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Linux and Windows playing nicely together

Posted: - Modified: | geek, linux

I spent the better part of this weekend trying to get Linux and Windows to play nicely together. I’m much more comfortable in Linux than I am at Windows, but I need both: Linux for development, and Windows to deal with all the other office productivity stuff. After I started running into frustrating Windows-specific issues, I realized that Linux-like workarounds on Windows just weren’t enough for me. So I repartitioned my hard disk, installed IBM’s Open Client for Linux, and switched over. 

It wasn’t easy to get VMware up and running. I saw more Blue Screens of Death than I had in the past year. It was frustrating switching back and forth, trying to figure out the right combination of drivers so that I could use VMware to run an existing Windows XP installation. After I installed the VMware SCSI drivers, my SATA drive finely worked.

Audio wasn’t enabled by default, but after I set that up, even Dragon NaturallySpeaking worked without a hitch. So now, I’m dictating into Windows, which is running in Linux. This makes me happy. =)

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Getting sound to work again

| laptop, linux

Things to remember when setting up sound in Ubuntu Linux on a Sony Vaio U1:

  • modprobe trident
  • modprobe snd_trident
  • Be very very thorough with alsamixer settings. For some brain-dead reason, all the important stuff is muted.
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Linux Device Driver Kit

| linux

Always wanted to write a kernel device driver but never got around to it? Now you have no excuse! Check out the Linux Driver Development Kit, which includes:

everything that a Linux device driver author would need in order to create Linux drivers, including a full copy of the O’Reilly book, “Linux Device Drivers, third edition” and pre-built copies of all of the in-kernel docbook documentation for easy browsing. It even has a copy of the Linux source code that you can directly build external kernel modules against.

Totally cool.

E-Mail from Don Marti

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Linux Caffe

Posted: - Modified: | geek, linux, toronto

I’m sitting in the Linux Caffe working over a wireless connection, having just polished off another cup of their excellent hot chocolate. And it’s not just any hot chocolate, mind you. It’s open source and version-controlled through an internal Subversion repository.

It’s really a geek haven. Computer books fill the
windows and the shelves. Laptops are out, open, and plugged in.
Assorted penguin buttons are on sale.

It’s a great place to run into people. On the way in, I chatted with a
biologist who’s working on bringing the ideas of open source to genome
research. I’m sitting across a geekette with mad AIX skills. David,
the proprietor, is always fun to chat with about everything from the
local geek scene to the latest chocolate concoctions.

I think I’ve found a good home for my get-togethers. I want to get to
know a lot of people, and I want them to get to know each other, too.
It’s difficult to entertain at the Graduate House because of the
security restrictions and the way our suite is laid out; I don’t have
enough space to entertain. Hosting get-togethers at the Linux Caffe
promotes something I believe in, offers people more variety and
choice, and makes it easier for me to focus on people.

Let’s make that happen. Next Friday, I’ll have a get-together here. I
hope to eventually turn that into a lecture series, so that I get to
learn about interesting things from very interesting people. Perfect… =)

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Deskbar applet – GNOME coolness!

| linux

If you’re on the GNOME windowing environment, check out nafai77’s blog entry about Deskbar. Totally cool. It’s almost like Quicksilver for non-Macs.

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Wireless

| linux

It’s exceedingly slow, but it works. Hooray, hooray! Kudos to
http://individual.utoronto.ca/bonert/wireless.html for good
instructions.

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Where do network cards go to die?

Posted: - Modified: | linux

I’ve rummaged through all of my things, and I’m certain I left my
wireless network card in the Philippines. Mumble. That’s the third
now…

I want a wireless card because I’m getting tired of working in my
room. I want to be able to work in the common room of Graduate House,
at cafes, or even at friends’ places.

However, Linux-supported wireless cards are hard to find. I walked all
along the computer strip on College with the hardware compatibility
list on my laptop. I couldn’t find a single PCMCIA card or USB device
that was listed as supported. <sigh> That’s what I get for
needing previous-generation technology. It’s just not sold any more.

I need a serious computer surplus / junk shop like HMR back home, I
guess. One of those places where they’re still selling beat-up 486s.
But no, Canada’s tech junk has been shipped to the Philippines and
other developing countries. Mumble.

Why do I bother with Linux, then? The programs I use are native to
Linux and Unix-like systems, and they’re updated more frequently than
their Microsoft Windows counterparts. Besides, it’s just so darn hard
to set Microsoft Windows up the way I want it to be. I love scripting.
I love programming. Finding and downloading Emacs, Perl, Python, Ruby,
and all these other things is a major hassle under Windows. And let’s
not even start talking about the shell. Sure, I could use cygwin, but
it’s just not the same…

Maybe I should just update my Ubuntu laptop and use that for hardware
compatibility testing. Those Ubuntu folks do strange magic. =)

Anyone who can tell me where I can buy (or even better, anyone will
give me) a Linux-compatible wireless networking card will get a bunch
of cookies and my gratitude.

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