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Cebu Sky Cable Misery

I was channel surfing last night, tuning on the sports channels on SkyCable. ESPN was showing NCCA basketball, Balls Channel, the new sports channel that Sky replaced  Basketball TV was also showing NCCA basketball. Not just any other basketball game, but the SAME game that was shown on ESPN, but a few seconds ahead!

If this is their idea of “offering our subscibers a new better channel lineup and programming for the new year” (or something to this note according to the December billing which also informed that JACK TV, Basketball TV, Solar Sports, ETC, 2nd Avenue, Crime/Suspense will no longer be offered starting January 1), then hats off to SkyCable! They must have invented a time machine that broadcasts games ahead of schedule!

So far, my viewing experience content wise with this new and improved channel lineup is an abhorrent one. Here are my personal basis of comparison.

JACK TV vs. MAXXX – JACK TV shows WWE matches that’s a few weeks late, with the current channel MAXXX, it only shows OLD WWE reruns! For those who knows a little of wrestling history, the matches shown was way back when WWE was known as WWF! Think of these other shows thats not aired in MAXXX, That 70s Show, Everybody Hates Chris, Family Guy, Beat the Geeks, My Name is Earl, etc.

Basketball TV vs. Balls – This is a no-brainer. Basketball TV shows NBA games live EVERYDAY! What does BALLS boast of? NCCA PAC 10 conference games. The channel promo for their basketball games possesses anemic wit. The main message is that before the NBA stars achieved their status, they first played college hoops. SO? Show us these NBA stars who are currently playing, not these college kids who MAY become stars of tomorrow!

Solar Sports vs. Discovery Channel – No basis of comparison here, replacing a sports channel with a documentary channel. Discovery is the only channel that’s been a good addition for me. HOWEVER, Solar shows NFL games, soccer, UFC, boxing among others. I missed the NFL playoffs, and I still don’t know if the Superbowl will be shown on ESPN.

ETC/2nd Avenue vs. Velvet – Before, I used to wait for JEOPARDY in 2nd avenue, I watched Tyra Banks Show just for the fun of watching her trying so hard to be like Oprah. The title of the shows on VELVET doesn’t register in my brain. Not even for my seven seconds, which they say is the amount of time for the brain retains short memory.

There are other shows worth comparing with the old and new channel lineups but I’m tired of typing.

SkyCable monopolized the cable TV service in Metro Cebu for a long time now. They bought out Cebu Cable and Moonsat in Minglanilla. I’m not 100% accurate with this but in areas in Mandaue and Mactan, customers have the option of subscribing to other cable providers. And, the other providers still carry the old channels that Sky has discontinued. So, is the reason than Sky “offered” us this channel is for our viewing pleasure?

If what I heard from a friend is true, you would be mad with Sky also. His version from a reuptable source is that Sky dropped these channels because of MANNY PACQIUAO. The parent company of Sky, ABS-CBN offered a contract to Manny to air his fights. GMA counter-offered with a higher amount. But to come out with the money, GMA needed monetary help. They came to an agreement with SOLAR SPORTS, who has rights to air NBA WWE and NFL games and is the parent company of the discontinued Sky channels to share the amount that they offered to Manny. This made the Lopezes faces turn red as a beet. As a form of retribution, they discontinued these channel. FOR OUR VIEWING PLEASURE!


Solve Compaq Presario Serial ATA (SATA) controller



Compaq V3000 – Presario Driver Download Page

Install Windows XP on SATA without a Floppy (F6)

SATA hard drives have become more and more appreciated tending to substitute the IDE drives due to the increasing speed they offer. Motherboard manufacturers started to implement the new standard years ago, when the technology was young and expensive. Now, as the SATA HDD prices have lowered to a level where anybody can afford to choose a SATA enabled HDD instead of an IDE one, a great migration has been observed among the common computer users.

They choose to install Windows and applications on SATA drives because they provide more speed which determines the system to run smoother. Thus, for those owning older mainboards with SATA support an extra step is required while attempting to install Windows XP. Windows XP does not provide drivers for all the SATA controllers, therefore, during the installation procedure, the user must insert a floppy with the drivers that came in the package along with the motherboard.

Not a big deal, not much effort, but the funny thing is that a great number of people passed on their floppy drives. Under these circumstances, no floppy means the impossibility to install Windows XP on SATA (on some mainboards). The result? The installation guide simply won’t detect the SATA HDD.

People that were happy they got rid of the old removable drive have now motives to worry. Some may reconsider buying new floppy drives for their computers. Even if I wrote in a precedent article about the utility of the floppy drive, I do not encourage spending your money buying back an obsolete piece of hardware. I will present you a method to avoid this inconvenient by doing a software trick.

Let’s take it slow. Where is the problem? We have a driver problem strictly because the SATA driver we need does not come embedded in the Windows XP installation package. What if we add the driver by ourselves before installing Windows?

What ingredients are involved in this operation? The original Windows XP Installation CD, a freeware application named NLite and a blank CD. Moreover, we need the drivers for the SATA controller provided by the manufacturer. In case you did not find any floppy inside the motherboard package or you cannot locate them on the mainboard installation CD, you can consult the manufacturer’s website to download the latest versions. To do the trick I have been talking about, it is assumed that you already have a Windows installed on an IDE drive. In case you don’t, pay a visit to a friend and ask him to let you use his computer. It won’t take too much time, I guarantee.

So, download the drivers and unzip them (in case they come archived) in a desired location. Then download and install the Nlite application. When you start the Nlite application, you will be asked to provide the location for the Windows installation package. Insert the genuine Windows Installation CD into the CD drive and, inside the application, select the CD drive letter.

To insert the SATA drivers within the installation package, you need to have it saved on the HDD. Hence, when the warning window appears click OK and select the destination folder for the files to be saved. Make sure that the destination partition / HDD has enough space to store the contents of the installation CD.

I tested a Windows XP Home Edition and it seems that it required about 566 MB. Immediately after you have chosen the destination folder, the application will start copying the Windows installation files. When finished, it will display some version information regarding the newly copied Windows Installation Package.

Now, click next twice until you get to a screen where you get options sorted in 4 categories: Integrate, Remove, Setup, Create. We are interested in the integration procedure, therefore select the Drivers button and click next. From the next menu window, click Import and select multiple drive folder option from the drop down menu. This option permits you to browse to the location where the downloaded drivers are found.

Select the containing directory and click next. You will get a list with the available drivers (in case there are more than one) or simply one driver. Select it (them) and click next. Now the application will ask for the permission to start the integration procedure. Choose Yes and wait for the drivers to be inserted into the installation package.

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With problematic driver being included in the installation package you can install Windows XP on your SATA HDD…but…the installation package is on the HDD. You need a bootable CD in order to start an installation. Don’t worry, once the installation package has been adorned with additional user selected drivers it can be transformed into a bootable disk image and later burned on a CD. To encapsulate the installation into a ISO image use the same Nlite application.

Open it, make sure the HDD installation folder is selected and click next. Select “Last session” preset and click next again. Now from the options menu choose Bootable ISO and click next. In the following window, make sure that the mode is set to “Create Image” and click Make ISO. A destination folder is required where the resulting ISO image will be saved. Once the image saving process finished you have the freedom to burn it on a blank CD with whatever you favorite CD burner software may be.

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The new CD will be the twin copy of the Windows Installation CD but with one difference, it includes the SATA driver.

Make your linux ubuntu look like a mac – hardy heron

Make your linux ubuntu look like a mac – hardy heron

source :
MAC OS has been traditionally known for their impressive graphical interface and stability. Now even though i have been an avid Linux follower over the past 9 years I have been using Linux still i find my self attracted to MAC OS .Now even though these days it’s possible to run Hackintosh on normal Intel hardware but it’s not stable and well there are hardware compatibility issues . So well other alternative to using MAC OS is either to purchase MAC hardware(which would be naturally expensive) and run full fledged MAC OS or you could tweak and customize your Ubuntu desktop to look more like MAC OS X .

In this tutorial i describe step by step how to make your Ubuntu 8.04 desktop look more like MAC OS X Leopard 🙂 .
Installing Cursor , GTK and Icon Theme

To install cursor,gtk and icon theme first download the package from the link given below :

Now to install the theme package we have created in the above step , go to (System -> Preferences -> Appearance) and click Install and point to our newly downloaded Mytheme.tar.gz archive.

This should start installing the theme package (Cursors/Icons/Theme) once installation is completed . Chose Customize in theme and click on Customize .

You will find a window like this:

Customize Dialog Box

In this window in Icons chose LeopardX , in Controls Mac4Lin_GTK_Aqua_v0.3 , in Window Border Mac4Lin_GTK_Aqua_v0.3 and in Pointers White Cursor .

If you have followed the steps properly the theme and icons should have been installed , and you should be able to see the new theme applied to your default desktop .

Enabling Compiz Graphic Effects and installing Mac4Lin Theme

Ubuntu 8.04 comes with Compiz Fusion pre-installed and on supported hardware offers a wide array of Visual Effect . Now depending on graphic hardware of computer one could chose from three level of Visual Effect (From
System -> Preferences -> Appearance )

None : – This mode causes Ubuntu to use Metacity instead of Compiz Fusion , with no visual effect

Basic : – Has only simple visual effects like shadows , fading windows-menus etc

Advanced : – Recommended for PC with descent graphic hardware , enables effects like wobbly windows, transparency , animated workspace switching etc

Visual Effect Dialog Box

However , compiz-fusion is capable of much more and you can enable more desktop effects /customize compiz by typing the following command in the terminal window : –

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

After completing above step , you can customize compiz by going to System > Preferences > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings .
After installation is over , open Terminal from (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal ) and issue the following command to install emerald which is necessary for using themes in compiz .

sudo apt-get install emerald

After installation is over download MacOS X Emerald theme from this link :

Now open (System -> Preferences -> Emerald Theme Manager )

After Emerald theme manager opens click on import and point to the downloaded theme package from withing the Theme Manager , you will find Mac4Lin Theme listed select the theme , click on refresh and quit the application .

Emerald Theme Manager

Mac like Dock with Avant Window Navigator

IMPORTANT : – To use AWN Compiz-Fusion should be up and running as mentioned in the step above

Avant Windows Navigator is cool little tool that allows you to have a cute looking dock at the bottom of the screen . Even though AWN is still very buggy, still because it is so feature rich and cool looking you could install it .

To install AWN you need to add extra repositories, now adding any additional repository carries certain amount of risk of screwing up your system so follow these step at your own risk :

To add repository :

echo “deb hardy main” | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list


echo “deb-src hardy main” | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

After issuing above command type the following command to update your repositories :

sudo apt-get update

anf finally to install AWN issue the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install awn-manager-trunk awn-extras-applets-trunk

Now after completing above mentioned steps AWN should be properly installed , To Launch AWN go to (Applications -> Accessories -> Avant Window Navigator )

Now you could customize AWN by choosing to add more applets , configuring 3D effects for AWN etc by going to AWN Manager ( System -> Preferences -> Awn Manager )

Three ScreenShots of AWN Manager

Though the theme which AWN comes with preinstalled is also good , you might like to try this it’s cool and very Mac like

you could install this theme through AWN Manager go to (System->Preferences->AWN manager) and go to themes there and click on “Add” and point it to the downloaded theme.

You will see a confirmation dialog box that theme has been added properly. Close AWN Manager and start it again and chose the theme just installed and press apply button to make this theme default theme of AWN.

This is how my AWN Dock looks(with the above theme installed) like : –


Desktop Widgets with Screenlets
Screenlets gives user a collection of impressive widgets that can be placed on desktop this is similar to feature available on Windows Vista and Mac OS X Dashboard , it gives impressive look to the desktop.

To install Screenlets type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install screenlets

Now , After the installation is over you can add Widgets/Screenlets on your desktop by going to (System -> Preferences -> Screenlets ) , you will find a dialog box like this from where you could add Screenlets onto the desktop .Also you might like to tick the checkbox “Autostart on login” so screenlets starts automatically when Gnome starts.

Changing the Log In Screen / GDM Theme

To change the Log In Screen/GDM Theme download the package from website listed below :

After downloading the package , open (System -> Administration -> Log in Window ) and there go to Local and click on Add and point to the downloaded theme package (osx-login.tar.gz) . Now you would find OSX-Login theme listed in the window , select OSX-Login and close the window . Logout and Login again you should find the new theme installed .

Log-in Window allows easy changing of the Login Screen Theme

Getting MAC OS X Leopard Wallpaper
Finally you can get MAC OS X Leopard wallpaper from the following website :

This is how my desktop looks after following all the above steps :

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Desktop on Linux Blog ,
(C) 2008 , Ambuj Varshney

Install Flash Ubuntu Hardy Heron

Test Drive Flash Player 10 Beta in Ubuntu

Posted by Tom in software

Adobe has released the Flash Player 10 Beta simultaneously for Linux, Mac, and Windows. This version includes performance improvements, new 3D transformations, Adobe Pixel Bender filters, streaming video improvements, and new text layout capabilities.

Websites very likely won’t be taking advantage of these new features until the stable release is out, so Adobe has a page of demos you can try.

Two large complaints about Flash on Linux are fullscreen video and 64-bit support. Neither have been resolved in this release. Playback of fullscreen video (which causes low framerates and high CPU usage) seems to be only slightly improved. I have found that there is a general performance increase.

Flash Player 10 3D effect

If you want to try Flash Player 10 you can download and install it yourself, but here are some terminal commands that you can copy and paste to get going quickly:

  1. Remove your existing Flash plugin, if you have one installed. This command will remove Flash 9 if you installed it from Ubuntu’s repository:
    sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-nonfree
  2. Download and extract the Flash Player 10 Beta to your home directory:
    wget -O - | tar xz -C ~
  3. The user plugins folder may not exist yet, try to create it but ignore any errors if the directory already exists:
    mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins/
  4. Copy the Flash plugin the the Firefox plugins directory to install it:
    cp ~/install_flash_player_10_linux/ ~/.mozilla/plugins/
  5. Remove the directory that was downloaded (if you get a warning about deleting a write-protected file, press y and Enter to continue):
    rm -r ~/install_flash_player_10_linux

Restart Firefox to enable the new plugin.

And here’s how to uninstall it:

  1. Remove the new plugin:
    rm ~/.mozilla/plugins/
  2. Reinstall Flash 9 from the repositories (if you wish):
    sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

[update] I’ve been using the Flash 10 plugin for over a week now, and the only issue I’ve had is the occasional website that thinks my version of Flash is too old.