Saturday, June 30, 2007

java plugin problem

In spite of following the instructions given at Mandrivausers there seems to be some problem with the java plugin on the Acer, probably due to the update to Firefox . Interestingly, Konqueror is able to pick up the plugin from the /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins folder, and java is working fine with it.

blogger issue with captchas

There seems to be some issue with blogger captchas after the auto-save is introduced - every single time it refuses the captcha first entered with "ERROR - Enter the letters as they are shown in the image." if the post has been auto-saved.
Edit: searching for captcha on the Blogger help group led me to this thread, so now I've submitted the review form noting that I'm not a spam-bot.

solving audio quirks

My first laptop post was perhaps overly euphoric. There's an issue with the audio - plugging in headphones doesn't automatically mute the speakers. Thankfully, there's a solution, from The Acer Aspire 3680 entry noted that muting the "Surround" in the mixer, Kmix in my case, mutes the speakers, with sound still coming in the headphones. Also, the function keys - Fn-F8 for muting, Fn-DownArrow for decreasing volume and Fn-UpArrow for increasing - don't work. Another tweak which was required was to change the "Master Channel" by right-clicking and choosing 'Select Master Channel' - it was PC speaker, changed to PCM. This is so that now a single click on the Volume Control should be enough for controlling sound, without needing to open the full mixer.

Another nice link from linux-on-laptops was via the forum to this page - nice links to free audio software including Ardour.

Friday, June 29, 2007

installing java plugin

Surprisingly, Java plugin was not installed properly on saispace2. After the upgrade to firefox2, did that too. The arcana was from and in my case, the command was
ln -s /usr/java/jre1.5.0/plugin/i386/ns7/
found by doing
rpm -ql jre

video player shootout

checking out media players on Mandriva 2007: Mplayer aspect ratio seems to be broken - seems to assume a 4:3 screen, and since the screen is not 4:3, is skewed. VLC and xine were OK. Totem and KMplayer seem to have a gamma problem - picture is washed out. And the players have problems with 3D desktop enabled. With Metisse, mplayer doesn't play without changing the vo option. VLC gets blocky - pixel interpolation seems to have gone for a six. Xine and Kmplayer with xine develop an interlacing problem. With Compiz and Beryl, VLC plays ok in windowed mode but black-screens on giving full-screen command. Xine is OK.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mandriva 2007.1 on Acer Aspire 3684NWXCi

Got this machine for A - supposed to come pre-loaded with Linux, but the naughty dealer has put in an OEM version of pre-activated XP. 80 GB hdd was partitioned into 20 GB pieces, so the easy way out was to just leave everything as it was except to pop in Mandriva 2007.1 Free DVD and install it, removing the "D:" partition.

First looks - very impressive, with 3D desktops in three different flavours, each one configurable till one drops... Everything tried till now has worked out of the box - even the usual suspects ACPI battery monitor, sleep, WiFi, etc. The display was 1024x768 on first boot, but on opening drakconf and going to Hardware -> Change screen resolution , it prompted to change driver to the accelerated 915 driver, and then on X restart changed to 1280x800 as it should be. Then the 3D desktops - quite nice eye candy... More later.

Monday, June 11, 2007

using the dialup - backup connectivity

Leased line failure, had to go back to dialup for a week. Dnj helped PB to locate the modem in the server room itself, with a long telephone cable connection over lan cable laid in just 30 minutes. kppp on krishna connected OK, but for the connection to work, the eth1 had to be disabled - it had the default gateway. For using from another machine, connected over eth1 - like me, for example, instead of disabling eth1, just commented out the
line in /etc/sysconfig/network . Since I'd also commented out (actually deleted) the line
after the leased line came back online, I had to restore it using drakconf and later disable shorewall.