Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sysinfo is a small light-weight software which will give you information about the hardware as well as the OS installed on your PC. Its a very useful tool if you're not sure about the exact configuration of your computer.

How to install:

Go to Ubuntu Software Center and search for Sysinfo. Simply install it from there.


Go to the Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install sysinfo


Friday, March 26, 2010

CD/DVD Burning Software

This is one topic which I should have discussed long back, but hey better late than never.

Okay, so when it comes to CD/DVD burning softwares, there are loads and loads of GNOME softwares out there, most notably, GNOME Baker and Brasero (which is installed by default on Ubuntu). However none of these softwares support verification of burned discs. That for me is a bit of a let down as I prefer to verify my discs after every burning process.

I have also tried quite a few other lesser known apps as well. But none of these softwares could rival the ultimate big daddy of all disc burning apps, Nero. Although Nero is generally considered to be a Windows software, there is actually a Linux counterpart. From what I have gathered, the Linux version is quite functional and useful. However, Nero is a closed source software and its not free. You can download the demo version but as you would expect, the swankier features of Nero Linux are reserved for people who actually buy the full version. (Link to the official Nero Linux site:

When I converted from Windows to Linux this absence of a proper burning tool for GNOME was a big problem for me. But fortunately, as with everything Linux, there is always a way out.

Are you averse to using KDE softwares on GNOME? Well, if you are I think its time you let go of that apprehension. K3B is a KDE burning tool which is at par with any burning software be it on Windows or Linux. Its free (of course!) and its open source. Hence, you have absolutely no reason not to give it a try. And fortunately, it works perfectly on GNOME. So, if you're using Ubuntu, you can definitely give K3B a go.

The interface isnt that great, but whats great is the innumerable options which you get. You can configure every aspect of the software and yes, it does support that verification of CD/DVDs. In my opinion, if you're on Linux, K3B should be your preferred burning tool.

Here's a screenshot of K3B (Version: 1.68.0)

How to install:

K3B can be installed from the Ubuntu Software Center.


From the terminal you can type : sudo apt-get install k3b

Use K3B and I'm sure you'll have a new sense of respect for KDE softwares.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 Beta1 - A closer look

The following images will explain the installation procedure of Ubuntu 10.04 Beta1. The images are in exact order of their appearance:

Changes and Additions:

The default theme (Ambience). Notice the maximize, minimize, close buttons which have been on the left hand side. Just a bit of info though, changing the theme WONT change the alignment of the buttons (to change the alignment you will have to edit it through gconf-editor. For more info and detailed instructions on how to do this, take a look at this post : Moving Buttons)

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No substantial change in Accessories.

Some useless boring games (sorry) have been removed, and gbrainy, a new game has been added.

GIMP removed (sadly).

Gwibber has been added here. Unfortunately I never got it to work, neither in 9.10 nor in this 10.04 beta1. Still needs some work Gwibber.

Expected list of applications here in the Office section.

Pitivi has been added. Its a very basic no-frills video editor. But works fine.

Universal Access menu now is included in the default install. The onBoard thing is an on-screen keyboard. Very cool.

Preferences menu. Messaging and VoIP has been added.

Administration menu. There's now a Startup Disk Creator.

These are completely new elements which have been added. Very sleek and more importantly integrates perfectly with the interface.

The volume bar is now really user-friendly.

The new look Ubuntu Software Center.

Firefox with its new Yahoo! homepage for Ubuntu 10.04.
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Rhythmbox (hold you breath, I'm getting to Ubuntu One Music Store):
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And finally tadaaaa! Ubuntu One Music Store!

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WARNING though, its very buggy right now. Many of the stuff dont work, but you should file bug reports or post your comments on existing ones to help the developers come up with a solution before the final stable version releases.

Generally the orange-aubergine looks quite charming. (Stop saying it looks gay! lol) The interface now looks really smooth and elegant.

There has been a lot of changes in this edition. Some of them good, some of them...well, you get it. But overall, this is a very important release which firmly establishes Ubuntu as not just the leading Linux OS, but also a growing mainstream OS.


A few more Google Chrome extensions

Google Chrome extensions list keeps getting longer and more extensive with each passing day. I will list here some of the really cool add ons I have recently discovered.

1. Chromepad - This is a very useful extension which helps you take notes right from the comfort of your browser. So, if you find some interesting text on the web or maybe you just want to jot down a few words which came to your mind, Chromepad is the tool for you! The local storage box available from the Options menu of Chromepad lets you retrieve/view your older notes as well. Very useful.

2. Wikipedia - You may have probably guessed it. Wikipedia extension allows you to browse the mobile version of Wikipedia from its extension window. You dont need to visit the massive wikipedia page to access the articles anymore.

3. Aviary Screen Capture - This is more like a screenshot tool only with loads and loads of editing and uploading options. You can take screenshots of a particular webpage and edit it right from the comfort of your browser.

(Read another post about Google Chrome extensions : Useful Google Chrome extensions)

[Note : All extensions mentioned above also work with Chromium (the open source counterpart of Google Chrome). If you want to install Chromium, go through : Install Chromium Browser]


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Moving buttons

A lot has been said about the Maximize, Minimize and Close buttons being on the left hand side of the title bar in Lucid Lynx, Ubuntu 10.04. The change has already been made in the beta1 which was released a few days back (For more info: Lucid Lynx beta released and Ubuntu becomes stunningly beautiful) See the pic below:

See the specified areas

Now if you are uncomfortable with this, you can easily change it back to the right hand side. (Even if you arent using Lucid Lynx beta maybe you can move the buttons to the left and see how you like it! If you dont you can obviously change it back.) Here's how you do it:

1. Press Alt + F2 on you keyboard. In the window which opens up, type gconf-editor and press enter.

2. In the Configuration Editor window, go to apps>metacity>general

3. As you can see, it has a button_layout option. This is where you will do all your tweaks. To edit the button layout you will have to double click on the "maximize,minimize,close:" option.

Now before you change anything, let me just explain the basics, so that it becomes comfy to tweak with ease. Okay, so the default button layout if you are using Ubuntu 10.04 is "maximize,minimize,close:". (If you're using 9.10, the button layout will be ":maximize,minimize,close".) Now here's the thing. Maximize, Minimize and Close stand for each of the respective buttons and the ":" after that stands for the rest of the space on the title bar.

So basically, if you type ":maximize,minimize,close" the space will shift to the left and hence the buttons will be on the right.

My favorite pattern is ":minimize,maximize,close". You can now tweak it to suit your needs. As you see, it couldnt be any easier.

Now, when you are done editing, simply press enter and you can notice the changes.

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World Of Goo

Placing a goo ball to construct a bridge.
Image via Wikipedia
Not a very enticing name for a game dont you think? Anyway, World of Goo is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls who live in the beautiful World of Goo don't know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.

Although the game can get extremely challenging at times, its surprisingly fresh both in terms of graphics and gameplay. It has a Windows, Mac as well as a Linux (yeah!) version. Mind you though, this is a closed-source game (albeit it uses many open source elements). Also, its not a free game, the full version of the game costs $20. However there's a demo version available on their website which is completely free to download. Hence, you could give it a try before you decide to buy.

Official Site of World of Goo :
Download links :