Archive for category Linux

Rant about Windows accessibly

Many of you may or may not know that I am legally blind. I use computers on a daily basis, and plan on going to college for Computer Science. I can pretty much use a computer normally (without the assistance of enlarging software) but need to be a few inches from the screen to read any text. I have used all three major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, and a few Linux distros). Out of all three, Windows has been the worst in terms of accessibility. Before Windows 7, as many of you may know, the only built in screen magnification software split the screen in half, one with the regular size, then a docked window which showed the zoomed in view. This is horribly inconvenient, inefficient, and just doesn’t work well.
With Windows 7, it has been much improved. If you haven’t used the built in Windows 7 magnifier, it basically brings up a small window with options to increase/decrease the zoom level, as well as change the view between full screen, lens, and docked. This means that all of the major OS’s have some kind of full screen magnification tool, but Windows is still behind in my book. On Mac OS X (and Linux even) you can hold a key and scroll up and down the the trackpad. In Windows, you have to either hit Win+/- or press the two buttons in the magnifier window. This could be much more intuitive. Also, while zooming in Windows, it increases a set amount each time, so it’s not very smooth. On OS X and Linux it is a very smooth zoom in and out. This may not seem like such a big deal but when using it on a daily basis, it is.
There are other programs you can buy for Windows that will do a better job (one I use is called ZoomText), but these are expensive. Luckily, I get a free copy of ZoomText because of my blindness. This program is better than the built in Windows magnifier, but it still doesn’t have a smooth zooming experience. It is also less intuitive just because on most Windows laptops, you don’t have multitouch scrolling (just moving your finger along the side of the touchpad).
To simply this post:
Mac and Linux – Intuitive and smooth scrolling with two finger scrolling.
Windows – A good enough magnifier but isn’t as smooth or intuitive as other platforms. Expensive alternatives exist but still aren’t as good as the defaults on other platforms.
I really hope Microsoft improves their magnifier program on future versions of Windows.


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Ubuntu 10.04: Change close/min/max button layout

This is a video demonstrating how you can change the button position from the left side of the window to the right side of the window in Ubuntu 10.04.

Changing it is relatively simple and doesn’t require a restart.

Press Alt+F2 to bring up the Run Application dialog.

Type “gconf-editor” (without the quotes) into the box and press Run.

In the left pane, navigate to: apps > metacity > general

Click button_layout in the right pane and rename it (click once on the text saying close,maximize,minimize or similar)

Change the text already present to: “menu:minimize,maximize,close” (without quotes)

Then press enter. The buttons will change automatically.

If you would like to see more tips or tutorials, please use the Contact Me page, tweet me, or send me a message on Youtube.


Ubuntu 10.04 Overview

This video is a quick overview of Ubuntu 10.04. This new version of Ubuntu was released recently. It comes with a new theme, and the buttons for closing, minimizing, and maximizing the window have been moved to the left (which I changed prior to this video).
There are also less games (if you do a clean install, I still had the games because I did an upgrade), a new login screen, and apparently a new boot screen but I do not get a boot screen for some reason (it’s just blank but it boots up pretty quick so it’s no big deal).
Other than that, its pretty much the same Ubuntu as before, just a little more polished.

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Guifications in Pidgin, Multiple popups for same person.

If you use Pidgin, a popular all-in-one IM client, and you use the Guifications plugin then you might have this problem. You have a buddy in more than one group and Guifications notifies you twice (or more) for that same buddy. Here is a fix to that:

Right click on one of the buddys in your list.

Select “Guifications Theme”

Select “None” and click OK

This sets to to have no theme (or to basically not show the popup) for that contact. You can also do this to an entire group as well. This is useful if you have the “Mobile Device” group (which is there if you sign on to AIM on a mobile phone)

Hoped this helped anyone. Please leave a comment and sign up at the forum 🙂

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Google Chrome in Linux: CrossOver Chromium

A while ago I tried to run Google Chrome in WINE but I was stopped right at the installation. After a little Googling, I found out that Chromium runs in Linux too. I just downloaded the .deb and I’m going to install it.

The install is basically the same as any .deb file, a box with a statusbar saying “Installing Package File”

It put it’s own entry in my Applications menu.

It looks exactly the same on Linux as Windows. This is because its not a native linux application. It’s using Crossover to basically run chrome like a windows app.

Unfortunatly, it is extremely laggy but it was a fun experiment. I don’t think i will keep it on my computer though.

Here is a screenshot of it running on my desktop:

Chrome on Linux

Chrome on Linux

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Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

Two days ago, on October 30th, Ubuntu 8.10 named Intrepid Ibex, was released. I downloaded it and used the LiveCD for a few minutes. To me, it didn’t feel too different from Hardy although, I don’t use it on a daily basis. I had a few problems partitioning but that was mostly problems on my part, I had to go into Windows and do a defrag and “chkdsk” but after that I had no errors with partitioning.


It hasen’t changed anything too big that would require a learning curve to existing users

It’s added new features such as “hot swapping” of networks (not tested on my part though)

It’s installer seemed more “visual” to me.


It seemed somewhat buggy (freezing and things like that)

It prompted me for my WEP key when I turned it on a second time (I’m not sure if it will again though, i’ve only booted it twice)

I can’t say much about speed because I installed it on a different computer than hardy and this one has better specs.

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AIM 6.8 in Ubuntu Hardy via Wine

Yay! It’s another This program in Wine post!! The reason why I like doing these kinds of posts is because it’s kind of fun to get (or try to get) a Windows program to run under Linux.

The setup has gone nicely, now just to see if it actually runs.
It seems to hang a bit but so far its hanging to the point where it doesn’t want to run.
OK I’m trying to manually launch it now and again it’s not wanting to run. No error messages just nothing. According to WineHQ (the Wine homepage) it doesn’t open for the test either. I will look up earlier version of AIM and see if I can get a Windows version of AIM on this box (even though its a dual boot :))

Attempting to install AIM 5.9
Installation was successful
The desktop shortcut doesn’t appear to work but the start menu shortcut shows like something happens. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be working either. I’m going to try to tinker more 🙂
I can’t get it to work, so I’m giving up for now.. Please comment if you have something for me to try, or if you want to discuss anything on this blog please visit the forum

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