Linux Blog

xrandr – Set Primary Monitor

Filed under: Linux Hardware,Linux Software,Shell Script Sundays — Owen at 11:04 pm on Sunday, October 27, 2013

I had an issue with my dual monitor setup where my primary monitor was my second, but only in X. Rearranging the monitors in Gnome preferences did nothing to solve the problem. While not exactly a shell script, here is a one-liner to change your primary monitor with xrandr.

#!/bin/bash
xrandr --output DVI-0 --primary

The above uses xrandr to set the primary to DVI-0. I put this in my ~/bin folder, chmod’d and set it to start when Gnome starts. Problem solved!

Raspberry Pi – Awesome!

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 3:17 pm on Thursday, October 24, 2013

Raspberry Pi

I never jumped on the Pi bandwagon, sure I thought it was cool but when I wanted one, there were supply demands and the want wore off. I recently purchased a Model B revision Two and have to say I’m very impressed. It is an awesome piece of hardware but what really makes the Raspberry Pi great is the community that has been built around them. There are many projects and tutorials based and plenty of hackers working on tweaking and expanding them. Here are a few of my favorite projects, incase you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years like me:
(Read on …)

Logitech 1100 Review

Filed under: Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 6:30 pm on Monday, September 9, 2013

Logitech 1100So, for my birthday two years ago, I got a Logitech 1100 universal remote. I figured having recently having a birthday it was a good time to review the unit since I’ve been using it for a while. Besides, the last post about the Macbook has been on the blog for FAR too long.

I wanted a remote that could control all my devices, add new devices at will and was easy to use. At first, my opinion was that this device is awesome, and thought of all the endless possibilities. In reality I haven’t got to use the device for all the cool stuff I imagined, but it does do a rather good job at what it was designed to do and what I set it up to do. The device its self is a touch screen (not the new multi-touch ones we’re used to) and has a few buttons. You set up activities through the software, select them from the touch screen where it then turns on the devices in the sequence you wish and gives you a touch remote and assigns the 8 physical buttons to whatever device you choose.
(Read on …)

I got a Mac

Filed under: Linux Hardware,The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 2:05 am on Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I’m not really a huge consumer of hardware, but I today I got a Mac, more specifically a MacBook Air. It is my first brand new computer since I built my desktop which I probably never wrote about. I didn’t pay for it, as it was promotional item from training I signed up for. I had a choice of a Toshiba Ultrabook that never really closes, or the MacBook Air. After I thought about it, the choice was not too hard, I choose the one that would have the higher re-sale value, the better of the two OS’s, and probably better Linux support.

So far I’m impressed, it is a very elegant design, the internal hardware is meh but it does have a SSD which is the first I’ve owned. It would be nice to try and hook up an external monitor, but I’m not sinking any money into it, because I don’t really want to pay the standard $79 apple accessory fee, and am not sure if the thunderbolt port even converts to HDMI, and I’m sure as hell not going to buy a thunderbolt display. There is only two USB ports, which is rather pathetic, even my Netbook manages to squeeze 3, a VGA port and a media card reader in. As far as OSX, I’m not so happy with, it has a few nuances that will take some getting used to, such as the command key which changes the way I use the keyboard (command+t, command+w, etc.) There is probably a fix for that and I’ve already changed some settings to make it more familiar.

My DNS-323 NAS had to have some changes to the Samba config using funplug as it doesn’t connect with SECURITY=SHARE, it has to be SECURITY=USER, not sure why that is. I’m happy to report that my SDR experiments were just as hard with OSX as they were with Linux, I blame that to not really knowing much about radio theory. Other than that, installing XCode, Macports and writing this post I haven’t really had much time to play with it. I’ll stick out using OSX until the training is over, then I’ll look at another OS. Until then, it’ll be VM’s and SSH connections into the desktop PC, which while aging still has more horse power than the Air.

image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dansapples/7157645924/

LINUTOP 2 Review

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Hardware,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:08 pm on Friday, November 9, 2012

Linutop is a company based out of Paris that specializes in small form factor energy efficient embedded type PC’s. They have  a variety of devices with no moving parts and utilize open source software based on Ubuntu for the platform. They were kind enough to send me a Linutop 2 to review.Linutop 2


(Read on …)

Ways to install Linux on a netbook

Filed under: General Linux,Linux for Newb's,Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 9:30 am on Friday, December 16, 2011

With my new Acer Aspire Netbook, it occured to me that it had been a long time since I’d installed Linux on a system without a CDRom. This post outlines some methods you can use to get it installed

(Read on …)

New PC

Filed under: Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:27 pm on Monday, December 5, 2011

I ordered a PC a while back and thought I’d write about it. I’ve been running pretty much the same desktop hardware for the past 5 years. Eventually things got so slow on the desktop that I started using my Core 2 Duo Lenovo T61 laptop as my desktop. This worked for a while, and I really like the laptop I just didn’t feel like I was using it for what it was intended for, mobility. I really didn’t want to build if I could avoid it so I started getting specs and prices for computers from the local big box stores and wasn’t really thrilled with anything. I started looking at new PC’s on Amazon, Newegg and TigerDirect. Nothing really jumping out as value / performance there either. At that point was when I decided I’d do what I normally do, break down, buy parts and build. So, my budget was as little as possible, but still wanting decent performance. This is what I came up with: (Read on …)

Review: Acer Aspire One

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:00 am on Friday, September 9, 2011

Acer Aspire One LinuxEarlier this year, I was shopping around for Netbooks and purchased the Acer Aspire One Netbook. I was specifically looking for a Netbook that was fairly small and portable, but with a keyboard that was actually usable. BestBuy had a few, a nice HP with an awesome keyboard…but it only came in hot pink… Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as I’m not a 13 year old girl, it wasn’t really for me. The oh so helpful sales clerk informed me that, if I really wanted it, I could pay the extra $100 for the exact same thing in blue, but I’d have to wait for as it was out of stock. No thanks. There was a Toshiba with decent specs, but the keyboard wasn’t that great so I skipped on that one too.

The next day I checked out another BestBuy store since that’s all we really have around here, no Fry’s, Nothing! While I was out, I had to pick some stuff up from the nearby Walmart. Yes, yes, I know, I’m fueling the destruction of small businesses, but there are incredibly few options around here. After watching some People Of Walmart candidates, I decided to check out the electronics department. It seemed rather small for a Walmart, tucked right at the back or the store with a TV to employee ration of 50:1. I found the Netbooks, well, one Netbook, The Acer Aspire One, near the other computers. It was $260 which seemed pretty reasonable. When asking the clerk if I could get one unlocked, he told me they had the same one but in black in the storage area for $199. Sold! Most Helpful Walmart Employee Ever.

After removing it from its lunch box sized container, the first thing I noticed was how it looked like Acer had taken notes from Apple with their fancy packaging. That’s cool I suppose. It comes with Windows 7 starter. You’ll probably want to fix that. I tried calling Acer about the refund (hey I didn’t accept the EULA guys) but they didn’t understand my question and tried to step me through reinstalling Windows without a CD Rom. Apparently you have to request the CD from them and buy an external optical drive. I should have messed with them and asked them how to plug my parallel CD burner in, as there is no parallel port.

After booting up and getting thoroughly frustrated with Windows 7 Starter (What the hell, only 3 processes and you can’t change the background), I decided to give that Ubuntu Netbook edition a go. It was only slightly more bearable than Windows 7. Once it was installed, I booted and gave it about five minutes before deciding to install a non netbook specific distribution.
For the size and price, the specs are pretty decent:

10.1″ LED (1024×600)
Intel Atom N450 1.66Ghz, 512KB Cache – Dual Core!
1GB Ram
160GB HD
Intel Chipset
Atheros AR9285 PCI-Express Wireless network adapter

These serve me well for its intended purpose and actually exceeded my expectations. It is perfectly capable of running Virtual Machines with VirtualBox without any noticeable decrease in performance. Pretty much everything worked right out of the box with two exceptions. First, the Ethernet adapter (with Linux) and second, the built in microphone doesn’t work with Skype (on Linux), however an external does. Suspend and Hibernate even work!

Battery life is amazing for the standard 3 cell battery that comes with it. You can buy one with more cells, but I can normally find a power source in the four or more hours I manage to squeeze out of it. Powertop FTW! With the stock battery, it doesn’t weigh too much and is perfect to carry around all day without being a burden. The charger is somewhat small and has a click/snap plug on it. You can position it so that the adapter goes left to right, or top to bottom. The changeable tips also means you can swap them out to use the adapter in different countries (you have to buy them separately though.) Since I couldn’t find the tips I didn’t buy any, but to be honest I didn’t really look. After travelling with it I think the interchangeable tips would be well worth the investment, as it just doesn’t work well with a travel adapter. In England, it worked all-right as long as it was plugged into a surge, but if you plugged it into the wall, it would fall out of the adapter. In France, it didn’t fall out of the travel adapter but rather the travel adapter fell out of the wall. It wouldn’t charge via the adapter in a regular wall outlet, but if I propped it up in the bathroom into the shaver plug it would. I could blame this all on the plug, but to be honest the click/snap tips probably would have fixed it all.
Really, the only things I don’t like about it are the microphone and Ethernet issues (though I think those can be fixed), and the touchpad is entirely too sensitive when typing. You kind of have to type palms up, or be very careful not to touch it or you’ll end up typing somewhere else. You can fix that by getting a USB mouse or by turning the touchpad off temporarily (FN F7). Overall I’m very happy with it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent reasonably priced Netbook that can pack a punch.

Homemade Bench top Power Supply

Filed under: Linux Hardware,The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:06 am on Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homemade Bench Top Power Supply

I’ve always had an interest for electronics and recently I’ve been exploring my interests more. Last week I sorted through my tub of parts and placed them in individual draws. It took a good while to sort everything but I think it was worth it. I’ve seen power supplies built from PC power supplies before so I thought I’d build one my self. Thing is, I never really got around to it.

Yesterday I was feeling rather ambitious and decided to make a bench top power supply for small electronics. All the sites I found I have lost, so I kind of made it up as I went along. Most of them used ATX power supplies that are readily available, but I opted for the easy way out and used an AT with a hard on/off switch. At first this was the only reason I used it, but there are more advantages to using a AT over an ATX power supply for an external power supply. Firstly, it was cheap, well free actually. I took it from a PC that I had modified some time ago. I have a box full of AT power supplies in storage that I’ll get to some time and replace it. But I won’t be using the PC it came out of for a while, mostly because I have toaster ovens that are faster. Another reason it is better than a ATX is it has less voltages. The only voltages listed are 12v, 5v, -5v (7v) and GND. They vary in amps but are sufficient for what I will be using it for. It made it easy not to screw it up since there wasn’t many wires.

To make it was really easy. I took the top off. Drilled 4 holes in the case and inserted the insulated terminal, checking to make sure they didn’t ground out on the case. Cut most of the cables, leaving a couple of molex’s hanging out just in case I need them. I then soldered the remaining wires to a terminal by voltage (Yellow +12, Red +5, Red +/-5, Black GND.) It might not be the prettiest of them all, but I think it will do its job well.

Whats old is New!

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:41 am on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

There was a display in a local library showcasing “What’s old is new again” Basically showing the similarities between new and older newspapers and the cartoons in them. It may have something to do with the NY Times tour, but maybe not. All I know is it was there the other day, and now I go to write about it – GONE. Many of the same concepts such as recession “funnies” are popping up again. What so these journalists and cartoonist’s have it easy eh? All they have to do to get their job done is find some old drawing and change it a little. Well, I’m jumping on the bandwagon folks. Here are two “What’s old is New!” Articles:
Living without Windows
Shell Scripting 101
Since they’ve been written we’ve learned a lot, new concepts are out there but while they are somewhat older, the concepts still apply. As everything old they enjoy receiving comments but don’t take criticism well. They know their faults such as bad spelling and grammar but their ageing and refuse to acknowledge their flaws unless you directly point them out. Give them a read and talk to them before they die and go to internet Heaven (or Hell).

New Laptop

Filed under: Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:06 am on Friday, October 10, 2008

I’m excited because this weekend I’m getting another laptop. I’ve gone through quite a few laptops some of which have been more Linux friendly than others. I have been happy with my last two Toshiba laptops (Portege 4010 and Tecra M2) but this time I am buying a used Lenovo Thinkpad.

I was very happy with my last upgrade, from a 933MHz with 512MB of ram, to a 1.7GHz with 768MB ram that was recently upgraded to 1GB. The performance increase was phenomenal. Now moving from a 1.7GHz to am Intel Core 2 Duo should provide another greatly needed performance increase.

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