Monday, November 1, 2010

Samsung R780 with Ubuntu 10.10

I wanted to replace my desktop computer by a laptop for quite a while now and as it started to randomly freeze - no matter which OS it ran - I decided the right time has come now. I did some online research and then picked a Samsung R780 Helix (link in German). The bare technical facts:

  • Intel Core i5 430M CPU

  • 4 GB RAM

  • Nvidia GeForce GT M330

  • 17,3" display with 1600x900 resolution

  • Blueray drive

  • 640 GB harddisk

  • integrated webcam

  • unfortunately no bluetooth

The R780 is available in several flavors which differ in harddisk space and CPU type. Helix comes with an Intel Core i5 430M and a 640GB harrdisk. So far I don't regret my choice! It's very quiet (no noisy fans), good keyboard and a nice display. Of course it comes preinstalled with Windows 7 (64bit). I didn't remove Windows but I wanted Linux installed as well. (By the way, the hardware seems pretty compatible with current Linux distrubutions.) So, this is how I got along...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"googlecl" RPM for Fedora

Recently Google released a command line tool to manage it's many different services: googlecl. This might be handy for those who want to script some operations. It's quite simple to use, i.e.:
# google picasa post title <PHOTOALBUM> /path/to/photo.jpg

would upload "photo.jpg" to the Picasa album <PHOTOALBUM>. Run
# google --help

for more options or have a look at this page.

Google provides the source code or a Debian/Ubuntu package (here), but no rpm. So, if you like you may download the one I built for Fedora 13 (requires package "python-gdata" - install it via 'yum install python-gdata'):

googlecl-0.9.8-2.fc13.i386.rpm.tar.gz (md5sum: 58e6a2c404d1bd3feb49f39a429164f8)

Or the source rpm:
googlecl-0.9.8-2.fc13.src.rpm.tar.gz (md5sum: 61b111467291182686c866fe01e27fc4)

Have fun!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lucid desktop install with lvm2

As I recently "reorganized" the partitioning scheme on my desktop system to gain some space for my flac music files I also changed the linux partitions to further run from logical volumes. To install Ubuntu on logical volumes you need to run the alternate installer - which in my case pretty much failed. I don't know why, but half the way of copying the new system the installer insisted on putting in the CD medium (which of course was still in the drive) and no matter what option I chose - "Continue" or "Cancel" - the request wouldn't go away. This was the first time an Ubuntu installer didn't work out for me. Still wanting to install Ubuntu's latest release I came across a post in Linux Mint's (another Ubuntu offspring) forum, describing how to install Linux Mint with lvm2. See the original post by piratesmack (thanks!) here. I more or less followed this howto.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

WLAN with Asus Eeepc 1000H and Lucid Lynx

Ubuntu's latest release "Lucid Lynx" is out for a while now so I decided that this would be the right choice for my netbook "Asus Eeepc 1000H". I went for the default i386 desktop release as I don't like the netbook editions. With the help of "UNetbootin" it's quite easy to create a bootable USB stick from the downloaded iso file. The installation was a peace of cake and if you previously installed Ubuntu somewhere (and even if you didn't) it should not be a problem. I recommend keeping a wired network connection during installation (and as it shows, you will need it).

Once installed, fully upgrade your system to the latest packages and this might even pull in a new kernel. Then reboot and try to establish a WLAN connection... At least, I failed. :-( There seems to be a an upstream bug in Lucid's kernel which prevents WPA protected WLAN connections to work properly. The solution seems to be installing the latest Ralink RT2860 WLAN driver. I found this workaround at launchpad published by killerbee - thanks for that! (Have a look at post #25 of the bugreport.) So, I will more or less just sum up his advice here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ubuntu's Ambiance/Radiance gtk themes for Debian

(EDIT Sep, 2010: now with updated packages, see below!)

Running Debian Lenny on my Acer Aspire 5572 notebook I wanted a more "up-to-date" look for it's Gnome desktop. As I recently came across some screenshots of Ubuntu's upcoming release "Lucid Lynx" with it's new GTK theme I decided to give it a try (you have to get used to the buttons being on the left side of the windows, though! ;-) see screenshot below). Of course, the new Ubuntu Mono iconset goes very well with this theme, so I needed that, too.

To make everything work in Lenny, I grabbed all the source packages from Ubuntu's package repository and then made deb packages for Lenny from them. I also replaced the Ubuntu logo within the two icon packages with Debian's logo.

The new Ubuntu "light-themes" (Ambiance/Radiance) need the latest murrine engine, which of course isn't included in Lenny. So, this was the first thing I took care of. This is the only package which is architecture dependent and I can only provide it for i368. If you need murrine engine for amd64, do as follows: