Converting ogg file to mp3 format with Sound Converter

It’s the holiday season. The English summer rain serves only to sharpen the anticipation of the foreign sun that you will be enjoying in the not too distant future.
There is only one problem. How do you take your music collection with you when it’s all in ogg format and you don’t have a handy Android device to transfer it onto.

Step forward Sound Converter – another in the seemingly endless supply of really useful open source utilities for Linux.

NOTE – I’ve tried this on both Ubuntu and Mint and, as you’d expect, the steps are the same. The screenshots in this post are taken from Mint because the novelty still hasn’t worn off yet :-) Continue reading

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