Michael Gillson on March 10th, 2011

Action is the foundational key to all success.
Anthony Robbins

Whiskey has killed more men than bullets, but most men would rather be full of whiskey than bullets.
Logan Pearsall Smith

TurnKey Linux is a great organization.  The have built dozens of appliances based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server.  These appliances can be run as virtual machines or on bare metal.  Most require only 256 MB of RAM.  Lately, I have been experimenting with the Django Appliance.

The Django version in this appliance is 1.1.1  I wanted to upgrade the Django to a later version.  This blog will show how to do the update.  The idea how to do this upgrade came from an entry in the TurnKey Linux Forum.

First, verify the version of Django.

>>> import django
>>> django.VERSION

Press ctrl-d to exit the python interpreter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Michael Gillson on March 9th, 2011

Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the co-operation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself.
Alexander Graham Bell

You have heard the story, havent you, about the man who was tarred and feathered and carried out of town on a rail? A man in the crowd asked him how he liked it. His reply was that if it was not for the honor of the thing, he would much rather walk.
Abraham Lincoln

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
Chinese Proverb

Among Life’s precious jewels, Genuine and rare, The one that we call friendship Has worth beyond compare.
Source Unknown

I learned a lot of useful information at Ruby on Rails Tutorial.

Open up a terminal window –  Type the following commands.

mkdir ruby
cd ruby
wget ftp://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/1.9/ruby-1.9.2-p180.tar.gz
tar -zxvf ruby-1.9.2-p180.tar.gz

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Michael Gillson on February 28th, 2011

The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs.
Joseph Weizenbaum

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
Alan Alda

A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It is wrong to his family. Children learn to read by being in the presence of books. The love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon it. And the love of knowledge, in a young mind, is almost a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices.
Horace Mann

Last year, I was growing tired of Windows and the on going cost to keep up to date.  My company sold off some old computers with Ubuntu 9.10 pre-installed on them.  I bought one for my kids to browse the Internet and write school papers.

I liked Ubuntu a alot and decided I would convert my main PC with Windows XP to Ubuntu 9.10.  I knew some things would only work on Windows so I wanted to keep my XP license.  At my company, we use VM Workstation for the developers.  I found out that VMWare has a free product to convert a physical machine to a virtual machine that I could run with the free VM Player that runs on Windows or Linux, including Ubuntu.

I did get my XP to run on VM Player.  Keeping VM Player up to date was a hassle and I chose not to do it.  I built a new machine with Ubuntu 10.10.  I decided to use VirtualBox instead.  The Personal Use and Evaluation License is very liberal.  VirtualBox has pre-built binaries for Ubuntu and my future desire to build a dead head virtual server is doable with VirtualBox.  There is a lot of documentation.

So instead of VM Player, I decided to try VirtualBox.  But my results were not what I desired.  I decided to try VM Player again.  VM Player is now much easier. (See my install here)

The rest of this blog will show why I chose VM Player.

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Michael Gillson on February 17th, 2011

Genius is childhood recaptured.
Jean Baudrillard

The Wright brothers flew through the smoke screen of impossibility.
Dorothea Brande

As I have documented my open source, especially Ubuntu software learning experiences, I need a screen capture program.  For Ubuntu, I have found Shutter to be easy to use with enough tools to annotate the screen shots.

Shutter can crop images, draw boxes around sections to high information with any level of transparency, use a high lighter marker, hide sensitive information, and more.

The screen shots shown below were all done with Shutter.

Installing Shutter is easy.  On my Ubuntu 10.10 machine, I open the Ubuntu Software Center.

Read the rest of this entry »


Michael Gillson on February 16th, 2011

The great leaders are like the best conductors – they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.
Blaine Lee, The Power Principle

A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.
Ara Parasheghian

Although I wanted my players to work to win, I tried to convince them they had always won when they had done their best.
John Wooden

VMware Player is very easy to set up and it is free.  This allows multiple operating systems and/or configurations to be run on a single computer.

By giving VMware your email address, you will be sent an authorization key and you can download the software.  For Ubuntu, the file type is a bundle.  Just run the bundle as a shell script as sudo.  In my case:

sudo sh VMware-Player-3.1.2-301548.i386.bundle

Read the rest of this entry »

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Michael Gillson on February 14th, 2011

Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something.
Andrew V. Madson

I live in Alaska.  In the winter, the weather is on my mind a lot because I commute to work, 55 miles, one way.

Sometimes my weather ScreenLet does not start after boot.  I would right mouse click the ScreenLet icon and launch the weather ScreenLet.

I removed this icon by mistake and I wanted it back.  After asking the right question, I found an answer on Google.  The answer is very simple but I am afraid I will forget the answer.  Therefore, I document my answer in this blog.

I have used my own blog numerous times to remind myself how to do something.  If no one visits my blog, it does not matter.  I visit my blog to find answers of problems previously solved.

How to restore the ScreenLet icon is shown below:

This icon was missing.  By right mouse clicking in the gray panel area, the following menu displays.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Michael Gillson on December 8th, 2010

Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
Aldous Huxley

There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
Mahatma Gandhi

I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.
Isaac Asimov

Google Public DNS is very simple.  It greatly increased my web browser speed.  Instead of using my ISP’s DNS, I switched to Google.

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