Don’t Listen Alone the LUGRadio Story


Last year LugRadio wrapped up after five seasons, over 2million downloads and six live events. For over a year Tony Whitmore from the ubuntu-uk Podcast has been working on a documentary chronicling the history of the show, and packed with interviews, behind-the-scenes footage of how the show was planned, the studio, LugRadio Live USA and more. He premiered the hour-long documentary at LugRadio Live 2009 to resounding applause and acclaim, and it is now available online, and freely available under a Creative Commons License.

“Don’t Listen Alone: author: Tony Whitmore License: CC-BY-SA
http://ia341328.us.archive.org/2/items/Dont_Listen_Alone/dont_listen_alone.ogv

How to Free the High School kids of New South Wales


Author: threethirty Member 0 NumberedHumanIndustries
More info: http://numberedhumanindustries.com/members.html

License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC-BY)
More Info: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

G’day kids, I recently found out that no one trusts you, not your teachers, not your principals, not your parents…
but hey I do. Before you start wondering “So who is this bloke?” I’m one of those pain in the butt hippie types your parents don’t want you talking to, and why am I doing this? Because I’m 24 years old, in one year no one should trust me (never trust anyone over the age of 25) so I had better get this in now.

Ok so Lenovo and the Department of Education and Training provided laptop “personal” computers to you guys and your teachers. I put personal in quotes because that’s crap. They are not personal computers they are personnel computers, as in someone else has control over them. They have installed some of the same type of software on there that if it was put there under any other circumstance it would be called “Spyware”. This is not good no matter what they tell
you.

Two examples of the “innovative technologies” introduced by Lenovo with the IdeaPad S10e (which you all received) include “advanced network security and remote manageability tools”. Advanced network security tools prevent users (that’s you kids) from accessing unauthorized internet content and control access to NSW DET networks. This means not only can they keep you off of Myspace and Facebook, but they can watch what sites you are allowed to go to.

Remote manageability tools allow NSW DET to remotely monitor and manage the devices on demand, wherever they are located, maximizing their efficiency and effectiveness. This means that even when you are at home the DET can spy on you, fun huh?

The Lenovo IdeaPad S10e features ground breaking theft protection features such as hardware level reporting, retrieval and remote disabling functions and RFID tagging. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10e presents a zero value theft proposition thereby removing any incentive for them to be stolen and protecting the students and teachers that use them. This is all marketing speak, what it really means is that they can break your new cool laptop and RFID is a tracking system created by the manufacturing industry to track pallets. Guess what kids you are not people, you are property. And these are not features that will keep you safe. Anyone can track you with $100USD (yeah I’m an American) worth the hardware that you can buy online. The only way I know of to kill a RFID is to microwave it… and that’s a bad idea, it will kill the laptop and get you in heaps of trouble. But I do know what you can do. If you are worried about someone tracking you on your way to and from school and stuff like that, wrap the whole laptop in Aluminium Foil it will block all of the signals going in or out.

There is this thing called Linux. It runs on cellphones, servers, computers, all kinds of stuff. It also doesn’t have to be installed on your laptop to be able to use it. You can install it on a USB “thumb” drive, which is pretty cool.

If you go to http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ it will tell you how to install it on your thumbdrive. Yeah it
looks a little hard but I promise it isn’t, just follow the instructions and it will work. Just make sure you
download the Windows version of unetbootin. In unetbootin there are several different kinds (also known as distributions) of Linux listed. I have had great success with Ubuntu and Fedora, but any of the ones listed should be good also.

What this will do is let you use the computer without letting the DET spy on you, and wont mess up the computer so while you are at school you can do all the stuff they want you too with out getting in trouble. This works because it uses the thumbdrive as a harddrive so the bigger the space on the thumbdrive the more stuff you can install and store on there!

If you want some more tips and ideas on how to be a pain in the butt with technology have a look at Cory Doctorow’s book Little Brother which you can get for free here http://craphound.com/littlebrother/

Conky and Ubuntu One (or dropbox) To Do How To


Do you have a todo.txt file? Wanna have it show up on the desktop? Wanna have it on multiple computers? Then read on:

[edit: since this was first written I have switched from *buntu to Fedora (and am much happier because of it) so I have added Fedora specific stuff for a bit of equal time)

Step One: Install Conky.

Conky is a system monitor for X originally based on torsmo. Since its inception, Conky has changed significantly from its predecessor, while maintaining simplicity and configurability. Conky can display just about anything, either on your root desktop or in its own window. Not only does Conky have many built-in objects, it can also display just about any piece of information by using scripts and other external programs.

On Debian/Ubuntu either:

apt-get conky
or
aptitude conky

On Fedora

yum install conky

Step Two: Sign Up for and Install Ubuntu One (still in beta if you want an invite stick your identica username or email address in the comments) or Dropbox:

On Ubuntu:
You can find Ubuntu One at https://ubuntuone.com/ and you can find Dropbox at https://www.getdropbox.com, both of these services have free 2GB storage, and have a GPL plugin for Nautilus. If you aren’t using GNOME @ me on Identi.ca and if I get more than a couple of messages i’ll write a how-to on setting them up in other desktop environments/window managers.

On Fedora: To date there isnt a working UbuntuOne build. there was a try http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/lkundrak/ubuntuone/ but I couldn’t get it to work. But Dropbox totally works!

Step 3: Make a todo.txt file:

Assuming you are doing this by the defualts you will have a ~/Ubuntu One/ (or ~/Dropbox) folder. Just stick your todo.txt file there.

PROTIP: I put [ ] infront of each thing that needs to be done so that I can ad an “x” to it (and thus having [x] so that I can tell what I have accomplished.

PROTIP: Create a shell script called todo that has “gedit ~/Ubuntu One/todo.txt” without quotes to /usr/bin/ and then you can use your Alt+F2 launcher to quickly edit your todo list. You can substitute gedit with whatever grapical editor you want, and if you are playing the Dropbox version of our game it would be “gedit ~/Dropbox/todo.txt” again without the quotes.

Step 4: add your todo list to conky:

add:

Todo: Today, ${color slate grey}${time %a, } ${color }${time %e %B %G}
$hr
${execi 30 cat /home/three/Dropbox/todo.txt | fold -w50 }

to your conky config file (it’s often in your home folder under .conkyrc but sometimes it’s in /etc/conky/conky.conf)

Step 5: enjoy your productivity:

any computer you put Ubuntu One or Dropbox on will be able to do this so a desktop, laptop, and netbook can all have the same info (as long as you get them online long enough for it to sync)

Extra:

Here is my conky config if anyone is interested:

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/194299/conkyrc

and a screenshot :

This is a screenshot of my eeepc

This is a screenshot of my eeepc

One great thing about Ubuntu Linux


[disclaimer]I am an Ubuntu fanboy.[/disclaimer] I recently decided to do something I had never done before. I decided to do a dist-upgrade. Now a dist-upgrade is the equivalent to to running Windows XP and Being able to upgrade all of the packages to Vista via the internet and without any kind of disk media. This is usually not recommended (you really do accumulate a lot of crap and should blow your system clean every once in a while) but can be a fun experience. **NOTE** BACK UP BEFORE YOU DO THIS, SOMETIMES UNEXPECTED THINGS HAPPEN AND YOU DON’T WANT TO LOOSE DATA **

I went from Ubuntu 6.06 LTS “Dapper Drake” to Ubuntu Ubuntu 6.10 “Edgy Eft”. This took an entire night over my DSL connection but I was still able to use the computer. It is really cool to have Firefox 1.5 open, close it for a little bit, and open it sometime later to 2.0. This actually surprised me because I was not watching the terminal for the status. after I got all of the available updates for edgy, I went ahead and dist-updated to the newest version of Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn”. Which the the whole next day.

Now I have to be honest I have some packages that won’t update. It’s not really that big of a deal, and I have a problem with Beryl (the 3d compositing window manager) where my window borders disappear. Again not a big deal to me.

If you want to know more about dist-upgrades just leave a comment and I’ll add it to this post