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Dumb Terminal Bells

posted 29 Apr 2011, 02:05 by Phil Burchill

February 3rd, 2010

I have been plagued for years by my terminal beeping thumping and generally anoying me when I do something wrong. It’s actually quite easy to fix though. Just add this one liner to ~/.inputrc and no more beeping:

set bell-style visible

Notebook Index

posted 29 Apr 2011, 02:04 by Phil Burchill

January 19th, 2010

So I use a paper notebook to write things down.

I used to put page numbers in the corner. Then if something important was noted manually add an index item on the last page.

These days I’m more likely to cross reference against email correspondence so this does not make sense any more. I tend to look up by date so the pages are numbered by date. Page number one today looks like this:

Skype — No Winamp Pause, No redial?!

posted 29 Apr 2011, 02:03 by Phil Burchill

January 7th, 2010

So I’ve been using Skype for years now since 0.2 or something and it had been getting better and better. But they seem to be removing features now.

No More Redial
I was trying to call someone today and autoredial has been removed :(

No more Winamp Pause
I got a replacement laptop recently the Winamp pause feature was gone :(fortunately it is still there just not on the GUI.

To add it you need to modify the Config.xml file. You can do it like this.

  • From the start menu select run then type in the text “%AppData%\Skype”
  • Open the directory which is your skype username
    and there is config.xml
  • Backup the file so if you break it you can revert
  • Edit the file with your favourite text editor
  • Look for this tag <general>
  • Insert the following, before this tag </general>


  • Save the file
  • Restart Skype so it re-reads it
  • As if by magic the entry should be back in the GUI

So why are Skype annoying their users, removing useful features?

Non US Keyboards used with Cygwin

posted 29 Apr 2011, 01:57 by Phil Burchill

December 22nd, 2009

If you have a keyboard that is non US when you type you find different characters appearing to what are marked on the keys. The solution to this is fairly trivial run xmodmap with the appropriate xmodmap file. The problem is you don’t have the file. They are all here as a compressed tar file or you can browse them here. I added a line to my .bashrc file xmodmap xmodmap.uk and that worked nicely.

Google Apps Publish Feature

posted 29 Apr 2011, 01:56 by Phil Burchill

March 24th, 2008

It seems that Google docs has a publish feature so you can write Blog posts here before publishing. I’m testing it with this posting.

Toshiba Satellite Pro A10 Overheating

posted 29 Apr 2011, 01:54 by Phil Burchill

August 31st, 2007

I have one of these circa 2004 laptops and recently it started overheating an shutting down. Mostly this just meant the kids had to move over to Linux (Windows kept doing virus scans) and not play flash games. I finally got around to looking into this the result was dust!

It was actually very easy to fix only five screws to take out and nothing to take apart.

Three screws out and remove the cover:

Cover removed

Then two more screws and the fan lifts out no need to disconnect it.

I got this piece of dust out:

A lump of dust off the filter

This was left on the filter:

What was left

After I cleaned this out the laptop is back to normal and hasn’t shut-down since

Reowning Ubuntu

posted 29 Apr 2011, 01:53 by Phil Burchill

August 15th, 2007

NFS is a pain because you need to have the same UIDs on different systems. It seemed easiest to change my UID on my Ubuntu box.

usermod -u 1234 phil

Simple enough and it even chowned the files in my home directory. But I still have files everywhere which have my old uid. I’d like to find and own them, seems like a pain, could take ages? Easy with GNU find:

sudo find / -uid 1000 -exec chown phil \{\} \;

Shutting down Windows

posted 29 Apr 2011, 01:50 by Phil Burchill

May 1st, 2007

My kids like to play games on my personal laptop which happens to have WinXP Home on it. Of course they don’t like to get off it when it’s time for dinner, bed, bathing, school, … Going in there and making them shut it down can be a challenge.

So the solution a mash-up Apache and psshutdown now available from Microsoft. My apache was installed through cygwin so I have all the shell powers available for my cgi scripts.
Just make some cgi scripts and off we go.

You will need to make a dummy script to accept the licence using the /accepteula switch which needs to be run once or the scripts will just all fail.

I added the sysinternals tools to my system environment path so they will get picked up without addng the path.

Then the following script is dropped into



# disable filename globbing
set -f

echo “Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1″
echo Force shutdown of computer

psshutdown -kf

I also set up a static IP address for the laptop.

Now I just put a bookmark in my browser and clicking on this shuts that laptop down without any arguments.

I have Wi-Fi capable mobile phone so put the bookmark in there and I can easily shut it down from there too, which is really handy as I’m not always in front of a computer screen.

Fantastico Does it again

posted 29 Apr 2011, 01:49 by Phil Burchill

March 30th, 2007

Just upgraded WordPress to v2 and it was a single click with fantastico!


posted 29 Apr 2011, 01:47 by Phil Burchill

February 2nd, 2007

I like to use a command line interface whenever possible. Sometimes though a windowed application is required. In MS Windows you use the start command to bring up the default app, (don’t use this much). In Cygwin I use the cygstartcommand.

So I was using my Ubuntu system and wanted to do something similar. The command it turns out is gnome-open. Bit of a mouthful so I have this aliased in my .bashrc file to cs for either cygstart or gnome-open which is much more snappy.

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