The Pain Of A Linux Blogger (Ubuntu)

August 12th, 2010
Comments Off

Blogging on Linux (Ubuntu) Sucks!Using a browser to blog feels very restrictive to me – so this may all read as completely irrelevant to you if you do not feel the same way.

Touting myself as a regular blogger would be lies – so I won’t do that – but when I do blog I like the freedom that I get by editing at my leisure offline in a non-browser client.

When I removed Windows Vista from my trusty laptop recently I installed Ubuntu 10.04 and have truly loved it so far. There had to be a down side though – right?

Here is your task:

Go to Google and search for : gnome blog editor

Have a good look through the results and make sure to note down the features.

Glance through the features and scribble out all of the blog editors that do not support image/file uploading. How many are left?

I’m guessing that you are going to find NONE. Very disappointing.

Sure – you’ll bump into loads that will half do the job and must only be used by people who love text only browsers. You’ll get the odd one that does support image uploading like Gnome Blog but go ahead and try using it. You’ll soon find that positioning that image in your blog post is impossible and any kind of text formatting other than the cryptically iconified  (pretty sure iconified is not a word – but you get the idea right ? icons… etc) bold and italics is out of the question.

What to Use

ScribeFireIt deeply saddens me to say this but the only option is ScribeFire. Don’t go thinking that you can use ScribeFire in Chrome though – because that version doesn’t support image uploading either. No – you are stuck with the Firefox version.

In order to make it feel like an independent client, I open up Firefox and then open ScribeFire in a new window – then close down the main Firefox window. Utterly useless approach but it works.

The reason I am saddened in having to use ScribeFire is because the WYSIWYG interface is clunky and doesn’t support half of the standard HTML tags you’d expect – e.g Header tags.

What Does The Future Hold

Not a lot if you go by the suggestions that get created in the Ubuntu brainstorm site, here, you’ll see that there is clearly limited inclination from the Ubuntu programmers to implement something great for the everyday blogger using Gnome. Granted, it should not just be their job to do this – but they own the most popular Linux desktop platform so responsibility has to lay somewhere – right?

Ubuntu needs to nail the Social aspect of the OS and has made good strides with Lucid (10.04) but for me – this is a major black hole in their arsenal when trying to sell their wares to MAC and Windows users.

       … Create a Gnome version of Windows Live Writer and watch ‘em flock around …

Comments Off

Tags: , ,

Categories: General, Linux

Ubuntu 7:10 Gutsy and Belkin USB Wireless Networking

March 11th, 2008

What a week.

I have been setting up a new development environment in the office and the one thing that is sure to always get me frustrated is properly configuring a wireless network adaptor on a linux system.

Windows XP, Mac OS X – no problems. Plug the device into the USB port and its already being configured for you. Linux on the other hand decides that it might have a working driver and automatically sets it up for you. What it doesnt seem to have is any intelligence to determine that the driver it just installed is of absolutely no use whatsoever.

But it doesnt stop there. The driver actually does let you do some things i.e Scan for Wireless networks. What it doesnt let you do is actually connect to any. Thanks for the 5 hours wasted finding this one out, Ubuntu.

So as help to anyone interested or just as a mental note I thought it pertinent to post about it.

Here is how I got it working:

Wireless USB : Belkin F5D9050B with chipset RT2671F

Ubuntu ver: Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 Server (i.e everything will be done from the command line – but Desktop users can just open a terminal and do exactly the same).

* I will make the assumption that you don’t have any internet access on the box.

First Things First

  1. Download the following rt73 driver on another machine and transfer it to a pen drive or CD or heaven forbid – a floppy disk.
  2. Next transfer the driver to your ubuntu machine. Put it in your home directory (/home/smcn for me).
  3. Untar (read: unzip) the file :
    • sudo tar -xvzf rt73-cvs-daily.tar.gz
  4. Change into the directory of the untarred driver :
    • /home/smcn/rt73-cvs-2008030817/Module

Now we are ready to get into the good stuff.

We need to compile the driver that we just downloaded. To ensure this goes smoothly you will need to install the kernel headers. Do this with the following :
sudo aptitude install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`
You will probably need your Ubuntu install disk for the above.

Now to compile. Move to the directory in step 4 above and type :
sudo make
This will compile the driver using the linux (kernel) headers installed previously. When you do this you may get some output at the end which says the following :
!!! WARNING: Module file much too big (>1MB)
!!! Check your kernel settings or use 'strip'

If this happens do this :
sudo strip -S rt73.ko

Now to Install the Driver
sudo make install
Great – the driver is now installed.
As mentioned previously Ubuntu tries to install a driver to use with the adapter – but this is crap. Unfortunately Ubuntu doesn’t realize this and will continue to load the same driver when you plug your device in – so we need to get rid of it and any others that Ubuntu feels might work. Do this:
sudo ifconfig wlan0 down
sudo modprobe -r rt73usb
sudo modprobe -r rt2570
sudo modprobe -r rt2500usb
sudo modprobe -r rt2x00lib

This brings down your adaptor, if it is up, and then removes any dud drivers. We now need to blacklist these drivers from ever starting again.
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
Now append the following to the end of this file:
blacklist rt73usb
blacklist rt2570
blacklist rt2500usb
blacklist rt2x00lib
blacklist rt2x00usb

Save the file by holding CTRL and X then hit Y and return. This saves the file.

Load and Configure the Driver
This loads the driver:
sudo modprobe -v rt73
Test to ensure the driver is loaded by :
Under ‘usbcore’ you should see something like this :
usbcore 138760 7 usb_storage,xpad,usbhid,libusual,rt73,ohci_hcd
As you can see the rt73 driver is loaded.

Now we can configure the wireless settings and start doing what people do with networks.
sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
At the end of the file append this :

iface wlan0 inet dhcp
pre-up ifconfig wlan0 up
pre-up iwconfig wlan0 essid your_SSID
pre-up iwpriv wlan0 set AuthMode=WPAPSK
pre-up iwpriv wlan0 set WPAPSK=your_network_encryption_key
pre-up iwpriv wlan0 set EncrypType=TKIP
auto wlan0

The above configuration is for WPA TKIP wireless encryption. You should adapt this to your level of encryption.

After saving these changes (CTRL and X followed by ‘y’ and hit return) type the following:
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
This will restart your network card and hopefully connect you to the network.

Phew. Thats a whole lot of post.

Categories: Linux

"Thought leadership is how winners are differentiated in business."