Simply apt-get install libnotify-bin and then add the following to your crontab
*/10 * * * * DISPLAY=:0.0 XAUTHORITY=~/.Xauthority notify-send “Don’t forget” ”you’re awesome”
Then every ten minutes, this will happen:
All of my music and my images are backed up onto a small NAS I have at home. Simple! I thought daftly. Mount the NAS, copy the files into My Music and carry on. Again, so very wrong. Copying a single folder works, trying to copy all of them at the same time doesn’t! This is very annoying! How would I go about mending this in Linux? 3 lines of bash, or… rsync!
Googling around, I found that windows has a command in the command prompt called robocopy (I’m on windows and forced onto a command prompt, go figure) The command seems to be “robocopy z:\ c:\Users\Matt\Music /MIR”, and this seems to be working!
Windows Media Player seemed to pick up all of my MP3 files relativley quickly, and found/retrieved the album art where it was missing as well. However, all of my Ogg files where not found and not playable. A quick google around for an ogg codec for windows finds vorbis.com and a codec for “DirectShow based players”. It seems to imply WMP is one of these, so I grab it, install it, and can play my Ogg files! Although it doesn’t show the total running time in the playlist like it does MP3s for some reason. Never mind!
The only other music I tend to listen too is from Spotify. A quick trip to their website to grab the Windows client, and that wors straight away. Nice and easy
Photo’s are a completley different kettle of fish. I have a total of 56.7GB of photos on my network storage. When I’m in Ubuntu I tend to only keep a smallish selection of these on the laptop. So for the purposes of this experiment, I’ll just import the ones from this year. At a mere 6.67GB, this should take about an hour off the slow network storage. I left this to copy, came back and tried to find some photo management software. Windows 7 seems to come with the “Windows Live Photo Gallery”, so trying to use the default software I fired this up. It asked me to sign in with my Windows Live ID (which I have courtesy of my XBox 360) and the quite quickly shows me all the photos I’ve just imported.Helpfully it also throws me a message saying it can’t open some file types (namely my Canon RAW files) and I need something called a “codec” to view them. It then takes me staright to the Canon download site for the raw codec. Quite handy. A 28MB download later and a reboot, all my pictures are now visable and viewable.
This seems to be just as usable as Shotwell, I can tag pictures, browse by dates, see the various metadata for each image, there is a small amount of editing possible. It feels a bit clunky though. Occasionally you can’t double click to preview a photo, you have to right click then go preview. Otherwise it seems more than capable for my mediocre photo managing tasks.
Tomorrow, I’ll attempt something a bit more taxing. I’ll try and get the printer working and have a look into application development in Windows.
My fight against distractions has carried on further. This brief episode is brought to you by the theory of “scratching your own itch”.
There are a lot of things that annoy me with various tasks I perform every day. This past week I’ve been taking note of each one, and I count 78 in total. Each one of those 78 things could probably be fixed very easily, but because I’m generally running around like a headless chicken trying to get things done, I don’t even think about fixing them, I just put up with them and carry on. A fair few of these are things that take a while to fix, like the office being short of physical space because of all the orders coming in/out at the moment. Other issues are easy to fix, like the fact that it takes me 30 minutes to an hour to do a quick analysis of some testing data. This is a problem I can solve easily with a smattering of python and a little concentration. In fact, I’m intending to tackle this on Sunday by going into the office when it’s quiet, and just making this problem vanish.
A few other problems on that list of 78 can also be solved with code, some easily, some not so. Some can be solved by a few simple changes in my work routine, like the fact I constantly go to do a task, get pulled away by something else, and then forget what I was going to do. Keeping a simple log book of what I’m doing during the day would solve this easily. It would be better if this was digitized in some form, but for now a simple notebook will probably make a huge difference. This distraction on its own has probably caused me to lose my train of thought more times this week than any other on the list.
So how id my fight going? I’m much more aware of what causes me to be distracted after the past week or so. It’s taking me time to come to terms with each of those distractions and to deal with them, but ultimately, I am becoming more productive in a given period of time. The next big thing I’m going to have to tackle is project methodology. Since I don’t even have a passing familiarity with any of the standard methodologies, this is going to take some research, some thought and a lot of conversations in order to find the best one to suite the needs of my team at work. As always, any pertinant reading material suggestions are always welcome.
Having seen other peoples success of growing chillis from seed (specifically theopensourcerer) I thought this year I’d have a go. So in what could possibly be said to be a familiar style…..
I’m only attempting three types of chillis this year, cayenne long hot, navaho and scotch bonnet. In the interest of science I’m trying theopensourcers method of germinating the seeds, and tomorrow evening will be attempting some in plain pots with compost in a heated propagator. This may mean I end up with an absolutley enormous glut of chillis, but I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.
Here are the seeds ready for the airing cupboard.
I’m also in the process of building an automated watering system for these once they’re in the greenhouse using arduinos, and hopefully connecting to a server in the house using an easy radio link to report the conditions in the greenhouse Many thanks to theopensourcerer for the information he’s posted on his blog.
Friday marks the beggining of a new year under the gregorian calender, so it’s a good time to reflect on various things from the last year, and suggest some changes for the next.
Last year was, for 6 months at least, a rubbish year. With Uni going rapidly down hill, being diagnosed with depression, and everything generally going wrong, I’d rather forget most of it. The last few months have been significantly better. Acquired myself a CCNA, and a job doing things that I enjoy.
So what needs to change next year? Well, in no particular order:
- One of the downsides of having a job that is largely programming is that I don’t get that much exercise any more which has led to me putting on some weight. Ideally I’d like to turn this around, but would initially be happy for it to be stemmed. Hopefully a bit of Wii fit every other night will help this while it’s dark in the evenings, and as it lightens up I’ll try and start doing some walking or some such.
- Start putting away more moneys, now my debts have gone (hooray) I can start to put away some pennies for the future.
- I intend to increase my participation with Ubuntu community in the coming year as well. Hopefully culminating in gaining Ubuntu membership. In order to achieve this, one evening a week will be dedicated to contributing to Ubuntu, be it through support, bug squashing, testing or whatever. This will probably be aimed at Wednesday evenings, but will shift around a little as real life things will undoubtedly get in the way.
I think 3 is enough to be getting on with. Hopefully this year will be better than the last
It’s been etched into my diary now, so I’m going to both Lug Radio Live 2009 and Oggcamp. Both of these will be quite exciting for me as they’ll be the first large scale linux events I’ve been too, however judging from the general community populace, both should be quite friendly and cool!
I’ll be travelling up to wolverhampton from the Newbury/Reading area, so if anyones heading up from that area as well, let me know and see if we can organise some kind of lift share. Hope to see a lot of you there!
Well, now that Uni has finished, I need a job. Having been doing a Physics degree at Swansea, I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that I don’t really want to go into a Physics field, and would rather move across into a computer networking position. This comes with a few problems. Firstly, I have no professional experience with this kind of work, I do have lots of amateur experience, having networked my house and helped administrate the University Computer Societies network. I have been exploring the option of doing a CCNA to give me a kick start into a career, but these are expensive.
Why does this mean anyone should hire me? Well, I’m incredibly eager to learn. Having no professional experience means I will have to learn fast, and I fully intend to do so. I’m more or less convinced I want to do a CCNA, to the point where I’m willing to fund it myself and just need to find the funds to do so. I have heaps of experience with Linux servers, I’ve administered several for friends over the years and attempt to help people fix their Ubuntu machines in #ubuntu-uk and on the ubuntu-uk mailing list. I also have experience mending windows machines, again largley for friends and family. I am incredibly enthusiastic and really want to get on and work, having been sat on my bum for the past 2 weeks just applying for jobs, I’m now reaching the point where I just want to get on and work. I’m reliable, hard working and eager to get involved.
Recently I’ve been fighting off depression and it’s made me take stock of what I do quite a lot. Sometimes it’s necessary for me to stop what I’m doing and often it’s because I’ve looked at what I’m doing and become a bit confused. When ever I do this I end up looking at what I’m doing and asking “How is this me?”. It seems like a silly question sometimes, but life is consistantly changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, so it’s necessary now and again to stop and define what things really mean.
Who am I? I think it’s safe to sat that what you do and how you act defines you, so I shall pick a few things on what I do and how I act to try and define myself.
How is this me? I’ve always felt that everything has a reason that can be understood. When told that the universe has been created I always ponder if this was true, how was it created? What where it’s initial ingredients? How can you set off a system with a few simple rules to create such a complex system? What are these rules and can they be replicated. I’ve always felt that this is part of me, and the more I understand of how the world we live in works, the more I see that it’s important to find a place in it.
I always want to understand why something has happened, how something has gone wrong. These in some ways drive me to do things. As I’ve struggled recently with the depression I feel that I’ve been losing this drive a bit and become too accepting of facts and not questioning things enough. This is me.
Linux and OSS
How is this me? While the idea of financial gain is nice, it somehow seems unnerving. In the land of software, it sometimes seems as if it has got to a point of being all about financial gain, and not what can be done.
Linux and OSS are not just about freedom, they are about being able to push what you can do and do it faster, more intelligently to save effort. A lot of proprietry software seems to think that the software is the important factor, but it’s what the user can do with it that’s more important. If a piece of software can’t do something I need to do, then why shouldn’t I be able to add that functionality? If I needed that functionality chances are someone else will do someday to, so I can give that back to the people who originally made the software. While this doesn’t make me monetarily better off, somewhere it will make someones life easier. This is a net saving in frustration and seems to be worth far more than a few pounds extra at the end of the month.
Linux is also about a community, and more of life should be about this. I have found that the UK Ubuntu community is made up of some of the nice, most helpful people I’ve talked too. Some of whome I have started to regard as friends, and hope to make that so once Uni has finished by taking part more and giving more back to those who have given me so much. Much of the philosophy of this I try and take forward to other parts of my life, not just software.
How is this me? It’s one of the things that makes me stop and look at the world. Sometimes days can get so busy with repetitive, thoughtless tasks that I don’t stop, look or think. When I’m out with a camera I’m always looking, at the way the grass bends with the wind, the way the sun shines across the waves in the bay, the orange glow of the sun rising behind Port Talbot. Small things that seem to be more interesting when you think about what they are, how they happen and what it all really means. Somehow being behind a camera really makes me look enough to appreciate these things the way they should be.
Friends, past and present
Life is incredibly short on cosmological timescales. People come and go, but everyone you meet leaves a mark on you somehow. People I used to be close to have slowly moved away, some people I haven’t seen in a long time. Some friendships are worth more to me than others, but all are individually valuable. These people in a way have formed who am I, what I believe is rightor wrong and what I feel is important in the world. In many ways, bits of everyone I have met are me.
My future wife
In many ways she has shaped the current me more than a lot of other factors, and that isn’t a bad thing. I have known people I would give up a lot to help, but she is the one person I would give up everything for. She is the reason I look forward to a settled married life. There’s no need for piles of money in that future, just enough to get by and her by my side. In a way she is the little piece of the world I have been looking for, and feel like I’ve almost found somewhere I want to be.
There are many other things that are me, but these few I currently feel are the most prominant. So now, people of the interweb, I challenge you to find out just who are you?
Just had a really nice weekend at home, away from the noisy, horrid traffc. Just the lovely smell of clean air and the sound of the wind, the birds and , on occasion, the church bells.
Did start recording walking tacks today. Went for a short walk up and around Coombe Gibbet, got a lovely picture of the landscape on the way up. Will have to get a wiggle on and build the walking site now. Hopefully get a nice walk around the gower this weekend too.
I’m sat writing this on the train back to Swansea, with my phone on charge through my freeloader. Technology is wonderful!
Back to work when I get back to Swansea. Finish off my report and print it off this evening, and then comment my code ready for it to be submitted for assessment. Hopefully I’ll get my laptop hard drive back relativley soon, but I’m not sure I will after the bizzare packaging standards of Western Digital!
Picture to come later……..
Over the past couple of months I’ve found myself becoming sluggish, and very slow at completing various tasks. This all reached a peak when I found myself unable to sleep a lot of the time so just over a week ago I went to the doctors. Since then I’ve been diagnosed with depression and put on some anti-depressents to try and alleviate things a bit.
The problem I have now is that I have lost my work ethic because of the past few months of lethargicness. I’ve now also found it relativley difficult to actually get out of bed in the mornings. In order to try and rectify this I am giving myself a couple of challenges.
- Be up everyday by 8am
- Go for a walk every day
- Regain my work ethic and concentration by sitting at my desk and working for at least half an hour before a break
- Take a decent photograph every day next week (Mon -> Sun)
As far as I’m concerned, 1 and 3 will be the most difficult, however they’re the most important in that list as it stands. Each day I’ll try and post a progress report, and my photo of the day.