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  • Using an APT proxy for downloads during installation

    - by intuited
    During system installation from a Desktop LiveCD (10.10) I checked the "Download updates during installation" option. Before starting the install I had configured an apt proxy server; this had been used correctly for my various package installs prior to launching the system installation GUI. However, the downloads taking place during the installation are not using the proxy. Is there a way to force usage of an APT proxy during installation?

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  • Concentrating on tedious manuals

    - by intuited
    Reading manuals is often boring — sometimes so boring that it becomes all but impossible to focus on the task. Yet.. so essential. As frustrating as it is to have to reread the same 2-page section four times in order to finally read the whole thing the whole way through without mentally skipping off to Marseilles in mid-paragraph, it's much worse to realize at some later point that you could have saved yourself hours of work by doing so. What sorts of jedi mind tricks — and not so jedi ones — can be employed to keep the mind focused on absorbing this critical matter?

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  • Fixing unbootable installation on LVM root from Desktop LiveCD

    - by intuited
    I just did an installation from the 10.10 Desktop LiveCD, making the root volume an LVM LV. Apparently this is not supported; I managed it by taking these steps before starting the GUI installer app: installing the lvm2 package on the running system creating an LVM-type partition on the system hard drive creating a physical volume, a volume group and a root LV using the LVM tools. I also created a second LV for /var; this I don't think is relevant. creating a filesystem (ext4) on each of the two LVs. After taking these steps, the GUI installer offered the two LVs as installation targets; I gladly accepted, also putting /boot on a primary partition separate from the LVM partition. Installation seemed to go smoothly, and I've verified that both the root and var volumes do contain acceptable-looking directory structures. However, booting fails; if I understood correctly what happened, I was dropped into a busybox running in the initrd filesystem. Although I haven't worked through the entirety of the grub2 docs yet, it looks like the entry that tries to boot my new system is correct: menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.35-22-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os { recordfail insmod part_msdos insmod ext2 set root='(hd0,msdos3)' search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set $UUID_OF_BOOT_FILESYSTEM linux /vmlinuz-2.6.35-22-generic root=/dev/mapper/$LVM_VOLUME_GROUP-root ro quiet splash initrd /initrd.img-2.6.35-22-generic } Note that $VARS are replaced in the actual grub.cfg with their corresponding values. I rebooted back into the livecd and have unpacked the initrd image into a temp directory. It looks like the initrd image lacks LVM functionality. For example, if I'm reading /usr/share/initramfs-tools/hooks/lvm2 (installed with lvm2 on the livecd-booted system, not present on the installed one) correctly, an lvm executable should be situated in /sbin; that is not the case. What's the best way to remedy this situation? I realize that it would be easier to just use the alternate install CD, which apparently supports LVM, but I don't want to wait for it to download and then have to reinstall.

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  • Correlating /var/log/* timestamps

    - by intuited
    /var/log/messages, /var/log/syslog, and some other log files use a timestamp which contains an absolute time, like Jan 13 14:13:10. /var/log/Xorg.0.log and /var/log/dmesg, as well as the output of $ dmesg, use a format that looks like [50595.991610] malkovich: malkovich malkovich malkovich malkovich I'm guessing/gathering that the numbers represent seconds and microseconds since startup. However, my attempt to correlate these two sets of timestamps (using the output from uptime) gave a discrepancy of about 5000 seconds. This is roughly the amount of time my computer was suspended for. Is there a convenient way to map the numeric timestamps used by dmesg and Xorg into absolute timestamps?

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  • Diagnosing xmodmap errors

    - by intuited
    I'm getting this error when trying to use xmodmap to get rid of caps lock: $ xmodmap -e 'clear Lock' X Error of failed request: BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation) Major opcode of failed request: 118 (X_SetModifierMapping) Value in failed request: 0x17 Serial number of failed request: 8 Current serial number in output stream: 8 I'm running xfce on Maverick "10.10" Meercat. This problem did not occur before I added the Keyboard Layouts applet to a panel; before doing that, I was able to run my xmodmap script to swap Esc and CapsLock: !Remap Caps_Lock as Escape remove Lock = Caps_Lock keysym Caps_Lock = Escape It may be relevant that I chose alt-capslock as the keyboard switch combo in the Keyboard Layouts preferences. I've had a similar problem before, on a different machine, running openbox. On that machine, this problem started when I upgraded to Lucid, and has persisted in Maverick (release 10.10). I reported a bug in xorg. However, it remains unclear whether it's really a problem with xorg, or if I'm just doing something wrong with my configuration. Have other people experienced this problem? Can someone shed some light on what's going on here? It seems there are quite a few layers involved, and I don't understand any of them particularly well, so any information would be helpful. update I've discovered that the problem is specifically triggered by adding the Canada layout variant "Multilingual" (ca-multix). If I instead add the variant "Multilingual (first part)", the problem does not occur. I think this will probably end up being a usable workaround, but I don't yet know what the difference between these variants is. I've filed a freedesktop issue, and am commenting on a related ubuntu issue.

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  • Preventing battery from charging

    - by intuited
    I'm running on UPS power and would like to prevent the laptop's battery from charging, to increase the amount of power available to other devices. Is there a way to do this? update The machine is a Dell Latitude D400. If people want more details, just ask. Also, I'm gathering that I need to explain my desired setup a little better. I've gotten a bunch of suggestions about taking the battery out. I'm not sure if people are suggesting to take the battery out while the machine is running — this, as I understand, is not a good idea with most laptops — or to just remove the battery altogether. The latter option is not optimal, because ideally I'd like to use the 30-60 minutes of power in the laptop battery and then switch over to UPS power. The details of the switch-over may constitute a separate question, but if I can't find a way to keep the laptop battery from charging, then removing the battery from the machine altogether may be the best way to do this. I'm not sure yet if this machine will run without a battery, but I'll check that out. Other than the laptop, the UPS is just supporting a cable modem and router and a USB hub. Again in the idealized version of this setup, all the power management changes would be automated, i.e. not require replugging anything or pressing Fn-keys. I'd like the machine to start using laptop battery power when apcupsd indicates that the UPS A/C is out, and then start using UPS power, but not charging the battery, when the battery is almost depleted.

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  • Why does ubuntu have a separate package for unison version 2.27.57?

    - by intuited
    The current ubuntu repo contains an extra set of packages for version 2.27.57 of the unison file sychronization utility: $ aptitude search unison p unison - A file-synchronization tool for Unix and W p unison-gtk - A file-synchronization tool for Unix and W p unison2.27.57 - A file-synchronization tool for Unix and W p unison2.27.57-gtk - A file-synchronization tool for Unix and W $ aptitude show '~nunison[^-]*$' | grep 'Package\|Version' Package: unison Version: 2.32.52-1ubuntu2 Package: unison2.27.57 Version: 2.27.57-2 What is the reason for this? Are there backwards incompatibilities in more recent versions of unison?

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  • How to recover data from a failing hard drive?

    - by intuited
    An external 3½" HDD seems to be in danger of failing — it's making ticking sounds when idle. I've acquired a replacement drive, and want to know the best strategy to get the data off of the dubious drive with the best chance of saving as much as possible. There are some directories that are more important than others. However, I'm guessing that picking and choosing directories is going to reduce my chances of saving the whole thing. I would also have to mount it, dump a file listing, and then unmount it in order to be able to effectively prioritize directories. Adding in the fact that it's time-consuming to do this, I'm leaning away from this approach. I've considered just using dd, but I'm not sure how it would handle read errors or other problems that might prevent only certain parts of the data from being rescued, or which could be overcome with some retries, but not so many that they endanger other parts of the drive from being saved. I guess ideally it would do a single pass to get as much as possible and then go back to retry anything that was missed due to errors. Is it possible that copying more slowly — e.g. pausing every x MB/GB — would be better than just running the operation full tilt, for example to avoid any overheating issues? For the "where is your backup" crowd: this actually is my backup drive, but it also contains some non-critical and bulky stuff, like music, that aren't backups, i.e. aren't backed up. The drive has not exhibited any clear signs of failure other than this somewhat ominous sound. I did have to fsck a few errors recently — orphaned inodes, incorrect free blocks/inodes counts, inode bitmap differences, zero dtime on deleted inodes; about 20 errors in all. The filesystem of the partition is ext3.

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  • Reliable alert dialogs from the shell

    - by intuited
    I'd like to have a message pop up in response to various system events, mostly in order to be able to set reminders for myself from a shell session. There are a few ways to do this; zenity seems to be the most polished. However, I've found at least two problems with zenity: Messages do not appear on all workspaces. I tried using the gtk option --screen to control this, but they just appear on the current workspace regardless. So if I am switching workspaces as the message comes up, I will not see it. Messages do not appear above all other windows. Specifically, if I am using guake, a new zenity message will appear below the guake window and I won't be able to see it. I tried a few other apps a while back. Both gmessage and xmessage exhibited problem 1; gmessage also exhibited problem 2. I did find that kalarm, which can be scripted from the command line, worked acceptably, but I'm trying to avoid running the KDE stack if possible, and would prefer something lightweight with zenity's versatility. It seems that it might be possible to arrange for these problems to be resolved by setting the WM_CLASS, but I'm in a bit over my head there. It might also be possible to make modifications to the window after it launches with a script, but again I'm not sure where to look for resources on that.

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  • Cloning (mirroring) laptop display to area of external monitor display

    - by intuited
    I'm using Maverick "10.10" Meercat on a HP Pavilion tx2110. This machine has an NVidia Go6150 graphics card, and sports a 1280x800 display. I have an external monitor which can do 1280x1024 resolution. FWIW I'm using openbox as my window manager; as I understand it this shouldn't be a factor. I'd like to clone the display to the monitor, so that the size of the desktop remains at 1280x800, and there is a horizontal blank area on the external monitor. I.E. I want to avoid having to pan the display of the desktop on either monitor. So the actual resolution of the monitor would be 1280x1024, but the resolution of the section of the monitor where stuff was actually being displayed would be 1280x800. Using the nvidia-settings applet, I'm able to set up the cloned display so that the desktop size is 1280x1024 (the resolution of the external monitor), but can't find a way to instead have the desktop size stay at the resolution of the laptop's built-in display. Is this achievable? Ideally I'd like the external monitor's blank area to be at the top of the screen, i.e. for it to align the display with the bottom of the screen.

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  • Diagnosing xmodmap errors

    - by intuited
    I'm getting this error when trying to use xmodmap to get rid of caps lock: $ xmodmap -e 'clear Lock' X Error of failed request: BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation) Major opcode of failed request: 118 (X_SetModifierMapping) Value in failed request: 0x17 Serial number of failed request: 8 Current serial number in output stream: 8 I'm running xfce on Maverick "10.10" Meercat. This problem did not occur before I added the Keyboard Layouts applet to a panel; before doing that, I was able to run my xmodmap script to swap Esc and CapsLock: !Remap Caps_Lock as Escape remove Lock = Caps_Lock keysym Caps_Lock = Escape It may be relevant that I chose alt-capslock as the keyboard switch combo in the Keyboard Layouts preferences. I've had a similar problem before, on a different machine, running openbox. On that machine, this problem started when I upgraded to Lucid, and has persisted in Maverick (release 10.10). I reported a bug in xorg. However, it remains unclear whether it's really a problem with xorg, or if I'm just doing something wrong with my configuration. Have other people experienced this problem? Can someone shed some light on what's going on here? It seems there are quite a few layers involved, and I don't understand any of them particularly well, so any information would be helpful. update I've discovered that the problem is specifically triggered by adding the Canada layout variant "Multilingual" (ca-multix). If I instead add the variant "Multilingual (first part)", the problem does not occur. I think this will probably end up being a usable workaround, but I don't yet know what the difference between these variants is. I've filed a freedesktop issue, and am commenting on a related ubuntu issue.

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  • Getting visual feedback of workspace switch in xfce

    - by intuited
    Not sure if this is an appropriate question for this site, since it's not really specific to Ubuntu. Those who feel it isn't should probably respond to my crosspost on the Unix and Linux stackexchange site. Sorry for any confusion, I'm still negotiating the borderlines between these sites (and superuser.com, where I also crossposted). I guess we all are. I make heavy use of workspaces, and have a lot of them (a 6x4 grid). I usually run openbox, but am currently using a machine that doesn't have openbox set up, so I'm using xfce because it's already mostly configured to my liking. I've gotten used to getting visual feedback when I switch workspaces, showing me which one I've just moved to, and am finding myself a bit disoriented in xfce. In openbox this is a big heads-up display, which is pretty much ideal. I'm aware that the workspace switcher panel applet will highlight the active workspace, but this only seems to work for workspaces which have some desktop space showing; since I generally have all my windows maximized, this isn't super helpful. Is there a way to enable visual feedback showing the new workspace when switching workspaces in xfce?

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  • Keeping multiple root directories in a single partition

    - by intuited
    I'm working out a partition scheme for a new install. I'd like to keep the root filesystem fairly small and static, so that I can use LVM snapshots to do backups without having to allocate a ton of space for the snapshot. However, I'd also like to keep the number of total partitions small. Even with LVM, there's inevitably some wasted space and it's still annoying and vaguely dangerous to allocate more. So there seem to be a couple of different options: Have the partition that will contain bulky, variable files, like /srv, /var, and /home, be the root partition, and arrange for the core system state — /etc, /usr, /lib, etc. — to live in a second partition. These files can (I think) be backed up using a different backup scheme, and I don't think LVM snapshots will be necessary for them. The opposite: putting the big variable directories on the second partition, and having the essential system directories live on the root FS. Either of these options require that certain directories be pointers of some variety to subdirectories of a second partition. I'm aware of two different ways to do this: symlinks and bind-mounts. Is one better than the other for this purpose? Is there another option? Do any of the various Ubuntu installation media/strategies support this style of partition layout?

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  • Reducing brightness of large areas containing bright colours

    - by intuited
    I do most of my work in either a terminal or a web browser. I prefer my terminals to use bright colours on dark. I would really prefer that web pages tended to look this way as well, but that's not under my control. The problem is that when I switch from a light-on-dark terminal to a dark-on-light web page (like this one), my eyes have to adjust to the overall rise in screen brightness. Apparently this is bad for your eyes, in addition to being painful and annoying. It would seem to be possible for some layer of the interface to adjust the displayed colours for parts of the screen, or perhaps for particular windows, to reduce the brightness of the brighter areas of the screen. Can this be done, possibly with a Compiz extension?

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  • With a typical USB hard drive enclosure, is the full range of drive power management functionality available?

    - by intuited
    In what may be an unrelated matter: is it possible to suspend a PC without unmounting an attached USB-powered drive, and then remounting it on resume? This is the behaviour I'm currently seeing (running Ubuntu linux 10.10). Are there certain models or brands that provide more complete control over this aspect of drive operation? My Friendly Neighbourhood Computer Store carries (part of) the Vantec Nexstar product line.

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  • probability of trouble-free upgrade

    - by intuited
    One of the problems with recommending Ubuntu to potential future users, especially those not particularly given to technical endeavours, is that there is a chance that upgrades will break their machine, and they'll have to pay or otherwise coerce some knowledgeable person into fixing them. In my limited experience of running successive versions of Ubuntu since 8-something on a couple of different laptops, this chance is quite high. I'm not sure if I'm just unlucky with the hardware that I'm using, or if it's a result of the higher-than-average number of packages I have installed, or if upgrades are just typically problematic. So I'd like to know the likelihood, for a casual user, of doing a release upgrade, for example from 10.04 to 10.10, without experiencing any regression bugs. Obviously this is dependent on the hardware that people are running. Canonical seems to be making some efforts towards collecting data on this, for example with the "I am affected by this bug" checkbox on their issue tracker, and with the laptop compatibility reports, but I've not seen anything comprehensive. I'm hoping for an objective reference here, for example a study carried out by relatively unbiased individuals. However, anecdotal evidence is probably useful too.

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  • power management of USB-enclosed hard drives

    - by intuited
    With a typical USB hard drive enclosure, is the full range of drive power management functionality available? In what may be an unrelated matter: is it possible to suspend a PC without unmounting an attached USB-powered drive, and then remounting it on resume? This is the behaviour I'm currently seeing (running Ubuntu linux 10.10). Are there certain models or brands that provide more complete control over this aspect of drive operation? My Friendly Neighbourhood Computer Store carries (part of) the Vantec Nexstar product line.

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  • `power/persist` file not found in USB device sysfs directory

    - by intuited
    The file /usr/share/doc/linux-doc/usb/persist.txt.gz mentions that the USB-persist capability can be enabled for a given USB device by writing 1 to the file persist in that device's directory in /sys/bus/usb/devices/$device/power. This is said — if I understood correctly — to allow mountings of volumes on the drive to persist across power loss during suspend. However, I've discovered that the device I'd like to enable this facility for — a USB hard drive — does not have such a file in its corresponding directory, and that attempts to create it are rebuffed. Is there perhaps a kernel module that needs to be loaded for this to work? Do I need to build a custom kernel? I'm running ubuntu 10.10.

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  • most reliable linux terminal app / general procedures for process stability

    - by intuited
    I've been using konsole (KDE 4.2) for a while now but it crashed recently. Konsole is efficiently designed to use one instance for all of the windows for your entire X session. Extra-unfortunately, because of this ingenuity the crash brought down all the humpty-dumptys and their bashes and their bashes' applications and all the begattens' begattens all the way down to Jebodiah Springfield into one big flat nonexistent omelette. The fact that this app is capable of crashing under any circumstances is pretty disappointing. Although KDE 4.2 is not expected to be entirely stable -- and yes, I know, I should update my distro -- it's still a no-sell for me, since if at all possible, this sort of thing Shouldn't Happen to something that's likely to be a foundation for an entire working environment. Maybe this is arrogant and unrealistic, but if it's possible to have something more stable, I want it. So other than running under screen -- which is fun, nifty, and thus far flawless in its reliability, but which has some issues with not understanding certain keycodes -- I'm looking for ways to improve my environment's reliability. The most obvious strategy is to cast about for a more reliable console app. A standard featureset -- which to me includes tabbed windows, Unicode support, and a decent level of keyboard shortcut configuration -- is pretty much essential. I'm currently running gnome-terminal and roxterm, both of which have acceptable featuresets (pretty much identical, actually; I think rox is actually the superset), and neither of which have provided me with extensive, objective reliability data. Not that they were expected to. Other strategies are also welcome. Were I responding to this question I would perhaps suggest backgrounding critical tasks with & and/or disowning them so they don't come down with the global pandemic. And stuff like that.

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  • Sharing the same `ssh-agent` among multiple login sessions

    - by intuited
    Is there a convenient way to ensure that all logins from a given user (ie me) use the same ssh-agent? I hacked out a script to make this work most of the time, but I suspected all along that there was some way to do it that I had just missed. Additionally, since that time there have been amazing advances in computing technology, like for example this website. So the goal here is that whenever I log in to the box, regardless of whether it's via SSH, or in a graphical session started from gdm/kdm/etc, or at a console: if my username does not currently have an ssh-agent running, one is started, the environment variables exported, and ssh-add called. otherwise, the existing agent's coordinates are exported in the login session's environment variables. This facility is especially valuable when the box in question is used as a relay point when sshing into a third box. In this case it avoids having to type in the private key's passphrase every time you ssh in and then want to, for example, do git push or something. The script given below does this mostly reliably, although it botched recently when X crashed and I then started another graphical session. There might have been other screwiness going on in that instance. Here's my bad-is-good script. I source this from my .bashrc. # ssh-agent-procure.bash # v0.6.4 # ensures that all shells sourcing this file in profile/rc scripts use the same ssh-agent. # copyright me, now; licensed under the DWTFYWT license. mkdir -p "$HOME/etc/ssh"; function ssh-procure-launch-agent { eval `ssh-agent -s -a ~/etc/ssh/ssh-agent-socket`; ssh-add; } if [ ! $SSH_AGENT_PID ]; then if [ -e ~/etc/ssh/ssh-agent-socket ] ; then SSH_AGENT_PID=`ps -fC ssh-agent |grep 'etc/ssh/ssh-agent-socket' |sed -r 's/^\S+\s+(\S+).*$/\1/'`; if [[ $SSH_AGENT_PID =~ [0-9]+ ]]; then # in this case the agent has already been launched and we are just attaching to it. ##++ It should check that this pid is actually active & belongs to an ssh instance export SSH_AGENT_PID; SSH_AUTH_SOCK=~/etc/ssh/ssh-agent-socket; export SSH_AUTH_SOCK; else # in this case there is no agent running, so the socket file is left over from a graceless agent termination. rm ~/etc/ssh/ssh-agent-socket; ssh-procure-launch-agent; fi; else ssh-procure-launch-agent; fi; fi; Please tell me there's a better way to do this. Also please don't nitpick the inconsistencies/gaffes ( eg putting var stuff in etc ); I wrote this a while ago and have since learned many things.

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  • disparity between `top`'s given CPU % and process CPU usage total

    - by intuited
    I've noticed that there are sometimes (large) differences between the reported total CPU usage and a summation of the per-process CPU utilization given by apps like top and wmtop. As an example: I recently ran a git filter-branch --index-filter on a fairly large repo, with the index-filter command piping git ls-files through a grep filter and into xargs git rm --cached. This took a few minutes to run; while it was going I noticed that both wmtop and top were displaying a high (above 50% on my 2-core machine) total CPU usage, but that neither showed any individual processes which were using a significant amount of CPU time. Are some processes not shown in the process list? What sorts of processes are these, and is there a way to find out how much CPU time they are using?

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  • creating a heirarchy of terminals or workspaces

    - by intuited
    <rant This question occurred to me ('occurred' meaning 'whispered seductively in my ear for the 100th time') while using GNU-screen, so I'll make that my example. However this is a much more general question about user interfaces and what I perceive as a flawmissing feature in every implementation I've yet seen. I'm wondering if there is some way to create a heirarchy/tree of terminals in a screen session. EG I'd like to have something like 1 bash 1.1 bash 1.2 bash 2 bash 3 bash 3.1 bash 3.1.1 bash 3.1.2 bash It would be good if the terminals could be labelled instead of having to be navigated to via some arrangement that I suspect doesn't exist. So then you could jump to one using eg ^A:goto happydays or ^A:goto dykstra.angry. So to generalize that: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, gnome-terminal, roxterm, konsole, yakuake, OpenOffice, Microsoft Office, Mr. Snuffaluppagus's Funtime Carousel™, and Your Mom's Jam Browser™ all offer the ability to create a flat set of tabs containing documents of an identical nature: web pages, terminals, documents, fun rideable animals, and jams. GNU-screen implements the same functionality without using tabs. Linux and OS/X window managers provide the ability to organize windows into an array of workspaces, which amounts to again, the same deal. Over the past few years, this has become a more or less ubiquitous concept which has been righteously welcomed into the far reaches of the computer interface funfest. Heavy users of these systems quickly encounter a problem with it: the set of entities is flat. In the case of workspaces, an option may be available to create a 2d array. However none of these applications furnish their users with the ability to create heirarchies, similar to filesystem directory structures, containing instances of their particular contained type. I for one am consistently bothered by this, and am wondering if the community can offer some wisdom as to why this has not happened in any of the foremost collections of computational functionality our culture has yet produced. Or if perhaps it has and I'm just an ignorant savage. I'd like to be able to not only group things into a tree structure, but also to create references (aka symbolic links, aka pointers) from one part of the structure to another, as well as apply properties (eg default directory, colorscheme, ...) recursively downward from a given node. I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to save these structures as known sessions, and apply tags to particular instances. So then you can sort through them by tag, find them by name, or just use the arrow keys (with an appropriate modifier) to move left or right and in or out of a given level. Another key combo would serve to create a branch in the place of the current terminal/webpage/lifelike statue/spreadsheet/spreadsheet sheet/presentation/jam and move that entity into the new branch, then create a fresh one as a sibling to it: a second leaf node within the same branch node. They would get along well. I find it a bit astonishing that this hasn't happened yet, and the only reason I can venture as a guess is that the creators of these fine systems do not consider such functionality to be useful to a significant portion of their userbase. I posit that the probability that that such an assumption would be correct is pretty low. On the other hand, given the relative ease with which such structures can be implemented using modern libraries/languages, it doesn't seem likely that difficulty of implementation would be a major roadblock. If it could be done in 1972 or whenever within the constraints of a filesystem driver, it should be relatively painless to implement in 2010 in a fullblown application. Given that all of these systems are capable of maintaining a set of equivalent entities, it seems unlikely that a major infrastructure overhaul would be necessary in order to enable a navigable heirarchy of them. </rant Mostly I'm just looking to start up a discussion and/or brainstorming on this topic. Any ideas, examples, criticism, or analysis are quite welcome. * Mr. Snuffaluppagus's Funtime Carousel is a registered trademark of Children's Television Workshop Inc. * Your Mom's Jam Browser is a registered trademark of Your Mom Inc.

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  • compose-key mappings differ between gtk and qt apps

    - by intuited
    I'm noticing that there is an inconsistency in the output of one of the compose-key combos. When I type ( [Compose] . . ) under Chrome, gedit, gnome-terminal, or roxterm I get the character '?'. This is a small raised dot: $ echo -n '?' | xxd 0000000: cb99 .. When I type the same combo under konsole, yakuake, or kate, I get the character '…'. This is an ellipsis: $ echo -n '…' | xxd 0000000: e280 a6 ... This is not a font issue: if I copy-paste the characters from an app using one toolkit to an app using the other, its appearance is maintained. I use a few other combos pretty regularly and they seem to work consistently across toolkits. I think this is a pretty recent phenomenon. I upgraded from Ubuntu 8.10 to 9.10 fairly recently so this might be related. I'm not sure if this will reoccur if I restart X, and I'd rather not find out. Can someone explain how this is possible, and what I can do to resolve it? I'd like to have the ellipsis appear in all apps when that combo is entered.

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  • "A disk read error occurred" when booting XP disk image in VirtualBox

    - by intuited
    I'm trying to boot an XP installation cloned into VirtualBox from a real drive. I'm getting the message A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart whenever* I try to boot the machine. * This is not strictly true: with AMD-V enabled, the boot process appears to not make it this far and instead hangs at a black screen with cursor. I created the VirtualBox image from the original drive using the following method: $ sudo ddrescue -n /dev/sdd sdd.img logfile # completed without errors $ VBoxManage convertfromraw sdd.img disk.vdi The original disk (and the image) contain a single NTFS partition with XP installed on it. The owner of the drive indicates that it did boot okay the last time the system made it that far. The (Pentium 4) system has a broken (enormous) heat sink, so at some point it failed to boot because it would quickly overheat and shut down. If I boot the VM from a live cd, I am able to mount its /dev/sda1 without any problems. I ran ntfsfix and didn't have any luck. I've read through the instructions on doing this. I didn't really follow them. For example, I didn't run MergeIDE before imaging because the machine was not bootable. However, the symptom of that problem seems to be quite different. The emitted message is contained in the volume boot record of the XP partition, which leads me to suspect that this is a problem with the core operating system bootstrap procedure, and not related to anything in the registry. I don't have an XP boot CD.

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  • Troubleshooting iptables and configuring it to drop the priority of long-term connections

    - by intuited
    I'm somewhat familiar with the general concepts of iptables, and would like to learn it in more detail. I'm hoping that my learning experience can also be useful. The situation: I'm running dd-wrt on my router. Despite its purported QoS skills, I'm still seeing connection latency shoot up hugely whenever there's an ongoing http connection, eg some large download. Under such conditions, it can take 10 seconds or more to load a basic webpage; sometimes the connections are dropped entirely. I've tried adjusting the parameters, dropping the allotted bandwidth for up and download to well under my limit, but nothing seems to work. dd-wrt is configured to use HTB as the QoS algorithm; HFSC, although presented as an option, seems to cause the router to crash, and is rumoured to not actually work on any linux system. I'd like to be able to troubleshoot this issue and hopefully improve the settings that dd-wrt is using, but I'm finding the learning curve a bit overwhelming. For starters I am not sure what HTB actually specifies: is this a set of iptables commands, or do some of those commands specify how HTB is to be used? I would like it to prioritize based on protocol the way that it already supposed to, and in addition I'd like to have it drop the priority of connections which have a high total byte count, say over 400KB. Also tips on utilities that can be run under dd-wrt to get more info on what's going on in there are appreciated. I've tried to get iftop to work but there were issues running curses. I'm leaning towards replacing dd-wrt with openwrt; comments on this strategy are also welcome. I suspect that I would be well advised to get a second router as a standin before trying that. It may be worth noting that my total bandwidth is pretty limited (256Kbit/s).

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