Posts tagged Software

I Still Dislike KiCAD

I made another attempt today to use KiCAD 5.0.2. There was a schematic for an 8-bit computer I wanted to investigate. In addition to looking at the actual circuit I wanted to see how KiCAD handled the separate schematic sheets that made up the project.

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Steam Play

I have been using a Linux Desktop machine as my primary computer for many years now. The applications I use day to day are mostly open source and run natively on Linux or through WINE.

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HDMI Monitor Problem & Fix

The recent warm weather had made using my 3 monitor configuration a little uncomfortable. To make things a little more bearable I decided to turn off two of the monitors to reduce the amount of heat output into the room. I disabled the monitors using the display settings in Gnome 3.28. All was working well.

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ARM Update

Over a year ago I wrote up some notes on setting up an ARM development environment. Since then a change has occurred. Low Level libraries have been made available for the STM32F103. These should fit between the HAL library and the code I was writing. How well the Low Level libraries work is currently an unknown. I haven’t found the time to investigate. The tool chain should largely be the same. A few additional includes may be required to add the Low Level libraries. I hope before too long to try them out to see how they compare to my current method.

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Ryzen PC Backup

I finally decided to perform a backup of my new Ryzen PC running Fedora 26. Normally I wouldn’t leave it too long between backups especially if I have made significant changes. My new PC presented me with a little bit of an issue, I couldn’t run my backup software.

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Closing Windows

Today I finally made the decision to close down my Windows 7 machine and remove it from my primary computing location. It was February when I last used it and since then it has only been used for the occasional game or to run a PCB design tool.

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Termux - Custom Prompt

Termux is a terminal emulator and Linux environment for Android. I wanted to customise my prompt in the same way that I have done on my desktop/laptop machines. Ordinarily I would have a .bashrc in my home directory where I would make the changes to the prompt (PS1). However Termux doesn’t recognise this.

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ARM Research

This month I have been spending some time putting together a simple development set-up for 32bit ARM devices. Whilst not yet fully complete I am making steady progress and have begun to document the process. This is easier said than done. I set out to do the simple task of making an LED blink to test my set-up. There is a lot more to learn than what I had originally expected. The 8bit Atmega 328P was simple by comparison.

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Android Development Snippets

Validating Host Computer Fingerprint

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The Accidental Screenshot

Whilst having a clean up of files I noticed a number of screen shots I had taken over the past 12 months. In total 12 screen shots, only one of which I actually intended to take. So what is the big deal about 11 unwanted screen shots? Well those 11 images add up to 16.3MB in size. Not a huge amount when you think of hard disk sizes in the terabytes but its still additional unwanted data that gets included in my backups. It is interesting however that I seem to accidentally hit the print screen key about once per month on average.

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Who Broke My Toolchain?

It has been a few weeks since I felt like sitting down and working on a few of my projects. Tonight I decided to put in a little more work on trying to get text displayed on an OLED screen (DN2015-001). Imagine my frustration when I attempted to compile my code only to be presented with errors. Now my code will generate a few errors at the best of times due to the odd typo, but even after correcting these I was still having no luck. Time to Google the error message.

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New Projects

This month I have started a couple of new projects. It began as one but soon split. The primary project was to make use of a 128x64 I2C OLED display. It has been sitting on the side for a few months after an impulse purchase. It soon became apparent that I needed a way to generate static images for the screen. Although there were programs out there that would convert a bitmap image into the hex code I needed, many were for Windows. So I decided to have a go at converting it myself.

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Damn You ISR!

I am sat here on a Sunday evening trying to debug embedded C/C++. For the most part all has been going well and the code has been behaving as expected. I have however run into one of my least favourite problems, the interrupt service routine (ISR). I have a couple of ISR’s and they are presenting an unexpected start-up condition. The flow of the main body of the code is fine. I just can’t understand why I am getting the current output.

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Make List

I have been making use of the Arduino Makefile from ed.am for some time but recently I needed more functionality from the Makefile.

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Fedora 21

IMG_FEDORA

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Poodle SSLv3

Well another week another security issue. This time it is a weakness in SSLv3. This is an older protocol (replaced by TLS) but can still be used in some circumstances. The Mozilla Security Blog article contains details. A quick fix for Firefox users is to install SSL Version Control plugin to disable use of SSLv3. SSLv3 will be disabled by default in Firefox 34 when it is released towards the end of November.

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Bash Exploit

Well I read this article whilst I was at work. Upon getting home I started up my Fedora machine and ran the following check to see if I was vulnerable.

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Chromebook to Ultrabook

Over the weekend I spent some time removing ChromeOS from an Acer C720 and replacing it with Fedora 20. Although I still need to add a few more tweaks to the setup I have ended up with absolute bargain. I purchased the C720 as a refurbished model, this was to save a few pounds and to get a 32GB SSD rather than the 16GB version available from the Google Play store. The Fedora install and handful of applications I needed only take up around 5GB of space leaving plenty to work with. Battery life is excellent. General desktop usage easily manages 6-8 hours, streaming video/using the wifi would appear to reduce this somewhat. So for £165 inc delivery (plus a weekend of setup time) I can say I am very happy with my purchase.

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Cooling Things Down

Summer is approaching and the weather is getting slowly warmer. This brings with it the annual problem of having a computer in the bedroom kicking out heat and making it too warm. Another issue that had been causing me some bother for a few years is the power settings on my graphics card, a Radeon HD6850, when running Linux. I use the open source radeon driver as keeps improving overtime and has enough of the performance of the closed source official driver for my needs. The one thing that has been lacking in my particular case has been the dynamic adjustment (radeon.dpm) of the card to keep it running cool. I have been forced to manually set the card to a low power state each time I reboot the machine. Failing to do this means the card boots up running full speed and quite happy to warm the place up. The downside is that I am always in the low power state and any tasks that might make use of a bit of extra power never get it unless its specifically enabled.

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Kivy

This week whilst thinking about how to represent an idea as a GUI application I ran into the limits of GTK3. I had a look around at matplotlib and pygame as possible work arounds but neither suited what I had in mind. It was then that I discovered Kivy.

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Tmux - Solving The Problem Of Window Names

I was lucky enough to get a book on using tmux for Christmas. Following through the examples I noticed that I was not getting the expected behaviour when attempting to set window names.

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Fedora 20 - Countdown

Countdown removed.

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Galactic Civilizations III

Now this I can’t wait for. Galactic Civilizations III has been announced. I have played the first two in years gone by; both excellent games. I have spent a great many hours sat in an extended gaming session with GalCiv 2. A few times I only stopped a session when the battery in the mouse ran out.

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Fedora 19 - Countdown

Countdown removed.

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System Email

On my Fedora system I collect the system emails to my user account. This results in a selection of daily emails outlining statuses which I am prompted to deal with whenever I launch a terminal. In the past I have used the “mail” command to read and delete the messages. It is not the easiest mail reader to deal with however. The fallback has been to use Evolution which is part of Gnome. I have never been a fan of Evolution, instead preferring Thunderbird. Thunderbird does not support the maildir format used by the system email and as such has been ruled out. I am going to be trying out Mutt, it is a command line reader that I found already installed on my system. The interface is structured unlike “mail” and even lists the shortcuts for commonly used commands. For my needs I don’t need to configure Mutt to do anything. I did find a couple of links that may prove useful in making Mutt your primary email client.

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Keeping My Hat On

In my previous post I outlined my thinking about moving from Fedora to OpenSuse. I installed OpenSuse 12.3 onto mylaptop and had a play about. The installer was clean and easy to use and everything was setup with the minimum of effort.

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Going Gecko

Using Linux has always presented me with a lot of choice as to how I want to use it and how it can work for me. I started my Linux journey with Gentoo and stayed with it for many years. But over time I found it didn’t fit with my workflow, it was fun to use and I learnt a lot but it required hands on tweaking.

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Git Hub - Codecolorer

I have been using Git for version control on my own machine for a little while now. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do but it is still useful to me. I have had an account on Git Hub for a while and have been meaning to either start or contribute to a project. I noticed that one of the syntax highlighting projects I use had not been updated in a while. So I forked the Codecolorer code and applied some updates. My intent is that these changes get pulled back into the main project. In the mean time my version of the codecolorer wordpress plugin is available here .

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PS3 Media Server + Bravia 22EX553

Due to the decline in the picture quality from my old 14” Goodmans CRT TV I recently purchased a replacement. The Sony Bravia 22EX553 is a nice 22” 720P set with a Freeview HD tuner. It’s only a set for the bedroom so extra features were not a high priority. Having said that I decided to make use of the features it does have, in my case DLNA video streaming from the PS3 Media Server software running on my PC.

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Fixed: Fedora 16 Printing

During my upgrade from Fedora 15 to 16 several things broke, this is nothing new there were alot of major graphical components updated. Those issues were resolved in the week following the F16 release. What I had not expected to break was my network printing setup. In all the years I used Gentoo and upgraded over and over I never had many issues and when I did it was usually my fault.

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Fedora 16

Countdown timer removed.

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Fedora 15 - Initial Thoughts

I took the plunge a few days ago and updated my machines to Fedora 15. The results have been mixed. My netbook and laptop were the first to be upgrades with Intel and Nvidia graphics respectively. Both upgraded fine and the Gnome 3 experience was ok, if a little strange. The problems started with my server with an AMD/ATI graphics. The screen was tearing in places and the smooth experience I was getting on the netbook and laptop had been lost. I still have not fully resolved this problem and it proving difficult to use gnome 3 without it.

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Countdown To Fedora 15

Countdown image removed.

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Refactoring Email

I have been using email for many years now. Over that time I have changed between mail clients, addresses, operating systems and spam filters. Whilst I have been able to keep on top of filtering mail into folders it finally reached the point today where the the mess of filtering and folders needed a clean up.

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Git – Version Control

Until very recently I had never used any sort of version control system. I was aware of the existence of Git, SVN, CVS, Darcs, Mercurial etc. but never needed to use any. A version control system is a setup where by the changes to a set of files are tracked over time. This enables a timeline of the projects history to see what changes were made when and by whom. It allows for multiple people to work on a project and submit changes and patches.

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Fedora 14 - One Month On

It has been just over a month since I switched my Linux computers from Gentoo to Fedora. I am happy to report that all is going well. There have been a few issues but these are minor annoyances rather than major problems.

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No More Gentoo

Over the past month I have been getting to grips with using Fedora 14 on my Laptop, Netbook and Desktop. The install replaces the previous Gentoo installs. My primary reason for switching distribution has been updates and time. To keep machines upto date with security patches Gentoo needed to recompile alot of packages in some cases. This for some things could take time to compile and compile errors would sometimes occur. When things didn’t compile it sometimes broke the system in such a way that it would be unusable until it was fixed, this could mean waiting a day or so, especially with the compiling errors. So enough was enough, Fedora with its pre-compiled binary packages was the answer.

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Fedora 14 - Comming Soon

Countdown Image Removed

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Experiences With Windows 7 & SSD

This week I took delivery of a 40GB Solid State Drive (SSD) an a copy of Windows 7 Professional to give a boost to my quad core box. Windows XP has had a good run and it is getting to the point where an OS upgrade is needed to get the best out of the underlying hardware. The system has 8GB RAM but the 32bit nature of XP meant that only 4GB of memory could be addressed. In addition Windows 7 supports newer versions of DirectX. There are games on the horizon which I plan on getting which will require a newer graphics card which will use the newer DirectX. So that is the reason for the upgrade, now onto the installation itself.

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Arduino + Ethernet Shield + Linux 64 Bit = Headache

I have been trying for the past few hours to get the simple web server sketch working with an arduino board and my recently acquired ethernet shield. All seemed to be going well the sketches were uploading to the board and I was able to ping the ip address over the network. Why then could I not connect to the device to see the generated output? Much time has been spent looking at different libraries and other peoples sketches looking for alternative ways of doing the same thing. Each time my sketch would stall whilst trying to read the client data. A single line of code which for some reason would stall the program execution.

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The Rodent Confusion

For the past few weeks I have been having some performance glitches with the way my mouse interacts with my Linux machine. The mouse would move and the buttons operate normally except for when trying to press and hold the left button for example. The action would appear to terminate after a few seconds and reinitialise. This behaviour was making it impossible to move windowed applications around the desktop. Today however I have solved the problem, which is good from the point of view that it solves the issue and also it means I don’t have to spend the next 48hrs recompiling Gentoo and all my applications.

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Plugin Enhancement

My previous modification to the CodeColorer syntax highlighting plugin for Wordpress has been integrated into the official 0.9.8 release. I received a comment request to enhance the modification furthur.

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Portable Apps & Portable Python

So I wanted to do some programming in python whilst at work I could have used my netbook but its size can make it difficult to work on for serious code generation. So my decision was to use Portable Apps from a USB memory stick, Portable Apps does not include Python in its package listing. A quick scout about with a popular search engine showed Portable Python as a solution a current Python version bundled with some handy modules.

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Thunderbird 3 Bug: A Workaround

I recently upgraded from Mozilla Thunderbird 2 to the new Thunderbird 3 release. For a few days everything was working fine with the new default settings. I have a few email accounts which Thunderbird fetches mail for and I didn’t want to use the new Smart Folder mode. So I changed back to not using it. Everything appeared ok, until the next day. I returned home from work to find no new email. This is highly unusual as there is usually some for of advert for an online store showing me the latest offers, especially around christmas time. This lack of email continued for a few days, to begin with I attributed this to my ISP who were reporting problems with the email system. Today after 4 days with no new mail it was time to explore more options within Thunderbird and try to find a solution to the problem.

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November Update

As usual it has taken me until the end of the month to get round to posting something. Normally this is just an update of the mail server saga or something about a site update. Not wanting to miss out such information that will follow. More interesting news is that I am changing my job, moving from a Field Engineer covering the entire country to something a little more localised. It should mean that I have a bit more of a life outside work; about time too.

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Mailserver Project - October Update

The mailserver project which I have been working on for many months now is getting to the point where it will soon be taking over the role of hosting all my email. No problems have been discovered over the past month and my upgrade script to regenerate the security certificates worked perfectly. A recent update to Dovecot, the IMAP system, means that a little more testing is in order due to modifications made to the config files.

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Mailserver - Another Stage Completed

Over the past couple of weeks I have been moving the mailserver project closer to being ready for actual use and another milestone has been passed. I have now reached the stage where my hotmail and gmail accounts are collected onto the server and made availiable via IMAP.

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Kernel Upgrade Day

It has been a long time since I last updated the kernels on my linux machines. I had managed to keep the software up to date but the kernel upgrades are always a little more involved. Today is the day that they were all updated, all the software updated and rebuilt. Optimising the kernels is a little more time consuming and it may take another attempt on my main machines to get rid of any extra drivers and features that are not required.

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Quick Mailserver Update

I have at long last done a little more work on the mailserver project. The latest thing to report is the addition of dspam to filter out spam. In addition to this clamAV is also integrated.

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Xorg-Server Upgrade Nightmare

Recently when applying the updates to my Gentoo Linux machines a new version of Xorg-Server was presented. Normally package updates are straight forward, this one on the other hand needed a big change in drivers and config files. My main issue with the upgrade is the poor upgrade documentation, there is a lack of detail surrounding the conversion of the old config file into the new config file. Now I can see the reasoning behind the change in config file syntax, it now provides fine grained control of options on a per device basis whilst allowing for common options to be applied to mutiple devices.

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Printing Linux Man Pages

In my efforts to add spam and virus filtering to my mailserver project I needed to have a hardcopy of a man page. Whilst it is possible to forward the output to a file “man [command] > outputfile” or directly to the printer “man [command] | lpr” neither option is perfect. Directing the output to a file leaves extra characters in the output making the text a little unreadable in places. Directing the output directly to the printer uses a font which is over large and a waste of paper.

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Mailserver Project: It Appears To Work

After spending much time and effort on the mailserver project I think I have finally created a secure and working basic setup. It’s currently a little to late to do extensive testing but the brief tests carried out so far look good. A laptop with a self signed ssl certificate can securely connect to the mailserver over the local lan and retrieve the email in the imap store and securely send email out again. Trying to use the mail client on the mailserver itself correctly fails to retrieve the imap store or send email due to not having a self signed certificate to send.

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Mailserver Project: Another Update

I was hoping to begin this month with news that my mailserver project was reaching the milestone objective of being secure and working, alas it is not to be. The good news is that over the past month I have made significant progress and am in the final stages of securing and testing.

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Windows Vista - Still Crap

In the past few weeks I purchased some new Anti-virus and Firewall software from ESET to replace my expiring & bloated AVG install. The first machine to get the upgrade was my XP desktop machine; everything went well. I was impressed with the lighter feel to the software and the added fact that it didn’t seem to be hogging the system resources quite as much. A weeks trial later I decided it was stable and usable enough to be used on my laptop; running Windows Vista. The install was painless and the software scanned my system and there were no obvious issues.

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Time Sink

Over the past 3 and a bit months I have been playing Eve-Online, a massively multiplayer game set in outer space. This has been the first time I have played something like this for any great length of time and like any game it took me the best part of 3 months playing to get to the stage where I had a few options.

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Mailserver Update

I posted a few weeks (possibly months) ago that I would get my guide to setting up a mailserver onto the site. Unfortunately I ran into a few security realted problems that needed to resolved. The good news is I have made plenty of notes of the process and it should just be a case of typing them up.

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Firefox 3

Firefox 3 has been released. Get it now!!

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May & Mailservers

May 2008 has been somewhat uneventful on the traveling front, work has mainly taken my to and from the office (3 miles a day). On the plus side being based at home I have invested some time into trying to setup a mail server. Now setting up a mail server was never going to be an easy task, the fact that I still don’t have a working setup after several weeks of attempts is testament to this.

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Never Blindly Copy Code

I have been developing my own iptables firewall scripts for my Linux machines. On the whole the process has been going quite well. Part of my research into the firewall rules involved buying a few reference books, one of which contained what claimed to be a very secure script. I copied the base rules over to use as a base to add my own rules to and things have progressed very well.

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I Hate Windows XP Home

Over the easter weekend I have decided once again to setup my network just the way I like it. Up to this point everything is going well, the Samba shares on the linux machines are at last accessible through the firewall and the Linux machines can access the Windows shares. Now the problems start.

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Foresight Linux 2.0

I’m always on the lookout for new innovations from the Linux community and today I stumbled across something interesting. Foresight Linux is a relatively new distribution but what differentiates it from the competition is the package manager. In other binary distros upgrading an application involves removing the old package in its entirety and dropping the new one in its place. Foresights Conary package manager takes a different approach and only swaps out the bits which have changed. This makes it more efficient as your saving on the amount of downloading you need to do for a new package.

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Gentoo Linux - Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part 6)

I have been happily using my notebook without problems since I posted my last update. I was enjoying using it so much I decided to take advantage of the low RAM prices and upgrade from 2GB to 4GB.

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Gentoo Linux - Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part 5)

SOUND!!! Yes it is now possible to get the ALC268 hda-intel audio chipset working along with the headphone jack. It has taken a few hours trying to hack a solution together from notes relating to other distros but I finally have something acceptable. I guess you want to know how to do it, instructions now follow.

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Xorg Mouse Configuration

Yesterday I purchased a mouse to use with my notebook; I lead such an eventful life. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be worthy of mention, most mice are plug in and use. My mouse however needs to work with Linux and here in lies the problem. Getting a mouse to talk to Linux is getting easier the left, right and middle buttons usually work as well as the up down scroll. It’s the additional buttons that cause the problems.

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Gentoo Linux - Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part 4)

Time for an update on my progress of installing Gentoo Linux on my Toshiba X200-20S. I have been managing to get audio playing out of the integrated speakers, so I assumed it was all working and setup correctly, wrong. When I tried to plug in my headphones the audio continues to be played out of the speakers. The problem appears to be an unsupported codec chip (ALC286). Now the good news is that support for this chip has been integrated into the 2.6.23 series of kernels. The downside is that they have not yet been marked for testing as gentoo-sources. I could try a vanilla kernel but I’d rather have the gentoo tweaks. Once it’s available for testing I shall give it a shot and see if it solves my problems.

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Belkin Switch2 & Linux

The Belkin Switch2 is a range of KVM switches to switch between 2 computers. Some of the range support usb keyboards and mice and include stereo audio switching, it is these particular models which are of interest.

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Gentoo Linux - Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part3)

The Frame Buffer/Nvidia/Xorg problem

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Gentoo Linux - Toshiba Satellite X200/X205 (part2)

Kernel Config [gentoo-sources, 2.6.22-gentoo-r5] Still alot of uneeded things in there and probably a few needed things that aren’t. It does boot though and will provide a base from which to expand from.

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Gentoo Linux - Toshiba Satellite X200/X205

I have recently acquired a Toshiba Satellite X200-20S laptop. Whilst it shipped with Windows Vista it was never my intention to run it as the primary OS. The primary OS for this machine will be Gentoo Linux.

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Firewall Script - Improvement

I have improved the previous version of the firewall script to reduce some security flaws.

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Firewall Script

Some recent site upgrades mean its time for some interesting content. I have added my development iptables firewall script. It works at the moment or at least I think it does.

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Firewall 0.6

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Can A Person Have Too Many Computers?

I built myself a Gentoo server some time ago now but I have never used it to its full potential. It has certainly been useful as far as learning experiences go but it spends most of its time powered down. My problem would seem to be my attachment to my windows machine. It still runs all the 24/7 services I need and all I do is turn the speakers and monitors off when I don’t need it.

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New Gentoo Guide

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Time For Another Update

It has been many weeks since my last post, as usual I have been busy with many things and often away from net access. So time for a little news. The site has been upgraded to the latest version of WordPress. Given that its taken me less than a week to apply an upgrade isn’t bad for me.

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2007

I was hoping to start of 2007 with a post around a week ago, obviously this didn’t happen, oops. Now for my usual excuses, I have been away from regular internet access and have been suffering from man-flu. I’m almost better now, so on with the new year.

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I’ve Been Quiet Again

Looks like another significant amount of time has passed since I last posted on the site. I have been my usual busy self, getting along with other things on my todo list.

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Synergy Problems & Workarounds

This weekend I have been setting up synergy to work between my XP desktop and one of my Gentoo Linux boxes. Both are running version 1.3.1 of synergy with XP being the server. I ran into a couple of issues; now solved, that are common enough that others may find my posting of a solution useful.

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Python

For some time now I have been playing about with the Python language. Most of the stuff I have created with it has been rubbish or just little experiments into exploring the language.

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Todo.txt

This week I discovered a useful little command line application to process my todo list. Todo.txt processes a plain text file and allows you to maintain the list with a few command line calls. Because the file is in plain text I can just print it out if I am going to be away from my system.

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Teaching Myself Python

All that free time I had when tired of looking for jobs had to be applied to something. I received a Learning Python book for Xmas and decided that since I had a working computer again it was time to put it to some use.

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Galactic Civilizations 2 Arrived

The game I had been waiting for arrived a few weeks ago. It was well worth the wait and caused me to have several long gaming sessions ( i.e. more than 5 hours at a time). The new job means I will have to settle for a few shorter sessions when I can fit them in but its a game I will keep comming back to. Incedentally the 1.1 release is currently in beta testing so in maybe a week or so I will have an even better game to play.

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Winamp 5.13 - Security Update

There is a new version of Winamp available. It fixes a security bug detailed in this article. Update any previous version you may have to keep your system secure.

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GalCiv 2

Galactic Civilisations 2 is soon to be released. Why am I telling you this? Well, GalCiv 1 was one of the best strategy games I have played in years. It was a well constructed game, it was distributed by the creators as a download and it was under active development for 12 months after the initial release to bug fix, balance gameplay and add a few new features. With developers who have designed a game for the players and listened to their opinions to make it a better game I can’t see how Gal Civ 2 can fail to be anything but a huge success.

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WG511T Config with Gentoo

17/10/05 - Matthew Tunstall

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Open Office 2.0 RC1

Today Open Office has moved from its beta stage to release candidate 1 (RC1). The Open Office suite is a free alternative to Microsoft Office. Having tried the software I am very impressed with what it can do. It also supports the Open Document Format, an open standard for files that isn’t tied to any particular vendor.

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7 Flavours Of Vista

Winsupersite.com is carrying a run down of the expected versions of Microsoft Windows Vista, to be released Q3/4 2006.

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Google Talk

This week Google has launched its new Instant Messenger (IM) & Voice Chat service. Other companies offer similar services i.e. Microsoft, Yahoo, ICQ. If you already have an IM service why change?

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Hotmail Time Saving Tips

I got an email in my hotmail inbox, detailing ways the service could help me save time. The only way its going to save me time is if Microsoft stop filling it with spam and pointless messages I have to check.

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Exeem Lite

I decided to try out the much hyped exeem lite (exeem without the adware). I can say I was disapointed with the result. Apart from the program being unstable I found the actual method of finding and downloading files involved too much clicking.

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Damn You 2.6.8-gentoo-r3!!!

One of the fun things about Gentoo is how easily it breaks and what fun one has fixing it. I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to mount the floppy drive so i could copy data across. After a several hours trawling through the Gentoo forums I stumbled across a similar topic. Within that topic was a post from a developer saying “upgrade your kernel. floppy support was broken in that one, sorry”. A simple solution, an upgrade to 2.6.9-gentoo-r9 solved the problem. Now however I’m left with a new one. Upgrading the kernel sources means I am now left without a graphical environment as X.org refuses to load. I have a sneaking suspision the nvidia drivers are to blame.

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Firefox 1.0 Released

Mozilla have released Firefox 1.0 this time its not a Preview Release but the final thing. I’ve been using the pre-release f0r a while now. I prefer Firefox to Internet Explorer. The transition was tricky but if you make yourself use Firefox for a week you will never go back.

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Firefox PR1.0 & Thunderbird 0.8

Mozilla have released new versions of its Browser and Email Clients today. Firefox is a great alternative to Internet Explorer and benefits from tabbed browsing and popup blocking. Thunderbird is an alternative to Outlook Express. Its advantages include spam filtering and the ability to retrieve RSS feeds.

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Windows XP SP2

Windows XP Service Pack 2 is now available via windows update. Although is was reported to be available sooner it was only a restricted distribution. Problems you are most likely to encounter are with the Firewall. You may find that some of your programs stop working, these will most likely be the ones requiring internet access. Configuring the firewall to allow these programs through will solve this.

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Ad-Aware SE

A new version of Ad-Aware has been released. The improved scanning engine can find more little nasties on your system. I ran the old version with the latest updates, followed by the new version. I found an extra 60 nasties.

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Zone Alarm Security Suite

Stay clear of Zone Alarm security suite. The standard freeware Zone Alarm firewall should be fine. The security suite like many other packages has tried to cram too much into a single software package. I have found it to be unstable until it was updated, the updated version has been fine until I discovered it was locking up my system after conflicting with other software. The software will get better but at the moment I would not recommend it.

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Lack Of Net Access

Its been a troubling Sunday. Problems with the Netgear DG814 ADSL Modem Router have resulted in a loss of conection to the net. I was suffering withdrawel symptoms. Not because I sit on the net allday, but because I coulnt use it for things when I wanted to.

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New WinMX In Beta Stages

Slyck is running an article about the new beta versions of the WinMX P2P filesharing client. The WinMX Beta Page is reporting the beta testing timeline. Download WinMX v3.52 beta 3.

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Company System Administrators Are Gimps

My PC was taken away from me at work Friday morning for an upgrade. I was told it would be back later that day. It finally arrived back this morning about 11am.

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WordPress 1.2

Good news folks, WordPress have released version 1.2 of their excellent blogging software. Even better the upgrade of the site to the new version is now complete. It took all of 30 seconds to do. Only well written software can make things that easy.

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WinAmp 5.01

WinAmp 5.01 is out now. It includes the following updates since 5.00 was released

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Gentoo On RaverBaby

Things are going well on RaverBaby (My 1GHz AMD machine). I installed Gentoo 1.4 a few weeks back and have been meaning to play with it a little more. Today things moved a bit furthur forward with the installation of Samba. This allows Windows and Linux to talk and share files like good operating systems should.

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Backend Updated

The site has been updated with the lastest version of wordpress (0.72 Beta RC1). This provides a few new features and bug fixes.

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Protect Your Computer

I get asked many times how best to defend a computer against the internet. Well todo you all a favor here is my recommended defence applications

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Galactic Civilisations

Galactic Civilisations a new game only just released. GalCiv.com

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Damn Microsoft

A UK RAF Tornado fighter jet was shot down near the Iraq-Kuwait border by a US Patriot missile killing the two pilots onboard.

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The Time Is NOW!!!

The time has come for service pack 3 to be banished from my machine. Service pack 2 will be put in its place. Hopefully this will rid me of the Blue Screens of Death and restore reliablilty once again.

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Finally It Works

I think I have finally completed my age progression bar script. I have tested it and it seems to work ok. This is why I’m now allowing you lucky people out there to get your hands on it.

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Age Progression Bar

I have finally completed V1.0 of my Age Progression Bar program. See it in use in the right menu. Big thanks must go out to neotek https://neotek.m0use.net who’s “AgeBar” script inspired my script. A litte tidying of the script code needs to be done but when that is compete i shall make it available to all.

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Ad-Aware

Ad-Aware is an excelent program. It has found no end of adware on my system. This is my freshly installed system which should have been as clean as possible. I now run it daily as I generally find that after the spam has been in my inbox it has usually left a few cookies.

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Busy Few Days

Well my new CD-RW has arrived along with my 120GB HDD. They have been installed and hardware swapped between my machines. I will need to update my system specs on this page.

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My New Script

Over the psat few days I have been working on a little script. What it does is to take the date of your birth and then track, via a progress bar, the progression of you age between birthdays. Its not the most exciting script but at least it works(Finally). I hope to put an example up soon. I just have to arrange the output details of the script.:)

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