Sunday, November 29, 2009

Linux Mint Helena on the Sony Vaio PCG FRV37

Today (still hot on the download servers, guess I got on the download rush just before the madness started) installed the newest release from Linux Mint, called Helena, on Hercules, my Vaio sandbox at the moment.

Removed the 60 GB HDD I'm using on it, and slapped the 20 GB HDD that used to be from my late, late iBook, and started the installer.

The install, there is only a standard Live CD one (no Mini, nor an Alternative installer option) took about an hour on the crappy old hardware that Hercules has, but offered no problems at all, not during, and certainly, not after it is over.

The whole thing seems rather nice, the GUI looks clear and fresh, with a minty taste ;) I particularly don't like the custom tailored menu they offer, which, I'm sure might be sucking a lot of developers time, I'm sorry... I guess I'm much onto the Ubuntu state of things, besides, on the old hardware of Hercules it is the last item to appear upon booting.

And, regarding booting times, it is slower than the plain Karmic Koala, but, once again, who want a faster boot if it places you in front of the awful Karmic GDM?

For those who uses Desktop Effects, they do work out of the box with ATI video card that the Vaio has.

Un compressed copy on Image Shack

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The current Ubuntu desktop

I'm loving this dark theme on Karmic, I didn't thought it was that good on Jaunty, not Intrepid, but looks kick ass now ...

Un compressed copy on Image Shack

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Saturday PowerBook de-gunk

Yet another edition of the de-gunk series...
This time, it was Balrog's turn.
I have to say that compared to Hercules, the guts of this little machine are way, way cleaner, not to mention, everything it is packed amazingly tight, there is hardly any space left for anything other than the laptop's own hardware.
And, it was incredibly clean, specially the fans, once again, compared to Hercules' guts that were a freaking mess.

Un compressed copy on Image Shack

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Karmic slowdowns & freezes

I was having some really, really annoying freezes/ "stops"/ slow downs while performing the most stupidest things, like Tab completion, or closing Firefox.
It was really strange, the first real annoyance, the first real problem, other than a hardware glitch, I had while running Ubuntu on the Compaq F700.

It turned out that the problem was the DNS/ IP V6 bug that this release has, the strange thing was that usually the DNS bug shows up as a slow internet browsing, something I didn't suffer.

Had to edit the files '/etc/nsswitch.conf' & '/etc/sysctl.conf'; the first file ended up like this (the only modified line):

## hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
## hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns
hosts: files dns

While I added to the bottom of the the second file:


[karmic regression] all network apps / browsers suffer from multi-second delays by default due to IPv6 DNS lookups

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Monday, November 23, 2009

RHEL: Change MTA to Sendmail

# /etc/init.d/postfix stop
Shutting down postfix: [ OK ]

This one will fail

# /etc/init.d/sendmail stop
Shutting down sm-client: [FAILED]
Shutting down sendmail: [FAILED]

# alternatives --config mta

There are 2 programs which provide 'mta'.

Selection Command
* 1 /usr/sbin/sendmail.sendmail
+ 2 /usr/sbin/sendmail.postfix

Enter to keep the current selection[+], or type selection number: 1

Turn Postfix auto off, and Sendmail auto on:

# chkconfig --level 345 postfix off
# chkconfig --level 345 sendmail on

Don't forget to turn the sendmail service on once again.

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Karmic Koala on the Compaq F700

After playing with Karmic on Hercules for a while, decided to wipe Jaunty and test it on Tango.
Installed yesterday, as usual, a clean install on top of Jaunty, once again with the Alternate CD.
Everything went straight with the install, took about 30 minutes to get the whole thing up & running.
Didn't find any significant faster booting time at all, and the sight of the awful GDM doesn't make things any better :)

This was the first Ubuntu install I did on this laptop that got everything right from the get go, I mean the LCD resolution and the WiFi card, and there wasn't even the need to install the proprietary "NVIDIA drivers".

The only thing that it is not working is the Suspend, I have to use the Hibernate, that it does work Ok.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Firefox: Crash & (not so) burn

This is a new one for me... Haven't see that situation before, until a freaking Flash page took down the whole Firefox, I fucking hate Flash.
A really nice touch that "pick a recovery tab" menu, the best thing, I was writing a post on the MUG, when the thing went down in flames, the recovery even saved the stupid things I was about to post.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The curent Ubuntu desktop

Yeah, the Karmic Koala/ Sony Monster baby love lives, breathes and reproduces around here... No doubt about that.

Uncompressed copy on Image Shack

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Small things I love of Ubuntu

$ sudo crontab -u root -e
no crontab for root - using an empty one

Select an editor. To change later, run 'select-editor'.
1. /bin/ed
2. /bin/nano <---- easiest
3. /usr/bin/emacs22
4. /usr/bin/vim.tiny

Choose 1-4 [2]: 3

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Hello again, OpenBSD (2)

The dmesg from the laptop:

OpenBSD 4.6 (GENERIC) #58: Thu Jul 9 21:24:42 MDT 2009
cpu0: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz ("GenuineIntel" 686-class) 2.80 GHz
real mem = 670068736 (639MB)
avail mem = 638316544 (608MB)
mainbus0 at root
bios0 at mainbus0: AT/286+ BIOS, date 08/13/03, BIOS32 rev. 0 @ 0xfd780, SMBIOS rev. 2.3 @ 0xdc010 (18 entries)
bios0: vendor Phoenix Technologies LTD version "R0108K7" date 08/13/2003
bios0: Sony Corporation PCG-FRV37(UC)
acpi0 at bios0: rev 0
acpi0: tables DSDT FACP BOOT
acpi0: wakeup devices PCI0(S5) SLT1(S5) ENET(S5) MODM(S4) USB1(S3) USB2(S3) USB3(S3)
acpitimer0 at acpi0: 3579545 Hz, 32 bits
acpiprt0 at acpi0: bus 0 (PCI0)
acpiprt1 at acpi0: bus 1 (PPB_)
acpiec0 at acpi0
acpicpu0 at acpi0: C2
acpitz0 at acpi0: critical temperature 90 degC
acpibtn0 at acpi0: PBTN
acpibat0 at acpi0: BAT1 model "PCGA-BP2NX " serial 3374 type LION oem "Sony Corp."
acpiac0 at acpi0: AC unit online
acpibtn1 at acpi0: LID_
acpivideo0 at acpi0: VGA_
acpivout0 at acpivideo0: CRT_
acpivout1 at acpivideo0: LCD_
acpivout2 at acpivideo0: TV__
bios0: ROM list: 0xc0000/0xf000 0xdc000/0x4000! 0xe0000/0x4000!
cpu0 at mainbus0: (uniprocessor)
pci0 at mainbus0 bus 0: configuration mode 1 (bios)
pchb0 at pci0 dev 0 function 0 "ATI RS200M AGP" rev 0x02
agp at pchb0 not configured
ppb0 at pci0 dev 1 function 0 "ATI RS200 PCI" rev 0x00
pci1 at ppb0 bus 1
vga1 at pci1 dev 5 function 0 "ATI Mobility M6" rev 0x00
wsdisplay0 at vga1 mux 1: console (80x25, vt100 emulation)
wsdisplay0: screen 1-5 added (80x25, vt100 emulation)
radeondrm0 at vga1: couldn't map interrupt
"Acer Labs M5457 Modem" rev 0x00 at pci0 dev 3 function 0 not configured
autri0 at pci0 dev 4 function 0 "Acer Labs M5451 Audio" rev 0x02: irq 11
ac97: codec id 0x41445374 (Analog Devices AD1981B)
ac97: codec features headphone, 20 bit DAC, No 3D Stereo
audio0 at autri0
midi0 at autri0: <4DWAVE MIDI UART>
alipm0 at pci0 dev 6 function 0 "Acer Labs M7101 Power" rev 0x00: 74KHz clock
iic0 at alipm0
spdmem0 at iic0 addr 0x50: 512MB DDR SDRAM non-parity PC2700CL2.5
spdmem1 at iic0 addr 0x51: 256MB DDR SDRAM non-parity PC2100CL2.5
pcib0 at pci0 dev 7 function 0 "Acer Labs M1533 ISA" rev 0x00
cbb0 at pci0 dev 10 function 0 "Ricoh 5C476 CardBus" rev 0xaa: irq 11
cbb1 at pci0 dev 10 function 1 "Ricoh 5C476 CardBus" rev 0xaa: irq 10
"Ricoh 5C552 Firewire" rev 0x02 at pci0 dev 10 function 2 not configured
uhci0 at pci0 dev 12 function 0 "VIA VT83C572 USB" rev 0x50: irq 11
uhci1 at pci0 dev 12 function 1 "VIA VT83C572 USB" rev 0x50: irq 10
ehci0 at pci0 dev 12 function 2 "VIA VT6202 USB" rev 0x51: irq 11
usb0 at ehci0: USB revision 2.0
uhub0 at usb0 "VIA EHCI root hub" rev 2.00/1.00 addr 1
pciide0 at pci0 dev 15 function 0 "Acer Labs M5229 UDMA IDE" rev 0xc4: DMA, channel 0 configured to compatibility, channel 1 configured to compatibility
wd0 at pciide0 channel 0 drive 0:
wd0: 16-sector PIO, LBA, 19077MB, 39070080 sectors
wd0(pciide0:0:0): using PIO mode 4, Ultra-DMA mode 5
atapiscsi0 at pciide0 channel 1 drive 0
scsibus0 at atapiscsi0: 2 targets
cd0 at scsibus0 targ 0 lun 0: ATAPI 5/cdrom removable
cd0(pciide0:1:0): using PIO mode 4, Ultra-DMA mode 2
rl0 at pci0 dev 18 function 0 "Realtek 8139" rev 0x10: irq 11, address 08:00:46:c1:c5:ae
rlphy0 at rl0 phy 0: RTL internal PHY
isa0 at pcib0
isadma0 at isa0
com0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16550, no working fifo
pckbc0 at isa0 port 0x60/5
pckbd0 at pckbc0 (kbd slot)
pckbc0: using irq 1 for kbd slot
wskbd0 at pckbd0: console keyboard, using wsdisplay0
pms0 at pckbc0 (aux slot)
pckbc0: using irq 12 for aux slot
wsmouse0 at pms0 mux 0
pcppi0 at isa0 port 0x61
midi1 at pcppi0:
spkr0 at pcppi0
lpt0 at isa0 port 0x378/4 irq 7
npx0 at isa0 port 0xf0/16: reported by CPUID; using exception 16
cardslot0 at cbb0 slot 0 flags 0
cardbus0 at cardslot0: bus 2 device 0 cacheline 0x0, lattimer 0x20
pcmcia0 at cardslot0
cardslot1 at cbb1 slot 1 flags 0
cardbus1 at cardslot1: bus 3 device 0 cacheline 0x0, lattimer 0x20
pcmcia1 at cardslot1
usb1 at uhci0: USB revision 1.0
uhub1 at usb1 "VIA UHCI root hub" rev 1.00/1.00 addr 1
usb2 at uhci1: USB revision 1.0
uhub2 at usb2 "VIA UHCI root hub" rev 1.00/1.00 addr 1
biomask ed6d netmask ed6d ttymask ffff
mtrr: Pentium Pro MTRR support
acx0 at cardbus1 dev 0 function 0 "TI ACX100A" rev 0x00: irq 10
acx0: ACX100, radio MAX2820 (0x0d), EEPROM ver 5, address 00:0d:88:83:33:f9
uhidev0 at uhub2 port 1 configuration 1 interface 0 "Microsoft Microsoft 5-Button Mouse with IntelliEye(TM)" rev 1.10/3.00 addr 2
uhidev0: iclass 3/1
ums0 at uhidev0: 5 buttons, Z dir
wsmouse1 at ums0 mux 0
softraid0 at root
root on wd0a swap on wd0b dump on wd0b

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Hello again, OpenBSD

Installed it, just for kicks, on my Sony Vaio monster.

Everything went amazingly well, the new OpenBSD installer its a breeze togo by, and, even if it is totally text driven, (not even Curses, I guess) has one plus that I haven't seeing on any OS install so far, the fact that you can, right form the very beginning, disable root access over SSH.

But, the idea was to test is as Desktop, compared to Ubuntu's Karmic Koala on the same hardware. I have to say that I don't find any of the two snappier or that it would run cooler on the laptop (without firing up the fans all the time). Both OS did the same, of course, Karmic boots faster, but who gives a flying fuck about booting times? I don't.

Some post install stuff I did on the OpenBSD lappie:

$ sudo pkg_add bash
chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash

Logout and back in to reflect the changes

To avoid this:

$ sudo pkg_add screen
Can't resolve screen

I found better to do all this installs with an open a browser to the URL:


and then select and copy/paste from there the exact file name and version of the programs I wanted installed on my box.

Some other programs I have installed to make things feel more like home:

$ sudo pkg_add emacs-22.3p0-no_x11
$ sudo pkg_add screen-4.0.3p1 wget-1.11.4
$ sudo pkg_add gnome-session (12:47 AM - 01:24 AM)
$ sudo pkg_add vlc-0.8.6ip4 gimp-2.6.6p0 epiphany-2.24.3p8 epiphany-extensions-2.24.3p3

And, BTW, that it is the Jefatura de Gabinete de Ministros... Who would have thought that my government would give me access to a cool OS, and a local, and therefore fast, access I should say.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gunk-less Saturday

And today it was Thor's turn... Last Sunday was Hercules.

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Nautilus Toolbar icons: make them small

The day to day use on a 1024x768 screen forces you to learn and execute a few tricks :p

For instance, Gnome icons, particularly the ones used on Nautilus are big, so to make good use of the small screen real state, I have switched the regular 'large-toolbar' icosn to the smaller ones called 'small-toolbar' :D
To do so, fire up gconf-editor, and find the Key:


The difference is clearly seen in the two screenshots:


Of course, if you don like any of those icons show up, simply choose on any Nautilus window:

View > Main Toolbar (and toggle it off)

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Friday, November 13, 2009

The curent Ubuntu desktop

I'm in love with my "new" laptop.

I love its 1024x768 povera screen resolution, it is, sort of, like going back home, it feels "natural", a bit tight sometimes, yes, but "natural".

Or maybe my eyes are sort of tired, and the natural size of everything at this resolution seems like a blessing :)

Un compressed copy on Image Shack

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Herculean Sony Vaio

I simply love my freaking new Sony Vaio laptop...

It is old, heavy and not so fast for the today's standards (not to mention 1024x768, the Horror!!!) but it is amazingly well built, strong as an elephant.
I was under the general impression that Vaios were expensive and really fragile toys, but, maybe because this one is quite old, it rugged as a tank.

BTW, I have named it Hercules, given its abilities.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Gunk-less Sunday

Took the time to disassembly my new monster today, but I really mean disassembly it...

It was making way too much noise, and getting a lot (a fucking lot, actually) of thermal shutdown(s) with this baby, the thing simply was getting on my nerves.
It was a really messy task, really gross stuff came out from the both of the heat sinks, but, what a hell, some one had to do it, and that one was no other than myself.

The whole thing, now that the cleansing it over, feels waaaay better, the noise level of the laptop is another world actually; no problems with the process per se, except that the CPU was totally and completely stuck, thanks to the old thermal grease, to the CPU heat sink; in order to put it in its place once again I had to pry it from the heat sink, and make it fit correctly the CPU seating.


The last picture is the actual gunk, as it was getting ready for its trip to the other side.

Uncompressed copies on Image Shack (just for the record)
Before the clean
Everything clean and ready to go
The horror... The horror...

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Monday, November 02, 2009

More Post-install stuff

Set the Emacs key bindings globally on Gnome... A real must.

/usr/bin/gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_key_theme Emacs --type string

Enable the composite manager on Metacity, another must, this one has to be executed each time the box is rebooted, because, even tho the compositing is there, it looses the drop shadow effect for the Panels (the same thing happened on Jaunty as well).

/usr/bin/gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager --type bool true

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

The curent Ubuntu desktop

Nothing has changed much, not from the defaults, nor my previous Karmic screen shot post; but I want to keep a record of those desktops anyhow.
This one shows the icons on the upper Panel the way I'm using it now, as well as the glorious Android font.

Uncompressed copy on Image Shack

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Get rid of the "Add New Tab" icon on Firefox

Fuegofox bites

What a Hell were they thinking on???

I hate that freaking button (actually, more like a fucking cross really, not even a nice icon, at least on Linux), and it steals screen real state, period.
To get rid of it, open a Terminal, and...

cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/WHATEVER.default/chrome/

And then:

cat > userChrome.css

And then paste this:

.tabs-newtab-button {display: none;}

And hit: 'Ctrl + D', then, re-init Firefox and it is gone for good.

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