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A free Colonization clone. If you like freeCiv you like this. A nice turn based game. Its a addictive and I am hooked on it.

For debian/ubuntu users you can get it from:
On ubuntu the deb package handler will install java if you don't have it already. So keep in mind you might have to keep the internet connection alive to install a few extra things if need be.
FreeCol website:

I'm on Fotolia

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Well I signed up on Friday and started uploading pictures since, I have a around 10 ready to be verified. So let the sales being...

You can view them here:

Webcam server with ubuntu

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Last night I was playing around with a webcam motion detector program incidentally called motion. Very fast and lots of features. Its completely command line operated so its great for scripts. I had an idea to create a simple webcam page. Soooo I did. The great things about linux is the free spirit. A linux box can be just about anything you want it to. Hey if you want to check on the house with a webcam, a linux box and a ftp server you can! Or in my case if you want some sort of fun pointless webcam page hosted on your box you can! ect ect

To install motion on ubuntu
sudo apt-get install motion

It is important to note that motion by its almighty goodness does have a small server built into it. Check out if you want help with that. I am not using it since I was hoping to keep things simple and have a html page on my box. Sticking to what I know :).

I used lighthttpd to publish the webcam image. Lighthttpd is a simple, small, fast server that can allows you a server in less than 5 mins. It starts as soon as you install.
To install it run:
sudo apt-get install lighthttpd

I set motion up to save every image to the same file. So it just overwrites the old image with a new one from the cam. Editing the motion.conf in /ect/motion. I made a few adjustments.
To get motion to save the images in /var/www/ I based my .conf file on this tutorial, making a few changes:
target_dir /var/www/
snapshot_filename image
jpeg_filename image

So now (with motion having permission with sudo) motion will save the image in the www directory. All I needed to do is make a index.html and have some javascript to refresh the image.

To start motion I just run sudo motion. About it, done.

Cam viewing with Camorama

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Camorama can view and take pictures with a webcam or a Video4Linux device. Its a little neat tool. Don't know if its installed the right stuff for my webcam to work on say something like amsn cam feature, but it works fine. I have a logitech quickcam pro 4000, its like one the old, yet iconic logitech models.
On ubuntu you can install it with the package camorama
sudo apt-get install camorama

Why I like facebook over myspace

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After much use of myspace, on and off, I think iv just about given up. I have deleted a lot of people in the past and put a big blank div on my profile (so no one would comment). Just in case I came back I didn't delete it, sadly I did now and then.

Anyways several reasons why I hate myspace:
  1. The amount of silly bugs in myspace is enough to put me off full stop.
  2. Poor profile design, who uses tables anymore! Very 90's, get real.
  3. Spam, myspace is full of it. I don't want to see it. I don't even want to hear about it.
  4. Intrusive annoying ads
  5. Everything is a friends contest, attention seeking kids wanting comments.
Reasons why I prefer facebook:
  1. Simplistic (though its adding stupid unwanted pointless features all the time)
  2. A more grown up approach to networking
  3. Great groups
  4. Optional applications
  5. News feed feature, see what friends have been up to.
A lot of people might disagree with me but generally most people who network use a lot of networking sites such as bebo, myspace and facebook together. I find that over the top. Even though I have all 3. I am ashamed. I have no use for bebo so maybe ill delete it.

My top 10 favorite blogs

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I'm not really a telegraph reader but the paper does host interesting blogs.

Hacks! I love hacks. Everyone who loves hacks should check this blog out now and then.

Mark Shuttleworths (the entrepreneur behind ubuntu linux) blog.

Ubuntu linux tips.

Inspiring blog full of ideas for bloggers.

The digg blog. Follow whats going on at digg.

My friend's photos.

Home brewing and some science behind it. Interesting stuff.

The beos inspired haiku OS blog.


Unix/Linux hacks.

Make screencasts on ubuntu

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You can record your desktop with recordmydesktop

Simple neat little tool. You can select the whole desktop or just a window/area. Install the gtk version with
sudo apt-get install gtk-recordmydesktop
This should install the main program aswell as the gtk front end. If your looking for the name program packaged its simply called 'recordmydesktop'

Ubuntu and a HP printer

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As most of you know I have had major problems with my internet connection working on my main computer. Very weird stuff. Anyways I finally installed Ubuntu 7.04 on the main pc. I was a little scared. All my photos the hard drive of this pc. I backed them all up on a few dvds and got started on the install. Sized my 2nd hard drive ntfs a little down. Then stuck a ext3 and swap on the end. Installed Ubuntu. Installed my speedtouch in about 10 mins and I was on the net. Sadly though the computer disconnects from the net after about 30 mins with both OS's and both modems (I have 2 thanks to ben).

I have a cheap HP deskjet D2360 for text documents. Though HP are cheapskates for making the damn ink cartridges so tiny. I plugged it in the usb. I went to the printing section in administration and it found a driver. Well hmm not much for me to do but print a test page.

Was amazed by the setup. I thought devices under linux were hard to install? The Ubuntu printer settings and driver properties:

As you can see from above im using a driver for a similar model. Still works fine.
The big Ubuntu printer test page:

Gvim on ubuntu

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One of the greatest text editors of all time with support for GNOME2 GUI.

Many features included. My favorite being the split screen view, syntax highlighting, colour schemes. Useful for a lot of things but I like to write C in this. The current vim version in ubuntu repositories is VIM - Vi IMproved 7.0 (2006 May 7, compiled May 22 2007 21:12:53). There is a 7.1 out.

Install with
sudo apt-get install vim-gnome

Scrot for screenshots

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The problem with gnomes screenshot program is that its terribly slow for me. Like most things, the command line makes things faster, scrot standing for SCReen shOT and nothing rude, takes quick screen shots from the command line. It has plenty of optional parameters too.

Install Scrot in ubuntu 7.04 with
sudo apt-get install scrot

Using scrot
Open a console and using 'scrot image.png'. That will take a screen shot of the whole desktop and call the shot image.png in the home folder.
If your wanting a screen shot of a window with its border use 'scrot -s -b image.png' and select a window with the mouse.
To add a delay to a shot use 'scrot -d image.png' replacing with the number of seconds you want to delay it. You can add -c which adds a count down like so:

Parameters from Scrot manual (man scrot)
-b, --border
When selecting a window, grab wm border too

-c, --count
Display a countdown when used with delay.

-d, --delay NUM
Wait NUM seconds before taking a shot.

-e, --exec APP
Exec APP on the saved image.

-q, --quality NUM
Image quality (1-100) high value means high size, low compression.
Default: 75. (Effect differs depending on file format chosen).

-m, --multidisp
For multiple heads, grab shot from each and join them together.

-s, --select
Interactively select a window or rectangle with the mouse.

-t, --thumb NUM
generate thumbnail too. NUM is the percentage of the original size
for the thumbnail to be.

Official scrot home page at

Yabasic on the PS2

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Apart from stealing cars on GTA I like to dabble with yet another basic on the ps2 demo disc. I'm not a fan of BASIC but since its on the playstation its fun. It comes on the bundled demo disc. I don't think it comes with the newer slim ps2. It's probably the most interesting thing on the ps2 apart from the linux kit. It has no real use other than just fun. According to wiki "This was included in a failed attempt to circumvent a UK tax by defining the console as a "computer" if it contained certain software".

Sadly its impossible to save programs to media other than the memory card. I don't have a memory card reader for the PC. Makes it hard to write anything large and distribute it.

I don't really care to make games on the ps2, if I did would use some C and acquire the Linux kit or just a overpriced ps3. The biggest program I have written is about 30 lines and that was a little drawing program. Move drawn circle around the screen with the keyboard (I could use the control pad if I wanted to).

There is a version of the Yabasic interpreter for Linux and Windows at You can download the ps2's interpreter source code from Example code and reference with the ps2 in mind can be found at The ps2 version only came with PAL ps2's.

Fluxbox on ubuntu Tips

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I really like the speed and possible customization of fluxbox. With the GUI taking up less resources, programs have more available resources.

Install on ubuntu
sudo apt-get install fluxbox

Change the GTK control theme
Use a program called 'switch2'. Install it with
sudo apt-get install gtk-theme-switch
Keep in mind that when you change the GTK theme it will change the GTK theme in gnome. So its probably best to pick the theme you use on gnome.

Edit the menu
The menu file is ~/.fluxbox/menu. Edit it with a editor like gedit.
The defualt on ubuntu is:
[begin] (fluxbox)
[include] (/etc/X11/fluxbox/fluxbox-menu)
You might as well leave /etc/X11/fluxbox/fluxbox-menu, which is generated by the Debian menu package apparently installed with the fluxbox package, as a template/backup. Menus are easy to write but take forever. Have a look at the fluxbox documentation on menus.

Add a wallpaper
To add a nice wallpaper you need the feh package
sudo apt-get install feh
When you have the package you can use this command to add a wallpaper
fbsetbg -f wallpaper.png

The bad thing is that fluxbox will forget the wallpaper next time you start fluxbox. Not to worry though. Edit the startup file ~/.fluxbox/startup with something like sudo gedit ~/.fluxbox/startup and add the fbsetbg wallpaper command like above.
Another method is edit the init file. With something like sudo gedit ~/.fluxbox/init and add:
session.screen0.rootCommand: fbsetbg -f wallpaper.png

Install styles
Most of the styles (the good ones) go into ~/.fluxbox/styles. All you have to do is extract them to that folder and put any wallpapers into the ~/.fluxbox/backgrounds folder.
You can find styles at, and

Cant live without a file manger?
Just because your using fluxbox doesn't mean you cant use a file manager. Depending on what you have installed you can launch gnomes file manager with 'nautilus' or 'thunar' if you have the xfce desktop.

More info
Ubuntu fluxbox help
Official docs