Friday, February 16, 2007

Enable Media Codecs & Extras (For Edgy Eft)

Okay, because a reader named "-" (worst nickname EVER!) requested it, here's how to enable restricted formats, Flash, Java and other codecs in Ubuntu for your Dell Inspiron 1501.

There are two schools of thought of enable media codecs in Ubuntu, do it yourself and download a program to do it for you. I use Automatix, it can download media codecs for MP3 and DVD, Flash 9, Java, Microsoft fonts, some essential programs. I personally love it and it never caused me any problems. Others hate it because it uses it own repos and makes updating from one release to the next is a real pain. But I would never update an install, I prefer a clean install.

So if you want to do it yourself you should use this Guide on Restricted Formats

But if you want to do it the easy way and get everything done at once, use Automatix. It's not as bad as the detractors say. Here is how to do it: (works for both 32 and 64 bit versions)

Add Automatix to your source list:

echo "deb edgy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

Get Key:

Import Key:
gpg --import key.gpg.asc

Add Key:
gpg --export --armor 521A9C7C | sudo apt-key add -

Update Your System:
sudo apt-get update

Install Automatix:
sudo apt-get install automatix2
Then go to Applications-->System Tools--> Automatrix
From there you can download all the restricted goodies you want.

*Note: Azuerus works so much better from Automatrix than from Ubuntu's own repos. Looks KDEish but actually minimizes to tray without needing a complex fix. But do not use ndiswrapper to enable wifi, use my guide.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Upgrading Your RAM GUIDE

A week ago I wrote an article about buying RAM for cheap and making your 1501 run faster. This is the second article covering how to install RAM in the Dell 1501. Enjoy!

First You Need Some Stuff:
1. Mini Screw Driver #0 Size
2. Static Bracelet
3. RAM

The right size mini screw driver is important, you do not want to strip these screws. A couple different sizes will end up working fine, use common sense, get the right tool for the job. A static bracelet is really important if you plan on opening up your computer and doing any work. This makes sure the static electrically stored in body doesn't fry any of your computer components. They're cheap, they work and they're less than five bucks. BUY ONE! Please use common sense,don't force anything in, buy the bracelet, unplug your laptop, take out the battery and take your time.

Step 1.

Put on your static bracelet, unplug your computer. Turn it over.
It should look like this:

Step 2.
Now take out your battery out and unscrew the RAM cover.
You should now see this:
*Note I was stupid and forgot to unplug my battery when I took this picture. You don't need electricity running through your 1501 while you do this. Turn of your 1501, take out the battery and unplug it.

Step 3.

Now take your RAM and look for the notch by the pins (the shiny metal part) and insert it at a 30 degree angle into the Empty DIM slot, lining up the notches. Push firmly and then push the RAM stick down locking it into place.

Step 4.
Replace the cover, put in your battery. Flip over your computer and enjoy.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Saturday, February 10, 2007

wi-fi fix

Everytime you update your kernel you're going to have to run my wi-fi guide. You need to just follow the directions as listed. Here are some hints and some special precautions.

1. You're really gonna have to hunt to remove ndiswrapper from your system. Run Find and search your drive for all instances of ndiswrapper. They're not hard to find, but there are about 6 instances.

2. Follow the guide.

3. You do not need to redownload the wi-fi driver from Dell, you can refuse the one from the original install.

4. Reboot when you told too.

5. After rebooting you have to turn on your wi-fi card it the blue Fn key and F2 at the same time. (The wi-fi light won't come on when you hit, so don't sweat it) THEN REBOOT AGAIN.

Update Nerfed Your Wi-Fi & Xbox360 Controller

This morning's Ubuntu update contains the new Edgy Kernel

The update uninstalls your WiFi and Xbox 360 controller "drivers". The controller part was an easy fix. All you have to do it edit the first line of the make file to reflect your new kernel and use the original guide.

Wi-Fi is not such an easy fix. I have to work not only today but all day (24 hrs) Sunday and most of Monday. So if you came here looking for answer the only thing I can tell you is to start the WiFi guide over again. Hopefully either one of you will send me a quick fix or Tuesday I'll come up with something. Until then my laptop is plugged into my router.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Why Upgrading Your RAM Yourself is Smarter and Cheaper

Upgrading your RAM on the Dell 1501 is so important. It runs way too slow without it. For the last two months I've been rocking 512MB and my laptop has been completely functional but not fun . This goes for any machine, Windows, Linux, Mac. RAM is the most important part of a computer's speed that you can easily and safely change. Everything loads faster, you can have more desktops and windows open without slowdown, and since your graphic card memory is linked to your system memory, upgrading your RAM will have a direct effect on gaming speeds.

Dell offers a RAM upgrade when you order you 1501 but charges $65 bucks for another 512mb stick, $120 for 1GB Stick (so you get the same amount of memory as the $65 upgrade but get charged another $55 for it to be all on the same stick) or $250 for 2GB. These prices are ridiculous, this is how one of the ways Dell makes a huge profit on a public that may not know better. The best option is to buy your 1501 and upgrade later.

I just bought a 1GB stick from this morning for $80 shipped. Saved $40 bucks from what Dell charges and I still have my original 512mb stick. This brings my total memory up to 1.5GB for only $80 dollars. Not too shabby. Remember you can buy RAM online cheap and most brands are perfectly fine for your everyday use. You're looking for Notebook DDR2 SDRAM 533MHZ, also known as PC2 4200. Happy hunting!

UPS will be delivering Monday so when it comes in I'm will be taking a bunch of pictures and writing a guide on how to upgrade your RAM.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Friday, February 2, 2007

Getting the Xbox360 Controller in Ubuntu (For Edgy Eft)

This guide was made and tested using Ubuntu 6.0 Edgy Eft, but it should work with Dapper & Feisty. The only thing you you need to change is the kernel path. It's noted where in the guide. Also, if anyone one is looking to get the Xbox360 controller working on a PS3 running Ubuntu this guide should theoretically work.

This guide is meant to be really easy; giving you reasons why you're doing things and explaining how to do them in simple language. Don't be afraid, it is almost impossible to mess up your system. Look at the RED TEXT if you are having issues. 99% of your issues can be solved by reading those two lines.

You need to have automake1.9 & kernel-headers for your kernel
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-'uname -r' build-essential
sudo apt-get install automake1.9

First you need to download two files:
Use these links (right click save as)

Then your going to make a folder in your home directory called .xpad360 (the dot is to make it hidden)
mkdir ~/.xpad360

Now you are going to place the two files you downloaded (xpad.c & xpad.x) into the folder (.xpad360) you just created.
1. Go to places->home
2. Once in your home folder either press Ctrl H (control key & h at the same time) or go to view-> show hidden files
3. Paste the two files you downloaded into the folder the folder you created, .xpad360

Now your going to make a Makefile:
gedit ~/.xpad360/Makefile

And add this to that file and save:

obj-m := xpad.o

EXTRA_CFLAGS= -I$(shell pwd)

$(MAKE) modules -C $(KERNEL_DIR) SUBDIRS=$(shell pwd)
*It is import that there is an indentation (Tab) before $(Make) in the above file. It will not work without it.
*Note the first line of the make file: KERNEL_DIR?=/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.17-10-generic is my kernel and about 90% of everyone else's. If you followed all these steps and still can't get the file to make. You want to check your folder /usr/src/ and see what kernel your are using and amend the script accordingly.

Now your going to run the Makefile you just made: (YOUR NAME should be replaced with your login name)
cd /home/YOUR LOGIN NAME/.xpad360
sudo make

Now Your going to add the xpad360 "driver" into the /usb/inputs:
sudo cp xpad.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/usb/input

Now to finish up:
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe xpad

And to reboot:
sudo shutdown -r now
edited by pHreaksYcle