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Ubuntu 10.04 New features

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Version 10.04 of Ubuntu is nearing the horizon!  Besides this version being an LTS (long term support) edition, there are many new features to get excited about.  Here are just a few of the new features from the Ubuntu website:

Improved support for nVidia proprietary graphics drivers

  • Three different NVIDIA proprietary drivers are currently available: nvidia-current (190.53), nvidia-173, and nvidia-96. Thanks to a new alternatives system, it is now possible to install all three of these packages at the same time (although it is only possible to have one configured for use at a time).

Social from the Start

  • We now feature built-in integration with Twitter,, Facebook, and other social networks with the MeMenu in the panel, which is built upon the Gwibber project, which has a completely new, more reliable backend built on top of desktopcouch. Gwibber now also supports a multi-column view for monitoring multiple feeds simultaneously.

New boot experience

  • Multiple changes to look, feel and speed of the boot experience have been included in the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS beta.

New Themes

  • The desktop has been beautified with the addition of two brand new themes, Ambiance and Radiance. New wallpaper and icons are also included.

Ubuntu One Music Store

  • Millions of songs are available for purchase from your Ubuntu desktop, integrated with the Rhythmbox Music Player and using Ubuntu One cloud storage for backup and easy sync. Watch for the public beta launch.
You can read about the rest of the changes for the upcoming release here.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 10:54

What should I do with all my old CD's and DVD's?

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Do you have a lot of old CD's and DVD's sitting around collecting dust?  Why not cash them in for a shiny new iPod, iPhone, or iPad?  If your old discs are in good shape, you can send them in to and they will send you a brand new gadget!  There are some requirements to the condition of your discs; for example no porn, no scratched discs, and no promotional discs (see website for complete details).  If you are wondering what this company could possibly want with your old music and movies, its  very simple.  They sell these items in lower income, foreign countries where MP3 players are not common.  The iPodMeister site has a complete lookup table to show you just how many discs you have to trade in to get new gadgets.  Currently you can get an iPod Nano for 220 CDs/DVDs.  For a few discs more, they will even rip all your music to MP3 and send the digital files back to you! 

ASP.NET Menu control doesn't display properly in Chrome/Safari

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There is an issue with the current versions of Chrome and Safari browsers that can cause the ASP.NET menu control to not render properly.  If you are interested in understanding the how and why behind this, there is a great forum post here that describes the issue in more detail.  If you are like me and need to resolve the issue now so your site displays properly, here is a quick fix for the problem.

You need to put the following code into the Load event of your page's (or master page's) code behind file:

If Request.UserAgent.IndexOf("AppleWebKit") > 0 Then


End If

There may be other solutions to this issue, but this appears to be one of the simpler fixes.  Hope this helps!


Update to Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

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One of the great compatibility features of Windows 7 is "XP Mode".  Simply put this tool runs Windows XP inside of Windows 7, allowing many older programs to run on your new PC.  XP Mode still only runs on certain versions of Windows 7 (Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise).  However the requirement that your processor supports hardware virtualization has been removed.  This is definitely a win for consumers because many low-end and midrange CPUs do not include that feature.  To use this feature you still must download the standard XP Mode package (available here).  After installing it, you can get the update to remove the virtualization requirement here (32 bit, 64 bit). 


Educational Gaming - Immune Attack

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The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has released a new educational tool called Immune Attack.  It was developed jointly by FAS, University of Southern California, Brown University, and Escape Hatch Entertainment.  This is essentially a Third Person Shooter video game that teaches the player about immunology.  According to the game's site, "You must navigate a nanobot through a 3D environment of blood vessels and connective tissue in an attempt to save an ailing patient by retraining her non-functional immune cells.  Along the way, you will learn about the biological processes that enable macrophages and neutrophils – white blood cells – to detect and fight infections."  Sounds like a pretty cool way for middle and high school students to learn about science.  Much more interactive than the text books of my day!  The game is free of course and available at


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