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VARIOUS CrunchBang Monthly Newsletter - issue #0903

Welcome to the #1 Issue

This has been an exciting month for #! CrunchBang.

Since Corenominal established the new forum at Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 the membership has increased rapidly to 1000 members.

This popularity showed us the need for a place where everyone could get a glimpse of what is happening in the #! CrunchBang community, with everything presented in a way that is easy to read.
After a short discussion on the mailing list we agreed to start the #! CrunchBang Monthly Newsletter.

The idea behind this newsletter is to let the world know what's going in the #! CrunchBang community, and to have a place where all the developers, artists, writers, translators, etc can present their stuff.

We know that the forum is sufficient when it comes to short notices, but we believe that a monthly newsletter can go more in-depth, whether it's discussing an application, a profound 'How-to', a translation or some piece of artwork (of which we have plenty!).


Now the #! Crunchbang Monthly NewsLetter is airborne, so let's meet the News Editors:


The Editor Staff
Editor Niels Rasmussen
I've been using Linux since the good old RedHat 5.2 days back in 1998.
I'm an architectural engineer, and working in a large architect company in Copenhagen/Denmark where I'm working with project management on large-scale buildings and technical papers.

In my spare time I'm fiddling with motorcycles and of course messing with my Linux Box (which is eating a lot of my time while enjoying it). I'm a Mentos junkie by choice and just love nuts in all their flavours!
I use #! CrunchBang because I like its simplicity and speed and above all its friendly community :)

IRC:_Scrat_ / Forum: Scrat
niels2.jpg
Section Editor Fabian A. Scherschel
I am a university student and part-time IT support for a medium-sized ISP,
living in Bonn, Germany. In my free time I produce the Linux Outlaws podcast
and try to advocate Free Software and Free Culture as much as I can.
I am also a self-confessed Browncoat.
You can usually find me around the 'net under the nickname
fabsh or at my site lamerk.org.
ASCII
Section Editor Ed Morgan
I'm a 26 year old British soldier, currently working at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida doing Solaris kung-fu and attempting to stop ancient NT4 boxes from dying. In my free time I like to nerd out with Unix and Linux, play guitar, and punish my liver with huge amounts of alcohol.

I also really like rock music, and am also, like Fab, a self-confessed Browncoat.

I'm down on the forums and IRC as wench, and also have a webpage at http://dontfightthefuture.com.
CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 85
Section Editor Dale Rogers
Native Texan living in Oz
- Business Manager for Gov. Dept
- Photographer by passion
- Self confessed Linux Distromaniac
- http://www.littleredplanet.com

Forum: little red planet
{{:playground:playground:dale_id-166.jpg
Section Editor Cruz Monrreal
A Mexican nerd livin' in Texas
- Full time student @ UTSA under the UT CAP program
- Majoring in CS and possibly EE
- Work as Web Specialist Intern on-campus
- Loves to program for the fun of it :)
- Loves to learn

IRC/Forum: ZeroTruths
cruz2.jpg
Section Editor Jeroen de Baare
A Dutch newbie to Linux and #!
- Technical Application Manager
- yell at my computer when I do something stupid
- Enthusiastic pike fisher

IRC: Jeroen_ / Forum: Jeroen

Section Editor Philip Newborough
A Linux enthusiast from Lincoln, UK.
Co-Editor Marcus O. Notz
A German geek living in the east of the wild, wild west (US).
- Chief Information Officer for a non-profit agency
- Eats, breathes and lives IT since system boot
- Collector of huge amounts of Computer-“junk”
- Industrial/EBM DJ
- Major Car-Nut with automotive separation anxiety
http://uberzaxxon.blogspot.com

IRC: ZaxxonX / Forum: Zaxxon
me3_sm.jpg

These hard-working and diligent folks will provide you with the latest news in the #! CrunchBang world !

Please note that if you want to contribute with an article, a hint or anything at all that might have interest for the community, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant Section Editors, see the Contact section below.

Why the Newsletter ?

  • In the news You might have seen (or created) a review of #! CrunchBang Linux, and wanted us to know about it, this is where you will get the credit !
  • Developer You might have created a little application that fits well into #! CrunchBang Linux environment, well this is where you will get all the publicity you want !
  • Translator You might have translated this little gem, this is where the rest of the world will know about it !
  • Writer You might have found out something about #! CrunchBang that you want other users to know, but think that the forum is not the right place to announce it, well this is your opportunity to get your 15 minutes of fame!
  • Artist You might have constructed a beautiful wallpaper or icon, and want to colourize this newsletter, this is where everybody can admire your skills!

As you can see there are lots of reasons why this newsletter project is a good idea. If you want to participate in the development of this newsletter please drop us a note and we will sign you up as a member of the editorial staff.

So it's up to you dear readers, to provide us with some exciting stuff to write about. Anything of interest that's concerning #! CrunchBang Linux, will be covered and included in this monthly newsletter.

So don't hesitate to contact any of us.

In this Issue

Public Relations - #! CrunchBang Linux around the world and on the web. Reviews, resources, community information and other noteworthy news and statistics about the up-and-coming distribution. In this issue we have some very impressive statistics from the #! Crunch Bang Forum.

Development - After advertising for a Section Editor for the development section, and with no one responding, Philip took this task and has provided us with some interesting stuff about the upcoming release.

Documentation - This section shows the latest and greatest from the #! Wiki during the last month. Ed has warned us about some interviews in the next issue, so be aware if someone is tapping you on your shoulder.

Artwork - The #! Artwork team is evolving rapidly. In this issue a #! logo competition is announced. Scroll down to the Artwork section and see how you can contribute.

Tips, Tricks and Hints - In this section you'll get some information that you didn't know you needed. Cruz has divided this section in three parts, so pick your choice.

Translation - In order to get #! CrunchBang out to the world we need to translate the programs and the documentation into different languages. In the Translation section of this newsletter we'll let you know about the team behind this work and we'll keep you posted on the progress.

Donations

#! CrunchBang Linux is now accepting donations. Donations of all values are gratefully accepted. #! CrunchBang Linux is funded principally by Philip Newborough (aka Corenominal) and supported by donations and revenues earned via a small amount of advertising on the #! CrunchBang website. Donations will help to sustain #! CrunchBang Linux into the future by contributing towards hosting costs and possible infrastructure investments.

If you are interested in making a donation, you can do so at: http://crunchbanglinux.org/donations/.

Public Relations

Maintained by Fabian A. Scherschel (aka. fabsh)
and Marcus O. Notz (aka. Zaxxon)


Press Coverage

#! CrunchBang Linux has received considerable influx of publicity in the last months with several favourable reviews cropping up on the web as well as in print. In this part of the newsletter we provide links and references to reviews and other noteworthy appearances of #! CrunchBang Linux in the media.


Linux Format Magazine

Linux Format Magazine (LXF), the UK's best selling Linux print magazine, featured a review of #! CrunchBang Linux 8.10.01 in it's issue #116. One of the editors of LXF, Andy Hudson, a.k.a. Hudzilla wrote a great article titled “Is this CrunchBang by name, CrunchBang by nature?”. Andy has also signed up for the #! CrunchBang forums and responded to questions about the article.


Web Reviews

On the web, there were several great reviews of #! CrunchBang Linux. Popular sites like Lifehacker and DownloadSquad featured short intros of the distro. Other sites that offered more detailed reviews were:

TuxRadar, Linux Format's sister site, has an hands-on review of the distro summarizing the LXF article, giving it 8/10 and a very positive overall verdict.
The Linux Ninja reviewed the CrunchEee edition of #! CrunchBang and is wholeheartedly recommending it for advanced users.
Softpedia introduced #! CrunchBang Linux in it's First Look series of short reviews as a - Quote: “Fast and furious Ubuntu for geeks!” Also on Softpedia, a brief introduction to #! CrunchEee
Pengiunway says #! CrunchBang is Dark, Evil, and it has the Mark of The Beast in it's detailed review.
It's a binary world has a nice and detailed 8.10.02 review on it as well.
Liliputing was another site that featured a #! CrunchEee write up.
It's a Binary World 2.0 This one came up just in time before deadline Review: Crunch Bang Linux 8.10


Other Online Content

In the podcasting space, fabsh has reviewed #! CrunchBang and CrunchEee in Episode 77 of Linux Outlaws.

#! CrunchBang also has it's very own Wikipedia entry and there are numerous other micro-communities and resources dedicated or connected with the distribution, such as the group on identi.ca, a last.fm group, a twitter feed and more, as well as forums dedicated to #! CrunchBang or #!CrunchEee like the one on the eeeuser forums.


Other News and Stats

General awareness of the project has been growing at an astounding rate which is also evident by our ever increasing forum member and post counts. The #! CrunchBang forums currently have 1,029 members that started over 1,500 topics containing more than 12,000 posts, which is a staggering amount considering the relatively short time of it's existence.

Our listing at Distrowatch is continuing to climb up the rankings, where #! CrunchBang Linux is currently at rank #48 with a rising tendency.

Unfortunately it is not possible to accurately track or count the amount of CrunchBang downloads. However, to give an idea to the amount of downloads, in the month of January the primary HTTP mirror shifted in excess of 5 terabytes alone. It is believed that there are now 10s of thousands of copies of #! CrunchBang in the wild.

Currently, the #! CrunchBang web site receives an average of 5,500 hits every day, which resulted in over 65,000 unique visitors and 1,000,000+ page views for the month of February. The #crunchbang IRC channel on irc.freenode.org has also continued to grow in popularity, and at pretty much any given time 40 - 50 users can be found there chatting mostly about #! CrunchBang Linux but also a range of other topics - swing by once in a while to meet some really great members of this great community!

As you can see, #! is getting more popular by the minute and has been billed by several people as the “hot new thing” in the Linux distro world. If you have written or recorded a review of #! CrunchBang and want us to showcase it in this newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact fabsh or Zaxxon with details so that we can bring you the full extend of #! media coverage every month.

Development

Maintained by Philip Newborough (aka. corenominal)

The next release of CrunchBang will be 8.10.03. The release will include fixes to packages as highlighted by **EmaRsk** on the forums. This work has already been completed and all relevant packages have been built and are in testing.

Talking of which, testing has also begun on the first 64bit release of CrunchBang. The 8.10.03 release will include both 32 and 64bit builds of CrunchBang in both the full and lite guises.

Other developments which are currently being worked on:

  • Improved Bluetooth support.
  • Improved support for SCIM.
  • Updated GDM login theme.
  • oblogout to be included.
  • Modified style for notification daemon output.
  • Offline help documents.
  • Removal of lxpanel in favour of tint2 and trayer.
  • Plus numerous other small fixes to issues highlighted by users on the forums.

Hopefully the 8.10.03 release will put CrunchBang in a better position for next development cycle, which will be based on Ubuntu 9.04.

Documentation

Maintained by Ed Morgan (aka. Wench)

The first edition of the #! Newsletter is live, huzzah!!

I've tormented myself since being appointed editor of this Documentation section on what to have in this first issue, and after much scratching of head and rubbing of chin i've decided to focus on some of the excellent tutorials and how-to documents that have been knocked up on the forums and the wiki pages.

Firstly, because it's my favourite IRC client (and who doesn't like IRC?), here's a sweet introduction to Irssi written by Danny Tatom (aka. Dnny). The tutorial can be found here and contains information on how to download, install, and then configure Irssi, concluding with some recommended scripts.

Next, we've got an introduction and how-to on NetWMPager by Hanna. There's very little documentation on this excellent pager, and it slots in well with my prefered tint2/trayer combination. It touches on the basics of compiling a program from source, and there's a bugfix in there as well, for those of you that aren't afraid to modify any source code 8-o . This can be found on the #! wiki, here.

I'd like to conclude with a couple of articles on Conky, because I was quite suprised to find out that a lot of people don't actually know about it, and are unsure of what it's capable of as a system monitor. For me it's the best and most versatile system monitor available, on any OS. And you can make it look so damn cool ;-)

Here's a how-to by our very own Niels (aka. Scrat) on how to run multiple instances of Conky, allowing you to have a pretty much infinite amount of possibilities for customising your display.

And to finish off, just because there seems to be a lack of support for this online, here's a script I found on Google to allow you to display what you're playing in MoC within your Conky.

#!/bin/bash
INFO=`mocp --info`
if [ "$INFO" == "State: STOP" ]; then
    echo -n ""
else
    ARTISTA=`mocp --info | grep Artist | cut -f2 -d :`
    TITULO=`mocp --info | grep SongTitle | cut -f2 -d :`
    expr substr "$ARTISTA - $TITULO" 1 42
fi

To trigger this within Conky, just do the following:

${exec /path/to/script.sh}

Easy peasy.

Enjoy the next month of #! goodness, and in the immortal words of Jerry Springer, “Take care of yourself, and each other.”

Artwork

Maintained by Dale Rogers (aka. little red planet)

The fledgling Art Team have taken off this month with the creation of the #! Crunchbang Community Art Team on Launchpad. This group is responsible for the development and distribution of the #! CrunchBang Linux community art packs. Launchpad gives us the ability to continuously generate fresh content that is automatically packaged each month. The group is open to all but membership is moderated by our administrators (Andrew Williams, Grant Galbraith and Philip Newborough). If you have flair for design or a penchant for inkscape and the GIMP, please join us.

Fellow #!ers Zwopper and Omns have taken the lead and developed deb packages with their artwork. These have been well received within the #! community and well worth the download. You can get more info by following the package thread on the #! Artworks & Screenshots forum and/or grabbing their packages directly.

Omns' Art Package or from the terminal try

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install omns-artwork-all

Zwopper's Art Package or from the terminal try

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install zwopper-crunchbang-artwork* -y



There has been a lot of activity in the #! Artworks & Screenshots forum developing wallpapers, logos and a mascot for #!. I think we can definitely see the emergence of a character and theme in the work being posted there. Just don't be surprised if #! "Kuro" stares back at you in the form of a Pirate, Ninja or even a Scottish Highlander!


#! CrunchBang Wallpapers

Whenever you fall in love with a linux distribution, you always want to christen it with a fresh desktop design and wallpaper. We've been watching the community to pull out those wallpapers that deserve special mention.

  • Rfquerin not only developed a specialised #! font for us to use, he also developed a very nice sky & cloud wallpaper that remained true to the monochrome default theme of #!.

  • If ninja warriors strike your fancy, you'd appreciate the clean design by Red Devil.

  • And, to tease with just a hint of color, don't miss the Gothic inspired fractal design by Akaned.




#! CrunchBang T

During the month we toyed with the idea of a #! T-Shirt. There were many inspired designs, ideas and slogans.

Imagine parading around displaying your affection for the best linux distribution with catchy logos and slogans like “more bang for your buck”, “linux, Bang On!”, “Go faster CrunchBang” or even the disclaimer T-Shirt:

“CrunchBang Linux is not recommended for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. CrunchBang Linux could possibly make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG! Therefore CrunchBang Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law.”

We're still working out the logistics of setting up a shop front and paypal account that benefits the #! CrunchBang development team but in the meantime, drop around to the forum thread. Who knows, maybe that #! thong will fit nicely.

We'll provide advice in the next newsletter and on the forums as this idea matures.


#! CrunchBang Logo competition

We're officially announcing a #! logo competition. This competition is open to all and you may submit as many entries as you want. We're looking for a logo that accurately conveys the simplicity, speed and uniqueness of #! You'll find a sticky post in the #! Artworks & Screenshots forum seeking logo competition submissions in the beginning of March 09. To enter, make a post in this forum with a link to your submission.

We'll keep the competition open until the 23rd of March 09.

Editors of #! Newsletter will narrow down the entries to three and pass the final decision over to Philip Newborough.

Tips, Tricks and Hints

Maintained by Cruz Monrreal (aka. ZeroTruths)

Welcome to the first installment of the Tips, Tricks and Hints section in the #! Crunchbang newsletter! There's so many things just waiting to be discovered within #! Crunchbang and Linux in general, so let's start having some fun!!


Beginner

For those who are truly new to the Linux Kernel, all Linux computers have an application called the terminal, which is simmilar to the Windows Command Prompt. Do not be intimidated by this window. It is your friend. However, it does use vastly different commands than Windows.

A good list that I recommend can be located here: Terminal Commands Wallpaper. A really good wallpaper for those who need a nice cheat sheet.

Two commands that are extremely useful for the new Linux user are `info` and `man`. By using these two commands, your able to learn all about the different commands that Linux uses. Simply type `info <command>` or `man <command>` to learn more about the <command>.

Some people might be wondering why are there two different commands to get info, when one seems like it would be enough. jschiwal from linuxquestions.com described the differences between the two fairly well in a post here. So if your curious about a command, use either `man` or `info`, and if you still have questions, just Google it :)


Intermediate

For those of you who are more comfortable using the terminal, here are a couple of tricks that can help you improve our efficiency with it.
If you need to do multiple things as root, why not just work as root? By typing either `sudo -i` or `sudo su` (and typing in your password of course) your able to execute the commands as root. No longer will you need to continuously type in sudo <command>. However, this is something I cannot stress enough, do not get in the habit of doing this on a continual basis. This is only to be used when there are multiple instances of sudo <command> to be used. Abusing the root account on Linux is a no-no.

Since I'm already giving tips about the root account, a really handy command to know would be `sudo !!`. What this does is executes the previously entered command, but runs it as sudo. So instead of typing sudo <command>, if you've already typed in <command>, and it complained about not being run as root, simply type in sudo !!, and the command will run as if you had typed in sudo <command>.


Advanced

I suppose in keeping with the current talk with sudo, I'll provide a tip that probably shouldn't, unless it's really necessary. What I'm talking about is editing the `sudoers` file that exists in /etc. I have only found one use for making this tweak, which was when I created a script to check for updates, which would launch with conky. I didn't want to use gksudo, because typing in my password every single time the computer started up seemed redundant.

So now for the tweak. (Note: This tweak should ONLY be used if a regular sudo or gksudo command isn't practical or viable. Do not use this to make applications always launch as root, as that would be abusing the root account). In a terminal, type in `sudo visudo` (Note: This trick will require basic knowledge of vi). Navigate down to the line `root ALL=(ALL) ALL` and create a new line.
In that new line, type in `%users ALL=(root) NOPASSWD <command>`, where <command> is what you want to run without having to type in the root password. The command MUST be in its complete path form (In my case, the command looked like `/usr/bin/apt-get -qy upgrade`). All parameters desired must be included in the line.


Monthly Dose of Command Line Humor

Type this command in a terminal to watch the entirety of Starwars IV, in ASCII goodness:

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

Translations

Maintained by Jeroen de baare (aka. Jeroen)

#! CrunchBang is looking for enthusiasts who are willing to spend a small (or large :-)) amount of time in helping with translation tasks. Since the project's main language is English we need people who can translate from English to their native language.

So if you are interested in helping with the development of one of the most slimmed-down yet powerful distros there is, please send an e-mail with a small intro of yourself, your skills and your native language.


Upcomming projects

Multilingual #! CrunchBang installer To move the #! project beyond the native-English-speaking community, a project for a multilingual installer is underway. Again, if you're interested in participating let me know!

Wiki For all the #! users that are not familiar with the English language, there will be a multilingual section on the Wiki. That way everyone will be able to read all the ins and outs regarding installing and configuring #!

The #! CrunchBang Newsletter will be updated monthly.

Closing

We hope that this is just the beginning, and that #!CBNL will be worthwhile for the readers!

The next issue #0904 is planned for 1st April 2009.

So stay tuned!

Niels Rasmussen Editor
nielsrasmus at gmail.com

Contacts

Maintained by Niels Rasmussen (aka. Scrat)

If you have some ideas for the next issue of #!CBNL, please contact the Section Editors below.

Public Relations section
Section Editor: Fabian A. Scherschel <fabsh at lamerk.org>
Co-editor: Marcus O. Notz (aka. Zaxxon) <zaxxon at uberzaxxon.com>

Development section
Section Editor: Philip Newborough (aka corenominal) <corenominal at corenominal.org>

Documentation section
Section Editor: Ed Morgan <ejr.morgan at gmail.com>

Artwork section
Section Editor: Dale Rogers <dale at littleredplanet.com>

Tips, Tricks and Hints section
Section Editor: Cruz Monrreal <zerotruths at gmail.com>

Translation section
Section Editor: Jeroen de baare <jeroendebaare at gmail.com>

 
crunchbang_monthly_newsletter/issue_0903.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/24 07:10 by machinebacon
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