Minty Freshness

“Oohh, you’re all minty”, is just the sort of thing I’d like Deb to say to me just after I’ve brushed my teeth in the morning. Most of the time though, I have to content myself with some muffled threats and demands for coffee. My beloved is definitely not a morning person.

I’m typing this in a shiny new version of Libre Office and my eyes are slowly becoming accustomed to the lack of brown and purple and the preponderance of green on the desktop.

Yes, I’ve decided to give Linux Mint a try… Continue reading

Oracle XE – Speeding up Startup and getting Nofications on the Desktop in Ubuntu

Oh the tension. 2-0 up at half-time. Visions of last-day drama and an eleventh-hour escape floating tantilisingly before my eyes. Then, grim reality. A second-half collapse and the prize is snatched away once more. So, this is what it must be like to be an Arsenal fan.
I know that they say misery loves company, but it’s not really any consolation. Yes, my beloved West Ham have been relegated from the Premiership.

In an effort to rouse myself from the resultant depression, I decided to have a look at addressing one of those minor annoyances that I’m always intending to get around to but somehow never quite do. In this case, it’s how to get confirmation that my Oracle XE database has started before trying to connect to it ( and that it’s shut down before I turn off my computer). Continue reading

Android Phone as a Wireless Hot-Spot

I have finally got around to having a proper play with my new(ish) Android Phone.
In doing so, I’ve discovered that :

  • it can read music files in ogg format ( good old Linux)
  • yes, Angry Birds IS addictive
  • it works very nicely as a Wireless Hot-Spot.

A quick tour through the toys I’m using for this particular exercise.
The Emachines E350 netbook running good old Ubuntu 10.04.2 is the computer. Yes, this should work on Windows as well, if your that way inclined.
The phone in question is an HTC Desire S running Android 2.3.3
Continue reading

Installing Ubuntu on an EMachines E350 netbook

I am now the proud owner of an EMachines E350 netbook. Well, proud is probably overstating it. It’s about the same spec as most of the other netbooks out there and it was cheap.
This particular model boasts 1GB RAM, a 160GB HDD, and an Intel Atom N450 processor.
It also comes with Windows 7 Starter as the OS. Hmmm, not sure about that last bit.

My purpose in obtaining this machine is to replace the venerable Laptop I’ve been carting around on the train for the last several months. Like the Emachines, it also has 1GB RAM. Unlike the netbook, it’s running Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS.
So, all I need to do now is to wipe away Windows and install Ubuntu. Oh, and make sure the wireless network card still works ( which has often been a problem with this kind of exercise).

So, what follows is the steps taken to install and configure Ubuntu on my netbook, with all the mistakes and associated cursing removed so I can pretend I really do know what I’m doing.

If you want to follow along, you will need :

  • a machine to experiment on ( or your new netbook)
  • a machine running Ubuntu already
  • a wired network connection
  • a USB stick with at least 2GB capacity
  • a bit of time (such as a Bank Holiday)

By the way, I’m going to ruin the suspense here and say that I’ve typed this on and posted it from the netbook in question, using OpenOffice Writer and a wireless connection. You can probably tell by the fact the typing is a bit slower and there are probably some amusing spelling mistakes. I put this down to getting used to the new keyboard.

A word of warning here – apart from the wireless card, I’m really not too bothered about the other peripherals on this machine. So, I’m not worried about the web cam, for example and have not covered this here. Continue reading

The gedit bug with Shared Folders in VirtualBox – a Workaround

The trouble with a Virtual Machine is that it’s, well, virtual. Sooner or later, you’re going to want to transfer some files back to the host.

Unfortunately, gedit seems to have a bit of a problem getting it’s head around this process. When you do try to change a file in the shared directory, gedit complains :

Could not save file path to file on shared folder
Unexpected error: Error renaming temporary file : Text file busy

All is not lost however. Yes, this does appear to be a bug, but there is a solution that will enable you to continue using your favourite Gnome editor inside Virtual land.
For this you will need :

  • a local folder on the Guest OS
  • a shell script
  • an alias in .bashrc
  • some sticky-back plastic

OK, so I made that last one up. Continue reading

SQLDeveloper 3.0 and the Missing Imported Connections in Ubuntu

SQLDeveloper 3.0 production has finally been released.

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I ripped off the wrapping paper and plunged straight into the installation on my Ubuntu laptop.
All was going according to plan…until I fired it up and found that it hadn’t imported my connections from SQLDeveloper 3.0 EA4 ( 3.0.3.97).
It seems that the production version has got a bit sniffy about it’s Early Adopter sibling although, oddly, it does still import any extensions you have installed.
Anyway, to save you the trouble of setting up all your connections again… Continue reading

Oracle Instant Client on Ubuntu…with added Aliens

“This is the voice of the Mysterons…have you got any Lemsip ?”
Yep, I’ve caught Deb’s cold and now sound like the alien menace from Captain Scarlet.
This provides a somewhat tenuous link to the subject at hand – namely installing Oracle Instant Client on Ubuntu.
I think I’d better explain. As you probably know, Ubuntu – being a Debian based Distro – uses the Debian packaging mechanism. Oracle, on the other hand, provides Instant Client for Linux in rpm ( RPM Package Manager) format. In order to bridge this divide, we’re going to need to use the alien utility. Look, I did say it was tenuous OK.

I’m doing this on a 32-bit Ubuntu installation ( 10.04, since you ask). If you’re running 64-bit, you’ll need to download the appropriate equivalent files. Continue reading

Installing Ubuntu in VirtualBox on a Windows 7 Host

It’s Sunday afternoon and Deb is feeling poorly…but not so poorly that she’s not offering considerable editorial input into this post. In between the sniffles and requests for lemsip etc…she’s throwing in various comments relating to various icons from the sci-fi genre. To be fair, I have borrowed her laptop as it’s the only one in the house running Windows 7.
I will attempt to minimize the in-jokes and references but I thought I’d better go on record and report the fact that I am under some duress here. Honestly, some people are soooo geeky ! Continue reading

Installing PL/SQLDeveloper under Wine in Ubuntu

Tantalus – that Greek bloke who was doomed for all eternity to eternal thirst and hunger despite having food and water within reach. Had he been a Geek, rather than a Greek, he would’ve worked in a place where you can choose which OS to use…but be denied by the fact that, as a database developer, he had to use PL/SQLDeveloper – a Windows only IDE.

Oh the bitter irony. Well, unlike Tantalus, I’ve decided that, as with so many other problems in life, this particular dilemma can be resolved by alcohol – in this case, a glass of Wine.

WINE – formerly WINdows Emulator, now re-christened Wine Is Not an Emulator. It’s open source so, on this occasion, we don’t have to beware Geeks bearing gifts ( sorry).

For this particular exercise, I’m using Ubuntu 10.04.
PL/SQLDeveloper is that “other” PL/SQL IDE – this one being published by Allround Automations. Continue reading

Upgrading to SQLDeveloper 3.0 on Ubuntu

My new year’s resolution that no alcohol will pass my lips is in no way connected to the fact that the only drink left in the house is half a bottle of cooking sherry that I’ve had for ages and really don’t like the look of right now.

As I’ve struggled through the hangover haze of a New Year’s Eve spent being corrupted by my better half, I’ve made a number of discoveries :

  • I now know why Belgian beer is only served in small glasses
  • the more you drink, the less it matters about the accuracy of your cocktail mixing skills
  • don’t try and install SQLDeveloper on Ubuntu if you’ve got a hangover

I installed SQLDeveloper 1.5.5 some time ago and I’ve now decided to take the plunge and have a go with SQLDeveloper 3.

Update – if you’ve stumbled across this looking for instructions on how to install SQLDeveloper4, then this may help.
Continue reading