Monday, March 29, 2010

"Other OS" option to be removed from "fat ps3s" also!!!!!!

Now, this is the news i hated to hear. While Sony was selling the last remains of its fat ps3's it made a statement that whoever has access to the fat ps3s will continue to enjoy the benifits of "other os" option. I rushed to the showroom and bought one right away. Now sony is going back on its words. I heard on slashdot and then went to the official blog to find out that sony, indeed is rmoving the other os option. This is back stabbing and non-existence of any ethics. Now, that is the danger of proprietory systems. We are at the mercy of the manufacturer. I paid 20 grand only for the joy of installing GNU/Linux on the ps3. Kernel hackers have put a lot of effort in making the platform ready for installing GNU/Linux. It is upto the point that there have been spins of GNU/Linux distros tailormade especially to the ps3.

I have the ps3 connected to a full HD LCD TV. this set up doubles as a gaming hub as well as a SOHO setup. I detest this move by sony. It is my right in doing so because I bought the console with the support for installing other os. I appeal to all the buyers and users of ps3 to join together in revolt against this move by sony.

The vulnerabilites discovered because of the other os option is one in many. This vulnerability can be patched from time to time. The developmental effort would be mininal. Since sony is not trying to improve or open up any other feature of the ps3 through developmental efforts related to the hypervisor, the decission is childish and does not smell of any sanity at all. I , as a customer would like SCE to reconsider the decission. I do not want sce to improve the other os interface at all. Instead live that portion of the hypervisor alone and try to improve the other aspects related to gaming.

SCE, please keep the "OTHER OS" option in the ps3 "forever". Let me add that, I LOVE THE PS3.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

rotating the screen, tablet mode tx1301au(tx1000 family)

Rotation of the screen on my laptop did not work with evtouch drivers. The touch screen configuration would go haywire and result in a crazy screen, unusable for any normal use.
With the binary(non-free) Xorg driver from nvidia's website and Touchkit driver from eeti's website the rotation worked perfectly. To use the laptop as a tablet rotate the touchscreen and latch it. Go to the gnome menu system-preferences-nvidia X server settings and then click on Xscreen0. select one of the rotation arrows based on your requirement and there it is, you have a touch surfboard.

I am still on the look out for good handwriting input apps. Hang on.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

grub2 = grub1 + Zing!!!!!!!!

Grub2 is an excellent re-write of my favorite boot loader. I have booted GNU/Linux from linloader(remember the real mode dos based win98 boot loader which would erase all traces of windows in the ram and replace it with the GNU/Linux kernel and boot to "freeedom"), lilo, an excellent boot loader before it was sidelined by Grub(I did like lilo to start with). With grub editing boot loader configuration is so easy as just editing the menu.lst with my favorite editor(os), emacs. No commands to run to update the configuration info, just plainly edit the menu.lst to meet the requirement. The caveats i experienced was setting backgrounds, limitation in resolution and format of the backgrounds.

The caveats have been resolved in grub2. I loved all the extra freedom I got with it. I loved it.
So what did I do to the default grub.cfg file which was auto-generated during a squeeze install?
1. added the following code to grub.cfg to boot windows. Though grub2 recognized the windows partition it did not put an entry into grub.cfg

menuentry "Windows XP" {
set root=(hd0,1)
chainloader +1

2. change the background. find the line with if background_*** and replace it with the path to your favorite image, preferably background_image /usr/share/images/desktop-base/brushedgnu.png Be careful with the resolution of the image. It has to suit capability of your display and the video adapter.

3. Change the resolution of the splash screen. This and the background should have the same resolution.
set gfxmode=1280x800

4. change the resolution of your console. This can be done by
set gfxpayload=1024x768
The max resolution available in console mode can be found out by running "vbeinfo" from the grub prompt(press esc key during the splash screen)

That is it. This will make you happy about grub2 and the beautiful splash screen will have you and your friends drool over it. Thanks again to all the Free software developers and the users who really make my endeavour into free software land ever more interesting and beautiful.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Debian squeeze on HP tx1301 au(tx1000 family)(contd 2)

Well, Now I have a complete Debian GNU/Linux setup on my tx1301. Am I pleased? Very much. But this is short lived. A GNU/Linux enthusiast doesnt end at that. Now I wanted to beatify my desktop a bit. Where to start?

1. Wall papers A plethora of wallpapers available with GNU/Linux as theme. Download and apply the wallpaper which identifies your identity(freedom).
2. Login themes These identify you and your notebook to the tee. Choose them very carefully so that they exactly match your persona and your attitude. Many are available over the public network. Go ahead you are "free" to choose and express yourself.
3. Now for a little hard work. Before your login screen your laptop will present itself with the grub screen. Now let us see how to change the grub background.
a. search for "gfxmode" (without qoutes). and replace the line with "set gfxmode=1280x800", depending on the capability of your notebook.
b. search for "gfxpayload"(previously vga= in grub1). and replace the line with "set gfxpayload=1024x768". This setting will be used for the framebuffer or this will determine the resolution in your console mode when you switch to virtual consoles. To find out the max resolution supported by your framebuffer run "vbeinfo" from grub console(press esc key when presented with the grub menu)
c. Take your favorite background and scale it to the resolution of "gfxmode" and save it in png format, using what? ofcourse The GIMP.
d. search for " if background_image ...." and replace it with "if background_image=/path/to/backgroundfile.png
e. If you want to save as jpeg format add insmod jpeg before the line mentioned in point 3.d

More in the coming days.... By the way If you have a multicore processor under the hood then install mplayer-mt from This is a multithreaded mplayer wherein decoding is carried out by all the processor cores.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Debian squeeze on HP tx1301 au(tx1000 family)(contd)

To compile the latest kernel download the latest kernel source from and download the config files from These are extracted from official Debian kernels. Load this config file and hack the kernel config to your hardware requirements. Compile the kernel and then there were no problems related to hard disks and alsa drivers. The config from debian/GNU Linux project is fantastic.

Install the latest binary driver from Nvidia, 195 series(for the lates graphics hardware). It installs without any problems.

Install xcompmgr to enable basic composting. This is enough for GNOME DO. I am a big fan of GNOME DO and cannot stop craving about how the GNOME project has increased the keyboard friendliness for GNU/Linux. I appeal to the GNOME project to innovate in small but effective ways similar to the DO and not to aim an overhaul.

Oh man, Do I love the freedom of free software!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Debian squeeze on HP tx1301 au(tx1000 family)

This is a log of installation of Debian squeeze on HP tx 1301 au notebook.

1. Installation is a no problem issue.
2. During installation after the network configuration is over remove the internet connection. so that software packages are not downloaded from any mirrors. There seems to be a dependency problem which fails the installation.
3. Install the software from cd and dvds.

(The name of the tar.gz file may change when a new version is released, change accordingly).
mkdir -p .mozilla/plugins
Move the extracted .so file to the plugin directory:
Restart firefox. Go to about:plugins to see if it’s enabled

compile a new kernel.
First compiled a 2.6.30, too many bugs related to the disks, noveau driver and alsa drivers(hda-intel). Two to three days wasted in recognizing this.
Compile a kernel with the default config file provided with debian squeeze. My laptop has a AMD turion x2 64 bit processor. So all the cd images downloaded were of amd64 arch.
This is the first time I am using the 64 bit capabilities of my laptop since I purchased this laptop two years ago.

blacklist the wacom and pcspkr modules in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

I couldnt get the evtouch driver to work with the latest versions. zenity is giving lot of
errors. But the initial hick up of consisted event numbers can be solved as below.
create a file 65-consistent-touch.rules in /etc/udev and add the below line in it
KERNEL=="event*",ATTRS{name}=="eGalax*", SYMLINK+="input/mytouch"

change the name of the hplj****.rules to hplj**** so that these rules dont start at boot time

synaptic touchpad fails to respond to tapping or scrolling actions hence, run the following two commands to immediately make it work:

modprobe -r psmouse
modprobe psmouse proto=imps

To make this change permanent, create a file such as touchpad.conf under /etc/modprobe.d/, and put the following line in it:

options psmouse proto=imps

delete the wacom driver from /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input/. More better is not to build the wacom driver.

To boot to windows in grub2. Though grub2 identifies the windows partition it fails to add the necessary configuration to the /boot/grub/grub.cfg. Add the following three lines to the grub.cfg file

menuentry "Windows XP/vista" {
set root=(hd0,1)
chainloader +1
} working with nvidia binary driver, lesser hard disk freeze and no alsa problems

Since evtouch drivers did not work I used the propreitory drivers from eeti's website.
Download Touchkit64 extract and run as root.
comment out the below lines
Install xorg-input-mouse package to provide, which will be removed during installation.

Dont forget to install both GNOME and KDE. Debian's implementation of KDE 4 is on par or better than other distributions. The screen looks beautiful.

It was an enjoyable week. Thanks to all the developers of the GNU land for giving me food for thought and consistently. Thank U guys. I will update the blog with any other info I remember.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jobless feelings

How does it feel to be jobless?
Now, why did this topic come up at this juncture? why does this come in between musings related to free software? Are they related ? NO!!!!!!!!!!.

I just remembered the days I finished my Diploma and the adjacent days after my Engineering degree. They were HELL!!!!!. You are ridiculed. Whatever you do will be seen in bad light.You play a computer game and friends and parents look at you as though you have lost it(?). You cannot watch TV. You cannot go to the cinemas. You cannot crack a joke. You cannot have a point of view. You cannot ask for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Your brother will look down on you. None of your ideas are honored or even heard. Ok, Ok that is enough. I believe everybody agrees with me on all the topics above.

Can something be done about it? Is there a step by step procedure to minimize the sinking feeling. Is there a book titled "Zen of happiness during joblessness"? NOooooooooo. Who would stand by you in the real sense? who would help you out without much complications? who would help you without any expectations on ROI? who would? YES, your real "Friend" and your "Mother".

Other solutions(Impossible ones) include decreasing your credit balance, decreasing your loans and try to save a little as emergency cash and of course be good to your friends and honor your mother as much as possible.