My Brand New Helena

Last week I replace my Felicia (Linux Mint 6) with Helena (Linux Mint 8). The installation was similar with any previous Linux Mint, but the most obvious different was there was an introduction slide show when installing Helena.

With a little bit of modification my desktop looks like this.

Helena Desktop

My Desktop of Helena

You can find in the Internet for full screen shots of Helena.

After I used Helena for almost 1 week, I can confirm several best things from Helena compare to her sibling, Felicia.

  • Very fast boot time, this is very obvious, because Felicia needed almost 1 minute just to show login screen, and Helena only needs less than 30 seconds.
  • The time needed from login to ready desktop also very short.
  • Nice desktop theme. Even though I believe I can set the theme by myself, but as a default theme, it saves a lot of my time.
  • Firefox v.3.5 is much stable compare to the version 3.0.
  • Compiz is more smooth and stable.
  • This might be subjective, but I feel the program launching is faster and more stable.
  • One last thing the font seems nicer compare to Felicia’s.

But, I still have one big problem with Helena, the transfer rate from and to USB harddisk is very slow, or maybe, slower than Felicia. The transfer rate is only 1.5 – 4 MB/sec, which is very annoying.

Without transfer rate problem, I think Helena is a very perfect linux distro, especially for new comers.

Linux Mint Felicia

Up to today I’ve used Linux Mint 6 aka Felicia for about 9 months. Before I used Felicia I’ve used its sister, Daryna. I’ve noted some differences between them. Herewith I conclude my experience with Felicia on my Compaq Presario V3000 notebook.

Best things about Felicia:

  • The Compiz works nicely in my notebook. I can say that it’s superb because I don’t experience any problem. On Daryna, it gave me a lot of problem, so that time I didn’t use compiz.
  • The menu system is quite nice arranged.
  • Because of it based on Ubuntu, and Ubuntu based on Debian, I can have many option of applications that I want to install.

Bad things about Felicia:

  • Firefox is hang quite a few times, sometimes once a week. It’s really annoying, but I think the problem is with the Firefox and not Felicia.
  • Felicia also hang, although not so often. When it hang, the Caps Lock light was blinking. I can’t tell in what condition the Felicia hang, but if it hang, I have no choice, I used hard shutdown to turn it off.
  • There are multimedia buttons on my keyboard, but it seems the Felicia doesn’t like them, unlike Daryna last time, which worked perfectly.
  • Transfer rate from my notebook to USB Harddrive SATA is very low. On average the transfer rate is only 4MB/sec. In addition, I think it also affected my USB DVD Writer, which made me spent more than 1 hour to burn 1 DVD.

Overall, Felicia is quite a good operating system. For most of the time it is quite stable and usable. I like Felicia, even though I feel Daryna still better. Hopefully the next Linux Mint can give me a better experience than Felicia.

Anyway, I want to say thank you to all open source developers, especially Linux Mint team.

Play Romance of The Three Kingdoms XI in Linux

A few weeks ago I got a copy of “Romance of The Three Kingdoms XI” PC game. I tried install it on my Linux Mint Felicia machine, of course with Wine installed first. The installation process was fine. Nothing is unusual. But, when I tried to play the game, the 3D graphic was badly rendered. I barely saw any object in the game. Everything messed up. Although, the gameplay was working fine, because I was still able to move the army in the game and built city’s facilities.

Then, I searched in Google. I found out that the newer Wine version is able to solve this problem (check this link). I followed the instruction in the website to install the newer Wine version directly from Wine repository and not from Ubuntu repository. I ran these in the Terminal:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add –
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list

I tried to run the game again, and this time the game display was better, actually it was perfect. 😀 The only problem is there is no sound in the game, but that’s secondary, I still can play without the sound. Upto today, I already played for more than 2 weeks, and I’ve never encountered any problem. And, you know what, it is a great game, I like this game so much… Thanks, Koei.


Restore Menu Button in Linux Mint

Last week one of my friend sms me, he said the Menu button had gone from the panel… Ooooo… He uses Linux Mint 6 as the OS. Actually, it’s the first time I heard a Menu button gone from the panel.

But, I remembered that in Gnome icons in panel are applets or shortcuts. So, I told him to right-click on the taskbar and click “Add to Panel…”, and then added “mintMenu” into the panel. And… the problem solved.


Keyboard Problem in VMWare

This is a continue from my 19 Feb 2009 blog.

A day after I installed VMWare on my newly installed Felicia, I found out that there is a problem with the keyboard, especially almost all of the buttons on the right side of the keyboard, such as arrow buttons, PgUp, PgDn, Home, End, etc.

After googling a while in the Linux Mint forum I found the same question from another user. The answer in the forum refers to another page. This is the answer:

echo ‘xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true’ > ~/.vmware/config

After I followed the instruction, my keyboard problem in VMWare are gone. Yes! 🙂 According to the referred page, this problem happened because of Ubuntu 8.10, which Felicia derivatives from.

Anyway my problem has been solved. Thanks to VictorWarner (LinuxMint forum) and Nalin ( for sharing the information.

My Linux Love Story in Early 2009

Last week I dismissed my Daryna… She has done a very good job for me. She has accompanied me for a year. I like her, but on the last of her days, she lost capability to produce sound. So, she muted. In addition, Daryna is based on Ubuntu 7.10, which is going to lost her support soon. There will be no more doctor who can examine and provide medicine for her…. 😦

And then… openSuse 11.1 came. She looked very pretty and elegant and about 2 years ago I played with her siblings, 10.0 and 10.1. So, I sadly replaced my poor Daryna with openSuse 11.1. The replacement was quite nice and quick. But, when I tried to update her belongings, she started nagging me, uhk. She asked me to give her a lot of attention.



From the message we could tell the problem is with her home. Either her housemaids worked very slow or too many people asked for update on that time. Anyway, it took about 6 hours, just to update my new openSuse 11.1 belongings. So waste of time. I was quite upset with her, because she could not ignore some of her belongings that could not be updated. But, I tried to brace myself with those annoying prompted from her. I guessed the problem was with the house.

After the updating was finished, I tried to give openSuse 11.1 a movie player, VLC, this time I got it directly from VLC store. The store started sending her things, a lot of things. I already worried the previous experience will come again. But, my worried was not happening. So, my theory was right, the problem was openSuse house.

One belonging that openSuse 11.1 must have is VMWare Player, because I need it to talk with my Windows neighbour. So, I got the VMWare Player package from VMWare store, and then I tried to put it on her. Then, another annoying problem with her come up. I couldn’t find the kernel source on her! Oh no…


The problem is it’s an urgent thing and I could not find any help in openSuse information center. Or, maybe I tried to find in the wrong section or what. But, anyway, I could not stand anymore. I needed VMWare Player so much, so urgent.

In the end I decided to ask openSuse 11.1 to leave, and called Felicia (Daryna’s younger sister) to join with me. I also asked Felicia to update her belongings from her home. She is not as pretty as openSuse 11.1 and her look is almost similar to her sister, Daryna. But, she has more up-to-date things than Daryna. The replacement was quick as usual, but the updating was much faster than openSuse 11.1. Felicia only took about 1 hour to update all her belongings. The most important thing is I could put VMWAre on Felicia with little effort. Huff! At last I can talk to my Windows again.

So, in the end of my love story I ended up with LinuxMint family again. Thanks to Clem and gangs that could provide such a good breed.

Experience with LinuxMint 4

About last year I replaced my PCLinuxOS 2007 in my notebook with LinuxMint 4.0 (Daryna). So, I have used LinuxMint 4 more or less for 12 months. There are good and bad things with this LinuxMint.

The bad things first:

  1. Like all the other Ubuntu derivatives and the Ubuntu itself, the software inside the “Package Manager” or “Synaptic” is not updated to the newest version. It stuck at the version when the LinuxMint was released. I understand that I can install newest version of any software by installing it from binary that can I get from the software website. But, I just feel its not safe, and afraid it will break my system.
  2. Compiz Fusion is not so stable. Whether I used Normal or Extra Visual Effects, it was randomly hang my system. I really like Compiz Fusion, but the instability kept me a distance with it.
  3. Everytime I use Live CD to test a new linux OS, I lost my current OS sound. It’s weird, because when I used Live CD, the sound is fine. At the time I wrote this article, my system sound is still not working, and I have no idea how to fix this. Actually, this is the second time I experience this. At the first time, the system sound was fixed by itself after a few days…

The good things are:

  1. The ultimate reason I used LinuxMint was I could make my wireless working. My wireless hardware is Broadcom BCM4328. This hardware was known to be hard to make it working under linux. I ever failed to make it working in my previous OS, PCLinuxOS, that’s why I moved to LinuxMint. (See this article: Adventure with Linux).
  2. I also can watch and listen to music with any format. I also can watch new trailer movies from That’s very good.
  3. LinuxMint has a good menu system, so it’s not so difficult to find any application as long as we know what is the purpose of the application.
  4. LinuxMint as Ubuntu derivatives has a lot of ready to install softwares. What I need to do is open the “Package Manager” and find the software that I want !
  5. One other good things as Ubuntu derivatives, when I have a problem with the LinuxMint, I can go to Ubuntu forum straight away. It has so many active users there who are willing to help us.

LinuxMint is the linux distro that I like the most for now. I also like PCLinuxOS, but the wireless problem make me thing twice to use it in my notebook. Thanks to LinuxMint and Clem team.

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.