May 4, 2009

My Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 Bootchart

My machine: Lenovo T61 T9300 2Gb 100Gb nvidia quadro 140m
ext4 filesystem
record: 14 sec

Really amazing isn't it?

FYI, same machine with ubuntu 9.04 on ext3 filesystem has a boot time of 27 sec.

PS: install bootchart by:

sudo apt-get install bootchart

GMail Notifier for Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 notification

The growl-like new notification style in Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 is really fancy in my opinion. Today I just discovered this tiny application Gmail Notifier that can fully integrate with the new notification (checkgmail can't...yet).

However, compared to other notification application like checkgmail, there is limited functions in this gmail notifier. So it's your choice, better features (like monitoring a certain label) or fancy interface.

Check it out...


Mar 30, 2009

Mail notification for Mutt (and Gmail, Thunderbird, and etc)

I've introduced basic configuration for Mutt in recent posts. But we still have a problem: how do I get notified when I have new mail?

Gmail users might also have similar problem. We certainly don't want to login to Gmail every 2 minutes. Of course gtalk can solve this problem. But what if one has several Gmail accounts, or even have Gmail AND Yahoo accounts? (If you don't use Mutt, you can directly go to the Mail Notification part)

First, we need to let fetchmail to download new mails every, say, 5 minutes. This could be done by setting up a crontab job. Edit the crontab list in your terminal:

crontab -e

Then add the following line.

*/5 * * * * fetchmail -v >/dev/null

"*/5" means fetchmail will run every 5 minutes, and the part after ">" means there won't be any output.

OK, now fetchmail will download your emails automatically.

Mail Notification

The extra software you need to install is Mail-Notification.

sudo apt-get install mail-notification

You can run it from System -> Preference -> Mail Notification. In the Mailbox list, you can add your Mutt's mbox type mailboxes. Remember to check "Auto start Mail Notification upon session opening". Now once there is new mail in your mailboxes, a notification will appear in the status area.

Note that "Mail Notification can monitor multiple mailboxes concurrently, and supports Evolution, Gmail, IMAP, Maildir, mbox, MH, Mozilla products (Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Thunderbird, …), POP3, Sylpheed, Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail mailboxes." (Description and screenshot are from

So, if you are a Gmail user, you can also use Mail Notification to check if there's new mail in the server. This is really a handy software.

Mar 29, 2009

How to hide menu and tool bar in GVim

By default, GVim has a menu and tools bar, like this:

But most of the time, the reason why people use GVim or Vim is that they don't need to use mouse - the powerful keyboard shortcut is enough for an efficient editing. So it seems like a waste of space to have this menu and tools bar. Here I will introduce a tip to hide the menu and a keyboard shortcut to recall it.

In your .vimrc file, add the following lines.

"Toggle Menu and Toolbar
set guioptions-=m
set guioptions-=T
map <silent> <F2> :if &guioptions =~# 'T' <Bar>
\set guioptions-=T <Bar>
\set guioptions-=m <bar>
\else <Bar>
\set guioptions+=T <Bar>
\set guioptions+=m <Bar>

The next time you use GVim, it will automatically hide the menu bar. And you can use F2 to recall it and hide it again.

Note that you can change the second and third lines to the following(with a "+" sign), and GVim will start with a menu bar and you still can toggle with F2 key.

set guioptions+=m
set guioptions+=T

Mar 28, 2009

Ubuntu guitar software for guitarist

I play a little guitar. Yesterday I came across a problem: how do I play gp5, gp4 or ptb in Ubuntu? In Windows, we have Guitar Pro, which is not free, but I think it's an easy job to get a serial number...But how about in Ubuntu?

The answer is Tuxguitar.

With TuxGuitar, you will be able to compose music using the following features
  • Tablature editor
  • Score Viewer
  • Multitrack display
  • Autoscroll while playing
  • Note duration management
  • Various effects (bend, slide, vibrato, hammer-on/pull-off)
  • Support for triplets (5,6,7,9,10,11,12)
  • Repeat open and close
  • Time signature management
  • Tempo management
  • Imports and exports gp3,gp4 and gp5 files
Here's the screenshots:

When I installed the Tuxguitar, there's a soundbank error. The solution is already on the website:

Other than Tuxguitar, I'd like to introduce another useful software Gtick. This is not only for guitarist.

Gtick supports different meters (Even, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and more) and speeds ranging from 10 to 1000 bpm. It's really useful for beginner musicians.

Mar 27, 2009

Install Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Beta in your virtual machine

Well, Ubuntu 9.04 beta is out. But as a Linux newbie, I don't really want to install it directly in my computer -- it's still a beta version. So a good idea to experience while it's still hot is to install it in a virtual machine. Here's a step by step guide:

Install Virtualbox

A complete community document could be found at:

OK, let's get started. Run the following command:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-ose
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-ose-modules-`uname -r`
sudo adduser $USER vboxusers
sudo apt-get install util-linux

The document mentioned something about module problem for kernel version 2.6.24-22 or higher, which is no longer a concern.

Then logout and relogin.

Install Ubuntu 9.04 in Virtualbox

If you have a multi-core CPU, start virtualbox this way. In your terminal:

taskset -c 1 virtualbox

This will force virtual box to use only one core.

In the virtualbox, click "New", then name your virtual machine. In the OS type menu, select "Linux 2.6".

Then you need to assign memory to your virtual machine. I give it 512M out of my 2G memory. And I selected dynamic size virtual hard drive. This is pretty much it. Other things are quite straight forward.

Before you start your virtual machine, in "CD/DVD mount" section on the right, mount the Ubuntu 9.04 iso, which can be downloaded here.

Then press start, and enjoy!

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