Kazam 0.1 released!

Hi everyone.

Remember back on June 29th when I introduced ‘a screencaster called Kazam‘ ? Well I am happy to announce that today Kazam has its first release!

Kazam is fully working, all the way from recording, to exporting to popular video sharing sites.

Although some features shown in the mockups (such as the quality slider and cropping capability) are not yet implemented, I am very proud of what has been and I already find it very useful!

But how can I help?

Now that we have our first release, I need help from all of you! I will have less time to work on Kazam going forward, and whilst I will still maintain it and add new features slowly, I really need for a community to build around it so that I get some help 🙂

You don’t need to be a developer to help out, below are some ideas that you could help with:

  • Artistswe need a logo for Kazam. I have no ideas as of yet so please present them to me, maybe file a bug and get a few ideas together!
  • Translators – Kazam has been set up in Launchpad to translate (ping me if it doesn’t work, this is my first time :D) and so we need you to translate it into any language that you know!
  • PyGTK Developers – start hacking on the GUI. Maybe you can find some bugs, make things cleaner, more prettier, implement some stuff in the mockups… whatever! You can choose what you want to work on!
  • GStreamer Developers – I really want Kazam to use GStreamer (it is currently using ffmpeg calls) however I have no expertise in this. Any GStreamer knowledge would be greatly appreciated, from porting the recording backend over to Gstreamer, implementing the quality slider/cropping functions in GStreamer. Again you choose what you want to work on!
  • Bug triagersTEST TEST TEST! Kazam has only had the privelledge of me testing it at the moment and so I welcome bugs with open arms so that we can polish Kazam to perfection!
  • Any Developers/Enthusiastic Users – at the moment we have two export sources, for YouTube and VideoBin. However we need more export sources! You don’t need to be a genius to work out how to make one. Use the easy-to-use guide and you can have one working in a very short time!

All in all, I would really appreciate any help you can offer so that we can make Kazam AWESOME!

But how do I get Kazam?

Installing and running Kazam is really easy. Just add our daily builds PPA:

ppa:and471/kazam-daily-builds

Then update and upgrade your packages and you are done!

You will then find Kazam in Applications > Sound and Video > Kazam Screencaster

Help Me!

If you have any trouble:

  • File a bug in Launchpad
  • Ping me on irc (and471, on freenode.net)
  • Send me an email through Launchpad
  • Shout really really loud!


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sudo and password feedback

In Lucid, there is a new version of sudo that allows you to do something useful (and long-awaited).

With the correct configuration, you can now have sudo show an asterisk (*) when you type a letter (just like any other password entry).

Screenshot of sudo with password feedback enabled

This makes it a lot easier both for new users who expect some kind of visual feedback when they type, and anyone who can’t remember whether they pressed that key or not 🙂

I realise some people will say “oh no! What a security risk”, however in my opinion, it is only a star you are seeing and if you have a strong enough password, having a person see the number of stars is not really going to matter, it is the same as when you enter your password for PolicyKit.

The steps to do it are simple, however make sure you pay attention to them!

  1. Open a Terminal (Applications>Accessories>Terminal) and type in:
    sudo visudo
  2. Type your password in (you won’t see any visual feedback, yet!) and click Enter
  3. Now, find the line that reads:
    Defaults env_resetAnd replace it with:

    Defaults env_reset,pwfeedback

  4. Finally press Ctrl-X, press Y and then press Enter (or if you have changed your default text editor, just save the file as usual)
  5. sudo should now be set up correctly, open up a new Terminal and try it out:
    sudo echo "It works!"

If at the end, you receive a message saying something like

'>>> /etc/sudoers: syntax error near line 8 <<<'

Then press X, then Enter and leave a comment below (it didn’t work)

Get Rid Of Unneccessary Fonts

I like to call myself a graphics designer and so as a result, I often use programs such as Inkscape.

One thing that annoys me when I reinstall Ubuntu, I always get a load of fonts that I don’t need, usually for displaying foreign characters (such as Japanese, Cyrillic etc.). To be honest I never need to view these languages and the extra fonts just clutter up the font list in Inkscape (or any other application).

Fortunately there is a very easy way to uninstall these fonts (saving ~35mb) and clear up your font list 🙂

To remove all the fonts that are only needed to display different languages:

sudo apt-get remove ttf-indic-fonts-core ttf-kacst-one ttf-khmeros-core ttf-lao ttf-punjabi-fonts ttf-takao-pgothic ttf-thai-tlwg ttf-unfonts-core ttf-wqy-microhei

If you find yourself trying to learn Thai and want to install them all again:

sudo apt-get install ttf-indic-fonts-core ttf-kacst-one ttf-khmeros-core ttf-lao ttf-punjabi-fonts ttf-takao-pgothic ttf-thai-tlwg ttf-unfonts-core ttf-wqy-microhei

And that is all there is to it! I feel a lot better now…

Howto: Make NetworkManager stop asking for your password on login

Hi guys, I have upgraded to Lucid, but one thing that annoys me when I upgrade is that Network Manager never ceases to ask me for my password!

I prefer to have auto-login turned (yes, yes I know, it is insecure) and so my ‘keyring’ is not unlocked when I log in, meaning that NetworkManager has to ask me for my password, to unlock the keyring, to unlock the key to my wireless network connection. Fortunately there is an easy way to solve this,  explained below.

  1. Firstly, go to Applications > System > Preferences > Network Connections

    Location of the Network Connections menuitem

  2. Then navigate to the tab where your internet connection is. For me, this is the Wireless tab, as I connect to the internet using a wireless network. Once in this tab, select your network connection and click the Edit button

    The Wireless tab, in the Network Connections dialog

  3. A dialog should just have appeared and at the bottom of this dialog, select the option (so that it is ticked) named Available to all users

    Setting the network connection to be available to all users

  4. Finally click the Apply button, a PolicyKit dialog should appear asking you for your password (for the last time!). Enter your password, click Authenticate and you are done!

    Authenticating our changes

I prefer this method as your keyring is not unlocked, it will still have to be entered for SSH keys etc. which offers extra security. You can’t even see the Wireless Key without entering your password, however you will be able to use the wireless network without NetworkManager asking for your password 🙂

Lucid Lynx Released

I Can Has Lucid Lynx?

Yes you can 🙂

New Ubuntu Branding

The new Ubuntu Branding Guidelines (first draft) and resources have just been uploaded by Kenneth Wimer.

Screenshot of the new Ubuntu Brand Resources

The guidelines include a summary of the logo, how to use it and how not and other information. The resources include EPS and SVG files of the logo in different colours, with versions available for print and screen.

The new Ubuntu font doesn’t seem to be available yet, but at least with these vector formats, the logo itself can be used in nearly any situation.

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