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where the pixels roam

Some more Ubuntu crap (because you just can't get enough, right?)

Wireless security options

The IntelPRO wireless card in my Dell Inspiron 6000 is detected with no problems whatsoever in Ubuntu 7.04, however, in order for it to recognize all the different types of security (WEP, WPA, etc), I have to purposely set it to "Roaming Mode". Then I have options other than just WEP.

The hidden default keyring

For some strange reason, Ubuntu has to have a default keyring set. I haven't found any way for it to not prompt for a default keyring password on network connect. Not a big deal really, but changing that password isn't easy.

To change it:

1. Head to /home/[your username]/.gnome2/keyrings

2. Delete the file default.keyring

On next boot you'll be prompted to enter a new password for the default keyring and that file will be created once again.

This is stupid how this works, but hey, at least now I know. This little inconvenience will probably be fixed in later Ubuntu versions.

"Hidden" Menus

All menus are not shown by default. For example, I downloaded a program called Screem (HTML editor). The system said after install that it's located under "Programming" on the Applications menu. Well, guess what, no Programming menu was found.

This is because it wasn't enabled.

So I head over to System / Preferences / Main Menu, find Programming, check it, and ta-da, then it appears.

Using the Win (Super) key

In Windows XP I use the Win key (a.k.a. the ("flag" key) on the keyboard a lot. In Ubuntu this is called the "Super" key. It sorta/kinda works in Ubuntu depending on what window manager you use.

When I press flag in XP, the start menu pops up. In Ubuntu this doesn't happen unless you specifically tell it to do so.

If using the standard Metacity window manager, keyboard shortcuts are located in System / Preferences / Keyboard Shortcuts. My biggest gripe about this is that you CANNOT set keyboard combinations with the Super key. For example, if you wanted to minimize all windows with Super+M just like it is in Windows XP, you can't do that here; it's not allowed.

If using the Beryl window manager, you CAN set keyboard combinations with the Super key. This is located by right-clicking the red ruby icon, then Beryl Settings Manager, then General Options (large icon), then Shortcuts (another large icon).

For example, one thing in Beryl not assigned to any keystroke combination is zoom. I now have this set to Super-PlusKey and Super-MinusKey (for zoom in/out obviously). Works great. And by the way, for those of us with high resolutions that run into web sites with really tiny text, zoom is a GODSEND. This is WAY better than the Magnifier app in Windows XP.

I also have Super+M for minimize, Super+R for the "run application" dialog (equivalent of Start/Run in XP), Super+D to minimize all windows and a few others.

recordMyDesktop buggy using Beryl window manager

In order to get recordMyDesktop to work properly, I need to shut off the Beryl window manager and switch to Metacity. Honestly speaking this is not a big deal because all the screencasting I do is for usable stuff, not all that eye candy crap you see on YouTube. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've all seen that "UBUNTU VS VISTA" videos... whatever. Show me something I can use and stop showing off.

Switching back and forth between Metacity, compiz and Beryl can be easily done just by right-clicking the red ruby icon and selecting the window manager of choice. If it goes screwy for whatever reason, the option is also there to reload the manager (a nice touch). I've only had to do that once.

I'm already burnt on burning windows

Although the burning windows thing (along with all the other effects) in Beryl are cool, I've already stopped using them in favor of fading windows instead. Fades are much easier to deal with and don't get in your way.

I'm not kidding when I say you'll get tired of the animated stuff. It will happen.

But I wouldn't get rid of the option to have it. No way. 🙂


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