Tag Archives: Linux

Google Chrome on Linux

Disappointed in not having Google Chrome for your favourite Linux distro ? Now you shouldn’t be. Fetch the Google Chrome packages from here. They are on the development stage and wouldn’t be a stable one. But you can give it a try. Features like Flash will not work in this release. Installing Google Chrome will add the google repository so your system will automatically keep Chrome up to date. (If you don’t want Google’s repository, do “sudo touch /etc/defaults/google-chrome” before installing the package.)

Have Fun.

Note: The Linux build still lacks certain privacy features, and is not appropriate for general consumer use.

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Filed under Applications, Linux, News, Ubuntu

Jaunty on my new Toshiba Satellite !!!

I bought a new Toshiba Satellite L310 Notebook last week. It is my first laptop and I’m happy that I bought it with my own money (from my salary). Weeks before I took the Tosh, I had been looking for a good laptop which would be a nice pickup taking into account the price, configuration and style. I was planning to take a Dell Inspiron 14 or Dell Inspiron 15 before I had changed my mind to the HP Pavilion Series. But the HP Pavilion laptops I liked were not there in the retail shops and Amazon (Actually there was, but they wouldn’t ship to India). After some time surfing the web, my eyes stuck into a review of Asus EeePC at Register. It is  a netbook (meant for common tasks such as browsing, e-mail etc.) with a mind-blowing battery backup of 9Hrs (but the absence of optical drive is a compromise). For the next few weeks there was not even a single other notebook in my mind. But when I reached home from Chennai, one of my cousin, who is working in a Computer Peripherals Marketing Company told me about the Tosh. He said that one is the best one they’re having now at their showroom. After explaining the configurations of the Tosh, I began to think that taking a netbook only is a waste and made up my mind to take a Tosh instead.

Next day I visited the retail shop and purchased a Toshiba Satellite L310-D4012 (I still donno why the model is not showing in the official Tosh website). Its not that bad in looks, infact I liked the lappie on first sight itself. The only think I didnt’t like about Tosh is that its colour is not black, its metallic silver. Here is my Tosh’s spec

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T6400, 2.0 GHz Speed
  • 2 MB L2 Cache, 800 Mhz FSB
  • Intel 965GM Express Chipset
  • 2-GB DDR2 667 SDRAM expandable to maximum 4-GB
  • 250-GB, 5400 rpm Serial-ATA Hard Disk Drive with Shock Absorber
  • DVD SuperMulti Double Layer Optical Drive (DVD-RW/RAM)
  • 14.1-inch (35.8 cm) WXGA 200NIT Hi-bright Clear Superview TFT Widescreen Display (HBCSV), 1280 x 800 pixels screen resolution
  • Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator GMA X3100 Graphics Chipset with 358 MB Shared Video Memory
  • Integrated 56-kbps V.90 Fax/Modem
  • Integrated Bluetooth v2.1
  • Integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG network connection 802.11 a/b/g
  • Integrated 1.3 MP Webcam
  • Fingerprint Reader
  • Glossy Mercury Silver Chasis – IMR Finish
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Toshiba Spill resistant 101 keys Keyboard
  • SRS Surround Sound Sound, Herman/Kardon Speakers
  • 2 USB v2.0 Ports
  • 1 e-Sata Port
  • S-Video TV Out
  • IEEE 1394 Port
  • Express Card/54
  • 6-in-1 Bridge Media Slot (supports SD Media, Memory Stick Memory Stick Pro, Multimedia Card, XD-Picture Card)
  • IEEE 1394 port
  • 6-Cell Li-ion Battery, 3.7 hours backup
  • Dimension: 334 x 242 x 37.5 mm
  • Weight : 2.62 kgs (with battery) / 2.35 Kgs (w/o battery)

Now you would be thinking about the price Huh? It might be 45K or 40K. But tell you the truth. I got this machine for just 33500/-, the best deal as they said and for sure it is.

Then the only problem infront of me was the Tosh’s Linux support. I installed the latest Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope to my new Tosh and I got really excited to see the Tosh working just fine under Linux. Here I will tell you about the hardwares I tested.

Resolution : Native (Out of the box)

Wireless : Working (Out of the box)

Camera : Working (Out of the box)

Audio : Working (Out of the box)

Fingerprint scanner : Works with AES1610 driver in libfprint eventhough lsusb shows AES1600.

Bluetooth : Will work if enabled (Fn + F8 will not enable BT, but you need to enable it from Windows)

Functional Keys : Working except bluetooth’s Fn + F8

ACPI functions : Partially working as toshiba_acpi module doesn’t support Phoenix BIOS. But function like suspend, hibernate, brightness adjustents etc. will work.

Note: Some of the ACPI functions are not working because of the Phoenix BIOS. I think a BIOS update will resolve the issue of not having an option to turn on the bluetooth in BIOS Settings. I searched the web for ACPI configuration, but even the omnibook modules didn’t work for me.

Some Tricks : If you feel you’re having low volume on Jaunty, try this. Add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

options snd-hda-intel position_fix=1 model=3stack

After a restart, you’ll feel some changes. Also look here for resolving your sound problems.

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Filed under Hardware, Linux, Personal, Review, Ubuntu

HP Pavilion DV6000 Notebook and Linux

HP Pavilion dv6000 (Core 2 Duo) review

Today I got a chance to put my hand on the beautiful HP Pavilion DV6000 Notebook which my uncle bought from Kuwait. It was pre-installed with Windows Vista :(, and he already complainted about Vista that it runs awesomely slow. It runs too slow eventhough it had a Dualcore processor and 2GB of RAM. Later I found that it contained dozens and dozens of unwanted softwares that runs on the startup. I removed them and now it runs Vista better.

Being a Free Software and GNU/Linux enthusiast and a promoter of GNU/Linux, I decided to try Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Live DVD on the Lappie. Alas !!!!, it gave me the GNOME desktop in a flash :). Sound worked perfectly and the sound quality was perfect as in Vista (Lappie have Altec Lansing Speakers). As it was having Nvidia Graphics the Compiz effects were not working with the Free Nvidia drivers (But the Binary packages from restricted drivers section enables it).

Next, I tried Knoppix 5.3.1 on it and being a lighning fast Live Distro it booted to the Desktop like the way it was booting from haddisk. All the hardwares worked like charm under Knoppix and I was really excited to see the new HP Pavilion DV6000 Notebook working smoothly under GNU/Linux.

For those who are planning to buy a laptop, this one is one of my recommendation :).

Ooops I forgot to check whether Wireless and Modem worked under Linux, I’ll check it and post it later.

Product Specifications HP Pavilion dv6725ee (dv6000)

LightScribe DDL Support under Ubuntu 8.04

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Making Photo Slideshow DVD’s under Linux

As there are no simpler graphical tools available under Linux for this purpose, I’m explaining the method to create a slideshow video DVD of images/photos using a commandline tool called dvd-slideshow. Don’t be scared. It’s not that hard 🙂

It can be installed via Synaptic under Ubuntu OR you can fetch the latest from here.

Preparing your slideshow

Before generating a slideshow, you need to produce an input file which specifies which pictures to use, how long each picture stays on the screen and which transition effect is applied.

The simplest way to do it is to put all of your pictures in one directory and run dir2slideshow. This will create the input file for the next step. Although there are many configuration options, this command should give you acceptable defaults:

dir2slideshow -n 'test slideshow' -t 5 -c 1 slideshow_pictures

This asks to take all the (JPEG or PNG) pictures from slideshow_pictures, show them for 5 seconds and then crossfade to the next picture for 1 second. It generates a test_slideshow.txt input file. Pretty standard defaults, but the link above gives you a description of all the options available.

An interesting switch is -p if you want to generate a PAL slideshow instead of default NTSC.

You have then a file describing your slideshow’s characteristics. Its syntax is fairly straightforward; you can hand-edit it if needed.

Generating the slideshow

Once you are happy with your input file, generating the slideshow is something as simple as typing:

dvd-slideshow -n 'test slideshow' -f test_slideshow.txt

If you add the switch:

-a audiotrack.ogg

it will add an audio track to the slideshow. The result will be 2 files: test_slideshow.xml and test_slideshow.vob. You can try playing your slideshow with mplayer:

mplayer test_slideshow.vob

If you are happy with it, you can move to defining the menu. The thing which this tool amazes me is that it took only 22 minutes to render 580 photos to a DVD video with 10 mp3 sound tracks. In Windows media player, making a video of 100 images with audio backgrounds will surely take more than half an hour 🙂

Making DVD menus

You can use the tool “DVD Styler” for this purpose. (Availabe in Synaptic)

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Filed under Applications, Linux, Multimedia, Tips, Ubuntu

Speed Up your Linux

  • Prelinking

1. Activate Ubuntu universe sources. This can be done in Synaptic, or by editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file.
2. Use apt-get or synaptic to install prelink.
3. Now run:

sudo gedit /etc/default/prelink

4. Near the top of the file find PRELINKING=unknown and change unknown to yes.
5. Now you should start your first prelink, don’t worry it will be faster the next time, MUCH faster. Only the changes since your last prelink will be processed. To start the first prelink, run:

sudo /etc/cron.daily/prelink
  • Disabling Unwanted Services

Look Here to find unwanted services

  • Avahi

You just have to edit /etc/defaults/avahi and set that =1 to =0. If all goes well, it won’t run next boot.

  • Concurrency

If you’re using a dualcore machine, use concurrency mechanism. Edit /etc/init.d/rc and change CONCURRENCY=None to CONCURRENCY=shell

  • Boot Profiling

(1) At the bootup menu (GRUB), select your default kernel. You may need to press ESC to see this menu.

(2) Press e for edit.

(3) Choose the first line (it should start with “kernel”). Press e again.

(4) Move to the end of the line, then add the word profile. Press enter.

(5) Press b to boot.

(6) Let the system boot to the login screen, and wait for all disk activity to stop. Remember, during this one bootup, you’ve told Ubuntu to keep track of all disk activity going on, in order to build that list. Don’t be surprised if it’s significantly slower than your ordinary bootups — that’s why it’s not activated by default, remember?

(7) Reboot your system, and enjoy the results.

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Filed under Configuration, Linux, Tips, Ubuntu

Useful bash commands

Here are some handy bash commands that are needed most.

  • Merging multiple PDF’s into one
    gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=Out.pdf file1.pdf file2.pdf file3.pdf
  • Converting wav to mp3
    lame -h -b 192 in.wav out.mp3
  • DVD Creation Script [DOWNLOAD]
  • m4a to wav
    mplayer -ao pcm in.m4a -aofile out.wav

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Filed under Linux, Multimedia, Scripts, Tips, Ubuntu

Video Editors for Linux

A few days ago one of my friend Abhilash asked me if he can use any Video Editors under Linux so that he can put an alternate sound track instead of that comes with the actual video. As I haven’t done anything like video editing under my Linux box, I began a search over the internet. The results were amazing. I was using the Avidemux for some video encoding purposes, but was unaware that I could do the job he asked; using the Avidemux itself. But there are several other video editors for Linux they are.

Avidemux

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license. The program was written from scratch by Mean, but code from other people and projects has been used as well.

Cinelerra

Heroine Virtual Ltd. presents an advanced compositing and editing system for native Linux at no cost to users. Cinelerra does primarily 3 main things: capturing, compositing, and editing audio and video with sample level accuracy. It’s a seemless integration of audio, video, and still photos rarely experienced on a web server. Cinelerra is the most advanced non-linear video editor and compositor for Linux. It is developed by Adam Williams (formerly known as Jack Crossfire) at Heroine Virtual Ltd.. To know more see the official Cinelerra home page and the SourceForge project page.

LiVES

LiVES mixes realtime video performance and non-linear editing in one application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or framerates. It is a very flexible tool which can be used by both VJ’s and video editors – mix and switch clips from the keyboard, trim and edit your clips, and bring them together using the multitrack timeline. You can even record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away as a new clip !

NOTE: You can install them via Synaptic Package manager.

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Filed under Applications, Linux, Multimedia, Ubuntu