More Issues Than You Can Shake a Kernel at

Today I made a video about my System76 laptop (COMPAL CL90) and it’s disastrous functioning with modern Linux kernels and the urgent need to get this bug fixed by the right expert. To help people understand the issues, I’ve created a video. It’s rather cute, check it out.

View Video Online, MPEG4 Video

  • Hardly working Power On
  • No Suspend
  • No Hibernate
  • Error causing virtual terminal
  • Hibernating battery detection

Do you have any ideas?

Spreadsheet Awesome: Check Mark Totals

Here’s the problem, you want to use LibreOffice to do a simple registration for a small class, so you open it up and write a small table for the dates you want to record:

Spreadsheet showing simple registration form with several names and some checked off boxes

You use a simple X to record when someone was present and a simple dash – to record an absence. But the mood strikes you and you want to make it look a little more professional. So you load up the Character Map program and grab a tick character from the symbols available and paste it into all the marked in cells:

Character Map showing a pannel of symbols

OK so your spreadsheet looks nice, but your reviewer wants to know how many students were in each class total. this should be easy enough and you make a new row and add in the cell SUM formulas. But woe! it doesn’t work. Using characters in a spreadsheet doesn’t count because they’re not numbers:

Spreadsheet showing the new tick symbol and a new totals column incorrectly showing 0 in each cell.

So to fix the issue you use the search and replace to replace all your nice tick symbols with the number ‘1’ and to be consistent, all of the dashes to the number ‘0’. And it works, you have your totals; but this doesn’t look nice! So you decide to use the format cell option to figure it out:

Spreadsheet showing all tick symbols replaced with 1

This brings up the number formatting window. Here you can decide what the cell should look like given a certain value. Our values are ‘1’ and ‘0’, anything else is a problem, so we use the cell formatting code: [=1]"✔";[=0]-;[RED]"Error" which shows a tick when the cell is ‘1’, a dash when the cell is ‘0’ and a red coloured Error when the cell is anything else:

LibreOffice Format Cell Window showing new custom format typed in.

Now everything is formatted wonderfully and LibreOffice Calc has saved us from having to decide between an ugly or a useless spreadsheet, we can have both beauty and functionality!

Spreadsheet showing correct registration totals and nice tick symbols.

As a bit of extra curricular, I also created one for deciding if someone loves you:

Ubuntu Community Center Guided Tour

I’ve been really wanting to show all you lovely internet based friends the exciting and totally awesome Ubuntu based community center I’m setting up. So I created a video where I show off the login/registration greeter and the rest of the physical space.

Check out the video, it’s only about 4 minutes long: To play this video see the source mpeg or go here for flash player.

Post your comments below.

Inkscape: Book Cover

Sometimes I do some graphics work as a side job. This book cover has taken a while to do (fifteen revisions), but I’ve very pleased with it. Made in Inkscape using Ubuntu 10.10.

Doing this piece I found there are a couple of pieces missing from Inkscape for doing production work, perhaps this is why so many people use Scribus-ng. The normal workflow from what I have seen is to make artwork in Inkscape and then transition to Scribus for the nitty gritty of doing production.

I also did the structural editing of the book contents. That is using LibreOffice to haddle all the titles, paragraphs and types as class styles instead of ad-hock ms-word inline styles. Also dealing with the pagination and a bunch of other production issues. LibreOffice was an ok tool, but a lot of the interfaces are confusing and could do with some more design being brought in on them.

Your thoughts?

UOW: Making Posters to Spread Ubuntu

Hey guys, I like experimenting with the IRC classroom format; especially as my classes as normally graphical and hard to explain unless you can see what’s going on.

For today’s session I created a full screen video showing you where to get source material, putting together the poster, some notes on copyright and then uploading to the spread Ubuntu website.

Check it out: Making Posters to Spread Ubuntu Video

Comment below if you’ve made something cool you’d like to show.

What are you Ubuntu, a Platform or a Product?

For today’s video blog I’m tackling the ideas behind Ubuntu the platform and Ubuntu the product, courtesy of Ayatana Mailing List. Nobody doesn’t like good Ayatana! Basically I dig into the problems between a One and Only vision and the more flexible, but harder to do, platform model of design.

With visual aids thanks to Inkscape!

Video Problems: Go directly to the video on blip.tv here and download the source ogv here.

What are your thoughts?

Cartoon: Goodbye Groklaw, Thanks PJ!

PJ of Groklaw is shuttering groklaw, so there’ll be no more new content on the website. Groklaw has been a fantastic reference, both in following the SCO saga and with learning more about copyright and other legal issues. The newspicks were some of the best selected of any linux related website I know and they will be missed.

For you PJ, a cartoon that took me all day to draw:

Shows Pamela Jones of Groklaw as Velma from Scooby Doo, with a Penguin by her side and Darl tied up saying: I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling nerds!

Thanks for all the fish. Can’t wait to see what your next case is!