Sunday, July 29, 2007

Making the fonts look better on Ubuntu


Just found a better way of rendering fonts on Ubuntu..

I was looking for making the fonts look better on my Feisty Fawn. While searching, I hit this -

The following page suggests some tips/packages to be installed for better rendering.

However, I must warn that, after installing the attached files, the system will be BROKEN. Not because what he is suggesting is incorrect in any way, rather just because in Feisty fawn the same packages are
  1. available in the repositories
  2. available in newer versions.
And therefore, I would suggest installing the packages from the standard Feisty repository. Following commands can be useful -

sudo apt-get install libcairo2 libcairo2-dev libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libxft2

And, lest I forget to mention, run the following command...

sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config

Hope that its useful. AND, I must say, the suggestion for the fonts settings work excellently.. absolutely great.

have fun

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Order for installing ruby gems locally

For installing ruby on rails basic framework when u dont have access to internet, you could follow the following order of installing gems...

Install Ruby

Install RubyGems

Install different gems

  1. Rake
  2. ActiveSupport
  3. ActionPack
  4. ActionMailer
  5. ActiveRecord
  6. ActionWebService
  7. Rails

Also found some more info on installation of rails when internet connection is actually available. Here's the source of info, the rails wiki site

  1. Installing Ruby
    1. sudo apt-get install ruby irb ri rdoc ruby1.8-dev build-essential
  2. Installing Ruby Gems
    1. sudo apt-get install rubygems
  3. Installing Rails
    1. sudo gem install rails -y
  4. Installing MySql
    1. sudo apt-get install libmysql-ruby mysql-server libmysqlclient15-dev
    2. sudo gem install mysql
Some more documentation on Ubuntu site

Introduction to Rails


I have worked with C, C++, Java and shell scripts in past. And I never really was looking for learning another programming language till I met Mr Marcel Canclini. Marcel as we all call him, is an ardent Apple fan and been playing around with ruby on rails for a few months now.

I intend to make this a record of what I experience with ruby on a regular basis and how I progress...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn installation on my HP 6710b

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I have had a tough time getting Ubuntu to install on my HP 6710b. Here I try to list the various sources I referred to, and steps I did to get it working ...

I must mention, most of my experience was guided from this page, Unfortunately, it did not work exactly for me, so I thought the need to write my experience.

Other posts which contributed to my knowledge/experience are

I thank all the contributors to these posts, since I believe the collective knowledge was what enabled me to finally achieve this installation successfully at the end. Thanks guys :)
  1. Download and burn the alternate CD for Feisty. The Live CD does not work, and thus breaks the promise of "works out of the box" for this model.
  2. While you boot your system with the alternate CD, enter some extra boot parameters
    1. Press F6 to get to the options screen
    2. In the starting enter break=top
    3. Towards the end of the boot parameters, enter irqpoll, acpi=off noacpi pnpbios=off
  3. After this, your system should boot normally.
  4. Now, the text based installer (remember its the alternate CD not Live CD), will install the OS onto your system. However, when it comes to installing/configuring x server, the system bump you to a command prompt.
  5. At this point, I ran the following (after making sure that I have the network connectivity - at this point ethernet already works)
    1. sudo apt-get update
    2. sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    3. sudo echo piix >> /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
    4. sudo update-initramfs -u
  6. At this point Reboot your system. Since Grub is already installed, you should normally see a boot menu. Choose Ubuntu from there. DO NOT choose Windows for any reason whatsoever.
  7. After reboot, you have a working Ubuntu system minus X server. Log in as usual, in the text mode.
  8. Perform this sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel
  9. Now, take backup of your xorg.conf using
    1. sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bkp
  10. Launch the reconfigure command for xserver configuration using sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
  11. And, then take the pain of configuring everything manually.. not automatically. Among, the following steps, I am not sure about the sequence of some.. but more or less, gives you an idea of what comes across..
    1. Be careful, not all options work good with default values, though most of them do.
    2. Do not choose to do an auto-detect for your screen. NO.
    3. Choose manually everything that you can for your screen. It asks you for a level of configuration that you want to do, and gives options like Simple, Intermediate, Advanced... there choose Simple.
    4. Choose a screen size (15" I think)
    5. Choose Resolution.. Careful to choose the widescreen resolutions
    6. Decide on memory to be allocated. I chose 256MB
    7. Choose color Depth : I chose 24 bit
    8. Towards the end, it would ask you to write the configuration to disk, obviously choose yes.
    9. it would exit without trying to start x.
  12. Now, just type at command line, startx, should work.
  13. Once you are in x session, install the driver suggested at intel X3100 Drivers post , Do the configuration as suggested in the post. It works.
  14. The X server configuration is done now, the system can be rebooted, and would automatically go into x mode.
  15. Lest I forget, Go to the Grub menu (/boot/grub/menu.lst) and update the windows vista boot point description. Both normal boot point and recovery boot point have same label by default. If you boot into recovery mode by mistake, the MBR is overwritten.... :(
I can only hope that others would be benefitted by this experience. Unfortunately I did not keep on the fly notes for the whole process, So, quite a bit of this is based on my recollection.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Finally.. ubuntu runs on HP 6710b

Hey, it works...

After a weekend of tweaks and attempts, I managed to install Ubuntu on my new HP 6710b.

Its now working like a charm, but only after consuming a full weekend of troubleshooting... It did not work out of the box.. as I originally expected.

The graphics card was something neither Ubuntu, nor Fedora could handle out of the box. So, I had to install Ubuntu Feisty Fawn using their alternate CD (NOT live CD). And, then spend time configuring various things..including :
  • S-ATA hard disk
  • Intel X3100 graphics controller
  • ...
I intend to post the complete process in detail.. sometime soon.. on this blog itself.

Bear with me till then.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Surprise of my life

Well.. this one has to be the one...

I bought HP 6710b notebook with a vision of working with Vista and Ubuntu towards my own skill development.

However, when I got the delivery of the notebook, I was probably the happier guy around. This changed soon , with my discovery that this notebook's hardware is newer than the Feisty Fawn distribution. And therefore there have to be tweaks and what not to basically get it working. That too, under loads of restrictions. You cant run Beryl or compiz on this yet. Because, yeah, you thought it right, there are no graphic accelerator drivers for this chipset.

While I am happy on one hand that I have got a really cutting edge technology notebook, I am equally pissed off that the things that I wanted to do with my new notebook cant be started off as I would have wanted....

I am still struggling with installation fo Ubuntu ... thanks to the ubuntu forums, there are some threads which share experiences and solutions .. I am yet to try that out... perhaps tomorrow...

will update..

Linux Installation on HP 6710b

HP Laptops dont work with Linux...

I should have known that...

I spent big money on buying this one... 6710b... loads of my savings went into it.. and now it doesnt run Ubuntu/Fedora...

Tried looking at ubuntu forums... and found nothing that works.
Tried a few things, suggestions from some people, that claim it worked for them, but, somehow it didnt work out.

When Vista booted for the first time after my "not so successful attempt", it wiped out the MBR and then the Grub boot menu was gone.

Here are some links I tried...

But... nothing moved on..

I am now planning to go through the whole things once again... may be I missed something.. but would sure post stuff here...


Saturday, July 7, 2007

The First look at my HP 6710b

Hey.... Finally it arrived... My HP Compaq 6710b, not that I had to wait long, but I am an anxious man, and the wait was already too much when I knew that it has been delivered home but I couldn't see it before I finished office on Friday.

Its really the latest technology stuff..
  • Intel Core 2 Duo, 4MB L2 Cache and 800 Mhz FSB
  • 2 GHz Processor
  • 2 GB RAM : Max 4GB
  • 15.4" Widescreen
  • Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, All that stuff...
  • Windows Vista Business Pre-Installed
The first reaction after startup was, "Vista takes whole lot of time in initial setup. Quite a few reboots, and lots of time". However, when it showed up, the GUI looked familiar... to a Mac I have seen with a friend.

When I was reading the initial reviews about Vista that MS has tried to imitate the GUI of Mac, I didn't really believe that was true, but then when I saw it, I had to say that the critics were right. The Vista interface is much like Mac and various other features are matching to Linux distributions.. e.g. Ubuntu...

One of the biggest problems I faced was with Networking. I had to network this system with my old Dell running Win-XP home SP2 and my external Hard disk, which I intend to share between the two systems.

It was an unbelievably complex task, I had to say, much to my disappointment. Well, I have one router, two laptops, how much more simple home network can get. I expected it to automatically find that out and suggest me that it would put them into some network.

It did not, and I had to spend hours to find out what to do.. So many reboots, stuff like that.

Eventually it worked, but intermittently, sometimes I could see the other system and access things, other times, it was plain simple impossible to get through. Its wierd.. I can imagine why people say with mac and linux (ubuntu), "It just works", because Windows doesn't seem to... :(

As an example, One fine moment my system decides not to see the other laptop, then I have to open a command prompt, do a
ping -a
to the other system (my older Dell), and then the two systems can talk to each other just fine...

Very Wierd...

Well, my next problem was (and still is) trying to partition my huge hard disk. I've got 160GB there, out of which some was already taken up during Vista installation, but I need to partition my hdd to organize it better. Simple.

But, But, there doesn't seem to be a single program available in market which allows partition management for Vista. I tried partition magic.. but it doen't work with Vista. Great. and they dont have a Vista compatible version yet.

I cant go ahead and install my application software (e.g. Oracle server, other tools) in C drive as such, especially since its a 100+ GB partition and the only partition in system.

I tried the "shrink" option from Vista, but it doesn't allow me partitions with space limits that I like. For some "God knows why" kind of reason, shrinking doesnt allow the boot partition to be smaller than 80 GB.. I dont want to waste that much of my HDD space on boot partition...

I dont know when can I get that done... may be when I try to install Ubuntu, I do some more partitioning than required for Ubuntu only...

will keep posting...


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

the vmware experience

I would continue my Oracle experiences separately, now that I am getting a new Laptop and would resume my oracle/OWB experiments on that one.

I have this single laptop, on which I have windows xp home and ubuntu feisty fawn both running. (in diff partitions : dual boot). However, with presence of vmware software, I wished to be able to start windows as a virtual machine from the original installation rather than installing a second copy of windows software on the box.

So, I searched net, and posted my question in the vmware forums page. Here is the link to my post in vmware forums. Particularly interesting this link.

Though I have read through the solution, I am not done yet. I plan to do the configuration sometime today evening.. Will update my findings/experiences.