jorge's stompbox

Apr 15

I need to spend more time on reddit

Someone’s made a reddit lens!

Here’s the code. I need a volunteer to grab the packaging from the Ask Ubuntu branch and package this up and PPA it. Find me if you want to do this (no time to do this yet, but maybe one of you can help us out)

Apr 13

Puppet Shirts!

My memory is hazy, must have been that strong Portland microbrew…

(me) You know if you do it right, Puppet makes it so I never miss hitting the pub at 4pm, every time.

(Luke) I should put that on a shirt some day ….

Thanks for the shirt guys! (He must have adjusted for DST, heh)

Apr 11

More quicklists ….

Aha clever Jamie, he put two and two together so he can add SSH shortcuts to quicklists. Here’s my setup to the three machines at home:

Here’s the .desktop file:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Remote Servers
Comment=Login to my servers
Exec=gnome-terminal --disable-factory --sm-client-disable --class=remoteserver

[Server1 Shortcut Group]
Name=SSH into bondigas.local
Exec=gnome-terminal --disable-factory --sm-client-disable  --class=remoteserver -x ssh -t bondigas.local

[Server2 Shortcut Group]
Name=SSH into xbmc.local
Exec=gnome-terminal --disable-factory --sm-client-disable --class=remoteserver -x ssh -t xbmc.local

[Server3 Shortcut Group]
Name=SSH into miggytop.local
Exec=gnome-terminal --disable-factory --sm-client-disable --class=remoteserver -x ssh -t miggytop.local

Though maybe I should assign the one I ssh to the most under the first Exec and save some space. Of course, if this was a dynamic quicklist that just autopopulated the list based on what avahi says is around that would be slick.

Ubuntu Open Week, Call for Instructors

We’ve sent out a call for instructors for Ubuntu Open Week. Open Week runs from 2-6 May in #ubuntu-classroom (the week after release).

Since Developer Week is already off and rocking I’m looking for some more end-user-y type sessions. Want to dig in? Then sign up and let me know!

Demystifying Unity’s Graphics Hardware Requirements

Jay Taoko has put up a blog post talking about Unity’s hardware requirements. You can find the information on the wiki page too.

On the wiki page we talk about the OpenGL features we use and the hardware we test on, we hope to grow this over time. 

Apr 10

Ancient whales are great

My wife got me a pretty unique birthday present this year. Instead of a normal gift she sponsored the restoration of a whale rib.

This weekend the donors participated in the unveiling of Basilosaurus isis reconstruction at the University of Michigan’s Paleontology Museum. We are talking about a massive animal here, 45 feet long, it didn’t really fit in the range of my camera.

I talked briefly with Dr. Phillip Gingerich and learned some interesting things about B. isis. First of all, it took a month to dig out, and 2 years to get it exported out of Egypt. Another year to do casting and molding, and they have another year to go of studying it before it can finally be returned to Egypt.

There are over 1,000 specimens of ancient whales in Wadi Al-Hitan, but to find one that is so complete is unique, he considers the area more magnificent than the pyramids, and hopes that in the future that someone will build a museum so the whales can be observed in their own natural habitat (which is now a desert, heh).

The bones themselves weigh over a ton, so it’d be impossible to mount the real bones in such a manner. It is quite impressive to see a whale the length of a bus hanging above your head though.

Dr. Gingerich considers basilosaurus unique. It was the first whale we found with those little feet in the back (hard to see in the picture of the skeleton), and more curiously, a complete evolutionary dead end. A torpedo-looking eel-like whale with a monster head with teeth is unlike anything we have today. What happened? This was likely a top predator of it’s day, why did it go extinct? How did other whales make it but not this kind? Those are all interesting questions.

Anyway I am glad I had a small part of preserving this kind of thing so kids can ask these sorts of questions when they see it at the museum. 

Since I was in the neighborhood I took an opportunity to pose with a ginormous sauropod leg (that’s the hip behind me)

How I use the Unity Dash

I’ve already talked about how I multitask with Unity. Today I’m going to talk about how I use the Dash.

(Unfortunately the flicker is way more annoying in this video than before. Jason tells me it’s my nvidia driver, I’ll need to hunt down a non-nvidia machine to rerecord this video, but it gives you a general idea)

( ogg / mp4 )

Apr 09

How I multitask in Unity

I have made a video of how multitasking works in Unity to demonstrate some of the more advanced features.

(ogg / mp4 )

Glitches are from the recording, it’s smooth on my actual desktop, also, when I say something in the video and it doesn’t happen it’s because I am fat fingering it, unfortunately we haven’t found a solution for that yet.

This is a guest session version of how I work to give you an idea of the things you can do (my normal session is a cluttered mess so I tried to go for more of an out of the box experience). Feel free to share your tips in the comments!

Apr 03

Jamming in Michigan

We’re doing some Unity testing this weekend.

Luckily we had Jason Smith handling user questions…

Apr 01

Quicklists for webapps.

One more wall down. Here’s what evolution looks like in Natty. You can right click on the icon and do stuff.

Well thanks to Unity Quicklists I can add this to webmail too: 

Here’s the excerpt from the .desktop file, tack this into the bottom of your existing Chromium GMAIL .desktop file:


[Compose Shortcut Group]
Name=Compose New Message
Exec=chromium-browser --app=''

[Contacts Shortcut Group]
Exec=chromium-browser --app=''

[Calendar Shortcut Group]
Exec=chromium-browser --app=''

Clicking on those quicklists gets you app mode windows too, no new tab ugliness.

Ken and Aq, please put this in your “blah blah native integration” pipe and smoke it, yours truly, the web.

Mar 31

Web app matching with Chromium and Unity

Thanks to the hard work of Marco Trevisan Unity now has better support for Chromium web applications. 

If you look at the pic you’ll notice that each web app has it’s own icon and it’s own window (and of course when you click on icons they’ll open in a proper browser window):

Thanks to Fabien Tassin for his guidance, and of course thanks to the upstream guys at Chromium for making this possible. There’s some other fixes left to land (you need a newish Chromium and Unity from tomorrow’s release) but this should be sorted out as both projects release going forward.

It Will be Boring for a While

(but in a good way)

(Original Post)

While there is no exciting new bling to talk about this week, there are plenty of bugfixes to be had for this Unity release. This week the team welcomes Nico van der Walt as he makes his introduction fixing Bug #731212: “Applications” and “Files & Folders” keyboard shortcut overlays not  drawn correctly with scalable launcher and Bug #741346: superkey shortcut labels does not scale properly.

"The Ubuntu community is a big inspiration for me and I love how friendly everyone is. Unity will be a big success and I look forward to being a part of this great Linux distribution."

Also this week we have Andreas Richel submitting his first fix for implementing a more robust method of launching applications from the home view (lp:730623). Unfortunately his camera is broken so no picture, but he sends along "I’m a 20-year-old German computer science student in my 6th semester. I’ve been passively following Ubuntu and the bug trackers for some time now, but was unable to find enough time to dig into an ongoing open source project. So this really is a first for me :)"

Also back this week are veterans Marco Biscaro and Andrea Azzarone, fixing Bug #742985 ‘Lenses with no shortcut still display black box when pressing super key’ and Bug #741775 ‘Launcher icon progress-bar too big for a 32px launcher’. These two are like clocks, something landing almost every week!

Wait, more Bugs?

This week the list is up to 39 bugs, a new high. Now you might be thinking “Wait a minute, I thought all these brilliant people were doing awesome, how can the list of bugs go UP!?!” As it turns out, there have been about 50 bitesize bugs fixed so far (the green line):

What happens is at the beginning the bugs aren’t really bitesize since a bunch of plumbing work is going on. Towards the tail end as we get towards the polishing phase it’s easier to nick off and fix bitesize bugs, especially as more and more people are able to run it the closer you get to the Beta milestone. If anything, the list of bitesize bugs will probably continue to grow, especially when Unity goes into another feature phase after Natty. However as you can see the green “Fix Released” line, the number of bugs being fixed also goes up as the code matures and is exposed to more people who want to hack on it. The slow march towards progress continues.

Other Unity Updates

(from the Desktop Team Report)

For people found of the full story, the now classic link:

How to Get Involved

1. Get the Code

Follow the Step by Step Instructions and Wiki Page. This will get the code from Launchpad, set up your development environment, and getting you used to the Launchpad workflow.

2. Pick a bug

Here’s the full list if you want to find more, feel free to just grab one, assign it to yourself, mark it in progress and get started.

3. Fix your bug and then get your code into Unity

Don’t worry we won’t leave you hanging, you can get a-hold of a Unity developer through many different ways:

Remember you can read all of Jorge’s previous Bitesize Bug Reportsby following the Bitesize tag.

Mar 29

So this is total fun.

One of my friends has a Syma S107 Micro RC helicopter and when I heard these are about $30-$40 I decided to snag a Z008, which is similar but adds these side fan things so I can slide side to side: 

It’s a bunch of fun to fly inside, and very beginner friendly. I hear they’re setting up a course at a local hackerspace so people can do races, etc. I was getting off easy the first week but today I broke a tail rotor and a main blade, luckily it came with spare parts and they’re pretty hackable.

Anyway I had no idea RC helicopters had gotten so easy to fly and cheap, it only took a little while to get going, though I’m going to need more room, heh.

Mar 24

Jorge-tor and the Snow Dog

So finally, after 20 years I have finally scored Rush tickets. Growing up I could never afford it, and even now with ticket prices how they are it’s not necessarily cheap for 2 people. On top of that, with as amazing as live concert DVD/BR production is these days why pay that much for $8 beers and sticky floors?

Well, first off, this changed my mind. Everyone who loves rock music should own this, whether you’re a fan or not: 

Same dude who did Maiden’s Flight 666 and Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey.

In one scene they’re talking about the fans; basically a bunch of nerdy people my age who know every note, every riff, and we have the air guitar/bass/drum chops to prove it. So basically, me. So this time I’m willing to pay to be around people who have no shame air rocking and knowing every riff and drum fill.

This tour looks great, here’s the setlist. La Villa Strangiato as an encore will be amazing. So tonight I am cranking up some Show of Hands, which is my favorite Rush era. Yes, the one where the world’s best hard rock trio is smothered in keyboards. \m/

What’s your favorite Rush song/album/era? Leave a comment.

Mar 23

Multimonitor help needed for ayatana scrollbars

I left an omission from this week’s Unity Bitesize Report

I get a weird error with the new ayatana scrollbars with multiple monitors: 

Luckily Cimi says: 

the bug is in os_scrollbar_sanitize_x and os_scrollbar_sanitize_y.
We should use gdk_screen_get_monitor_geometry instead gdk_screen_get_width… (or a combo), if someone is willing to do these calculations, it is pure math (bitesize bug?)

If someone wants to tackle this bug to make the scrollbars nicer on multiple monitors it would be appreciated: Bug Report