Ubuntu doesn't install the offensive data files for the fortune program by default. To install them just run:
sudo apt-get install fortune fortunes-off
got to scratch my nose,
take fingers off the flippers,
here comes the ball now.
Every now and then I like to set up a Linux instance in VMware to try out new software or to have a sandbox for development. Lately, I've found that ArchLinux has some nice features that make it perfect for that kind of setup.
First, it's unobtrusive. you get a bare basics environment and nothing else. The base install includes little other than the essential packages and lets you build from there. It's minimal and lightweight with install ISO's weighing in at around 360MB and the netinstall ISO's just under 180MB.
When you need more than the base install, Arch Linux has a package system called pacman, which is a breeze to use. Installing a package often involves little more than executing
sudo pacman -S <package name>
And since it's is on a rolling release cycle, there's no need to wait for the next release of Ubuntu to get the latest packages. Configuration is done via text files; adding services to run at start up requires just an edit to /etc/rc.conf. If you need to build packages, Arch Linux provides the Arch Build System, which is a ports-like build system. If you can script in bash, you can build a package.
Good documentation is also available straight from their site. You don't need to troll through dozens of forums to figure out how to get something installed, you go straight to their wiki, where there are guides on everything from the basic installation procedure to setting up Linux containers. The wiki also hosts translations of these guides in a variety of languages, which I imagine would be helpful for non-native English hackers.
Arch Linux reminds me a lot of my first Linux distro, Slackware. Both are minimalist, functional, and allow the user to maintain a lot of control over the system. There isn't much hidden behind the curtain. Arch Linux, however, throws in a packaging system and more current packages. Getting it set up and running couldn't be easier. For that, it earns a place in my toolbox.
I've got two 24" monitors that I use side-by-side in TwinView mode in my home office, so when I look for desktop background images I hit up Mandolux. Mandolux offers free and original wallpaper in a variety of sizes for even the largest displays.
The only wrinkle in all of this is that Mandolux splits the larger widescreen backgrounds into separate left- and right-hand images. However, since I run my display in TwinView mode, my desktop is essentially a single 3840 x 1200 display ( two 1920's side by side). For the Mandolux wallpapers to display correctly on my background I need to merge the two images into one. I could manually stitch the two images together with an image editing program like GIMP, but since I downloaded a dozen of the background images to try out, doing it manually sounded dauntingly tedious.
That's when I remembered that the ImageMagick suite of tools includes the 'montage' tool. The ImageMagick tools can be installed with the following command under Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install imagemagick
Then, to stitch the images together I ran the following command:
montage mandolux-ga2k6-*-1920.jpg -tile x1 -geometry +0+0 mandolux-ga2k6-3840.jpg
in a directory containing mandolux-ga2k6-l-1920.jpg and mandolux-ga2k6-r-1920.jpg (left and right side images, respectively). It is also worth noting here that the first filename precedes the second filename alphabetically, so the files are laid out from left to right in that order.
The result is mandolux-ga2k6-3840.jpg, which is a file with both images merged into into one 3840 x 1200 image.