• XBMC and Radeon: scrambled desktop on exit

    When quitting XBMC or when switching from full screen to windowed mode, the desktop becomes scrambled and unusable. This happens on Ubuntu 11.04 with the fglrx drivers for Radeon cards. The fix is to turn off  the “tear-free” feature in the Catalyst control panel.

  • Display all installed Ubuntu packages sorted by size

    dpkg-query -W -f’${Package}\t${Installed-Size}\t${Status}\n’ |\ awk ‘/installed$/ { print $2 “\t” $1 }’ |sort -n

  • Linux on ALDI / Medion LT 9888

    The Medion LT 9888 laptop was sold at ALDI Germany in 1998. I’ve been using it as a Linux Server for more than 10 continous years now and it just refuses to die. In order to boot Linux on it, I’m using the following kernel command line options: vga=0x305 pci=irqmask=0x8fff

  • T-Mobile USA Prepaid & iPhone & unlimited data for $1.49/day

    Since the folks in the T-Mobile store were clueless, I had to figure out myself how to get mobile internet on my iPhone using a T-Mobile prepaid SIM (or pay-as-you-go, as they call it here). Ensure your iPhone is not locked to a provider Buy a $10 T-Mobile pay as you go SIM. I could…

  • Shairport: Pop, crackle and other noise

    I’m using the C version of Shairport on 64bit Ubuntu Natty to receive streaming audio from iTunes and iDevices. It’s working well, but there was a problem with the sound quality: popping and crackling noise made my music sound like it’s coming from a vinyl record. dmesg was reporting that the HPET timer had to…

  • Rebooting a Virtouzzo/OpenVZ container

    If you want to reboot from inside the container, do a touch /reboot before you shutdown -r now. This will mark the container for reboot, and a cron job on the container host will power it back on after it shut down. Only when both commands are run the container will reboot correctly.

  • Ubuntu 11.04: grub fails after setting up RAID6

    I tried to install Ubuntu natty 64bit server on a machine with 4 HDDs. During the setup I partitioned them and assembled a RAID6 array. The very last step of the Ubuntu installation failed. Grub basically said it cannot read the filesystem on any of the HDDs and it could not install itself into the…

  • Mounting CIFS/SMB in fstab fails with “CIFS VFS: No username specified” in syslog

    So you have a line in your /etc/fstab like: //drobo-2.dynhost.lala.com.au/nsbackup  /mnt/nsbackup  cifs  credentials=/root/.smbcredentials,noauto  0  0 and /root/.smbcredentials contains user=username password=pass and you see the error above in your syslog? Try installing the package cifs-utils!

  • Embedding R graphs in Redmine wiki pages

    R is a language for statistical computing and graphics. It is capable of generating graphs and charts in publication quality. I’ve created a plugin for Redmine that allows the user to place R snippets within Redmine wiki pages and automatically embed the generated graphs: The above pie chart was generated from the following Redmine wiki…

  • WordPress 3.0.5 & Debian & blank screen when inserting objects

    When I try to insert an image into a blog post, all I get is a white blank page. The source code of that page reveals some javascript, and the FF error console reports “win.send_to_editor is not a function”. I’ve found countless postings on the web from other users who had this problem, none of…

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