Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BOM Australian Weather Radar Gadgets

At the start of the year I got the idea to write a Windows Gadget. I decided to write a couple of gadgets in the end to display the various rain radars from the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. They work mostly well and even managed a couple of hundred downloads from the Live Gallery before Microsoft binned it. You can get the national viewer here (this has both rain radar and satellite images), and the local radars here. Enjoy!

Here is a screenshot of the national radar:

And the local radars:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

(X)Ubuntu 11.10 on the HP DV6-6023TX

Well what a fight it’s been getting Linux to run on this laptop! I gave up with 10.04 as the switchable graphics was a nightmare, leaving you with blank screens on most boots. (X)Ubuntu 11.10 boots fine every time but needs some tweaks to get the power usage to an acceptable level.

Out of the box. 43 watts
Editing /etc/default/grub (see below) 36 watts
Disabling the useless ATI card 13 watts !!

Power usage was taken from cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/statewith the CPU practicly idle (less than 2%).

Edit /etc/default/grub to the following:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 i915.i915_enable_fbc=1 i915.lvds_downclock=1 acpi_backlight=vendor acpi_osi=Linux"
from this article on Phoronix. (I have added the last two acpi functions to enable backlight control) and run update-grub.

To disable the ATI card edit /etc/rc.local and add the following line at the top: sudo echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch.

This makes the laptop usable for all except gaming, although the integrated Intel graphics is surprisingly powerful for what it is!

I will update when (if) I figure out the ATI graphics.

OK, so I didn't figure out the ATI graphics, but ATI did! You can find more information on setting up the ATI card here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

HP 2310t Touchscreen software

After splashing out on a nice 23" HP touchscreen monitor I was a little annoyed the software on the included CD wouldn't install on my non-HP computer. The software is HP Mediasmart, and while it doesn't rival the iPad and other multitouch UI's, it came with the monitor and I wanted it to work!

After a little Google'ing it turns out this software is written by Cyberlink, and is quite easily fooled into installing onto whatever brand PC you have. 
All you need to do is copy the install folder from the CD to a writeable location. 
Open the folder and edit the "Custom.ini" file with your favourite text editor. 
Open the System Information program, and look for the System Manufacturer string on the right hand side.
Copy this string into the CLScan section of the "Custom.ini" file.
Save and run setup.

Setup should now run without complaining, enjoy the software you purchased!

Realtek audio drivers and quadraphonic speakers

So it looks like Realtek have decided that quadraphonic (4 channel) speakers are not front and rear, but front and side. Thanks for wasting my day in trying to figure this out! On the upside it turns out one of my favourite speakers sets it starting to show its age and needed a cable replacing. Long live the Creative Inspire 4.1 4400's (they are only 8 years old!).