Unix/Linux Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet
Extremely handy terminal command reference sheet, available as a PDF file (image visible and readable on the page). Divided into the following categories: File Commands, Process Management, File Permissions, SSH, Searching, System Info, Compression, Network, Installation, and Shortcuts. Licensed under Creative Commons. Visit our ArsGeek blog for more….


“and so gull baiting has become a hot game among dolphins”

dolphin.jpgCheck out this amazing story about Kelly the dolphin, who’s trained her trainers, has a view of the future, a sense of delayed gratification and likes to bait gulls with fish, then capture them and turn the min for a reward.

Read the original article at Deep Thinkers or after the jump.

At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean.

Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in effect, trained the humans.

Her cunning has not stopped there. One day, when a gull flew into her pool, she grabbed it, waited for the trainers and then gave it to them. It was a large bird and so the trainers gave her lots of fish. This seemed to give Kelly a new idea. The next time she was fed, instead of eating the last fish, she took it to the bottom of the pool and hid it under the rock where she had been hiding the paper. When no trainers were present, she brought the fish to the surface and used it to lure the gulls, which she would catch to get even more fish. After mastering this lucrative strategy, she taught her calf, who taught other calves, and so gull-baiting has become a hot game among the dolphins.

“Intelligence” is a term with many definitions and interpretations. It’s difficult enough to measure in humans let alone other animals. Large brains are traditionally associated with greater intelligence, and the brain of the adult bottlenose dolphin is about 25% heavier than the average adult human brain. Generally though, larger mammals tend to have larger brains, and so a more accurate estimate of brain power comes from the ratio of brain size to body size – the “encephalisation quotient” (EQ). While river dolphins have an EQ of 1.5, some dolphins have EQs that are more than double those of our closest relatives: gorillas have 1.76, chimpanzees 2.48, bottlenose dolphins 5.6. The bottlenose’s EQ is surpassed only by a human’s, which measures 7.4 (Australopithecines – hominids that lived around 4m years ago – fall within the dolphin range: 3.25-4.72). But we don’t know enough about the workings of the brain to be sure of what these anatomical measurements truly represent. Today, most scientists share the view that it is behaviour, not structure, that must be the measure of intelligence within a species.

Ben for ArsGeek insights


Yod’m – Like Beryl for Windows

I recently stumbled upon Yod’m (Yet another desktop manager 3d) which looks a bit like Linux’s Beryl, but for Windows XP and Windows Vista.


You can download it here and while you’re doing that, check out their other project Visual Tooltip here: Visual Tooltip.

VT is basically a thumbnailer of windows in the taskbar.


Between the two of these, you can get some of your Beryl goodness on your windows machine.


Installing Beryl on Ubuntu Edy and an Intel i915

Going Mobile

I’ve just upgraded my Lenovo X60 to Edgy Eft. Shortly after I did that, I installed Beryl on my machine using this wonderful guide provided by Uncle Spellbinder.

Once you get it installed (and it’s a lot of fun) you can use the list of keyboard/mouse shortcuts after the jump to get around.

By the way, does anyone know how to configure this so I can use an external monitor rather than (or with) my 12″ laptop LCD? I know that aiglx/beryl has some issues with Xinerama, as in I can’t get it to work, but I’d at least like the option of my display being on a larger, external LCD.

  • General Option
Alt+Mouse wheel Make window translucent/opaque
  • Application Switcher
Alt+Tab switch between windows from current workspace
Ctrl+Alt+Tab switch between windows from all workspaces
  • Scale (Arrange and view all windows)
Bottom-Left (hot corner) All workspaces (clicking a window will zoom it to the front)
Top-right (hot corner) Current workspace
  • Show Desktop (View desktop of current cube face )
Bottom-right (hot corner) Tturns on or off;
  • Rotate cube
Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right Arrow Switch desktops on cube;
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Left/Right Arrow Send the active window to the left/right workspace
Ctrl+Alt+Left-click and grab Rotate cube manually
  • Zoom
Super-key+Right-click Zoom in once
Super-key+Mouse wheel up/down Zoom in/out manually
  • Move Window
Alt+Left-click Move window
Ctrl+Shift+Left-click Snap move window (will stick to borders)
  • Resize window
  • Water
Hold Ctrl+Super key and move mouse Your pointer is moving on water (Disabled by default)
Shift-F9 Rain is falling on your screen
  • Blur
Add some blur under transparent windows (will slow down your computer!)
  • Minimize Effect
Animations when creating or closing windows (works also for menu but then you have to select “Unknown”! “Menu” alone doesn’t work)
  • Negative
Super Key+m Inverse color of the screen
Super Key+n Inverse color of the current window
  • Reflection
Add somes textures to decoration (mostly visible when transparent)
  • Screenshot
Super Key+Left Click and grab Take a screenshot of the selected area (picture saved on the desktop)
  • Trail focus
Older windows are more transparent
  • Wobbly
Makes windows, menus,… like chewing-um
  • Brightness and Saturation
Ctrl+Mouse wheel down/up Desaturate/Resaturate (works also for desktop)
Shift+Mouse wheel down/up Less/more Brightness (works also for desktop)
  • Put
Super Key+Keypad 1..9 Quickly place a window on a screen (1=top left, 2=top center,…). On a laptop (i.e if you don’t have a numeric keypad, use Super Key+Fn Key+Virtual Keypad)
Gleaned from here.

How to install Songbird on your Ubuntu box and then enjoy the music

Rockin Robin

Songbird is shaping up to be an amazing media player featured on ArsGeek and many other business and tech blogs. It’s not only got audio and video capability (with a HUGE range of media types) but it’s built on the Mozilla engine, meaning it’s also a web browser. Not only that, but for a preview release (0.2 people!) it’s looking slicker than a puddle of oil with George W. Bush floating in it.

Here’s how to set it up on your Ubuntu box, add it to your applications menu and generally enjoy the hell out of it.

First, we have to get it. For this release, go here. I’m going to assume that you download it to your Desktop.

That will give you the Songbird_0_2_RC2_linux-i686.tar.gz file. Let’s move it to your opt (as in optional) directory, and to do that we need to use sudo. So, let’d open up a terminal and do the following.
cd /opt
sudo cp ~/Desktop/Song* .

Now we have the tarball in our /opt directory. Let’s untar it and get to work.
tar zxvf Song*.tar.gz
Phew! Now we’re working up a sweat. Not to worry, once you get this thing going, you can throw on some Bill Haley and be sweatin’ to the oldies in no time.

So we’ve got a directory in opt now that looks something like this:


Lets’ do a little ownership change on this bad boy so you can launch Songbird as yourself.
sudo chown -R username:username Songbird_20061003
You’re going to want to substitute your username in the above statement. Don’t know who you are? Simply type:
Anyway, moving right along, let’s make this directory a bit easier to work with.
mv Songbird_20061003 Songbird
There, now we’ll save on the typing. Or cutting and pasting, depending on how lazy you really are.

So now you want to test Songbird to see if it launches.
cd Songbird
Ready? Here’s the hard part, we’ve done all this work and now we have to get the thing to run.
Yup, that’s it. Now it should be launching. Wow! Look at that design, feel the smooth edges, hear the gasps from your geek friends as they peer over your shoulders! Is that dandruff?

So, we’ve got it installed and running, now let’s add it to our Applications menu.

First, we need an icon, so you don’t end up stealing an icon from etherape or something. Thankfully I’ve planned this thing out and I have an icon for you right below this line. Just right click on it and save it to your desktop.

Got it? Great! Now let’s put it in the right place. Back into your terminal session for this one:
cd /usr/share/pixmaps
sudo cp ~/Desktop/sb.png .
Whammo! You’re doing great! Enjoy this encouragement! You’re wonderful! Ahem. Anyway. . . .

Let’s get this thing into the Applications menu. Right click on Applications at the top of your desktop (or wherever you’ve moved it too you hacker you) and choose “Edit Menus“.

This will open up the Alacarte Menu Editor. On your left find “Sound & Video” Left click on this once to highlight it and then choose from the top menu File -> New Entry.

For the name, let’s put Songbird. Under the comment, and this is important, put Thanks You Hooty Developers. And for the command, let’s add this:
Now, click the button that says “No Icon” and browse down to sb.png. You should also recognize the pic, having just downloaded it. Choose this.

Finally, click OK. You’re ready to rock! You can now go to Applications -> Sound & Video -> Songbird and launch this fantastic new product.
If you want to check for new developements in the Songbird world, simply launch Songbird, go to the top Help menu, and choose “Search for Updates“. Look familiar?

Take some time to explore, it will be worth it, and enjoy your new media goodness!

geek out.