Various Computer/Linux fixes / tricks / tips

LibreOffice machine translation of document contents (Writer) (April 2017)

Not perfect as it is limited to 1900 chars per block, and formatting beyond the paragraph is lost, also relies on Google's API, which can change.


  1. Download Extension TradutorLibreText
  2. Tools / Extension Manager / Add / find your downloaded file
  3. Restart LibreOffice
  4. Select all text to translate
  5. Ensure all has the "Text Language" (e.g. see bottom status bar) set with the Destination
  6. Now limit selection to a single paragraph
  7. Tools / TradutorLibreText / Translate
  8. Google will (hopefully) correctly Auto-detect the source language and translate to the one set above

IBM Thinkcentre 8189 A50P: 2 beeps at boot / only 128M RAM found (March 2017)

PC had worked fine to years then got these symptoms:

  1. 2 beeps at boot and only 128M of 512M recognised (as reported by both BIOS and OS) (so apps grind to a halt)
  2. reboot leads to all memory found OK
  3. later notice BIOS settings/time not kept between boots

Tried to swap memory stick from another from identical PC: no help.

Download Hardware Maintenance and User Guides - 2 beeps code not in there !

SOLUTION: new BIOS battery + reset BIOS and all OK now.

Overlay image into PDF using LibreOffice Writer (October 2016)

First create transparent image to overlay using Gimp (Colors / Colors to Alpha, then export as GIF)

Then open PDF in LibreOffice Writer, Left-click on page / Edit with External Tool to open Gimp (if this does not work, then see below):

  1. 'm' to set "move" mode / Move the active layer
  2. Layer / New Layer
  3. ctrl-o / open your transparent image created above, then in that image: ctrl-a / ctrl-c
  4. switch back to PDF page in Gimp
  5. ctrl-v to insert new image (probably put in middle of page
  6. with mouse select and drag new image to required place on page
  7. Layer / Anchor Layer when moved enough
  8. File / Overwrite <file>
  9. Quit gimp, do not save image

Switch back to PDF in LibreOffice Writer:

  1. Page should now be updated with your new image
  2. File / Export as PDF
  3. Quit LibreOffice, do not save

Check new PDF in your favourite PDF viewer.

Use Gimp to edit PDF file in LibreOffice Writer (October 2016)

If Left-click on page / Edit with External Tool does not open the editor you need:

My first try was this, but it did not work for me:

    > xdg-mime query filetype <x.jpg>
    > xdg-mime query default image/jpeg
    > xdg-mime default /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop image/jpeg
    > xdg-mime query default image/jpeg
    > xdg-open <x.jpg>  # does not use gimp :-(

OSM Maps to Garmin GPSMap64s (July 2016)

SOLUTION: software needed: 7zip, Java, mkgmap (single Jar file)
  1. download map from OpenMtbMap Download (select OpenMTBMap at top of page)
  2. unpack map to a new directory: 7z e -oMyDir X.exe
  3. in your newly created map directory: java -Xmx512M -jar mkgmap.jar --family-id=<nnnn> --family-name=MyOSM --gmapsupp 6*.img clas*.TYP where <nnnn> is the first 4 digits of the nnnn...img files
  4. copy newly created "gmapsupp.img" to the "garmin" directory of your SD card (rename if you already have a file of that name (I used gmapsupp_MyOSM.img as I already had Garmin maps installed))
  5. unmount GPS and boot it device
  6. on GPS: Map / Setup Map / Select Map / Enter / disable other maps, and just have yours enabled

(Probably works for other devices.)

You can "test" the map first by using Qlandkarte: File / Load Map / navigate to your newly created map directory / mapsetc.tdb / mapsetc.img / Open

FVWM alt-tab etc do not work (June 2014)

"<<ERROR>> Grab failed in function" <your function> "unable to execute immediate action"

SOLUTION: To continue working with this session: restart FVWM, either from mouse, or remotely login, set DISPLAY, kill fvwm and start it again (in background). Or switch to another console. Probably best to do a clean login when you can !

Lenovo IdeaTab A2107A fails to recognise internal micro SD card (August 2013)

Android and/or this device seems to be a bit fussy about SD card formatting: I had 2 micro SD cards, different makes, both pre-formatted to FAT32 but only one was recognised.

SOLUTION: reformat card: in my case I used gParted under Linux (also worked for a 64GB card when formatted to FAT32).

FVWM window fails to de-iconise (April 2013)

In my cause my keyboard shortcut to de-iconise using "WindowList" did nothing, and gave this error message:
[fvwm][__execute_function]: <<ERROR>> No such command 'WindowListFunc'
Problem: it seems the FVWM defaults path is hard coded at build time. If this path does not work then this message is seen.

SOLUTION: add this line to the start of your fvwm2rc:

Read <insert your path here>/share/fvwm/ConfigFvwmDefaults
You probably also want to set your modules path too:
ModulePath <insert your path here>/libexec/fvwm/2.6.2

Failed to mount Lenovo IdeaTab A2107A as USB Storage (March 2013)

Device did not appear in /dev and kernel message:
usb 1-2: can't set config #1, error -110
Spent a lot of time Googling, lots of advice tried: upgraded udev and kernel, checked correct modules loaded and kernel options selected. Some people had success with different USB cables or rebooting PC, but for me:

SOLUTION: Disconnect from PC, reboot IdeaPad and it just worked !!

Fail to upload Garmin TCX (Training Centre) files to Strava (October 2012)

Uploading of files to Strava fails with this message:
Unrecognized file type?

Problem: by default gpsbabel downloads TCX files as type "Course".

SOLUTION: Convert existing tracks into "Activity" and upload again:

> gpsbabel -i gtrnctr -f myFile-crs.tcx -o gtrnctr,course=no -F myFile-act.tcx

Libreoffice fails to find macros in Python (October 2012)

No error message issued but Tools / Macros / Organise Macros / Python always empty

SOLUTION pt1 Libreoffice 3.5 has moved it's Python script location to $HOME/.config/libreoffice/3/user/Scripts/python so your scripts go in here.

SOLUTION pt2 Python 2.7.x needed (for my Libreoffice 3.5 at least). I had 2.5, 2.6 and 3.2 installed. I added 2.7.3 (latest in Gentoo 2.7.x and my Python scripts appeared after restarting Libreoffice.

To confirm the Python version:

> strace -Ff -o t.t libreoffice
> egrep 'python|ENOENT' t.t

Setting font size in tkdiff (Sept 2012)

I have no idea why Google could not help me with this, given how old tkdiff is !!

SOLUTION Edit / Preferences / Appearence / Text widget options add "-font {Courier -10}" (without the quotes) Or "-*-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-*-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-*-*" (with quotes).

Firefox OpenUrl fails (June 2012)

firefox -remote 'OpenUrl(about:blank)'
Error: No running window found
I read lots of bug reports/fixes but discovered this was my problem (obvious when you see it, although I have had it set since 2006 and it work fine till recently):

SOLUTION ensure that you have not set MOZ_NO_REMOTE in the environment where you start Firefox (local, global, or in a script).

(Comment on Mozilla bug 733565 suggests this originates from Firefox 10 (which sounds about right to me, from memory of when it stopped working for me)).

Setting font size GTK2/Gnome apps without using theme manager / full Gnome environment (Feb 2011)

In ~/.gtkrc-2.0 add (last line may not be needed):
style "user-font" {
    font_name = " Sans 8"
widget_class "*" style "user-font"
gtk-font-name="Sans 8"

Lubuntu 10.10 fails to install on eeePC 701

(May also apply to other distros and/or hardware.)

From ISO, created bootable SD card with usb-creator-gtk. Live OS boots OK, but installation fails with:
- GUI reports: "ubi-partman failed"
- /var/log/syslog has the message: "no space left on device"
- df -h : shows both root filesystem 100%

SOLUTION When creating bootable card use option "Stored in extra reserved space": I select 550MB, but less would probably do.

Strange file order on USB stick in Philips DVD Players, eg DVP-5980/12 or DVP-5990/12 (August 2009)

(May also apply to other players (order on ISO DVD/CD is correct).)

The listing order seems to be the same as ls -Ul (-U is directory order, unsorted)

SOLUTION various scripts can be found to use copy or move to re-order the files, or try FATsort (in Gentoo unmask sys-fs/fatsort, emerge and run, for example, /usr/sbin/fatsort /dev/sdc1 as root on an unmounted drive).

Dark theme for GTK2/Gnome apps without using theme manager / full Gnome environment (Dec 2009 -> Feb 2014)

  1. emerge x11-themes/gnome-themes-extras
  2. in ~/.gtkrc-2.0 update/insert the line: include "/usr/share/themes/Darklooks/gtk-2.0/gtkrc"
  3. start a Gnome/GTK app. ! (incl. Firefox)
  4. for OpenOffice "export OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome" before starting (e.g. in .bashrc) (however if you want OOo to remain WYSIWYG you need to reset the Background/Font colour to white/black in Tools / Options / Appearance (see OOo Bug 80636))
  5. update Feb 2011: for OpenOffice "export OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome" and/or "export SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN=gtk" before starting (e.g. in .bashrc) (see runtime environment variables)
  6. update Sept 2011: one early improvement in LibreOffice was to make the GTK theming work correctly: now no environment variable is needed, and the theming even works with the paper and ink colours (you see white-on-black, but the printouts are black-on-white (I had to reset the font and background colours to "none" on old document for this to work).)
  7. update Feb 2014: On Arch linux also install libreoffice-gnome

Can't boot from Live CD ISO on a USB stick (August 2009)

I was trying to run the Live CrunchBang 9.04.01 (I had tried the older Cruncheee last month with the same result) from an SD card created using UNetbootin. For various reasons I was unable to create the USB image on my eeePC, so was using my main PC. I tried different SD cards and stick, reformating the card/stick etc but always got:
This is not a bootable disk.
Please insert a bootable floppy and press any key to try again.

SOLUTION Instead of using my Gentoo/AMD64 box to create the SD card setup I used another PC with Ubuntu/x86 8.10, reformated the (cheapy) SD card to FAT32 (using gparted) and reinstalled the ISO, again using UNetbootin. It now booted fine now on the eeePC 4G/701, and also installed fine to the internal drive.

Why ? I have no idea: either different versions of some software or else UNetbootin creates some kind of AMD, or 64-bit, incompatibility.

Firefox command line not working as expected (August 2009)

> firefox -remote 'openURL(index.html, new-tab)'
Error: Failed to send command: 500 command not parseable

SOLUTION (not ideal !):

> firefox -remote "openURL(/home/simonk/index.html, new-tab)"
> firefox -remote "openURL($PWD/index.html, new-tab)"

DVD to burn not recognised (July 2009)

E.g. from growisofs:
:-( /dev/dvdrw: media is not recognized as recordable DVD: 0
Tried lots of things suggested on the web: different disks, burning programs, wiggling wires around, even bought a new burner, but in the end:

SOLUTION: wait a minute or so after inserting the blank DVD and closing the DVD tray before trying to burn !!

latest pytrainer ( fails get data from Garmin Edge 305 (June 2009)

Loads data OK (files created in /tmp), then press "OK" gives:
  File "//usr/lib64/python2.5/site-packages/pytrainer/lib/", line 127, in shortFromGPS
    tree = xml.etree.cElementTree.parse(gtrnctrFile).getroot()
  File "<string>", line 45, in parse
  File "<string>", line 32, in parse
SyntaxError: unbound prefix: line 13, column 8

SOLUTION: in /usr/share/pytrainer/plugins/garmin-hr/ change join(lines[6:]) to join(lines[2:])

  File "//usr/lib64/python2.5/site-packages/pytrainer/lib/", line 127, in shortFromGPS
    tree = xml.etree.cElementTree.parse(gtrnctrFile).getroot()
  File "<string>", line 45, in parse
  File "<string>", line 32, in parse
SyntaxError: unbound prefix: line 17, column 8
SOLUTION: in /usr/share/pytrainer/plugins/garmin-hr/ update line to: (single line)

<TrainingCenterDatabase xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">

PROBLEM: still no data in app -d => log.out

2009-06-04 22:23:54,548|INFO|record|importFromGTRNCTR|Retrieving data from /tmp/file_mod.gtrnctr
2009-06-04 22:23:58,223|DEBUG|xmlUtils|shortFromGPS|>>
2009-06-04 22:23:58,224|DEBUG|xmlUtils|shortFromGPS|parsing /tmp/file_mod.gtrnctr
2009-06-04 22:23:58,224|DEBUG|xmlUtils|shortFromGPS|Retrieving sport info
2009-06-04 22:23:58,453|DEBUG|xmlUtils|shortFromGPS|Retrieved info: []
2009-06-04 22:23:58,453|DEBUG|xmlUtils|shortFromGPS|<<
2009-06-04 22:23:58,469|INFO|record|importFromGTRNCTR|GPS: 0 entries found
2009-06-04 22:23:58,470|INFO|record|importFromGTRNCTR|No tracks found in GPS device
2009-06-04 22:23:58,470|DEBUG|record|importFromGTRNCTR|<<
CAUSE: GPSbabel 1.3.6 changed format of TrainingCenterDatabase to v2 of the Garmin XML. Pytrainer needs updating to read this new format.

SOLUTION: I have not tried it, but reverting to GPSBabel 1.3.5 should work till Pytrainer is updated

latest pytrainer ( fails to startup (May 2009)

program error: "KeyError: 'prf_us_system'"
SOLUTION: Manually edit conf.xml and add: prf_us_system="True"

wTorrent gives disk_free_space() Permission denied (September 2008)

wTorrent web access gives:
"Warning: disk_free_space() [function.disk-free-space]: Permission denied..."

SOLUTION: Ensure directory DIR_DOWNLOAD in /var/www/wtorrent/user.conf.php is readable to the webserver user (e.g. www-data).

(This is answered in several bug reports, but a Google of the above message does not seem to find them !!)

firefox-bin: gethostby*.getanswer: asked for " IN A", got type "39" (May 2008)

Or firefox-bin: gethostby*.getanswer: asked for " IN AAAA", got type "39"

Caused by Adblock Filterset.G Updater Add-On for Firefox trying to update. is the project homepage accessed via Coral Cache. See also this thread on the Filterset.G forum.

I *think* it can be safely ignored !! (but compare the filterset version reported by Firefox compared with that on the website). (If Firefox hangs then update to the latest version of Adblock Filterset.G Updater.)

During CD ripping kernel logs lots of "program cdparanoia not setting count and/or reply_len properly" (Sept 2007)

Dec 22 15:28:58 zoxed sg_write: data in/out 56/56 bytes for SCSI command 0x12--guessing data in;
Dec 22 15:28:58 zoxed program cdparanoia not setting count and/or reply_len properly
Dec 22 15:28:58 zoxed sg_write: data in/out 26/26 bytes for SCSI command 0x5a--guessing data in;
Dec 22 15:28:58 zoxed program cdparanoia not setting count and/or reply_len properly
Dec 22 15:29:03 zoxed sg_write: data in/out 30576/30576 bytes for SCSI command 0xbe--guessing data in;
Dec 22 15:29:03 zoxed program cdparanoia not setting count and/or reply_len properly
Dec 22 15:29:08 zoxed printk: 186 messages suppressed.
Kernel 2.6.19, pure SATA setup. /dev/cdrom links to /dev/sr0. Same problem if /dev/sg1 is used.

Grip (2.5.1) uses: cdparanoia -d /dev/sg1 13:[.0]-13:[.17041] X.wav -Z ? add -g, no /dev/scdN

SOLUTION: (Dec 2007) Upgrade to Kernel 2.6.22-gentoo-r8 did not help, but upgrading cdparanoia from 3.9.8-r5 to 3.10-pre0 worked.

eject /dev/dvd fails with "eject: unable to eject, last error: Function not implemented" (Sept 2007)

Also pressing the button on the drive does not open it.

SOLUTION: check if another process has taken hold of the device by running "fuser /dev/dvd". In my case, after my burning finished Grip had polled the device and taken it. I stopped Grip and the eject worked. Update: eject /dev/dvd still failed, but eject /dev/cdrom works. Both are softlinks to the same device /dev/sr0 !!

cdda2wav stops with "cdda2wav: Operation not permitted. Cannot send SCSI cmd via ioctl" (April 2007)

SOLUTION: add "-I cooked_ioctl" to cdda2wav: although the man page recommends strongly against this.

grub-install "/dev/X does not have any corresponding BIOS drive" (April 2007)

For example during "grub-install /dev/floppy/0". "grub-install --recheck" did not fix it, but may be needed.

SOLUTION: using the GRUB device instead of the OS device did work, eg: "grub-install fd0".

Configuring ALSA on nVidia MCP51 (April 2007)

alsaconf gives: "No supported PnP or PCI card found" even though you have correctly built kernel or alsa-driver support for intel8x0, as directed, for example, by the ALSA Project supported card matrix (generic nVidia entry).

SOLUTION: the onboard sound for the nVidia MCP51 is in fact supported by hda-intel. Later kernels (eg 2.6.25) need CONFIG_SND_HDA_INTEL and CONFIG_SND_HDA_CODEC_ANALOG.

Firefox: theming WizzRSS (Windows and Linux) (March 2007)

WizzRSS is my favourite Firefox RSS reader add-on (primarily because, AFAIK, it is the only one that can hide the read items). But I could not get it to play nice with my preferred theme, PitchDark: I wanted to choose my own background and font colours but WizzRSS refused to budge from dark on light.

SOLUTION: hack the WizzRSS CSS theme file:

If this does not work:

XEmacs/VM mail sending fails: Cannot open load file: sha1 (February 2007)

SOLUTION: Install XEmacs package "ecrypto".

Kernel and modules seem to build OK, but no modules produced (June 2006)

Symptoms: /lib/modules/x/modules.dep is an empty file, /usr/src/linux/.tmp_versions does have .mod files but the source tree does not contain any .ko files. Nor does /lib/modules/x.

SOLUTION: I had recently added export GREP_OPTIONS="--color=always" to /etc/profile. But the outputting of the escape codes for colour quietly breaks one of the kernel build scripts. Remove GREP_OPTIONS and re-run make modules_install and the modules should now be generated.

(The grep that fails is in line 12 of /usr/src/linux/scripts/Makefile.modinst - you can confirm it by checking the value of __modules from make -p modules_install)

Failed DVD burning (Samsung SH-W162C) (June 2006)

I had lots of symptoms: cdrecord-ProDVD and growisofs failing, e.g. ":-( unable to READ DISC INFORMATION: Input/output error"

hdparm /dev/hdc gave "HDIO_GETGEO failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device". Googling around suggested a readahead problem, but "hdparm -A0 /dev/hdc" also fails !!

System log gave things like:

 hdc: command error: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
 hdc: command error: error=0x54 { AbortedCommand LastFailedSense=0x05 }
 ide: failed opcode was: unknown
 end_request: I/O error, dev hdc, sector 0
 Buffer I/O error on device hdc, logical block 0

Upgrading cdrecord, growisofs, the kernel and hdparm did not help !

SOLUTION: use "regionset" to set the DVD drives region (by default none was set) (the tool says you *MUST* have a DVD in the drive when you run it) and disable DMA. Works OK so far to burn a DVD.
(although hdparm still gives the same error as above)

(With DMA enabled System log gives this when I try growisofs:

 hdc: DMA timeout retry
 hdc: timeout waiting for DMA
 hdc: status timeout: status=0xd0 { Busy }
 ide: failed opcode was: unknown
 hdc: drive not ready for command
 hdc: ATAPI reset complete

Update: with DMA enabled mount a CD works, eventually by the driver turing off the DMA ("hdc: DMA disabled"). Mounting or buring a DVD with DMA enabled gives "ide-cd: cmd 0x28 timed out" and "hdc: DMA timeout retry". With DMA disabled it works OK, but slowly (DVD burning at x1.4).

Unexpected "File size limit exceeded" (May 2006)

I had this with a recent (2.6.14) kernel and reiserfs 3.6.19 when wget download of a 4.7Gb ISO failed at 2Gb. Upgrading wget from 1.8.2 to 1.10.2 fixed it (and the failing progress bar (wget could not determine the source file size)). Or maybe it was just the re-compilation ?

Gnus fails to connect to NNTP server (April 2006)

Gnus/XEmacs reported:
"Cannot read partial active file from nntp server"
And my NNTP Groups where all empty.

SOLUTION: Turned out to be an problem with my NNTP provider: my account had been temporarily disabled, so the password authentication failed. Not obvious from what the message said, but it is correct !!

PHILIPS CDRW1610A can not be mounted (March 2006)

Device used to work under Gentoo and SUSE, but started getting this when trying to mount the device in Gentoo, SUSE and KUbuntu:
Jan 21 15:56:03 localhost hdc: tray open
Jan 21 15:56:03 localhost end_request: I/O error, dev hdc, sector 64
Jan 21 15:56:03 localhost isofs_fill_super: bread failed, dev=hdc, iso_blknum=16, block=16
Googling "tray open" etc revealed very little. Installed a CDROM drive from another machine and that worked OK. Checking Kernel code (linux/drivers/ide/ide-cd.c) did not give any ideas.

SOLUTION: replaced the drive with a DVD burner (Samsung) and it worked OK (this Philips drive was very loud anyway !!). (But see above re-"regionset".)

KUbuntu 5.10 / Fritzcard DSL SL (PCI) (January 2006)

Details to come, but was fairly easy.

Setting Firefox browser fonts (December 2005)

I just worked this out as I did not like the new fonts (menu, tab, bookmarks etc) for Firefox 1.5, but I do not use much Gnome stuff. In file ~/.mozilla/firefox/<uniqueID>/chrome/userChrome.css try playing around with stuff like:
menupopup {
  font-family: fixed !important;
  font-size: 16 !important

menubar, menubutton, menulist, menu, menuitem {
  font-family: fixed !important;
  font-size: 15 !important;

toolbar {
  font-family: fixed !important;
  font-size: 14 !important;

.tab-text {
  font-family: fixed !important;
  font-size: 14 !important;
(I got the information from unpacking an existing theme: unzip the .jar file, collect all the .css files and grep around till you find what you need, then stick in userChrome.css)

Resize some application windows on-the-fly, automatically (FVWM) (September 2005)

One of my pet-hates is those stupid little file selector windows, when you can see 5 files, and the names are truncated !!

My solution: get a *real* Window Manager (FVWM) :-) and hack around with something like the following (to get the window name to help create the regexp use xwininfo):

DestroyFunc MaxFullScreen
AddToFunc MaxFullScreen
+ I WindowStyle NoTitle, BorderWidth 0
+ I Maximize true
+ I ResizeMove 100 100 0 0

DestroyFunc FileSelectorFunct
AddToFunc FileSelectorFunct
+ I ResizeMove 730p 745p -0p -0p

DestroyFunc FuncFocusWindow
AddToFunc   FuncFocusWindow
+ I ThisWindow ("*Firefox")      Function MaxFullScreen
+ I ThisWindow ("Open*")         Function FileSelectorFunct

Stop applications grabbing focus (September 2005)

For example let's large applications start up whilst you are doing something else, but they do not then grab the focus whilst you in the middle of that something else ! With FVWM:
Style * OverrideGrabFocus

FVWM full screen keyboard shortcut (August 2005)

With focus on a window press ctrl-shift-f to fullscreen any window.
AddToFunc MaxFullScreen
+ I WindowStyle NoTitle, BorderWidth 0, HandleWidth 0
+ I UpdateStyles    # resize with new borders etc before doing Max
+ I Maximize true
+ I ResizeMove 100 100 0 0

AddToFunc UnFullScreen
+ I WindowStyle Title, BorderWidth 3, HandleWidth 3
+ I ResizeMove 50 50 25 25   # set start size
+ I Resize                   # now user resizes window

Key  f    A  SC  Pick FullScreen
Key  u    A  SC  Pick UnFullScreen

Digitus DA-70305-1 Card Reader (USB id 0DDA:2027) (May 2005)

25/07/05: seems I can only mount one card at a time, even though they are physically different formats. So I can not do direct card-to-card copies. Is this normally for multi-card readers ?

Works fine using USB module usb-storage etc (Kernel 2.6.10) (but I have only tested CF and SD sockets) (check you also have CONFIG_SCSI_MULTI_LUN enabled).

I later noticed that the actual card device (/dev/sdx1) does not appear directly: a scan needs to be provocated. How ?

Check what the permissions/group are for /dev/sd*. Mine are 660/disk (from udev?) so I had to add myself to the "disk" group.

(16-in-1, 3.5 inch, floppy bay size, can be used as external, USB 2.0 connection. ("Vendor=0dda ProdID=2027"))

Logitech Pilot Cordless Optical Mouse (USB id 046D:C50E) (May 2005)

Works fine using USB module uhci_hcd etc (Kernel 2.6.10, Xorg 6.8.2). ("Vendor=046d ProdID=c50e".)


Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "MouseOpti"
        Driver      "mouse"
        Option      "Protocol" "auto"
        Option      "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
        Option      "Device" "/dev/input/usbRecv"

udev rule:

BUS="usb", SYSFS{product}="USB RECEIVER", NAME="%k", SYMLINK="input/usbRecv"

SUSE 9.1 / K3B / PHILIPS CDRW1610A (May 2005)

With burning mode set to "Automatic" K3B defaulted to DAO (disk at once). For me this did not work: it all looked OK but the (music) disk was not recognised when trying to play it back on various devices.

TAO (track at once) worked fine. (Looks like either a cdrecord bug, or a hardware problem.)

Also resmgrd was not running (this may be my fault from messing with rc to speed up the start up). The effect was that it looked like the CD was being burnt, but it never stopped. And kill -9 was no use: needed a reboot. And the disk was a coaster.

SUSE 9.1 Professional, k3b v?, cdrecord "Cdrecord-Clone-dvd 2.01a27 (i686-suse-linux)".

Note: Gentoo / cdrecord "Cdrecord-Clone 2.01" reports "Supported modes: TAO PACKET SAO SAO/R96P SAO/R96R" i.e. NOT DAO.

XEmacs/VM save sent messages to different folders (April 2005)

I added this to my XEmacs/VM email setup so that when I send a new email it gets filed to 'vm-folder-directory "mine"' if I am sending it to myself (e.g. from my work to my home address).

I guess you can see how to configure it !!

(defun my-check-FCC ()
  "maybe alter default FCC depending on To: address"
  (cond ((string-match (concat (regexp-quote "myName@")        "\\|"
			       (regexp-quote "myOtherName@")   "\\|"
			       (regexp-quote ""))
		       (vm-mail-mode-get-header-contents "To:"))
	 (if (re-search-forward "FCC: .*$")
	     (replace-match (concat "FCC: " vm-folder-directory "mine") nil nil))

(add-hook 'mail-send-hook 'my-check-FCC)

SUSE 9.1 / Fritzcard DSL SL (PCI) (March 2005)

It took a lot of messing around with YAST to get it to work. I did not do a clean install to check it but I think my mistake was to select the DSL option first. These cards are treated as a type of ISDN hardware.

Also be aware that when Kinternet does not show connected when you think it should it is because PPPoE it is setup to only connect on demand (I wasted a lot of time here trying to tget it to show connected :-(

ASUS V9400-X/TD (NVIDIA MX4000) (March 2005)

Works fine with xorg 6.7.0 (and 6.8.2) using the Xorg "nv" open source driver. I have not bothered to try the NVIDIA drivers yet: I have no need for 3D etc.

(Basic Eur30 card: AGP-8, 64Mb, DVI output (DVI-D), CRT output (D-Sub), and TV out (Composite).)

Grub not finding kernel (BIOS fix) (March 2005)

Whilst migrating from lilo to grub I found this problem and solution: no amount of googling helped me :-(

My setup:

SOLUTION: Enable BIOS to recognise the drive that contains the kernel. Now SUSE boots OK.

Xfree86 / S3 Trio3D/2x pixel corruption (October 2004)

Problem: resolutions above 1024x768 give lots of pixel corrution when moving windows around.

My h/w setup:
Video Card: Elsa Winner 1000 T3D / 4mb SDRAM / S3 Trio3D/2x chipset
Monitor: Belinea 103010 / 17inch, max 1280x1024

My s/w setup:
Xfree86 4.3.0, driver: s3virge

SOLUTION: the only solutions I have found is to either run at 1024x768, or to set Option "ShadowFB" "on" in XF86Config (this then allows up to 1280x1024 to be used).

December 2004 update: I upgraded to Xorg: no change (I suspect the driver has been abandoned now :-).

Multi-aterm pseudo terminal error (Jan 2005)

I was looking for a lightweight tabbed terminal and found multi-aterm but it would not run for me: I got the message:

materm: can't open pseudo-tty

strace showed it trying to open /dev/ptmx but this did not exist for me. As far as I can see this is trying to access a "Unix98" pseudo terminal and requires the kernel to be built with CONFIG_UNIX98_PTYS and CONFIG_DEVPTS_FS (see aterm Unix98 PTY README).

SOLUTION: Looking for a quicker fix I checked the rxvt code that I have and this lead me to a quicker solution: edit src/command.c and allow getpt() to be used (replace #ifdef HAVE_GETPT with #if 1. Worked for me. (A more correct fix would be to update the configure script to check for this and set HAVE_GETPT correctly (it does in rxvt))).

Also note that multi-aterm is very fussy about the case of the Xdefaults: including the True/False (to be fair I now notice that rxvt also is, but the two are not compatible (they use the same name, but different case !!). But you can use, for example, materm.scrollbar: False).

But so far it works great :-) although the man page is a little sparce (eg how to set font size, tab title etc).

Auto-load sound card module (July 2004)

Using Kernel 2.4.20 / OSS / Yamaha PCI onboard sound / devfs / mpg123

I think it works like this:

(I notice that media-sound/mpg123-0.59s-r3 has a "+oss" flag that I have set, so I guess the ebuild could have been designed to do this for me ?)
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