SiKing

February 1, 2013

Noki Déjà vu

Filed under: noki — SiKing @ 8:56 am
Tags:

After 6 years my phone finally died. People (some people) are freaked out that I have had a phone for 6 years. However, when I purchased it, I had all intentions of keeping it for at least 10! It powers on, however the keyboard is completely unresponsive. Actually for a few years I had been unable to reflash the OS. Unfortunately the phone took down my entire phonebook with it.

Getting a new phone was like déjà vu, or is that reja vu?

For like a year now I have been talking about getting a new (the?) phone, and actually trying to bid cheap on it on eBay. When my old phone died, due to some personal circumstances, I needed a phone like right now! I just went to Target and got whatever was the cheapest thing in stock. After a few days I decided that all I really need is a phone … that’s it! Just a phone that can make calls, and send the odd SMS text. So one last time I decided to have a browse through eBay, just to see what the current price point is on the N9. When I logged into my account I had a message … from a seller: “where the heck is my money for the phone you bought a week ago?!?!” That’s paraphrased, of course. This was a total surprise. I discovered that eBay completely redesigned their site! Auctions that you are either bidding on and have lost are easily accessible from the left navigation menu (even though the counts are updated correctly only after you click on one of the links). But auctions that you have actually won, are buried at the bottom of the “Summary” page. 😡

I apologized to the seller and paid for the phone right away. Since I am getting a new shiny phone, I even paid for the extra $20 faster shipping. Afterwards, on a whim, I decided to check the seller’s eBay store. The seller is from Hong Kong, and at the top of the storefront was a message: “tomorrow is the start of the Chinese New year celebrations, and so we will be shutting down for a month!” 😯

Update Feb.19: And it does not end there. The seller shipped it to the wrong address (someplace in California). USPS says they will wait 30 days and ship it back if it is unclaimed. 😦

Probably faith telling me that the cheapo is good enough for me?

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August 18, 2011

the next phone?

Filed under: noki — SiKing @ 5:21 pm
Tags:

My old phone is getting … old. So I started looking around at what else to get. I really like the sound of the new N9! However, in a twisty move by Nokia I suspect a lot of people are going to get rich off of this phone. I’m still looking at other possibilities…

June 5, 2010

Few weeks with Isadora

Filed under: iotal,linux — SiKing @ 12:32 pm

Originally I was going to make this entry One week with Isadora, but life got in the way as it so often does. 🙂

I have been running Isadora RC only from the liveCD for about one week. About a week before the final release I decided to bite the bullet and install outright. Overall I am very impressed – it is an amazing system, even more so considering that it is done mostly by volunteers in their spare time.

The good

I think some of these are derived from upstream, but still glad they got fixed by someone somewhere.

  • Absolutely love the new Software Manager. This tool alone makes Linux Mint one of the best distros around! :mrgreen:
  • I love the dark (Shiki-Wise) theme. Only one thing is missing: the extra scroll-up button right above the scroll-down button; I use a touchpad, and I don’t like moving my mouse that much. Half of the other themes have this. Would love to know how to modify this one tiny little thing. For this one thing I switched to the WildMint theme, even though I don’t really like the colour scheme of that one. I did change the default wallpaper to “Service-4” – it’s the one from “At your service” with the big leaf in the bottom RH corner. All the other ones were too busy for my tastes. 😛
  • I would suspend the liveCD each night, and about one out of three times it would not wake up properly. 😕 This problem is gone after the install. I now easily get weeks of uptime on my machine, suspending every night.
  • My post-install script (adding and removing software) got cut like in half! Really just gnome-games, gnome-user-guide, and build-essential. Why are these things still not included in a base system?
  • I no longer have ATI proprietary drivers! I am not sure if AMD opened up it up, or if someone just rewrote it from scratch, but this is great.
  • Compiz + Google Earth works. No more need for fussion-icon.

The bad

  • I am giving the mintMenu a try now; previously I had used the “Custom Menu”, which I think is derived from Ubuntu. Getting to most common applications is pretty easy, but getting to Preferences and Administration (I seem to be there a lot) requires a few extra clicks. I think I am suppose to use the Filter at the bottom, but at that point I need to use both the mouse and the keyboard. I have managed to (unintentionally) crash the menu on at least one occasion, and it does have a few quirky things like random selections are highlighted for no reason that I can see. Still not sure if I am going to stick with it.
  • I had a problem automatically connecting to my wireless network, but in the end I solved it. Still not sure if this is a bug or just user error.
  • What used to be Services under Elyssa is now gone. So I am not sure how to go about adding or removing services now … other than from the command line. Does Ubuntu really expect people to add/remove services from the command line? 🙄

The ugly

Ubuntu decided to change the way the applets in the notification area work. The new way sucks, and I am not alone in my opinion. According to the GNOME team, this is an Ubuntu problem; IMHO it is an opportunity for Mint to distinguish itself from the its parent.

August 11, 2009

Happenings?

Filed under: noki,tech,windows — SiKing @ 1:19 pm
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Not much actually. 😐

So my Noki is now officially outdated. 😦 Man, €500 and 19 months later, and stuff is no good anymore. 😯 Am I the only one who thinks that a device I pay that much money for should last me at least a decade? Yea, naïve, I know. 😥

Update 09/08/21: Now I know why. Nokia N900 running full Linux. Yea baby!

I am so over 64bit operating systems, regardless of the vendor. I suspect the biggest problem that is killing the whole thing are peripheral vendors. Apparently 64bit support was available in CPUs from 2003, and OS supported it from 2001 – both on the desktop. However, five years after the fact, support from (closed source) hardware vendors is flaky at best! Here is just one example of a miserable issue I recently ran headlong into.

Here is a good one. The other day, while I am installing something – something that I have been installing the same way at work for the past 6 months – out of nowhere pops up the following:

Site Server 3

This is a 10-year old product ❗ And I get this popup only when I am installing over the network. Anyone know where the heck this comes from ❓

May 22, 2009

Linux Backup & Reinstall

Filed under: iotal,linux — SiKing @ 3:38 pm
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Last week I spent some time playing with DreamLinux (again), trying to get it onto a thumb-drive / memory-stick / whatever-you-call-those-things (again). Dream hosed my system (again). This time I lost my swap?!?! I’m sorry guys, but that installer sucks! It’s just as well, there were a few changes that I had been wanting to do to my system anyways which would require a complete reinstall.

The procedure that I basically follow is:

  1. Backup home. You have to do this as root, so that hoses the ownership of all the files. I know there is a way to do it correctly and preserve the ownership, but it actually does not matter that much – see further below.
  2. Install the system wiping the drive(s) clean.
  3. Install critical updates. In the case of Mint I do only levels 1 and 2. I am running Mint 5, which is based on Ubuntu 8.04, so at this point I also install the top bugs from Ubuntu 8.04.2.
  4. Clean the system – remove things that you definitely do not want. Install restricted drivers.
  5. Create a second “administrator” account, log in to populate the home.
  6. Crete all other users, log in to each to populate their home. I have an (apparently) weird habit of putting all my users into the group “users” as opposed to the default group == username, and giving their home 700 permissions.
  7. Log in as the “administrator” and restore backups. Can’t restore (or backup for that matter) my own home when I am using it. I used to get around this by running a live-CD, but this seems like so much less work. Change owner and group of all the user’s files to themselves.
  8. Install all apps.
  9. Get my kids to install all games. 😆

There is one app that, IMHO, should get special attention: Eclipse. Eclipse has it’s own package management built in. I normally install Eclipse along with any plugins that I want through Synaptic, and then I “pin” them – lock that version – so that Synaptic or Mint Update will not try to update these. I then go into Eclipse – have to run it as root in this case – and update the whole thing from within Eclipse.

March 15, 2009

Pimp your desktop

Filed under: iotal,linux — SiKing @ 4:37 pm

If downloading and installing stuff from gnome-look.org is too complicated for you, as it is for me, then try GnomeArtNT.

Got to give credit where credit is due: I first heard about this app at MintCast #5.

February 18, 2009

Launchpad.net PPA changes

Filed under: iotal,linux,ooo — SiKing @ 10:30 am
Tags:

I got a few third-party repos on my Linux box, and for like the past month I have been getting some errors when refreshing my packages:

W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net hardy Release: The following
signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not
available: NO_PUBKEY 60D11217247D1CFF
W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net hardy Release: The following
signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not
available: NO_PUBKEY FCA4A9D8F45955CE

All this comes from outdated GPG keys due to some changes at Launchpad.net: info and alternate solution.

The first one comes from OpenOffice.org3 – full instructions here. All you have to do is update your key with: sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 247D1CFF.

The second one is from Transmission – again, full instructions. For that one, I did two things: 1) update the repo source to http://ppa.launchpad.net/transmissionbt/ppa/ubuntu (from http://ppa.launchpad.net/bortis/ppa/ubuntu), and 2) update the key with: sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 365C5CA1.

For the sake of cleaning up, I would still like to find out how to delete the old keys and perhaps more importantly which keys to get rid of.

As a last bit, I would like to say that all this is the opposite of intuitive – definitely an area for improvement.

January 27, 2009

Trimming some fat off Mint

Filed under: iotal,linux — SiKing @ 7:49 am
Tags:

The other day I went poking around in my Sessions Preferences (System > Preferences > Sessions). This is a tool that controls all the running background apps per user basis; versus Service Settings, which controls background processes for the entire machine. What are all those things and how did they get there? Some of them were placed there during initial installation, some showed up after installing certain apps, and some the user (possibly unknowingly) adds himself.

Sessions Preferences

The app has three tabs:

  • Startup Programs lists various programs that you can dis/enable next time you login
  • Current Session lists the currently running programs
  • Session Options has two controls

Unfortunately, I found that disabling certain items in the Startup Programs tab does not necessarily prevent them from showing up in the Current Session tab after a reboot. I am not sure if this is a bug, but it is at the very lest un-intuitive. Here is how I cleaned up my system:

1. Make sure that Startup Programs list what you want / need / consider important. Check everything off to start. Restart your X session – Ctrl-Alt-Backspace will do, as the normal logout may not be working at this point.

2. In Current Sessions kill everything that does not appear in Startup Programs. You will have to 1) select the app in question, 2) click Remove, and lastly 3) click Apply. It is actually sufficient to only Apply the changes after you remove the last one.

At this point I was left with the following:

  • compiz – (hopefully) self-explanatory. If you happen to kill it, it is not obvious how to get it back. I had to run ‘compiz‘ from the command line, and Reload Window Manager using the Fussion-icon utility – this utility is a must and should be installed by default.
  • nautilus – this apparently needs to be running to make a whole bunch of stuff work (desktop wallpaper for example). If you do kill it, you need to run ‘nautilus‘ from the command line and it will be able to figure out the rest on its own.
  • gnome-panel is where you keep everything that you want to launch. If you kill it, just restart it from command line.
  • gnome-session-properties which is the window you’re looking at. Note the trashcan icon next to it – this means that it will not be restarted next time.

3. At this point go into the Session Options, and click Remember Currently Running Applications. To prevent further pollution, make sure to check off Automatically remember running applications when logging out.

4. Lastly go back to Startup Programs, and turn on everything that you know you need. Restart your X session.

If you completely reboot after this, things may take a little longer to come back than usual. This is normal only the first time.

December 27, 2008

More Minty goodness?

Filed under: iotal,linux,ooo — SiKing @ 9:10 pm

Over the holidays I tried the recently released Linux Mint 6 – Felicia.

Nothing much changed in the installer from version 5 – Elyssa. I think the whole install took something on the magnitude of 15 minutes including formatting the disks – compared to Windows 2000 which was in the range of 45 minutes, and that does not include hunting down all the drivers afterwards. (I needed the Windows to update my BIOS. 😛 ) If you give the installer an Internet connection, it will download something (this will be on top of the 15 minutes install). I did not actually check, but I suspect it downloaded all the language packs which you otherwise get on the Universal DVD. I did have a couple of very minor complaints about the installer. It would be nice if you could turn off swap for the liveCD (yea, I know there is a command-line way of doing it), in case you are going to modify it. The new system did not know about my previous users, even thought I had their homes stored on a separate partition that I mounted as /home. I don’t really get the point of turning on/off the Fortunes in terminal as part of the post-install.

I experienced some problems with video. First I noticed that Xorg takes up more memory – around twice 120MB when idle, compared to twice 80MB. When starting the X server (hard reboot, or even just switching users), the last active user’s desktop would quickly flash by; I thought this at least a little odd. I tried to connect an external monitor (actually a television set with a VGA input), which totally screwed up my video settings. Not only could Felicia not figure out properly what resolution the monitor was, but even after disconnecting the monitor, the settings on my laptop LCD were screwed up on all user accounts, and all of them differently! Turning off the proprietary drivers did not make a difference. After that parts of the screen even temporarily stopped responding, so I would get this deco effect thing happening.

While browsing around I also noticed a bunch of new things in the Startup programs (see System > Preferences > Sessions) which have no description; so I have to go searching to see if I really want them or not. I think the biggest letdown from Felicia is that, just like Ibex, she does not come with OpenOffice.org 3. However, you can upgrade it yourself; here is how. If you do, you can dump ~/.openoffice.org2 the user settings are now stored in ~/.openoffice.org/3.

Update 09/09/24: OpenOffice.org3 is no longer available for Hardy / Elyssa.

Elyssa was exciting, young, slim, and perhaps a little inexperienced, but once you figure out how to touch her, she was open to try anything. Felicia is more mature, putting on the pounds just a little, but dependable; however, underneath she is a new woman, demanding and uncompromising, that you have to learn how to play all over again. In the end, Elyssa is going to be around longer than Felicia even on my machine. Even set up Elyssa XFCE edition on my son’s old Latitude. :mrgreen:

October 10, 2008

Linux Mint on Thinkpad T43, part 2/2

Filed under: iotal,linux — SiKing @ 12:00 pm
Tags:

Linux Mint logoI have been with Linux Mint (and GNOME) for little over 3 months now, several software upgrades, and I think even 2 kernel upgrades. This distro is rok solid and I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation!

In this second post I wanted to go a little more into the distro itself. There are already numerous reviews online, so the below will be just some of my own rants and things that I would improve; and being unemployed right now, maybe I will.

Software: What I liked and what I didn’t

Right after install, before any user changes, I tried some additional things, like mounting external drives, playing various multimedia formats, and playing around with the various tools. Everything worked right out of the box with very little problems.

Wireless

Wireless support, as in Ubuntu, is handled by the Network Manager from GNOME. Being new to GNOME I initially had some issues figuring this thing out. The tool gives absolutely no feedback on what it is doing – the flyover text is usually wrong. Sorry guys, but this one needs work. I know that wireless is difficult at best of times, but I need to know if you’re connecting, trying, sleeping, whatever. And especially if you’re not working, why not. A swirly thing flying around in a circle is not feedback! Tell me what you don’t like, and maybe I can try and fix it. Eventually, after some trial-and-error I did figure out how the tool operates, and especially how it gives you feedback, but my initial impression was that it was plain stuck.

One additional improvement that I would like to see for NM, would be a second mode of operation – call it “home user mode”. Assume that there is one account that has Administrator privileges, and several other accounts that do not – the “Desktop user”. In this home mode, the administrator would set up the preferred network(s) with appropriate security and access keys, which would then all be copied (perhaps after being prompted to confirm the action) into all existing and future user accounts. That way the casual users are not bothered by that pesky WEP vs. WPA, 64-bit vs. 124-bit keys, keyring, and all that other junk.

Package Management

Mint is derived from Ubuntu, which is derived from Debian, hence the native software packages are .deb. There are several graphical front ends, the default being Synaptic. There is also a mintInstall tool, which is suppose to make installation of most popular packages easier. Personally I feel pretty comfortable with Synaptic and so I do not make much use of mintInstall. There is also mintUpdate which automatically checks for updates to all installed packages. The only changes that I made to mintUpdate is to check every 5 days instead of the default every 5 minutes 😯 , and to not bother me with level 3 updates – but neither of these is necessary, just my preference.

One thing that is sorta annoying though: any user that is created as a “Desktop user” does not need to have mintUpdate running, because they can’t do anything with it even if they wanted to – it requires sudo access, which they do not have. For all current and future Desktop users mintUpdate should be disabled by default.

Software

Languages, in the Ubuntu repositories, are a friggin’ mess – at least from my point of view. Could someone explain to me the following? I am bilingual, and so I installed support for Czech to get the dictionaries. Now in Thunderbird when I compose a message, I have the options: “cs_CZ”, “Czech (CZ)”, “cs-CZ” in certain parts, and “Cechia (CZ)”. How about this one: I have a slight patriotic streak, and prefer the Canadian variant of English over the US. So I installed language-support-en. Now I have like ten different English languages, each one at least twice, but not one single version of Canadian English. I had to install that manually, separately for Thunderbird and separately for OpenOffice.org.

After install, I had some problems with Flash plugin. Apparently Mint 5 comes with version 10.0.218; I could swear that mine came with 9.something.outdated. The only reason why I know this is that I had to upgrade it, because several websites, that are absolutely essential to my daughter’s existence 🙄 , did not work. Well, at some point during the upgrade I screwed something up. Although the Flash plugin did work, Synaptic (or any of the other package managers) were completely unaware that had one. Eventually I did fix it, but it did take some investigative work.

Update 08/12/25: Mint5 comes with both Macromedia Flash player 9.0.21.78 and Adobe Flash player 10.0.b218. Things might have gotten confused the first time around.

I tried to get BOINC going; this is probably one of the most worth-while volunteer-driven projects on the Internet today. I had some problems getting the graphical screensaver to work as I wanted, so I decided to dig a little deeper into it. I even went so far as to create a .mint file for it. It turns out, that this is currently not available under Linux. 😦

Desktop

Brightness control is all wacky, on my machine. There is a range of 7 steps that you can have brightness set to. You would expect that pressing the up or down key once, would raise or lower the brightness one step. However, this works only in the up direction. Going down jumps one step below the previous bottom-most level. For example, let’s say that I take my brightness down to level 4 (3 down key presses), and then I go back all the way up (3 up key presses). When I press the down key next time, I will be taken straight down to level 3 – one below the last bottom-most level!

Keyboard Shortcuts I cannot get to do anything; open it up from System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts. Click Help gives me “There was an error displaying help: Help document user-guide/user-guide.xml not found.” No idea where to get the user guide from. Change or disable any Shortcut has no effect – only the old combination still works. Still searching for a clue here – anyone?

Update 08/12/25: I got these to work now. I suspect I had my keyboard model initially configured wrong in the layout; I now use “IBM ThinkPad 560Z/600/600E/A22E” model.

Update 08/12/26: To get help, install gnome-user-guide.

mintMenu – my kids love it (that is not a put down, they actually do), I myself prefer the default GNOME menu. One change that I would make: any user that is a “Desktop user” (meaning that he has no sudo access) does not need to even see the System submenu (as everything there requires sudo access). These accounts should have this menu turned off by default.

Miscellaneous

From the don’t-eat-yellow-snow department: I tried some of the things I found in an article 10 ways to make Linux boot faster. After turning on the CONCURRENCY (#10: Use a hack with Debian), I lost all wireless. All the other ideas were less useless. Be careful of these crackpots!

There are several apps, where the screen oddly flashes at a very annoying frequency – Google Earth, SuperTux, and probably others. Apparently the problem is somewhere between ATI drivers, openGL, and Xorg – basically extremely complicated to fix. The workaround is that you need to (temporarily) disable Compiz with: metacity --replace. Unfortunately putting this in front of the command that launches the app, such as metacity --replace && googleearth does not work; it’s going to have to be done with some sort of (nohup metacity --replace &) && googleearth or sumtin’or’ther. I’m still working on this one.

Update 08/11/09: Found a workaround here. Thanx Tom!

October 1, 2008

Linux Mint on Thinkpad T43, part 1/2

Filed under: iotal,linux — SiKing @ 12:00 pm

I got me a new play-toy; a hand-me-down IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T43, and her name is iotal. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out a few distros…

What I started out with was a dual-boot machine; on one partition I would install something quick that just works, and I would have a second partition for experimentation. Being a long-time K-fanboy (and totally by coincidence living in Ireland at the time) I thought I’d give Linux Mint KDE a try. Unfortunately, Daryna (version 4 – latest available at the time) did not put out for me, and the installer crashed half way through. No big deal, it’s only temporary I thought, I’ll go with standard Mint-GNOME (which was already up to version 5r1, Elysa). Next came the sampling of others. I tried everything from DesktopBSD to Dreamlinux, and several in between. I had tried D-BSD before.; however I could not get wireless to work, which is an immediate KO criteria on a laptop. Dream I would agree with the reviews, has an installer that still needs a lot of work; the attraction, at least for me, was that my daughter’s school is getting outfitted with Macs, and I wanted her to get used to the interface, as well as give myself a chance to play around with it. Unfortunately, the installed system would not boot.

Over the trial period of two months, I found that whenever I actually wanted to get anything done I kept returning to Mint. In the end Linux Mint Elysa is the primary and only distro on my komp!

Hardware: What worked and what didn’t

Very big majority of things worked right out of the box. I suspect that a lot of this comes from upstream Ubuntu 8.04; similar experience should be achieved with that distro and possibly any of the derivatives. As with everything else: your mileage may vary!

Following is a copy-paste from the Lenovo website of the Detailed specifications, edited to cut down on the marketing BS and redundancy, with my own comments / hints / rants added. I know there is significantly more information here than what anyone will ever need, but I am hoping that anyone will find exactly what they need.

Audio

  • Analog Devices AD1981B AC’97 Soft Audio (Full-duplex)
  • AC’97 2.2 compatible
  • Stereo speakers
  • Two audio jacks:
    • One for external stereo speakers or headphone
    • One for external microphone

:mrgreen: Worked out of the box.

Keyboard

  • 86 key keyboard with embedded numeric keypad and integrated UltraNav dual-pointing system.
  • ThinkLight keyboard light
  • Volume up, down, and mute buttons
  • The keyboard has a Fn key which is a special key and is located in the lower left corner.

:mrgreen: Out of the box.

Update 08/12/25: In order to get Keyboard Shortcuts to work properly, you have to define the keyboard model (in System > Preferences > Keyboard > Layouts) as “IBM Thinkpad 560Z/600/600E/A22E”.

The available Fn-key functions are:

  • Fn-F3 – lock screen
  • Fn-F4 – suspend
  • Fn-F5 – toggle wireless and infra-red on/off
  • Fn-F7 – switch between LCD – External Monitor (I do not have a monitor to try this out)
  • Fn-12 – hibernate
  • Fn-Home / Fn-End – brightness up / down (works, but screwy)
  • Fn-PgUp – keyboard light
  • Fn-Space – magnification (does not work; under the other OS, it required special software driver)

➡ Observation: Full shutdown (from desktop) = 18 seconds, full startup (to gdm) = 60 seconds; hibernate (from desktop) = 41 seconds, wakeup (to password prompt) = 59 seconds.

Memory

  • 2 x 1GB PC2-4200 CL4 Non-Parity (NP) Double Data Rate Two (DDR2) Synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) SO-DIMM memory
  • 200-pin SO-DIMM with gold-plated leads

:mrgreen: no comment

Mouse

  • UltraNav dual-pointing system, featuring TrackPoint and customized touch pad. The TrackPoint features Press-to-Select, Internet scroll.

:mrgreen: All working: both pointing devices, touch pad tapping, touch pad 2D scrolling, both sets of the mouse buttons plus one third button. All right out of the box!

Processor

  • Intel Mobile Pentium M 750 / 1.8GHz
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology
  • Intel Mobile Pentium M have 2 MB of L2 cache memory

:mrgreen: Mint reports it as 1.86GHz.

Communications – Infrared (IR)

  • IR transceiver for wireless file and data transfer and printing.
  • Speeds up to 4Mbps.
  • Compatible with the Infrared Data Association (IrDA) IR data link specification

😕 I don’t currently have anything to test this against.

Communications – Modem

  • Modem communication daughter card (CDC)
  • K56Flex v.92

😕 don’t know, don’t care

Communications – Network

  • 1Gb Ethernet (LOM) installed on systems via the system board
  • Intel 802.11a/b/g Mini PCI wireless adapter

:mrgreen: Mint worked right out of the box! The wireless chipset is Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG.

Expansion – Bays

  • One integrated, easy-loading modular Ultrabay Slim
  • One Mini PCI IIIb slot (not a customer replaceable unit (CRU))
  • One CDC slot (not a CRU)

:mrgreen: The Ultrabay contains the CD/DVD, which works right out of the box.

❗ Update 09/02/24: Ejecting the CD bay, and plugging it back in, completely freezes the entire system.

😕 The other two I have no way to test.

Expansion – External ports

  • Two USB ports version 2.0
  • One parallel (EPP, ECP) compatible
  • Additional connector supports the optional Port Replicator and dock
  • S-Video out
  • CRT port for external monitor
  • Built-in RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors for telephony and LAN connections

:mrgreen: Working out of the box: USBs, RJ-45.

😕 Unconfirmed / Unknown: Parallel, Port Replicator, CRT, S-Video, RJ-11. I would however expect all these to work without a problem.

Update 08/12/25: Tried to test the CRT (under Felicia) using a non-brand television set. Although it did detect the monitor, it completely screwed up the X-server settings, and the system never properly recovered after that.

Expansion – PC Card

  • One PCMCIA type II slot
    • Conforms to the PC Card Standard 95
    • Accommodates either one Type I, one Type II
    • 16-bit and 32-bit cards are supported
    • PCMCIA 2.1 standard
    • No zoom video support
  • One Express card slot

😕 Currently have no way to test these.

Power – AC Adapter

  • The AC adapter also charges the battery pack when it is installed in the computer.

:mrgreen: The power indicators in Mint can tell the difference between charging / discharging / running on AC, all right out of the box.

Power – Battery

  • Li-Ion battery pack: nine cell, 10.8V, 6.6Ah

:mrgreen: Immediately after first boot, before the machine was even on the Internet, Elysa warned me that the battery may have been recalled and gave me a direct link to the Lenovo website. How the heck does it know that?

Security – System

  • Security Chip
  • Fingerprint reader offers users a convenient solution, authenticate at system startup and log on to Microsoft Windows with a swipe of your finger.

❗ Not happening under Linux…

Security – Password

  • A Power-on password (POP) protects the system from unauthorized use. If a POP is set, the password prompt appears:
    • Each time the system is turned on
    • When the system is returned to normal operation from suspend mode
  • A Supervisor Password provides a higher level of security than the POP. The Supervisor Password protects the system functions from being used by unauthorized users,and protects the hardware configuration from unauthorized modification. The Supervisor Password prompt appears:
    • When the BIOS setup screen is accessed.
  • A hard drive Password (HDP) protects hard drive data from unauthorized users. Once HDP is set, data on the hard drive cannot be accessed without the correct HDP. Because the HDP is stored in the hard drive, the data remains protected even if the hard drive is removed to another system. The HDP password prompt appears:
    • Each time the system is turned on

➡ This is really unrelated to Mint, as all three of these are BIOS-only security measures. I am not sure what all that “data remains protected even if the hard drive is removed to another system” bullshit is about; I booted up the Mint liveCD (on the same system), and was able to access all files on both my partitions, without ever being challenged by any password. This is protection only against the most naïve of MS-Winees.

Storage – Optical drive

  • 24x24x24x/8x CDRW/DVD Ultrabay slim drive
  • Bootable

:mrgreen: Out of the box.

Storage – Hard drive features

  • 60GB
  • S.M.A.R.T technology to issue an alert if a hardware failure is pending
  • ATA Bus Interface
  • 5400 rpm
  • The Ultrabay Slim hard drive adapter is designed to provide flexibility with a second hard drive in the Ultrabay Slim.
  • The Hard Drive Active Protection system protects your hard drive when the shock sensor inside your ThinkPad computer detects a situation that could potentially damage the hard drive.

:mrgreen: In BIOS I released the restore partition “IBM Predesktop Area” to be reclaimed by the OS. However, GParted reports the disk as 55.89GB, the Mint installer said 60.0GB, and Baobab (disk usage analyser) claims 78.2GB; I guess it all averages out in the end. ❓

😕 Do not have an Ultrabay drive.

➡ As for the Hard Drive Active Protection system: I once dropped the machine from (slightly) less than one meter, while a movie was playing (disk was at full spin); MS never recovered from this shock. I was able to use Linux to get all my data off the drive. Did not repeat the same test with Linux … yet.

Video – Display

  • 14.1inch, 16M colors, SXGA+ (1400 * 1050 resolution) TFT display

:mrgreen: Elysa drives it at 50Hz.

Video – Graphic Controller

  • ATI – 64 MB ATI Mobility Radeon X300
Resolution LCD Color depth
640×480 256, 64k, 16M
800×600 256, 64k, 16M
1024×768 256, 64k, 16M
1280×1024 256, 64k, 16M
1400×1050 256, 64k, 16M
1600×1200 256*, 64k*, 16M*
2048×1536 256*, 64k*, 16M*

* Supported only in panning mode on LCD

:mrgreen: I can get everything up to 1400×1050 to go. The higher ones are not even available from the menu.

➡ The drivers installed by EnvyNG hose the graphics; I uninstalled that thing PDQ. Use the Hardware Drivers update (under the Administration menu), which works like a charm. After that you can also turn on all the Compiz fancy stuff.

➡ When I tried to install Dreamlinux, something got hosed: the Mint graphical boot display got lost and all the text boot prompts were flashing by. One of them said something along the lines of: “Wrong chipset detected. 915resolution …” Another ballast that can be dropped.

February 25, 2008

Noki upgrade, or is it?

Filed under: noki — SiKing @ 4:24 pm

Nokia logoSo almost a year after I got my Noki I finally upgraded the firmware. I am the ultimate procrastinator!

The Nokia website is rather difficult to navigate, IMHO. I had to resort to Google to find their FAQ, which is the only place that gives you the recommended full instructions. One thing that is missing (but for Windblows users this is probably normal part of life) is that you need to reboot the PC after installing all the software. Before the reboot, the software did not detect my phone correctly. I went from version 1.10.030 to 2.20.008. After upgrade of the firmware I also reformatted the internal disk; the backup and restore via USB for that alone took about an hour, each way. One very kool (NOT!) thing: during restore of the internal memory, about 3/4 of the way through, the phone insists on rebooting, failing the restore … in other words, I have no way of completing the restore. whacky So far I am not sure what I lost, if anything.

So what was the point of all the pain? I had previously experienced occasional lockup of the phone (I did hear this from other users as well), which forced me to reboot it to get it back to life. On one occasion, I even crashed the Music player – the player on this phone is an always-on application, which is not possible to be shut down, therefore the designers did not feel it necessary to have a way for it to be started up. So far no crashes after the upgrade, mind you it has been only a week. However, there was a second reason. When you upload music to the phone through USB, the first time afterwards you switch on the Music player, it is supposed to detect the change and prompt you to refresh the internal music library indexes. On occasion, this process would completely wipe my music library (only the library index, not the actual MP3s) from the memory. After the upgrade, I am permanently stuck with an empty library: the phone does prompt me to refresh after an upload, but the OK button is simply not there – the only option available is Cancel. So far, I have no workaround for this F-up.

Another thing that I am enjoying from the PC software, is that when I plug in the phone and turn on the Mass storage mode, the PC Suite complains that the phone is switched to an incompatible mode…

Update1 2008/07/31: Update on the Music library issues. First off, Nokia obviously denies anything is wrong. Second, there is a way to start up the Music player in case it crashes: Menu > Music. Lastly, and most importantly, to “wake up” (for lack of a better phrase) the Music library after having the phone memory completely wiped due to firmware update, you need to force it the first time: Menu > Music > Options > Refresh music library. My personal guess is that this builds up internally whatever it needs. After that, the updates seem to work correctly after a USB upload, and the prompt even has the OK button. 🙂

Update2 2008/07/31: So one thing that did not make the restore: my saved radio stations.

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