Friday, May 28, 2010

Syncing your iPod/iPhone with Ubuntu Linux

Finally after a couple of month I found a way to sync my Ipod with Ubuntu, or any Linux distribution!

On my way to switching completely to Ubuntu and not using windows anymore the Ipod syncing problem was one of the biggest pains. Everytime I when I wanted to update some of my music onto my iPod I had to reboot my computer and start windows just for doing that. Because of this being so stupid I got lazy and as a result I only put new stuff on my iPod, whether it is music or vidoes etc, only every couple of weeks if not month ^^

So here is how I did it:

1.) Go to this website and download the source for libmobiledevice, the library which makes all that possible
2.) extract the tar.bz2
3.) compile the library with:
     sudo make install

but before that, make sure to check out the README file because libmobiledevice requires some other librarys that you need to install first

Once successfully installed libmobiledevie, you are pretty much ready to go. I use Rhythmbox to manage my music, but I think it also works with Amarok and Banshee, I personally haven't tryed it yet though...

Here is a screenshot of Rhythmbox syncing some music to my iPod:

On the website they have a status list of the current development state of the library. Many things work like the syncing of music and video, filesystem access, ssh/tcp tunneling and managing apps. I think those are some of the most important. Other features work, but are still buggy, so those might take a little longer before they are fully usable.

So ya, I thought that was really cool. Now I don't have to switch to windows all the time just for using that iTunes program thingy :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Boundary Waters Camping Trip

Here is my second try for writing about our camping Trip to the Boundary Waters. I started writing a post the other day but when I was trying to save it to finish a different day, it didn't save properly and my post was history. If you've read Steph's Boundary Water post you already know the story, but it was definitely bloggers fault and not Steph's. So don't get this wrong ;)

So last weekend we went to the boundary waters with a group of 9 people including Mitch, Micah, Caleb, Paul, Mr. Heinen, Mathew Heinen, Jeremy, Jim and myself. The boundary waters area is a beautiful peace of land that without actually having been there is hard to describe. Although, here are some pictures to give a test of how it looks like.

Here is a picture of Jeremy, Mathew, Micah and me playing cards. The place we're sitting is right in front of our camping site, a huge rock which was also nice to get off and on the canoes.

Micah caught the biggest fish on our trip, a northern. This one was actually worth eating, had a lot of meat and tasted very good.

Mitch and I and the water filter bag that we used to filter the lake water. It worked really well and with about one filling a day we had enough water for the nine of us. After the water was filtered it still tasted a little laky, but the Gatorade Powder we brought along fixed it. But even without the Gatorade it was very clean and not too bad.

Micah and Caleb next to the fire pit.

Paul making some potatoes on the fire. Really jammy, thanks again, Paul!

That's all our food hoisted up in the trees. We definitely brought too much food! On the first night when we first hoisted up all our bags, everything was so heavy. I wouldn't have been surprised if the rope would've broke.

Here is a picture that Jeremy took. In the background you can see the rapids that were right next to one of the portages that we had to use the fish in one of the neighbor lakes.

Paul took a picture right when I was tossing a paddle to Mitch in the canoe. Lucky shot :)

On Saturday we met one of the park rangers - a really nice guy. His dog was called "Dunk". The guy demonstrated some of the skill that Dunk had. He told us that Dunk is a dog that is trained to do stuff by command. To show us what that means, he threw a stick in the lake and then he told Dunk to get it. While the dog went to get the stick he threw a second stick so the dog couldn't see where he threw it. When Dunk came out of the water with the first stick the park ranger told Dunk, pointing in the direction where he threw the second stick, to go and get it. Even tough Dunk did not know where the stick was, he followed the directions of his master and eventually got the stick. I thought that was pretty impressive. Btw, Dunk is a German dog :)

When we got up on Sunday morning there was for some reasons an awful lot of big black ants all over our camp site. I don't know how and why they got there but it was crazy. When we went to bed that night, it was me that first jumped out of his sleeping bag when I felt something tickling in my neck. Just shortly later, Mitch jumped up turning on his flashlight to find the ant that was in his ear. Nasty ^^ After that I decided to use one of the bug nets to protect myself from the black ants, even thought I think there were only two...

Monday morning on the way out...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Youth For Understanding Re-Entry Orientation

We had our last YFU Orientation on Friday and Saturday. Lots, lots of fun... The location was Calvary Community Church, which we also used when we had the YFU Midyear Orientation a couple of month ago.

The Youthroom is just the best facility that I could imagine to have events like the re-entry orientation. The youthgroup people that use that part of the church since years have made it a really awesome and unique place, which I will never forget.

(here is a pic of the youthroom at Calvary Community Church, it's a bad picture but I just realized that's about the best one that I've got... I should take some better ones next week ;D)

We were much more people at this orientation than at the one in January. I was quite surprised when I met Roman again, one of my friends that I've met at one of the YFU orientations that we had in Germany about one year ago. Mitch taught the first session on Friday night.

(first session lectured by Mitch on Friday night, not everyone is in the picture but the bulk of students)

Here is one of my favorite pictures. On Saturday all host family were invited to join us and spend some time around the exchange students. When Steph came with the rest of the family, I gave Malachi (almost 3 yrs) my camera so that he could take some pictures, because he really loves to do that. It was all good, he had fun and took some pictures, but when he brought the camera back to me he accidentally dropped it. The camera hit the floor and somehow took a picture by itself. It was hilarious xD

(here is Malachi's, well Malachi and the floor's picture. Robin, from Germany, is on the left hand side and I'm the guy on the other side) 

Over all I really liked this orientation. We had some very good sessions that helped anticipating going home and we played some cool games like Dodgeball, Table-Soccer, Pool and Mafia. I also enjoyed playing guitar with Robin and other students were played piano and drums as well.

As much fun as the Orientation was, it was also very hard to think about the day that we'll have to leave. This is going to be very tough :(
This weekend showed me again how grateful and glad I am for the family I could stay with the last month. I am really excited for what is coming up the last three month that I'll spend here. Thanks to the flexibility of YFU I get to stay a month longer and can spend much more time with the Theis's.

It's been an incredible and indescribable experience here at the Theis's house. This might sound weird, but when I get up in the morning and see Mitch and Steph I don't feel like they are my host parents anymore, much rather I think my brain just cuts apart the - host - part and thinks of only parents. 

I really do love you all, Tirzah, Malachi, Joshua, Ezekiel, Caleb, Eden, Micah, Steph and Mitch ! I will never forget what an amazing time we had! Words are supposed to put things on paper but this is something I don't know how to express!

Mama and Papa in Germay, don't get me wrong I still love you, too!!!! And you, too Sabrina! Oh ya, and Laura! And Oma Moni and Opa Reiner and Jörg and Cerial and Oma Irene and Opa Klaus and...  

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Future Linux Desktop - Gnome 3.0 with Gnome Shell and Zeitgeist

With this Blog post I'd like to draw some attention to the Gnome Shell which is part of Gnome 3.0 which will be released in September 2010.

The Gnome Website gives a good definition of what the Gnome Shell is supposed to be:

"GNOME Shell is the defining technology of the GNOME 3 desktop user experience. It provides core interface functions like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a delightful and easy to use experience." (

 I am pretty excited for how gnome shell is going to look like and how it is going to interact with the user. In my opinion, it is a great approach to a complete different way of using the Desktop - away from the boring, ugly panels like you find them in so many Desktop environments, e.g. Windows, Mac OS X etc.

Gnome 3.0 will also introduce new ways of managing files (with Zeigeist, which is also part of Gnome 3.0) as well as a complete new design to create an innovative new user interface.

Gnome Shell itself is currently in active development, though, you can already try out the preview:

For Ubuntu users, gnome shell is included in the repositories, so using the apt-get tools it can be easily installed:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Once the installation has completed, you can run the shell by typing in the following command:

gnome-shell --replace

... which will replace the currently running window manager with the shell.
If you are using a different Linux Distribution, you should check out this Website to get instructions on how the get gnome shell running.

Here are some pictures of how Gnome Shell currently looks like:

(Activities Overview with one desktop and some random programs)

(Activities Overview with multiple desktops. You can add desktops with the "+" button and remove them with the "-" button, which you can see in the bottom desktop on the right hand side)

(You can also zoom into windows when you are in the activities overview by using your mouse scroll wheel - pretty sweet feature and helpful if you have lots of windows open at the same time)

(You probably will never need it, but theoretically you can do this and even more...)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

AP Chemistry Test 2010

My AP Chemistry class had an extra Sunday session today, to prepare for the AP Test in two weeks.

There is just a lot of stuff that you have to know, for some reasons they expect AP chemistry students to know concepts etc. much more detailed than what you have to know for AP History or for other AP classes. So to help understand some of the harder concepts we decided to use the AP tests from the last years to study from. We met at Apollo at 1 p.m. and worked for about 3 hours, on both the free response and multiple choice questions. Our teacher bought pizza and we brought soda, so it wasn't too bad.

There will be 75 multiple choice question and 6 free response questions on the AP test. Total time for the test will be like tree hours. That blows ^^ I'm gonna be so happy once I finish the test :)

I got up this morning at 8 a.m. to go to Sunday school and church. Church was done at 12 o'clock and from there Mitch dropped me off at Apollo so I can go to the chemistry study session. We were done at 4 p.m. and I when I got home I pretty much had to get ready for small group, which was done at 7 p.m.

I thought I was done for the day when Luke ( a friend of mine) tells me that we have to read a short story for language arts class. I was like great! Thanks Luke, it's not like I had any plans for tonight -.- jk... I guess it's better than going to class without having read the story.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Buying extra credit points for LA class

Last Thursday I went to see the Apollo play called "The Elephant Man" by Bernard Pomerance.

The play itself was really well performed and I think the actors did an excellent job. What I thought was kind of funny is that my Language Arts teacher, who is the director of the play, sold tickets for all her students and gave away 25 extra credit points for everyone that purchased one from her. Way to get a big audience for the play!
Of course, most of my friends and I bought the tickets. There is no easier way to get 25 EC points :)

I just think it's kind of wrong that you can buy your EC points to increase your grade. Maybe that is just an American thing, but for me that was pretty odd.