Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Case: ATX RaidMax Ninja 918 (no PSU) in black
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33GHz 1333MHz FSB S775 4MB 65nm
RAM: 2x1024MB OCZ DDR2 800MHz CL4 EL Rev 2.0 platinum XTC
Graphics Card: 512MB Gigabyte Geforce 8600 PCIe DDR2 128bit 2xDVI TVOut HDCP
Motherboard: Asus P5KPL S775 iG31 FSB 1066MHz PCIe ATX
HDD: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM SATA II 16MB cache
DVD drive: Samsung SH-S203D/BEBE SATA black without bulk software
PSU: ATX Xilence Power 500W ATX 2.0
And, of course, once this is built and running I will upload some pictures of it in action. (I'm ordering all this off www.mindfactory.de, it's a German site, but offers good prices and no shipping on purchases of 100€ or more - not sure to where it ships, but since I'm in Germany, it made sense).
Sunday, June 15, 2008
** My reasons for switching is that E17 just isn't stable enough for me, the file browser had a few issues, and I couldn't get e_systray working right, so that it made it trickier when I accidentally closed skype, I'd have to kill it using htop or the kill command, which is a bit of a pain. It's a nice WM, and undoubtedly will be great when finally released, just the lack of updates and the instability it brings with it just made it too much of a hastle for me.
The terminal on the right has my script, and the left terminal has the script from the archlinux forums. Last screenshot is of my urxvt terminal, and the left two have the .Xdefaults file displayed, which is the config file for the terminal, for those interested, and the right two again are showing the theme info. Ah, just saw that the last line of the file is cut off. It should be:
urxvt*bolditalicFont: xft:DejaVu Sans Mono:pixelsize=11:antialias=true:bold:italic:autohint=true:hinting=true
About the Blog:
I'm open to suggestions on how-tos or OSes/Software readers would like me to review. Either post these in a comment to this thread, or email them to me. Also, comments on any of my posts are useful for feedback, improvement and to give me a general sense of how many people have actually read these posts.
I plan on updating this blog at least once a week, unless I get swamped with work, or, as will happen in the summer, I'm off on vacation, then updates may be a bit slower coming.
Currently I'm still in the process of reviewing Arch (next review will be Ubuntu VS Arch) and I'm busy trying out the new Opera 9.5, so that may end up being reviewed too. As always, I'm open to suggestions.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Well, this week gave me a few extra hours on Wednesday evening, so I decided to give Arch Linux a try. Burned the ISO I'd used a few times in VirtualBox to a CD and booted to it. First surprise: it was trying to start the wireless network card, but was unable to (broadcom bcm4311 rev 2) and hung at that point until I tapped the power button, it then cancelled that and continued booting. This time I made it to the terminal, and was able to start the setup, and set up my Arch system with a (previously made) 9GB ext3 partition for /, my 20GB /home partition that Ubuntu also uses and the 1GB swap partition I also use in Ubuntu. Installation ran off without a hitch until I reached the package selection screen, where I missed out an important package, which led me to have to re-run the setup after it was complete and to add that one package to my system, however, all in all it was a pretty fast and painless setup, as long as you knew what to enter into the config files (or knew enough to get it to install properly and enable you to fix whatever problems you may have caused with faulty config files, like I did).
I had hooked up my laptop with an ethernet cable on the first boot, it was recognized and activated on boot (due to the fact that I set it up to use dhcp in my /etc/rc.conf file during installation) and began to update my system using
pacman -Sufrom a root shell (no sudo available) and I also set up the user account I was planning to use (lswest) using the useradd command, and it automatically began using the /home/lswest folder as it should. After a quick reboot I began to configure my system, first by installing sudo, adding my lswest user to the group wheel and uncommenting the line in the sudoers file to gain sudo abilities, and began to install alsa, xorg, video drivers (Nvidia) and had trouble deciding which WM (Window Manager)/DE (Desktop Environment) to use. I did not want to use GNOME again (DE) or to begin using KDE (DE) and XFCE is just not what I was looking for (DE). Instead I looked at some simple WM interfaces, such as fluxbox/openbox. However, I then remembered Enlightenment 17 (still heavily under development) and decided I'd try it. It was easy to install just a simple
sudo pacman -S e17-cvs e17-extra-cvs
running e17-cvs (enlightenment 17 from cvs)
wallpaper: War of the Depths by Lswest (me) (available on gnome-looks and in the post before this one)
running apps: enlightenment configuration menu, pidgin, xmms.
Also, each of my 8 workspaces (virtual desktops) has a different one of my wallpapers, and I may decide to merge them into a slideshow later on, but so far I have not seen the need. There are a number of things you need to do in config files to set up your Arch system properly (my main problem was remembering what daemons to add to the rc.conf file, or which were modules and which were daemons). However, I now have working wireless (ndiswrapper + bcmwl5 drivers, just like in Ubuntu), wicd, amsn, pidgin, skype, OpenOffice.org 2.4, e17, firefox, xterm, etc. etc. On a side note: the guides on www.archlinux.org were very useful, particularly the Beginner's Guide while I was configuring my system, and helped me solve problems that I encountered (often because I had forgotten to add a module or daemon to rc.conf, or had added a module to the daemon array and vice-versa).
In conclusion I'm happy with the system I set up, only missing a notification area (I found one for e17, but it's buggy and does not display properly most of the time) or a window list to tell me when new messages arrive in a chat program (unless they're minimized, then they flash in the list in the shelf), but that may just be some configuration option I missed. Definitely going to keep it around, not sure if I'll completely replace Ubuntu with it yet, though I do enjoy how pacman installs programs from source and the whole package management system (along with the AUR) makes it very easy to install packages or apps that are in development (e17, for example, is a lot easier to install than the installation within Ubuntu or debian/red hat based Linux systems). Of course, the repo ([community]) that contains these apps are handled by members of the Arch community, and there are delays in uploads/updates, but definitely not worth mentioning.
Installation: 3/5 stars
(due to the required amount of knowledge when editing the configuration files during install and at the package selection screen)
Stability: 5/5 stars
(it's been up for a while and no segfaults or so that can be attributed to Arch Linux (there was one on Enlightenment's part, but that's not the focus of this review))
Usability: 4/5 stars
(Easy enough to use once you get over the first hurdles, requires you to be comfortable in a CLI though)
Performance: 4/5 stars
(It's fast, stable and fun to use, but there are a few issues that I've had with it slowing down and with battery usage, may be my fault though)
Overall: 16/20 The installation and required prior knowledge is a set back for users who are inexperienced for the OS, but overall it is a fairly stable and effective system.
Disclaimer: Any and all statements within this review are only my opinion and by no means should be taken as flaming, I readily admit that some of the things that bother me or caused it to get marked down may be my fault.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Boot to your recovery cd/partition (if you don't have one, or lost yours, you can get a recovery CD from here note: the CD is ONLY recovery options, so no cheap way of getting Vista "This download is available to customers running genuine Microsoft Windows. Please click the Continue button to begin Windows validation. As described in our privacy statement, Microsoft will not use the information collected during validation to identify or contact you." part of the disclaimer for the multi-gigabyte download for the actual program used to create that disk. If you don't agree with it or don't have a genuine windows system, do not use this download.)
After booting to the CD, get to the Recovery Console (it differs for each recovery program, but generally is easily enough found). Once there type
bootrec /fixmbrwhich will restore the Vista bootloader.
boot to an XP CD (sorry, no links available :P) and, once the menu loads, hit "R" to enter a command prompt. Once there, choose which partition you want, and enter an admin password (if you have one set).
fixmbrand the XP bootloader should be restored.
For GRUB restore to MBR:
boot to the LiveCD (this is the easiest way IMHO) and then start a terminal (applications-->accessories-->terminal)and type:
where the (hd?,?) and (hd?) corresponds to the output of find /boot/grub/stage1 (first time round the (hd?,?) stands for the drive (hd?) and the partition (,?) at which Ubuntu (or any Linux) is located, and then the second time round (hd?) just stands for the drive, for the MBR).
If you would like a more detailed explanation catlett did a good job with his how-to here and also offers troubleshooting ideas.
How to restore GRUB to a partition:
**DISCLAIMER** This is untested, as I haven't had time to do so yet, but it should work. Any feedback would be great, either by PM on UF or to have a reply posted here.
sudo grub(for an explanation of the above code, see the info on restoring GRUB to the MBR, apart from the code marked in bold).
There is only one small variation for this (marked in bold) but it's a significant one. That "?" marked in red should be the same one you used for your "root" command in the line above. It will then install GRUB to that partition.
Now, you may ask, why is this on a Linux blog? Well this is for those people who either decide Ubuntu (or Linux in general) isn't for them, and wish to get back to Vista or XP, or else for those people (like me) who have set up a triple boot system. To set up a triple boot, I found, it works best if you install the XP bootloader (for XP), then the Vista Bootloader (on top) and then lastly, the GRUB which then allows the booting of all 3 systems. The problem I ran into was that i had Vista and Ubuntu installed, so I installed XP, then GRUB, and realized XP bootloader files (which are in the Partition and called the ntldr files) could not boot Vista. I ended up removing Vista then, but that's another story.
sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 ndiswrapper-commondownload these drivers, bcmwl5 drivers, extract them to a folder then do this:
cd /path/to/driversand it should work. To get it working at every boot download this script (written by me) and copy the contents of the pastebin script into text editor and save it as Wireless.sh, then follow the instructions below.
sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
sudo ndiswrapper -m
sudo modprobe -r b43
sudo modprobe -r ssb
sudo modprobe -r ndiswrapper
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
sudo cp /path to script/Wireless.sh /etc/init.d/Wireless.sh
sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/Wireless.sh
update-rc.d Wireless.sh defaults
**Remember: change "/path to script/" to where you have the items saved**
***Installing via apt-get requires an internet connection, such as ethernet***
****each line is one command, so copy and paste it so 1 line is one command****
what I did:
opened .bashrc with
sudo nano ~/.bashrcthen at the end of the page I added the line:
alias [name of school]="sudo iwconfig essid [essid] key [key] && sudo dhclient wlan0"so now all I have to do is enter either mis (name of my school) or "home" in the terminal, enter my password, and I connect to the network. I find it a lot more efficient and "fun" :P to do than connecting via the network manager.
also, on a side note:
I also added the line:
alias ls="ls -l --color=always --classify"to .bashrc so that when I type "ls" it lists it in the long format, colour coded and with classifications. To make these system-wide aliases, add them to the file /etc/bashrc (requires reboot), or for the root user add these lines to /root/.bashrc
This is more one of those "fun to know" kinds of things.
*IMPORTANT* those commands require the quotes to be there, so add the alias lines with quotes around the command
A bit about me:
I'm 17 years old, born March 25th, 1991.
I live in Germany and am Canadian/German.
I'm in a relationship with a great girl, and so, that may also be a reason why my updates may be slow in coming :P
I've used Linux since 2003, so about 5 years.
During my time using Linux I've installed Ubuntu, among others, but I always seem to end up at Ubuntu again either due to hardware drivers or other reasons. Planning on installing Arch on my laptop after I finish playing with it in a VM (use VirtualBox for all my virtualization). Of course, the results of that will show up here (eventually). I also help out at UbuntuForums using the name "lswest", so feel free to look me up if you're there too.
Also, this is what my Ubuntu system currently looks like: