Monthly Archives: May 2009

Anyone having troubles with Firefox on Ubuntu 9.04?

I have been experiencing regular screen freeze-ups every time I attempt to install a new plug-in or add-on to Firefox with Compiz-Fusion installed and running. This happens with Firefox 3.0.10 or with Firefox 3.5 (Shiretoko) The cpu goes to 100%, and the entire screen becomes unresponsive, including all taskbars, window closer buttons, everything. The mouse cursor will move, but you can’t do anything with it! This means rebooting with the power button every time.

As a workaround, I installed “Compiz Fusion Icon,” which toggles between Metacity and Compiz window managers. Unfortunately, you have to remember to use it BEFORE you try to install a Firefox extension! I wonder if this is related to npviewer.bin. Just a wild guess, since there’s no way to open System Monitor while the screen is frozen up!

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Posted by on May 20, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Using Ubuntu 9.04 Live CD to wipe a hard drive…

I have an old 120 gb hard drive I am going to put into a new build. The motherboard, cpu, and memory will be arriving tomorrow, according to the UPS tracking site. Here’s what I am doing to wipe all old data from the drive:

1) Installed old hard drive in place of my new one on this current system.

2) Rebooted with the Ubuntu 9.04 Live CD

3) Opened up a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal)

4) Entered this command:
sudo shred -vfz -n 6 /dev/sda

5) Opened up Firefox to write this post

6) Power off the monitor and let this run all night! (Update: I started this at around 3:30pm on Tuesday afternoon. It did 6 passes of writing random stuff plus a 7th pass of writing all zeros, finishing up at around 8:30 am on Wednesday morning. Total of 17 hours for a 120 gb drive.)

While it was doing its thing I was able to surf the Internet, check web-mail, etc.

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Posted by on May 12, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Upgrade your new Jaunty Jackalope with Perfectbuntu…

Robbie Ferguson of has written a great script that automatically upgrades your new installation of Ubuntu 9.04 (or older versions) with multimedia codecs, flashplayer, Skype, fonts, and other things to make Ubuntu play nicer with the wide world out there. You can find it here.

1) Download the script to your desktop.
2) Right-click on the desktop icon, select “properties”, then select the “permissions” tab, and check the box to allow executing the file as a program.
3) Open up a terminal (Konsole, or whatever your favorite is), and type cd /home/[yourusername]/Desktop/
and press enter.
4) Type ./perfectbuntu

Now you will be asked for your password, and then for your preferences as to which things you would like to have installed. Type y for yes, or n for no, and press enter.

This is where Ubuntu’s apt-get takes over, and fetches and installs the requested software, and bingo! You should be all set for YouTube, mp3’s or whatever.

Thanks Robbie!

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Posted by on May 5, 2009 in Uncategorized


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The Jackalope has arrived… and it’s no myth.

The Jaunty Jackalope has now taken up residence in my computer… and has evicted all other tenants (including Windows Vista)


I received my brand new 640 gig Western Digital black Caviar hard drive by UPS on April 23, the very same day that Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” became available for download. What else could I do but download and burn the new operating system to a live-CD, back up my data to an external hard drive, pull out the old 120 gig hard drive, install the new 640, and install the newest Ubuntu?

After retrieving my data from the external hard drive and downloading some of my favorite apps from Ubuntu’s repositories, I’m up and running with little or no hiccups along the way.

One thing that smoothed the transition (for me) was that I got a little bit smarter about what to retrieve from the external hard drive. My pictures, documents, music, of course. But instead of copying the entire /home/les/ directory, which would pull in every last “.this and .that” folder I just pulled in .kde, .kde4, and the .<applicationname> directories of the applications for which I have made significant configuration changes, such as Gimp and Blender. Pulling in the .kde and .kde4 directories brought in all of my mail, calendar, and contacts, so I had ZERO configuration work to do for Kmail, Korganizer, and Kontact!

Compiz Fusion is working nicely. Songbird is working nicely. I’m liking the Jackalope!

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Posted by on May 2, 2009 in Uncategorized


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