HP Pavilion 17-f052ng with Debian Linux 2014 not a good idea

I have thought that buying an old machine is not necessary nowadays, because the driver support ist getting better in Linux every month. But this machine really sucks. First off I would have really preferred a machine with only Intel hardware, because I found that Intel today really does a good support job and I did not have much trouble with it.

ATI and Nvidia on the other hand are not really that open source friendly. So thats my problems in August 2014:

  • The ATI Radeon chipset 6900 does not really work with Xorgs Radeon driver. I then used the VESA driver in xorg.conf and this seems to work ok. Even HD videos can be streamed. I don’t know the state of that VESA drivers, but I always thought they were more limited. SO graphics is workable, but sure one should not use VESA generic driver.
  • If I shut down the lid and the Notebook goes into hibernate mode I can not wake it up.
  • The sound driver seems to work now. I have a MATE desktop and I could see some device but could not  set the volume. The solution was I guess to install the package mate-media-pulse. After that there was a conflict with the volume meter that I added to the panel by hand but  a new one appeared automatically – and it worked. So that was not a hardware issue but rather installing the mate-desktop does not give you all you might need for a desktop.
  • Wireless also did not work. I have  solution but its really not fixed. It is the RTL8723BE . I found this Debian Forum entry. There is a Git repository. If you download you can not compile because on line 621 there is an error and I wonder why its not fixed in the repo:

You need to change :

if ((_ieee80211_is_robust_mgmt_frame(hdr)) &&

to

if ((ieee80211_is_robust_mgmt_frame(hdr)) &&

See also this #5

 

So thats it for now. I might write a new article if important fixes are available. I am basing this on “Debian Jessie”.

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My impression of the first presidential debate

I actually watched the whole debate, although in Europe it started at 2 am.

For me Romney was not the winner. He was indeed MUCH better than I expected. But in on the one hand the contents of his policies are jut bad, also as some already have pointed out he took some new positions and distanced himself from himself.

Some argue that Obama should have attacked Romney more. But why should he. I knew even before the debate that Obama would not attack Romney on where he had misspoken. Sure that would have been a big mistake. Especially as americans, more than Europeans hate aggressive politicians. So Obama went to take some hits from the start. That never surprised me.

Romney did the best that he could, he looked very nervous and acted aggressively. Obama did not his best to counter the attacks. He was unsure what to do so I guess he rather stood to the campaign plan which was to talk to the viewers and explain what he did and plans to do. He looked much more often into the camera.

What would have happened if he had countered the attacks of Romney as aggressive we will never know. My guess is that the outcome would be worse. Romney had nothing to loose but much to gain. The opposite is true for Romney.

So what we could see was exactly what we could expect. It went quite well for Romney. But I think the more important impact o the debate will be now if everything Romney has said will be investigated.

He opened up a lot of holes in his line of arguments.

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OpenBSD as guest in Virtualbox

Does this work? Yes it does currently. With OpenBSD 5.0, 5.1 an VirtualBox 3.2.

Without hardware virtualization on my CPU I had to start VirtualBox differently than normally, though:

VBoxSDL –norawr0  –startvm NAMEOFMACHINE &

Then it should run ok. I run this setting on a Debian 6.x Squeeze since some years. So it does not need VT-x or AMD-V hardware virtualization support, as Oracle says.

–norwar0” means  “disable raw ring 3″. I still dont really understand this completely. But Wikipedia also talks about the rings.

 

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GNOME.org relaunch

4 years it has been since I wrote about GNOME blogs here in this blog. And still the Plone site did not finish.

Plone was chosen and I link again to the reasons:

Ok, let's go for Plone. I think we could reach our wgo goals with
Midgard as well but there are some reasons that probably make Plone a
better choice here and now. These reasons, detailed above, are based
more on human factors than the tools themselves.

To me this is the end of the CMS selection process.
If you have anything to discuss, let's discuss it

I always have been strongly against this choice and it had been the reason why I quitted the GNOME web team in frustration about the shortsightedness. Most people don’t talk about things once they have left their group behind. I do. I keep an eye on what happens afterwards.

Ok now they use WordPress for all pages it seems. I did not find a condensed reasoning behind the new migration in the wiki. It seems to have happened between April 2011 and June 2011 for some reasons. I will not elaborate about pros and cons. I still think WordPress ist not really a CMS and can not match up to Drupal. But still WordPress is still better in handling than the Plone monster.

To the Plone fans: Sure Plone is much, much more secure and you can do a whole lot with it. But if you just want to run a website with it I still think it s really a pain. And I am not a CMS newbie . What I continually find sad is to argue with people and see things going in the wrong direction only to see after many years things moving in the same direction one has hoped it would go. Why do such thing keep happening?

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EHEC, Germany, Spain

The latest EHEC outbreak (see BBC) in Germany, where I live, is scary. I have heard about a lot of people who are in intensive care unit. Kidney problems and the nervous system goes wild. Yet nobody I know personally has been affected. Strangely though, although we have the most cases in my area Schleswig-Holstein (northern Germany), many people seem to take it not very seriously. I do, much more, than the yearly flu or anything else, because there have been many deaths.

To the case of Germany wrongly declaring that cucumbers from Spain had been the cause I really thing our government should pay compensation. But I think this is not the right time to discuss. Yet the source of the infection is unknown, which makes the thing even more scary.

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Screen blanks on Linux

I had the problem that suddenly my screen went black after a period of time. It must have been ten minutes. The problem was, that I could not disable the behaviour by the means of the GNOME tools (screensaver or energy preferences). Stupid Linux.

And if you find this, you probably have, because I left this hint for you. ;-)

If you have the same problem try this. First see if you got the same:

xset q |grep blanking

See of it looks like this:

  timeout:  600    cycle:  600

If so the number in the left says something about the timeout of the screen in seconds. 600 seconds are ten minutes.

For the current session you can just type

xset s 0

If you just type in “xset” it will list some screensaver related commands t the bottom of the output.

The “xset s 0″ disables the timeout counter and so effectively prevents the blanking of the screen.

I have no idea why there seems to be now no interaction between the GNOME tools and X11? I had this problem for months. I had played with “xset -dpms” bit this did not help at all.

Many of us do not have a xorg.conf any more, because we learned that autoconfig mostly works. But now this does not? Well I have added a xorg.conf withonly  this content to the coniguration directory /etc/X11/:

Section "ServerFlags"
 Option "IgnoreABI" "True"
 Option "BlankTime" "0"
 Option "StandbyTime" "0"
 Option "SuspendTime" "0"
 Option "OffTime" "0"
EndSection

This should be it!

Honestly this kind of shit fuels my doubts about some free software developments.  Personally I can wait for some months to solve a problem. Now I usually don’t do reinstallations of Linux to fix things, unless I have a very serious issue. And I recommend to act similar. I think for most desktop machines updating seldom and be patient in fixing is the best way to keep a stable system. Sure not updating can lead to some security issues. But in my  whole computer life I have not a single serious security issue. On the other hand I had thousands of problems with updates of software. So for most users the thing that really will cost you a lot of time is updating if you dont really need it.

I think the whole Microsoft/Windows shit has led people to believe that updating to the latest version is the best way to keep your operating system safe and stable. That might be very true for Windows. And it might also be a very good idea for internet servers. But on a generic notebook I would rather recommend to only install the software you need and stick with it as long as you can. What security risks do you fear? Somebody shutting down your system? Or somebody steeling your data? I guess your risk as a Facebook users is much higher that people steal your data that you just submitted.

Sure there might be people who need a lot more security. If you have important company data on your notebook and sit in an airport lounge connecting to  a wireless LAN you better have your disk encrypted as well as your connection. And there is a slight chance that somebody can break your system because you are using your Openoffice.org has a security leak. But still my guess that chances of this statistically are very low.

Personally I would tend to use  OpenBSD for a notebook, which is more safe by default, especially for people who don’t want to invest much time in keeping a system safe. And I guess it’s a very good idea not to connect to a WLAN at all if you are really worried about security. But nowadays people want to have it all and at the same time they want zero risk. My guess, but I am not a security expert, is that this is impossible. It’s like you buy expensive outfit to protect yourself from being robbed – but then entering the darkest parts of a city often. You will be robbed, even if you feel well prepared. The best way for not being robbed is to avoid some areas .

Ok don’t take that too seriously. There is never a 100% security. My point was, that it’s also a question of how probable a risk is and what could happen as the worst case. Many people don’t have important data, but more people need to have a computer which works when they need it. Strangely many friends I know tend to risk the functionality of their computers while they worry a lot that the might be at risk. So that’s why I get called for help each and every time and need to fix what some updates have corrupted.

 

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Foresight Linux 2.5.0 release, it is still not dead

Wow, I did not think they would bring out another version:

Here is an Editor note about Foresight from Tomas Forsman.

 

Nothing much new. The release had increased the rank of Foresight to the 32nd most important distro. Popularity is nit everything, but the message of Foresight really was, that it would be for everybody. Which it isnt.

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