Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fixing gnome-panel

Do you also have the problem, that you sometimes get a messy gnome-panel  on your gnome powered Linux desktop after booting the system or adding another display to your configuration? Here's a quick fix for those situations.

Just restart gnome-panel:

$ killall gnome-panel

That should bring everything back to order. If not, try the hardcore way:

$ gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/panel && killall gnome-panel &

This will reset your gnome-panels to the default values. However, you will have to add all your panel-shortcuts and programs again afterwards.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Installing Thunderbird addons in Ubuntu

Finally I found the time to write a new entry here. Searching for the topic I remembered that I tried to install the "Enigmail" addon for Thunderbird for a rather long time getting always the error message, that the downloaded version was not compatible with my Thunderbird version (fully updated 64bit version).

A few days ago I finally found the solution:

  • start Thunderbird as superuser: $ sudo thunderbird
  • install the plugin by using the addon-manager
  • after a restart of Thunderbird everything should be installed correctly
Of course this doesn't only apply to Enigmail, but also to all other plugins. However, if you still got the error message with Enigmail, try to download the current version from here and install it manually by using the "Install..." button located in the addon-manager window or simply drag'n'drop the downloaded *.xpi file into the (in sudo mode started) Thunderbird window.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to get vpnc with NetworkManager back to work under Ubuntu 10.04

Yesterday I went to university with the brand-new fully updated Ubuntu 10.04 beta installed on my laptop. Connecting to the university wireless network was no problem as expected, but then - shocking moment: vpnc didn't work with the NetworkManager any more! Clicking on the VPN I always use in the university produced an error message saying, that the vpnc plugin couldn't be found.

Looking at the relevant packages in synaptic I noticed a new package (at least I never had this one installed) called network-manager-vpnc-gnome. After installing it, the vpnc plugin for the NetworkManager reported back for duty.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting Belkin F6D4050 WLAN-Adapter to work under Ubuntu

I recently bought a new WLAN USB stick for my laptop hoping, that it would be recognized by Ubuntu 9.10 out of the box (I know, I know... I could've looked into Ubuntu's hardware database, but this came to my mind the moment I arrived at the shop...). Needless to say it did not. With my old stick I did some hacking with blacklisting drivers etc. pp.. But this time I decided to use the popular ndiswrapper.

And I have to admit, that this was a real got choice! It's so easy (at least if you are lucky - I also read about people having more problems with it afterwards then before, so as always: don't forget to backup your system^^). Here we go:

$sudo aptitute install ndisgtk
$sudo ndisgtk

After having installed and started ndisgtk, a gtk frontend of ndiswrapper, simply click on "add" and search for the appropriate *.inf file on the installation CD. It's the one located in the XP_x64 folder for 64 bit machines or in the XP_2k folder for 32 bit machines respectively. After having applied these settings, the only thing left to do is rebooting and we're done! Your stick should now work like a charm.

How to force Eclipse to recognize an Android phone on Ubuntu

When I started developing Android application under Ubuntu, I had the problem, that the phone wasn't recognized by the Android plugin for Eclipse. Luckily there is an easy solution to this!

Simply plug in the phone and then kill and restart the adb server by opening a terminal and executing

sudo ./adb kill-server
sudo ./adb start-server

in your Android-SDK tools directory (e.g. /home/yourname/Android/android-sdk-linux_x86-1.6_r1/tools depending on where you've installed the SDK) as root. Unfortunately you have to enter this workaround only lasts for one session meaning that you have to reenter this after every boot.
I wrote a little bash-script, to make it easier. You can copy'n'paste this from here and save it in a file called in a folder named bin in your home directory.

cd /home/sven/Android/android-sdk-linux_x86-1.6_r1/tools
sudo ./adb kill-server
sudo ./adb start-server
exit 0

This will allow you to simply execute


in your terminal to run it without having to navigate into the sdk's tools directory.

Edit: This is not necessary when using Ubuntu 10.04 which recognizes at least the HTC Hero without any problems.


Welcome on my new blog!

First something - don't worry, not too much! - about me. My name is Sven Bendel, I'm from Bonn in Germany and I'm studying computer sciences at the University of Bonn. Therefore, you may have guessed it from the title of this blog, I will post mostly about technical themes (mainly Ubuntu and Google's Android), unless something very important happens in the other parts of my life - who knows, what may come ;)

I will write on an irregular basis, so don't worry if you get used to reading this blog and then notice, that I didn't update it for a few weeks - that may happen if nothing noticeable happens.

As I'm from Germany please forgive me the errors I - undoubtedly - will make when writing in English.

To explain the topic selection a little bit more: I'm using Ubuntu every day - in my opinion it's the best OS for working and programming, although I still have Microsoft's Windows 7 on my computer in case I want to play a little bit in my spare time between studying and working for the computer sciences department of the University of Bonn. I'm a so called SHK ("Studentische Hilfskraft" in German) which means, that I'm working for the university while being a student. Currently we are working on a location based mobile game called "Mister X" being strongly related to the famous "Scotland Yard" board game - you may have already heard about it. The game is being developed for iPhone and Android and I'm doing some programming for the Android version (for further information and some radio and TV clips visit Qeevee's website, a spin-off of the University of Bonn). That's the reason why I will also post some tips and tricks for Android.

Pheew... first post done! That should be enough for now. Stay tuned!