Getting Amarok to work under gnome


1. Okay the first thing we want to do, if not done so all ready is to install the “ubuntu-restricted-extras” using the synaptic package manager.
(System/Administration/Synaptic Package Manger)

2. Once that is done, go to terminal mode and type:
(this is so we can download from the experimental amarok site)

sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 0xf3c48cb3011fa791d74acaac60487016493b3065


sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 493B3065 # all one line!

3. Now we can proceed to the next step — adding a repository.

Go to Synaptic Settings/Repositories/Third Party Software and add:
(this is so we can get the latest beta release: 2.0.90

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-experimental/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

4. Hit “Reload”

5. Exit out of Synaptic.

6. If amarok is running, quit it.

7. Go to terminal mode and type:

sudo apt-get install libxine1-ffmpeg
(this gets the xine mpeg codecs)

sudo apt-get install amarok
(this will install latest version of amarok over the top of what’s already there)

if you get things like:

Unknown media type in type ‘all/all’
Unknown media type in type ‘all/allfiles’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/mms’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/mmst’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/mmsu’
Unknown media type in type ‘uri/pnm’

That’s okay…

8. And if we did our homework right, you should be able to fire up amarok (under gnome) and it should be able to play mp3’s!

9. Side effect of running KDE apps under gnome: it will launch the KDE “cache cleaner” every so often. Known bug. Doesn’t hurt anything, but it’s a known problem, and it is annoying.

10. If you bring up amarok, and it crashes, it’s a beta – quit out and try again. I had to try a few times before it loaded.

Last.fm (audio scrobbler) is a tad flakey — this is a beta. And the equaliser has been removed….


popularity contest


Whew — I thought I got a virus — I was going through /var/log and saw popularity-contest — and I said, wtf?


DEBIAN PACKAGE POPULARITY CONTEST – Avery Pennarun <apenwarr@debian.org>

This package contains a script, /usr/sbin/popularity-contest, which
generates a list of the packages installed on your system, in order of
most-recently-used to least-recently-used.  The simplest way to use this
information is to help clean up your hard drive by removing unused packages.


Getting Speech to Text (stt) to work


Lessons from Loni

Okay so I installed “festival” which is a speech-to-text synthesiser.

After a lot of fudgeting, I got LOTS of errors.

So Loni had me check to see if I was a “member” of the group “audio” in /etc/group

Nope, but that was easily fixable.  I copied the file to a backup.


1.  ALWAYS have a path back to the way it was, before you messed it up.

2.  Follow rule # 1.

Anyway, it still didn’t work.  Then Loni said:  “Did you bother to logout/in?”

Umm NOOOO!  We also discovered that this is an easy work around for the “break timer” (if you use it) — if you logout/in it resets the timer.  I have reasons to take the break.  Google “Richard Nixon’s Disease.”

As I discovered, you MUST logout/in so the changes to /etc/group will take place.  DOH!

Then I got an error message that I couldn’t access /dev/dsp

Okay what the hell is /dev/dsp?  It’s the digital sample and recording device.

Ahh a speech synthesiser might need that!

So we ended up chmoding (change mode/file permissions).

She suggested:  chmod 666 /dev/dsp

That is the first time in my life, I’d ever chmoded anything to “666!”
(Sets read/write access for everyone!)

Note:  chmod ugoa+rw /dev/dsp

is also correct.

festival worked!

BTW it took a lot of schleping to figure out that the correct syntax for festival is:

(SayText “hello world”)

Yes, the parens and double quotes ARE required! And “SayText” must be mixed case!

Interesting things to try:

(SayText “nuclear submarine”)

(SayText “irish wristwatch”)

And remember:  “Soylent Green.  It’s tastes different from person to person.”



Recovering after hosing /etc/fstab


Well —

I shot myself in the foot the other day, on my Ubuntu 8.10 System.  I made a change to fstab (the Linux file structure table) — but didn’t do it correctly……

When done editing, I did:

I did a sudo mount -a -o remount

and it re-mounted / (root directory) as read only…..since fstab was hosed…

Uh oh…….

Then I made the fatal mistake of re-booting.

I just dug the whole deeper.

After a day and half of schlepping I figured out, all I needed to do (in recovery mode as root) was:

mount -o remount rw /

then it was easy to fix.

I also discovered you can’t access devices by /dev/media….

So when I used the partition name for my backup medium /dev/sdb2  things worked!  3 min fix, day and half to figure out!


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