Rhythmbox and iPod

At work, I listen to my iPod with Rhythmbox on Xubuntu latest stable. Rhythmbox isn’t perfect, but from my experience it was the best at dealing with my iPod, works great for reading from and writing to it. Every once in awhile it will do something that makes me very angry at it.

For example, sometimes when I click on a music share with a password, there is no way to escape the resulting screen. No matter how hard I try, I end up having to go to a virtual terminal and killing the rhythmbox process. I have no need for music shares, or this might be an issue.

Another example, about 90% of the time that I eject my iPod, I have to click OK to a dialog that says “Cannot unmount the volume ‘IPOD'”, with details “Cannot remove directory”. /media/IPOD is owned by my user with perms 0755, so that doesn’t really make any sense. After clicking OK, the media is actually ejected. *shrug* not a big deal.

The most annoying example — and something that makes me not want to use this player again — was yesterday. Rhythmbox was playing The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – The Impression That I Get from my iPod when the player froze. It locked up. I switched to a terminal and killed it, which led to a defunct process, but the window was still open and still very much locked up. Because I hadn’t written anything to the iPod recently, I decided to ignore the flashing red circle and disconnect it anyway. I eventually had to close the window manager and reboot because Rhythmbox was giving me such a hard time. I left work yesterday and thought nothing of it.

This morning I came in, connected my iPod as usual, and came to find there wass no music on there. All of the photos were in tact, so it wasn’t a complete wipe, but every single song (of my ~15GB collection) was gone; and of course not backed up. I knew this day would come someday… just didn’t really want it to be today =\

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4 ifconfig adding an alias

I’ve setup multiple IPs on FreeBSD before, so I expected the process to be about the same for RHEL 4. It took me about a half hour to figure out that I didn’t want to create an alias (at least not by using that terminology). I finally found this site which helped me through it.


ifconfig eth0:0 up netmask
ifconfig eth0:1 up netmask

In /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0:0 put


In /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0:1 put


That’s it!

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Xubuntu Optiplex 320 fix

After installing Xubuntu 7.10 on my work Dell Optiplex 320, after the reboot, the system would go to a blinking prompt, without allowing text input. After some research, I found that there is an issue with grub and the motherboard of THIS box. After a few hours of research I was able to find a fix: installing and using lilo instead of grub.
This is the thread I eventually used to guide me through it. I write about it because the first time I needed it, I spent 4 hours looking for it. The second time I needed it, I spent a half hour looking for it. The third+ times I need it (or maybe not), I’ll spend 1 minute looking for it.

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Argument list too long

By now I’ve figured out that if I need to google something more than once, it’s important enough to write down.

Trying to rm a (large) list of files on my *nux box led to this
[root@sam /dir/ectory]# rm 1.*
-su: /bin/rm: Argument list too long

A google search led to doing this as a solution, which works.
[root@sam /dir/ectory]# find . -name '1\.*' | xargs rm

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Why Ubuntu is not for me.

I installed Ubuntu Linux about a 3 days ago on my new system. It has not performed up to my expectations. I have compiled a short and concise list why I feel Ubuntu is not for me.

First, the OS is workstation oriented, in contrast to server oriented. There is very little support anywhere for a non-GUI based Ubuntu install, and everything is setup according to an ‘ease of use’ principle. There is talk on their forums about how the distro is slightly slow compared to some other Linux distros which compile their application packages, whereas Ubuntu simply installs the binaries. Moreover, something that really annoying me was the fact that you can’t by default su to root in an Ubuntu install, you have to instead sudo every command you want to execute as root. While I’m sure there are workarounds, such a ridiculous default option is nothing short of pestering.

Next, and further suggesting the above, the fact that the OS by default comes so bloated with software is somewhat annoying. It would probably be good for a typical workstation user, but for someone wishing to use the system as a server, the fact that OpenOffice, Gimp, etc. are installed is simply a waste of space. Personally, I think that Windows makes a great workstation, and I doubt I would anytime soon find a replacement. If the server were bloated with option server software, well that might be a different story…

Next, I was having some issues installing Oracle 10g. It turns out that Ubuntu isn’t a “Certified Linux Distribution” for Oracle 10g. Currently the only distros that are certified are

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL 4)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (RHEL 3)
  • Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES9)

I’m pretty sure each of those distros cost money. While I’m sure that the issues are probably easy to fix, I really don’t want to have to deal with it. I want an install that will work “out of the box.”

Next, the default “remote desktop” for Gnome acts as a vnc server, but it has enormous lag problems (compared to a system with 1/3rd the CPU speed and 1/4th the RAM). Not exactly sure why…

Lastly, their documentation is heavily lacking. But, I might have spoiled early in my *nux career.

Next step for getting an Oracle server? I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I’ve considered a Windows 2003 (win2k3) server, or maybe a VPS like Virtuozzo with win2k3 and some *nux (probably back to FreeBSD).

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