Showing posts from December, 2007

Fixing an iPod mini

Many times the answer is on the 'net, so when I wondered if my dead iPod could be fixed I started Googling. This post is one of the answers I have found. To make a long story short: iPods do not like to fall on the floor, they use to stop working as a revenge on the careless user. iPod mini has an Hitachi microdrive (same size as a Compact Flash memory but thicker) inside.

You may wonder, as I did, if you can substitute the damaged microdrive with a solid state flash memory. The answer is yes. Have a look.

And yes, you can replace the 4GB microdrive with a 8, 16 or even 32GB Compact Flash card to boost your iPod capacity. You can also replace the battery if it is not holding a charge too. Just be aware that not all the CF cards work.

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

When my son asked for a new MP3 with video player to replace his ancient Creative Zen micro I thought a new 8GB Creative ZEN will be a nice replacement. However the Zen micro units and the Zen V Plus have not been very reliable (at least not mine). It seems the obvious choice would be to go iPod nano. An option I would agree with but because my iPod decided not to allow writing new songs anymore a few weeks ago.

Several things seemed to favor the 8GB Creative ZEN: screen size almost double that of Ipod, a built-in radio and a built-in microphone enabling the use of the unit as a voice recorder. On the cons it was the size and thickness factors that played against Creative's.

Unfortunately, the 8GB unit was not easy to find, but somehow Santa managed to get one just in time. It was a disappointment to discover the unit display did not to work just after opening the box. However, just to follow the instructions we fully charged the unit and transfered a whole bunch of songs (data tran…

Still more problems with Ubuntu 7.10

While I have to admit I am quite happy with the last Ubuntu version I have to mention several bumps I ran into:
To my surprise, the usual way of installing ssh server did not work as expected. After doing sudo apt-get install ssh I've got installed and running the ssh daemon, but no connection was possible. Well, not sure what happened, but now it works ... I cannot trace what exactly the problem was though it seems two daemon processes were launched by error.
Realplayer is another problematic application that use to work in previous versions but now it creates trouble.
The adobe Flash player is (almost a requirement if you want YouTube videos to play) another tool creating trouble at the moment. The install will fail but some magic can be done to get it working too.VMware's vmplayer is another example of this apparent regression of tools. It was working before but stopped working not. Fortunately help was on its way and it can be fixed too.None of these problems has been a show…

Gutsy ... we have a few problems

The second system I installed Gutsy was probably angry with me. Or maybe I was just downplaying Murphy's laws. It was an old Asus Pundit-R computer and it was a mess.

The initial install went ok as I kept my /home partition untouched not to loose any data. However since the first moment the screen colors looked awfully washed out. Of course this same computer was just happy with almost any previous version of several flavors of GNU/Linux, so it had to be something new. While Google comes in handy most of the time, the problem is to choose the right keywords. It took me a while (more than I am willing to admit) to find this bug report and the solution.

And while doing the silly thing with the Ubuntu logo above, I discovered the GIMP version that comes with Gutsy fails to open a URL. A feature that has been working for ages. (Fix:sudo apt-get install gimp-libcurl).

In the process of fixing the graphics driver problem something happened to compiz that now prevents me to use any graphica…

Testing Ubuntu 7.10

After some weeks waiting to allow the news to settle, I've decided to install the new release of Ubuntu known as Gutsy Gibbon. I have started with my laptop that was most needed of an upgrade as it was still running the same version I installed 18 months ago. At the time, Ubuntu required me to tweak several things to get the laptop running fine and still the memory card reader was a no go.

This time installation was faster and everything worked first time (all but the WLAN led, while WLAN worked ok the led showing it was on didn't). No need to fight with any xorg config file to get the right screen resolution. Suspension worked nicely too (but I needed to go to the preferences menu to select the power save operations I wished: closing the lid will suspend the system). For the first time Firefox prompt a Java runtime install that worked ok, giving you the choice of what virtual machine you wanted, too.

I've read some claims that battery consumption might be higher on this ne…