Oct
31

Use an Accurate Satellite View of the Earth as your GNOME Background

This site provides an accurate satellite view of the Earth; you can see the current areas that are in sunlight and darkness, as well as being able to see the current weather patterns (updated from actual satellite weather imagery). Here’s a script that will download the latest image and set it as your GNOME background.
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Oct
30

Reboot or Hibernate into Windows from Ubuntu Easily

It’s often the case that I’m working on something in Ubuntu and need to switch over to Windows. For whatever reason, I got it in my head that it was too difficult to select hibernate or reboot from the power menu, wait for the system to power down, select Windows from the boot menu list, and wait for Windows to boot up. I wanted to be able to click on an icon, go get a sandwich, and walk back to a Windows login.

So, here are two scripts that accomplish this. When run, they will locate the boot entry for your Windows system, select that as the default boot entry, and either reboot or hibernate (with a restart after hibernation).
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Oct
29

Converting WMA files to MP3 on Linux (specifically Ubuntu) and retain tag information

I recently needed to convert a bunch of (DRM-free) WMA files to MP3 format on Ubuntu, and there’s no good tool out there to do it.  There are plenty of tutorials that tell you how to convert from WMA to WAV with Lame, then from WAV to MP3 with mplayer, but none of these tutorial talk about how that will cause you to lose all the WMA artist/album/title data.  I needed a tool that would keep the tagged data;  so, I made one.  It requires mplayer, lame, and mutagen-inspect, all of which are available from aptitude.

So, here’s my script: wma2mp3
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