Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
WOW! XPS m1330′s get the official Ubuntu nod from the mothership.
If you’d like to get a succinct list of the known issues with the m1330 and Ubuntu, check out Dell’s Linux Wiki. The list here sums up all of the issues and workarounds that have been found for all Dells that officially ship Ubuntu.
Last night, I decided to give Gimp a try and see if I could make some simple graphics in it. After struggling with looking for various options and palettes, I took a little break to find some tutorials. I stumble upon GimpShop which makes the options and layout a bit more like Photoshop and thus got me started finally. Soon after I started working on some stuff for New Years, I realized that there weren’t very many fonts that came with Ubuntu. A quick search yielded CrunchBang ~ 465 Free Fonts for Ubuntu. There are some really nice fonts in this pack and I recommend picking it up if you’re on Ubuntu.
Also I figured out if you do Alt+F2 to bring up something akin to Windows+r(un) and type “fonts:///”, you’ll get to your fonts folder. I still haven’t figured out where this folder actually lives in the tree structure, but it must be around somewhere.
Happy Gutsy Gibbon Day. Today Ubuntu 7.10 went out the door. I went to check my Update Manager and boom! I found nothing. What?!? Surprise!
Apparently, I’ve been running the final build and have just been baking on it for a few days. Anyway, my day to day home computing has finally gone Microsoft-free. I still have good old Vista there for a few things like using MTP to transfer stuff to/from my array of portable devices and installing stuff on my WM6 phone. I’ve tried to get Rhythmbox to see my Sansa Connect, but it refuses to give me the love. Oh well…I suppose there will have to be more debugging. Also, my built-in webcam doesn’t seem to work either. Another “oh well” since I don’t ever use this feature figuring that I’m not much to look at to begin with
I hope everyone has had a nice ride thus far…I hope to be along for the Linux for the long term.
I’ve been looking for a way to secure my communications when using free wifi at various locations. The closest thing I have so far is to use my work’s VPN solution which should encrypt things on the laptop before transmitting to the hotspot. However, I remember reading something about a local VPN solution where you create a VPN network on your laptop and then connect to this VPN on the same machine. The encryption occurs on the machine and allows you to avoid sending all of your traffic through your work network. Unfortunately, I lost the link. But I did come upon Hamachi (again). I’m already a user of the LogMeIn free which is a very cool solution for getting at your home PC. Currently I use it to manage my finances (my Vista server at home also run office 2007 with a password protected xlsx file that has my budget, projections, etc) among other things. This allows me to login to my home PC, update my budget and do other quick things like make sure Miro is downloading torrents and that Mozy is running backups.
Unfortunately the free version of logmein does not allow file access. To get around this, I would log in to my home PC via logmein and copy what I needed to my ftp directory that sits on my ReadyNAS. Then I would use FireFTP and connect to the ReadyNAS and grab what I needed.
Apparently, Hamachi allows me to directly browse the files on my Vista server from just about anywhere. And it’s pretty secure to boot. I haven’t quite figured out how to get to my ReadyNAS directly through this method and not sure that it is solvable since it requires the hamachi client to make the handshake. At any rate, I can always drop back to my previous solution in the event I need to access to it.
I was able to run Remote Desktop directly to the PC without going to the logmein route. While that sounds awesome, it was rather slow even at a toned down color depth. Logmein still rocks for this purpose. At any rate, Hamachi can act as a nice backup in case the logmein plugin or java app barf (as I’ve experienced a few times in the past).
Now, if only I can figure out how to create that local, in-laptop VPN…
So, I’ve been scared. Really scared. You see, I’m so used to the printer “just working” on the Windows side of things that I’m quite worried about setting up networked printing on Ubuntu. I mean, I’ve read horror stories of trolling through Canon’s European support ftp server to look for the right driver for my IP5200.
Then I found this:
This little handy guide worked like a charm for my Gutsy installation. I was able to determine that port 9101 was open on my Airport Extreme (UFO, not theMac-Mini style) and used the GUI printer admin tool to set this guy up in no time. Surprisingly, I found that not only was my driver listed in the Windows-esque “add a printer” util, but it worked right off the bat.
At first, I printed the sample page and was worried that it wasn’t working since it didn’t come out right away. I let the computer sit for a while and, lo and behold, it finally started working, albeit slowly. Nevertheless, I’m happy that I can now print from Ubuntu to my IP5200 hooked up on my Airport Extreme base station.
Yesterday I got a new work laptop since my good old Dell Latitude D620 was about to die (the mobo was probably dying as the machine had random lock up and the like). What’d I get? A new Dell ATG D620. It’s basically the same machine with a few interesting upgrades.
First, it has a much thicker screen. I think it’s mostly plastic to make it look “All Terrain” but the machine is noticeably heavier so I think there may be some sort of extra panel in there to protect the screen from cracking. Also on this new, thicker screen bezel is a pair of red LEDs that can be used to light the keyboard when it is dark. Totally not necessary, but great for mood lighting if you’re going to go on a frag fest in the dark. I had the option of keeping my loaner “regular” D620 but decided on this guy for yet another attribute of the screen: brightness. This screen is VERY VERY bright. If you crank the brightness, it will be too bright to use indoors. Now that’s some backlighting (LED maybe?).
The only other discernible difference is the inclusion of the fingerprint reader in between the left and right touchpad buttons. I’m not sure that this is the best placement, but probably less expensive and easier than carrying two different housings for the machine (like the XPS m1330).
The innards seem to be identical (minus the screen of course) as my previous Latitude D620, although I think I did get a speed bump to the Intel Core Duo T7300…doesn’t really matter though since the bottleneck is my good old 4200rpm 80GB drive that is like watching protozoa evolve into super-human beings sometimes.
The only downside I can see right now aside from the added thickness is the weight of this guy. It’s feels like it is at least 7 or so pounds…noticeably heavier than the regular D620. I mean, I was able to carry around both the regular D620 AND the XPS m1330, but with the ATG D620, it gets a little tough on the back. And no, I don’t plan on upgrading my bag and using my internal frame camping pack to haul my gear around.
Overall though, the ATG D620′s blindingly bright screen wins me over since outdoor computing with poorly-backlit screens has been a thorn in my side since I got my first laptop back in 1998 (ouch, I know).