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Windows 7 – is it any good?

Amidst lots of puff & bluster, Microsoft has released a half decent Beta version of its latest Windows 7 operating system. One of the claims made for it is that it is faster than Vista. Mind you, it needed to be. I dumped Windows nearly two years ago, largely because of the slug-like performance of Windows Vista. Installing Well, last night, I managed to install a beta version of Windows 7 (build 7000 32-bit) on a virtual machine. Basically I used Sun VirtualBox running on Kubuntu Linux 8.04-1. I created the same sized virtual machine upon which I have successfully… Read More ►

How do I stop Google indexing a particular page on my site?

There are several ways to stop Google and most other search engines indexing a page. The simplest is to use a "noindex" metatag on any pages you don't want indexed. Here's the HTML code, in context. (Obviously the text between the <title></title> tags is just there for show and is not relevant to the workings of the code!)<html><head> <meta name="robots" content="noindex" /> <title>Search Engines Will Ignore This Page</title></head> Read More ►

Backing up using big, cheap hard disks and some nifty Unix tools

We all have our favourite methods of data backup. Certainly DVD is a good archiving and distribution medium. But for routine backup, I look for reliability, low cost, ease of use, high-speed, high capacity and redundancy - so I am not reliant on just one device. One of my favourite methods is a complete off-site dataset consisting of a hotchpotch of USB/eSATA/Firewire disks. Only disadvantage is that they live 20km away and are only updated every couple of weeks. So I keep a further two 1Tb Samsung disks with recent data in my camera rucksack. These are updated daily. Cost… Read More ►
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How to upgrade to “Goosebuntu” – a fully loaded (K)ubuntu 8.xx (Hardy) system

Note this primarily applies to (K)Ubuntu 8.xx. For (K)Ubuntu 7.xx please visit earlier (and possibly outdated) article:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=58 This is a quickand very effective way to beef up your (K)Ubuntu installation. Basically the list below contains most of my favouirite (K)Ubuntu applications complete with their code libraries. The name "Goosebuntu" is not entirely serious - it is just a name we coined in the office. However the following apps will turn a standard Kubuntu installation into something really rather special. This list is primarily for Kubuntu users though it may be applied to other Ubuntu flavours. If the application is… Read More ►

How to upgrade from Ubuntu to Kubuntu (version 8.xx – Hardy)

Firstly please back up anything that is important - as you would with any major upgrade on any computer system! Then you can either use the Synaptic package manager or in this instance it is probably quicker to install from a Terminal window. First we make sure the system is fully up to date. Simply type one line at a time followed by the return key... sudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get upgrade Now your system is ready for Kubuntu. Type... sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop This will install the Kubuntu desktop. The download will take a while because it has to download… Read More ►

I can’t open Raw files from my digital camera

Usually the camera manufacturer will  provide software that handles raw files from your camera. However, several problems can arise:- You change computer and loose the original software. You have several cameras made by different manufacturers but want to use the same application to deal with their raw files. You don't use Micro$oft Windows. So what can you do? Before you stump up any hard-earned cash, I would suggest you download and try GIMP image editor c/w either UFRaw or DCRaw plugin:- http://www.gimp.org http://ufraw.sourceforge.net UFRaw is actually based on DCRaw but is much friendlier IMHO. However, Dave Coffin, the author of… Read More ►

My camera cards keep getting corrupted. Can I prevent this?

I've had cheapo cards that I dropped, kicked, trod on, used a squillion times, paid the proverbial tuppence ha'penny for and they are still going. Others, even the expensive ones have failed or become flaky within a few months - or worse, clapped out just outside the warranty. Similarly hard disks can fail in the first five minutes or go the full five years. Media failure is pretty random and can happen at the most embarrassing time. My strategy... Get your data downloaded onto your PC and backed up asap. As soon as any data recording medium, mechanical or solid-state,… Read More ►

Windows can’t read from my camera’s memory card

Editor's note: since writing this article, I have had huge problems with RTools spamming me. I have asked them many times to stop, yet still they persist. My advice is do not use any RTools product. Or that if you must use RTools, do NOT register, otherwise they will pester you forever. Using the free Linux alternatives is cheaper and much better for your privacy! This is more a basic "how it works" rather than a comprehensive "how-to", though I have provided links to some of the resources I use when confronted with flaky camera chips or flaky hard drives. … Read More ►
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How to make (K)Ubuntu play copy-protected DVD’s, and…

...and Windows Media, Skype and GoogleEarth One of the problems with (K)Ubuntu (and many other Linux distributions) is that it will not play commercial, copy-protected DVD's and a number of other proprietary file formats, out-of-the-box. There are complex legal and ethical reasons for this. However, many users just want to play their files and watch their DVD's. So what is the easiest way to make (K)Ubuntu do these things? In principle, you need to add a couple of extra repositories to your system - dependent on which version of Ubuntu you are usingn(see the "how-to" below for detais of a… Read More ►

How to upgrade to “Goosebuntu” – a fully loaded (K)ubuntu 7.xx (Gutsy) system

Note this applies to Ubuntu 7.xx and may be out of date. For Ubuntu 8.xx please visit:-http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=136&Itemid=58 These are my favourite (K)ubuntu applications. The name "Goosebuntu" is not entirely serious - it is just a name we coined in the office. However the following apps will turn a standard Kubuntu installation into something really rather special. This list is primarily for Kubuntu users though it may be applied to other Ubuntu flavours. If the application is already installed, then no matter, the system will just ignore that application. Applications from normal repositoriesThis assumes you have all the usual repositories enabled,… Read More ►

How to upgrade from Ubuntu to Kubuntu (version 7.xx – Gutsy)

Firstly please back up anything that is important - as you would with any major upgrade on any computer system! Then you can either use the Synaptic package manager or in this instance it is probably quicker to install from a Terminal window. First we make sure the system is fully up to date. Simply type one line at a time followed by the return key... sudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get upgrade Now your system is ready for Kubuntu. Type... sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop This will install the Kubuntu desktop. The download will take a while because it has to download… Read More ►
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What is the difference between Ubuntu and Kubuntu?

Ubuntu Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop. This is a very clean, simple environment and is well suited to Linux beginners. In many respects it is much easier to use than any version of MS Windows - though its layout is a little different from Windows. For example, its application menus are at the top of the screen - similar to old-style Macintosh OS9. It also has thin task bar at the bottom specifically for toggling between open applications. Both the menubar and taskbar can be placed top bottom or side if you prefer. Its applications are generally designed using the… Read More ►
Grin

Coppermine “batch-add” hangs

Just occasionally one stumbles across a small but very annoying problem, that takes ages to hunt down a fix. However, when you do stumble across the solution, you find it was just one tiny mistake - that should never have been made in the first place. On our site http://www.garfnet.org.uk/coppermine we use a special Coppermine feature that allows us to add a number of files at once. It is only available to site admins but the site would be almost impossible to run with out it. The problem was that the "batch add files" button  did not respond when we… Read More ►
Icom R-20

How to install CS-R20 software for Icom IC-R20 on Linux

It seems that with a little determination, the CS-R20 for the Icom IC-R20 software can be persuaded to run on Linux. I eventually made the CS-R20 software load under Kubuntu Linux using Crossover (a commercial implementation of WINE). The method in this article should work with many other Debian-derived Linuxes too, perhaps with a little tweak here and there! The IC-R20's USB to RS232 chipset is automatically detected and a module is loaded for it in modern Linuxes - so no need for a driver. The only issue, at time of writing, is that whilst the CS-R20 software can write… Read More ►
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I want a really good website but I don’t want to pay for it!

Before you read any further, you need to ask yourself some questions. What do you actually want?A social networking site such as Myspace? A freebie site such as Moonfruit? A freebie to host  pictures like Flickr, Photobucket or even GarfNet Pictures?Or do you want a fully functioning business website that you can edit and mold around your business model?  Do you want your own domain name? And if you had this super-duper business-grade site, what would you use it for exactly? How would it add to your business? Would it serve any administrative purpose for you? How would it attract… Read More ►
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Wouldn’t it be better if there were only one Linux?

"The world doesn't need lots of different operating systems" seems to be the prevailing wisdom of the moment. But I would question that. Why? Do we also need only one type of car, or one type of television? OK there are those who say the world would be a better place without either. But would it really be better if there were only one Linux flavour?I think the strength of Linux is its diversity. I run good ole Debian on webservers. But its puritanically open source approach makes it real "hair shirt" for a laptop where you need to drive… Read More ►

Cannot upgrade from Feisty to Gutsy

2007-10-18 saw the release of the latest Ubuntu & Kubuntu Linux, version 7.10, also known as Gutsy. Unfortunately a number of users are having difficulties with the upgrade. Seems that either the "Version Upgrade" button doesn't show in your package manager...https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/15370  Or if it does show then you cannot go much further. Adept users are often confronted with an error where you can start the "Upgrade Wizard" OK. A message comes up saying"A new distribution version is available. Click next if you wish to upgrade." So you click the "next" button. Then an error dialog appears..."ErrorCould not download the release… Read More ►
Highbury College, near Portsmouth, by Garf

Please may I have GarfNet Pictures account?

We have a fairly large picture site over at GarfNet Pictures. First up, it is important you understand what we are NOT: We are not an agency of any sort. We do not claim to get you work or further your career in any way. We do not attempt to compete with any of the conventional model sites such as Purestorm, or NetModel, or gallery sites such as PhotoBucket, Flickr etc.  GarfNet Pictures is a small community that's somehow alternative and old-fashioned at the same time if that makes any sense at all? However there is virtually no restriction on… Read More ►

Ok so I installed Ubuntu but I hate the Gnome desktop?

If you want a version of Ubuntu that looks & feels like more like your familiar Windoze XP then try the free upgrade to Kubuntu. Kubuntu uses the KDE desktop. IMHO KDE is loads nicer and much more feature-rich than either Windoze or the Gnome desktop. As well as being highly customisable, KDE makes extensive use of context menu functions. It also has loads of sweet extras like KATE (KDE Advanced Text Editor). Compare that with Windoze crappy notepad if you do any coding. Then there is Krusader advanced file manager that lets you do sophisticated directory comparisons locally, across… Read More ►