Ubuntu Miscellanea

30 September 2009 | Hisham | | Linux, Star Wars

Three things come to mind.

Flash Problems

I've been having some problems with browser-embedded flash files. Those of you who notice my reluctance to click on Youtube links during chat will be pleased to know that I've gotten Youtube working on this browser, as well as the new Photobucket user interface. It took me quite a while to hunt down the solution at the Ubuntu forums. There were several false leads, but finally flash is free to be fully-utilized by Firefox.

What I did was to input the following commands line-by-line on Terminal and follow whatever instructions that was displayed.

sudo apt-get remove swfdec-mozilla
sudo apt-get remove mozilla-plugin-gnash
sudo apt-get remove adobe-flashplugin
sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-nonfree
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree 

Never Doubt The Weather Applet

This morning when I sat down at this computer, I saw that the gnome-clock weather applet said it was raining. I looked out the window and saw some sparse clouds, and could clearly see the open skies beyond the clouds. "Rain? Are you joking? I can see the sky from where I'm sitting."

Ten minutes later, it was pouring cats and dogs.

So The New Desktop is a Map

Finally I got an excellent map for my new desktop wallpaper. For its function as a wallpaper I had to crop the sucker to 1280 by 800 pixels. But you can find the map here. No telling when this map might be useful for your travels.

You can click on the thumbnail here to check out the map, or to see the weather applet I wrote about earlier in the upper right had corner of the desktop, right by the date and time.


Selamat Hari Raya from NJ(??)

21 September 2009 | sila | | Family Pics

Eid Mubarak, and selamat hari raya to all! Vin, Allie and I were out of town for the holidays due to work commitments, but coincidentally, we had a work-related party to go to on the eve of Eid that actually specified that it was a national dress party. So Alllie put on her new baju kurung raya from Opah and Atok, and Vin and I wore our green bajus to match Allie. Here we all are, at Rob's party.

The Raya family picture

Note that in the above, Allie is no longer wearing the skirt of her baju kurung as she kept stepping and tripping on it. But here she is, when she first got ready to go to the party in her full outfit.

Look at my pretty baju kurung!

Gnarly party last night, thanks for having us Rob! Maaf zahir batin to all! And to Yope Irfan, a special birthday shout out (aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! as Allie would say) on your 7th birthday. Woohooooo!!!


Eid Mubarak & Happy 7th Birthday

21 September 2009 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

Aidilfitri greetings to everyone from us who are spending the holidays in Pasir Mas this year. This year, our family was garbed in black on Aidilfitri morning. The next day was Irfan's seventh birthday. There was no place in the fridge to store the cake so we cut the cake that morning.


The Interactive Dan Brown Plot Generator

17 September 2009 | Hisham | | Books, Humour, Trawling The Net

Do you wish to write and be as successful as bestselling authour of titles such as Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown?

Don't fret, because now you can thanks to Slate.com's The Interactive Dan Brown Plot Generator. All you have to do is to select the city and then the arcane organisation whose devious plot drives the story, and voila! You have an automatically generated plot which can serve as a blurb for your back cover!

I chose "Dallas" for the city, and for the ancient and mysterious organisation I picked the Kiwanis Club:

An ancient puzzle at the heart of Dallas.
A ruthless cult determined to protect it.
A frantic race to uncover the Kiwanis Club's darkest secret.

The Forgotten Mark

When world-famous Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the Carousel Club to analyze a mysterious rune—imprinted on a gold ring lying next to the mangled body of the head docent—he discovers evidence of the unthinkable: the resurgence of the ancient cult of the Quintinistas, a secret branch of the Kiwanis Club that has surfaced from the shadows to carry out its legendary vendetta against its mortal enemy, the Vatican.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed when a messenger from the Quintinistas appears at the Texas Theater to deliver a grim ultimatum: Turn over the archbishop, or one cherub will disappear from the Sistine Chapel every day. With only three days to foil their plot, Langdon joins forces with the statuesque and quick-witted daughter of the murdered docent in a desperate bid to crack the code that will reveal the cult's secret plan.

Embarking on a frantic hunt, Langdon and his companion follow a 800-year-old trail through Dallas's most venerable buildings and historic churches, pursued by a one-eyed assassin the cult has sent to thwart them. What they discover threatens to expose a conspiracy that goes all the way back to Joseph Prance and the very founding of the Kiwanis Club.

That's the plot. Now all I have to do is to write the prose and change Langdon's name. Watch me go to the top of the New York Times bestsellers' list! Woo!


365 Days of Stormtroopers

15 September 2009 | Hisham | | Humour, Star Wars, Trawling The Net

Thanks to the Official Star Wars Blog, I've come across the photo-adventures of a pair of hapless Imperial Stormtroopers on Flickr, TK-479 and TK-455, as they undergo a series of entertaining adventures.

The photos are taken by Stéfan Le Dû, who will release one photo a day for a year.

Some of the scenes are downright hilarious. Here is a selection, with mouseover text of their original titles:

Short-messaging Luke Skywalker

Above: This explains the anonymous messages Luke's been receiving. It got so bad that he had to hurl his phone on the far side of Nirauan.

Recruiting some pigeons for the Imperial Navy

Above: The Imperial fleet could use a few good carrier pigeons if the HoloNet craps out.

Summer Holiday Strikes Back

Above: You can't go on vacation without an astromech droid to navigate your camper.

Holiday by the sea - Day 1

Above:  Do you need hats if you're wearing friggin' helmets? You do if you want to get the chicks on the beach.


Secret Library Revamped and Re-released

10 September 2009 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com

New CoverAfter a long time taken out of the market, I've finally re-released the old The Secret Library children's book as Irfan's Secret Library.

The story is basically the same, with some edits to the body text. There are no new artwork. Everything is from the older version of the book.

It's up on the Products page here. You can see samples of the interior at its Lulu page here.

It's been a while since I worked to create a brand new children's book. I should get back to it. The next one should concern animals or dinosaurs or something.


Irfan Draws Again

07 September 2009 | Hisham | | Artwork
Irfan and dad

Note the day-old mustache and stubble I have.