Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to switch between Gnome and Plasma (KDE) desktops

Using the GNOME desktop, but you want to try out the KDE desktop without totally switching? here's how:

1. install plasma-desktop:

sudo apt-get install plasma-desktop
sudo yum install plasma-desktop

2. create a script for running the plasma-desktop. we can call it open up your text editor and paste the ff lines:

killall gnome-panel
killall plasma-desktop
plasma-desktop &

3. create a script for running the gnome-desktop. we can call it open up your text editor and paste the ff lines:

killall gnome-panel
killall plasma-desktop
gnome-panel &

4. make theme executable:
chmod +x ~/PATH/TO/
chmod +x ~/PATH/TO/

5. prevent gnome-panel from restarting after it has been terminated. open gconf-editor and navigate to desktop/gnome/session/required_components. double-click the "panel" option and remove "gnome_panel" from the entry.

Now if you want to switch to the KDE plasma workspace, just run to revert back to the GNOME desktop, run You can transform your desktop from this...

to this:

Thursday, March 03, 2011

My Linux Desktop

Linux has always appealed to me. It pushes all the right buttons in my tinkerer personality - the level of customization possible is simply unparalleled by Windows (I can't speak for Mac since I've never had one). Also, it's free, and how can you say no to that? I've always tried to stay updated with the events in the Linux world, and I can say that although it has its quirks, the amount of work done by mostly volunteers and community collaboration has been awesome. I do hope the massive energy and effort that goes into improving Linux continues.

Anyway, for the past few months I've been using Linux Mint 10 Main Edition on my laptop, a Dell Inspiron 15R (N5010). It's awesome and served me well, but I mucked around it too much and got tired of it. In any case, GNOME has never piqued my interest as much as KDE. Although GNOME is fully functional, there's something about KDE that interested me, maybe it's their appearance or their radically different interpretation of how an interface should look like. And recently, Linux Mint 10 KDE Edition was just released, with KDE version 4.6. So I gave it a whirl.

Installing was relatively quick and painless - it's clear and easy to follow, and updates can be downloaded while installing, so you end up with the latest updates. After a reboot I was presented with the awesome desktop, it really looks nice and slick. In addition it doesn't feel sluggish at all!

The KDE 4 series has taken a lot of flak for being unstable, buggy and slow. The last time I tried KDE (4.2), those were certainly true and I had lots of moments of frustration. KDE 4.6 though is a totally different beast. It's much more stable, and more importantly performance has really taken off. I will tackle this in a future article.

I'll be writing a series of articles over the next few days on how I customized and improved my Linux Mint 10 KDE installation. I hope you pick up a few tips along the way, and also give some suggestions on how to improve my desktop. I'll also show you how I transformed it from this...

to this:

(Thank you to for the default Mint 10 Desktop image).

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Running Windows programs via the Run command

In Windows, you usually open a program by browsing through the Start Menu and searching through the folders and looking for the program there. Sometimes though, it can be tedious or hard to find them especially when you have lots of programs already installed.

An alternative solution is to create shortcuts and run them via the Run command (pressing Windows key + R, or in the start menu) to launch them quicker! Here are the steps on how you can do it.

First, search for where your program is installed and its filename. One easy way is to search for the shortcut in the start menu, right click and select properties.

A dialog box will pop up; click "Open Location".
The folder where the file is saved will open, and the file to launch the program is highlighted. Right-click the program and select "Create shortcut".
The shortcut will be created in the same folder. Rename it to anything you want. I have named my shortcut "pvz".

Next, copy the shortcut to the C:\Windows folder if using Windows 7, or C:\Windows\System32 folder if using Windows XP. If prompted that you will need administrator access to write to the folder, click "Continue". the shortcut will be placed there.

You're done! Go to the run command and type the name of your shortcut.
Watch your program open.

You can do this for folders and files too, as long as there is a program associated with opening it.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Intel 6-Series chipsets have design flaw, need to be replaced

The Intel 6-Series chipsets (Codename: Cougar Point) have a design flaw and will need to be recalled. According to Intel's Chipset Alert, The result of the problem can be degradation and total failure of the 3gbps SATA ports. The 6 gbps SATA ports are not affected as they have a separate controller. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected chipsets to motherboard manufacturers and has issued a recall of the sold ones.

This is estimated to affect projected revenue by $300 million, and the cost to repair and replace the chipsets is estimated to run up to $700 million.

Anandtech has a good explanation on the cause of the problem and what it means for the industry.

The 6-series chipsets are sold under the brand names H67 and P67, and used by Intel's latest processors, the Sandy Bridge CPUs (Core i5/i7 2xxx, and Pentium G6xx/G8xx).

Labels: , , ,

About me and this blog

Welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy your stay.

A few words: This will be a technology-focused portal, bringing you news, reviews, how-to's, guides, opinons and much more, related to computers and gadgets. These are some of my passions and I would like to share to you what little knowledge I have about them.

I am from Manila, Philippines working as a programmer. So there may be some programming/development posts here. But for the most part it should be about hardware, software, vaporware, etc. I use both Windows and Linux for my everyday computing, both are fair game to me and I believe you should use whatever tool is right for the job. Computer hardware is wonderful - the pace of advancement is stunning. These will be the topics for the majority of the posts here.

That's it for now. Please leave a comment about my posts if you have something to say. Please try to stay on topic and avoid flaming and trolling. See you and have a good day.