Installing Eclipse on Ubuntu

An easy way to install Eclipse on Ubuntu is through the Ubuntu repositories. This can be done by opening up the “Ubuntu Software Center” under Applications. Click on Developer Tools -> IDEs. Then look for Eclipse from the list of IDEs that shows up. If you click on Install, you will be asked to enter your user password then it will automatically install Eclipse for you. It should be pretty straight forward here. After installation is complete, you can start Eclipse in Applications -> Programming -> Eclipse.

Another way is to install it manually by downloading the Eclipse files from http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/. You will need to install JRE or JDK first before you can run Eclipse. You can do this by typing this in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre

Extract the Eclipse files to the /opt directory so that other users can have access to it.

tar xzf eclipse-SDK-3.5.2-linux-gtk.tar.gz
sudo mv eclipse /opt/eclipse

Then create an eclipse executable in your path.

sudo touch /usr/bin/eclipse
sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/eclipse
sudo gedit /usr/bin/eclipse

Then type in the followings and save.

#!/bin/sh
#export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=”/usr/lib/mozilla/”
export ECLIPSE_HOME=”/opt/eclipse”
$ECLIPSE_HOME/eclipse $*

Then create a gnome menu item.

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop

Enter the following and save.

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Eclipse
Comment=Eclipse IDE
Exec=eclipse
Icon=/opt/eclipse/icon.xpm
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=GNOME;Application;Development;
StartupNotify=true

Now you can run Eclipse from Applications -> Programming -> Eclipse. You can also install different Eclipse packages for example the Eclipse + PDT package by using the manual way of installing.

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Make IE run faster

I know this is not a new thing but my guess is that many web surfers are not aware of this great plug-in for Internet Explorer. Google Chrome Frame is an open-source plug-in that takes advantage of Google Chrome’s Javascript rendering engine and open web technologies like HTML 5. This plug-in will render pages even faster and these pages will look even better on IE. The latest IE 8 has only some support for HTML 5 by default.

For those who are still running IE especially IE 6, you can download this plug-in and install it for free and you will see significant improvement to your web experience. You won’t even notice it running since it runs in the background. It also runs if it only needs to. Be aware though that not all webpages takes advantage of this plug-in. Web developers need to first include a special tag to make use of it.

The release of the plug-in had stirred up some issues with rival companies like Mozilla and Microsoft. They say Chrome Frame will confuse users and render some of their familiar tools useless because of fragmentations of multiple rendering engines. Its nothing to worry about really since we can’t do anything about it but make use of it.

My dad use to have IE as his default browser until I manage to convince him with much effort to move to Firefox. For those who have friends or family that do not want to let go of their IE, you can install Google Chrome Frame on their computer and they would never know. :)

VLC in 2 separate windows

A few days back I had VLC player version 0.9 on my Ubuntu OS. One thing I didn’t like about it is that it had 2 separate windows which is the video output and the control window. I have VLC on my XP and both of these windows are integrated as one where the video output is placed at the top and the controls at the bottom. It was quite frustrating to keep looking for the control window to navigate through a video I was watching on the VLC player.

So I googled a bit and found that VLC version 0.9 had a problem working on one window on the GNOME desktop. The users can however change the settings so that it would work on one window but the player seems crash most of the time if done so.

So the best solution I found was to upgrade the VLC player to 1.0 RC which is not in the Ubuntu repositories yet. I had to add the repositories myself. Below are the repositories:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kow/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/kow/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

The repositories needs to be added though the software sources (System > Administration > Software Sources), thanks to Andrew

Stop using WEP, use WPA2

The wireless LAN or wifi provides us an alternative way to connect to the Internet provided that your wireless device is in range of a wireless network. More people are utilizing this method to connect to the Internet since it is really easy to use. Wifi is so popular that not only Starbucks but coffee shops are providing wifi for their customer to use. But what most people are not aware of is the security wifi provides that would cause harm to their devices connected to the wifi or worst get charged for network criminal activities.

That is why it is important to encrypt their wireless routers with passwords. There are some wireless encryption standards that can be used which are WEP, WPA, WPA2. WEP has been shown to be easily breakable when correctly configured. WPA and WPA2 are much more stronger encryption than WEP. Most people would use WEP since most wireless routers default password encryption is WEP and they probably wouldn’t know the difference between those encryption standards anyway. WEP is so easy to break that some are using their neighbors wifi to connect to the Internet.

I wanted to know how to break the WEP encryption to see how easy it was. So I started googleing and I found that I don’t need to write actual codes to break it. There are programs on the Internet that helps you to do this. One that works is Aircrack-ng. It can be done on most operating systems but it works better on a Linux distribution. Here are few of the links that are useful:

I’m not encouraging to break into someone wifi and use their Internet access. Let’s put it this way, I want the world to know that WEP is not secure. So use WPA2 instead :)

Happy cracking…

(In the end I did not managed to crack the WEP encryption because my wireless adapter is Intel)

Blogging on your own web space

Using your own web space gives you the flexibility and offers additional options on managing your blog compared to blog hosting sites for instance wordpress.com or blogger.com. Blog hosting sites limit the actions you are able to perform on your blog. It is there simply to provide its users the basic needs to start blogging. But if you want to add widgets or extensions to your blog, it is necessary to get your own web space. Which I did!

You can get a good web space for a reasonable price from many web hosting companies out there. But for me, I do not want to be paying monthly fees to host my blog just yet. Perhaps in the future when my blog gets more readers then I will consider getting my own domain name. For now a free web hosting site would do.

This blog is hosted by Leadhoster which I find quite appropriate so far. It works well with wordpress CMS which I am using at this point. It took me awhile to install the CMS but fortunately I managed to overcome it swiftly. Now that my blog runs on my own web space, I can hunt for wordpress themes from thousands out there. When using wordpress.com to host your blog, you can only get to choose from a limited amount of themes which isn’t really appealing in my opinion. You can find loads of themes from here or here.

Here are simple guides to configure your free webhost to work with the wordpress CMS.

  • Get a CMS for your blog.
    • There are 2 well known CMS used mainly for blogging which is WordPress and Moveable Type. I would recommend using WordPress than Moveable Type. You can get the latest WordPress CMS here.
    • Once you have downloaded the CMS, unzip it to your desktop. You would get a ‘wordpress’ directory after unzipping.
  • Register for a web space.
    • If you are looking for a free webhost, you can search for one here.
    • When you are done searching for the right webhost, go ahead and register for a sub-domain name (you have to pay for domain names, sub-domains are usually free)
  • Edit wp-config-sample.php
    • Open up the file ‘wp-config-sample.php’ in the wordpress directory with a text editor and fill in your database details.
    • Double check if all details are correct then save and rename the file to wp-config.php.
  • Upload ‘wordpress’ directory to your webhost
    • You can upload the files in 2 ways. You can upload the files individually or you can use an ftp client. Download the ftp client here.
    • Once you installed the ftp client, fill in your webhost information in the ftp configuration screen.
    • Once you are connected to your webhost via ftp, start transferring the ‘wordpress’ directory to your webhost directory.
  • Run the ‘install.php’ file
    • Set your webhost root directory to the ‘wordpress’ directory that you have just uploaded.
    • Run the ‘install.php’ file and follow the rest of the instructions.

Remember to change your admin password after the installation. There, we’re done. Yipee… Now you can start blogging like crazy.