Posted tagged ‘Linux’

1 Million Tux

April 8, 2010

If you use Linux and want to show that you really appreciate it, leave your name at !


HP ScanJet 2400 and Linux (and digital camera)

April 4, 2010

I bought this scanner many years ago when I still used Windows. It is not supposed to work under Linux. However, there’s a driver (unofficial I guess) here: . People say it works, but I had an intuitive feeling it wouldn’t work for me. So I did a clean install recently and installed this driver. The scanner still didn’t work and the whole SANE thing was corrupted.

So I boxed the scanner again and put it away. I don’t need it anyway.

I’ve got a very nice digital camera which lets you control all the settings manually. I’ve figured out a combination of settings that lets you photograph text so that it looks like a scanned image and can be OCR’ed. Given that photographing is MUCH faster than scanning and that a camera is MUCH more portable, a scanner is actually quite useless for me.

GNOME shell – a brief hands-on

March 28, 2010

This post deals with an older version of GNOME shell because, well, the most recent one didn’t compile. It kept telling me that my automake and sth else were outdated (in fact they are NOT).

I got a working version out of the Mandriva repository. It’s kinda outdated, though.

At first sight, I like the shell. It’s fast (though GNOME 2 loads app menus faster), quite stable and usable, and has cool visual effects. .


I guess that’s not very important (as it’s an early version of the shell) but anyway.

  • I hate reading white text on black. But I know that the shell is going to be themable (at least recolourable!).
  • The animations are quite smooth and inobrtusive (though I miss Compiz’s wobbly windows). I hope there’ll be a way to customise animations somehow, I mean turn particular ones on and off (like in Compiz).
  • The app menu (when you click on More in the app well or whatever you call it) is slightly transparent. It’s very nice.
  • The larger icons in the app menu are GREAT.
  • What I didn’t like is the “info” button next to every app in the menu. The app descriptions aren’t worth opening such a huge window.
  • The side panel is UGLY so far.


  • At first I was scared about what happens to an app when it is minimised. In fact, there’s nothing scary: minimised windows are re-maximised by choosing them in Alt+Tab.
  • I really liked the Alt+Tab view with huge icons and window previews.
  • I have a habit of putting my mouse pointer into the top left corner when I don’t need it (like reading text). And then I have the Activities view pop up. I wonder if it will be possible to change the hot corner (and move the Activities button around the panel).
  • I miss panel applets!!! on my GNOME 2 desktop, both panels are full of all sorts of applets and launchers. I find them very comfortable. I mean, can we haz panel applets in GNOME 3?
  • And can we haz the possibility to add more panels if we want to?
  • Does the Activities panel have to be on the left side? Will we be able to change its location in the final version of the shell? Will we be able to have a horizontal Activities (I’d prefer having it open at the top or bottom of the screen)?
  • I don’t understand why there’s the name of the open app on the panel. It occupies space and has no purpose. I mean, I know what app I’ve opened, don’t I?
  • The Recent Documents list is larger but that makes it very messy. I wish the user could add some categories to it depending on how many projects s/he has
  • Can we haz an (optional) window list on the panel? Maybe in a drawer or so? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
  • I can’t see why this is simpler than GNOME 2 (which is very simple compared to KDE, especially KDE 4). Yes, it’s different and unusual in a nice way. But simpler?


  • The terminal window kept displaying error messages, but there were no experienceable (?) issues.


  • My first impression was somewhat spoiled by my failure to compile it (I’m not a n00b, really!).
  • I liked the shell in general, but I don’t think I’ll use it on an everyday basis so far. GNOME 2 feels comfortable enough.

External SBLive! on Mandriva 2010.0 – How To Get It To Work

March 23, 2010

External USB soundcards are pretty rare, at least where I live. And they don’t work under Linux out of the box – at least my SBLive! doesn’t. Yes it produces sound, but the volume control doesn’t behave properly and there’s no 5.1. And when you plug headphones in, the speakers still work. Here’s how to fix it:

I use Mandriva 2010.0 but I guess some of the instructions are the same for any distro.

  1. (this step is for mandriva only) In the Control Centre, choose Hardware -> Sound. Go to manually select the driver and choose “snd_emu10k1”.
  2. Disable PulseAudio. It causes the volume control to misbehave, at least on my system.
  3. As root, open /etc/modprobe.conf and add this line:
    alias sound-slot-0 snd_emu10k1 (other sound devices, if you have any, should be changed to sound-slot-1, 2 etc.). Mandriva’s Control Centre should add this automatically, but sometimes it doesn’t.
  4. Restart the computer. Go to BIOS settings, disable the integrated soundcard.
  5. (mandriva only) The Control Centre will say  that you have no sound card, but you do!
  6. The volume control applet will disappear forever (saying it’s obsolete or something). Create a launcher to gnome-alsamixer (on GNOME) or whatever graphical mixer you have on KDE.

The mixer will have 2 sliders: PCM and Mic. There’s also a Mute flag and 2 flags that control the LED lights on the soundcard. You can switch the lights on and off, though it has no purpose.

When you plug headphones in, you’ll have to mute and unmute the sound to turn it on. The same goes for plugging headphones out.

Otherwise, everything works. MIDI works perfectly with QSynth. Recording audio works very fine.