Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Enable playing of commercial DVDs (after reinstall, openSUSE 11, 4:4)

After trying to play a DVD I legally own, I was directed by my media player to openSUSE's DVD Playing info . From here, followed link to a website to install xine (all codecs enabled) via the
  • one click install. Finally needed to
  • install DeCSS library -- this link was helpful. Ended up
  • using the bash script here, run in a terminal window. Before it would run I had to make sure that I
  • changed permissions on the script, allowing execution, had to
  • make sure all dependencies listed in the comment block at the top of this script were installed, then had to
  • install GCC and GCC-Fortran with YaST when the script failed for lack of them.
Shell script finally ran, and exited with a message that seemed to imply that the install wasn't successful, but when I tried to play my DVD, it worked. :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Amarok 1.4 - Initial collection scan (after reinstall, openSUSE 11, 3:4)

  1. Open Amarok, (in the Lizard menu, under Favorites; or Applications > Multimedia > Audio Players)
  • Under Settings menu click Configure Amarok,
  • Click Collection in the left pane; put checkmark in box(es) next to the folder(s)
  • you have music in. (Expand/collapse branches of the directory tree by double-clicking on the folder name
  • You may wish to put a mark in box below to Scan folders recursively, and also to Watch folders for changes.
  • Click OK at the bottom;
  • Quit and
  • restart Amarok.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wireless networking - making it work (after reinstall, openSUSE 11, 1:4)

  • Open YaST.
  • Click Network Devices in the left pane, then
  • Click Network Settings in the right pane.
In the new window,
  • Click the Overview tab, and
  • select your networking hardware in the list,
  • Click Configure, and review the settings (defaults should be OK)
  • Click Next, and Finish.
Open a browser window. If there's still no connection close the browser, then
  • Open KNetworkManager (in Lizard menu, under Applications > System > Desktop Applet).
  • Click the New Connection button
  • Select Wireless in the dropdown menu
  • Type your network's ESSID in the textbox at the bottom of the new dialog window
  • Click Connect and Save.
If there's still no connection in the browser, reboot and retry.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

When did my geeky-ness begin?

My name's Dave, and this blog is my first.

I've been interested in computers since my days in middle school and high school. Dad introduced me to the Sinclair Z-86 back in middle school. He got me a Commodore 64 when those came out, and I got an IBM-PC a short time later. We had Commodore PET-20's in high school, and a teletype terminal with a modem--the kind with the rubber cups to grip the telephone handset securely--that connected with the nearby university's IBM mainframe. Some early Macs were great fun as well.

I did (and do) appreciate the design and user-friendliness of the Mac, and other Apple products, but I ended up sticking with PCs, for their open architecture. I appreciated the easy availablity of hardware and software to play with.

I've taught myself most of what I know about operating systems and command line interfaces and disk partitions and terminate-stay-resident programs and databases and desktop publishing and web publishing and digital image manipulation and component system assembly and wireless networking ... you get the idea.

I learned about personal computers by first learning the DOS operating system, and swore I'd never use Microsoft Windows when I saw Win 2.x, then Win 3.0...the CLI (command-line interface) was where the real power was--that's how you really got things done! Then Windows 3.1 came out, and an office job that required me to us PageMaker forced me into the GUI (graphic user interface
; say "gooey" ) world. But my start in the command-line world has stood me in good stead. If any arcane system configuration is required, you have to adapt to the appropriate computer language or syntax for the situation to be able to troubleshoot it, learn what's required to fix the problem, and successfully implement the solution. That's true in msWindows, no matter how hard they try to "kill the command line", and all the distros (distributions, or "flavors" or variations) of GNU/Linux I've ever used.
At least Linux doesn't make bones about it. Most of the recent distros that have a windowing user environment offer gui ways of adjusting most settings; they also don't hide the fact that most of those settings can also be manipulated by simply editing the appropriate text document and that anyone willing to put in the time learning which document needs to be changed and how, can do it. Unlike some nasty bloatware from Redmond I could mention. :)

So, this is me.
If you have an opinion, I'd love to hear it.
If you have a question or problem, bounce it off me--if I don't have the answer,
I can probably point you in the right direction, or at least a likely direction.