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Archive for 2012

17
Aug

The case of the non-booting USB thumb-drive and the Dell R620

Awhile back I wrote about ‘Doing battle with a Dell R620 and Ubuntu‘ where I touched on the fact that booting from USB thumb-drive was a painful problem. In short, the same USB thumb-drive that would work in the R610 would not work in the R620.

It comes down BIOS support for USB and how it is handled. On the R610 there are 3 options: ‘auto-detect’, ‘floppy emulation’ and ‘hard drive’. Auto was hit-or-miss, floppy would not work but ‘hard drive’ worked every time. On the R620 there are no options so I can only suppose that it supports ‘floppy emulation’ upon detection of a USB thumb-drive.
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16
Aug

Dell DSET on Ubuntu 10.04 and 12.04


Dell System E-Support Tool (DSET) is an informative tool used by Dell’s support engineers to help diagnose problems for their clients. It is almost a requirement now and Dell usually refuses to continue support without a DSET report.

The problem is that DSET is only supported on Redhat and SuSE Linux and there isn’t any information on how to get it running in Ubuntu. I’ve assembled a rough guide on how to get DSET up and running on Ubuntu 10.04 and 12.04 and it is tested against a Dell R610 and R620.
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9
Aug

Upgrade Samsung Galaxy Gio from 2.2.x Froyo to 2.3.x Gingerbread

Going from 2.2.x (Froyo) to 2.3.x (Gingerbread) is an involved process as there is always the fear that you will ‘brick’ your phone. This fear usually keeps most people away from upgrading. I’ve found a process, with Google’s help and trial/error, that managed to get process done painlessly and without a dead mobile.

Here is a little back story: I was lucky enough to come across the Galaxy Gio in a bad state while at work. The mobile would turn on, give the Samsung logo then black-screen and would not boot any further. It wouldn’t have made a good paperweight but if I could salvage it, it was mine.

Note: This process is a requirement before upgrading to a Cyanogenmod release.

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18
Jun

Wireless BCM4312 with the 3.4 and 3.5 kernel

Broadcom Chipset BCM4312
The hybrid driver from Broadcom is still a bit behind in terms of support for the latest kernels but there are workarounds. This particular issue also effects other kernel modules such as the out of tree Nvidia and ATI blobs that require the asm/system.h file in their includes.

I’ve had success with replacing it with asm/switch_to.h which seems to have fixed things for now. The cause for this can be found on the LKML.

Chipsets supported by “Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n hybrid Linux® device driver” are: BCM4311, BCM4312, BCM4313, BCM4321, BCM4322, BCM43224, and BCM43225, BCM43227 and BCM43228.

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18
Jun

Skype 4.0 on Ubuntu Precise (12.04) 64-bit

There is a new version of skype out for Linux, version 4.0 which has interesting changelog entries:

* Much lower chance Skype for Linux will crash or freeze
* chat history loading is now much faster
* …several investments we made in improving audio quality … and improving video call quality
* …extended support for more cameras
* and more

Good enough for me! There is still no true 64 bit binary/package from Skype. The result is that their fake “64 bit” Skype needs an additional 100MB of i386 packages in order for it to run properly.
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