Monday, October 24, 2011

nautilus-gksu: "Open as administrator" not showing in Ubuntu 11.10

To get nautilus-gksu to work again, run

sudo cp /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-2.0/ /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-3.0/


Friday, October 21, 2011

Disable overlay scrollbars in Ubuntu Unity

Finally I gave up on using the overlay scrollbars in Unity. It gave a bit of more screen real-estate but it was less practical (almost a pain) to use on my desktop computer compared with the classic scrollbars. The overlay scrollbars may still be good for devices with smaller screen sizes.

To disable this feature, run
sudo su
echo "export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0" > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80overlayscrollbars
Then restart the machine. Don't know whether just re-login will also work or not.

Update: Just re-login is enough. I tried that on Ubuntu 11.10.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Get TimeCult running on Linux

TimeCult is a simple but powerful task management and time tracking application. A hierarchy of projects, activities and tasks can be created and displayed in a tree view.

To get it running on Linux,

java -jar timecult.jar

Monday, October 10, 2011

Add taskbar in Ubuntu (Unity)

Panel tint2 is an awesome customisable taskbar that has excellent dual monitor support. It also has system tray (notification area).

To install,run
sudo apt-get install tint2 

To customise tint2, run


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Unity Launcher and QuickList Editor

Install Bazaar Version Control System.
sudo apt-get install bzr
Download the Unity Launcher Editor code from Launchpad.
bzr branch lp:unity-launcher-editor
Run the editor.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rest In Peace, Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Three life stories from Steve Jobs during the Stanford commencement address in 2005.
  • Connecting the dots
"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart. Even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference."
  • Do what you love 
"You've got to find what you love. Do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle."
  • Mindfulness of death 
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."


Monday, October 3, 2011

Meditation Techniques

Here is a very short summary of the meditation techniques that I've been learning. Anyone with any belief or even with no belief at all can benefit from these techniques to cope with our stressful life. It's quite simple and you can do it almost anytime and for any length of time that suits you.

In Buddhism, meditation is classified into 2 forms:-

  • Samatha (Concentration Meditation)
    • Objective:To bring your mind to a state of peace and happiness.
    • How: Gently concentrate on anything that you like and makes you feel calm, for example, praying, breathing, walking, jogging, weight lifting, earth, water, air, fire, colour, coffee, chocolate, pencil, whiteboard, kindness, forgiveness, etc.
  • Vipassana (Insight Meditation)
    • Objective: To let go of it all by training your mind to see things as they really are without trying to change anything. This is a core practice in Buddhism. However, Samatha should also be practiced as they support each other.
    • How:
      • Be mindful of the current state of your body and mind (just observe it without judging anything as if you are someone else). For example,
        • As you breathe in, be mindful that you're breathing in.
        • As you breathe out, be mindful that you're breathing out.
        • As you sit, be mindful that you're sitting.
        • As you stand, be mindful that you're standing.
        • As you walk, be mindful that you're walking.
        • As you're happy, be mindful that you're happy.
        • As you're sad, be mindful that you're sad.
        • As you're angry, be mindful that you're angry.
      • Realise their impermanence.
  • Always start by relaxing your body first before doing any routine meditation session (a few mental body scans are helpful).
  • Don't try to do meditation while you're thinking for your work. If your mindfulness is strong enough, notice a gap between your thoughts instead. You can also do meditation while you're drinking water or coffee, stretching, or walking, etc.
  • Don't force yourself too much. Find your own middle way.
  • Do it with low or no expectation.
  • It's normal that one day you find your meditation is good, the other day bad. Just keep doing it.
  • I've found alcohol has a negative effect on my meditation but it doesn't mean that people who drink cannot do meditation.