Posts Tagged ‘Laptop’

An experiment

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

My brother is a computer illiterate. He can use a computer for the purpose of e-mail messaging and for editing documents, spreadsheets, etc.

I have decided to “abuse” his older laptop, an IBM X31 and install Ubuntu on it. This is some sort of an experiment. I wonder how he, a simple user, can cope up with using Linux as a desktop.

I have made sure he had the following, for now:

  • Ubuntu 8.04 32bit
  • Firefox 3 with Adblock Plus
  • Hebrew fonts, and msttfcorefonts package installed
  • OpenOffice which defaults to saving in MS Office formats – doc, xls, ppt
  • Skype
  • VLC media player
  • Hebrew layout enabled

I will let him use it for a few days, and keep my blog up to date on this. It interests me 🙂

i810 dual-pipe issues with power management

Friday, May 9th, 2008

I have had a problem with my IBM X41 – ever since I have started using Ubuntu 7.10 (after a nice upgrade from 7.04), whenever the lid was closed, and reopened – the display would have flickered for a short while (while the lid is up) and then blank completely.

My (ugly) workaround was to force the computer to sleep whenever it happened. It seemed to be a workaround good enough for most cases. On some cases, the laptop would do just the same as it was placed in its docking station.

I have found an Ubuntu bug here, which seems to expose this problem too. It exposed few additional problems as well. The error message I got (through SSH, of course) when viewing the logs it said that the video card detected pipe A to be the active pipe, that it stopped using pipe B (which appeared to be the internal one) and that it decided to disable clone mode. Wow. I just lost my internal LCD. Connecting an external display, I get the whole picture working just fine, however, I cannot use the laptop like that.

After a major struggle with various i810 options, I have looked and found an option to disable Power Management. I have done so, according to the note here, and it solved all my problems in this area – for now.

Dial-up in Israel through Orange 3G

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

I have set up a small script to allow me to dial-up using my cell to the internet. The speed of the 3G connection is quite amazing, and this information would assist, I’m sure, others as well. I am using Bluetooth to communicate between my cell and my portable computer.


1. Create an /etc/wvdial.conf with the following contents:

[Dialer Defaults]
Phone = *99***1#
Username = orange
Password = mobile54
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/rfcomm1
Baud = 460800
Init2 = atz
ISDN = off
Modem Type = Analog Modem
Dial Attempts = 1
Abort on No Dialtone = off
Stupid Mode = on

2. Pair your mobile and your laptop (check it on the net). Get the hardware ID

3. Get the channel for DUN (or Dial-Up Networking)

4. Add this script in /usr/local/sbin/ (I called it “gprs”). Replace the zeros with your own hardware ID, and the number 4 (Nokia N95) with the channel you use:

rfcomm connect 1 00:00:00:00:00:00 4 &
echo $PID_BT
sleep 5
wvdial &
echo $PID_WV
sleep 7
echo “Press on Ctrl+C to disconnect”

trap “{ kill $PID_WV; sleep 1; kill $PID_BT; exit; }” SIGINT

while true; do sleep 10; done

5. You need to run the script under “sudo”. Ctrl+C will exit and disconnect.

Good luck.

Orinoco_pci finally working correctly!

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

After upgrading my laptop to kernel, hibernation worked flawlessly. Running my previous version of kernel –, I have had some hibernation instabilities. I’ve had some memory corruptions here and there, which would have required I reboot the machine. So far, and it’s been a while, I’m glad to say I had no reason to "reboot" my laptop, but only to hibernate and awake it. Works like a charm.

In my post here, I have complained of performance issues with Orinoco_pci module. Although I’ve had somewhat below the average speed in my LAN (I’ve got about 800KB/s, give or take, on my 802.11b network), using this line to reach an external server / address or even a web site was disastrous. Degraded performance, up to no connection at all. Ping was correct at all times, just as a simple wget to a rather close server (on my ISP’s server room) got timed-out, and drained to less than 2KB/s… Terrible.

In this kernel version, as I’m happy to say, I have tested the built-in orinoco, and finally it’s working just as it should. I get to use my full internet bandwidth, and I’m happy with it. Normal response times, and all. Now all I’ve got left is to make sure the internal LEDs work. On another day 🙂

Kernel update –

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Alongside a newer kernel, I’m enjoying a newer Software Suspend2 package. I am not crazy about betas, or RCs, so now I’m on the 2.2 stable. I have hibernated only once since I’ve upgraded kernel, but it went just fine on the first try, so I’m rather ok with it without setting a set of cover-it-all tests.

Here’s my kernel config, if anyone’s interested – config-

Also, you can get the latest swsusp2 and fbsplash from the right places, as described in my post here. It’s good I use this blog – it keeps my memories for me.