Creative D200 on Linux

For anyone, who is electronic junkie, having cables run in all directions in his room or house is a common sight.  In my own experience, I really fed up with those cables. They are very annoying, messy, and difficult to clean.  Worse of all, it makes me hate my own room. GEEZZ!!

Last week I bought a dream-come-true wireless speaker at a Creative sale.  Its model is Creative D200. Its dimension is about 40 cm wide x 10 cm high x 10 cm deep, with glossy black color. It looks awesomely elegant. The sound quality is also out of this earth. I didn’t know that wireless speaker has outstanding sound quality.  The day I bought this beauty might just be one of my best days indeed!!

Creative D200: Overall View

Creative D200: Buttons

Creative D200: Bass

This speaker is using Bluetooth technology as its wireless connection. The device connection to the speaker is also very easy. Before you can use the speaker, you need to pair your device with the speaker. Press the Bluetooth button on the speaker for 3 seconds, then the light beside the Bluetooth button will turn blue and blinking. It means its in pairing mode. In Windows 7, you have to select “Add Device”, then select Creative D200. In Android phone, turn on the Bluetooth function, select “Scan Devices”, and then select the Creative D200. In Linux (Ubuntu 10.04), you select Bluetooth icon in toolbar, select “Set Up A New Device”.

Step 1: The welcome screen of Bluetooth new device setup will be shown. Click “Forward” from here.

Bluetooth New Device Setup

Step 2: The wizard will be scanning any bluetooth device available for pairing. Creative D200 will be shown in the list. Click “PIN options…”.

Bluetooth New Device Setup-D200

Step 3: Choose “0000” as the PIN. It is the option for most of the device. Click “Close”.

PIN Options-0000

Step 4: Your device will be connected successfully with the speaker. Click “Close”.

Bluetooth New Device Setup-D200 Connected

In order to connect to the speaker, you can press the Bluetooth button on the speaker once, the speaker will connect to any of ready device.Once its connected the light besides the Bluetooth button will turn blue, but not blinking.

In Linux (Ubuntu 10.04), if you have connected with the device but the sound still comes from your computer then you have to select Creative D200 in “Sound Preferences | Hardware”.

Sound Preferences-Hardware-D200

Still in Linux (Ubuntu 10.04), if the sound has come from the speaker but you are unable to increase or decrease its volume then you have to select Creative D200 in “Sound Preferences | Output”.

Sound Preferences-Output-D200

In other Linux distro, the adding of Bluetooth speaker might be different, especially non-Gnome desktop environment, but technically its the same.

So, good luck and may the force be with you.  Prevail in the end, you will.

A Lynx Conquered My Notebook

Since the first time I know Linux 10 years ago I have tried several Linux distro. The first Linux distro that I used was Mandrake (the former of Mandriva), and then followed by openSuse, SimplyMepis, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, and the last was Linux Mint, up to last week. From those distros only PCLinuxOS 2007, Linux Mint 4, 6, and 8 that I used daily on my notebook. I am happy with the performance of both distros, especially Linux Mint. It’s very user friendly.

But, last week I decided to install a new distro version. I tried the live cd of Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Kubuntu. Live distro that I tried for first time was Ubuntu 10.04, and I already faced have a problem. The live distro could not boot properly, it showed a blank screen. Then, I tried with Kubuntu and Linux Mint, all of them had the same problem. An obvious result because all of the distros are based on Ubuntu. After google-ing for several hours, I found out from a forum that the cause was “nouveau”, an open-source driver for NVidia. According to the website I need to disable the driver by adding an option command into the grub command.

nouveau.modeset=0

So, the grub command became:

/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic root=UUID=2b69f855-de8b-461b-8f8b-02e3bf7d1142 ro nouveau.modeset=0  quiet splash

By using this command, I was able to boot into the live distro, not only Ubuntu, but also Kubuntu and Linux Mint.

Linux Mint 9 Isadora looked similar to its previous version, but I was impressed with the Ubuntu and Kubuntu. I read some reviews for Ubuntu and Kubuntu, looked like Ubuntu received a lot of praises, but Kubuntu received some negative critics. So, it was decided to install Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit Lucid Lynx into my Sony Vaio VPCCW26FG.

The Ubuntu installation was very smooth, I didn’t get any trouble when installing it. After installation I rebooted to my new OS by disabling the “nouveau” driver in the grub command. And, then I amended the “/etc/default/grub” to disable “nouveau” driver, so I don’t need to amend the grub command every time I boot. In the file I put:

# Disable Nouveau driver
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”nouveau.modeset=0″

And then I ran the command below from terminal:

sudo update-grub

I restarted the OS and I could access Lucid Lynx successfully without needed to amend the grub command.

Unlike my previous Linux Mint, Lucid Lynx is able to detect my wireless, so I just need to connect to my wireless modem and typed the password. For addition, I needed to change the wireless setting in my Network Manager to connect automatically every time I log in.

Everything works fine in my new OS, except my NVidia GeForce GT 330m. In order to settle this, I followed instruction from the forum. I downloaded NVidia driver from NVidia website, and then I ran the command below to go to command line and disable the Gnome.

sudo service gdm stop

And, then install the downloaded NVidia driver. After the installation I added 2 lines into “Device” section in “/etc/xorg.conf”:

Option         “ConnectedMonitor” “DFP-0″
Option         “CustomEDID” “DFP-0: /proc/acpi/video/NGFX/LCD/EDID”

After this step I rebooted the OS and, foila, my screen resolution became “1600×900″.

Mission completed ! :D
Now time for restoring my favorite applications.

Special thanks to “TheRawGod” from “ubuntuforum.org”.

Linux Mint 8 on Vaio VPCCW26FG

Once upon a time I got a brand new Sony Vaio VPCCW26FG, due to hardware problem with my previous notebook. It’s quite elegant, maybe because it has a white color. It came with Windows 7. I tried Windows 7 for a few weeks. I can say Windows 7 is far much better than Windows Vista. It’s boot speed is amazing, less than a minute I can start an application already. It’s display also a mouth drooling appearance. It’s task bar only shows the running application’s icon, where we can see the mini application version by hovering the mouse over it. But, there are two things that obviously I don’t like from Windows 7. Firstly, the main menu system (the menu that shown after click the Start Menu) is too pack. When I select to an application folder, it only shows the content of the folder. I still like the Windows XP menu system. Secondly, most of the applications that come with this notebook are trial version only. I can’t complain, actually, it’s just typical Windows environment. Every notebook that bundle with it always come with trial version applications. Just can’t complain…

Anyway, whatever how good a Windows Operating System is, I still wanted to use Linux on my Vaio. I still chose Linux Mint over other Linux distro, because I had faith with this distro. I installed the distro while I kept the Windows 7 on my system, so it was a dual-boot system. The installation went very smoothly and fast. Then, I started encounter problems, when I was configuring the system. There are two major problems that I encountered:

  1. The wireless was not working either.
  2. NVidia driver was not working properly, the screen just shown a blank screen after I installed the NVidia driver and restarted the system.

Fixing Wireless Hardware

Vaio VPCCW26FG is using Intel network device 422c. I found out from Ubuntu forum that this problem could be fix by installing backported kernel. I followed the instruction and it fixed the problem. My Linux Mint was able to detect the wireless hardware. The kernel version that I used is 2.6.31-19-generic. Read this thread to get more information.

I think this problem was rather easy to fix.

Installing NVidia Driver

Fixing this problem was more difficult than the wireless problem. I spent a few days to find the solution in the Internet. Eventually I found the solution in Ubuntu forum as well. In order to fix this problem I needed to extract the display edid from running Windows in the notebook by using special program. But, somehow the programs that mentioned in the forum thread was not working properly with Windows 7. In the end I was using the edid that provided in the forum thread. The edid had to be put in /etc/X11 folder. After that, I installed the NVidia driver, and amended xorg.conf to include the edid.

Below is my xorg.conf file content:

Section “ServerLayout”
Identifier     “Layout0″
Screen      0  “Screen0″ 0 0
InputDevice    “Keyboard0″ “CoreKeyboard”
InputDevice    “Mouse0″ “CorePointer”
EndSection

Section “Module”
Load           “dbe”
Load           “extmod”
Load           “type1″
Load           “freetype”
Load           “glx”
EndSection

Section “ServerFlags”
Option         “Xinerama” “0”
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier     “Mouse0″
Driver         “mouse”
Option         “Protocol” “auto”
Option         “Device” “/dev/psaux”
Option         “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
Option         “ZAxisMapping” “4 5″
EndSection

Section “InputDevice”
Identifier     “Keyboard0″
Driver         “kbd”
EndSection

Section “Monitor”
Identifier     “Monitor0″
VendorName     “Unknown”
ModelName      “Nvidia Default Flat Panel”
HorizSync       29.0 – 47.0
VertRefresh     0.0 – 61.0
Option         “DPMS”
EndSection

Section “Device”
Identifier     “Device0″
Driver         “nvidia”
VendorName     “NVIDIA Corporation”
BoardName      “GeForce GT 330M”
EndSection

Section “Screen”
Identifier     “Screen0″
Device         “Device0″
Monitor        “Monitor0″
DefaultDepth    24
Option         “TwinView” “0”
Option         “metamodes” “nvidia-auto-select +0+0″
Option         “ConnectedMonitor” “DFP-0,DFP-1,CRT”
Option         “CustomEDID” “DFP-0:/etc/X11/sony_VAIO_CW_1600_900.bin”
SubSection     “Display”
Depth       24
EndSubSection
EndSection

For more detail information and to get the edid, please read this thread.

For anyone who encounter the same problems with me, you have to fix the wireless problem first before fix the NVidia driver. Because installing NVidia driver will modify your Linux kernel.

Articles Collection of Jan’09

These are the collection of useful articles about Linux/Open source, that I collected in January 2009:

  1. Top 5 Linux Games for 2009
  2. Ten open source projects I learned to love in 2008
  3. 10 Best Instant Messengers for Linux
  4. 16 Free Games – Part 1
  5. 16 Free Games – Part 2
  6. 16 Free Games – Part 3
  7. 5 Linux-based Virtualization Companies to Watch
  8. 5 Linux Podcasts You Should Be Listening To
  9. Broadcom proprietary wireless driver on Mandriva Linux 2009
  10. The understated usefulness of SSH, part 1.
  11. The understated usefulness of SSH, part 2.
  12. mySQL command line tips
  13. 7 Great Free/Open-source Platform Games for Linux
  14. Top 10 Linux RSS readers

Articles Collection of Sep’08

These are the collection of useful articles about Linux/Open source, that I collected in September 2008:

  1. Setting up an iPod MA978 on Linux
  2. 10 amazingly alternative operating systems and what they could mean for the future
  3. 100+ Beautiful Free Fonts for Ubuntu
  4. 20 Linux apps you can’t live without
  5. 21 of the Best Free Linux Productivity Tools
  6. Top 40 open source content management systems (CMS)
  7. 5 Best HTML Editors for Linux
  8. 10 Beautiful Themes for Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex
  9. Playdeb – The Gaming Repository for Ubuntu
  10. Best GNU/Linux Desktops of 2008
  11. How to Setup a LAMP Server on Ubuntu – Locally run and test WordPress on LAMP Server
  12. Tweak Your Ubuntu The Easy Way
  13. 5 Best Free and Open-source Real-time Strategy Games for Linux
  14. Installing Games On Ubuntu With Playdeb
  15. Managing wireless connections seamlessly with wicd
  16. Live.Linux-Gamers.Net
  17. Top 20 Linux websites
  18. How I Became A Happy Ubuntu User
  19. Installing Joomla 1.5.6 On A Lighttpd Web Server (Debian Etch)
  20. Installing Drupal 6.4 On A Lighttpd Web Server (Debian Etch)
  21. Save time at the command line with shell aliases and functions
  22. 5 Cool Apps to Make the Linux Terminal More Productive
  23. My New Best Friend: Unetbootin
  24. 5 best-practices of a successful Linux user
  25. 5 Great iTunes Replacements for Managing iPod in Linux
  26. Getting the Ugly out of Ubuntu
  27. 8 hacks to make Firefox ridiculously fast
  28. 9 tips for Ubuntu notebook users
  29. Installing Linux apps: A few good tips
  30. The 14 best Linux distros
  31. How to make Ubuntu extremely fast
  32. Firefox 3: 8 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do
  33. The PC in a Console: Linux on the Sony PS3
  34. How Do Companies Make Money with Linux?
  35. Java Sound & Music Software for Linux, Part 1
  36. Java Sound & Music Software for Linux, Part 2
  37. Java Sound & Music Software for Linux, Part 3

Adventure with Linux

About almost a year ago I bought a laptop, a Compaq Presario V3206AU. It came with Windows Vista Home Basic Edition. Even though in the first place I want to install linux on the laptop, I tempted to play around with Vista. I like Vista appearance. It’s elegant. I use Vista for a few months. I started feel uncomfortable to Vista, because somehow the interface confused me. Unlike its elder brother, Windows XP. I felt I need to learn about the OS like to learn a whole new OS. And this feeling made me more eager to learn linux. Why I need to learn Vista, if I can learn linux with almost the same effort?

At that time PCLinuxOS 2007 was very famous (I think until now still very famous). I installed PCLinuxOS 2007 on my laptop. I installed many applications into the laptop, including VMWare Player to access Windows XP for my work. I activated beryl on my laptop. It was amazing. Everything is perfect. Almost. Except my wireless. My wireless was not working! The wireless is broadcom 4328. Later I found out that this device is not so Linux-friendly. I tried to find a solution in PCLinuxOS forum, but cannot find a ny. And then, later I tried to find in Ubuntu forum. I was hoping the solution in Ubuntu can be applied in PCLinuxOS. I cannot remember which forum, but in the end I ended up downloaded R151517.EXE, and using the bcmwl5.inf. At last after I did many experiment I could access internet through my wireless. I was very happy. But, I was not happy for long. The system crashed/hang. The system was not stable. I wanted to replace PCLinuxOS with other OS, but I didn’t have any good preferences. So, I used the laptop without maximized my wireless.

A few months ago I updated my PCLinuxOS. After I restarted my laptop, my laptop cannot display properly, until I fixed the display using command line. Not only that, beryl, wine, and 3D games are not working. The sound device and ethernet were missing. These conditions forced me to replace my PCLinuxOS 2007 with a new Linux OS. After a few time trying different flavor of linux distro, I ended up with Linux Mint.

I accidently found a very good article written by Micah Carrick. Actually this article is meant for Ubuntu, but because Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based, the method in the article is applicable with Linux Mint. I don’t know whether this method can be applied with other linux distro (I haven’t tried it). Now I’m writing this blog using Linux Mint through my wireless connection. And, the OS isn’t hang or crashed. I can say it is very stable. I don’t mean that PCLinuxOS 2007 is a bad OS. Maybe I did something wrong with the setting in the OS, that made some problems with the OS. I intend to give a try this OS again with it’s next version.