Fixing Screen Resolution in Ubuntu 9.10

2 12 2009

It seem I always have the same problem when I install Ubuntu, the screen resolution tops out at 1024×768. It truns out the problem is caused by Ubuntu not detecting my monitor correctly. Using a Dell E173FP LCD, Ubuntu defaults to 1024×768 CRT. Editing the monitor section of the xorg.conf files to reflect the actual monitor capabilities fixed the problem. This also worked while using the Nvidia drivers, version 185.

The simple fix was to add these lines to the monitor section and reboot.
Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"
Option "DPMS"
Horizsync 31.5-64.0
Vertrefresh 56.0 - 65.0
EndSection

The rest of the xorg.conf file contains the default settings setup during install. The Dell E173FP optimal resolution is 1280×1024 60Hz, but additional modes are also enabled which can be used for larger monitors, such as 1360×768, 1440×900, and 1600×1024.

Open up Nvidia X Server Settings dialog to adjust the resolution, System->Administration->Nvidia X Server Settings. Go to the X Server Display Configuration section, and choose your optimal resolution.

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Nord Rack 2 Patch and Performance names for Logic Pro 8

2 01 2009

I have created 2 multi-instruments in Logic Pro 8, which contain the patch names and performance names for the Nord Rack 2.

Patch Names
Just open the Logic Project, hit command-8 to open the environment window, select the “MIDI Instr.” layer in the upper left corner, and copy the Nord Rack2 instrument. This can be pasted into your logic project, then create a new “External MIDI Instrument” in the arrange window, control-click on the track, select “reassign track object”, “MIDI Instr.”, “Nord Rack2″ and the midi channel you want to use. The environment is set to use MIDI channels 1,2,3 and 4, but that can be changed in the environment to match your internal Nord settings.

Performance Names
The multi-instrument named “Nord Rack2 Performance” contains the Performance names for the Nord Rack 2. The Nord receives program changes on the “Global MIDI” channel. which is set to channel 16 by default, and receives note data on channel 1. To handle this problem, the multi-instrument has channels 1 and 16 enabled. copy the Multi instrument to your environment, then create 2 “External MIDI Instrument” tracks, “reassign track object” to “Nord Rack2 Performance”, channel 1, and the other set to channel 16. Use channel 16 to change performances, and use channel 1 to record and play midi data.

Using 2 channels is not elegant, but at least you will have the performance names viewable in your Logic environment.

Download the project file with Environment:
http://www.box.net/shared/cd7lsln133

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

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Installing MacCsound on OS X 10.4

2 11 2008

By all reviews, the MacCsound application provided by Matt Ingalls is a great way to begin using Csound.

Since I experienced some problems getting MacCsound working on OS X 10.4, PPC architecture, I will provide the steps that made it work for me.  I was missing the library libsndfile, which caused the MacCsound application to exit immediately after launch, with no visible error.  I determined the problem by viewing the system log, and then finding the cause in the crash report.

1. First, you will need the CsoundLib framework, which is available from sourceforge.net. Download the appropriate version for your OS.  I have read the the PPC version is needed for MacCsound, even if you have an Intel processor.  http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=81968

2. Unarchive the file, and run the CsoundLib.pkg file, this will install the framework.

3. Run the SupportLibs.pkg file to install FLTK, libsndfile, liblo, libjack, fluidsynth and portaudio v.19, if not already installed on your system.

4. Next, download the MacCsound application and examples from http://www.csounds.com/matt/MacCsound/doc.html

5. Run the .dmg file, and drag the MacCsound.app file to your Applications folder.

6. Let the learning begin, happy music making!

Please feel free to comment, or share your experiences with MacCsound.

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Printing From Windows XP to an Ubuntu Shared Printer

2 04 2008

I was having difficulty connecting from a Windows XP system, to a printer shared on Ubuntu 7.10, yet I had no problem connecting from a MAC. Assuming you already have Samba installed and enabled, there were two key items that solved the problem.

First, Create a Samba User by typing the command “smbpasswd -a username”

The “username” must refer to an existing account, then you will be prompted to create a Samba password. Use this username and password when adding the printer in windows.

Second, to add the printer in Windows XP, I had to use the following url in the windows “add printer” dialog: http://<hostname&gt;:631/printers/<printername>

The helpful information on the add printer dialog can be found here:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/NetworkPrintingFromWinXP

Please let me know if you have had a similar experience!

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PayPal and Yahoo Merchant Solutions Pricing

17 03 2008
Since my goal is to create a flexible web site, and to not deal with any security responsibilities associated with credit card transactions, I am also looking at PayPal as an option for payment processing, as suggested in an earlier comment by Ryan.

PayPal – Looking at PayPal’s services, I would probably choose the Website Payments Standard plan, since it allows the use of your own shopping cart, then provides checkout through PayPal.  This will allow you to accept all major credit cards, bank transfers and PayPal.  
PayPal – Ubercart is listed as a supported shopping cart, along with many others. For more information check here: http://www.paypal.com/en_US/html/SolutionsDirectory/sd_wp-standard.html
PayPal – Rates are 2.9% + 0.30 USD for each transaction, for less than $3K monthly sales.  Greater sales yield lower percentage rates. 
 
 Yahoo Small Business – The Merchant Starter plan provides both hosting, shopping cart tools and secure payment gateway, among other things, for a monthly fee of $39, plus a one time setup fee of $50.  There is a transaction fee for e-commerce services and transaction processing, which is 1.5% of your product sales. This fee does not cover merchant fees, an area of confusion for myself.

Yahoo Small Business - In order to process credit cards you will need a merchant account.  Yahoo has 2 partners listed Paymentech and PayPal Website Payments Pro.  PayPal Website Payments Pro allows you to accept credit cards and paypal.  There is a monthly fee of $30 for Website Payments Pro, plus a transaction fee of 2.9%  + 0.30 USD.  
 
To complete this comparison of  Drupal, Ubercart, with PayPal Website Payments Standard, versus Yahoo Merchant Starter plan, I need to factor in the cost of hosting and the cost of a payment gateway.  To be continued…
 
Comments are welcome! 
 
 

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Drupal and Yahoo Stores

12 03 2008

Since Yahoo Store’s service has been highly rated for small businesses, I have been looking into the possibility of building a store and shopping cart using Drupal and Ubercart, then connecting to YahooMerchant service for payment processing. I thought this could be a good option with the flexibility of Drupal Ubercart combination, and the brand of a yahoo store, along with secure payment processing. Unfortunately, at this time, Yahoo does not support connecting your own PHP based shopping cart to the Yahoo payment processing system…

Yahoo does support hosting your own PHP/MySQL website, and linking to product data entered in the Yahoo catalog manager, through Yahoo store tags. Though this means you have to use Yahoo’s catalog and cart. 

Further info on using store tags can be found here: http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/smallbusiness/store/tags/index.html

There is a Yahoo Stores blog, to follow further developments, which can be found here: http://www.ystoreblog.com

Any suggestions for other payment processing options that support Drupal – Ubercart?


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Mythbuntu – Setting up a 2nd drive for videos and recordings

7 03 2008

By default MythBuntu stores all recordings on the drive where the operating system was installed, so once I had MythBuntu up and running, I wanted to use a second drive for all video storage. This allows more space for my video files, and keeps them separate from the OS drive. The basics steps are listed here.

By changing the directories settings listed below, I am able to maintain my large video files on a separate drive, which is mounted as sdb1.

Create directories on 2nd drive, I used these names:

/media/sdb1/myth_recordings
/media/sdb1/myth_video
/media/sdb1/myth_temp
/media/sdb1/myth_archive

Set permissions needed for MythTV to access each directory:

sudo chmod 775 /media/sdb1/myth_recordings
sudo chmod 775 /media/sdb1/myth_video
sudo chmod 775 /media/sdb1/myth_temp
sudo chmod 775 /media/sdb1/myth_archive

Change file owner and group for each directory to mythtv:

sudo chown mythtv:mythtv /media/sdb1/myth_recordings
sudo chown mythtv:mythtv /media/sdb1/myth_video
sudo chown mythtv:mythtv /media/sdb1/myth_temp
sudo chown mythtv:mythtv /media/sdb1/myth_archive

Change path settings in MythTV.

The menu breadcrumb trail to each setting is shown in blue.

MythTVSetup > General > page 2
Directory to hold recordings: /media/sdb1/myth_recordings

Myth Frontend > Utilities/Setup > Setup > Media Settings > Videos Settings > General Settings
Directory that holds videos: /media/sdb1/myth_video

Myth Frontend > Utilities/Setup > Setup > Media Settings > Archive Files Settings
Myth Archive Temp Directory: /media/sdb1/myth_temp
Myth Archive Share Directory: /media/sdb1/myth_archive

After finding my way through these steps, I was up and running!

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