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Category Archives: Linux

Android WiFi Issues

With my Wife’s new HTC Inspire (Android 2.2 based) phone, we had a strange issue with the wireless connection to our home router.  After a week of using it, it suddenly stopped connecting to our router, it was so irritating, we nearly returned the phone.

Luckily I found this fix online:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=683639

1) Download an app called WiFiStatic from the App Market. WiFiStatic takes each DHCP assigned IP address and stores it in a small database to be re-applied whenever you are back in range of the same Router again. It is not an ideal solution as you may have to re-scan and re-assign if you visit a busy hotspot, but this is a two press function, so it’s not that onerous.

2) Turn off your Router. Make sure the WiFi on your phone is off too.

3) With the router off, clear your Remembered WiFi connections (or at the very least the Netgear connection). Once that’s done, turn the Router on again and wait until it is full back up again.

4) When the Router is fully operational again, turn on your wifi on the phone and let is scan for and connect to the Netgear Router. You may need to tell it to connect from the Wireless Settings menu on the phone.

5) The phone should now connect to the Router successfully. If it doesn’t, repeat the above procedure.

6) With the phone connected to the router, fire up WiFiStatic. Check Auto Switch and Show Visual Prompt if they are not already selected, then Tap Add configuration at the bottom of the screen.

7) The IP address and other settings assigned by your router should be displayed at the top of the screen, at the bottom should be the name of your router and its MAC address. If not then tap Menu > Generate to populate the form.

8)Tap Menu > Done when everything is ok.

That’s it. Now when you move into range of your Netgear, you should get connected, though it does take a bit longer than normal (the Router still wants to assign an address first before accepting the static IP). You can speed this up by changing the Device table on the router to always keep the Phone’s static IP open.

This shouldn’t work as all my other attempts with Static IP failed, but I’ve had five days now of instant connection to WiFi at home, so something has been freed up.

I has worked like a charm so far for us, and the phone is just amazing.  I see why people really like smart phones, and in particular, Android phones.  It replaces your MP3 player, camera, phone,  PDA, camcorder, and even you netbook for most things.  Pretty remarkable what they can put in your pocket now.

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Computers, Linux

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Ubuntu Linux and Facebook.

Finally got Ubuntu 10.04 installed on the netbook. As a bit of irony, I had to use Windows to write the USB stick correctly. No matter what combination I tried in Mandriva, it just would end up with file errors. Don’t know why. Anyway, at least the system is installed now. It is attractive and fast. The only proprietary drivers on the system are for the Broadcom Wireless card. Since I was connected to the Internet via a cable, it was able to download and install the driver with minimal difficulty. I think the only thing I really don’t care for is the default color scheme. Just a little too dark and 1998 cool looking for my tastes, but that is easily changed.

Applications launch quickly and everything is super up to date. All I need to do now is install some of my favorite applications (like the GIMP) and I have a fully functional netbook/mini notebook again. As a humorous change, the icon for Safe a file has changed from a floppy to a hard drive with an arrow pointing towards it. Much more appropriate, and I am sure many younger computer users have never used, no less seen a floppy disk in action. Even 10 years ago it was rare.

In other news, the 100 days in cyberspace got a little old. I will add more sites, if they really deserve mention. I don’t want to add links to add links. I prefer to spend more time in real life.

Speaking of spending more time in real life, I have the distinct feeling Facebook is burning fast. It is rapidly approaching ad ridden/feature over-bloat uselessness, somewhat like AOL from 8 years ago. A candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long, and you have burned very very brightly Roy, er, Facebook. (My apologies to the folks who made Bladerunner.)

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Posted by on May 30, 2010 in Linux

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Couple of neat Linux applications

I have been trying to expand my software toolbox and I came across 2 really useful applications.

First up is k9copy, which is available for KDE 3 and 4.  It is a simple, easy to use DVD backup solution.  Basically put a DVD in, and it will ask you if you want to keep all the original menus, titles, etc. and even automatically recommend compression factors for the video information.  It makes backing up 8.5 gig to 4.7 gig DVD’s a breeze.  No obtuse command lines or hand calculating things.  It even shows a preview window as it works, so you can see where you are at visually.  Really, a nice, stand out program.

The second is a web browser, Midori available for Linux and possibly Windows, but I have not tried the Windows version.  It is based on GTK2 and the webkit redering engine (Like Safari, Konqueror, et al.)  It is a nice cross between Firefox and Opera, complete with the speed dial and add ons.  It is not perfect, but it is pretty quick and easy to use.  Flash rendering seems better and the memory footprint is about 90% smaller than Firefox running all the bells and whistles.

So if you are Linux and KDE user. give them a try.  Both programs are available for Mandriva and Ubuntu, so your distro should have an up to date version as well.

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Posted by on March 5, 2010 in Linux

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Netbook tech note

A quick bit of advice, if you want to extend the battery life of your Linux (and probaby windows) netbook and use Firefox, install Flashblock.  It turns out when ANY flash animation is playing, the processor clocks to maximum and the CPU use goes way up.  The faster the clock, the more power it uses and the more heat it generates.  The nice thing about Flashblock is that you can decide if you want to see something like a Flash video you can, but most of the time you can just load a web page quickly and easily without sucking down the battery.  What made me realize this was thinking about the iPad.  It is very quick on the net, and the reason, partially, is that it does not run Flash.  So, no Flash increases battery life, speeds page load times, and makes the machine look like it is blazing fast on the internet.  You only really notice the lack of Flash on some sites, like Ikea and Rolex, both of witch are impossible to use without flash.  Most of the time, it just blocks annoying ads.

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Posted by on February 1, 2010 in Computers, Linux

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Ubuntu back on the Netbook (9.10)

Ah, finally, some Linux again on the Netbook. I fully agree with a statement my wife Tiffany made last night, Netbook makers should just admit they really suck at running any version of Windows and just install Linux on there all the time. It is much smaller, can run on much less RAM, and never crashes. The never crashes is the most crucial thing to me. My typical Windows XP computing experience on the netbook:

Boot the machine. Pretty quick.

Wait the desktop to load and wait for the hard drive to stop grinding away.

Acknowledge even more updates are needed.

Install operating system updates.

Acknowledge virus scan updates needed.

Install virus scanner updates.

Reboot machine

Wait for updates to install while shutting down.

Wait for the desktop to come back.

Get more warning about updates.

Rinse, repeat about 3 times.

Finally get to working desktop (which I have unused icons on, acknowledge that warning.)

Try to run a web browser and virus scanning software at the same time.

Cry

The sad thing is, under Windows XP, the netbooks can surf the web, ok, and run basic productivity, barely.

Under Linux I can surf at almost full speed, perform real world computing, such as image editing and word processing, and not worry about if I have extra icons on my desktop or an update needs to be performed. All at the same time. I know for a fact Microsoft wants netbooks dead. Why do you think paid pundits are all saying netbooks are dead already. It’s because you can’t charge $300 for an operating system on a item which often costs less than $300. Heck, even the OEM price is close to $85 for most versions of Windows. This is a HUGE chunk of the price of a netbook. We have not even begun to count the price of some decent productivity software, like Office or Photoshop, which cost more than the hardware!

Under Linux (Ubuntu in this case) I have a FREE (As in free beer) Office Suite, OpenOffice 3.1. It is not a stripped down, basic office suite, but the exact same software I run on my desktop. Then I have the GIMP. Again, this is not stripped down, basic graphics program, but something that can rival Photoshop for any home user. They both free and run much better under Linux than Windows. I also have video editors, sounds editors, games, and a thousands of other applications, for free, available to me. So, to summarize, I can pay Around $400 for a decent netbook + $300 for MS Office, + $80 for Photoshop Elements (or $600 for full version) + $??? for everything else. So, you are looking at spending $1,000 or so for your “Cheap” netbook, or you can get it with Linux on there and spend $350 nothing extra. Hmm, which should I choose? This is why Mircosoft wants netbooks to die, and die quickly. Sadly, the makers of netbooks want them to die as well. Not enough profit and just as many warrany repairs and unhappy customers as a $1,500 laptop they made a couple hundred bucks on.

If netbooks go away, it is not because the public does not want them or abandons them for iPhones or tablets, it is because the makers and Microsoft can’t make much money off of them. In the end, that is why companies are in business, to make money. If they don’t, they kill the product, and who can blame them? They just won’t be honest why they killed them off.

 

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Posted by on January 26, 2010 in Computers, Linux

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