Archive for March 13th, 2007

More on Captain America

Remember the death of Captain America? Apparently Marvel is bringing back a “new” Captain America: the Punisher is taking his place. If you are not familiar with the Punisher, he is an anti-hero. He is a psycho, with bad temper, driven by revenge. A reader at Digg put it best:

So the hero who represents America changed from a strong, moral, boy-scout who fought using defense (a shield) to a savage, crazed, gun-toting vigilante? I keep having a feeling that they are trying force some sort of message in our faces.”

Couldn’t agree more.

Damn hardware

And here we are, the first signs of pissing from the laptop.

1. Bluetooth does not work on Ubuntu Feisty. The service loads fine, the drivers load fine, even the gnome-applet loads fine, but nothing works. I can’t be discovered, and I can’t discover anyone (’hcitool inq’ just times out). This is plain weird. I am smelling a firmware issue. I installed bluez-firmware manually, nothing happened. This chipset used in the laptop is the BCM2045 one instead of the BCM2033 chipset that Bluez does provide a firmware for. Update: I fixed it by using this: hciconfig hci0 reset Hopefully Ubuntu will add this to the BT service.
2. No bloody microphone. This makes the laptop completely useless with VoIP because no one likes loading their bags with additional gadgets. And even if you are home, with the laptop on your lap while sitting at the couch, you can’t just hold-on on freaking microphones! How difficult would have been to add a $0.50 onboard mic?
3. The two touchpad buttons are “mushy”. Too easy to press.
4. No Line-in.

Additionally, except the missing webcam it would have been nice to also have a memory stick slot in addition to the SD one, but not a biggie really.

Viacom sues ‘GooTube’ for $1 billion

Parent of MTV, Comedy Central hits Google with first major copyright infringement suit. Will other media firms follow?

This is not a case where Viacom became really pissed off at YouTube’s copyright infringement. This is a case where Viacom saw that they can make $1bn via a lawsuit rather than $1mil-per-year via sharing ad revenue with Youtube. The lawsuit is driven by greed and it is not a cry for justice.

Ubuntu installed on the Inspiron 640m

Only a few hours after playing with Vista, I resized that partition (Vista now has a “shrink” utility) to 60 MBs and left 40 MBs free for Ubuntu (the rest 20 GBs are reserved by DELL as a recovery partition). So, unfortunately the i810 driver that ships with the current beta of Feisty 7.04 does not support the 1440×900 resolution and in fact X crashes not only in normal mode but also in safe mode! I had to edit the xorg.conf file manually and install the system to the hard disk while using the VESA driver under VGA. After installation Ubuntu found all the Vista partitions and included them in the Grub menu, while after manually changing the vertical and horizontal sync on xorg.conf and installing the 915resolution package I was up and running at the native resolution. However, after installing the updates it seems that Ubuntu has upgraded the driver to the latest i810 driver that actually fixes this problem and does not require the 915resolution anymore. The next hurdle was with the wireless driver, but this tutorial worked perfectly, check the shot! However, it seems that the wifi antenna is not that strong, my “osnews” network only shows 50% strength even if it’s in the next room.

Except the screen problem (which it might be fixed by the final version of Ubuntu) and the wireless problem (which is something that Canonical must both fix and support, as they need to blacklist a module before installing the new module), everything else works like a charm. It’s amazing that all the “special” buttons on the laptop work! The touchpad works well too, with wheel support. And what do you know? Suspend/resume works perfectly, including when you close the lid. Battery life *seems* to be around 5.5 hours, while with Vista you can go as much as 6.5 hours.

Isn’t that something! I am pretty happy with Ubuntu on that laptop so far!