A Random Pattern

Archive for August 3rd, 2006

Remote Desktop Control and Ubuntu

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

I set up VNC from my work PC to my Ubuntu box last night.  It was actually really easy, went much smoother than I had expected.  For one thing, Ubuntu gave me no hassle about changing to a static IP, and neither did my Linksys router.  I did have to look around for a minute or two to find how to set it up, but that’s no different than in Windows.  Not to mention it was actually easier than Windows, no rebooting or anything.

It did take a while to figure out how what to use to do remote desktop.  I just want to go over my intranet for now, I’m not (yet) trying to open it up to access from the internet.  I decided to just pick VNC and go with it, since I’m somewhat familiar with that on Windows boxes.  From there, I just used the package manager to find vnc4server, and a few quick downloads, installs, and command-line checks later I thought I might have it setup.

The longest part of the setup was actually picking which VNC viewer I wanted on my Win XP installation.  Someone I respect (Tony A) had recommended UltraVNC, but when I looked at it it wasn’t what I remembered.  I’d also seen TightVNC referred to a lot, and decided to go with that as it looked open-source and ‘linux-friendly’.  The install was again quick.

One tricky part was that I needed to not just specify the server ip address, but also the x-display (like this:  That’s an example using default numbers, btw, which no one should ever use (but most people do).  Once I figured that out, BAM!  I was in!

Now for the surprise – it wasn’t quite what I expected.  I didn’t get my whole linux graphical desktop, instead I got a terminal (or command line).  I could type in and run some graphical programs (somewhat slowly), but definitely not what I expected.

Things left to do:

1. See if I can put TightVNC server on Ubuntu, which might give me more what I want.

2. See if VNC is the right path, or if there’s some other type of Remote Desktop option.

3. Start looking into configuring my Ubuntu box as a server, with all the attendant benefits.

4. Help my dad get his old HP (running Win 98!) updated to Ubuntu.  Hopefully this goes well.

Anyone with questions on how I did what I did, or looking for more information / screenshots on what was accomplished?

Anyone have more information on how to set up some sort of Remote Desktop thing?  I’d love to learn, and I’ll point at any blog or resource you send me that is helpful.

iPod integration

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Jupiter Research called my attention to this little iPod news bit:

Well, the final holdouts are on board with Ford, GM and Mazda offering iPod integration for their cars.

I’m glad to hear this, as I was appalled to discover Ford’s new Fusion didn’t even have an option (!!!!) for a stereo with iPod available plugin. Not only that, but they offer no option to downgrade to cassette tape either. That means it’s CDs, radio, or FM-adapter for me, and my 9000 tunes stay locked in my iPod for now….

The implications for satellite radio and ‘old’ radio are certainly interesting. Do you still listen to regular radio? Do you think it’s going away, or staying around? Why?

Puzzle Exhibit

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

A few quick links for you puzzle freaks out there: These articles are all pretty much about the same thing. The NY Times article is best, but requires registration (hence the other links).

This is an impressively large and comprehensive exhibit on mechanical puzzles of all types, including one that is impossible. ;)
Slocum puzzle exhibit opens next week

IU’s Lilly Library will acquire world’s largest collection of …

Portraits of, and by, the artists

NY Times article on Puzzle Exibit (reg required – or BugMeNot extension for Firefox :) )