James Selvakumar’s Blog

July 28, 2009

Convert video files to mp3 in Ubuntu

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:41 pm
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Learn how to convert video files to mp3 in Ubuntu using FormatFactory from this solitarygeek.com post.


Convert audio files in Ubuntu with SoundConverter

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:40 pm
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Learn how to convert audio files in Ubuntu using SoundConverter from this solitarygeek.com post.

February 4, 2009

Getting NetBeans ready for work on Ubuntu 8.10

Filed under: netbeans,ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:39 pm
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Now that you have upgraded from Windows to Ubuntu (like me 🙂 ), let’s see how to setup NetBeans quickly on your new Ubuntu machine without wasting much time.

Step 1: Install JDK

Install jdk on your machine using the super easy install option in Ubuntu. Open the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk

This will install the latest jdk available in the Ubuntu repository. This is cool because, you need not worry about updating your jdk whenever a new release is available. Your system’s “Update Manager” will take care of the rest.

Once the jdk is downloaded, you will be prompted to agree a license agreement in the terminal. Press “TAB” key to select the “Ok” option and then press “Enter”.


January 30, 2009

Ubuntu Network File System

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:47 pm
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I recently came across a scenario where I wanted to access the NetBeans projects located in another computer. That was a Ubuntu machine as well so I naturally went for the “Remote Desktop Viewer” (since I’m used to it when I was using Windows) feature available in my Ubuntu and opened NetBeans IDE in the remote machine to work with the projects. That was painfully slow, so I went to the “Terminal Server Client” with the protocol as “VNC”. Not much difference. These options were ok to just connect to a remote machine and perform simple operations. But when you want to work on a set of files for a long period of time inside an IDE, that’s a different story.

I use keyboard shortcuts heavily in NetBeans IDE and whenever I issue a series of commans via the keyboard, the remote desktop connection went havoc and got struck inbetween. I had to periodically disconnect and connect to the remote session again which was really painful.

Here my need is to access a set of files located in another machine. I really don’t want to view the desktop of the remote machine nor need to run some applications from there. So I was looking for other options and came across a really fantastic concept called Network File System or shortly NFS.


January 29, 2009

Nimbus – A great theme for Ubuntu

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 2:39 pm
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I recently tried the cool and fresh “nimbus” theme (which is the default theme on OpenSolaris) on my Ubuntu 8.10. It’s really pleasant and relaxing. And run NetBeans with “nimbus” look and feel explicitly set to have a really pleasing effect. And here are some screenshots from my Ubuntu:

You can get the nimbus icons and themes from gnome-look.org. Just download the “icon” and “gtk-engine” debs and run it. (TIP: First install the “icon” deb)

December 13, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10 – A Productive Java Development Environment

I recently started using Ubuntu 8.10 at my workplace as well. Till then, I have been using Ubuntu only at home. For me, Ubuntu@Work was very different from Ubuntu@Home. I mostly surf, blog, listen to music and play some games at home. But Ubuntu@Work was a completely different scenario.

Since I’m new to this linux stuff, it took me some time to configure things like static ip address, host names etc. But once everything was setup, things started moving quickly. I initially had doubt in my minds about the font rendering of NetBeans (or any swing app for that matter) under linux. I even wrote an post showing my frustration with NetBeans font rendering when compared to Eclipse. But with jdk.1.6.10, font rendering is smooth and NetBeans works like a champ! You can see some samples here:


December 9, 2008

Ubuntu@Work, finally…!

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:18 pm
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I cannot forget this day in my life. I’ve been granted permission by my company to use Ubuntu Linux for my work from today. It was like a dream come true for me. I’ve been using Windows for any serious kind of development work till yesterday. Today I felt extremely happy when I booted into linux at my work place for the first time ever to do development. Hurrah! Ubuntu@Work, finally…!

But it was not a bed of rose for me. I first came across the linux world almost 2 years back, when one of my colleagues passed me a Ubuntu 6.x Live CD. I never bothered about it (to be frank, I was scared to use it 🙂 ) for quite some time. Then I luckily noticed a information in the Live CD that I can try it without ever installing it on my machine. That sounded great to me. I quickly booted into the Live CD and entered into the wonderful world called linux for the first time ever. It was really a pleasant experience.

Not until the fall of 2007, I had the guts to install Ubuntu in any form. Things started to change when I bought a new Dell notebook. It had plenty of hard disk in it and it was quite new which prompted me to try linux in some kind of installed form. So I quickly searched through the web about setting up a dual boot machine along with the Windows XP that was pre-installed in my new notebook. Though I had initial success  in installing Ubuntu, that did not last long. Some issues like improper screen resolution drove me away from Ubuntu for a while.


December 7, 2008

Beyond Wubi…

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:27 pm
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In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I installed Ubuntu 8.10 in my machine via Wubi. Before that, I was playing around with some *nix distros with the help of VirtualBox which ran on Windows XP in my machine. Wubi was very helpful in installing Ubuntu side by side with Windows XP which still is my primary operating system. So if you are new are still a Windows user but pondering to try linux in the safest possible way, Wubi is probably the simplest choice available. If you haven’t already tried it, I encourage you to go for it. You won’t be discouraged.

After playing around with my Ubuntu 8.10 installed inside a virtual harddisk, courtesy Wubi, I felt that I should go for a full installation. Though Wubi gives you a perfectly working Ubuntu system, it should not be compared to a full fledged installation. For example, certain features like “Hibernation” are not available when you install Ubuntu through Wubi. Wubi’s primary objective is to encourage Windows users to try and enjoy Ubuntu. At the end, when you are comfortable with Ubuntu, it’s time for a complete installation. And that’s exactly what I did.

I have attempted for a full installation before but I was always scared whenever I come across the “partition” page. And being a Windows user, I never understood terms like “dev/sda1”, “/home” etc. But after playing around with VirtualBox and Wubi, I felt comfortable enough to go ahead.


November 30, 2008

jUploadr – A cool upload tool for Flickr

I upload photos regularly to my flickr account. Till now, I used the built-in web based upload tool offered by flickr. I’ve used both the basic version and the flash based version of their upload tool on both windows and linux. However, as I upload more and more photos, I didn’t enjoy the web based upload tool offered by flickr. That doesn’t mean the web based upload tool is not good. It’s really good and based on your taste and need, it might be the only tool you would like to use to upload photos to your flickr account.

My taste was different. I preferred a desktop upload tool and initially looked for some firefox add-ons. I tried some add-ons but they were really a nightmare! Some of them crashed my browser and some of them slowed down firefox. So, I quickly removed them and lived with the default web based upload tool offered by flickr. Of late, as I was looking for some desktop tools, I found some tools listed down in the official flickr site. There are some official flickr desktop tools for both windows and mac, but sadly, there are no official tools for linux. This is not the first time linux had been treated as a third class citizen by many vendors! Nevertheless, there are so many third party applications avaliable for linux. And if there is one tool which immediately got my attention, it’s jUploadr. The beauty of jUploadr is, unlike many other flickr tools, which were available for a dedicated operating system, jUploadr can run on linux, mac and windows.


And now NetBeans 6.5 is there in my Ubuntu-8.10

Filed under: netbeans,ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 1:44 pm
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NetBeans is my favourite IDE for java development. I’ve been using NetBeans from version 4.1 onwards and I can’t believe that it has progressed and transformed itself so well. Right from version 5.0 onwards, NetBeans has been making amazing strides in terms of developer adoption. And the recent 6.5 release is really fantastic. It’s fast, it’s responsive and got many new cool features. Though I use NetBeans at office which runs on Windows XP, I haven’t tried that yet on my Ubuntu-8.10. So, I thought it’s time to give it a go.

Installing NetBeans in Ubuntu in very easy. The only pre-requisite for installation is to have a suitable JDK on your machine. That too is not a problem if you download the NetBeans + JDK bundle. But I thought of installing them separately. By default, Ubuntu-8.10 doesn’t come with JDK pre-installed, so you have to install it manually. Installing JDK in Ubuntu is just a matter of issuing a “one line” command. Just open your terminal and type:

“sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk”

or, if you are a person who prefer GUI more than command line, open your Synaptic Package Manager and look for “sun-java6-jdk” and install it. What surprised me though was the availability of the latest JDK, i.e, “JDK 6 Update 10”. Installing JDK had never been so easy.


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