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VARIOUS CrunchBang Monthly Newsletter - issue #0904

Preface

Maintained by Niels Rasmussen (aka. Scrat)

Springtime

The month of March is over and the spring will soon be over us, causing us to spend lesser time in front of our computers and more time on the beach and the sunny spots that surrounds us, and ……….. nah !! :)

Instead of pulling my legs out in the garden, to do some healthy activities like cutting my hedge or getting rid of all the tennis- and footballs that the neighbour kids have thrown in to my lawn. I decided to look backwards and see what should be noteworthy in the last month.

Birthdays

There has been two important jubilees this month, that might be the direct reason as to why you are reading this!

The Linux Kernel turned 15 years on friday March 13.
www.linuxtoday.com

Unix this old timer that have been a inspiration for a lot of OS'es is now 40 years old.
www.computerworld.com

:-) I don't know about you, but I think it's worth celebrating !

:!: If you are curious about how old #!CrunchBang Linux is, this is the answer http://tinyurl.com/29magg

#!CrunchBang Newsletter

This month has caused some changes to the Newseditor staff.

The Artwork Section is now lacking a Section Editor. Dale aka. little red planet, has decided not to continue his engagement with the development of this Monthly Newsletter. So if you are interested in this task, please send me an email, look in the Contact section below. If nobody replies I will make a short notice on the Crunchbangers mailinglist and in the forums. Thanks.

#! CrunchBang IRC is established in order to cover this area, which is often disregarded, particularly if you look at other distros newsletters.

I'm therefore excited about Marcus aka. Zaxxon taken the lead in this area an salute him as a new Section Editor. We look forward to see what is happening behind the curtains over at freenode.

Marcus has been introduced in the previous issue of this newsletter.

Jeroen, the previous Section Editor for the Translation section has decided to leave the team for job related reasons. After a short notice in the forums Maximilian joined us.

So welcome Max :)

New Section Editor
Section Editor Maximilian Hepach
I'm a student who currently lives in Leipzig, Germany. I work part-time as a translator, musician and journalist for my city's paper. I spend my free time mostly reading books, playing music, writing and when I find time studying.

You can stalk me by searching for makushimirian.
maximilian.jpg

In this Issue

Maintained by Niels Rasmussen (aka. Scrat)

Public Relations - This section provides links to blogs and articles in which #! CrunchBang has been featured/discussed. It also contains a listing of CrunchBang related videos on YouTube.com, definitely worth a look!

#! CrunchBang IRC - Marcus has been examining the IRC logs and has made some amusing conclusions – apparently #! CrunchBang users are great thinkers!

Development - Philip continues the tradition of answering questions about the development of #! CrunchBang. Remember, if you have any questions related to the development, please feel free to send us an email and we will try cover them.

Documentation - Ed has again scanned the forums for noteworthy stuff and he highlights his top picks for the month.

Artwork Section - The winner of the big #! CrunchBang Logo Competition is revealed! We also get a glimpse of the new proposed default GTK+ and Openbox themes for CrunchBang 9.04.01.

Tips, Tricks and Hints - Cruz has exceeded himself again, this time with a lot of CLI tips about the Bash history feature. Interesting stuff!

Translation - Max is taking over the bits and pieces of the translation area and working on having it all systematized. If you want to do something for the #! CrunchBang community, you might want to get enrolled in the translator corps.

Public Relations

Maintained by Fabian A. Scherschel aka. fabsh

Web reviews

At the end of last month, LWN featured a very favorable review of Crunchbang by Koen Vervloesem.

Chris Doyle has a small review of #!CrunchBang on his blog - difference to many other such posts is that he actually runs #! on his Mac, and aside some driver issues it seems to do the job rather well for him!

Other online content

One thing that has not been mentioned in the last #!CBNL is the facebook group! So if you are a facebook member, make sure to join!

A search for the term “CrunchBang” on YouTube currently yields more than 34 results including some very cool reviews and demos like the #!CrunchBang Linux Demo in HD or Part I and Part II of a detailed video review among many others!

DownloadSquad had an article on running the Chrome browser on Linux - and guess what distro could be seen in the screen shots and mentioned in the article? Yes, you had it right - yours truly - #!CrunchBang Linux!

Full Circle Magazine features an article called Installing CrunchEEE To The EEE PC, and Spreading Ubuntu in their issue #22. Nice to see some press in a ubuntu-centric publication!

Blair Mathis of laptoplogic.com places CrunchBang in a list of 8 Rocking Linux Distros and is quoted as saying:

This distro is ideal for those who enjoy Ubuntu, but don't want the bloat; also, it is the best option for those who want Ubuntu, but don't have the hardware to support the distro.

Other news and stats

LifeHacker posted an article asking its readers what their favourite Linux distribution is and the #! CrunchBang forums are organising to turn the vote in our favour.

#CrunchBang IRC

Maintained by Marcus O. Notz, aka. Zaxxon

IRC channel #crunchbang on Freenode

As a new subsection to the PR segment of CBNL you will find some information - often on the lighter side of things - about what is or was going on over at the quite active IRC channel. If you have never visited our home on freenode, make sure to swing by one of these days. The easiest way to get there is probably through mibbit.com. Just select “freenode” as your chat network, pick an uber-cool nick name, enter #crunchbang into the channel name and swwooooosh, you are interdimensionally transported through cyberspace into the very entertaining home of #!CrunchBang Linux on IRC.

Before I dive deeper into what's hopping in the channel, I want to place a call for “victims” ;-) I thought it would be a great idea (yes, I know, me and my glorious ideas *congregation rolls eyes*…) to feature a short interview with someone that is active in #crunchbang for every issue of the #!CBNL - So fellow chatters, if you have an exhibitionist streak inside you and don't get easily scared by me poking questions at you (never know what comes out of this mind…), drop me an email to zaxxon [at] uberzaxxon.com or get in touch with me on IRC! And if there are no volunteers, I might just have to volunteer someone :D

IRC stats

Everyone likes stats, and if they can be a little more on the funny side, they are even better - I am trying to get some more solid, monthly numbers for future updates concerning user counts, word counts, etc. but from what is available to me right now it might be interesting to know that:

  • Since the beginning of the year, 557 different nick names were present in #crunchbang
  • The most active times are between 1900 and 0300 GMT
  • The word “think” was used a total of 2205 times (yes, we do a lot of thinking there!)
  • A total of 131118 lines of text have been sent
  • The most popular person was “dnyy”, whose nick was mentioned 966 times in #crunchbang!

Other IRC tidbits

Pouring through this month's IRC logs I have to report that dmsuperman “Came back today and I'm still in an infinitely deep hole hahaha” which is probably ok, considering that YaManicKill thinks that he “yeah…well at least you have a standard…” and not just hangs around IRC and does nothing else like the poor rest of us :D. locks seems to have been talking brooms with acydlord_aao “acydlord_aao: or a very fast broom?” when mehall joined the conversation reporting that he had “Not used it in ages though”. “When it came out it was the cats ass” was ZaxxonX bragging about his :P

_Scrat_ brings happiness to the world. 32.8% lines contained smiling faces. :)
corenominal isn't a sad person either, smiling 30.9% of the time.
The loudest one was michaelramm, who yelled 21.3% of the time!
Another old yeller was ZaxxonX, who shouted 17.5% of the time!
Shift_Wreck always lets us know what he/she's doing: 169 actions!
For example, like this:
     * Shift_Wreck gets all indignant up in here
Also, ZeroTruths_ tells us what's up with 168 actions.

Another pointer to show that #crunchbang often hosts conversations on the lighter side of things is that the most pasted link in the channel was pointing to http://onemorelevel.com/game/multiplayer_asteroids:D

But on a more serious note, hundreds of questions from new and old #!CrunchBang users have been answered by fellow chatters, many problems solved and many new adopters have been found in #crunchbang. Make sure you pay us a visit one of these days, but be careful, it can become a tad addictive ;-)

Development

Maintained by Philip Newborough (aka. corenominal)

Getting ready for Jaunty Jackalope

As you may or may not be aware, the Ubuntu developers are gearing up towards the release of Jaunty Jackalope, with this in mind, preparations are being made to move CrunchBang in-line with the new Ubuntu 9.04 release. As you can probably imagine, this involves a fair amount of work and it will be an ongoing affair for a while to come. There is no release date set for CrunchBang 9.04.01, but I will try to keep everyone informed of progress.

Meanwhile, if anyone fancies helping out with Jaunty Jackalope, now would be a good time to download the Beta and report bugs. I think it is really important to remember that CrunchBang would probably not exist but for the excellent work performed by the Ubuntu developers and community, so let us help to make Jaunty Jackalope the best Ubuntu release yet!

About CrunchBang's release numbers

Talking of CrunchBang releases, Scrat has asked me to write some lines about CrunchBang's release schedule, how it works and what the numbers mean. So, firstly, it should be noted that while CrunchBang releases try to closely match the release dates for Ubuntu, they are in fact only released when they are ready. Therefore, release dates are never officially published. If you do not make promises, you cannot break them!

Regarding the release/version numbering, the first 2 series of numbers used in CrunchBang releases (e.g. 8.10.xx) are taken from the release series of Ubuntu which that particular version of CrunchBang is built on. The last 2 digits indicate the CrunchBang revision, e.g. “01”, “02” etcetera. To date, there have been 2 published revisions of CrunchBang per Ubuntu release, with a 3rd revision developed and worked on in preparation for moving to the next Ubuntu release.

If you have any comments about this, please feel free to post them in the forums.

Documentation

Maintained by Ed Morgan (aka. Wench)

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the second month of the documentation section of the #! Crunchbang newsletter. I did plan to have and interview for you this month, but alas I've not received a response yet from my intended interviewee, so that's something for you all to look forward to next month ;)

I've trawled the forums for the past month and got a few good articles and tips for you, firstly there's been an announcement that the developers of Tint2 have included a system tray into their already excellent panel. To paraphrase Philip, I'd like to encourage everyone involved in #! to get involved in this project and help them with any testing and bug reporting, as Tint2 really is a fantastic bit of software. The full forum thread can be found here.

Next up there's a discussion started by our indefatigable editor on the various opensource encryption possibilities on Linux. It's an interesting topic, i've been looking for a decent whole disc encryption solution for a while now, but all the ones i'm experienced with, BeCrypt, PGP, et all cost more than my laptop's worth, there's some good suggestions mentioned on this thread.

OK, Openbox Pipemenus… We all know they're great, but I certainly know that I don't necessarily have the skill to knock them up for everything i'd like to use them for, and also, we all restructure our ~/ pretty often (or at least I do). Here's a great script, put together by Kev from the #! forums that dynamically maps any directories in ~/ and ~/media and displays it in your OpenBox menu. The full forum thread can be found here.

Finally, there's a cool script posted by dnny that checks all the installed packages you have on your workstation, and uploads it to a FTP server of your choice. Now, some of you might be thinking, “Why is this useful?”, but how many times after you've reinstalled your OS, and thought that you've installed everything you need, do you go to do something and find that you need a package? I, personally, have found this really useful.

Enjoy the next month of #! goodness, and in the immortal words of Jerry Springer, “Take care of yourself, and each other.”

Artwork

Temporarily maintained by Philip Newborough (aka corenominal)

This section of the newsletter is normally maintained by Dale Rogers (aka. little red planet); however, Dale is currently missing in action, so I am stepping in this month as a guest section editor. The editorial team would like to thank Dale for his contributions to date, we wish him well and hope that everything is okay on the little red planet!

Logo competition result, maybe?

It was announced in last month's newsletter that there would be a logo competition for CrunchBang. To summarise last month's announcement:

We're looking for a logo that accurately conveys the simplicity, speed and uniqueness of #!

To be honest, I was a bit shocked at first when I read that we were holding this competition, but after thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that it would be a good thing. While I love the current logo, there are issues with the non-free font which bug me. Also, I personally would like to see a stronger image which can be easily replicated and used for many different purposes.

Anyhow, the competition has now ended and it is time for me to announce the winning entry, but before I do, I would just like to personally thank everyone who contributed. The forum thread for this was hot hot hot, and there have been some fantastic entries. If you have not seen the thread, I would strongly encourage you to take a look, we have some truly talented designers and artists in our little community!

So, enough with the stalling, drum roll please…

dudumdudumdudumdudumdudumdudum

The winning entry is…

…insert dramatic pause…

this one submitted by holt. DUN-DUN-DAAAH!

Okay, so the winning entry was created in Gnumeric and considering holt himself admits…

i suck at useing [sic] Gimp/Inkspace [sic]

…I took that to mean that his entry was submitted more as a shape to be worked on as opposed to a finished product. So, with that in mind, I have mocked-up some examples of how holt's idea could work.

Mockup of new logo.

Dimensionally, the shape is excellent, it fills a square perfectly and it is very easy to work with; it can also be scaled down to pixel size without being deformed. Note: a typeface was not supplied with the submission, so I have replaced the non-free variant of Helvetica with FreeSans, which apart from being somewhat heavier, is actually a very close match.

Here is the logo again, this time it has been drawn with a grid to indicate how the shape is formed:

Logo on grid.

As you can see, the line width is exactly one-tenth (0.1) of the total image width.

Finally, I know not everyone was overly pleased with the decision to hold this competition and replace the current #! logo, so, in the interest of fairness, I have created a poll; the question is, should we, as a community, adopt the new logo? The poll will run from the 1st to 7th April. Please feel free to discuss.

First look at new default GTK+ and Openbox theme

As mentioned in the development section, CrunchBang 9.04.01 is in development. With each new release series I like to try and put a little work in on the default theme. The following screenshot shows the new proposed default theme:

New default GTK+ and Openbox theme.

As you can see from the screenshot, the new theme is somewhat lighter in appearance than the current effort, yet still dark enough not to cause any retina burn or distract from content. The GTK+ theme uses the Murrine GTK+ engine, but unlike most Murrine based themes, it has been squared-off so that it fits nicely with Openbox's squareness.

I will try to package up the theme as soon as possible and make it available via the repositories for testing; meanwhile, if you would like to comment on the above, please provide feedback on the forums.

Tips, Tricks and Hints

Maintained by Cruz Monrreal (aka. ZeroTruths)

Welcome back to the Tips, Tricks and Hints section in the #! Crunchbang newsletter! Let's go ahead and dive right into the thick of things!

Beginner

Lets start with those who are new to Linux. A common problem that Windows users face is with programs hanging. Sometimes a Windows program can get bogged down and simply freeze. Nothing will respond short of restarting the computer.

Linux was designed with this in mind, so that if a Linux program becomes unresponsive, it can still be closed from the titlebar. However, if this still doesn't seem to close that pesky program, there are two other alternatives.

From the terminal end, the program `killall` will instantly shutdown an offending program. Simply type in a terminal `killall <program name>` and that program will instantly close. However, it should be noted that WINE programs aren't as straightforward, and can sometimes be named strangely.

Enter `xkill`. xkill is another program that functions similarly to killall, except for the fact that it's User Interfaced based. Basically, instead of telling it the name of the program to kill off, your mouse cursor turns into an X and the next window you click on will instantly kill off the program associated with that window.
Simply type in <Alt><F2>, type `xkill`, and click away!

If you're new to the terminal, you're bound to forget a certain command that you used x days ago, which is why there's a nifty command called `history`. By default, the last 500 commands are saved and what `history` does is it retrieves the list and prints it in the terminal. It can even be used to search for certain commands if you know what you're looking for.

Intermediate

Yay! More terminal tips!

I'll start off with one that I've been really getting use to and loving.
In a terminal, type in `cd` and then type `<tab><tab>` (the tab button x2). Neat huh? It's auto-complete.

When you use <tab><tab>, in combination with cd, you get a list of directories in your current location. If you start typing out the directory name and then do <tab><tab>, if there's only one option, it will fill out the rest of the directory name automatically. Otherwise, it will output another list of directories that currently match the beginning of what you already have. This is really useful for those long directory names!

Using the history is convenient, sure, but there are ways of making it even more useful, but first there are other things that need to be learned.

First off, there's the pipe command: `|`.
What this allows you to do is turn the output of one command into the input of another, and if I'm correct, there's no limit as to how many times it can be used in a line.

The second is a nifty program called `grep`.
In it's basic and more common usage, grep allows users to search for a string within select output when combined with `|`.

So by doing `cat <file> |grep <string>` your output will show you the lines that have the text <string> inside of the file <file>.
If your expecting a lot of lines, you can also append `|less`, and you'll be able to look at the lines freely within the terminal without having to see any of your previous commands.

With `less`, your output essentially looks as if you opened up a terminal and used `cat` <file> to display the output.

Oh, and I suppose I should tell you, if you haven't figured it out by now, that `cat` is a simple program that will display the text of a file. It has some options, but that's pretty much it's entire functionality.

Now, back to `history`. The entire command would look something like this: `history |grep <string> |less`.
This will allow you to look at your history, only viewing the strings that contain <string> in it.

`less` is just for formatting the output in a more friendlier way. Pretty simple, huh?

Advanced

Yay! More history talk! Don't worry, it'll be shorter, I promise.

So there are a number of things that more advanced users can do with the `history` command.

First off, history -c will outright clear the history completely. Actually, the way `history` behaves can actually be tweaked via editing .bashrc, so in a terminal type `vim .bashrc` (OR your favorite editor….).

To prevent commands from being saved in the history, append this line: SAVEHIST=0.

Other commands that can be used to alter the behavior of `history` include HISTSIZE, HISTFILE, HISTIGNORE to ignore certain commands and HISTCONTROL to control how commands are saved.

I could get into more detail, but all of this is located inside of `[info/man] bash` anyways.

Two more useful things about history to note.
The first is a way to outright prevent command from being saved into the history. By typing in ` <command>` (note the space), that command will not be saved into the history. The space in from of the command prevents the command from being saved in the history.

One last thing is that if you know where in the history a command is (the number) you can easily recall it via `!<number>`.
Just a useful tidbit.

Script of the Month

Woah, a new subsection. What could this be for? The basic idea is that there are so many useful scripts out there, that it's time some started getting some recognition. And with that, I present to you, the readers, this month's script of the month!

Ever had to extract archives from the terminal? You know, those pesky formats such as tar.bz2, tar.gz, tar.7z, and any others you can thing of. You have to remember each specific set of parameters for each extraction method, or else the extraction doesn't go as planed.

Now you don't have to remember all of those switches! Scrat posted a good find from the Arch Linux Wiki outlining how to make all of these a simple one-liner action here.

The process is rather easy. The code is actually pasted in .bashrc, which is one of the files that terminals take a look at when a user types anything in a terminal.
It really is as simple as copy and paste!

Monthly Dose of Command Line Humor

Translations

Maintained by Maximilian Hepach

First off, hello! I'm the new guy responsible for organizing the translation section of the newsletter, Maximilian.

#! CrunchBang is still looking for enthusiasts who are willing to help translate the project to their own native language. If you're interested in helping translate the project just send me an email in the following form:

To: <maximilian.hepach at gmail.com>
Subject: #! CrunchBang Translation

> Who are you?
My name is Maximilian Hepach and I'm a student in Germany. I enjoy writing and am a part-time journalist/translator.

> What is your native language?
German (and English)

> What other languages do you speak fluently?
Latin. ;)

This seems the easiest way to organize all the people willing to translate at the moment. Once you send me an email I'll get in contact and assign you to a translation project.

Upcomming projects

  • Wiki: Since many users who can't really speak English are still able to find their way through the installer the wiki should be our top priority. Once the wiki is translated users from all over the world will be able to learn about #! Crunchbang Linux and use #! CrunchBang's full functionality.
  • Multilingual #! CrunchBang Installer: Another important task at hand is to translate the installer, since we can then reach out to users beyond the borders of the English language.

Running Projects

  • ADesk Bar: ADesk Bar is an easy, simple and unobtrusive application launcher, which has been programmed by one of our forum members (ADcomp). He's already setup the translation section on Launchpad so you can get right started! It really is a great app and I'd recommend you check it out.

Current Translators

  • Maximilian Hepach - English and German
  • Niels Rasmussen - Danish

We will keep you updated monthly with the #! CrunchBang Newsletter.

Closing

This was the words for the month of March, I hope you enjoyed it :)

The next issue #0905 is planned to be published on May 1.

So stay tuned !

Niels Rasmussen Editor
nielsrasmus at gmail.com

Contacts

Maintained by Niels Rasmussen (aka. Scrat)

Do you have some ideas that should be brought in the next issue of #!CBNL, please contact the Section Editors below.

PR section
Section Editor: Fabian A. Scherschel <fabsh at lamerk.org>

# CrunchBang IRC section
Section Editor: Marcus O. Notz <zaxxon at uberzaxxon.com>

Development section
Section Editor: Philip Newborough <corenominal at corenominal.org>

Documentation section
Section Editor: Ed Morgan <ejr.morgan at gmail.com>

Artwork section
Section Editor: Dale Rogers <dale at littleredplanet.com>

Tips, Tricks and hints section
Section Editor: Cruz Monrreal <zerotruths at gmail.com>

Translation section
Section Editor: Maximilian Hepach <maximilian.hepach at gmail.com >

 
crunchbang_monthly_newsletter/issue_0904.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/24 06:10 by machinebacon
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