Sunday, May 31, 2009

Must have Apps in my Ubuntu 9.04 (64bit)

There are two main categories for these applications. Those that you can install from the System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager, and those you can’t.

Synaptic Package Manager

* Inkscape
* FileZilla FTP Client
* Amarok
* Audacity
* Wine
* PulseAudio Volume Control (pavucontrol)
* Vuze (w/ RSS Downloader Plugin)

(Then to get the best of studio I also install)

* ubuntustudio-audio-plugins
* ubuntustudio-video
* ubuntustudio-audio
* ubuntustudio-graphics
* ubuntustudio-controls

From Website

* Picasa -
* Truecrypt -

More Complex

* Gnome Do (Look here for complete tutorial)

In a terminal write (Cut and paste entire section):

gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /tmp/gnome-do.keyring --keyserver --recv A5D19FDCAA6ABB440CD3464628A8205077558DD0
gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /tmp/gnome-do.keyring --export --armor
A5D19FDCAA6ABB440CD3464628A8205077558DD0 | sudo apt-key add -
rm /tmp/gnome-do.keyring

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add following lines to Sources List then save

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main
sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install gnome-do

When you run Gnome-Do for the first time, I suggest you change to preferences to take advantage of the “Docky” theme, and add in what plugins you see fit.
* Ubuntu Tweak (Look here for complete tutorial)

In a terminal write:

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add following lines to Sources List then save

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

How to install Ubuntu Linux from USB Stick

This tutorial describes how to install Ubuntu by copying the contents of the installation CD to an USB memory stick (aka flash drive) and making the stick bootable. This is handy for machines like ultra portable notebooks that do not have a CD drive but can boot from USB media.

In short here’s what you do:

Prepare the USB flash drive

Boot the computer from your USB flash drive.

Install Ubuntu as you would from a normal boot CD


A running Ubuntu 8.04 or any ubuntu version installation

A USB device (stick, pen-drive, USB hard disk) that has already been formatted with FAT32 and has enough free space to hold your Ubuntu installation image

A Ubuntu CD image downloaded from the Ubuntu servers or mirrors (*.iso file) or from here

Step 1

On the root directory of your USB device, create a folder “install”
Copy the installer kernel and the initramdisk into this folder (Download source below.You need the files “vmlinux” and “initrd.gz”).

Download source for the installer kernel and initramdisk

For AMD64 Download from here
For i386 Download from here

You need to download the files “vmlinux” and “initrd.gz”.

Step 2

Note: You need to have the installer that fits the architecture of your Ubuntu version you want to install. In other words, you need a amd64 installer if you want to install an amd64 Ubuntu .iso image and the i386 installer for an i386 iso.

Step 3

From the installation iso image you downloaded, copy the folder “isolinux” to the root directory of your USB device (right-click on the .iso file, choose “extract here”). Rename “isolinux” into “syslinux”. Go inside the directroy “syslinux”. There, rename the file “isolinux.cfg” into “syslinux.cfg”.

Step 4

Make the stick bootable: Use fdisk to set the boot flag,

Install syslinux using the following command

sudo aptitude install syslinux

Now use syslinux to install a boot sector on your USB device

sudo syslinux /dev/sdbX

where sdbX is the device name and number of your USB device, check with “sudo mount”. A file called “ldlinux.sys” will be created in the root direcotry of the USB device.

Step 5

Copy the Ubuntu CD image in the root directory of your USB device (Contents of USB you can see as follows).If you are using i386 you need to copy the complete .iso image in to the root directory of your USB device.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unprotect MS word Doument.

This is a how to on how to recover access to a word document that has been protected to disable editing.

In MS word if you go to the tools menu then select 'protect document' you can set the password to protect the document from editing. Useful feature if it s a memo or a form that needs to be passed about and you don't want anyone to make changes to it.

Now what happens if you forget the password and you need to make changes to the document?

For this instructable you will need.

1) A protected word document.
2) Ms Word.
3) Text Editor (like WordPad or Notepad).
4) Hex editor (Like WinHex).

step 1Method 1: Copy contents of the document into a new document.
One of the disadvantages of using this method is that you might mess up some of the formatting especially if you don't have all the fonts etc. Also some of the protection options even might prevent copying.

* Open the protected document do a Ctrl + A to select everything in the document.
* Do a Ctrl + C to copy the selected area
* Open a new document
* Do a Ctrl + V to paste the selected area
* Save the new document.

The new document is ready for you to make changes.

step 2Method 2: Format the word document.
a. Make a copy of the protected document incase you mess it up ;0)
b. Open the protected document in MS word.
c. Under the file menu select 'Save As'.
d. Under 'Save as type' choose "Web page (*.htm; *.html)" and click save
e. Close word.

step 3Method 2: Find the password.
* In WordPad (or notepad) open the HTML document you just created.
* Search through the document for tag.
* The value between the open and closed tag represents the
password. It should be eight characters in length. Write this value down.
(Characters: 12345678).
* Close WordPad

step 4Method 2: Hack the document.
* Open the protected document in WinHex (or other hex editor).
* Search the document for the characters you found in the previous step 12345678
* but in the order 78563412 (EBCBC61F)
* Once you have found the hex values overwrite them with 0's (zeros)
* Save the document

step 5Method 2: Open the document.
* Open the protected document in MS word.
* Under the Tools Menu select Unprotect document
* Don't type anything in the password box just click ok.
* Document is now unprotected and is ready for you to make changes.


Here is the easiest way I have found to unprotect a word document:

* save file as a Rich Text File
* File will appear with file name followed by .rtf
* Open .rtf and save as a word document
* click Tools and select Unprotect

This should give you the file unprotected.

Even simpler way is this:

1) Create a blank new document.
2) Select Insert | File...
3) Browse to the document, then click Insert.

You'll have the unprotected form document on your hands.

Much simpler and not underhand.....the reason this is done is to protect the document from changes for version control

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to Buy an HDTV

Finally ready to chuck that clunky CRT? Even if it's not your first flat-panel set, here's what you need to know before you start shopping for a new HDTV.

While the current economy has consumers cutting back on spending, electronics manufacturers are making that difficult by slashing prices and delivering tempting deals. So if you've been considering an HDTV, this could be the right time to buy: Sets of all sizes have never been more affordable, and today most, if not all, offer better performance and more features than last year's models. But selecting the right HDTV can be a challenge: Plasma or LCD? How big should it be? What resolution? Understanding the basics will help you make your choice (and your video) crystal clear. So here's what you should consider when shopping for an HDTV:

Plasma or LCD?
Plasma TVs were the only flat-panel game in town when they first became available to consumers more than a decade ago. And steady, gradual improvements in picture quality have transformed plasma into the world's top-selling HDTV display technology. But as a result of the remarkable rise in popularity of LCD TVs, plasma manufacturers are consolidating and shifting toward producing only sets with the larger screen sizes, where plasmas have the price advantage over comparable-size LCDs.
The popularity of LCD TVs can be attributed to some of the technology's inherent advantages over plasma, including a wider range of screen sizes, a very bright picture, and superior energy efficiency. Plasma's strengths include its picture consistency, which (unlike LCD) doesn't exhibit either color shifts, loss of saturation, or reduced contrast when viewed at oblique angles. With plasma you don't need to be front and center to have the best seat in the house. And a plasma TV's fast-pulsing pixels are better suited to minimizing detail loss when displaying motion video.

Although a promising new display technology called organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) offers significant improvements in energy efficiency and picture performance over both plasma and LCD, longevity concerns and challenges in the manufacture of large screen sizes have kept OLED from catching on. For now, your choice is still primarily plasma or LCD.

Where Will Your New TV Go?
Choosing the right HDTV will greatly depend on the room in which you're planning to watch it. Finding the right display size for your viewing environment is simple—go as big as you can fit in the space, budget permitting, of course. One tip for estimating the best size screen that will fit in an available space is to measure the width of the space you've allocated for the set and buy the largest screen size (measured diagonally) that will fit. (The overall width of most flat-panel HDTVs is equal to or less than its diagonal screen measurement.) Of course, this estimate works only for HDTVs with bottom-mounted, hidden, or removable speakers, and not for those with fixed side-mounted speakers, which increase the width of the set.

This handy chart will also help you figure out which screen size will work best. It outlines the minimum ideal viewing distance for various screen sizes when displaying quality HD material. Sit any closer to the screen and you'll start to notice the pixel structure of the display. Keep in mind that standard-definition (SD) video on an HDTV will look disappointing at the distances listed on that chart, so consider moving the main seating position farther back to improve the appearance of SD material.

Room lighting is also important. You want a TV with a screen that produces the best-looking picture under typical conditions. If you usually watch TV in a dimly lit room, plasma is your best bet because it can seamlessly reduce the overall intensity of the picture when displaying bright scenes so you can take in more subtle details. LCD TVs can create brighter pictures, so they work well in brighter rooms.

In a well-lit area, screen color can also strongly influence the impression of picture quality—images on darker screens (LCD or plasma) can appear more contrasty and saturated. Most LCD sets have very dark-colored screens, but some models incorporate a glossy screen finish that functions like a pair of sunglasses, making video black appear even darker (boosting picture contrast). Just be aware that these shiny screen surfaces can also increase distracting reflections. If you want to use an LCD TV in a darkened environment, consider choosing a model that can automatically dim its picture in response to reduced room light levels—or one that makes it easy to do so manually—to reduce eye strain.

Choose Your Resolution
1080p resolution (1,920 by 1,080 pixels, progressively scanned) is currently the pinnacle for consumer home-theater material, and all other things being equal, you want the screen resolution of your HDTV to match this format in order to provide the most detailed picture possible. But many factors affect the perception of picture detail, including distance, a person's eyesight, and the quality of the video material. At a viewing distance of 12 feet, it would be difficult for a person with 20/20 vision to distinguish between a 720p/768p and a 1080p display showing the same 1080p video (like a Blu-ray movie). 1080p is most critical with larger screen sizes, where larger numbers of smaller pixels create a more seamless image, but is less important for screens smaller than 40 inches, since you'd have to sit very close in order to notice the additional details. These days, though, 1080p sets are nowhere near as pricey as they once were. If you can afford 1080p, go for it.

Make the Right Connections
Your ideal HDTV should provide enough video connections not only for now, but for the foreseeable future. The most important input is the High Definition-Multimedia Interface (HDMI), which supports most forms of digital video and audio (from upscaling DVD players, game consoles, set-top boxes, and even some camcorders) using a single cable. Smaller HDTVs should provide a minimum of two HDMI ports and larger ones at least three. If you plan to hook up older analog video devices to your HDTV, make sure your new set provides enough of these connections too, as many new manufacturers are reducing the number and selection of analog inputs on newer sets.

An increasing number of HDTVs will play music and display photos from USB thumb drives, hard drives, or over your home network. Some will even let you connect to the Internet for news, weather, and other information, or access Web sites like YouTube or Flickr right from your remote control. So if you're interested, make sure your prospective set has those capabilities.

But Which Set to Get?
The first thing to remember when you're ready to shop: Always compare prices. Rarely does an HDTV sell for its list price, so some savvy online shopping can save you a bundle. And don't forget to check out the reviews before you buy; we've rounded up our top LCD and plasma HDTV picks to help you make the best choice.

Buying an LCD HDTV
As mentioned before, the reasons for LCD TVs' popularity include their wide variety of screen sizes, bright and eye-catching picture quality, and outstanding energy efficiency. One of the most exciting areas of innovation is the adoption of LEDs to replace the fluorescent tubes that have lit LCD TVs. LED backlighting helps reduce toxic materials (particularly mercury), improve color and picture contrast, and increase energy efficiency even more. Upping refresh rates from 60 Hz to 120 Hz has also improved picture quality, and cinema enthusiasts appreciate the faster panels' perfect fit with the 24-frame-per-second (fps) format in which most movies are filmed. 240 Hz is the next—and likely last—step along the path for increasing refresh rates, although not all manufacturers' 240-Hz display technology are created equal. Also, before year's end, today's slimmest 2-inch-thick screens will make way for models that are less than an inch thick. Remember, though, cutting-edge tech will cost you. As with the introduction of 1080p resolution and 120-Hz technology, razor-thin LCD HDTVs with LED lighting and 240-Hz refresh rates will initially command premium prices.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

10 Amazing Almost-Free Dates

The economy may be in the gutter (tired of hearing that yet?), but you don't have to sit home and stare at each other … or worse, at the TV. Grab your guy or girl and try these fun, inexpensive activities.

1. Pull a recipe from a famous restaurant off the Web — try or — and make your own version of a five-star meal together.

2. Have him over for game night. Mad Gab, Uno, and Twister can all be played with just two people.

3. Buy all the fixings for tacos and make your own at home. You need only a handful of ingredients: tomato, avocado, meat, cheese, shells. Download Latin songs onto your iPod to set a festive mood.

4. Head to a casino with $20 in change and play the slot machines. They often serve free cocktails on the casino floor.

5. Have dinner at a bar during happy hour. There are usually drink specials, and you might also score free appetizers (or at least a gratis bowl of chips). Plus, cozying up on bar stools can feel more intimate than sitting across from each other at a table.

6. Pick up a couple of cheap plastic sleds at your local sporting-goods or hardware store and go sledding. Warm up afterward by roasting s'mores on your stove top.

7. Teach each other to play your favorite video games, then place a sexy wager (whoever wins gets treated to a full-body massage that night, for example) before going head-to-head.

8. Belt out some tunes at your local karaoke bar. Sing with the crowd in the bar area for free or rent a private room, which usually runs about $6 to $15 an hour. They typically have anything from Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On to Kanye West's Love Lockdown.

9. Go ice-skating at a local rink. General admission is usually around $10, including the skate rentals. Even if you suck, you can still have a blast falling on your asses.

10. Plan a date in reverse. Meet for brunch (breakfast is usually cheaper than dinner), then hit an afternoon movie for the matinee price. Finally, make your way back home and spend the rest of the day in bed together.

More from MSN Lifestyle Site Search:
For additional articles on cheap date ideas, click here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

If there were a salary for mothering it'd be...

What is a mother's work really worth?

One of my favorite quotes in Laurie PK's Mother's Day post comes from the eminently quotable Anne Morrow Lindbergh: “By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.”

Add to that the fact that mothering work is unpaid, and it's a double whammy. True words like Lindbergh's are why it's both illuminating and depressing to put a dollar figure to the work mothers do at home. Just in time for Mother's Day, has done that in its 9th annual mom salary survey. This year, a stay-at-home mom performing the 10 most popular "mom-job functions" does the work equivalent of a $122,732 salary, up 5 percent over last year's calculations. A mom who works outside the home 40 hours a week does work that equates to an annual cash compensation of $76,184, an 11 percent increase. A lucrative second job--if that second shift were actually a paid gig.

How do the folks at arrive at such hefty numbers? First, they take 10 jobs that closely match the multiple jobs moms do at home. Think laundry machine operator, janitor, van driver, housekeeper, computer operator, cook, daycare center teacher, facilities manager, psychologist, and chief executive officer. Then they surveyed 12,150 moms to quantify their hours worked in each role for a typical week.'s compensation professionals weighted the different responsibilities of the job to determine the average mom's overall total compensation.

The (fake) salaries for mothers increased during a year salary increases are rare because's researchers found that moms--stay-at-home and work-outside-the-home--are outsourcing less of the around-the-house jobs and, as a result, are putting in lots of "overtime." According to the survey, the working mom had 17 hours of overtime in addition to her full-time hours both at work and as a mom, and the stay-at-home mom worked 56 hours of overtime, bringing her work week to 96 hours. That's a lot of unpaid work.

So, what's the value in calculating the value of a mother's work if there is no way she'll ever get paid for it? Well, in a culture that assigns value in dollars, it's important to see in black and white the many jobs moms do and how those jobs are valued in the job market. It's also a way for to highlight how its tools shed light on how employers set salaries for jobs.

"This is our ninth year looking at the value of mom's work. It has become a popular annual event because it not only recognizes the critical value of what moms do, but educates the public on the key factors that determine what employers are willing to pay for a given job," said Meredith Hanrahan, senior vice president at, Inc. "We value the job of mom based on her job description and calculate what an employer would have to pay in cash if they were to hire someone to do all that a mom does."

Want to know what you or a mom in your life should get paid? You can use the Mom Salary Wizard, then create a fake mom paycheck and pay stub to be sent on Mother's Day. But here's the dilemma: Knowing how much a mom should get paid can be a good thing if those around her are recognizing the value of all she does. Or, it could just make her very sad that she can't cash that check for real.

What do you think? Is there value in assigning a dollar value to all moms do?