jump to navigation

Dream a little dream… of Debian February 13, 2008

Posted by oktyabr in debian, games, graphics, hacking, hardware, linux, opinions, personal, realtime, screenshots, software.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far


Some of you might have noticed I haven’t posted much on the linux front (or any other for that matter!) for awhile… This post is likely to be the first of several in a related series and the first to explain why I haven’t posted and why I am again now!

To make a long story short I moved across the state, built a new computer and ended up using wireless as my only connection to the net for the very first time…


Killer script to install WineX from CVS! December 23, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in games, hacking, linux.
add a comment

Found this script at www.linuxhelp.net and thought I should copy it here to in case it gets lost! (I hate it when that happens!)

For those of you that have no idea what this is you should probably skip this post and read something else…


restore list of packages with dselect September 4, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, tutorials.
1 comment so far

Had seen this howto before but thought there was also one using apt-get? Can’t find that one yet but will post if/when I do 🙂

Basically it involves generating a text file of all installed packages and then saving it to a disk, remote host, email, etc. Then on a fresh install this list can be used to install all of the previous packages automagically. Useful for reinstalls or mass deployment over similar systems!

albertomilone.wordpress.com post

How to Think Like A Computer Scientist February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in hacking, tutorials.
add a comment

This is a very through and easy to follow tutorial for Python.

read more | digg story

Kanotix rt-preempt custom kernel February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, realtime.

I’ve got a rt-preempt kernel of my own running now! Still needs some tweaking but all my sound devices work, as does internet, graphics, etc. and I’m able to get 2.9ms latency in qjackctl without xruns (44100Hz, period = 64 frames, buffer = 2 periods).

Here is roughly how I did it in case anyone else wants to try and/or compare notes (if I’ve got something wrong or forgotten something please post and correct me! I’m still a n00b at kernel building.):

1) Download the latest vanilla kernel source from: http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/ In my case this was linux-2.6.15.tar.bz2

2)Switch to root, move the kernel source to /usr/src and unpack it there with tar jxf linux-2.6.15.tar.bz2

3)Remove old symbolic link “linux” and replace it with a new one going to your new directory and then cd to it:
rm linux
ln -s linux-2.6.15 linux
cd linux

4)Fire up your favorite text editor and edit the file “Makefile”. The line that says “EXTRAVERSION=” simply add what you like to the end of it like your name, whatever. NO capital letters and NO underscores! Save the file.

5) Download the latest *matching* rt-preempt patch from http://people.redhat.com/mingo/realtime-preempt/ (matching means patch 2.6.15-rt16 in my case) to your new directory:
wget http://people.redhat.com/mingo/realtime-preempt/patch-2.6.15-rt16 (version will change over time)

6) Switch to the new kernel source directory and patch it:
cd linux-2.6.15
patch -p1

*Not really sure what to do here, what to answer ‘yes’ to etc. so I answered “n” or chose the default option on the patch questions EXCEPT where it wants to know what level of PREEMPT you want… then you entire “4” for ‘complete preemption’.

7) Now I copied the config file from my current kernel (do ls /boot to see what to enter here) to use as a config for the new one:
cp /boot/config- .config

8) Run make menuconfig for console version or make xconfig (may require deps) for the graphical version of the configuration utility. Trim up the kernel by removing any drivers you are *sure* you don’t need. If in doubt, leave it. Don’t enable anything that you don’t need. This may take some experimentation to get working right. I’m sure there is a more ‘foolproof’ way of doing this but I don’t know what it is… yet. “Save” your new config when done.

9)Build the kernel, headers and modules:

make-kpkg clean
make-kpkg modules_clean
make-kpkg kernel_image kernel_headers modules_image

This will take quite awhile depending on the power of your machine… On my AMD64+3500 it took just about 30 minutes. NOTE: “make-kpkg modules_clean” is something I’ve read in other tutorials but it gave me an error and suggested I could fix it by running kpkg once in that directory… I skipped it and went to the next line. Maybe on the next build of this kernel it will work…

If you complete all of the above with no errors you should be able to cd back to /usr/src (cd ../) and you should find some new .deb packages there for the kernel, any modules you built, and the kernel headers. Install them as you would any .debs (I use dpkg -i name_of_package.deb) and reboot. In my Kanotix this kernel was automatically chosen as the default and identified itself simply as “Debian 2.6.15”

NOTES: My graphics was shot when I first booted into this new kernel, probably because I either missed an option in menuconfig or because I had a messed up xorg.conf from an earlier kernel. EIther way it was easily fixed by switching to root and running the scripts found in /usr/local/bin:
(I have an nvidia card! This won’t work if YOU don’t have an nvidia card!)

FINALLY I installed realtime-lsm with the following commands (might require deps on your machine):

apt-get install module-assistant
m-a update
m-a prepare
m-a get realtime-lsm
m-a get realtime-lsm-source
m-a build realtime-lsm-source
m-a install realtime-lsm
/sbin/modprobe realtime gid=29
/etc/init.d/realtime start

Dell P1110 brightness problem February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in hacking, hardware, personal.

So I had been saving up money to replace my beloved 19″ Sony Trinitron G410R CRT with one of these new snazzy LCD flat panel monitors and then it happened…

I caught a classified add in my local paper that listed “Dell 21″ monitor for sale: $50″ A 21”?!?!?! w00t! I went over to check it out and fell in love! In fact I told the gentleman that if he had more of them I would probably buy two or three.. “I do have more.” he replied. My heart start beating harder and I forgot how to breath as schemes of how to convince my wife that I needed not one “new” monitor but several started bubbling in my head. 15 minutes later I left with two of them and a $90 hole in my wallet where some of my LCD money used to be.

They are gov surplus (I live in a fairly high-tech area), vintage 2000, so they have seen lots of use, I’m sure. The pictures are still nice and crisp and they pull off 1600×1200 @85hz with no problem (3200×1200 in twinview! Yipeee!) but i DID notice that really “black” blacks were tough to get with them, even with brightness turned all the way down. Usuable, but far from what manufacturer’s specs were, I’m sure. I posted in the Tech Talk section of one of my favorite BBSs and got the following reply from one of my friends:

The P1110 is a great monitor, but you will run into a problem, but it is easy to fix.

At some point you may start to notice that it takes 10 minutes or more to go from blank screen to being able to see a picture. This has to do with a faulty heat regulator. I’ll try and find the link on how to fix it.

Another problem you may encounter is that it is too bright. You can find a way to fix that here: http://www.hutzelman.com/home/hardware/mods/monitor/

So it’s off to http://www.hutzelman.com/home/hardware/mods/monitor/ I go… nice HOWTO with lots of detailed photos. Doesn’t look too difficult… just requires replacing a single resistor (in each monitor) that controls black levels. Time to go find a soddering iron 😉

EDIT New link, thanks to Gilles Vollant :


Ubuntu cleverness Part 4. nvidia twinview February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, nvidia, screenshots, ubuntu.

Excellent HOWTO to get twinview working with dual monitors and an applicable video card:


Ubuntu cleverness Part 3. Firefox 1.5 February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, ubuntu.
add a comment

Firefox is a superb browser as more and more of the world is finding out everyday! But Ubuntu Breezy only includes 1.07 in it’s repositories, which proves to be sadly outdated especially if you want to use some of the bleeding edge extensions that are now available for it! So here is the quick and dirty way to install the latest (1.5 stable at the time of this post) Firefox on your Breezy system (taken in part from the ubuntu wiki. Please refer to that link if you need more detailed help!):

1) First download the latest firefox installer: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/

2) Open a terminal and extract it to your /opt directory:

# extract tar into /opt (you should make sure /opt already exists)

sudo tar -C /opt -x -z -v -f firefox-1.5.tar.gz

# remove the package if you no longer require it

rm firefox-1.5.tar.gz

3) You will need libstdc++5 installed for this to work:

sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

4) Remove the old “firefox” link, if it exists, and replace it with a new one:

sudo rm /usr/bin/firefox sudo

ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

Fireup firefox and give it a whirl! You *might* get some popup errors regarding “Chrome registry” but these usually are in regards to older versions of extensions you might have had installed for version 1.07. Once you have 1.5 up and running you can go to Tools -> Extensions and click the Find Updates button near the bottom. Any that can’t be updated will have to be removed using that same interface.

NOW, for some cool stuff you can do with the new version! Update the ‘fox! For one, you will notice under the Help menu that there is a new entry called “Check for updates”. This will actually update FIREFOX itself, NOT extensions! But it is a lot easier than following the above directions all over again, don’t you think?

Get some new search engines! See that new little entry field with the google emblem next to it? That is a built in search bar. Type anything into it and press enter (or click the “Go” button) and that’s what you get… search results straight from Google.com… but you might also notice that little black arrow next to the Google logo! Click it and you will get several search engines to choose from… But that’s not all!!! The bottom entry should read “Add Engines”… click this and you will get a new webpage full of nifty search engine extensions including dictionaries, movie databases, song lyrics, stocks and even a complete database of recipes from the Food Network (try “Thai Chicken” in this one to find some of my favorite food 😀 ) Just click each respective link and they will install into your search box automagically.

Get more extensions! Extensions are, well, what the word implies… ways of making firefox… extending firefox … beyond just another webbrowser. If you click the Tools -> Extensions in the menus and then the “Get More Extensions” link at the bottom you will get a new page with literally HUNDREDS of nifty ways to make your firefox into a super-browser! Here are a few of my favorites:

AddBlock As the name implies… a customizable add stopper. Priceless!

Sage RSS news reader One of several available extensions with this capacity, Sage is a bit “lighter” than most doing the bare essentials in a neat sidebar of your browser.

Forecastfox Customizable weather reports in your status bar. Even has a popup radar map!

QuickChat Not much in use yet but once word gets around this one will take off like wild fire! Let me give you a short description… browse ANY webpage, anywhere, anytime. Click “quickchat” and instantly join an IRC channel created *specifically* for that webpage and chat with others, in realtime, who are looking at the same page you are. How cool is that?!?!

FireFTP FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers. No reason to use anything else! Many more where those came from! Take a look and if you find one I’m missing you think I would like, leave a comment and let me know about it!

Ubuntu cleverness Part 2. Source-O-Matic February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, software, ubuntu.
add a comment

Found this very cool website called “Source-o-matic”: http://www.ubuntulinux.nl/source-o-matic

Similar to EasyURMPI for Mandy (Mandriva or the distro formerly known as Mandrake), source-o-matic allows a unbuntu user to easily generate a custom tailored source.list. Just select your arch at the top of the page, select the sources you want and click the “Give me a sources.list” at the bottom and copy/paste (as root/su) the results into your /etc/apt/sources.list file (backup your original sources.list first!)

Tapping into a wealth of debian repositories has never been easier! 🙂

Ubuntu cleverness Part 1. nvidia drivers February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, nvidia, ubuntu.
add a comment

Currently running a hybrid Kubuntu 5.10 install that I’ve upgraded to use the nvidia proprietary drivers, KDE 3.5, twinview (Dell P1110 21″ CRTs) and a realtime-lsm enabled kernel. I want to share here a few of the tricks that got me this far: Breezy nvidia driver binary from a fresh install (substitute “686” in place of “386” if you are running the 686 kernel):

#sudo apt-get update

#sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-settings linux-restricted-modules-386

#sudo nvidia-glx-configure enable

That’s it! Save all your other work and restart X (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace) and you should see the Nvidia splash screen. Open a terminal on your desktop and try “glxgears -printfps” to see if 3D is working properly.

MIDI Problems with QjackCtl February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in debian, hacking, linux, make music, realtime, software.
add a comment

I get the following error:

Could not open ALSA sequencer as a client.

MIDI patchbay will be not available.

In the message console I get the same message followed by the line:
ALSA lib seq_hw.c:455:(snd_seq_hw_open) open /dev/snd/seq failed: No such file or directory.

I’m still too much of linux n00b to fully understand what that means or how to go about fixing it. The real world result is that I have no MIDI capabilities when this happens. I’m running a USB MAudio Midisport 4×4 which runs perfectly in Demudi 1.2.1 and is at least properly detected in Kanotix (another debian). Google seems to suggest I need to rebuild my ALSA libraries but I have yet to find a well written HOWTO that might fix this problem.

Have any clues?”


/dev/snd/seq failed: No such file or directory

solution: modprobe snd-seq