Monthly Archives: May 2014

Virtual Night Sky

Besides being a computer nerd, goat farmer, and amateur radio operator, I’ve also got a love for amateur astronomy. We have an old 8 inch Newtonian¬† reflector telescope here on the farm.

One of my favorite software packages for Linux is the Stellarium photo-realistic star viewer.

As always, head to your Software Manager, and search for stellarium.

Stellarium Star Chart

Stellarium Star Chart

Once installed, you want to first download the available star maps, almost 100 megabytes of them! Next, configure your location, and if you have a compatible telescope (ours is not, it’s very old fashioned with no motor drive) you can configure the software to actually do the pointing for you!

If you don’t have a telescope, you can still enjoy the ability to find star constellations, map where they are and then go look in the night sky for things you can see with the naked eye or inexpensive binoculars.

And before you say it, yes, we know google has their version on the web, but you can use this without an Internet connection, and I don’t know about you, but I prefer to NOT sell my soul and privacy to google to use an application. We actually block them in our router!

 

Editing Style Sheets

This WordPress blog not withstanding, all of our other web sites we take care of, were written by us in HTML and PHP. Because of this, we try to take advantage of any tools we can to make our lives a bit easier.

Today, I’ll show you CSSEd, a wonderful style sheet editor.

Style Sheet Editor

Style Sheet Editor

If you have a need for an easy way to edit your style sheets, head over to your Software Manager, and search for cssed. Once installed, you’ll find it in your menu at:¬† Menu–> Programming

When looking at an already built style sheet, the color coding makes it very easy to see all of your parameters, and make sure you aren’t missing any end or start brackets for instance.

What I really like about this editor, are the available wizards, that allow you to input style elements, and have the software keep track of the programming syntax for you.

Wizard Example

Wizard Example

Wizard Example

Wizard Example

So if you want an easy way to build custom style sheets, give CSSEd a try!

 

Breaking Things: Flash Plugin

Let’s face it, most of us who know anything about computers, would really like the Flash player to die. It’s always causing problems in our Linux and even our lone Windows 7 computer.

Over the weekend, the Flash player crashed within 10 seconds of starting a video stream. Every time!

What fixed it, was opening the Package Manager, searching for Adobe Flash, and then right clicking on the file name and selecting Mark For Reinstallation.

Flash Reinstall

Flash Reinstall

After it’s reinstalled, the constant crashing went away. Of course you will still get crashes, because hey, it’s Flash!