Showing posts from May, 2014

Quick Fix: "Unable to find the Okular component" Error (openSUSE 13.1)

Okular is an integral part of the KDE experience and is the counterpart of Evince Document Viewer. Okular is preinstalled with openSUSE 13.1 and should work out-of-the box. However, users in the forums for openSUSE and KDE-based distributions have reported an "Unable to find the Okular component" error accompanied with a blank Okular window when opening documents from Dolphin or running Okular directly.

I've never encountered the Okular error in the last six openSUSE releases that I've installed on laptops. However, a fresh openSUSE 13.1 install on a Toshiba NB520 triggered this error. As reported by other users who have encountered the Okular issue, removing and installing the application will not resolve the problem. Curiously enough, an Online Update using YaST2 does not remove the error message but using a zypper update from Konsole and a reboot will.

The zypper update will be substantial particularly if you're running a fresh install but Okular will work fine…

Stories from a Tech Writer's Studio: Tech Makes Us Cling to the Past (if we let it)

I've never abused the power of the Internet. Sure, everyone gets tempted to send an annoying stranger a VBscript virus or trigger a DDoS, but years of preachy MacGyver episodes and Peter Parker stories have helped reinforce my moral compass. There are days, however, when the Internet is the only self-destructive vice I have available. The Internet is a powerful portal to painful memories of people, places and events.

I've tried not to indulge in the habit of looking back . . . until recently when a bout of sentimentality and a sleepless night led me to the comforting clack of the keyboard. Most days I would have been satisfied writing about an odd Linux tutorial or mobile OS tip, but for some blasted reason I ended up using technology for a more personal and emotional end. I suppose visiting the past using a search engine wouldn't be a mistake if I was a mature and psychologically/emotionally stable individual.

One of the questions I often get asked when I was a technical …

openSUSE 13.1 KDE Basics: Remove Bouncing Cursor

Windows used to have the constantly tilting hourglass and MacOSX used to have the spinning pizza. Both cursor activities triggered nightmares for Windows and MacOSX users back in the day. If the bouncing cursor that appears whenever your KDE system is busy bothers you then you can remove it by following the steps below.

To change cursor settings during system activity:

1. On the KDE KickOff menu, click Configure Desktop.

2. On the Common Appearance and Behavior settings, click Application and System Notifications.

3. Click Launch Feedback on the left navigation menu.

4. Select No Busy Cursor or Passive Busy Cursor from the list.

5. Click Apply.

openSUSE 13.1 KDE Basics: Updating on a Slow Wi-Fi on First Boot

OpenSUSE 13.1 KDE isn't the fastest Linux distribution on a netbook or older laptop particularly after you install the LiveCD for the first time and haven't fine-tuned the system yet. Unfortunately, the initial update process can also leave a bad taste in a new user's mouth.

Running Apper's update or YaST2's software manager for the first time triggers several updates and necessary software such as GStreamer (for MP3) and Adobe Flash.

Unlike ArchLinux or Ubuntu derivatives where updates are installed during the setup process (which may or may not be a quick experience), openSUSE 13.1 will download up to 800MB to 900MB of software packages when you run either Apper or YaST.

The experience isn't pleasant particularly if you're on a slow Wi-Fi. A particularly annoying symptom is that Mozilla Firefox, openSUSE's default browser, will struggle to open web pages (if it actually does) while data is being downloaded in the background.

There are a few things yo…

Spidey/Spidey 2099 Wallpaper + Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo Basics Part 1

Web of Spider-Man #90 (1992), the 30th anniversary issue for Spidey's third book, included a gatefold poster of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. The excellent triptych was penciled and inked by the original art team of Spider-Man 2099 back in the early 90s - Rick Leonardi and Al Williamson.

Although Rick Leonardi had only worked on Amazing Spider-Man in the 80s as a guest penciller, his contribution to The Saga of the Black Costume was some of the best artwork during the storyline. The Peter Parker/Miguel O'Hara gatefold poster featured above was added to the 30th anniversary issue to advertise Peter David's budding Spider-Man 2099 book, which was the only 2099 book that actually prospered before the 2099 line folded.

Three years after Spidey's 30th anniversary, Marvel Comics was struggling with bankruptcy and the Clone Saga caused millions of readers to abandon all the Spider-Man books. The long-delayed Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man (1995) One-Shot was released in …

Return to Nagoya Airport

I was at Chubu Centrair Airport recently for a layover of a few hours and as usual couldn't control my excitement of landing in Japan again. There is nothing extremely remarkable about Nagoya's airport other than it isn't as crowded as O'Hare or Hartsford Jackson, but I always get a thrill just being at any of Japan's comfortable and welcoming airports. The security staff aren't nearly as grumpy or as stolid as those in Ho Chi Minh or Shanghai and it's a fun game guessing their age. I get to practice my terrible Japanese at the Delta service desk even though I don't necessarily need to confirm my flight. The free Wi-Fi is dependable and fast (I was able to update my Lumia in seconds).

Besides the typical duty free boutique shops, you get to see a few stores that specialize in overpriced kitschy souvenirs for the ignorant tourist. There are, of course, travel accessories from well-known brands like Sony and Samsung, but you will always find at least on…

Lubuntu 14.04 and PCMANFM Mobile Devices Support

Ubuntu advertises great mobile device support on their website for good reason. Ubuntu immediately detects and displays accessible user folders of most tablet and smartphones in the market. Listed on this article is a summary of devices I've tested on the Lubuntu 14.04 release, which comes with the excellent PCMANFM file manager.

Note: Although in most cases you wouldn't need to unmount after accessing the device from PCMANFM, I still attempt to unmount anyway particularly with the Kobo Glo and MemoPad HD7.

ASUS MemoPad HD7 (Android 4.2.x) Lubuntu immediately detects both the micro-SD card and the internal storage without further user intervention. Users can copy and delete files as well as manage folders on the MemoPad HD7 from PCMANFM. 

Kobo Glo If a micro-SD card is inserted in the Kobo Glo's slot, PCMANFM can manage the contents of the card. You will also have access to the file structure but Calibre or the Kobo app is still the recommended way for loading ebooks to the…

Unsolicited Questions Round Up for the Kobo Glo

Why are there numbers on the right side of every other page of the EPUB I downloaded?
If the EPUB you purchased or downloaded was published following AdobePDF standards (not necessarily using an Adobe product), the Kobo Glo can display the pages on the margins. These "extra" page markers are actually more accurate than the page numbers your reading device displays automatically. Unfortunately, the page numbers in the margins can obstruct parts of the text and can be distracting to the reader.

To remove the page number margins in Kobo Glo:

1. From within an ebook, tap the middle of the page to display the toolbars.

2. Tap the Options button then Settings.

3. Tap Reading Settings.

4. Under the Adobe EPUBS section, clear the Show page numbers in the margins box.

Can I copy files directly into the Kobo Glo from Linux (e.g. Ubuntu, openSUSE)?
If a micro-SD card is present in the Kobo Glo's slot, the contents of the micro-SD card will be displayed in your file manager (Dolphi…

A Lubuntu Sampler List

It's no longer relevant to run reviews of Linux distributions because a) users can pretty much iron out most issues with the right resources and b) Linux is no longer the trouble-prone system from 5 or 7 years ago. However, Linux projects such as the recent Lubuntu 14.04 deserves some coverage to raise awareness and promote Linux as a choice of computing platform. In addition, a lot of the articles on Linux alternatives to Windows applications haven't been highlighted recently (some Linux articles of utilities have been around since 2003), so here are a few "classic"  applications worth mentioning that users can try on their new Linux or Lubuntu install:

1. Shutter - Screen capture utilities aren't just for technical writers and bloggers writing about troubleshooting steps and error messages. They're extremely helpful for quickly capturing content from various types of applications such as movie players, browsers, and even documents. Is the video protected bu…

Why Kobo Glo? Part 2

Continued from Why Kobo Glo? Part 1

Kobo Software There are plenty of other sites that have discussed Calibre and how it's the only application you really need to manage your ereader whether you're running Linux or Windows.

There are a few points about the Kobo Glo's preinstalled software and hardware, however, that should be discussed here:

1. Setting up your Kobo Glo - I was surprised to find out Kobo Glo requires an Internet connection or a computer immediately after booting up the device the first time. The steps to set up the device are simple enough but you definitely need a good wireless connection to get the latest upstream updates for the ereader. On the one hand, I understand that this prevents users from experiencing earlier issues with the device by updating the software. However, it's inconvenient particularly when you're eager to start reading immediately. You can't skip the Kobo Glo setup and the experience is particularly annoying if you don'…