Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Alt tab all windows in Lubuntu

Using alt tab on Lubuntu can be a pain if you are used to all the desktops to be shown. But this is a simple solution, all we need to do is edit the following file (use whichever text editor you prefer)

nano .config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml

Firstly, find section <keybind key="A-Tab">
Edit to look like this (added line in red):

   <keybind key="A-Tab">
      <action name="NextWindow">
          <action name="Focus"/>
          <action name="Raise"/>
          <action name="Unshade"/>

Seconly,  find section <keybind key="A-S-Tab">
Edit to look like this (added line in red):

    <keybind key="A-S-Tab">
      <action name="PreviousWindow">
          <action name="Focus"/>
          <action name="Raise"/>
          <action name="Unshade"/>

Save, log out, log in. Alt+Tab will now cycle through all windows on all desktops. Shift+Alt+Tab will cycle in reverse.

Install Wordgrinder .60 in Linux

To me the best applications are designed to do one thing and do it well, that's the UNIX philosophy

Wordgrinder is definitely an awesome application. It's a word-processor for the terminal full of features that you just wouldn't expect. It has spell-checking, bold fonts, italics and import/export to a range of file formats. It really does stay out of your way and lets you get on with writing. I can highly recommend this great application. 

I'm using version 0.60 and I believe version 0.50 is what's in the Ubuntu repo's at the moment. So, I'm going to show you how to get it up and running, building it is very easy to do.

Firstly, we need to download the source from github

Secondly, extract the source, if you want to do it via the command line the type this command:

unzip wordgrinder-master.zip

Then we need to cd into the directory

cd wordgrinder-master

Before we start the building process, we need to install a few dependencies

sudo apt-get install libncursesw5-dev liblua5.2-dev zlib1g-dev libxft-dev lua5.2 

We then start the install process with this command

make -j

And the final command

sudo make install PREFIX=/usr

We can then start using Wordgrinder in any terminal. I prefer lxterminal, but use whatever you like.

I will be adding more tutorials on customizing the terminal colors and fonts with a shortcut you can place in the menu, so check back soon to find out how.

After upgrading the system, I noticed that the lua filesystem is getting removed for some reason. Obviously this will impact Wordgrinder, so if yours breaks too, run this command to re-install it.

sudo apt-get install lua-filesystem 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Notifications in Lubuntu/Openbox

Customizing Lubuntu is mostly down to personal preference. I like things a certain way and I've listed a tweaks that I do on a fresh install of Lubuntu/Openbox.

Change notification time:

Firstly, we need to install xfce notification daemon by

sudo apt-get install xfce4-notifyd

Then we can change the preferred settings by invoking the following command:


 Volume notification via fn key:

This is an fundamental for any operating system and Openbox can have it too.

The way to get this working is by installing the xfce volume notifications daemon

sudo apt-get install xfce4-volumed

Then we navigate to Menu -> Preferences -> Default applications for LXSession

Click the Autostart tab

Then all we need to do is check the XFCE Volume Daemon box

Then a restart is in order to get the fn+vol keys notification working.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Multi-select, ctrl space not working in Lubuntu

When using PCMANFM in Lubuntu, I like to have the ability to select multiple items via keyboard shortcuts. By default in Lubuntu 14.04 LTS the keyboard shortcut ctrl space should select multiple items but there is a shortcut conflict that is easy to fix.

To fix this issue, go to
Menu -> Preferences -> Keyboard Input Methods

So what we are going to change is the "Ibus Preferences"  which is responsible for switching different keyboard layouts. I'm not interested in having more than one, so change the option that says "Next input option" to
some other keybinding you're not going to use, I chose shift space. I also de-selected the tray icon to minimize space too.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Install Vice Commodore emulator in Ubuntu

The Commodore 64 was an amazing computer. It was revolutionary computer and it is still one of my favourites.

I still enjoy playing games that I played as a kid, so many fond memories. Games such as Ghost-busters, Beach head, Impossible mission (my all time favourite) and Blue max.

So to get the Vice Commodore emulator working on Ubuntu follow this guide and you'll be playing your treasured games once more.

You can find all kinds of games on the Internet but here's a couple of links to get your started.



First we need to install vice, so open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install vice

Then we need to change to the newly installed applications' directory:

cd /usr/lib/vice/C64

and create a temp file for our package we are about to download:

sudo mkdir temp

then cd into the new directory

cd temp

Now we download the Vice source code:

sudo wget http://zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/crossplatform/emulators/VICE/vice-2.2.tar.gz

and now we extract the tar file: (don't forget to change to your downloaded file directory)

sudo tar vzxf vice-2.2.tar.gz

change into the vice directory:

cd vice-2.2

Now time to change ownership of all the files in here: (insert your username)

sudo chown username *

change into the c64 data directory:

cd ../vice-2.2/data/C64

change the permissions of these 3 files:

sudo chmod a+rw basic kernal chargen

Then copy these files to the vice directory:

sudo cp basic kernal chargen /usr/lib/vice/C64

We can safely remove the temp files because we have the binaries that we need:

sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/vice/temp/

We can now start our Commodore 64 emulator, other emulators are included such as C128 etc.

And voilĂ ... we have a working Commodore 64 Emulator

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Frasier podcasts

I listen to quite a few podcasts, pretty much every day in fact. One of my favorite tv shows of all time is Frasier, so when I stumbled upon a podcast that reviews each episode hosted by Kevin Smith of Jay and silent Bob fame and Matt Mira, called "Talk salad and scrambled eggs".


I've had some great clients in my time as a web developer. that provide all the required documents, copy and images and will pay you on time, every time.  I want more clients like this.

The Egg

After reading The Martian by Andy Weir I wanted to find more of his work as I heard there are a couple of short stories out there.So I found one, called "The Egg" and it was a little mind blowing to say the least.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Martian

I recently read The Martian by Andy Weir and I just finished it in time before the unavoidable trailers would spoil the story for me.

The book was utterly exciting, from beginning to end. I could barley put the book down, I was reading it at every spare moment to see how things would pan out for Mark Watney, the greatest botanist on Mars.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

My setup and work-flow

I have spent a lot of time on Linux to narrow down some favorite applications.
Here's a list, always growing but the ones listed here are tried and tested. The tagline from Linux Luddites suits these applications and me in general too; "We try all the new open source software and decide we like the old stuff better"

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Should've, Could've, Would've

I should have been blogging years ago, I think about all the skills I've learned that would've been helpful to others learning Linux, Programming and other general computing stuff.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Mr Robot, my thoughts

Who else out there is fascinated with the TV show "Mr Robot"? I love the show, it's so dark and gritty and another thing I really like is that there are lots of quiet moments and not filled with bombarding noise for the hell of it.

I've found an awesome play-list on youtube that is, well just the sounds and soundtrack to Mr Robot. Thanks so  much to the uploader. You can find it on Youtube here