Posts Tagged ‘Ubuntu’

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 🙂

Sierra AirCard 880E on Ubuntu

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

To get your newly purchased Sierra AirCard 880E on your Ubuntu Hardy, you should follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure you have GCC on your computer: ‘sudo apt-get install gcc
  2. Make sure you have kernel sources installed on your computer: ‘sudo apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.24-19-generic
  3. Download the driver from Sierra Wireless site
  4. Extract and compile (‘make‘, ‘sudo make install‘)
  5. Add to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-modem the line: ‘blacklist ehci_hcd’
  6. Insert the device into the laptop. When everything is OK, you should see that a USB device is registered using ‘dmesg‘ shortly afterwards, or ‘lsusb
  7. Configure /etc/wvdial.conf using the attached config file wvdial.conf
  8. Add to /etc/ppp/peers the file wvdial

Done. To connect, you need to run ‘sudo wvdial &

I will add in the future a nice gksudo with a nice-looking connect/disconnect script

Bluetooth Mouse on my Ubuntu Laptop – an easy feat

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I was surprised at how easy it was.

You need to do the following:

1. Find your mouse’s address using ‘hcitool scan

2. Verify that you can pair the two devices using ‘sudo hidd –connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

3. Edit /etc/default/bluetooth, uncomment the additional line with the HIDD_OPTIONS and set it to be

“–connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX –server”

4. Restart the service ‘bluetooth’

This works immediately after using the hardware button to enable/disable BT on my IBM Thinkpad. If I turn the mouse off, I need to press on the hardware button to disable/re-enable the bluetooth.

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.

Some few small insights

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Lately I have been overloaded above my capabilities. This did not prevent me from doing all kind of things, but most of them are too small to justify a real entry here, so I have decided to make a small collection of small stuff someone might need to know, in order to make it indexed in search engines. These small insights might save some time for someone. This is a noble cause.

1. Oreon is a nice overlay for Nagios, however, it is poorly documented, and some of the existing docs are in French. I have put hours on building it into a working setup, and I hope to be able to write down the process as is.

2. “Sun Java System Active Server Pages” does not support 64bit Linux installations – at least not if you’re interested in using it with your existing Apache server. Look here. Seems nothing has changed.

3. Under Ubuntu 7.10, Compiz suffers from a major memory leak when using NVidia display adapters. You can read about it in the bug page. I was able, thanks to this link, to workaround it using compiz –indirect-rendering . Does not see to cause any ill-effect on my display performance.

4. Suse 10 and wireless cards – This one is a great guide, which I would happily recommend.

5. Flushing the existing read buffer for your Linux machine (should never be done, unless you’re testing performance) can be done by running the following command:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches

Seems to be enough for today. Hope these tips help.