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Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx: Dual Screen with nVidia GeForce MX 460 and nvidia-glx-96 legacy driver

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Uprgrading to Lucid Lynx Alpha 2 somehow messed with my dual screen configuration, here is what you have to do to reconfigure it again:

1. Install the proprietary driver: sudo aptitude install nvidia-glx-96

2. Backup your xorg.conf file sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

3. Change your xorg.conf file to the following (sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf):

Section “ServerLayout”
Identifier     “Layout0”
Screen      0  “Screen0”
InputDevice    “Keyboard0” “CoreKeyboard”
InputDevice    “Mouse0” “CorePointer”
EndSection

Section “Files”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
# generated from default
Identifier     “Mouse0”
Driver         “mouse”
Option         “Protocol” “auto”
Option         “Device” “/dev/psaux”
Option         “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
Option         “ZAxisMapping” “4 5”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
# generated from default
Identifier     “Keyboard0”
Driver         “kbd”
EndSection

Section “Monitor”
Identifier     “Monitor0”
VendorName     “Unknown”
ModelName      “Unknown”
Option         “Twinview” “True”
Option         “TwinviewOrientation” “RightOf”
Option         “UseEdidFreqs” “True”
HorizSync       30.0 – 110.0
#    VertRefresh     50.0 – 150.0
VertRefresh     60.0
Option         “DPMS”
EndSection

Section “Device”
Identifier     “nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 MX 460]”
Driver         “nvidia”
VendorName     “NVIDIA Corporation”
EndSection

Section “Screen”
Identifier     “Screen0”
Device         “Device0”
Monitor        “Monitor0”
DefaultDepth    24
SubSection     “Display”
Depth       24
Modes      “1280×1024” “1024×768”
EndSubSection
EndSection

You might need to play around a little with the options (such as the resolution). My advice is to use a second computer (preferably a laptop) and ssh into the first computer that you want to configure. That way you can comfortably comment out or add single lines to your xorg.conf even if you don’t have a visual picture.

If everything fails just revert back to the default xorg.conf with either one of the following commands:

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup /etc/X11/xorg.conf

or

sudo dpkg –reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg


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Google plans on releasing a tablet PC running Chromium os

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The new Google Chromium Tablet PC

Looks like a few days after the presentation of the Apple iPad, Google published some design studies of their very own tablet pc. The drafts on their page are still very vague, but it certainly looks very promising:

The idea of a 10-finger compatible virtual keyboard would definitely be a relief for a lot of frequent pc users

Check out all the pictures and a video simulation at Chromium.org

Written by eubolist

2010/02/03 at 21:42

Set up LIRC to control your Ubuntu/MythTV Box with a Microsoft Media Center Edition (MCE) infrared remote control

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I wanted to control my MythTV-Box like I used to control my old receiver with a good old fashioned IR remote rather than with keyboard and mouse. That’s why I went to eBay and bought myself a cheap MCE remote, you can have them shipped from China for less than 20 bucks:

I didn’t know whether the device was Linux compatible, so I just plugged it in and took it from there:

~$ lsusb

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 045e:006d Microsoft Corp. eHome Remote Control Keyboard keys

Looks good. Let’s install the latest version of lirc:

~$ sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install lirc

Then let’s check whether lirc picks up correct signals from our remote:

~$ irw

Then press the OK or any other button and the output should look somewhat like this:

000000037ff07bdd 00 OK mceusb

If it does: Congratulations, you’ve got a lirc compatible infrared remote! Exit irw by pressing [Ctrl + C].

LIRC normally runs at system start as a daemon (=runs in background). It reads a file called “.lircrc” in your home directory, in this file you can specify a command for each button. You can even specify custom keybindings for different programs, let’s have a look at my .lircrc file:

~$ cat .lircrc

include /home/eubolist/.mythtv/lircrc                             –> Here we specify which configuration
include /home/eubolist/.lircfiles/vlc                                       files to include in addition to this one
include /home/eubolist/.lircfiles/rhythmbox

begin
prog = irexec                –> irexec means that lirc will
button = Home                   pick up your command no matter which program is running
config = python /home/eubolist/ir-scripts/mythfrontend.real.py 
end

begin
prog = irexec
button = TV
config = python /home/eubolist/ir-scripts/miro.py
end

begin
prog = irexec
button = Videos
config = python /home/eubolist/ir-scripts/vlc.py
end

begin
prog = irexec
button = Music
config = python /home/eubolist/ir-scripts/rhythmbox.py
end

begin
prog = irexec
button = Power
config = python /home/eubolist/ir-scripts/onoff.py
end

Now you may ask yourself why I have some Python scripts specified as actions when I press certain buttons. The reason is simple, let’s have a look at vlc.py:

##!/usr/bin/python
import commands
import os
import sys
import subprocess

output = commands.getoutput(‘ps -A’)

## Check whether vlc is running:              –> As I usually don’t need multiple instances of the same
if ‘vlc’ in output:                                    program running I want to check whether it’s already open

## If yes: either shut the process down
#       os.system(‘/usr/bin/killall vlc’)

## or do nothing:
sys.exit(0)

## If not: Open vlc and end this script:

else: pid = subprocess.Popen(‘/usr/bin/vlc’).pid       –> If you just use os.system() again here the
sys.exit(0)                                        script will just stay open and keep irexec busy, if you press the button again it woud get queued and run again once you exit vlc

Now have fun toying around with Ubuntu and your ir remote control. If you have any questions, thoughts or criticism you are welcome to write a comment.

Apple releases new ‘tablet netbook’ called iPad

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On yesterday’s Apple-Keynote the highly anticipated Apple Tablet named iPad had been released. The usual downtime (some people also call it the ‘drumroll’) of the Apple online shop failed to appear, instead you can have a look at the iPad on http://www.apple.com/ipad/.

As it looks from there the device is rather an oversized iPod touch than a real Mac, but the name already suggests that. This comes with the advantage that you have access to thousands of apps already available in the AppStore. But nevertheless it seems to lack usb ports, which I find to be rather annoying when you want to transfer big files because with bluetooth or wifi this takes an eternety. Not to mention that bluetooth filetransfer could be blocked by the firmware like in other Apple devices. A camera is not built in but can be added via the 30-pin connector on the bottom of the device. Lastly, I really hope there will be a compatible pen available so you can eg. take hand written notes or letters.

When the iPad is available for purchase there will definitely be more articles on it. For now I’ll leave you with some impressions from the iPad:

Written by eubolist

2010/01/28 at 12:42

Posted in Apple, Hardware, iPad, Mac

Tagged with , ,

How to set up WRT54G as a WiFi bridge to Fritz!Box 3270

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Fritz!Box WLAN 3270

Recently we got a Fritz!Box as a new DSL modem, our old ZyXel P-660HW suffered frequent crashes (it froze or interrupted the internet connection) especially when there were a lot of devices associated with the wireless network and/or a lot of banwidth used by someone. The Fritz!Box WLAN 3270 is a great piece of hardware and has never crashed so far by the way. Because it supports the IEEE_802.11n standard it offers quite a satisfying range and speed.

Linksys WRT54G

But due to two desktop PCs which aren’t wifi capable I needed to set up our Linksys WRT54G router as a wireless network bridge.

The first part was to download dd-wrt, an alternate firmware, and flash the device with it. You can do this under the tab “Administration” –> “Firmware Upgrade”. Note that this procedure can potentially brick your router (=you can’t access nor use it anymore), for a full description see this howto the dd-wrt wiki.

The second part is a bit more complicated, but essentially you can just follow the tutorial from the dd-wrt wiki, with a few changes. Here is what I did:

  1. Connect a cable from your computer to the LAN port on your router.
  2. Set your computer to a static IP address of 192.168.1.9
  3. Set your browser to 192.168.1.1 and open the dd-wrt webgui.
  4. You should be asked to change your password and username. Carefully type these in. Hit change password.
  5. Go FIRST to wireless, wireless security and enter the security type and key that matches your primary router.
  6. !!!Bridging with WPA2 security does NOT work. Believe me, I spent hours figuring out the problem and looking why there was no link. Your Fritz!Box (primary router) has to be set to WPA or WPA + WPA2 and your WRT54G accordingly to WPA!!

  7. Hit SAVE
  8. Go to the wireless, basic settings page and change the wireless mode to Client Bridge.
  9. Your wireless network mode should be set to the same as the primary router.
  10. Set the wireless channel to match your primary router channel
  11. Set mode to mixed.
  12. Set the wireless network name to exactly the same as your primary router. Make sure spelling and capitalization match.
  13. Set Ack timing to 0 unless you have a long distance (>300 meter) link
  14. Hit SAVE at the bottom. Then hit APPLY.
  15. Check to make sure all the configurations, including the mode, saved and the mode is still client bridge. If any changed, fix them, and save again.
  16. Goto Setup, basic setup and enter a router Local IP address of 192.168.178.10. You can also enter another IP, just make sure it’s in the same subnet (192.168.178.X) and outside the DHCP range of your primary router (Fritz!Box: 192.168.178.20-200) Leave subnet mask at 255.255.255.0.
  17. Set the Gateway IP (the one in network setup) to 192.168.178.1
  18. Leave Local DNS (the one in network setup) blank
  19. Change your timezone and DST to match where you are.
  20. Optionally enter a NTP server (eg. 17.151.16.20)
  21. Hit Save.
  22. Goto Security, Firewall. Uncheck all boxes and disable SPI Firewall
  23. Hit Save.
  24. Goto Services. Uncheck Dnsmasq
  25. Hit Save.
  26. Goto Setup, Advanced Routing, set Operating mode to “Router”
  27. Hit Save
  28. Set Dynamic Routing interface to “Lan & Wlan”
  29. Hit Save
  30. Goto Administration and hit “Apply Settings” at the bottom.
  31. Set your computer back to DHCP (auto IP and auto DNS).

And that’s it. You should have a working wireless bridge now with the wired computers in the same subnet as the wifi devices. Worked for me so far.

Although I haven’t tried it yet, it should work just as well in “Repeater Bridge” mode.

Written by eubolist

2010/01/16 at 23:39