[ Content | Sidebar ]

Archives for linux

Reducing DVD drive noise

Fan noise from CD/DVD drives can be very loud. It probably doesn’t matter if you’re just reading something off it but if you’re watching a DVD for example, it can get annoying. The fans are required in modern drives when the disc is spinning very fast – e.g. 16x – and by default it spins […]

Samsung Q320 Fn-keys in Linux 2.6.32

If you’ve been following my attempts to get the brightness up/down and other fn-keys on my Samsung Q320 laptop to work in Linux, you might like to know the saga has reached a happy conclusion. Previously I published a hack to the atkbd kernel driver to get these problematic keys to send key release events. […]

Getting GRUB2 to dual boot Debian and FreeBSD

Just installed FreeBSD 8 on a spare partition of my computer. Was planning to use the Debian-installed GRUB to boot it, but when I went to edit GRUB config files they had changed beyond recognition. GRUB 2, it seems, is very different to GRUB 1. For the benefit of anyone else who has a similar […]

Samsung Q320 Fn-key release hack update

Earlier I posted a hack to get the Linux kernel to send synthetic key release events for the Fn-keys on a Samsung Q320. But I forgot about actually submitting the patch to the kernel developers until today. However, it looks like this hack will be unnecessary as of 2.6.32: Hi Nick, On Sep 19, 2009, […]

Self-signed certificates on Nokia S40 phones

I’ve been having a problem for a while with my Nokia 6300 phone not accepting the self-signed SSL certificate I use on my IMAP server (dovecot). This is a bit annoying because I can’t read emails on my phone. Various Nokia forums suggest that you need to download the certificate over HTTP to install it. […]

Linux on a Samsung Q320: Part 7

Argh! Another problem! Over the last couple of days I’ve being trying to figure out why the brightness fn-keys on my laptop don’t seem to work: they either set the brightness to maximum-bright or maximum-dim. (Although they inexplicably sometimes work.) At first I thought it was a problem with my earlier HAL hackery, but this […]

Shutting down and rebooting via HAL

You know how GNOME/KDE have “shutdown” and “reboot” buttons that normal users can use to turn off the computer? Rather than using sudo or making /sbin/shutdown setuid, they use HAL which provides a nice power management interface. Turns out this is pretty easy to call from the command line so you can use it in […]

Linux on a Samsung Q320: Part 6

I’ve been playing around with powertop trying to reduce power usage. I’m using laptop-mode to spin down the disk when its not needed (it automatically activates when on battery power). I’ve also added these two powertop suggestions to /etc/rc.local # Reduce the frequency of disk flushes echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs   # Turn off the […]

Addictive game

I wasted today playing UFO: Alien Invasion. It’s unusually polished for an open source game. The graphics are very nice, especially in the battle mode. The storyline is also quite engrossing and surprisingly well written – I like the non-linearity of it too. Recommended. Going to stop now and do something useful like add scenery […]

Linux on a Samsung Q320: Part 5

This morning I have learned a lot about HAL. Have been trying to get the brightness up/down controls on my laptop to work (they need to use a non-standard Nvidia interface). If you have the same laptop then these are the steps I went through to get it work. Disclaimer: your mileage may vary; no […]