30 April, 2014

Custom fonts may break Yahoo! Mail in Opera browser

List of Microsoft Windows fonts
List of Microsoft Windows fonts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This would be a quick post.

I could say that I was so happy that I was able to install Ubuntu Linux 14.04 in my Windows 8.1 laptop, and in the process of customizing things in the new environment, I would honestly say that some things got broken.

One is that for Opera browser, Yahoo! Mail didn't show up properly, as well as most of the websites - after I installed my custom fonts in /usr/share/fonts/truetype/MyFonts directory. Of course, /MyFonts is a collection of some fonts that I like very much, as you would guess, in Windows.

After learning how I can get them over to Ubuntu  Linux, I ported them without hesitation. Only to find that Yahoo! Mail in Opera would show me a blank face!

That isn't the case in Firefox and Chrome, so I narrowed it down to Opera browser.

When I checked on the fonts used in Opera, it was DejaVu family, so I was wondering, which font face caused the problem?

I have Advent, Hattori Hanzo, Droid Sans, Segoe, Yanone Kaffeesatz, to name a few.

I suspected Droid, so I got that deleted. I restarted the PC, opened up Opera, but no, Yahoo! Mail is still a blank face, and if some showed, the letters were overlapping.

I put back Droid*.ttf, and removed Segoe family of fonts (from /MyFonts, to be clear), restarted my PC, and opened up Opera... and Yahoo! Mail?

Well, it was back to normal!

So that is the cause! It may be different from your experience, but for me, this was verified:

1. Put back Segoe family of fonts, reboot, open Yahoo! in Opera: blank face.
2. Remove Segoe family of fonts, reboot, open Yahoo! in Opera: show nicely.

At least 3 times I verified, and I am very sure, it was the Segoe family of fonts that caused the problem for Yahoo! Mail in Opera browser.

Your case may be similar, or totally different...

Till then!

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28 April, 2014

Skype in Ubuntu - Installed; Can't Run; Fixed; Can Run!

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

As a guide for me and everybody else who may need it, this article is now on Skype in Ubuntu.

Skype isn't actually available from the Software Center, but that wasn't a deterrent. I searched, and www.skype.com would have given you the .deb installer for Linux.

I picked the one which said Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit (for Skype is still a 32-bit application).

Doing a 'sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/skype*.deb' quickly performed the installation, and quickly after, I typed 'Skype' in the dash, clicked on the icon that came up, and a flicker. Nothing more.

What was that? What happened?

I thought, maybe my click isn't quite activating the program. So I went back to the Dash, re-typed 'Skype', clicked the icon, and... no, still the same. Tried several times, and no change.

Confirmed that Skype isn't running, I searched the web for similar issues, and yes, a lot have asked the same question that is now running in my mind.

As I would always do, I click on the link that's 2nd or 3rd, try the suggestions, and when that doesn't fix the problem, I do the whole thing again. Which is why sometimes my system gets so messy!

3 days. 4 days. Still not much help I find from the the web. Until today.

I tried to run Skype from the Terminal, and the error message led me to the solution: "error loading libGL.so.1", and I used that as a search string, and I got a long list, as usual, but this particular article made Skype work in my machine. I just find it odd that nobody checked this as an answer, while those that were checked as answers didn't help me at all. Duh!

I simply followed what was stated there (I always follow, sometimes without thinking, really!)

I performed a search first, just to satisfy my curiosity, as I suspect some multiple instances, and yes, I have the i386 and x86_64 instances installed, but as I said, it worked:

1. find / -name libGL.so.1
2. Type and run: LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/libGL.so.1 skype
    > this should bring up Skype; type Ctrl+C to quit, and continue with below
3. Type and run: sudo nano /etc/ld.so.conf.d/skype.conf
    > you can also use 'pico' if you like (sudo pico...)
4. Add this line: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/
    > Save and exit
5. Finally, type and run: sudo ldconfig -v

That definitely fixed my Skype in Ubuntu. Now, I can type Skype in Dash, click on the icon, and I would immediately see Skype window pop up - and working!

Till then!

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25 April, 2014

Resize Opera Browser Window in Ubuntu

A GNOME icon for Opera
A GNOME icon for Opera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello again!

Seems I have to record everything I am coming across with in my course of learning Ubuntu Linux. Here is another one.

Firefox is built-in, and since I am one who prefer to use FF over IE even in Windows, I am happy with that. I usually do a lot of bookmarking, aside from live searching and browsing. So I needed other browsers. Came in Chrome, which I also use in Windows. Fortunately, it was easy to search and install from the Ubuntu Software Center (or even from normal web search, and just download the appropriate installer for Linux).

There were others, like Midori, Epiphany, etc. But in particular, I also installed Opera, which I happen to note to behave even better than IE, even in Windows OS. Duh!

Now, the problem is this: Opera opens up maximized. If you try to do a resize by hovering your mouse at the edges, there is no mouse pointer change. Well, this scheme works in Firefox and Chrome (I haven't messed with the other browsers, yet). So I am treating this as some kind of a minor problem.

I searched, and there was a suggestion on some add-on: Resize Me. Well, I added that, and it worked! But, it was on the current tab. That is not what I want. I want to resize the whole window, not just the current tab.

So one solution works, but not as desired.

I read some more, and one suggested of pressing ALT + middle mouse button when you hover on the edge. Sort of that trick works if you have 3 mouse buttons. But I use a mouse having only 2 buttons. So how?

Being one who doesn't simply stop at the slightest blockage, I said, "Why don't I try with the right mouse button?" I have nothing to lose.

So this post is to confirm that this trick works!

3 buttons, press ALT + middle button when you hover on the window edge (whichever you want).

2 buttons, press ALT + right mouse button when you hover on the windows edge.

Now, from my experience, the reason for the mouse pointer not changing to the resize icon when you hover on the edge is due to the window being maximized, somehow the behaviour is different. Opera window has to be UnMaximized first. That is what I did. Hover on the edge, then press ALT + right mouse click, then select (left-click) on UnMaximize. Browser window will slighty shrink, and at this point, the hover-resize method will already work.

Alright, this ALT key is required only when the window is maximized. Once it is UnMaximized, only right-click is needed to invoke the window resize menu.

How's that?

Till then!

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23 April, 2014

Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu Linux 14.04

linux_inside (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

After I conquered my fear of Java, thanks to the book Java 7 for Absolute Beginners, I was thinking, what now? I was just so relieved that Java turned out to be so similar, to be precise, so close, to C#, 95%-99% identical, with the 'struct' as main difference, and of course, the way things are called and named.

No big deal, but I actually enjoyed learning Java, or at least, the first book that I grabbed gave me a good impression of Java. And thanks to my desire to learn Java, I now understand C# better. I am now on my second Java (Programming) book.

In some days after I finished the book, and typing the codes, and making them run, I got familiar somehow with Eclipse, IntelliJ and NetBeans editors. And that is when I thought, anything else?

Alongside Java, I also was intimidated by Unix, and with that, Perl. Like I said in my previous articles, I just can't 'grep' the things in Unix, and whenever I sat infront of a Unix terminal, I felt so 'awk'-ward.

Well, things have changed. First is Java. Now, Linux. Yap. Linux. Ubuntu. I managed to go with the VirtualBox thing, and yes, it was running in Windows 8, and also in Windows 7 (the latter already known).

The thing with my new machine is that it is UEFI-enabled, so I followed some blogs, forums and articles, and I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked, owing to the fact that I both have UEFI and Safe Boot flags to deal with, but these are just dealing with time, nothing much on hard thinking.

Anyway, I managed to get my Windows 8.x machine to boot on the USB stick, and I was off 'trying' Ubuntu. So to say, I run my 'Hello, world' program, but I found that the Broadcom WiFi card isn't working.

It was at this point that I tried using the same USB stick to try Ubuntu Linux in my other laptop, which is already going 6 years, and voila! Everything was working, including the WiFi. Which means that Ubuntu is okay, but in my new machine, there is some minor problem.

And I find it funny, that in my need to be connected, only at this time, after about 6 months, I found that my HP Envy 15, slim as it is, was still fitted with an RJ 45 plug, so I was still able to connect to the internet.

I did some cleaning in my HDD, for my mind is made up: I will attempt to do a dual-boot on my Windows 8.x laptop. When it came to defragmenting the drive to compress the data in it, I didn't find the native defragmenter in Windows to be doing the job. I searched, and I found some, like Smart Defrag, Perfect Disk, and the feature I needed was in PerfectDisk, just glad that their 30-day trial let me do the empty space compression and 'Prep for Shrink'. But I used Smart Defrag to set a defragmentation of the MFT and other system files on boot.

Again, when it was time to do the partitioning, I found that the built-in utility in Windows is lacking. As in the past, I used Partition Wizard Home Edition, and that software gave me the freedom to do what I needed to do.

I almost got mixed up in the file naming, or drive naming, to be more precise, between Windows and Linux. This was my first attempt, and I am having no back-up disc for my Windows OS, but when it comes to doing things like this, I am one who takes the risk. And not without rewards!

I got myself a bit familiar with the Ubuntu Linux installer, and I exercised my power of observation. I had to look at all that is being shown in the installer GUI, for I can't be mistaken with my selection. I think I re-run 3 times before finally proceeding.

To be precise, there were 3 partitions, the 1GB for the boot record, the 10GB for the swap file, and the 75GB for the Linux OS/kernel. Fortunately, the installer has the bar graph at the top that showed the physical layout - hey, I'm a newbie when it comes to Linux, and the success of anything is that anybody can follow it, even without a manual. And I did!

But a point to note: the installer is supposed to detect the existing Windows OS installation, but Windows 8.x being new and all, it wasn't. So as advised in many forums, back when it was Windows 7's being new in the computing world, the same rule applies: choose 'Something else', and you will have to manually configure the succeeding pages. I went through all that, and I managed to complete the installation.

Reboot, and as expected, I did not see GRUB, so I defaulted to pressing F9 so that I can choose which OS to run. And yes, Linux is so damn fast. This post is being generated in Firefox inside Linux, by the way. Actually, I am spending more time using Linux than Windows in the past couple of days. But to be fair, I salute Windows 8, which is by far the best in the breed (Windows 3, XP, 95, 98, 7, etc.) I like best the fast boot feature. But IE11 sucks so much, I hated it.

That was it for my Windows 8.x machine, and when I did the dual-boot attempt on my 14-year old Acer desktop PC, it was able to detect the existing Windows installation, so I selected 'install alongside Windows'. And when I almost would have said that my cleaning and partitioning effort for that old machine (yes, I had to uninstall many applications) was for naught, I found that even the empty partition was stored in some file used by Ubuntu Linux!

I found out about it when after checking that usage for the 10GB partition was 0%, I tried to merge it to the kernel drive, but failed. So I left it as unallocated. Because you see, the installation process, running entirely on its own, cut away the 10GB space for the swap file from the partition intended for the kernel, so I was just 'giving it back' the space.

Then after a reboot, I got an error, Ubuntu reported some 'unrecognized disk' and it stopped at some _grub prompt. Hey, I'm new to Linux, so what do I know?

I did a cold shutdown, and performed the reinstallation, did the whole thing again, and after a reboot, to confirm that even with the unallocated disk still unallocated, the problem is gone - and it was so!

I now have 2 machines running Ubuntu Linux 14.04. And while only the old machine is able to boot on GRUB, I am contented with being able to boot my Windows 8.x machine suing boot option manually.

And I managed to fix the WiFi error, with some guide drawn out by super users which isn't really that hard to follow, so now I am running wireless on Linux.

This post is coming from Ubuntu Linux 14.04. I will miss Windows...

Till then!

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