home directory
6. View hidden files and folders
7. Find folder called .Miro
8. Click on any of the log files (the one with out the number is the most recent)
9. Look for the feed URLs
10. Copy and paste them one at a time into Miro through the "Add Download" dialogue
11. Enjoy all your feeds again!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

I think we're gonna need a bigger alphabet

So with all the plans I've just gone through I've run out of letters! I'm writing this from my iPod Touch!

OS X appeared to install correctly until I tried to boot it! In verbose mode it told me it was waiting for root device. So after trying a number of boot commands I found a site which suggested bypassing Apple's bootloader and loading OS X from GRUB. Fine I thought I'll just boot up ubuntu and edit the grub menu file. Only to find grub gives me error 17! (can't find the disk).

Ok so not too bad. I saved a copy of my grub file before I started changing things. I'll just boot from the ubuntu live cd and replace the current grub file with the old one. Except you can't write to root owned drives in a live cd.

So back to plan "A" from 3 posts ago! I've just finished making a large partition that I'm going to backup my home directory to. Then I'm going to do a fresh install of 8.10 upgrade to 9.04 (which was released today) and live happily ever after.

So cross your fingers for me will ya?

update: Just had a thought! Mac OS X only needs 5GB of space to install on! I just happen to have a (very) old 13GB (yes I said 13) drive lying around! So next time I install OS X I'll reduce my ubuntu partition make a seperate partition for my home directory formatted to fat32 so that all 3 OSes can use it. Leave the fat32 partition on my vista hard drive and use it as a backup. Install OS X on the 13GB drive and point them all to the 1st fat32 partition to use as home/my documents/whatever the mac equivalent is!

Sorted, once I can fix my current installations!

update 2: OK Vista's still working and Ubuntu 8.10 is working just waiting for it to finish updating 564 packages and then I'll update to 9.04 (mmm cutting edge!)

Totally agnostic!

So I'd love to get into developing, especially for the iPhone platform as I've heard that its easy, fun and a great way to make a bit of money (if you make a successful app). I've got an idea of the app I want to make and I'm all ready to download the SDK (even prepared to run it in Vista to make it work!) when I find out that it's OS X only!

Great! So as is often the case with my technological ventures... on to plan B (Yes another one!) I'm going to run OS X on my PC.

Now before I go any further this breaks the EULA. Apple clearly states that Mac OS X can only legally be run on an Apple machine (and no sticking a sticker on it doesn't count, although I'm going to anyway). The other thing is DO NOT PIRATE MAC OS X I have downloaded a full OS X iso designed to run on PCs BUT I have also bought a copy of OS X off of Apple so that I will still technically be running code I have paid for. (Admittedly I got student discount!)

My 1st problem, as anyone whose seen my system specs floating around in forums will know, is that I've got an AMD processor. Thankfully after a little searching I've found that it isn't the problem it used to be.

For the installation I've utillized the free space on my Vista hard drive (meaning if I screw everything up GRUB and Ubuntu will still be intact to remidy the situation) formatting it to Fat32 which will get formatted to HFS(+?) by the Mac installer. None of my other drives are formatted to Fat32 so theres no possibility of me getting the drive wrong.

So I'm about to do the installation and I'll update again from either OS X, Ubuntu (if everything goes wrong) or my EEE PC (if I totally screw up!)

See you on the other side!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Well Plan "A" was ditched

So I'm blogging from... Duh Duh Duuuuh... Ubuntu 8.04!

Why? Well for one thing I don't really want to do a fresh install if I can help it as I've only just got ubuntu the way I want it. The second thing is that I've fixed my wireless... Kinda?!?

The wireless card in my box (Netgear WG311Tv1) doesn't play nice with my ubuntu (YMMV). I happen to have a ton of netgear stuff hanging around my room including a WGPS606 wireless printer server with 4 lan ports on the back! The damn thing is designed to be a wireless hubby thing that you attach all your ethernet and (in the case of a printer) USB cables to so that they sit on your wireless network happy as larry!

So after trying to install the Windows drivers with ndiswrapper and making it so that ubuntu can no longer see my internal wireless card I dug out a ethernet cable and my printer server. Turns out I also solved the problem of getting the damn thing to connect to my wifi and act as a printer server in the 1st place because the default IP of the printserver was way outside that of my network!

So I'm happy, Munkey's happy and ubuntu's happy :-)

Friday, 17 April 2009

Spring Clean

It's that time of year! Time for my desktop to get a spring clean. I'm going to upgrade to ubuntu 8.10!

There are a couple of reasons for this:
1. WiFi (Again)
Despite Vista, my iPod, my EEE PC, my brother's EEE PC and Desktop all showing very good signal on my Wireless network Ubuntu insists that the signal is very poor. Even to the point where it is dropping out and asking for my WPA passcode every 30 seconds!

2. Well there is no 2 but the WiFi is the thing which has finally forced me to upgrade.

So next post should be from 8.10 see you soon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Back on the Linux bandwagon

Come on... OS X mobile is based on OS X and that's got Unix roots same as Linux! Too tenuous? OK then back to more Linux related stuff.

First up is the media player which may allow me to ditch Vista! Songbird has been developed by the Mozilla Foundation and is set to do for the same thing for music players that firefox did for browsers.
No points for guessing where the inspiration for the GUI came from

The software looks uncannily like iTunes and has full support for importing iTunes libraries. The Linux version didn't recognise my iTunes library from my Vista hard drive but does recognise and play all the songs from that location :-)

Obviously there isn't any support for encrypted AAC files but with iTunes going DRM free this isn't a problem anymore.

One thing that firefox is famous for is addons and songbird is no exception. Indeed the coverflow style interface in the screenshot above is an addon named media flow. One of the most useful addons from my point of view enables intergration with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

My second favorite addon is Media players for Linux often have support for "scrobbling" which is the process by which people on can see what sort of music you are listening to. Very few media players on Linux have support for streaming which is really wierd as the API is available for developers to use. Songbird is one player which does allow full streaming of and even allows loving, banning and favoriting of tracks!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

The Challenge

So the sun is shining outside and I'm damned if I'm going to spend the day indoors on my computer. So the challenge is to do all the stuff I would normally use my ubuntu box for on my considerably more portable iPod touch without spending any money.
1st challenge was obviously to write this post. While the blogger interface is great for posting from a desktop it's only just useable on the iPod touch. So first things first... Find a blogger iPhone app that will allow me to add to this post.
Right... OK... Turns out there is no fully featured blogger app which
will allow me to post photos. BlogPress promises all the features I'd ever need but the plan was not to spend any money. LifeCast is free and pretty much fully featured but only supports the 2.2.1 firmware and in order to upgrade I'd need a PC. Blogwriter Lite is free and runs on my firmware and while the interface is easy to use and will allow me to add new posts it won't allow me to edit old ones or post photos.

So in the end I've plumped for, drum roll please,

Yep. The easiest way for me to add a blogger post is by email. The
only to update a blogspot blog with pictures for free is through

At this point I'm considering trying to move to a wordpress blog if
google doesn't get it's finger out.

Next challenge... Watch the latest madness combat video! Should be

Yep was easy thanks to some kind sole uploading it to YouTube. The lack of flash on Mobile OS X based devices is still a HUGE issue. Next up is podcasting.

Ordinarilly you'd download podcasts from iTunes. Anyone whose read some of my previous posts know I hate iTunes. As a result I already have this solution on my iPod. MobileCast is a great jailbroken app which allows you to subscribe to podcasts and download new episodes OTA. The current release is a little buggy (a bit like the keyboard on this iPod which is currently about 6 letters behind my acctual typing speed) and the play buttons are really unresponsive meaning you have to prod it 6-7 times before it registers! However combined with Backgrounder (a jailbroken app which allows apps to run in the background) means I can write the post and listen to the Engadget Mobile podcast at the same time!

So overall in a pinch I could use just MY iPod Touch for a day. I've emphasised "my" because my iPod is jailbroken and tweaked to my needs. MobileCast for example is a jailbroken app and I couldn't use my iPod without copy and paste (provided by clippy) and as far as the actual UI goes SBSettings is a god send giving me an Android notifications style menu giving me access to things like wifi toggles without having to open the hugely bloated settings app.

Many of these things Apple should have included from the off and a lot of these gripes are fixed by firmware 3.0 but I'm not going to spend £10 (source:,39029453,49301583,00.htm) for functionallity I can get by jailbreaking, FOR FREE!