Well, I finally upgraded all four systems to Jaunty Jackalope. I did the upgrade in pairs so that the entire network wouldnt be offline. I spread it across two days. I used the tutorial from UbuntuGeek to upgrade via the konsole. It was mostly painless, with my laptop being the most troublesome. Having to re-configure a separate network manager, that wasn’t immediately visible, was a nuisance. I had to add a widget to the panel and then configure the widget. I would have preferred to keep my connection.
Recently, I have had a need to use Windows more frequently (Windows-only games and ActiveSync!), but still have a high demand on my network at the same time. I have sought to be able to combine the best of both worlds. I previously relied heavily on Web-based applications, but my favorite Web Development IDE was developed for Linux only. I had put up enough with the banalities of using WebMin and it’s built-in file editor. I have read about others having success running KDE apps on Windows, but since I had my Quanta already setup and configured, I looked for a way of just being able to access that. Honestly, I’m not very excited about using VNC over WiFi, even with high compression.
To my surprise, I found that Xming was specifically suited to my needs. It acts as an X11 server, allowing me to use it to display my X11 applications that I have forwarded through SSH. It works perfectly.
It took a little time for setting up, but if you have got PuTTY installed and working, sixty percent of the work is already done.
Below is a screen shot that shows my running Windows Vista desktop, programming in Quanta which is actually hosted on a server called A. This is connected through an SSH tunnel from my laptop to my C server using the Putty client. From the C server, I launch the Quanta program using another SSH connection to the A server. It looks just like the Quanta program is a native windows app on the local Windows Vista desktop. You’ll also notice I’ve got an xterm session open connected to server A in the background.
I’ve been having some serious difficulty with my laptop and using suspend to RAM. Suspend to disk is another issue, with similar symptoms. This is pretty regular for a Linux laptop. In many of these cases, the cause of the problem is a hardware vendor’s poor implementation of the ACPI. I’ve checked and I am already using the current version of the BIOS.
Here’s the good news about it for me. If I use the keyboard to switch to a tty login, the monitor wakes back up. I can then use the keyboard to switch back to my KDM.
I have not tested it with suspend to disk yet. Let me know if this works on your laptop (comment on the bug report).
I recently got a new Dell laptop, an Inspiron 1520. It came pre-loaded of course with Vista. I of course wanted Kubuntu on it, and that’s been an adventure.
Now… first things first. I setup the notebook using Vista and made sure that everything worked. Fortunately, everything worked… and worked perfectly.
Next, I moved into using GParted/CloneZilla from their LiveCD so that I can resize the NTFS partition. At first when I opened it, I noticed that it had a couple of partitions, including a recovery partition, the OS partition, and two others that I was uncertain of their purpose. It’s my first Dell, so I left those alone for now.
I resized the largest partition, the one used by Windows, so that I would have enough free room to support Ubuntu and all my desired files. I rebooted and attempted to let Vista load. Windows Vista noticed something had changed and spent the next 25 minutes checking integrity. It then allowed me to proceed to log in and everything again worked as expected.
I rebooted to use the GParted LiveCD again, this time with the intention of creating my desired partitions and this is where the problem began. I was unable to create any additional partitions because Dell had created all 4 partitions as Primary partitions, and that’s the limit. I opted to delete the last partition on the drive for convenience. The unallocated space was before this partition, so it just made the most since and required the least amount of data to be moved. I later found out this partition held the wonderful MediaDirect 3.0 software, that must be reinstalled prior to any OS.
I put the Hardy Heron Alpha1 disk in the tray, rebooted, and allowed it to install. I could not let it use a guided setup because I wanted /home on a separate partition. I also chose to put /etc on it’s own separate partition, and the Install program let me do it.
After rebooting, on the Ubuntu loading screen with the sliding orange progress bar, my caps lock and scroll lock lights begin to blink/flash. I rebooted and chose the Recovery mode from GRUB. This time, I see where it stops and it shows this error:
init: error parsing configuartions no such file or directory.
After searching the internet for reports of bugs with the flashing lights, I found a bunch of irrelevant stuff. Searching for the specific error message, I found the problem in a this bug report on Launchpad.
I re-installed and put /etc on the same partition as / and it now boots properly into Hardy Heron.
It seems that /etc can’t be on it’s own partition. Who knew? Not me. Not the install program. To me, it’s a bug that it wasn’t able to tell me : DO NOT install /etc on a separate partition.
Now that it boots, my next step is to get the wireless and audio working.
Having been an Internet user for a long time, I am well versed with a few topics related to peer-to-peer file sharing using the torrent system. On Windows, I used uTorrent, and initially after my switch to Linux, I continued to use uTorrent, just because it used less memory than Azureus. Eventually, using applications under Wine became a problem. uTorrent would disappear… randomly.
I tried Azureus, and it ate more and more and more RAM.
I was happy when i switched from Ubuntu to Kubuntu, mostly because of the inclusion of kTorrent. While kTorrent is not on the whitelist of acceptable clients at some of my favorite trackers, it conveniently has an integrated interface where all torrents are easily available through one window in the same view. Compared to BitTornado, this is a relief for those like me who desire an easy to manage (note, not understand, but manage) interface.
A sophisticated plug-in interface for expandability provides a range of extensions created by open source developers. It already comes with several plug-ins, and many of the features I discuss will be implemented through a plug-in, for example the interface for UPnP connectivity is through an included plug-in.
Of note, I appreciate the UPnP support. This helps eliminate the messy configuration and hassle of adjusting a firewall/router.
It also allows us to schedule bandwidth limits, much the same way uTorrent does. This again is through a plug-in. It also provides a lo-fi version for systems with limited video capabilities. This is definitely something I use, just because of simplicity.
Another feature I haven not found as useful has been the integrated search engine. I have been disappointed with the implementation of this feature in torrent clients in the past, so I was interested in trying this. It works moderately well. I have not been able to browse to next pages of results when using the integrated browser, but it forces me to be more precise in my searches. Since I am capable of using a browser on my own, I have forgone attempting to use the external browser integration. Please leave me a comment and describe your experience with this, because if it works better I would be willing to try it.
We are able to manage our torrents in kTorrent from any web-enabled computer in the world via WebInterface. I use this for checking the status from my laptop. This is convenient when I don’t have a remote desktop connection open and quickly want to view my queue and statistics.
Because I take other precautions, the Integrated black list manager I have skipped using. I am not for certain why it needs duplicated here, because if this is your only protection, it applies to kTorrent only, and really lacks in effectiveness. For those that choose to use it, it does support wild cards. Otherwise it supports the use of two ipfilter list file formats.
I believe kTorrent will be a regular in my peer to peer tool box, but the client is only as good as what the tracker supports, which makes me need to use something else from time to time.
Having previously configured my laptop for dual boot, I was satisfied with the way things were running. My wife would use XP. We’d enabled GRUB to save the default using the Start Up Manager, so we could hibernate in order to switch users and operating systems.
All was fine until Windows said “ENOUGH!” and bit the dust. I started out by getting the ominous sounding “Error 13 : Invalid or unsupported executable format” from GRUB. I wasn’t able to mount the partition in Kubuntu so I’m unable to retrieve any files from it.
I’ve tried using the Windows disk to boot to the recovery console. From that, I used fixmbr and it still didnt work. I used the great program Super GRUB disk to restore GRUB. Unfortunately, Windows still did not boot. What finally fixed it, was using FIXBOOT from the recovery console in Windows XP.
What an ordeal.
The Greatest Keyboard Ever – Adesso Tru-Form™ Pro – Contoured Ergonomic Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad and Hot Keys (black)
Allow me to tell you about one of the best hardware investments I recently made. It’s the Adesso Tru-Form™ Pro – Contoured Ergonomic Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad and Hot Keys (black). I originally got this for my laptop, which is still running Windows XP. I’m very picky about my keyboards, and this one’s so awesome, I’m now in need of another one so I don’t have to swap this excellent piece between both computers!
I discovered this keyboard when I found myself needing a touch pad constructed into the keyboard. Adesso is the only manufacturer I found providing a wave-shape ergonomic split multimedia keyboard with built in touchpad. I purchased this black keyboard with the matching ps/2 to USB adaptor and had it delivered to my home for under $75 USD. They have a white model that would be better matched to the Mac users for a similar price.
To me, its number one feature is the built-in touchpad. This is what I was looking for in the keyboard when I originally purchased it. This allows the user to not be tied to a mousing surface, while giving us a full-sized ergonomic keyboard. This extends the “portability” of my laptop tenfold. The touchpad has a unique feature lacking from the laptop’s built-in : on-pad right click area. Touching the upper right corner of the touch pad is the same as right clicking. Yes, the keyboard still offers a dedicated right click button as well. I didn’t have to load any drivers to get it to work properly in Ubuntu on my desktop or XP on my laptop. However, I was able to download driver’s from Adesso’s home page and achieve some more configuration options.
The keyboard features an excellent ergonomic design, which is a must for any person suffering carpal tunel syndrome like myself. The space bar is split, and requires some adjustment if you’re more accustomed to the Microsoft layout with a solid, one piece bar. It’s more of a wave-shape than most ergonomics, which makes the numeric keypad more friendly. It also sports the inverted T arrow design that Microsoft abandoned on some ergonomic designs. I also appreciate the 3×2 word processing key (insert,home,page up,delete end, page down) arrangement.
The Tru-Form™ Pro also makes generous use of its size and offers the usual array of multimedia keys.
It’s not too heavy, so it’s a great addition for use in your lap while you’re surfing from the couch. The cord is of an appropriate length for this. It only comes with ps/2 connections, and demands two of them (mouse and keyboard). Adesso takes care of those of us lacking PS/2 connections by offering a perfectly matching PS/2 to USB adapter.(not included) Fortunately, it only requires one USB port and extends the cable’s reach some more inches.
It does have some room for improvement, so I look forward to an updated model. This is probably a tall order, but I’d like to see scalability on the touchpad allowing for proportional 16:10 or 16:9 touch-to-screen movement, so that I don’t have to pickup my finger to drag something across the entire screen. I’d also like to see better use of the vacant real estate between the left and right sides of the keyboard. For example, I miss the Zoom and Back/Forward features of my Microsoft Natural 4000. Also, having a high demand on portability, I would appreciate some attention to halving the heft. The touchpad is below the space bar. This works for both right and left handed people, but for either person, it’s more practical on the user’s respective dominant side. I’d much rather have mine on the right and would be willing to pay a higher price for such a tailored model.
Considering the stack of features, the price tag was comfortable. Keep in mind that you’re getting a mouse and a full-featured ergonomic multimedia keyboard together. Having owned mine for a couple of months already, I can tell you the keyboard shell and keys are sturdy enough that it’s sure to last for a long time. Even my wife likes it so much she agrees we need another.
One of my most critical requirements of the new operating system was an operational VMWare Server application. My wife and I share a network, and the flexibility of a VMWare Server was very appealing.
Our network consists of two computers, a P4 3.0Ghz Celeron with 1GB of RAM and an AMD Turion 64 laptop with 1GB of RAM. The desktop had suffered a hard drive failure a few months earlier, and I at least wanted it as an internet station running on a LiveCD, but after using it that way for a week, I felt I could really stretch the functionality.
After doing some research, I found Daniel Knippers guide to VMWare on Dapper Drake to be an indespensible walk-through. I managed to salvage a hard drive and went to install. The instructions were exactly the same for my chosen version, Edgy Eft. I’ve heard that Feisty Fawn requires some extra steps, but it was not officially released before I made the install and I still have yet to upgrade.