Mandriva 2010 First impressions

A week ago someone at the KWLUG was talking about Mandriva, and I mentioned that I never warmed up to it.

That conversation left me intrigued so today I decided to give it a try once again.

This will be a play by play impression while I go through the install. Some of my comments may sound picky, but as first impressions count:

I'm all pumped up and ready to be wowed.

On inserting the disk I remembered why I hadn't been able to fully test it: the DVD is not a live version. No live DVD. Why? Do I need to download the CD to see if I like it and if I do then get the DVD?


USB Webcam mistery under Ubuntu Lucid Linx

Maybe someone with better knowledge of USB can shed some light here:

I have an USB camera that I knew was working several Ubuntu versions ago. But under Karmic and Lucid it refused to work.

I knew that it was listed as supported; but after hours trying things I couldn't make it work.

Then I saw in a forum that someone said that as a final test he disconnected the USB hub and plugged in the camera directly to the computer. After that it worked, so he suspected the hub.

Writing easy How-to's

While preparing my Programming for Linux presentation I had to install the sun-java packages. I am using Kubuntu Lucid but couldn't find the packages.

I Googled and got here:

Besides learning how to install Java, I got a lesson in writing a "How-to".

From now on, if you see me doing it differently, just remind me of that how-to.

(My) Home Network Speed Test Results: wired vs 802.11n 5GHz 300Mbps wi-fi - copper wins, hands down.

So, having acquired a new laptop, an ASUS Eee PC 1201N (Pros: dual core, bluetooth, hdmi out, 802.11n; Cons: not gigabit, not 5GHz 802.11n, takes 2x4GB memory but will only use 4GB of it, very poor battery life, $60 additional power adapters!), it seemed time to upgrade my wi-fi infrastructure too. Something gigabit with 802.11n and USB.

byobu or Checking your update manager package descriptions

I use Mint, an Ubuntu derivative, and every time I get a notification that there are updates available, I go check the list of updates.

I do this with several purposes in mind:

  • First and foremost, I want to know what gets updated in case something stops working.
  • Second, I want to see how many there are and how large to evaluate how long it's going to slow down my (old) computer
  • and third, to learn a bit about the packages I have installed

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx printer troubleshooting wizard was quite helpful

In my previous post I explained how to install the Lexmark printer drivers in Ubuntu/Mint.

What I left out was how was I able to very easily identify what was the problem when all was finally installed and things weren't working.

It really came down to the Printer troubleshooting wizard included in Ubuntu/Mint.

Installing a Lexmark x1155 using the z600 driver

I've created a small script that does most of the work for me. I've used it successfully on varios versions of Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint and Puppy Linux, so I am certain that it should work in most distributions.

Here are the step by step instructions:

  1. Ensure that the following commands are installed, if not, install them using your distribution regular mechanism: rpm2cpio, cpio, ldconfig. e.g. sudo aptitude install rpm2cpio

Finding Samba shares mounted by Nautilus

Every now and then I have the need to access a folder shared in a remote computer at home. I normally mount it by hand in the command line using the standard commands:

mount -t cifs -o <username>,<password> //<serveraddress>/<sharename> <mountpoint>
smbmount //<serveraddress>/<sharename> <mountpoint>

but this time I wanted to mount it using Nautilus so I entered the URI in the location bar


Inspirational Projects

Over the years that the FLOSS Fund has been running, I have been surprised that people have such a hard time finding projects to nominate. I run into neat projects frequently.

I feel kind of squicky giving you a list (I am NOT suggesting that y'all nominate these projects), but maybe you can use this list to inspire yourself:

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