Samsung NC10 Anynet (HAT2DE), Ubuntu Karmic Koala and UMTS

My little brother bought himself this fancy netbook (it’s okay I guess, only the keyboard takes getting used to). A few days after he bought it, he told me he wanted something different on it than the shipped Windows XP.

At first, I favored a normal Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop. While thats okay, it simply isn’t the right thing for a netbook. Why ? For example, if the programs bar is larger than the vertical desktop resolution, it gets kinda tiring to work with this thing.

Took me (and him) a while to notice that, but in the end I put the Netbook Remix of Karmic on this sweet little thing. Only trouble he had, was that while everything worked out of the box (even the Digital Motion Camera at the top end of the screen), his UMTS didn’t. That’s kinda shitty, since he bought this thing, in order to get online, even if he is at a hotel without actual internet connection (that is no DSL or LAN connectivity).

He already bothered the guys at his local T-Mobile shop, which told him he had to send it in to Samsung for repairs, since they don’t do warranty claims (which iirc they have to do, according to the HGB). Anyway, he sent the box my way, for me to take a look at it first, to avoid paying 70€ for a damn quotation for the repair of the defect UMTS modem.

Turns out (as so often), it was just a simple software bug. The guy over at aptgetupdate, was kind enough to document the steps necessary to install a nightly build of NetworkManager (which Karmic uses to connect to any kind of network), which fixes this issue. As a proof, I’m writing this here blog post via the UMTS connection of the netbook!

For myself, here are the exact steps, in case I ever need to repeat them:

That’s it, that enables UMTS connections again.

HOWTO: Installing XBMC on a Acer Revo R3600 with Ubuntu Jaunty/Karmic

Yesterday out of a sudden, the sound on my Acer Revo stopped working. Don’t ask me why, I didn’t update anything in between New Years eve and today. Just no sound. Tried removing my .asoundrc, tried rebooting, tried powering off; but nothing worked.

Since the Revo was running Jaunty Jackalope, I decided to reinstall the box (yeah, yet again) — but this time with Karmic Koala. Took this forums post and this blog entry as pointer (ie what needed to be installed), and started from there. And guess what … after finishing all that, changing the settings in XBMC — tada sound works. After finishing, I turned the box off and then back on, booted to the “old” installation — guess what .. Sound is working again. I really don’t have a single clue as to why the heck the sound stopped working and the started working without any doing, but I’m glad 😛

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Linksys WUSB600N on Ubuntu

Since I recently moved, I also needed to make a few changes to my home setup. Up till now, I always had a wall or a border where I could hide the CAT5/CAT6 cable for my boxen. But my new flat has doors everywhere. So I decided to buy two Linksys WUSB600N for my XBMC-box as well as for the NAS-box.

The setup was pretty straight forward, I didn’t have to fiddle with it too long. The only thing I had to do, was setup wpa_supplicant in /etc/network/interfaces, as the router supplied by my provider comes with WPA2 enabled (which is a good thing).

Additionally, I just reinstalled my NAS-box with Karmic Koala. That gave me a bit of trouble, since apparently since Jaunty they included new drivers for the ralink-devices (namely rt2800usb and rt2x00usb). These two sadly don’t work with the WUSB600N, so I had to blacklist them (/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-ralink.conf in my case).

Setting up a OpenVPN server with DD-WRT

In the past I had toyed with the thought of setting up a VPN-Server at home, so that I could do stuff from elsewhere. Now, I finally got around doing so. First obstacle ? How exactly would I be doing that ?

  1. Get the DD-WRT VPN flavor of course!
  2. Configure the VPN server

Now, the second part seems to be a bit harder. There is a wiki article on how to configure OpenVPN in the DD-WRT wiki, but not for v24 SP1. Lucky me, someone already made himself the work of writing somewhat of a guide down. But, guess according to Murphy’s law, things ain’t ever gonna be easy. As I’m running Ubuntu Karmic on my workbook, the commands ain’t matching the current openvpn package being delivered with Karmic. So here is, intended only as a guide, the list of steps one has to do in order to get the certs …

That’s it … all that’s remaining, is copy & pasting those certs into the Web GUI of your OpenVPN router and setting up your client according to the OpenVPN documentation.

Intel X25-M powering Ubuntu Karmic

I recently ordered a Intel X25-M Solid State Disk as a replacement for the oldish SATA 2,5″ disk powering my Fujitsu Celisus M250 (called workbook). I figured it’d be a bit faster as compared to running from the old hard disk, but I didn’t figure it be that fast!

Since it is blazing fast, my trainee figured he’d install bootchart and see how the disk/the whole notebook performed.

bootchart map of the X25-M
bootchart map of the X25-M

As you can deduce from the bootchart map, the whole system took eight (as in 8 or one 7.5th part of a minute) till GDM was started and prompting for username and password.