LinuxHappy's Weblog

Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

Archive for December, 2007

A todo list:

Posted by linuxhappy on December 27, 2007

1.  Booting Ubuntu 7.10 with eth0 configured with DHCP, with LAN cable unplugged seems to time out after 5-10 seconds.  Why is it that when I setup my laptop with a bridge ( br0 ) with DHCP, with the LAN cable unplugged, it takes WAY longer to time out.  I’ve got two devices  (eth0 and tap1) on the bridge.. there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for the slow down on a bridge versus a real Ethernet device?  Perhaps, I need to disable STP?

2.  Turn the ASUS WL-500g into a bootable wireless bridge… Modify the frontend web service to have a selectable menu which wireless connection to be a bridge to.

3.  Find a Sub-250 dollar replacement for an xbox media center…
– (Hopefully) without buying a xbox ;]
-with dvd backup capability (dvd -> xvid & ac3)
-with web browsing
-with a remote
-TV out capability (HD not a requirement)
-easy to use/navigate

4.  Do something cool with Eclipse RCP.


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Failure: Mythbuntu 7.10

Posted by linuxhappy on December 23, 2007

Aha. Failure today 😀

Running Ubuntu 7.10 last night, I got my MCEUSB2 Remote workin on my laptop with out running into to many problems, so I got the urge to load up myth tv and see if I could come up with a relatively fast way to replace my modded xbox that’s on it’s last leg.

Xbox media center is great, it’s just that my cdrom is dying and I need a way to play dvd’s without too much pain.  I figure I turn to Myth Tv since it seemed like a package that would play a boat load of xvid content.

First approach:.. Hmm lets load Ubuntu 7.10 and load up myth tv…. Hmmm researching on the web.. looks like they’re some distros that do myth tv really well…. (bailed)

Second approach: lets try Mythbuntu and completely ignore reading all the manuals and documentation.  I”ve got an old box with a Viper v770 ( riva tnt2? hahaha) with an svideo out (no tv card), and a P4 1.4 ghz with rambus… lol. yes it’s my trash machine.

Install was okay, except with 16 steps of configuring hardware that I obviously don’t have.  Also the fact that it expected I run some type of back end.. yadda yadda yadda..

okay all I want is to be able to play xvid, dvix, juke box, ummm and rip dvd’s to xvid/mp3… didn’t really help me do this.

Ok. finished the install, rebooted.. video came up saying that I was in low resolution mode.. and i said okay.. blank screened for 5 minutes ugh..  I think I need to re-think the concept.. maybe MythTV is overkill for what I want.  All I’m lookin for is a replacement for xbox media player… I’ll keep searchin.

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Workaround: Brightness on Toshiba tecra A9 using Restricted drivers on Ubuntu

Posted by linuxhappy on December 17, 2007

What a pain.

I’ve had this new laptop (Toshiba tecra A9, with nVidia Quadro NVS 130M) with Ubuntu 7.10 has been more than a pain in the butt (although probably less of a pain in the butt compared to other distros).

Anyways, yet another issue I ran into is modifying the brightness controls. Using the open source drivers, the brightness controls work perfectly, but then I don’t get 3d support. Using the restricted drivers, brightness controls don’t work, but I get 3D support. I played around with a couple of things while using the restricted drivers:

1. proc filesystem:
There were a couple articles expressing that modifying values inside of the proc filesystem (/proc/acpi/…/brightness). Would actually change the screen brightness. This didn’t seem to work for me. Why it didn’t work? Couple theories why this didn’t work:

a. The kernel module that provides that proc entry isn’t the kernel module that actually controls the brightness

b. The kernel module that provides that proc entry doesn’t know enough information about my lcd backlight/video driver combination.

2. smartdimmer:
Tried this little program, but got an immediate “init_nvclock() failed!”. a couple searches and it was apparent that all this app does is try to smartly modify the proc filesystem.

Some type of gnome configuration editor I stumbled upon. I figure that instead of being able to control the brightness, I just leave the brightness all the way up ;). Anyways, opened up /apps/gnome-power-manager/backlight && played around but booting my laptop without the AC plugged in seemed to make my laptop still boot up in with the brightness dimmed down

4. (Successful work around) Ctrl + Alt+F1, to change to a virtual terminal, use the vesa driver to modify the brightness with (ctrl+alt+[f6|f7]), then press ctrl+alt+f7 to get back to X. (Credit to: Thinkwiki)
Option 4 seems to work “okay”.. at least it’s a way to turn the brightness to maximum without restarting my computer. I hope that one day nVidia open source’z their drivers.

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3/4 Success: Toshiba Tecra A9 Laptop speakers do not mute when external speakers plugged in

Posted by linuxhappy on December 1, 2007

Ok. I don’t have a good explanation of this, and I don’t plan on having one because I don’t plan on reformatting my computer and going through each and every step. I kind of stumbled upon this one, and somehow got it working. Probably one of the worst things an engineer could do.. ugh. I hate not knowing the root cause, although I have my suspicions why things are working.

First of all, my Running Ubuntu 7.10 on my Toshiba Tecra A9. The Tecra has a RealTek ALC262.. and according to the ALSA documentation and a few postings online I read.. it isn’t normal for a toshiba to have a ALC262.

jwoo@aji:~$ cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#0|grep -i codec
Codec: Realtek ALC262

Ok. So The first couple of things that I did was try modifying /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

Tried a couple things
1. At the end of the file, I added the following variations, none which seemed to work:

options snd-hda-intel model=toshiba
options snd-hda-intel model=lenovo
options snd-hda-intel model=auto
options snd-hda-intel model=basic

None of which seemed to work. Grr. So then I stumbled upon the following webpage:

Webpage seems kind of frightening with the “sudo make install” but being tired on a friday night, and pretty desperate (for the sound to work… not necessarily a date), I figure I give the instructions a shot with the new version of ALSA 1.0.15, since I noticed that Gutsy comes with 1.0.14. I also checked the change log of ALSA 1.0.15 and there was some mention of ACL262.. I figure I give it a shot.

Anyways.. followed the instructions.. rebooted..I guess I didn’t notice it right away because I expected the sound to muted once I plugged in the headphones. What happened *i think* is ALSA 1.0.15 (alsactl) correctly detects my soundcard/codec/whatever and comes up with new knob that specifically controls the volume of the speakers on the laptop. I guess it was done this way, so that you’re not limited to having the speakers or the headphone jack…. You have the option of having one, the other, or both playing.

One thing does bother me about the make install processes of that website (which is why it’s a 3/4ths success). Looking at the dates of what’s inside /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/ubuntu/media/snd-hda-intel
the date for snd-hda-intel.ko is at 2007-10-12. Does this mean I’m still running the 1.0.14 version of the kernel module? Probably. Why can I properly control the laptop speaker volume and the headphone jack volume? Perhaps all I needed were the newer versions of the ALSA user space libraries? Hmmm.. interesting… Maybe one of these days I’ll find out..

So… final config that i have…

/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base has the following line appended to the end of the file:

options snd-hda-intel model=basic

2. Doing a half ass install (following the hdaintelsoundhowto) of Alsa 1.0.15.

time to sleep.

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