Tech stuff from the bottom of the world.

Real Time Clock with Asus P5N-E SLI

The real-time clock chip (RTC) is unable to be set in Debian and Ubuntu unless you:

  1. Edit /etc/init.d/
  2. change the HWCLOCKPARS line to be:
    • HWCLOCKPARS=--directisa

June 30, 2007 Posted by | Computers | Leave a comment

ZFS based NAS in VMWare!

Nexenta LogoThis is a quick outline of the steps taken to install a NAS in VMWare, using Nexenta and the ZFS filesystem.

ZFS allows (amongst other things) very efficient full volume snapshots, ideal for a NAS (network attached storage device). My basic setup is a fast host running Ubuntu Feisty, with a couple 320Gb hard drives in RAID-1 using software raid, and a VMWare virtual machine running Nexenta NCP beta-1 using a big virtual drive in the RAID array for the actual data storage.

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June 25, 2007 Posted by | Computers | 2 Comments

VMWare: how to enable 1680×1050 in Windows XP guest

Based on this post:

  1. Resize the window to something other than a standard resolution
  2. Use “fit to guest” in the view menu
  3. Open regedit in the guest, search for Resolution.KVM
  4. Change the resolution to 1680×1050 in the registry key
  5. Reboot the guest
  6. You should now find 1680×1050 in the list of resolutions in the display control panel!

June 19, 2007 Posted by | Computers | 2 Comments

Xubuntu – browsing windows (smb) networks

UbuntuFilesThunar, the file manager in Xubuntu, doesn’t allow browsing of windows file shares. An easy way to set this up is with fusesmb, check this post for instructions!

June 17, 2007 Posted by | Computers, Linux | Leave a comment

Nvidia 8800GTS graphics card in Ubuntu 7.04

I was unable to get the ubuntu packaged nvidia drivers to work with my 8800GTS in Feisty (Xubuntu 7.04). The nv driver also gave me grief – to get the nv driver to work I had to drop the resolution to 1024×768, which wasn’t nice on my CMV 221D (1680×1050 native resolution). These steps will get the nvidia binaries to work:

  1. sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-dev
  2. edit /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common, and change the DISABLED_MODULES=”” to DISABLED_MODULES=”nv”
  3. Reboot, then install the nvidia drivers that can be downloaded on the nvidia website.

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June 17, 2007 Posted by | Computers | Leave a comment

OpenOffice dictionaries in Ubuntu 7.04

If you set up Ubuntu Feisty with the New Zealand locale, OpenOffice crashes when the dictionary wizard is opened, and does not spellcheck. The spellchecking can be made to work by running this helpful script

Something similar should work for other languages, this bug report may help.

June 17, 2007 Posted by | Computers | Leave a comment

VMWare with the new Linux Kernel 2.6.20

Mini HOWTO: VMware Workstation on 2.6.20

  • During installation, don’t opt to run (answer: no), it wouldn’t work anyway
  • Switch to $libdir/modules/source directory
  • Create backup copies of vmmon.tar and vmblock.tar (in case something goes wrong)
  • Untar both archives
  • In both archives, edit file include/compat_kernel.h
  • Delete line 31 of the file: static inline _syscall1(int, compat_exit, int, exit_code);
  • Tar the contents again
  • rm -rf vmmon-only vmblock-only
  • You can now run and it should work

February 5, 2007 Posted by | Computers, Linux | Leave a comment

CMV 221D 22″ LCD Monitor

CMV Monitor

I recently purchased a CMV 221D, from PC Gear, and have been very happy with it. Works well in games, is dirt cheap, and also has decent colours for photography (unlike some of the Dell LCDs I’ve had!).

The only down side I’ve noticed is that if you use both the VGA and DVI connections (connecting two computers to the monitor), switching between them involves navigating the on-screen menu. Some monitors switch at the push of a button.

January 14, 2007 Posted by | Computers | Leave a comment

Gigabit Networking

A post I made a while ago about Gigabit networking is here (Ubuntu Forums). Further notes:Broadcom

– chipset makes a big difference with throughput. Best chipset so far: Broadcom on a 64-bit PCI card (in a 32-bit slot). Easiest to get going: Realtek 8169 (not too bad when you turn on hardware stuff).

– turning on the hardware options (checksumming, segment offload, rx and tx) is very important for high throughput and low CPU usage. mii-tool and ethtool allow modifying the options, and generally speaking these options will not be set optimally at boot.

Running a pure jumbo-frame network is too much of a hassle, so I gave up on that, and just use 1500 MTU everywhere.

January 2, 2007 Posted by | Linux, Windows | Leave a comment

ssh filesystem

You can mount drives in Linux using the ssh filesystem. It isn’t that fast, but does seem to work fairly reliably.

On the server just install ssh 🙂

On the client install sshfs (based on fuse), then to mount the /jeremy/music folder hosted on “myserver” just go:

sshfs myserver:/jeremy/music mountfolder

January 2, 2007 Posted by | Linux | Leave a comment