OLPC Library – Trying to get XOs out of people wardrobes

XOs at LCA08

This time last year was a very exciting time at linux.conf.au 2008. The conference organisers had arranged for 100 XO laptops to be given away to conference attendees.

The XOs came with the following message attached.

Please do something wonderful with this XO, or inspire someone else and pass it on.

I was fortunate enough to get one of these XOs. I knew however that I wouldn’t have any time in the foreseeable future to actually do anything cool with my XO. At the same time I didn’t simply want to give it away to someone, since I knew at some stage I would actually want to do something with it.

After chatting this over with a few other people I came up with the idea of putting together an OLPC Library. (It was originally going to be OLPC Bank but after chatting it over with Pia we decided that a Library seemed to fit the ideals of the project much better).

So as part of the work I’m doing with OLPC Friends we have finally launched OLPC Library. At the moment this is just a place holder page but hopefully soon we will have a site up to actually enable people to loan out OLPCs whether that be to a developer wanting to write a new piece of software/port an application or a community advocate putting on a demo at a school or trade show.

If you are interested in helping out you can see the beginnings of the ideas for the website at the OLPC Library Project page and you can also join the mailing lists.

Firefox 3 and howtoforge.com

There is currently a bug in firefox 3 which causes it to crash with an XError BadAloc when you go to any page hosted on howtoforge.

This seems to be related to the image at http://howtoforge.com/themes/htf_glass/images/bg_header_bottom_left15.png. I suggest you don’t click on that link đŸ™‚

Apparently this image is 10,000 pixels wide. It looks like this is probably a GTK issue since the same problem happended when I opened the image with evince!

I tried writing a greasemonkey script to get around this problem but it loads too late to avert the crash. So iptables to the rescue.

iptables -I OUTPUT -d howtoforge.com -m string –algo bm –to 70 –string “GET /themes/htf_glass/images/bg_header_bottom_left15.png” -j DROP

    -I OUTPUT  # Match packets levaing my laptop
    -d howtoforge.com   # Only packets going to howtoforge
    -m string  # Invoke the string matcher
    --algo bm  # Pick a matching algorithm
    --to 70  # Only check the first 70 bytes of each packet
    --string "GET /themes/htf_glass/images/bg_header_bottom_left15.png"  
    -j DROP # Drop the sucker

Vim and spell checking

I just discovered Vim has spell checking. No more having to manually spell check in mutt with ispell when writing emails, Hurray!!

In your .vimrc file simply add

setlocal spell spelllang=en_au

Note: By default vim only installs en_us spell files. If you are running debian then there is a vim-spellfiles package. There is an ubuntu bug to do something about this as well. Since I’m using ubuntu I simply grabbed the en directory from ftp://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim/runtime/spell/ and dumped it in /usr/share/vim/vim71/spell

Vim will now highlight words it thinks are misspelled. The magic incarnations you will need are:

z= – Suggest alternatives for the word
zg – Add word to dictionary
zw – Remove word from dictionary

linux.conf.au 2008 selling out

It’s 15:11pm and there are only 11 tickets left for linux.conf.au.

WARNING: If you have registered but haven’t gotten around to paying yet then you are going to miss out.

So hop to it. Otherwise you are going to be a sad panda.

Sad Banda

Out of the wilderness

I took another step out of the wilderness today…

Those who have know me for a while will know that up until recently I exclusively used linux virtual consoles (ie what CTRL-ALT-F1 gives you from within X) to do all my work except for browsing the web. Recently I stopped using them all together and moved totally into the land of X and started using gnome-terminal instead.

Well I suppose it wasn’t that big a step as my processes havn’t changed that much. I simply have a gnome-terminal with tabs full screen in the monitor on my left and a full screen firefox in the monitor on my right đŸ™‚

I took another step today moving from centericq to pidgin for my IM needs. I’m quite liking it so far especially some of the pop up notification plugins since I can follow channel conversations without switching away from what I’m doing.

Now does anyone know if there is a plugin to sync all my configuration settings between different machines. That was the handiest thing about running centericq from inside a screen.

But have no fear I’m still using mutt for mail and doubt that will ever change.