Tango Color Scheme for XFCE Terminal 23

At work I run XFCE; at home I run Ubuntu. Yesterday I noticed that the default Ubuntu color scheme for Gnome Terminal was really nice — called the “Tango” palette — and wished I could have the same at work. I already run the Tango icon theme, so it’d fit in nicely.

Turns out, the default XFCE terminal supports color schemes, too; I just had to stuff the correct color values in. I searched around a little bit, but couldn’t find anyone’s config to steal, so I copied and pasted the values in — one by one. To save you the same pain, open up ~/.config/Terminal/terminalrc, find the lines that all start with Color, and replace them with:


Save the file, and revel in your new colors!

Tango Color Theme for XFCE Terminal

Karma 0

Windows is good at a lot of things. So is Linux.

On the desktop, Linux has only been getting better. For instance, imagine my surprise when I plugged my old wireless mouse into my Ubuntu box and immediately received a warning about its battery being low. I’d been using this mouse with Windows for years, and it had never once indicated that it knew anything about the mouse’s power status. I’ve always believed Windows to be the current leader in device compatibility (companies will pay to write drivers for what people are using, and most people use Windows), so I found this to be quite humorous.

Poor old Windows, showing its age. I pointed and laughed a little.

Only problem? That same warning has been showing for the last 6 months, and the power estimate has never changed. It didn’t go to zero when the batteries finally gave out and died and it didn’t go away after replacing the batteries.

Well, what’s that they say… Even a broken clock is right two times a day. Although this is only right once a battery set.

So close.

RTFGoogle 2

Let’s face it, every now and then certain people need to be reminded that Google still exists, and that it can still be used to find the answers to the simple, often stupid questions they’re asking. I mean, half of the time the answers are in the first page of results. It’s not rocket science.

Enter Let Me Google That For You. Perhaps slightly harsh, it’s a wakeup call for those pestering you. Brilliant.

Balancing Act 0

Here’s a replacement lens cap that purports to help you set the perfect white balance on your DSLR every time, without carrying around a gray card. Interesting idea and tempting, sure, but the $45 price tag (at the low end) has me thinking up some home-grown alternatives — a spare lens cap and a piece of milk jug, perhaps?

Psuedo-update: Amazon carries several cheaper versions of the same idea. Cheap enough that a ghetto hack might not even be worth it.

Sansa C200, Linux, and Rockbox 0

A few weeks ago, I purchased a refurbished Sansa C2xx series MP3 player. It’s a small, 1GB “gumstick” player with a microSD slot and supports Rockbox, an alternative, open-source firmware. When running Rockbox, it’s rumored to support MicroSDHC, giving it a total capacity of (currently) ~17GB. In addition, it seemed to support both Windows and Linux pretty well, making it a good fit for someone who, like me, jumps between both.

For the most part, things work pretty well. Up until tonight I’d been running the default firmware, when I tried to install Rockbox. Here’s a collection of my experiences with the player.

  • In the default firmware, the volume level is not saved when the device powers off. I use a set of earbuds that seal very well to my ears: a little volume goes a long way. Whenever I turn the player on, I have to immediately crank the volume down. I’ve heard that Rockbox will fix this.
  • When resuming a previous playback position, forward/back functionality works inconsistently from how it works at all other times. If you resume partway through a song and press back, you expect it to rewind to the beginning. Instead, it skips to a random song. If you then press forward, you skip to another random song — not back to the song you were listening to.
  • It’s a hybrid MTP and MSC device (in that order), picking whichever is supported by your operating system. On Windows you’re most likely stuck with MTP, while unless you specifically install MTP software on Linux, you’ll be given MSC. Unfortunately, the files you can see in MTP mode are not visible in MSC mode, and vice versa — and there’s no way to choose one mode or the other. In practice, that means there’s a big wall between your Windows and Linux music (until playing it).
  • Linux apparently doesn’t play with the FAT(32) partition nicely enough to use it as a disk — I could not get the songs I copied onto the device via Linux to show up in the player’s database. In addition, just trying to use the device routinely caused file-system panics (to be honest, I didn’t even know they existed) which took down my whole box. I was also unable to get Rockbox installed via my Linux box.
  • I experimented with MTP support in Rythmbox (granted, very quickly), and couldn’t see everything I’d loaded onto it (complained about a codec..?). I didn’t try adding new files.
  • Given the problems I had getting files loaded from Linux into the database under the default firmware, Rockbox seems to be the way to go, as it supports browsing the actual file system for music.
  • I finally installed Rockbox via an older XP install (which saw it as an MSC device), and confirmed that it did recognize a 4GB MicroSDHC card. But the default firmware always handles USB communication, so you have to copy things onto SDHC cards externally.
  • None of the SD readers in my house support SDHC, again leaving me without a way to load music from Linux.

So, while I like the player overall, it hasn’t proved as Linux friendly as I’d like. Once I get an SD reader that supports SDHC, things should improve markedly.

An Eye for an Eye 0

The La Fonera wireless router shares part of your home broadband with the world — potentially earning you some money, but also giving you free access to all other La Fonera access points.

Unfortunately, according to their map, there aren’t a ton of access points in my area. Yet I’m still tempted to give this a go.

I love popcorn 2

Not the microwaveable kind.

In the circles in which popped corn runs, comparing microwaveable packaging material in a bag to popcorn is directly akin to comparing a Hungry Man TV dinner containing a brownish piece of cardboard (cleverly marketed as a Salisbury steak), to the Filet Mignon at the Stinking Rose, downtown San Francisco (best piece of dead animal I have ever eaten, hands down). In days of yore, it’d be like telling the Pope that the world moves ’round the sun, or the Emperor that he’s not wearing any clothes — it just shouldn’t be done.

And, by the way, if you’ve never seen me eat popcorn while using a computer, you’re missing out. See, I’m a big stickler about getting oils on my keyboard, and I mean big in the gargantuan kind of way that would make the Great Pyramids look like arrowheads half buried in a sandbox. So, instead, I eat it with my tongue. Yup, you read that right — I hold my bowl up to my face, and stick my tongue in there like an aardvark wriggles out his long strip of double-sided Scotch tape and sucks up ants, only I’m sucking in popcorn. Works like a champ.

Anyways, I was whipping up popcorn tonight and realized that some people could miss out on the delicacy that is popcorn made on a stove. So I decided to share my recipe, which I got from my parents, who probably got it from no-one, because way back when my parents were little, everyone sat around knitting their own sweaters, making their own shoes, and popping their own popcorn, so it was just common knowledge.

It’s not even that hard. First, find a pan with a lid. Pour a little bit of vegetable oil on the bottom (cover most of it, but not all), then put in the corn. Turn on the burner, shake the pan every now and then, and wait for it to stop making noise. After emptying into a bowl, you can use the same pan to melt butter — but (this is the important part!) make sure it’s butter, not some byproduct of synthetic tires; that stuff just makes it soggy.

Season to taste with salt.

Seriously, this stuff rocks.

PHPUnit + FAM + libnotify == fun 3

Last night I ‘tweeted’ (man, I hate that word!) on some hacking I was doing with PHPUnit, FAM (the File Alteration Monitor), and libnotify/notification-daemon to automatically run unit tests as you modify files.

Credit where credit is due: this was inspired by other people’s work with other unit testing frameworks.

Anyways, the short screencast in my update last night has already generated some interest, so I thought I’d get this out on the web for perhaps wider exposure.

Coming soon: continuous integration on your desktop for your PHPUnit projects.

Binning it 0

Most of you are probably familiar with pastebin, officially, it’s a “collaborative debugging tool,” unofficially, it’s a place to temporarily stick random blobs of text for other people to look at.

We’ve set up our own instance of pastebin in the office, and I often found myself wanting to paste files on my system, or the output of commands (like svn diff). After getting sick of literally (copying and) pasting stuff into the text box, I whipped up a command line script that takes its input from a file or STDIN. Sure, these probably already exist, but who cares.

Aptly, it’s hosted at pastebin.

Digital Cloaks 0

Not too long ago, Matt talked a bit about p0f and it’s ability to distinguish your operating system based on the packets its sending.

Today, Hack a Day highlighted a project that can help you overcome some of the fingerprinting in p0f (and other tools, like nmap) by emulating the characteristics of other OSs.

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