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  • mcphersonz 6:41 am on November 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    UltraEdit released for Linux! 

    I am writing this post because I am excited to announce that one of my favorite editors of all time, UltraEdit, has just been officially released for linux!

    UltraEdit is a commercial text editor for programmers. It is full of features & in my opinion is the best choice for a commercial programmers text editor.

    Some Key features of UltraEdit include:

    • Group related files and folders with Projects
    • Column/block mode editing
    • Syntax highlighting for 100’s of languages
    • Find/Replace with regular expressions
    • Robust Find in Files and Replace in Files
    • Execute applications/shell commands
    • Function list for easy navigation in code
    • Code folding, brace matching, auto-indent
    • Large file handling
    • Automate tasks with Macros or Scripting
    • Unicode/UTF-8 support
    • Drag-n-drop horizontal/vertical split window
    • HEX editing
    • Configurable keyboard mapping
    • Recallable text snippets with Templates
    • File change detection

    For more info, check out the UltraEdit homepage.

  • mcphersonz 10:10 am on March 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Favorite applications for OS X, Ubuntu and Windows 

    Below is a list of my favorite applications for either OS X, Ubuntu linux, or Windows.

    When I moved from windows to Ubuntu I kept looking for software that did what my favorite windows applications did. Similarly when I moved to OS X from Ubuntu I looked for more software that met my needs in Ubuntu or Windows. Although there are generally less options for OS X software, what is out there (or built into the OS) seems to work just as well or better than what I have been used to in my former favorite operating systems.

    Here’s a list that I put together based on software that I use & applications that I would recommend for the three operating system types that I have had daily experience with.

    Functionality OS X Ubuntu Windows
    Audio Backup (create MP3) iTunes Audio CD Extractor FreeRip, iTunes
    Calendar iCal Thunderbird, Evolution Outlook
    Data Backup Time Machine Time Vault DataKeeper, Norton Ghost
    Database Development MySQL Administrator, SQLDeveloper MySQL Administrator, SQLDeveloper MySQL Administrator, SQLDeveloper
    Drive Manager / Partition Disk Utility.app gparted Partition Magic
    Drive Usage Mapper Disk Inventory X.app Disk Usage Analyzer Drive Doppler
    DVD Movie Backup JackTheRipper k9copy DVDShrink, RipIt4Me
    DVD Player DVD Player.app Totem PowerDVD
    Email Mail.app, Entourage Thunderbird, Evolution Outlook, Eudora
    FTP Client Transmit gFTP FlashFXP, CuteFTP, WS_FTP, Filezilla
    FTP Server built in FTP server built in FTP server GuildFTP, Serv-U
    Graphic Manipulation Gimp, Photoshop Gimp Gimp, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro
    Instant Messaging Adium, iChat Pidgin, Gaim Trillian
    Media Player VLC, QuickTime Player.app VLC, Totem VLC, MediaPlayerClassic
    Music Player iTunes Totem, Rhythmbox WinAmp, iTunes
    Office Suites Open Office, Microsoft Office Open Office Open Office, Microsoft Office
    PDF Viewer Preview, Acrobat Acrobat Acrobat
    Peer to Peer / Fileshare Azureus/VUSE, Acquisition, BitTorrent Azureus/VUSE, Transmission Azureus/VUSE, Shareaza, LimeWire
    Photo Album iPhoto F-spot ACDSee
    Programmer Text Editor TextMate, TextEdit Kate, Komodo, Gedit UltraEdit, EditPad, Notepad
    Remote Control VNC, Screen Sharing.app, CoRD VNC, Remote Desktop Viewer VNC, Remote Desktop
    Terminal Client Terminal.app gnome-terminal Putty
    Video Editing iMovie avidemux VirtualDub
    Virtualization VMware Fusion, VirtualBox VMware Workstation, VirtualBox VMware Workstation, VirtualBox
    Web Browser Firefox, Safari Firefox Firefox, IE
  • mcphersonz 8:36 am on May 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    20 killer apps for ubuntu linux. 

    Ubuntu Linux — you have to love it. After using windows since windows 95 (over 10 years), and trying various flavors of Linux, Ubuntu was the one that brought me back from the dark side.  It’s all about open source, no EULAs, and freedom — “Free as in Freedom“.

    As you probably know, a operating system is only as good as the application that it can run. Lack of options is definitely not a problem with Ubuntu (or most flavors of Linux for that matter). The problem you are faced with is what to use — looking at my Ubuntu software repositories, I see over 24,000 packages. That’s a lot to choose from.

    I am always searching for better applications to get the job done.

    One of my recent searches on ubuntu forums revealed a great thread called “Cool applications you use that others might not know of“. I literally spent a few days reading the thread — it was at 98 pages and included almost 1000 posts at the time I read it. Great stuff — but was time consuming to wade through.

    Here’s a list of applications that I found & would recommend:

    1. avidemux
      Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.
    2. mpgtx
      splits, joins, and get info from mpg files (eg. mp3) without reencoding.
    3. geany
      Geany is a small and lightweight integrated development environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE. This sucker is fast….
    4. komodo edit (not in repositories)
      “Komodo Edit is a free, open source editor from dynamic language experts. It’s absolutely fantastic to work with. It does everything a good editor should do, but it also adds a bunch of other little awesome things.”
    5. terminator
      Terminator is a little project to produce an efficient way of filling a large area of screen space with terminals.
    6. meld
      Meld is a tool which allows the user to see the changes in, and merge between, either two files, two directories, or two files with a common ancestor. Basically, a very good graphical diff utility.
    7. virtualbox
      a free x86 virtualization solution allowing a wide range of x86 operating systems such as Windows, DOS, BSD or Linux to run on a Linux system. In other words, it allows you to emulate a OS from within linux . I used to use VMware — but no longer. Virtualbox has some cool features, and is way faster.
    8. Xaos
      Very cool……
      Play around with fractils — zoom into them, zoom out, etc.  Check out the “autopilot” feature, sit back, and let your mind be blown!
    9. Hydrogen
      This application can be used to create drum and other percussion patterns. It’s very easy to use (I figured it out instantly, with 0 experience in the field), and can be fun for those who have never played an instrument or done any work with sound.
    10. Stellarium is planetarium software that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars. It’s easy to use, and free.
    11. Ex Falso
      This is an ID3 tag editor that let’s you generator the tags on the fly. Do clusters, directories, albums, by filename, etc. It also allows you to set your preferred tagging method and file renaming. So if you get a bunch of new music off of a CD you just put on your drive, and want to tag and move them easily, Ex Falso will move and rename the files tagging them for you. It takes a bit to really see the power the application has… but it’s well worth the curve if you have a decent size music directory.
    12. DVDisaster
      It will salvage all readable data off a scratched or corrupted dvd/cd and make an iso file so you can put the salvaged data on a good dvd. Also if you use it on a dvd/cd that isn’t scratched, it will make a small reference file for that dvd so that if it gets scratched in the future, it can read the readable material, and fix the rest with the reference.
    13. vym (view your mind)
      VYM (View Your Mind) is a tool to generate and manipulate maps which show your thoughts. Such maps can help you to improve your creativity and effectivity. You can use them for time management, to organize tasks, to get an overview over complex contexts, to sort your ideas etc. Maps can be drawn by hand on paper or a flip chart and help to structure your thoughs. While a tree like structure like shown on this page can be drawn by hand or any drawing software vym offers much more features to work with such maps.
    14. grip
      Grip is a cd-player and cd-ripper for the Gnome desktop. It has the ripping capabilities of cdparanoia builtin, but can also use external rippers (such as cdda2wav). It also provides an automated frontend for MP3 (and other audio format) encoders, letting you take a disc and transform it easily straight into MP3s. Internet disc lookups are supported for retrieving track information from disc database servers.Grip works with DigitalDJ to provide a unified “computerized” version of your music collection.
    15. pyrenamer
      You can rename files using patterns, search and replace, substitutions, insert or delete text, or even rename files manually. You can also rename images using their EXIF tags and music using their internal tags.
    16. keyjnote
      KeyJnote is a program that displays presentation slides using OpenGL. Smooth alpha-blended slide transitions are provided for the sake of eye candy, but in addition to this, KeyJnote offers some unique tools that are really useful for presentations. Some of them are:
    17. iftop
      command line utility –  iftop does for network usage what top(1) does for CPU usage. It listens to network traffic on a named interface and displays a table of current bandwidth usage by pairs of hosts. Handy for answering the question “Why is my Internet link so slow?”.
    18. avant-window-navigator (avant window navigator)
      The avant-window-navigator is a MacOS X like panel for the GNOME Desktop written in C. Besides launchers that can be dragged onto the bar, it features a task bar that behaves similar to the MacOS X dock. The window navigator uses the composite extension for transparency and other effects.
    19. agave
      Agave is a very simple application for the GNOME desktop that allows you to generate a variety of colorschemes from a single starting color.
    20. gftp
      A multithreaded FTP client. It’s decent — but I wish I had something better.  In windows, I used filezilla and flashfxp — both had features that gftp simply lacks as a ftp client. Its a start though.
      [EDIT: I installed filezilla about 6 months ago & was very unhappy with it — not stable & seemed sluggish…. ]
      [EDIT: OK — this is not a killer app, but 20 is a nice rounded number. Any suggestions for a killer app #20?]

    The beauty of these apps is that they are (almost) all listed as packages in the standard Ubuntu repositories. Oh yeah, and they are all free. So, you should be able to install them by simply launching synaptic package manager, searching for the app name, and checking the install option.

    If you are a command-line kinda person, then you can install the app by issuing the following command:

    sudo apt-get install [app_name] —

    for example:
    sudo apt-get install xaos

    Have fun!

    • Randy 3:33 pm on May 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      So why don’t you install filezilla? It’s in the Hardy repos…

    • Anonymous 4:17 pm on May 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “It’s decent — but I wish I had something better. In windows, I used filezilla and flashfxp — both had features that gftp simply lacks as a ftp client.

      Doesn’t exactly sound like a “killer app,” does it?

    • Johannes 4:25 pm on May 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      At least a list of apps which presents not common software!
      Thank you very much, thank you I discovered Xaos, vym and Stellarium!

    • bottleman 2:03 pm on May 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      thanks, i haven’t heard of most of these. i’m going to view my mind right now..

    • Andrew McCombe 2:08 pm on April 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you with gFTP. It’s useable but lacks some useful functionality. The Connection Manager/Bookmarks could be better for a start and the ability to File transfer overwrite/resume/skip settings would be cool.

      For me though, a treeview of folders would top it all. I use Filezilla but am finding that it is very slow.

    • Prathamesh 12:48 am on November 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks a Lot !, I have just shifted to Ubuntu & this post gave me a fresh look to the linux world.

    • FranciscoNET 12:26 pm on December 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Here is an idea that I have, the best way to get more linux converts so people stop using Microsoft operating systems and start using Linux is to develop a smart Linux killer app. For instance, If I were to develop an application, I would still develop a Windows Version and a linux Version, the only difference here is that the Windows version will be sold at a price, while the linux version will be given for free. That way, I can develop a good animation editing software, charge $999.99 for Windows users and FREE for Linux (GPL it only if you are a Linux user). Guess what’s going to happen?? People will be compelled to switch to Linux to get that free deal and save that $999.99 that they would have need to pay for if they wanted a Windows version of my software.

      • SoundSquare 7:48 am on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        people would simply run a virtual linux machine to keep Windows and run your software.

    • qajaq 3:33 pm on January 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know what you’re looking for in an FTP program, but I’ve been very happy with NCFTP (from the command-line). I’ve also found that I can use the Dolphin file manager (in KDE) as an FTP client. Using the split window, I can display the external server files in one side, and my local files on the other side, and simply drag-and-drop to move files in either direction.

    • BIO 3:12 am on April 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      For #20 position I just found an application named Krusader:

      it has 2 panels ( local and remote side )
      You can synchronize recursively dirs and files
      You can add custom buttons
      You can connect in FTP, SFTP, SMB and FISH mode

      I think it sould be better than #20… btw that’s the right one.

      • Shannon 11:58 am on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Tanks for the note BIO!

        Yeah, Krusader is def better than gftp.

        Also, I have been using Filezilla a bit lately. Great FTP app & works on all major platforms.

    • ixo 3:13 am on July 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      where is pidgin ?

  • mcphersonz 10:35 am on April 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    New version of Ubuntu available tomorrow! 

    I can’t wait…. A new major release of Ubuntu will be available for download on the 24th. Ubuntu v8.04 (Hardy Heron) brings a bunch of improvements to the table — new features, bug fixes, etc.

    Here are some of the new / updated areas that interested me:

    There’s a ton more — check out info on the release candidate here: http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/804rc

    You can always get the latest version of ubuntu here: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

  • mcphersonz 6:14 pm on March 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: t60,   

    Switching displays with a Lenovo T60 + Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) 


    I have been running Ubuntu on my home & office systems for about 10 months now. Great stuff. Although I still cannot get away from windows completely, I would say that about 4% or less of my time is now spent on a windows system. I am truely satisfied with my ubuntu setup on my IBM Lenovo T60 Thinkpad.


    That said, there is still room for improvement in several areas. One of the things that has been annoying me is the loss of my function keys — primarialy, fn+F7 — that used to toggle my displays between laptop screen & external displays like a VGA monitor, or a projector.

    Old workaround…

    As a workaround, if you boot the system with a monitor/projector/docking station then ubuntu will automatically detect and enable the display. I have had mixed results with projectors though… The problem with this is that it requires a reboot & that can be extremely inconvenient depending on how many files you have open & how big of a hurry you are in. In addition, depending on your setup, your laptop display may turn off during the detection of the external monitor. That leaves you with a blank screen on the laptop — and when it comes time to go mobile, you need to reboot again. Yuck…

    A Better Solution…

    Recently I found a much better solution that simply involves running a command that can detect displays. This is still not as convenient as fn+F7 was in windows, but it gets the job done & without a reboot. Here’s what I did:

    Make sure you have xrandr installed — “xrandr is a utility to use the X Resize, Rotate, and Reflection”.

    sudo apt-get install xrandr

    Then, use xrandr as needed to detect laptop or external displays. Below are a few versions of the command that I have found my self using. The most common ones are the first two:

    xrandr –output VGA –auto # Autodetect the VGA
    xrandr –output LVDS –auto # Autodetect the laptop display
    xrandr –output LVDS –mode 1024×768 # Specify the laptop display resolution
    xrandr –output VGA –left-of LVDS # Extend the VGA to the left of the laptop
    xrandr –output VGA –right-of LVDS # Extend the VGA to the left of the laptop

    Of course, check out the man page for xrandr to find additional information about the command options

    man xrandr

    Useful Resources…

    1. Article about Xrandr – This post got me started on this topic — must read if you are interested in this topic.
    2. Thinkwiki – More info on setting up a T60 with ubuntu or other flavors of linux
    3. UbuntuForums – The best forum out there for finding solutions relating to the Ubuntu OS
  • mcphersonz 2:54 am on March 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply

    New version of Ubuntu – I can’t wait! 

    The new version of Ubunut, “Hardy Heron” is scheduled for release this April. Looking at the list of features, I can’t wait for this to come out!

    Check out these links:
    New Features: http://www.mopedia.co.uk/2008/01/hardy-heron-features.html
    Release Scuedule: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardyReleaseSchedule
    Screenshots: http://phorolinux.com/ubuntu-804-hardy-heron-alpha-1-screenshots.html
    Official Ubuntu Page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardyHeron

  • mcphersonz 10:38 am on February 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: free software, , video editing   

    AVIDEMUX: A great video editing app for linux. 

    I switched to ubuntu linux last May or so…. I am loving it. One of my quests has been to completely eliminate the need for windows. I am practically there.

    Linux is “Free as in Freedom”. Yeah. Ok enough of that. Onto what I created this post for: avidemux

    Avidemux is a wonderful free program that I have been using recently. It is great for cropping/joinin/extracting stuff from many video formats. Well, that is what I use it for. When I used …a OS that should not be named… (shudder…) I used VirtualDub for these things. That was (and is) a great free video editing app. So what do I use now that I exclusively run GNU/linux? avidemux! Yay!

    To install under ubuntu, you could add it via the synaptic package manager — or type:

    sudo apt-get install avidemux


  • mcphersonz 4:55 am on May 10, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Freedb parser 

    I have been working on a program that will help with mp3 ID3 tags. The idea is that the program will analyze any available data (artist, album, track length, genre, etc) against a huge database of information. From there, you could add data to the mp3 tags based on match results.

    Anyway, here’s what I have so far — it’s a ruby program that you execute from a command line. Combined with a freedb database (freedb.org), this script parses the data into a mySQL database. I work on one genre at a time — there are over 700k records in the rock & misc categories — any more would start to create memory issues.

    Send me a email if you are interested in the code.

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