My Linux Journal Day 23

Today should have been really easy, but it was a bigger deal than I expected. It should be easy to figure out how to get your NUMLOCK key to be on when you boot up right? Wrong. In all of the Windows PC’s I’ve used NUMLOCK is always onwhen booting up, so I expected to find a simple checkbox somewhere in Ubuntu for this simple feature. Nope.


After looking around here’s what worked for me. I run Gnome sessions, so that means I run GDM (I learned form some quick reading). According to’s GDM page , GDM is the Gnome Display Manager that presents you with a graphical logon screen like this one:

GDM login screen

If you like it, you can find this login screen at

Ubuntuguide to the Rescue

You can click on the link above and do a lot of scrolling or just use the steps below. For some reason I could not do an apt-get install to install numlockx, here’s what I did:

1) In Synaptic, install numlockx

2) Make a backup of the file you are about to edit. In your console window type:

sudo cp /etc/gdm/Init/Default /etc/gdm/Init/Default.bak

3) Now back into the console window to edit your file:

gksudo gedit /etc/gdm/Init/Default

4) Now your file opens in gedit. Scroll down to the very bottom, and just above the bottom line that says “exit 0” add this and save, then close the file:

if [ -x /usr/bin/numlockx ]; then
/usr/bin/numlockx on

5) Now if everything’s gone well when you reboot next time you will see your NUMLOCK key is ON.

My Linux Journal Day 18

Just a quick note with more detail later…..

I’ve installed Wine, and to test it installed Notepad++. That seems to have gone well.

Also since my Linux machine only has 128MB 512MB of RAM with a PIII 900MHz CPU, and because I wanted a larger monitor with higher resolution I’ve installed BFG Technologies ASLMX4000 GeForce4 MX4000 128MB AGP (GeForce4 MX 4000) and a Philips Brilliance 202P4. This seems to be working well so far.

Oh and how about a cool screenshot:


My Linux Journal Day 17

Okay, I’ve gotten started with the Quanta HTML editor because Bluefish just didn’t do it for me. Mainly there was no color picker, and I’m not going to use an external program, my memory, or a website for colors.

So Quanta is installed and in action here:

Quanta screesnhot

This is pretty cool because its also my first time using GIMP. Simple image re-size was the order for the day, but it was pretty cool to be using 100% free software to do all of this. SO here are the beginnings of my web design suite on my linux machine:

The workflow is different with Quanta + gFTP + Photoshop than it is for Dreamweaver, but its easy enough to get used to. First off, I don’t have a dual monitor setup on my linux machine yet, so I’ll rely on virtual desktops to separate Quanta + gFTP from GIMP.

More later, I think this is off to a decent start.

My Linux Journal Day 11


Finally! I found a working HOWTO for installing Adbobe/Macromedia Flash 9 for Linux, and more specifically Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). First, open your favorite console. Next, visit this Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) How-To page. Once you get to the instructions (below) its a simple matter of copy/pasting 4 lines of commands, or if your console doesn’t support paste, typing them in by hand (not so fun):

Either way, ignore the instructions 1 & 2 at the top since they do not work at this point due to a bug. Follow the instructions below that start 1. Manually download and… to get Flash installed and running.

I installed an Epson Stylus Photo 820, and it worked right off, not counting that I need new ink cartridges. The physical install was the easiest, power plug and parallel cord. Next, System > Administration > Printing, then click New Printer. It did a quick search returning several options of which I chose LPT:1. Going from memory now, the next choice was the brand of printer, Epson. After that I was presented with a list of Epson printers and selected the Epson Stylus Photo 820 from the list and finished.

Next was the part I’m having trouble with, ink. The ink cartridges are old and dry and the printer was given to me with a refill kit. The refill wasn’t too difficult after I figured the was ink for black, blue, light blue, red, light red and yellow. The blues and reds looked alike butthe light-colors were marked with a capital “L” on top. After refilling, including many ink spills on my hand its done, but not printing very well. I’ll give it some more time before I give up an attempt to buy new ink cartridges.

My Linux Journal Day 10

Recently I powered on my Linux machine to show it off to my Dad, and the drivers weren’t playing nicely. For some reason the screen looked exactly the same as when I was using the Nvidia Drivers (see My Linux Journal Day 2 for more), and it booted into an 800×600 screen. Lucky for me simply turning it off and then back on later in the day somehow fixed the issue. So, if you change your video drivers and decide to change back, and find later that your monitor has reverted to the undesirable state, try powering off and back on and maybe you’ll get lucky, too.

I set up Pidgin today, very nice program (Applications > Internet > Pidgin Instant Messenger). It came pre-installed with Ubuntu 7.10, and was very easy to setup and begin running. Pidgin supports AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, and Yahoo IM accounts among others. Plus simply right-clicking it on the menu, and selecting “Add this to launcher panel” put it right up on top of my launcher panel at the top of my screen. Next, a right-click on each item on the launcher panel allowed me to unlock it from the panel (click the “Lock to Panel” menu item to toggle on and off). Then some simple dragging and dropping to re-order my launcher panel and voila!