HowTo: Add XGL Compiz like Functions to MacOSX

7 04 2007

Xgl Compiz ScreenshotFor the Linux enthusiasts here, you guys might be familiar with XGL or Compiz composing window manager. It’s basically an eye-candy that makes use of your graphics accelerator card’s power. One of the most popular features of compiz is the ability to switch between desktops or workspaces by showing an animation of a cube rotating. It gives you the illusion that your desktop is actually a cube, with each of the faces representing a workspace.

You can actually have the same effect on a Mac. You need only to download a freeware called Desktop Manager. Although I admit that I am lying here, it doesn’t sport all the features of XGL Compiz, only the part about animating the switch on workspaces and most importantly adding workspaces to your MacOSX. I named the article as such because these are the popular functions of XGL Compiz, at least for me, and that’s what I think people will be searching for.

Here’s Desktop Manager’s description from it’s website:

Desktop Manager is a free virtual desktop manager that places an unobtrusive desktop pager in the menubar and allows fast switching of desktops either with hotkeys or by clicking in the pager. It is designed to be fast, lightweight, and Just Works. It is released under the GNU General Public License.


HowTo: Install Photoshop in Ubuntu

1 11 2006

Okay, as of this time of writing, the currently supported version of Photoshop in Linux is Photoshop 7.0, although you could, I know some have, also install version 8.0, which is more popularly known as Photoshop CS. Installing it on any Linux Operating System is easy if you have CrossOver Office which can be bought from CodeWeavers. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the luxury of buying software, which is why we installed Ubuntu and not Windows in the first place! (Although theoretically, you would have still bought Photoshop if you’re reading this How-To, ANYWAY). Lucky for us, there is an alternative, and it’s called WINE – which stands for Wine Is Not [an] Emulator (I think, or maybe it doesn’t stand for anything). Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and Unix. It can run a lot of popular Windows programs under Linux.

I’m not sure if these instructions are the same for all flavors of Linux, but here’s how you install Wine and use it to run Photoshop under Ubuntu.

First, make sure that you’ve read and done the stuff I babbled about adding extra repositories in Ubuntu in this HowTo. Next, let’s install wine by going on the terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal) and typing the following:

sudo apt-get install wine

Ubuntu should be able to install it for you automatically. Once it’s done, you’re all set to install your Photoshop. Get your copy of Photoshop 7.0 or OR CS (8.0) and insert it on your CD-ROM drive.

Side Note: For those of you who saved your copy of Photoshop (for back-up purposes of course) on an ISO file, you can quickly mount this ISO file on Ubuntu by doing the following on the terminal, be sure you’re on the directory where your ISO file is located:

sudo mkdir /media/iso
sudo modprobe loop
sudo mount file.iso /media/iso -t iso9660 -o loop

Once we have the Photoshop CD either in /media/ISO or /media/cdrom, let’s run the setup program under wine:

wine /media/ISO/setup.exe

The setup program of Photoshop should start momentarily. Warning: If you’re installing Photoshop CS, before clicking next on the first dialog box, be sure to move the dialog box a couple of inches downwards. The reason for this is that a warning dialog box will appear after you click next and it will appear behind this previous dialog box, and you won’t be able to click the OK button of that warning. Alternatively, you may just press [ENTER] after clicking next. (This may sound confusing, but just wait until you get to that annoying dialog box and you’ll see what I mean. For Photoshop 7.0 users, just ignore what I said, haha). The installation should run smoothly, and Photoshop would have been installed afterwards.

After the installation has completed, you may now run Photoshop under wine! Go to Nautilus (the Windows Explorer counterpart of Ubuntu, Places->Home Folder). Here, the default setting is to hide Hidden files, but we don’t want this because Wine installs applications under a hidden directory. So let’s tell Ubuntu to show us the hidden files by toggling it under the “view” menu.

View->Show Hidden Files, or simply press [CTRL]+[H].

Some other folders should appear now, look for the folder “.wine” (yes, with a ‘.’ preceding it) and double-click it. Now, enter the folder “drive_c”. The directory structure should be familiar from Windows. You should now locate the “Program Files” directory, then the “Adobe” directory, and lastly, your Photoshop directory. Once you’ve found it, simply double click Photoshop.exe and let Wine do it’s magic. 🙂

Final notes: If installation or running the program under Wine doesn’t work, try configuring the Wine to run under “Windows 2000” mode. To do this, go to the terminal and type:


Under the “applications” tab, locate the “windows version” setting near the bottom of the window. Set that to “Windows 2000” and click OK.


HowTo: Install Applications in Ubuntu

1 11 2006

Congratulations on finally installing and trying out the Ubuntu Operating System. You will soon find out that using Linux is not as difficult as it sounds, it’s actually simple and fun. Now after trying out the default applications, you might wonder, “how do I install more applications? Will it be hard? Do I need to compile programs from source?” Well, fortunately for you, the Ubuntu Community is kind enough to give a large repository of programs which can easily be installed with a few simple clicks. There are two approaches to doing this: (1) Synaptic Package Manager, (2) Aptitude.

Synaptic Package Manager

To run Synaptic Package Manager, simple go to System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager. From here, you can search for applications to install via the “Search” button. But first, let’s add a few more applications to the default setting, so that we have more programs to choose from. Let’s enable the extra Universe and Multiverse repositories, from within the Synaptic Package Manager:

  1. Settings -> Repositories
  2. In the Installation Media tab, click Add. There are three separate repositories; Dapper Drake (or Edgy Eft), Security Updates and Updates. Select each repository and check Officially supported, Restricted copyright, Community maintained (Universe) and Non-free (Multiverse). Ensure you click OK between each repository to save your changes
  3. You should now see those three repositories under Channels. Make sure Officially supported, Restricted copyright, Community maintained (Universe) and Non-free (Multiverse) appears under each repository

Now, let’s add the backports and PLF repositories.

  1. Settings -> Repositories
  2. Click on Add and then Custom
  3. Paste the following four lines into the box and click Add Repository, one line at a time:

deb edgy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src edgy-backports main restricted universe multiverse

deb edgy-plf free non-free
deb-src edgy-plf free non-free

Then refresh the list of known packages:
Edit Menu -> Reload Package Information[1]

Now that you have a wider list of applications available to you, simple search for the programs that you wish to install. If you wish to install C/C++ compilers, for instance, simply install the ‘build-essential’ package.


Now this approach is more for the experienced ones, since we’ll be making use of the terminal. However, using this feature doesn’t have the search feature as in the above method, but it’s faster than the GUI-bound Synaptic.

To install applications using Aptitude, first enable the extra repositories by following the above instructions (the one under Synaptic). After this, all we need to do to install our programs is to type the following:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

for installing the C/C++ compilers, for example. Doing a ‘sudo’ however, asks for your administrator password. Simply enter it when it is asked for. It’s as simple as that! 🙂


[1] Taken from

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