Show Desktop icons in Gnome 3 on Open SUSE 12.1

Open SUSE 12.1 comes with the completely redesigned Gnome 3 desktop, which in my opinion is the best one so far. I have been using Gnome for a few years now and even though I like the clean design of Gnome 3, I still like to have some desktop icons. To Show your Desktop icons on Open SUSE 12.1 is a very simple procedure,

  1. Go to Applications > Advanced Settings
  2. Select Desktop
  3. Set option “Have file manager handle the desktop” to ON

For other Versions of Linux you may need to install dbconf

Gnome 3 Applications Gnome 3 Desktop settings



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Arduino the Open Source hardware

If you are a thinker, a mad scientist in the making or just a curious ADD person like me, the Arduino boards are just what you are missing in life.

Arduino Uno BoardArduino is an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple micro controller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.

Arduino can be used to develop interactive objects, taking inputs from a variety of switches or sensors, and controlling a variety of lights, motors, and other physical outputs. Arduino projects can be stand-alone, or they can be communicate with software running on your computer .

Arduino hardware can be used in Windows, Mac or Linux. The boards can be assembled by hand or purchased pre-assembled and the open-source IDE (programming environment) can be downloaded for free.

There’s a great starting guide at, but I have also been recommended this book:

30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius

This guide shows you how to program and build a variety of projects with the Arduino microcontroller development system. Covering Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, it gets you up to speed with the simplified C programming you need to know–no prior programming experience necessary.

You can find more books and arduino boards and components on here.

Examples of what one can accomplish with Arduino:





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Jumbo LED Binary Clock

Jumbo LED Binary Clock

The binary system works under the exact same principles as the decimal system, only it operates in base 2 rather than base 10, so instead of using the digits 0-9, it only uses 0-1.

Binary started out as a way for geeks to master the world of computing, but we understand that binary is mostly just another way for you confuse your friends and co-workers.  Simply slap this stylistic one foot square binary clock on the wall or on your favorite flat surface, select BCD or pure binary mode, set the time, and voila! You’ve just created an Instant Confusion Device (ICD) that actually tells the time. Congratulations! Read more »

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Spotify crashes in Linux under Wine

I have been using Spotify on Linux for quite a while now, under Wine. Suddenly it decided not to work a any more.  I was getting the following error when trying to run the new 0.6.2 version.  “The program Spotify.exe has encountered a serious problem and needs to close.”

Trying to run it from the command line showed me yet another error message: “wine: Unhandled page fault on read access to 0x00000068 at address 0x7bc368b5 (thread 0042), starting debugger…”

UPDATE: Please first try the WinHTTP.dll fix posted by Nick in the comments section.

My simple solution: After searching in various forums and blogs and trying a myriad of  “fixes” that took me nowhere. The simplest answer I found was to remove the Spotify app from Facebook. I can now listen to my Spotify  play lists on my Open SUSE Linux. It does mean that you will be without the Facebook integration, which for me is not a big deal.

To delete Spotify from your Facebook account go to Privacy Setting >> Apps and Websites >> edit (Spotify) >> remove application

Spotify does have a Linux version of its software, which is currently in preview version and only available for Debian/Ubuntu  paid subscribers.  On their website they said: “As we haven’t found a reliable way to display ads yet, this version (Linux Preview) is only available to Spotify Premium and Unlimited subscribers. ”  Fair enough I would say…

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External USB SATA Dock

External USB SATA Drive Dock 


Another very useful gadget from This one is on my shopping list.

I know Storage is cheap – less than a dollar per gigabyte. Music and video are being archived at home by everyone from you to your grandmother. Consequently, hard-drives are being upgraded constantly, and quite a few of them end up getting discarded. Just because they’re small, though, doesn’t make them useless.

Slip your spare hard drives into this USB dock and it mounts as an available volume on your Windows, Mac OS, or Linux computer via either a USB or an eSATA connector. Hot-swap with a new drive by pressing the center button on the base and jamming in a new drive. Making the dock even more awesome – it can connect equally well with big 3.5″ desktop SATA hard drives and 2.5″ laptop hard-drives.

Choose between our dual-dock that can hold two drives, or the single-dock unit that holds a single drive.

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