Seasons Greetings From Linux!

It’s that time of year again! The time when we go around when we go around doing last-minute shopping, spend time with friends and family, and remember Christ’s birth.

Programs tend to be more or less the same all year round, but a couple of them change depending on the time of year, especially for Christmas.

VLC

From December 18 to January 1, VLC media player‘s striped orange cone sports a Santa hat.

VLC Christmas icon

VLC media Christmas icon

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Good riddance to PulseAudio! (or “Settling on a Linux sound server”)

I have a love-hate relationship with PulseAudio: it has a lot of great features, but sometimes it’s more resource-hungry than I would like, and it also crashes more often than I’d like. Actually, the only reason why I got PulseAudio was because Skype 4.3.0.37 required Pulse and dropped ALSA support; I would have stayed with plain ALSA had it not been for Skype (on that note, I really hate Skype, for more reasons than one).

PulseAudio logo

PulseAudio

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Move and resize windows from anywhere

Move this window. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Great. Now resize this window.

If you’re like most people, you moved the window by dragging the title bar and resized by dragging the edge or corner of the window. That works and all, but you have to move your mouse to the right spots, which may very well be at the opposite end of the screen, and what do you do if you find yourself with a title bar past the top of your screen?

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Command Explained: “Look Busy On *nix”

Here’s a command that I posted on my main blog last year. Open a terminal and give it a try (stop it with Ctrl+C)!
$ cat /dev/urandom | hexdump -C | grep "34 32"

`The Penguin' says...

I recently posted a command to “Look Busy On *nix“:
$ cat /dev/urandom | hexdump -C | grep "34 32"

If you ran it, you console/terminal screen should have been filled with lines like these:

I will break apart the command and explain what it actually did.

$
Indicates that this command should be run as a regular user (i.e. without root privileges). This isn’t actually part of the command and shouldn’t be included when typing it into the shell.
cat
Output the contents of the specified file(s) to stdout.
/dev/urandom
The file from which to read. /dev/urandom is a special file that acts as a pseudo-random number generator.
|
Redirects or “pipes” the output of the previous command into the input of the next command (stdout to stdin).
hexdump
Outputs a hexdump of the specified file, or stdin if no file specified.
-C
From the man page:

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Linux Distros: What are the differences and how do I choose one?

Linux distro stickers

Ask a newcomer about Linux and they’ll probably mention something about Ubuntu. Someone a little more knowledgeable about Linux will know that there are many flavours, called “distributions” (or “distros”, for short), of Linux. There are over six hundred distributions out there, and they’re all labelled as “Linux”. What makes one distro different from the next, and how do you choose one?
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Come in, the door is open

Hey, look who decided to drop by! I don’t know how you found your way here, but we’re glad you came.

Hello, I’m tPenguinLTG, and I present to you *nix Windows, an active log of how three guys learn Linux with hopes to one day replace Microsoft Windows as our primary operating system.

The other two bloggers who will be joining me are Dreadnought Six and DdcCabuslay. These two wanted to “learn Linux”, and as an experienced Linux user who has already made the switch to Arch Linux, they asked me for advice on how to get started. I recommended PCLinuxOS with KDE to Ddc, and DSix wanted to jump right into “hard mode” and use Arch Linux. DSix will be using CrunchBang Manjaro Arch Linux as his primary distribution.

This isn’t just another Linux blog…