Saturday, March 31, 2007

Feisty Fawn Beta on the Dell Inspiron 1501

I installed the beta of Feisty Fawn last night, so far everything is coming up roses.

You no longer need to add pci=nomsi to your boot param. Now you just insert the LiveCD and click install.

Still doesn't work out of the box but my wi-fi guide works in Feisty, setup and installation are the same. The biggest addition and the reason I was so anxious to get Feisty running on my laptop is the new built-in WiFi manager. You can set your connection to roaming and it scan available connections letting you hop from one to another easily. Now Ubuntu works much better on the go.

The restricted and multiverse repos are enabled by default which saves just about everyone the hassle of doing it themselves.

ATI Proprietary Driver:
Feisty includes a Restricted Driver Manager
(go to System>Administration to find) with 3 clicks I had ATI's 8.34.8 fglrx driver installed, configured and 3D enabled. I wonder if they will support ATI newer versions of the driver?

Installing Codecs:
WOW! I tried to open a .avi and a menu popped up telling me I needed the proper codecs. Selected the codecs for my media and after it installed the file started playing. No more Automatix, no more copy and paste. Two clicks and I was watching Heroes.

Got an XGL session working, Beryl installed but not working together. On Beryl-Project's installation page you get a blank screen. Hopefully with some poking around it will work.

Card Reader:

It isn't working, worked in edgy. This is the only major setback right now.

Overall Feisty's Beta is great. Not recommended for people not comfortable with beta software though. Now Go Get It.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Friday, March 30, 2007

Replacing Your Hard Drive

My new 160GB hard drive came in today and I was happy to get rid of the 60GB my Dell 1501 came with. So again, it is smarter and cheaper to upgrade your hard drive yourself.

This is how you do it:
Back of Dell 1501
This is the back of the Dell Inspiron 1501. Turn yours over, it looks exactly the same. Blue is the power cable, red the hard drive area and brown/orange the battery. Remove the battery and the power cable. This is the MOST important step and the one thing, if not done, that can permanently damage your computer.

After removing the battery and unplugging your power cable:
Strike Plate
Locate these two screws in the red. This holds the hard drive in the laptop. Unscrew them and put them in a safe place. Now pull the battery out, it comes out easy and shouldn't need to be removed forcefully.

Hard Drive Screws
Locate the two screws on the hard drive itself. these hold the battery to the laptop drive cover. Remove these screws and put them in a safe place.

Now reverse these steps with your new hard drive:
1. Screw the hard drive onto the driver cover.
2. Gently insert the hard drive back into the laptop.
3. Screw back in to two screws on the back of the laptop and hold the drive in place.
4. Plug in your battery and power cable.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fix for Shift+Backspace Restarting X

There is a annoying glitch with Beryl that has been around since Compiz. It causes x to restart when you hit the shift and back space keys at the same time. This is how to fix it:

Open up a Terminal:
sudo gedit /usr/local/bin/

Add this line to the script:
xmodmap -e "keycode 22 = BackSpace BackSpace Terminate_Server"
Save and close the text file.

Make it executable:
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/

Go to System>Preferences>Sessions> Startup Programs and then add to your Startup Programs:

Now shift+backspace doesn't ruin your fun. Enjoy!
edited by pHreaksYcle

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cleaned Up The Site

Did a little spring cleaning on the site. Edited some guides, switched ATI Drivers from 8.28.8 to 8.34.8, reversed my stance on Beryl. For any new readers, here's how to get your Dell Inspiron setup running Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft.

Installing Ubuntu Edgy Eft 6.10

Getting the Wi-Fi Working

Installing the Proprietary ATI Linux Driver

Enabling Media Codecs

Getting the wired Xbox360 Controller working in Ubuntu

What is and How To Bittorrent

Setting Up Compiz

Installing Beryl 2.0 with Compiz's gtk window manager.

Enjoy the site! If you are in need of help, just ask.

*Note if you used my old guide for installing the ATI Linux Driver you need to check that post out again and update.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Beryl 2.0 Out, I Remove Shoe from Mouth

I posted last week about how much I thought Beryl sucked. I didn't like the fact that neither my desktop nor Dell Inspiron 1501 could run it without complicated fixes/silly hacks. I even went as far to switch over to Compiz. Now I'm going to have to eat a little crow. Beryl works again. Wednesday's stable release marks a huge step forward for the Beryl Project. It no longer sucks. Beryl 2.0 worked on both my machines, ran smoothly, and most importantly works really well on the Dell Inspiron 1501.

  • Beryl Settings Manager has been cleaned up and everything is a logical place.
  • New window animations
  • New plugins (I like thumbnails but have it turned off)

The best part of this whole ordeal is that I learned you can combine Compiz and Beryl. Compiz's window manager is so much better then Beryl's Emerald. It's a simple gtk window decorator that allows you to use any gtk theme. I love it and without it working in Beryl I would have never left Compiz.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Monday, March 12, 2007

Compiz with ATI Graphic Card and XGL (For Edgy Eft)

This guide just isn't for the Dell Inspiron 1501, it is also for any computer running the ATI drivers. The first seven steps will show you how to properly install the ATI Drivers in Ubuntu.

Compiz does have issues on the Dell Inspiron 1501, opening programs causes the screen to go black and white. It goes away after moving objects on the desktop. So far this is the only issue I've had.

Step 1: Install and Configure the ATI Driver.
Enable Restricted Repository
Go to your System Menu > Administration > Software Sources. Place a check next to "Proprietary drivers for devices (restricted) The Option Highlighted in Red," click Close, click Reload, and let the application update the package list.

Step 2: Update Your System
Open up a Terminal Window, Then:
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Step 3: Edit Your xorg.config File

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Find Section "Extensions" add this lines to the section

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Disable"

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "AIGLX" "off"

Step 4: Install Driver
Use Method 2 from the Unofficial ATI Driver Wiki, I couldn't write a better or more straight forward guide.

Step 5: Verifying Proper Installation

You should see this:
red@red-laptop:~$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: RADEON XPRESS Series
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6334 (8.34.8)

Step 6: Setting up XGL

sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl

Step 7: Make an XGL Session

sudo gedit /usr/bin/
Add this to the text file:
Xgl :1 -fullscreen -ac -accel xv:pbuffer -accel glx:pbuffer &
cookie="$(xauth -i nextract - :0 | cut -d ' ' -f 9)"
xauth -i add :1 . "$cookie"
dbus-launch --exit-with-session gnome-session
For Different Windows Manager (KDE/XFCE) Check Here

Then make the script executable:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/

Step 8: Add XGL Option to the Gnome Login Manager

sudo gedit /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Start an Xgl Session
To log into XGL, logout of your current session, and from the login screen click "Options" and "Session chooser".
Select "Xgl" from the Session menu.
DON'T DO IT NOW, Continue with guide

Step 9: Edit Your Source List
Add the following line to the bottom:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

deb edgy dev

Download the gpg key:
gpg --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 0x483170E9 ; gpg --export -a 0x483170E9 | sudo apt-key add -

Step 10: Install Compiz

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install compiz compiz-plugins compiz-extra compiz-extra-plugins compiz-extra-gnome gnome-compiz-manager

Optional But Recommended:
Download the Compiz Settings Manager, gives you complete control over Compiz settings.

Turn off gtk-window-decorator, if not Compiz tries to load even when not in XGL session.
Go to "System>Preferences>Sessions"
Click gtk-window-decorator (Highlighted in red) and click the disable button

edited by pHreaksYcle

Friday, March 9, 2007

Who is redDEAD?

I'm a 24 year old EMT-B, going to Paramedic school in August. Till then I work 70+ hours a week. So when you instant message me and I don't respond, don't feel bad. I'm probably at work, tired from work, gaming on my DS, working on hacking my v3m Razr to be a modem in Linux, or trying to not fall asleep when I'm working on an article. No real articles have come out lately and I'm sorry. I have plans for a Samba server guide, VMware server guide, tweaking your X1150's RAM.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Friday, March 2, 2007

Feed the Mailbag

I've got ideas floating around for the next couple of articles and I need to get them hammered out and tested. But in the meantime, I wanted people to know that I will answer your questions. Some readers have instant messaged me and I've been more than happy to help them out. Also you can email me questions and I'll answer them right on the blog. So, feed the mailbag and make suggestions!
edited by pHreaksYcle