Cleaning Out My Laptop – What a PITA

So I spent the better part of an hour physically cleaning out my laptop, what a PITA. Why so long you ask? It seems these days that laptop manufacturers like to toss in 30-plus screws just to open it up, and then bury the fan, which required the removal of more screws. A common thing I notice on my laptops and other laptops out there, is how easy it is to get to the hard drive or the memory. Why can't the manufacturer do something like that for the fan? It shouldn't take me an hour to clean the fan on my laptop. It shouldn't take more than 2 minutes.

OK, the point of the above rant was this: LAPTOP MANUFACTURERS, LISTEN UP! YOU NEED TO MAKE IT EASY FOR US TO CLEAN OUT OUR FANS!. Our laptops shouldn't need to follow Nelly's Hot in here, and I should have to take off all of my laptop's hypothetical clothes.

I know I can't be the only one who cleans out their laptop fans. I know there isn't anyway possible I am the first to think about making it as easy to clean out the fan as it is to replace memory or a hard drive. How many of you clean out your laptop fans? How much time do you spend on it? Do you just normally blow some air into it, or you do take your laptop a part and really clean it out?

Another pain is the keyboard, though I doubt this one would be an easy fix. Right now, I remove the keyboard from the laptop, flip it upside down, and gently smack the bottom of it to get the big stuff to fall out. Then to clean out the smaller particles I use a business card or something similar (folded up piece of paper) to get in between and under the keys. This actually works pretty well, but I would recommend against it while the keyboard is still part of the laptop, as you might drive that stuff into the laptop itself. Speaking of the keyboard, that is just as easy for me to get to and remove like the memory and the hard drive. Lightly pry off the top panel, remove 3 screws, and lightly pry out the keyboard. This takes me 2 minutes to remove at most, and then I spend the next 10 minutes cleaning it out.

Anyone know of a laptop manufacturer that makes it easy to clean out the fan? Is there a such thing? Google wasn't my friend on that one.

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , | 9 Responses

Kubuntu Is Not Dead

Kubuntu is not dead, it is in fact just as alive today as it was last month. Those of you who are posting things like, “Time to jump ship” or “Kubuntu is dead“, where do you get your facts? Did you happen to read Jonathan’s blog post? Where in there does it say that Kubuntu is dead? Why jump ship? Why jump ship to another distro that is only supported by a few instead of a larger community? I don’t get your logic, and truthfully, saying things like I have read thus far, is nothing more than childish at best. The worst part is that so-called journalists are writing such things, and not just mindless or thoughtless people. I saw one site change the title of their post because they were fact checked by Jonathan in a comment.

Did you know that the 11.10 release of Kubuntu was damn near 100% a community effort? Did you know that Jonathan switched rolls during that release to work on bzr and not Kubuntu (which is something I wish more companies would do, that being allow their employees to move around to try different jobs). Did you know that pretty much every release has happened because of the volunteer community more so than Canonical?

Canonical is not stopping Kubuntu, they are stopping the funding. Stopping the funding doesn’t mean that Kubuntu is dead. If you support the idea that Kubuntu is dead because of this, then damn near every distribution that you want to jump ship to is also dead.

Jumping ship in a time like this equates to nothing more than a slap in the face of everyone who has worked their asses off to offer to you, free in every sense of the word, Kubuntu. Remember, Jonathan was the only paid Kubuntu developer, everyone else did it for free. Don’t disrespect their hard work with your flawed logic.

And if you still believe Kubuntu is dead, why don’t you hop on IRC and join #kubuntu-devel. Does that look dead to you? Just this morning I saw the volunteers working on bugs and discussing updates and fixes for 12.04. Instead of giving up so quickly, why don’t you support the community? Let the developers know you appreciate their work, let them know your issues, help mold the future of Kubuntu.

Posted in Linux | Tagged | 14 Responses

Install and Use LESS on Dreamhost

I am working on a few websites and recently started using LESS CSS for creating my CSS. Anyways, I am using a Dreamhost shared server for not only my website, but other projects I am working on. Unfortunately with a shared server account, you don’t have access to sudo, so you can’t install applications. I got tired of editing my LESS files on the server, copying them locally or doing the git push and pull boogie, running a make file to build the css, and then pushing the css back to the server. I searched and searched for the answer and never found out. However, I did remember that I used to do a lot of Debian and Ubuntu packaging not all that long ago and figured I could just download all the files I need from the Ubuntu archive, extract them, and put them in their proper place. After doing all of this manually and testing it that everything worked just how I needed, I decided to write a script to do all the work. That way there I didn’t have to use this blog to provide step-by-step instructions.

Getting the script

You can either use git to grab the file or you can simply grab the script only.

With git:

git clone git://

If you grab the script from the above link, you will need to make it executable:

chmod +x

Running the script

Here comes the easy part:


What does the script do?

The script simply downloads the necessary packages from the Ubuntu archive, or a tarball if it isn’t in the archive. The following is a list of everything that gets downloaded and installed as well as where it gets placed: NOTE: $PREFIX defaults to ~/.local/usr

  • lesscss – git clone of the lesscss source. bin/lessc and lib/less moved to $PREFIX
  • libev – tarball configured, built, and installed to $PREFIX
  • node.js – deb file extracted. bin/node moved to $PREFIX
  • libc-ares, libssl, libicu, and libv8 – deb file extracted. lib/ moved to $PREFIX

What you need to add to make it work

You just need to add 2 lines to your shell’s rc file. In my case I added them to ~/.zshrc, but by default Dreamhost shared servers use ~/.bash_profile. Here are the 2 lines to add:

export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.local/usr/bin
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$HOME/.local/usr/lib"

Source the edited file or log out and back in for everything to work.


If you have any problems, please leave a comment below.

Posted in Development | Tagged , , | 1 Response
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