Libre Office can’t open docx files

If you’re having problems opening docx files with Libre Office on Linux, try using AbiWord.

Skype crashing when answering calls on Linux Mint 16 64bit

If your Skype is crashing when answering calls on your Linux machine try the following. It solved the problem on my Mint 16 64bit. This solution was found at

sudo apt-get install libasound2-plugins:i386

Syncing Mozilla Lightning, Tomboy, and other such goodies

To sync your Lightning calendar across multiple computers, do the following:

  1. Create an empty .ics file (mycalendar.ics) and place it in the cloud folder of your choice. I’m using but you could just as easily use Dropbox, UbuntuOne, or whatever. Create the file as an empty text file.
  2. In Thunderbird, go to your Calendar and click on File > Open > Calendar File, and choose your file. Done. Now do the same on your other computers that are synced to that service and you’re in business.

Tomboy can be synced much the same, but with an extra step. In Tomboy, create a folder in the sync client of your choice ( Then, in Tomboy, choose Preferences > Synchronization > Local Folder, and choose the folder you just set up. Do the same on your other machines, and presto.

If you use my link to sign up with, you will get 20Gb (15 initially plus 5 extra after installing their client) and I will get an 5 extra Gb. I’ve been using them for a few weeks now and so far I like them a lot. Very easy to set up, very nice Linux client, and very generous space.

Installing Linux on an external drive

  • When you are prompted to unmount the drive during the installation process, do so
  • Choose Something Else when prompted what you want to do
  • Be sure that the bootloader is installing to the target drive, not an internal drive
  • Choose the external disk to install to
  • Click on New Partition Table
  • Click on Free Space and create a root partition (20 gigs should be enough) – set mount point to / – make sure it’s a primary drive
  • Create  a swap partition (at least as big as your ram) – make sure it’s a logical partition
  • Create a home partition using the rest of the space – set mount point to /home – make sure it’s a logical partition




Openshot video editor Mint 15

With the default installs of Mint 15 and Openshot, I had trouble exporting to mp4 and avi formats. I’d run in to this problem before, so I’m posting the fix here. The Openshop error message might say you need packages libx264 and libmp3lame, even though they’re already installed. Try installing one of the following or something like them:



Gwibber on Mint 15

I found after installing Gwibber that I wasn’t able to add any new accounts. The following packages need to be installed:

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-control-center-signon

$ sudo apt-get install account-plugin-twitter

Credit to

Deleting cookies on exit in Firefox and Chrome

The following post describes all of this in detail:

I’m only interested in fixing Firefox, so I’ll quote that part of the posting:

the way to get the correct secure behavior back in Firefox is to browse to about:config, enter ‘sessionstore’ in the search box, and change browser.sessionstore.privacy_level from 0 to 2.


I’ve always had slow Internet connections, making streaming TV a hit and miss proposition. FreetuxTV works very well. Not only does it stream very well, it doesn’t overheat the CPU on my DIY, 5-year-old box. I found it on the Synaptic Package Manager of Mint 14.

This is a fantastic piece of software, especially if you’re a bit of a news junkie. FreetuxTV gives me a way, way better choice of stations than our local cable service. Excellent.

Regexxer GUI search and replace tool

I rarely have to search and replace a string in hundreds of files at once, so I can never remember how to use sed commands properly. Regexxer is a GUI that works very well for large find and replace jobs.

HP printers on Linux

If you’re having trouble getting your HP printer to work on Linux, try the following:

Install hplip
Install the hplip GUI
As root (sudo) run hp-setup

My most recent problems involved he HP Laserjet P1005. The above fixed it. Simply having hplip installed wasn’t enough.