Month: June 2011

Software to Try: Cloudsn

I had an issue earlier this week where I become engrossed in my task at hand and did not check my email for about 45 minutes.  Well, someone promised me in a meeting in 15 minutes, and I didn’t see the email until 30 minutes after the meeting.

So, I began searching for a notification tool that would pop up my emails.  For some reason, the HTML 5 pop ups that GMail offers aren’t consistent enough.  Here comes Cloudsn to the rescue.

Here’s my story implementing Cloudsn:

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NetFlix on Linux? Thank you Chrome?

Okay, it hasn’t happened yet, but this article sounds promising.  I think the Chrome OS has put its first mark of influence on the world.  From what I read, there is a push to get Netflix working ChromeOS.  As a by product, it should allow it to work on Ubuntu or any Linux running the Chrome browser.

OMG!Ubuntu! Netflix Chrome plugin will bring on-demand video to Linux

The Chrome Source: Netflix Plug-in for Chrome and Chrome OS is on the Way

From Netflix:

HTML5 and Video Streaming

Update: I see people asking, but still nothing to report: Google Groups: Chrome OS Netflix Plugin release date

DriConf, Can you fix me?

This post is an attempt to fix at least the second of the issues on my previous post:

Ubuntu Screen Woes

I noticed that one of the comments suggested using DriConf to fix the problem.  Here is the comment:

I have tried installing driconf and turned synchronization with vertical refresh off completely. I havn’t seen this issue since.

Does anyone have similar experiences?

And, here is what I tried:

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Ubuntu Screen Woes

I have been noticing several problems with my graphics driver or screen in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.  Here’s to hoping someone can add some comments that help.

Dual Screen Problems

At work, I have a second monitor for my laptop.  If I plug the monitor in before I turn on the computer, everything works fine.  I can even unplug the monitor, run to lunch, and plug it back in.  Now, Ubuntu recognizes the monitor plugging and automatically switches between single screen and dual screen.

The problem is when I plug the monitor in after I have booted, it doesn’t work.  The second screen displays like normal.  The bar displays on the top, but the desktop area of the screen is black.  I can drag a window to the other screen, but I can’t see the window.  I can see the mouse though.  It’s not life threatening but very annoying and weird.

Lock Up Issues

I have turned my power settings to not put my computer to sleep when I close the lid.  I just have it blank the screen.  That way I can close it to move to another desk or room without having to wait for it to suspend.

A couple of times, I noticed that the screen quits responding.  I can move the mouse, and the computer seems fine, but nothing responds.  I can’t click on any of the windows, nothings seems to respond to the keyboard, and the indicators by the clock don’t work.

I have finally noticed that it seems to be when I leave the lid closed for a period of time.  Reading the bug post, I think it is after 10 minutes.  So, I can close it to move between rooms but not to drive to work.

Again, just annoying.

Here are two bug reports that seem related:

Bug #728101:  [gm45] Closing laptop lid causes screen to freeze

Bug #762918: Natty Screensaver freezes system after some period of inactivity

Great Link: Desktop Interface Vote

If you haven’t already, go vote on your Desktop Interface —

Pourquoi pas !!: Unity or not Unity ?

At the time of this writing, Unity was winning by a narrow margin.  Here are the results so far, but go vote, and check out the changes:

Desktop Interface Survey

In my opinion, I like the ideas behind Unity.  I am young, and I like new ideas and new features.  As has been said many times, Unity is a bold move on Canonical’s part.  Probably without that risk, that survey wouldn’t have %48 for Unity users, and we wouldn’t have all the feedback from those users who have tried to make it work.  The big thing to watch is whether or not Ubuntu can iron out all of the issues in the next version or two.

Adding the Google +1 to Garland Theme in WordPress

Today, I came across a suggestion on Google AdSense to add the Google +1 Widget to my posts on my website.  Here’s what the notification looked like:

If you want a short description on what the +1 button does, you can watch this short video from the +1 Website:

So, here’s how I made it work in my theme (I am using Garland Revisited). First, I added the javascript link at the bottom of my header.php file.  Here’s the code I added:

<!-- begin Google +1 button -->
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<!-- end Google +1 button -->

So, here’s what the bottom of my header.php looks like (wp-content/themes/garland-revisited/header.php):

</div> <!-- /header -->
<?php get_sidebar(); ?>
<div id="center"><div id="squeeze"><div class="right-corner"><div class="left-corner">
<!-- begin Google Adsense -->
....(Adsense code removed)
<!-- end Google Adsense -->
<!-- begin Google +1 button -->
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<!-- end Google +1 button -->
<!-- begin content -->
<div class="node">

Next, I added the button to the home page. This is the line of code that i added to index.php:

<div style='float:right'><g:plusone href="<?php echo get_permalink() ?>"></g:plusone></div>

Update: I added the href=”<?php echo get_permalink() ?>” code for the index.php.  Without that, the user would be indicating a plus one for the home page rather than the article that the button is next to.

So, here’s what the top of my index.php looks like (wp-content/themes/garland-revisited/index.php):

<?php get_header(); ?>
<?php is_tag(); ?>
<?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<div <?php post_class(); ?>>
<div style='float:right'><g:plusone></g:plusone></div>
<h2><a href="<?php echo get_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>
<span class="submitted"><?php the_time(get_option('date_format')) ?> &#8212; <?php the_author() ?> <?php edit_post_link(__('Edit'), ' | ', ''); ?></span>
<div class="content">
<?php if (  (function_exists('has_post_thumbnail')) && (has_post_thumbnail())  ) {
	the_post_thumbnail(array( 75,75 ), array( 'class' => 'alignleft' ));

Now, that only affects the home page. If you go into one of the posts, you won’t see the button. To fix that, we need to add it to single.php. And, here’s what the top of my single.php looks like (wp-content/themes/garland-revisited/single.php):

<?php get_header(); ?>
<?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<div <?php post_class(); ?>>
<div style='float:right'><g:plusone></g:plusone></div>
<h2><?php the_title(); ?></h2>
<span class="submitted"><?php the_time(get_option('date_format')) ?> &#8212; <?php the_author() ?> <?php edit_post_link(__('Edit'), ' | ', ''); ?></span>
<div class="content">


Ubuntu 11.04: Fixing Notifications

I have seen several posts on how to fix the programs that can’t display notifications.  Let me combine them and give you my solutions.

Here are the other solutions.  Their solutions are probably better anyway, but that doesn’t stop me!

Step 1: Installed “dconf Editor”

There are many different ways to change the configuration settings.  You can edit settings files, or you can use a command-line program.  I like the graphical option that dconf Editor supplies, so that is what I am installing.  You can use any number of methods.  I just used the Ubuntu Software Center:

Step 2: Opened the dconf Editor

I used Alt+F2 and typed dconf-editor to open it:

Step 3: Changed the systray-whitelist option

To get to the option, I opened the tree on the left to: desktop > unity > panel.  Then, I changed the option to [‘all’] to allow everything.  Otherwise, you have to enter all the specific applications that you expect.

And, now I have Shutter, Gnome-RDP, and Skype all showing in the notifications area!

If I could influence this at all, I would suggest having a blacklist option instead of whitelist.  I can’t think of very many indicators that I would like to hide.  If I don’t want to see the indicator, in most cases, I would kill the program behind it.