Hilarious French Machinima Series "Bill et John" (w/ subtitles)

This is the hilarious first episode of "Bill et John", a machinima series based on Lock On Modern Air Combat. There are subtitles. Enjoy! See the first comment for the second episode too!

read more | digg story


Current plans for Ubuntu 8.04

From Digg:

This is subject to change during the ongoing UDS Boston Meeting, but we are likely to see a complete new Ubuntu theme, a new icon theme, a revamp of the logout dialog, changes to the desktop effects, changes to the login screen and implementation of automated tests in Ubuntu 8.10.

Now that Ubuntu has released Gutsy Gibbon, they're already planning the next release, Hardy Heron (8.04). There are some very exciting developments coming up. Check it out!

read more | digg story


How to install the linux port of Xbox Media Center

The xbox media center is an awesome media center app. And now it runs on Linux. Though their website doesn't make it sound promising, it actually works almost perfectly. Follow the instructions below to get it working under Feisty Fawn:

  1. Check out the source using these instructions, but don't run build.sh yet.
  2. Go to the /media/fonts folder inside your XBMC folder you just checked out.
  3. Change the "arial.ttf" file to "FrankophilSans.ttf"
  4. Continue with instructions, using the build.sh script method.
  5. After launching, to go to full screen, use the "\" (not "/") key.
Have fun!

Now here's a video of what you get:


Another month in Austria

Well, I'm back in Austria for a month. I'm visiting my girlfriend here. We've watched a lot of movies, and installed Ubuntu on her computer, and gone hiking, and eaten lots of her mother's amazing food, all the while speaking a mix of German and English.

I have some photos taken on our hike today for your enjoyment! You might be able to use some of them as wallpapers if you want.


Yet Another Desktop Configuration

I chose to remove the top panel with this wallpaper, since that way it would appear more "open". The same wallpaper works well as a skydome, as well!


New Compiz Fusion Videocast: FusionCast

Please check out my new Videocast: the FusionCast!


And digg it if you like it, digg button on that page :) Thanks!

Avant Window Navigator SVN

Take a look at bleeding-edge AWN:
Remember, this is free, and out BEFORE leopard ;)

I love it.


Two New Compiz Fusion Plugins: Screensaver and Aquarium

There are two new plugins available in Compiz Fusion git, so I made a screencast of them.

Getting Started With Compiz Fusion

A new tutorial video I made. Enjoy


Now, googling compiz fusion links to my video

That's just really cool... :) Thanks to all who made it popular.


gegls from outer space


hint: under ubuntu, hit alt-f2

Skype under WINE

Sure, there's a skype for linux, but it doesn't support Video or Skypecasts or Games, etc. So I decided to try skype under wine. There isn't much documentation for it on the wine AppDB (it's old data), but it actually works amazingly well, considering it's a complicated program which uses one of the worst-implemented parts of WINE, the sound system.

You have to choose the Windows 98 option for it to log you in. It logs in, and looks nice and pretty, and you can even call people and the call works--the only problem is: people can't hear you, because WINE's audio input is horrible ;)

I tried calling my house with skypeout, and it worked. I even could hear myself talking on the phone. But nothing worked to get the audio input working... This looks promising though :) Wine is updated frequently, and maybe one of the next updates will get there...!

Also, no video, or skypecasts. So it's not any more useful than Skype for Linux. But it looks cool ;)


Another blogger is trying Compiz Fusion out

Another blogger is blogging about compiz fusion, inspired by yours truly. I will be following his experience, and editing my howto accordingly.

Take a look at his blog: http://pixel-death.blogspot.com

Hopefully, he will have a good experience with CF :)

How exactly to get Compiz Fusion running with no knowledge of linux and no linux install

Important update: I added the installation of Restricted Drivers. This is necessary for compiz to work! :)

UPDATE 2: I changed the links for the wallpaper and panel BG because uploadingit.com is offline right now.

Thanks to user "alex", I have decided to make a complete tutorial to get from Windows to my basic setup. This actually shouldn't take more than a day or two, which is not bad, considering you're installing an entire new operating system.

I. Obtaining Ubuntu

  1. Go to the Ubuntu Download Page and get Ubuntu 7.04, typing all the requested information in.
  2. When your ~700MB download is finished, burn the ISO image to a disc with your favorite CD burning software.
  3. This part might be difficult for those with not so good computer knowledge, but you have to get your computer to launch off the cd. It depends on how your computer is made, but you might need to change the boot order in the BIOS. Or, you might have to do a key command to boot off the cd.
  4. When you've booted off the ubuntu cd, you'll have an option to "Install or boot Ubuntu". Go ahead and choose that, you won't lose any data yet.
  5. The CD will boot, and give you a working desktop environment. This is all running off the cd, and as a result nothing is saveable, and no settings are retained after reboot.
  6. Double-click the install icon on the desktop.
  7. Follow the instructions. When it comes to partitioning, if you want to keep windows, then DON'T choose the option to completely format the drive, otherwise do.
  8. Install Ubuntu on your system. This might take only 20 minutes, depending on the state of your hardware.
  9. Restart your computer, and if you have windows and ubuntu installed, choose the first option for ubuntu. Log in.
  10. You've installed ubuntu!
Now on to the next step!

II. Installing the proprietary graphics driver (skip if you have intel or another that's already supported)
  1. Open up System>Administration>Restricted Drivers Manager.
  2. If you have an nVIDIA card, it will show up on the list. Install it by following the easy instructions. Make sure it's enabled.
  3. As prompted, restart your computer.

III. Getting the wallpaper and the panel candy and setting up your black theme
  1. First, download my green wallpaper here.
  2. Right-click the desktop and choose "Change desktop background."
  3. Browse to the folder in which you've saved my wallpaper, and choose it.
  4. Now get this png image.
  5. Right-click the panel on the top, and choose "Properties". In the Background tab, choose the png as the background image. You might have to make the panel thinner for it to look good. That's in the general tab.
  6. Go to the System>Preferences>Theme menu item. Choose the option "Customize".
  7. Under the Controls tab, choose Glossy
  8. Under the Colors tab, make the:
    1. Windows/Background #3E3E3E
    2. Input boxes/Background #4A4A4A
    3. Selected Items/background #616161
    4. And all the text items white.
  9. Under the Window Border tab, choose Glossy
  10. Under Icons, choose Tangerine.
  11. Close the Theme Details window, and choose "Save theme..." and save your theme.
  12. Now, to fix a little bug with the tooltips, get Gnome Color Chooser (to install, download and double-click)
  13. Open up Gnome Color chooser (system>preferences) and under the Specific tab>Tooltips make Background #565656.
  14. To fix some bugs with Firefox, do this (terminal):
    1. cd /usr/share/firefox/res
    2. sudo cp forms.css forms.css.bak
    3. sudo gedit forms.css
    4. (text editor): replace all instances of " background-color: -moz-Field " with background-color: #ffffff; //-moz-Field
    5. replace all instances of " color: -moz-FieldText; " with " color: #000000; //-moz-FieldText; "
    6. Save and quit.
Now you have a black theme and a nice wallpaper/panel! On to Compiz Fusion!

IV. Installing Compiz fusion through Trevinho's Eyecandy Repository, and installing Avant-Window-Navigator (dock)

We are going to use terminal commands, because it is faster that way. Don't be afraid, these aren't hard to use.
  1. Open up a Terminal window (applications>accessories>terminal)
  2. type into the terminal: sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
  3. Type in your password (it will appear that nothing is happening, but the password is being received)
  4. A nice text editor with a bunch of text in it already should open up. Go to the very bottom of this and add the following five lines:
    # TreviƱo’s Ubuntu feisty EyeCandy Repository (GPG key: 81836EBF - DD800CD9)
    # Many eyecandy 3D apps like Beryl, compiz and kiba-dock snapshots
    # built using latest available (working) sources from git/svn/cvs…
    deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy
    deb-src http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy
  5. Save the file and close the text editor. Type into the terminal: gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv 81836EBF
  6. Type into the terminal: sudo apt-get update
  7. Type into the terminal: sudo apt-get upgrade
  8. You might get a bunch of updates now, so just wait until they're done.
  9. Now type into the Terminal: sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz fusion-plugins-main compiz-fusion-plugins-unsupported compizconfig-settings-manager avant-window-navigator emerald emerald-themes
  10. That should install the dock, and compiz-fusion.
V. Launching Compiz Fusion and the dock
  1. Type into the terminal: compiz --replace ccp && emerald &
  2. You should now have wobbly windows! try it out. If it doesn't work, you might have to adjust some settings, but it should work fine.
  3. Under System>Preferences>CompizConfig Settings Manager you can change your settings. You will have to enable the plugins before they work (of course).
  4. Under Applications>Accessories>Avant Window Navigator you can launch the dock.
  5. You can adjust your panel settings so that the bottom panel is deleted, and the trash can is moved up to the top panel, etc, but I'm not going to get into that.
  6. Now, to get it so that you can close the terminal without stopping your compiz fusion, type alt-F2 and run the same command as if you were in a terminal.
VI. Installing my Emerald theme (for window decorations)
  1. Download my theme here.
  2. Go to System>Preferences>Emerald Theme Manager.
  3. Choose "Import..."
  4. Choose my .emerald file you downloaded.
  5. Choose it in the list now.
  6. You should have a sleek black window decoration now!
VII. Making it so Compiz Fusion starts on boot

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure about this yet. Eventually, there will be a tray icon that works pefectly, but not yet. Just wait... This is alpha software. You can search the forums for a solution. I'm sure there's one somewhere :)

OK! You're done!

Keep in mind that your Ubuntu install won't play DVD's or mp3's, etc, yet. You have to research that elsewhere :) For help you can go to the Ubuntu Forums.

If you want to install a new program, you can go to Applications>Add/Remove applications and choose applications to install. They'll download and install automatically.

And finally, to get out of compiz, do alt-f2 and type metacity --replace. That should dump you back into the default ubuntu window manager. I would suggest quitting Avant-window-navigator first though, since it doesn't run properly without compiz.

Tell me how it works !

EDIT: Due to questions about gmail notifier, I felt obliged to hack it. Here's a fix for it to work with dark themes.

Also, follow these instructions, and your firefox controls will look better!


Flash Calculator

I made a flash calculator at school a few months ago, so I'd like to show it to you. Here it is: http://uploadingit.com/files/21766/advcalculator.swf

:) Enjoy.

PS: though it doesn't really look like it, the box that doesn't seem to align with the numbers on top is supposed to be a glass effect, but it didn't work. Don't have flash here at home to fix it.


Playing Halo Trial without Windows (or Mac.. hehe)

This is a video I made of me playing halo trial with WINE on ubuntu. Although there are a few annoyances, it works quite nicely and is fun to play. Halo trial is downloadable off the Microsoft website. I did not need to change wine in any way to play it, though I did turn off CompComm so that I have more memory space to play.

read more | digg story

CompComm now known as Compiz Fusion

The official name of the Beryl/Compiz merge is now Compiz Fusion. I'll live with it. :) We'll see how a logo can be created... I may make my idea of the logo... sounds fun!

This final naming means that packages may be available soon for download (for those who don't like compiling) ... Looking good!


CompComm: A Quick Demonstration

Here's a little video I made of my desktop with CompComm. More info on the youtube page. Low Quality version also available there.


Cool screenshot of my black desktop theme

You've gotta love this.

EDIT: Find all the info (except the wallpaper is different) here: http://forums.opencompositing.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=844

I didn't like the wallpaper anyway.


I've joined 3bix

3bix, the up-and-coming blog of some of my classmates and friends, has invited me to contribute to them. Check it out!

PS: They added their hit counter yesterday, and it already has 180+ hits!


Wallpaper for Ubuntu

ONLY UBUNTU USERS can use this wallpaper :P

I was fooling around with the gimp to make a simple wallpaper, and here it is. So don't go thinking that the gimp can't produce quite nice things, ok? I do agree that photoshop is better, but photoshop costs a few hundred bucks more (gimp is free! :) ).


I just created my first C program!!

I'm very excited. I followed a tutorial here:

and coded a cute little calculator app you can run in the terminal (under any linux box, but if you have windows you'll need to have a C compiler and you'll need to compile it)

Here's the compiled version

To run, open a terminal and drag the file into it and then press enter. The program should start. I'm not sure, however, because I have an AMD64 processor, so it might not work with 32-bit. If that's the case, follow directions below.

And the original code to compile yourself/edit/look at

To compile under linux (works without any problems under ubuntu default):

Open up a terminal and type in:
cd /home/your_username/Desktop/ (or wherever else you downloaded the file)

Then type in:

g++ calc.c -o calc

(you'll get this error: calc.c:52:157: warning: trigraph ??! ignored, use -trigraphs to enable, but that's normal)

Then type into the terminal:


to run the program.

EDIT: I changed the program around a bit so that it now looks better and quizzes you! Get the code/compiled here:


to compile do the same as above, except the command should be
g++ calcquiz.c -o calcquiz

Compiled (on AMD64):


Feisty is OUT!

The new version of ubuntu has been officially released! What they say about it:

The Ubuntu community have been working to bring you the latest and greatest software the Open Source Community has to offer. This is Ubuntu 7.04 and it comes packed with a host of new features including data migration from Windows, new and easier ways to install multimedia codecs, binary drivers, as well as networking improvements and of course, GNOME 2.18, the 2.6.20 kernel and more.

You can find out more about ubuntu by going here: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/704tour


Feisty Successfully Installed on Father's Laptop

Now, he still has Windows on it (he wants to be able to access audiobooks from the library, and they use some WinDRM stuff (grrrrrr....), but that's ok.

Anyway, the reason that I put it out there is I am very excited to say that though his computer has quite low specs it still managed to do the "desktop effects" (that's Compiz, from which Beryl comes) quite well. I was very surprised when I saw wobbly windows on the laptop!

Also, since my dad has a newer hard drive than I do on this awesome computer upstairs in my room, everything runs really fast (unless there's some heavy cpu processing involved). I am actually quite envious of my dad's laptop now, and am hoping that sometime soon I can get a SATA hard drive or two. I have about 5 SATA ports built-in to the motherboard, and that's great but I need the hard drives.

Then my computer would be absolutely perfect (well, not really because I'd need to get 4 gigabytes of RAM first, but that's ok) and I would have no complaints about the hardware.

I am extremely satisfied with the computer when I consider the price I paid for it, though: ~$350! (that includes a 256MB graphics card and an AMD64 cpu)

OK, back to the laptop.

My dad uses a Belkin wireless card for his Winternet, and when we plugged it in under Ubuntu, the lights didn't go on. But by some amazing coincidence the complete, perfect directions for using ndiswrapper had just been on digg a few days ago, and I had bookmarked the page. Following the directions, the wireless WORKED and now there's nothing keeping from my dad staying on Ubuntu, except the New York Public Library and that annoying OverDrive Media Console that they use.

Here's the guide that is awesome for ndiswrapper: NdisWrapper: The Ultimate Guide - LinuxQuestions.org

I am very happy with the Ubuntu Feisty Beta that I and my dad are using now. One annoying thing is that you have to download about 45MB of updates per day... But that's not a bug or anything--the release is next week!

Still having problems with the kernel, and am going to try a fix suggested for me right now.

A Pretty Nice Blog

This is a schoolmate's blog. It's contains pretty funny videos and music. I like it, so I've subscribed to the feed on Google Reader.

Perhaps you would like to too.



Windows XP to be phased out by year's end despite customer demand [DIGG.COM]

Computer makers have been told they'll no longer be able to get Windows XP OEM by the end of this year, despite strong ongoing demand for the OS. Analysts and computer makers are wondering if the move is premature given Vista's ongoing issues -- Dell has even reintroduced XP on a range of machines due to customer resistance to Vista. >> GO UBUNTU, GO!!!!!

read more | digg story


Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Default Wallpaper

I couldn't find it anywhere else on the web, so I decided to upload it here directly from my computer. It's quite nice in my opinion, and I wanted to put it on my Mac (I use the mac for Skype video).

You can find it on your Feisty computer under /usr/share/backgrounds/warty-final-ubuntu.png . I have no idea why it's named that (that was the name of the ugly brown warty theme), but it's obviously some beta thing that will be changed... OR WILL IT?!?!?



Every video card ranked. How does yours stack up?

This was compiled by a guy named J3r3my on the overclock.net forums. It even includes the new R600 cards all the way to a voodoo 1.Awesome! Mine was 25th! I have an nVIDIA GEforce 7600GT. I found the article on Digg.com.

read more | digg story

A Tour Around Beryl

This demonstrates just a few of the many features of Beryl and its plugins. You can go to the Beryl Wiki (>) Plugins Page for more features.

If you are running Linux now, you can get beryl at http://beryl-project.org .

REMEMBER when you are reading this that BERYL IS A COMPLETELY FREE PROGRAM, and so, even if some features are already around in more famous commercial OSes, Beryl is ahead in that it combines these features and adds more, and it is better in that it doesn't cost anything.

The Desktop Cube. With the default Beryl configuration, the desktop consists of sides of a virtual 'cube'. Normally, it is displayed as a flat, normal desktop, but it can be rotated and switched using the keyboard and mouse.

Windows that are dragged to the edge of the flat desktop switch to the face in that direction, and the cube rotates as well while you drag the window.

The Desktop Plane: Another option is the Desktop Plane, which does exactly what Spaces on Mac OS X 10.5 (developer beta) does. The screenshot above shows the Expo view, which zooms out of the current desktop and lets you see all your desktops. As in Mac OS X Leopard, windows are draggable when in this view, and they can be changed to another desktop by moving them there.

You can drag windows up, down, or to the sides in this mode, and beryl will switch the window to the corresponding desktop.

Zoom Windows: This option shrinks all the windows on the desktop and lets you see all of them, just like Mac OS X's expose feature. However, due to Beryl's excellent engine, it is possible to configure the windows to 'bounce' a little bit and feel 'springy'. The shrunk windows are also completely live, i.e. if you were using YouTube and playing a movie, you would be able to still watch the movie when in this mode (and any other Beryl mode, for that matter). The framerate is also much higher than in standard OS X effects.

Opacity: This effect makes windows fade out slightly so that you can see windows under them. It is activated when you mouse over the window you want to see better. In this shot my mouse is hovering over the brown terminal window.

Negative: This is useful if you want to be able to read things in a darker room without hurting your eyes. It either makes one window negative, or the entire screen negative, depending on the key command. An interesting thing to note is it will still play movies (in negative!) if you go to youtube or play a dvd or anything.

Window Previews: This allows you to see what your window looks like, even if you are looking at a different desktop than the one the window is on. It plays movies through the preview, as well.

Water Effect: This makes your windows appear to be floating on a layer of water. Whenever they are moved, a wave appears around them. Another useful feature: pressing control and the windows key together will make a wave around your cursor, making it easier to find (windows has an ugly version of this feature).

Wobbly Windows: This is probably the most famous feature of Beryl (and/or compiz). When you move a window around the screen, it seems to be made out of jelly or rubber. It makes using the computer a more fun experience, and helps with the illusion that you are working with real objects on the screen rather than just pixels. I'm sure this feature is absolutely fabulous with a touchscreen computer.


Beryl is fast... YES!

I was used to beryl being... ok. Reason: firefox and google earth were really jerky. I thought it was just beryl, ho hum, oh well.

I realized that the new version of beryl fixed many problems, and so i tried resetting some things I had changed, in order for Beryl to work. Well, beryl worked, and I got my smooooooth firefox and google earth back!

So if anyone reading this uses Beryl (i seriously doubt it... unless you are coming from a forum, *hi guys*), make sure you try setting everything under Advanced Beryl Options to "Automatic"! Makes everything smoother!

*happy gavin*

Nexuiz screenshots

I took some screenshots of the game I was talking about before. The graphics aren't bad (and notice the frames per second on the bottom right corner).


A Bright Idea!

Hey guys, why don't you try out a flourescent bulb? These bulbs are just like regular bulbs, but use a 7th of the energy, and last 7 times longer! They are a bit more expensive, but they last longer, so it balances out. Our entire house is running with them, except for two bulbs (we will change them ASAP).

Also, the picture may be misleading, because the light from the bulbs we have is very yellow and almost indistinguishable from normal incandescents.

One difference which doesn't matter much is it takes them about 30 seconds to get to full brightness. So when you turn them on they seem just a bit dim. They brighten up to the brightness of a normal bulb though. And they don't get so hot!

One tip when buying: Don't get the "Sunlight" or "Daylight" kinds--they seem to be the blueish ones (annoying marketing there...). They are BEYOND depressing in a house. We had a couple of those once.

(got the image from wikipedia and uploaded it to blogger to save their bandwidth, just so you know... search for "compact flourescent bulb" in wikipedia and you'll find the original file)


6 Great Firefox Add-ons

So, I have a few great Firefox add-ons (all free of course) for you guys to check out. And if you don't have firefox, I would suggest clicking on the Get Firefox button on the top of the blog and getting it. It's free, and very secure/fast.

  1. Adblock Plus -- REMOVES ALMOST ALL ADS automatically
  2. Perma-tabs -- allows you to have tabs that stay open always, even if you close and reopen firefox
  3. Fasterfox -- speeds up firefox
  4. DownThemAll -- fast download manager
  5. Google Notebook -- make little notes in the corner of the window, and copy and paste little bits of a window
  6. Grab and Drag -- makes it so you can drag windows up instead of just using the scrollbar or a scroll wheel


Added Open Source Buttons to Blog

Just wanted to let you know that I added the Firefox and Ubuntu buttons to my blog. The main reason I want to tell you this is, I am not getting any money for this. I am just doing this because I recommend both pieces of software.

Firefox is REALLY good. If you are still using Internet Explorer (if you have Windows), then SWITCH IMMEDIATELY. Firefox is much safer than IE. As for Mac OS X users, Safari is good, but sometimes it doesn't show all the features on a page (for instance with WYSIWYG editors). And, if you last used Firefox 1.5 or so, the new Firefox 2's much faster. I know that the older version was really slow on Macs, but it has improved greatly.

As an added bonus, you can get Adblock Plus, and remove almost all ads on the Web automatically!


SPECIAL REPORT: The March on Washington

What I, as a 16-year-old, thought about it.

Hello folks, I'm just coming back from the peace march in Washington, DC. I'm writing this into my Palm Pilot, riding on a bus bound for New York.

Last week, we went to a small protest one night near my school, and during the protest they told us about the march. Since it was only $30 dollars per person for the round trip bus, including snacks, and we didn't have anything to do on Saturday, we decided to go.

We got in touch with organizers in our area. Since New York is so far away from Washington, DC, the bus trip would take 5-6 hours and we would have to leave at 6:30 AM.

So we got up really early (my alarm was set for 4:45 AM), ate some breakfast, and took off in the car for the bus pickup point. When we arrived, the bus wasn't there yet. That was because the original bus had broken down and they had had to get another, smaller bus. This had also happened to the other bus for our area, and we wondered about sabotage.

We finally got going. I started my trip by listening to some podcasts (Unger Report, Maccast, Seventh Son Podiobook, New Scientist Podcast), and then a bit of music. After that, a man who was sitting across from me, who was a war veteran, took out a portable speaker and plugged in his iPod Nano (theere were at least four iPods on the bus). He played "Give Peace a Chance," and everyone else on the bus began to sing along to the classic protest song.

He played various other songs, and I contributed to the entertainment by plugging in my iPod and playbing "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles and "We Shall Overcome" sung by Bruce Springsteen (Album: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions).

After about seven songs we sort of ran out of things to play, and the vet put away his speakers, but by that time we had almost reached Washington, and not much happened until we arrived in the large parking lot in front of the Metro train station in DC.

As we rode into the parking lot I saw many buses lined up in the parking spaces. There were about a hundred buses, and this parking lot was not the only one being used by all the buses coming in from everywhere around the US.

After we had gotten off the bus, we followed an organizer in a group to the train station. We waited outside until the leader, whose name was Bernie, had purchased the tickets, then streamed in to the station. We took the green line to L'enfant Plaza.

On the trains, on the street, there were protesters everywhere. We gathered at the same spot where everyone had gathered when Martin Luther King, Jr. had spoken. Various speakers gave speeches, and each of their sentences were punctuated by the loud cheers of the crowd. A few speakers were hoarse from yelling, but bravely shouted on.

Many chants were heard today:

"What do we want?"
"When do we want it?"

"Move, Bush, get out the way. Get out the way Bush get out the way!" (shouted by some people from the Bronx)

I also encountered many different signs, quite a few of them very inventive. Examples:



It was very exciting to be there, right in the middle of the protest, and to feel the energy of all these people who wanted to make a difference.

After the speeches, we began to march around the Capital building. This was when I realized how many people had arrived. There were endless crowds of people! Right now I'm on the bus, but when I get home I want to see a bird's-eye view of it.

We took footage with our camcorder, and many photos with our camera. I'm planning on quickly editing the video and posting it to YouTube, and after that the blog, for your viewing pleasure.

The turnout was astounding. I hope people look and realize that the idea of peace is still very present in the minds of the American public. And if there are any European or non-American readers of this blog (there's Renuka, but anyone else?), I hope they realize that the Americans aren't ALL for Bush and the war.

I believe that this march was very important for America, even if the mass media does not cover it much, because the people who went to it and marched and sang and shouted and protested will know that there really are many people out there who agree with them, and these people will not give up.

But the event was so big that I do believe it will be big news, and I hope that it will help change the minds of the people with the power, and be just the beginning. I hope that this march will lead to the eventual impeachment of Bush and Cheney and others who are involved in the criminal practices of this current administration.

With luck, we'll see some great changes in this country. I hope that this march will help stop the war in Iraq and, because of this, make it possible to fund more important things, such as alternative energy research.

It's hard to describe the atmosphere of the protest in a blog post. Everyone was charged up, ready to shout, sing, and, with humor and good-natured laughs, tell the world and the White House their opinions. The feeling one gets when one is right in the middle of one of these events is one of joy, perseverance, and highly controlled anger. You can feel the strength of all the people, and you feel connected with them in a very uncomon way.

To see all of the people who agree wholeheartedly with almost all your opinions, and to chant, cheer, and yell with them feels so liberating. It feels as if a new being is created by the crowd, and it's speaking, and saying to everyone watching the protest, "You had better listen to me, or face the consequences."

At about four PM we headed back to the trains, since we needed many hours to travel back to NY. At the platform, there were crowds, hundreds of people all waiting to board the same train. When the train pulled up, however, it was almost completely packed already, and we couldn't fit in. So we had to wait another ten minutes for the next one.

We managed to squeeze in that train, along with a foam chicken with the face of Dubya. Everyone was laughing and joking about the "Chicken-in-chief" needing to get on the train.

It was very tight on the train. I videotaped it, because I was already holding the camera, and because I wanted to share the experience with you guys (hold on a few days for the video). The funny thing about it was the fact that the majority of the passengers were against war, and they all agreed with each other, so the trip didn't contain any yelling or bad temper because everyone got along.

Back here on the bus, everyone is tired, but happy, and not cranky.

Today was a great day for America, as well as the rest of the world. We've made history today, and we're really proud about it.

There's going to be another march in March, on the 17th. Come if you can! I'm sure you'll find out more if you Google it. Make a difference in the world! Stop foolish wars! The world will thank you.

Peace, Gavin

As a side note, Ubuntu imported these photos with absolutely no hiccups, a dialog asking "Camera Detected: do you want to import photos?" and it worked really quickly. So, copying the above text from my Palm Pilot to the blog, and importing the photos--all done on a free operating system with a computer with ~$400 total spent. Sorry for promoting Ubuntu, but I'm really happy with it now.


The Coriolis Force

Ok, here's a weird thing I just learned in school...


The Coriolis Force. Sadly, though, the teacher was wrong about it affecting drains... I have to tell him.

Here's a helpful graphic explaining it:


Ok, on to another look...

All right, enough Vista, time for "Linux Geek" look. Here are some screenshots...


Video: Beryl on Ubuista

I decided to take a screencast of my desktop. Here it is. Remember that the screen frame rate is slowed down considerably when I use the screencast application. The real frame rate is at about 100 frames per second (i.e. not jerky at all), so don't think about that.

My Monitor (arriving in a few days)

Title says it all.... Here it is, from a review of it. Oh boy, I can't wait!!


Vista-like Ubuntu

I showed you my desktop before. Well, today I tried to make it look like Windows Vista. It doesn't look exactly like it, but I didn't try very hard. One cool thing though: The windows are still wobbly, making this BETTER than vista... "hasta la Vista" i suppose....


iPhone's coming!

Yes, the Macworld Keynote was very interesting!

Two things about it: iPhone is coming in June, AppleTV in February.

Find out more at www.apple.com!


Macworld Keynote Coming Soon

Hey, the Macworld Keynote is coming up on Tuesday! We are going to see a bunch of new stuff coming out from apple, and according to the Apple website, this stuff is going to be VERY interesting...

I wonder what they're planning... A cell phone? New notebook computers? New desktops? They are at least going to introduce their new OS, Mac OS Leopard! Good stuff. Sadly, I'll be at school when it happens, so I'll see what's happening a little later than usual... Oh well.


A Midnight Walk with the Dog

I just came back from a walk with my dog Lucy. Tonight it felt very special to be outside, because the moon was so bright, and because its light shone from directly above me, creating a very alien sort of light.

As soon as I stepped out of the door I noticed it. It looked as if it had snowed, because of the white light of the moon shining on the table outside in our front yard. I had to check to make sure it hadn't snowed because it looked so different.

It is very interesting to go for a walk during the full moon at around midnight, because almost nobody's around and it is very quiet. The moonlight is calming, and the fresh cold air is wakening, so that your spirit of inspiration comes awake again. That's the main reason I am writing this post right now, in fact. I was inspired by the moon and the cold air. Now it is 12:30 AM and I feel almost as if I have been recreated.

I believe it's a good idea for inspiring writers to go out on such a walk as I did, for about 20 minutes. It really changes your thoughts a lot, and calls up old memories, old inspirations left to stagnate in the rush of the "real" world.

Another thought: isn't it sad that cameras can't catch the exact beauty of a quiet dark night? It almost never works, even with a tripod and a camera set for long exposure. Looking at the water tonight, it was so beautiful that I wanted to share it with you, but found it impossible.

Now that I have my Ubuntu box, I've been wondering what I should do with it. Why have a computer without a reason? But now, going for this walk, I've decided what I should do. I should use it as a tool for writing. I plan to leave it on the whole night (because I have Folding@Home on it, and it's for science), and it's in my room, so it's actually quite ideal for a sort of "inspiration notebook" for if I wake up at night and feel moved.

Also, if you are fans of my blog, then this is also good news: I will have VERY easy access to the blog now and will post quite frequently if I have time.

Anyway, when you think about things while walking under the light of the moon, you will get inspired to do things, finish things. I would strongly suggest you do this too, as soon as possible. It helps to have a dog.


Ubuntu Edgy Eft (6.10) and Beryl

After getting new parts for my computer upstairs, I finally was able to install and configure Ubuntu Linux, Edgy Eft. Above is a screenshot.

I also was able to get Beryl working. That means that whenever I move the windows around they're "wobbly" (go here and you'll see what I mean). Also, I have a 3d desktop switcher, which means that when I need more space to work on the desktop, I can press CONTROL-ALT-and the arrow keys to switch between desktop spaces. It makes a cube effect when I do this.

Also, I have succesfully installed Google Earth Linux, as well as two open-source 3d FPS games that are quite neat, the first is Sauerbraten, and the second is Nexuiz. Nexuiz is available for free for any operating system (Windows, Mac OS X), and it is quite cool. It is also really neat to be able to use my graphics card, which has 256MB of VRAM. My fast processor makes everything snappy too.

My only gripes as of now are:

  • I've only got 512MB of RAM
  • I still have a CRT screen
  • Ubuntu AMD64 is a real pain to configure, because AMD64 is not popular.
Google Earth Linux works REALLY fast on my machine, with no jerks or anything, compared to every other computer I've seen running it (of course there's still the waiting for the internet to load, but that's Verizon's fault now, our internet can't get faster because of our location)

Also, I seem to be in luck. One of my cousins is working on a project and she asked me a few days ago if I could design a website for her. She said she'd give me a brand new LCD if I did it! And if that doesn't work, then at least I can get her old LCD, which is the first generation of LCD monitors, which means it's NOT a flatscreen (it's about 1 1/2 feet deep). And a flatscreen is better than a CRT, even if it's just as bulky. My eyes hurt so much with this CRT screen.

And the memory problem is easily solved with a bit of extra cash. I'll wait a bit and get about $50 and get me another 512MB chip and I'll be all set!

Finally, the AMD64 problem is not a big one... It's just going to get better and better as the type of chip gets more and more popular. With the chip I have, according to Wikipedia, I can have only up to....17,179,869,184 gigabytes of RAM (versus 4GB with standard 32-bit):
The emergence of the 64-bit architecture effectively increases the memory ceiling to 264 addresses, equivalent to 17,179,869,184 gigabytes or 16 exabytes of RAM.
--Wikipedia, 64-bit
So, eventually, I hope to reach the limit ;) When I have my seventeen billion gigabytes of RAM installed, maybe then programs won't crash (just kidding)

So, I'm sure all you nongeek readers found this techspeak to be gibberish, but I had to release it from it's cage inside my mind. Everyone else: go ubuntu! You'll need a bit of Terminal training, but it's worth it... it's FREE.