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Monday, November 15, 2010

Blog Entry for 11-15-2010// of Ipads and Ubuntu Linux

November 15, 2010

Working on articles for next month’s Voice

Hello, this is your editor reporting on his progress for next months Voice.

iPad and its competition

I just checked out the Bestbuy site. Under Computers, they have the iPad and “tablets”. The tablets are cheaper than the iPad and that’s about all I can say for them.

If you go shopping for a tablet computer, you have to consider just how happy would someone be with something other than an iPad? If you think Apple may come out with something better in the spring, then give them an Apple gift certificate.

I’ll give you a list of Elena-Beth’s presentation in the Voice. For now, let me say that it was spectacular. Everyone in the audience who saw it will want an iPad eventually. The editor included.

The Mac and Ubuntu Linux

MacLife magazine published a great article on turning an old Windows PC into a Linux media server. Ostensibly, you can plug your Mac into it and stream music from a central iTunes server to all your computers.

So I have a spare Windows computer that’s too old for Windows 7. I installed Ubuntu 10.10, “Maverick Meercat” and it worked right up. It’s a Mac’s poor cousin.

Next came the steps outlined in the MacLife article. The first piece of software you install is Netatalk. If you use Ubuntu 10.10, you’ll use a current version (2.1.2), instead of the flawed earlier one used by Crunchbang Linux in the article.

You’ve installed the Netatalk software, now you need to configure it. The MacLife article walks you through configuration. I avoided typing long strings and just copied from the article displayed in Firefox and pasted to the Ubuntu terminal application.

You test it using the Finder and connecting to a server. I enjoyed success on the first go.

Now comes the second piece of software, the Avahi-daemon. Ubuntu 10.10 already comes with this software, but lacks a configuration file. No worry, just copy and paste the pre-built configuration file in the article. You then run a couple of scripts, also copied and pasted.
In the sidebar of your Finder, you should end up with an icon looking like an Apple Cinema Display with the name of your Linux box. Mine is named “thomas-desktop”. Just double-click on this icon. The first time you’ll get a dialog box asking for a name and password. You want to enter your Linux user name and your Linux administrator password. Don’t use your Mac name and password!

The next time you do this, remember to click on the checkbox asking if you want to save the password in your keychain. Do this, and you can just plug the Linux box into your Mac.

So far, so good.

Now the bad news. The article glowingly speaks of the Firefly music server software that would let you stream your iTunes library to every iTunes-equipped computer in your house. Well, Firefly is broken. It doesn’t work with iTunes 10.


Volunteers are working on fixing this problem, but the fix won’t arrive in the Ubuntu software repositories for some time.

So that’s what’s happening with me.

If anyone would like to review Angry Birds, write me at I want your article!

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