ExplodingPenguin.TV Linux Love, Microsoft Frustrations, and Other Geekery


Windows 8 Dev Preview in VirtualBox

Installing and running Windows 8 in VirtualBox is very straight forward. There are just a couple major issues that are easily fixed. (I'm running VirtualBox 4.1.2)

(You can get the Windows 8 download links here.)

Get the network connection working. The default NIC in VirtualBox isn't recognized by Windows 8 out of the box.


Convert VM File Types

VM FormatsTo avoid booting into Windows and downloading VMware's VM converter, I use qemu-img to convert virtual machine's to my needs. It's free, fast and open source. You can download it from from the repos in most Linux distros.


qemu-img convert -O [output format] [input filename] [output filename]

Record Audio Output or Input From The Terminal

An easy way to record any audio output or mic input is to gstreamer-tools.

The command to record all audio output to a file:

gst-launch -e pulsesrc device="alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo.monitor" ! audioconvert ! lamemp3enc target=1 bitrate=128 cbr=true ! filesink location=output.mp3

That will save the audio to the a file specified after "location=."

The "device=" may vary, to list the audio devices on your system  enter:

pactl list | grep -A2 'Source #' | grep 'Name: ' | cut -d" " -f2

Example output:




To create an easier to remember command add an alias to the .bashrc file.

Open .bashrc (located in your home directory) with your text editor and add the record command in this format:

#Audio Out record
alias capaudio='gst-launch -e pulsesrc device="alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo.monitor" ! audioconvert ! lamemp3enc target=1 bitrate=128 cbr=true ! filesink location='

This creates an alias called capaudio. After this you only need to type capaudio followed by the filename to record the audio out.


capaudio output.mp3



Get on The Beta List For Moviepass

Moviepass is an all-you-can-eat Netflix style subscription service for movie theaters. If you want to get on the beta program early use this link.

Site Moviepass.com


How To Get The XP Version of Solitaire and Spider Solitaire in Newer Versions of Windows


Recently I was setting up a new Windows 7 machine for a client, and one of the first questions he asked me was, "Can you put the XP version of solitaire on the new machine, since I hate the Windows 7 version?" Now, I'm used to answering lots of questions when setting up a new machine, but this was a first. Luckily it's really easy to transfer the solitaire program from Windows XP to Win7 (or Vista :-P).

First you need a machine still running Windows XP. Copy sol.exe and cards.dll from C:/WINDOWS/system32 on your XP system to the Windows 7 machine. Do not put the files in the system32 folder on Win7. I created a folder on the root of C: (C:/Solitaire).

Create a shortcut to sol.exe on the desktop, and now the client can play the legacy version of solitaire.

You could also make it show up in "Games" by copying the desktop shortcut to the Games folder.


You can do the same thing with Spider Solitaire, by copying spider.exe from the system32 file to the new system.


Try Mozilla’s Webian Shell

Webian Shell is a full screen web browser (simular to Chrome OS) with a minimal interface, and is very web standard compliant. It's still in a very early stage, but worth checking out if you've been following Chrome OS.

You can download it from Webian.org

To run in Windows and Mac OS, you unzip the file and run the executable.

In Linux, download and run:

tar -zxvf webian_shell_0.1-linux_xx.tar.gz
cd Webian\ Shell/
./Webian\ Shell


To install Webian Shell in Ubuntu, so you can run it by just typing webian in the terminal:

tar -zxvf webian_shell_0.1-linux_xx.tar.gz
sudo cp -r Webian\ Shell/ /usr/share
sudo ln -s /usr/share/Webian\ Shell/Webian\ Shell /usr/bin/webian


Now you only have to type webian into the terminal to run, regardless of directory. You could also create a launcher that points to /usr/bin/webian.

Official Project Page


Install/Compile Linux Kernel 3.0 In Ubuntu

An RC for the Linux Kernel 3.0 was recently released. The change in the version number is mostly to mark the 3rd decade of the Linux Kernel, it doesn't bring any major changes. Still, why not try to setup the new version on your system?

There are two ways of going about this.


Downgrade Miro From 4.0 to 3.5

Miro Database Error


Miro is a great open source application for managing video podcasts. However, when I upgraded to version 4 I was having issues with the program. So I tried to downgrade it by downloading and installing an old version from here, which resulted in this database error.

Luckily, Miro creates a backup of your database when performing  an update. To get the old version working again, you need to replace the new database file with the old one. If you can still open Miro, go to Help > Diagnostics to view where the database is stored.

If you can't open Miro, use the list below to find the database for your OS.

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\(yourusername)\Application Data\Participatory Culture Foundation\Miro\Support\sqlitedb

Vista/Win7: C:\Users\(yourusername)\AppData\Roaming\Participatory Culture Foundation\Miro\Support\sqlitedb

OS X: /Users/(you)/Library/Application Support/Miro/sqlitedb

Linux: ~yourhome/.miro/sqlitedb


In the same folder as the sqlitedb file, there should be a dbbackups folder. Rename and copy the most recent database backup, from the dbbackups folder, to sqlitedb and replace the newer sqlitedb file with the backup. Now you can run the old version of Miro without losing all the feeds and playback info.

If you haven't tried Miro, check it out at getmiro.com


The Monty Python Sketch

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