Scratch on Linux

MIT has Scratch on Linux.  Check the site for more details.  It is interesting to note that Scratch runs on Squeak.

Debian / Ubuntu Package

You can download the latest Scratch package for Ubuntu from our Download page. The source code for this package is hosted on Assembla, as is the list of bugs. If you’d like to help improve the scratch package for Linux, e-mail us directly. Here is a link to the Scratch Team page on Launchpad.

Linux Camera Plugin

The camera Plug-in for Scratch on Linux is designed to work out of the box with a wide range of USB webcams. If you are having problems, see this page for help troubleshooting.

Scratch and Squeak

Scratch runs on Squeak, which is written in smalltalk, one of the first object oriented languages. So Scratch is an ‘image’ that runs in a squeak virtual machine built for a particular OS. You can find out more about Squeak and Scratch on our Source Code page.

Switching from Ubuntu to Fedora and Mint

I switched my desktops off Ubuntu to other Linux distributions.  It isn’t a great sacrifice as I use multiple Linux distributions in any case; although, for a moment all of the Desktops in my house were Ubuntu and it did make it nice for the casual user.

The problem was Unity and issues ranging from graphics problems to simply philosophical concerns over a desktop that restricted me to a single distribution.  Not that Unity might not get love from other distributions, but it won’t, and the BF is not going to change either.

And this leads me to what I am using on the old machine in the Kitchen: MINT.  I know that Mint 11 has an RC available but I am find using the LXDE version of MINT 10 as the RC did not load the graphics properly.

But for the other machines it is Fedora 15 for me.  I include this link on How to Painlessly Switch from Ubuntu to Fedora.   I will point out that sudo works perfectly fine on Fedora and that as I have replaced Skype with Chrome / Google Chat Video I find that everything is working great for me.  I really like Gnome 3, although as I found KDE 4.6 nice as well, I have my choice and I find that from the user perspective both are improvements over Unity at this point.  YMMV

Ubuntu 11.04: Natty Narwhal In The Shop

Machine A:  oldest machine I am using, running Ubuntu 10.10 fine, Final 11.04 won’t run Unity (can’t do OpenGL) and when it goes back to classic mode the menus first don’t display quite correctly and then they disappear completely and flash on and off.  Unusable.  Installed Fedora Beta, Gnome 3 runs, machine stable, looks pretty, is a Beta but off Ubuntu on this one.  Update chime for Fedora is very pretty, I like it.

Machine B:  Had same problems on Ubuntu Final Beta as “A” (see above) with Menus and graphic displays.  It was my first install of Fedora 15 Beta to play with Gnome 3 and everything is working great.  Not going back to Ubuntu on this one as drivers simply don’t seem stable for graphics.
Machine C: newest machine (non-laptop) that I am running.  Running Ubuntu 10.10 fine, 11.04 installs, Unity, etc… proprietary drivers pops up quickly and I install the NVidia “recommended” and now Unity won’t work, part of it displays but nothing clicks, works, it simply hangs (with white screen).  Machine is dual screen, that configuration was completed on delivered driver and it went fine, but on updated driver I now have a non-operational machine.  Assume that small fix by NVidia will make everything nice in a day or two, but it does mean a complete reinstall and one surmises it could have been done prior to this.  I may reinstall this one in a few days, although I will check the Fedora release schedule as well.
Overall, I am not going to get into the Gnome 3, KDE 4, or Unity debate on whether upgrades are useful, I will learn, and I suspect enjoy them once I get my system monitor tray add-on working, or find screenlets, or whatever they will be now.
I will say that Ubuntu switching to its own interface and NOT Gnome 3 or KDE 4 is not successful for older machines where it heritage originates.  If not on underpowered machines, then what?  Mind you, I certainly don’t mind clicking on Classic mode, and it does detect it and switch automatically, but Classic mode simply doesn’t work anymore on these machines.
I will NOT be using Ubuntu on my production equipment, although I will reinstall in on high speed desktop after a few weeks (using Windows until then on this one).
Final Score:  11.04 is a non starter and I assume with complaints over Unity it will be awhile till operational details are filtered out of nonsense of “why doesn’t my computer work like 1968”.

Ubuntu 10.10 Video Playing Too Fast

Is your video playing too fast in Ubuntu 10.10?  Video playing 1.5x or 2.0x or greater? I was having the same problem, as was a friend of mine, on a number of my Ubuntu machines: video playing too fast.  I did notice that on login the audio was crackling, skipping, and didn’t finish smoothly as it had on some machines.  That was the key to solving the problem.  The problem was in the ALSA sound configuration and is referenced as a crackling, skipping audio when logging in:  This combined with the information that SoundBlasterLive! (yes, the one from Dell) card had audio problems and manifested itself in video speed gave me the idea to try the solution.  I turned off the onboard sound controller, and added tsched=0 to the module-udev-detect AND to the module-detect line

### Automatically load driver modules depending on the hardware available

load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0
### Alternatively use the static hardware detection module (for systems that
### lack udev support)
load-module module-detect tsched=0




and the problem was solved.  I now have very clear login audio.  And Video, including Hulu, YouTube and others running at normal speed as best my machine can perform.


Solved Synergy Problem With Dependent Libs

I was having trouble with Synergy on one of my mixed Windows7 and Ubuntu 10.10 setups, the graphical interface never started.

I checked for log errors, nothing there.  Checked for zombie or orphaned processes, nothing running amok there.  I felt it was graphical in nature but nothing but my trick knee to back that up.  I removed and installed a couple of times and finally went to the older version, which uses QuickSynergy and it would work, but the new menu never popped up, it is based on QuickSynergy.  Well, running /usr/bin/synergyc and /usr/bin/synergys from the command line gave no trouble, but running /usr/bin/qsynergy generated errors with missing libs.  So I installed this neat little utility getlibs from a post on Ubuntu Forums.   And where I was tracking the libs down one by one, and haven’t we all done this, this little program fixed all of them and Synergy was fixed.  It also fixed my audio on that machine as well, but that is another post for another time.  Give it a try, worked great.