Archive for April, 2009

Updating Ubuntu, Part 2

I’ve also just updated another one of my ubuntu machines, the netbook, to the latest 9.04 netbook remix that was released yesterday. It had been running an 8.10 eeebuntu release that had some issues. It’s main issue was that it didn’t like waking up from suspend with the GIU intact. Normally, it required killing X and restarting it, which is about as disruptive to working as rebooting the whole machine.

This time, I didn’t bother with an update, it was a clean install on a different SD card. That makes it easy to go back to the previous install by rebooting ad switching the cards. Though, it meant I had to spend another $12 for an 8 gig card.

It appears that all the hardware of my 901 is recognized: the wifi, ethernet, camera, bluetooth, and the USB760 3g dongle. (though, I still have to do a little patch to prevent the dongle from showing up as a drive first). And, most importantly, the suspend and resume sleeping works again.

I could still go into the many ways that this netbook is not an apple product, and I still probably will. But, it does web, email, and ssh, with the occasional reboots into windows to deal with windows specific work stuff.

No comments

Updating Ubuntu

On of my main linux machines was running Ubuntu 6.06LTS, which is a long term support release from the middle of 2006. It was getting a little long in the tooth (firefox 1.5 anyone?) and that was getting tiresome.

So yesterday, I bit the bullet and did the upgrade to the newest long term support release, from last spring. Following the directions worked well enough, except for a couple of packages in the openoffice 2.4 release that I had installed. There were a set of them with circular dependencies, so they couldn’t be removed, which in turn were blocking a newer bugfix of openoffice 2.4, in turn, that was blocking the package manager from doing anything useful like updating emacs from version 21 to 22.

Apt is a good package manager, but sometimes it gets into states that aren’t easily resolved. If you get conflicting messages about something being installed, that’s a good sign that you’re there.

The normal solutions didn’t work :

sudo apt-get -f install
sudo apt-get -f remove
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Were all hopeless.

What finally worked was downloading two upgraded packages directly (libhsqldb-java adn openoffice.org-base) and installing them manually via dpkg, and then clearing out all the circular references with:

sudo dpkg -r openoffice.org-kde-integration
sudo dpkg -r –force-all openoffice.org-core01
sudo dpkg -r –force-all openoffice.org-core02

Dpkg can force things that apt-get can’t, or won’t do. After that, sudo apt-get upgrade -f dist-upgrade was enough to make everything work properly.

Finally, there’s a package archive for the shiny new openoffice 3 packages, but it takes some digging to find the archive key and the keyserver.

##repo for open office3
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu hardy main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu hardy main

gpg –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 60D11217247D1CFF
gpg -a –export 60D11217247D1CFF | sudo apt-key add –

No comments


I spent most of the day outside on the first day in the last 5 that hasn’t been a basically perfect spring day. We had an arborist over taking down 11 trees that were either threatening, damaged, or blocking much needed sunlight. They ranged from little (3″ dia) but hung up in others to downright huge (2′ dia). All of them are about 35 years old, as most of the other trees on the property are.

Sometimes, when the wind was right, the sawdust drifted down from the treetops and the breeze smelled of christmas trees. Then a 20 foot treetop would plummet and slam into the ground.

No one was hurt, not even the little japanese maple that was less than a foot from a couple big drops. This is why we brought in the professionals.

And finally, we’re seeing sprouts from the plantings from last week — the spinach, lettuce, radish, and beets are all coming up.

No comments

And now for the early April Planting

It was 70 in the shade on the sunny side of the house, and 65 in the shade on the north. This is the first day that it’s been warmer outside than in. And 2 days straight of eating outside for lunch and dinner.

Now we get to the high volume stuff. There’s chard. And half a bed of kale to fill out the bed that didn’t quite make it through the winter. (What do you know, dwarf siberian kale overwinters better than nero de toscano. I guess it’s not so cold in Tuscany). Nevada is now half shelling peas and half favas, and the former compost pile is now an extension to that bed and has transplanted wild strawberries (that were happily colonizing the compost pile) a couple lines of sweet peas, and some dalias. The sprawly bed is also worked over, and what isn’t in (not-wild) strawberries and garlic is now 8x 20+foot rows of snow and snap peas, at least until I need it for sprawly things. It actually looks like a standard set of garden rows now.

I’m going to be sore tomorrow. Clearing the sprawly bed was a lot of work.

And on top of that, we planted seeds for starts. 2 types of onions (Guardsman and Candy), leeks, cauliflower, cabbage, 2 brussel sprouts (Franklin 80 day and Diablo 160 day), eggplant, bell peppers (red green and yellow), basil, pumpkins (small saved, big saved, and magic lantern from a packet), sunflowers ((king) kong, saved), coriander, parsely, celery, and tomatoes (free, came with the greenhouse).

Still to plant in pots, probably in a month or so, are the rest of the squashes and the cucumbers, another planting of some of the brassicas, and probably more basil and coriander/cilantro. And whatever else seems like it needs a start in a greenhouse.

(And really tasty, a pestoish mixture of basil, cilantro, serrano pepper, and olive oil. With a bit of salt. It’s gooood. )

No comments