Sí, es Agosto. An update and some iPod hackery.

After a seven month period of almost total inactivity, this post is in attempt to save a now-defunct blog. Exactly what have I been up to?

I do have to say I have kept up activity on all of my favorite websites, including sites like http://phoronix.com and others. http://tuxmachines.org must be thanked as well, since the founder of that website has been a great resource for myself, expanding my readerbase and giving me inspiration for new posts. Thanks to srlinuxx!

Arch Linux continues to be my Linux distribution of choice, holding it's place as light and fit for my ASUS system. Head on over to Arch Linux to check it out!

This summer has been filled with advocacy and opportunity. This is the reason why the blog has not been updated in a while, not to forget the past time for school.

This truly is just a garbled bunch of thoughts, so while we are participating in it, let us continue on to the current project at hand.

iPod Touch as a Secondary Display on Linux

Unfortunately, the iPod Touch is an Apple-produced, close source device, with many free or paid applications. Luckily, despite limited integration with Linux, a user can still run it as a secondary display. This does not mean that the user will be able to mouse over to the iPod and click, but rather, the iPod is comparable to a second computer running on the first. Perhaps in the future, with a little bit of hackery, this will be possible. For now, sit tight and enjoy the ride.

First, Set Up a Working Environment for the iPod

What do you need?

For this mini-project, you will need the following:
  • A Linux Computer, Arch Linux, mentioned above is used primarily for experimentation.
  • An iPod Touch, or a device with a VNC client.
  • Information about the screen resolution on the device
  • A VNC Application. I am using Mocha VNC Lite for the iPod Touch.
  • The TightVNC package for the command vncserver
  • About an hour or so of time for basic functionality. You will need more time for understanding and tweaking.
  • Some applications on your Linux machine to test on the device.
  • A Wireless network
Please note, this project is currently incomplete. It will remain incomplete until it is

Roll up your sleeves.
  1. Start up your Linux Machine and prepare to get started. Have a working network connection.
  2. Ubuntu Users, please install the package tightvncserver Fedora Users should install tightvnc Arch Users should install tightvnc Other users should find a package that provides the vncserver command.
  3. Get Mocha VNC Lite from the Apple App Store.
  4. Find the computer's IP Address using ifconfig
  5. Run the vncserver command, using vncserver -geometry 320x480 :1 Note, the geometry sets the screen resolution. Customize this for your device. 320x480 is appropriate for iPod Touch and iPhone. Enter the required data. Note, I find that VNC does not like passwords that are not 8 characters.
  6. On Mocha VNC Lite, enter your computer IP Address, the VNC Server Port, which is 5901, the password, and a name. Change 32-bit Color mode to On.
  7. Connect. You will probably be given a TWM session, we can change that.
  8. Enter nano ~/.vnc/xstartup and change the included text to exec ck-launch-session openbox-session for openbox, or exec ck-launch-session gnome for Gnome.
  9. Enter vncserver -kill :1
  10. Enter the vncserver -geometry 320x480 :1 again. To ensure that the VNC server will always start up, enter vncserver -geometry 320x480 -alwaysshared :1
  11. Connect with your iPod
  12. Enjoy your iPod external monitor.

A Review on ASUS' RMA Process

Recently, my laptop charger had broken, and the laptop would not charge. The battery also had very little capacity. Luckily, I was able to borrow a charger from a good friend whom of which had the ASUS EeePC 1000H, with a compatible charger to my 904HA. With this, I was able to take off any files that I wanted. After this, I had to finish the RMA process.

The netbook was beginning to give me problems, the battery was unable to hold a charge for more than an hour, the charger was unable to charge the battery (Possibly caused by a frayed cable inside of the charging cable), and as we have known before, the audio did not work ( See Ubuntu on the EeePC 904HA). I also had a few filesystem errors (as named in the post entitled Saviour). The laptop was becoming something with very limited function, it was becoming unusable.

The First Encounter
The first encounter with ASUS was when I contacted them to ask if the issues were hardware or software issues, and if I could get a new netbook as a replacement. I was greeted by a couple nice people who stated that they were hardware issues, but unfortunately their policy states that they cannot offer a replacement. They promptly responded to this message and gave me a link to RMA the netbook. This was before my charger died. Once it did, I promptly filled out the RMA request.

The Second Encounter
Once I filled out the RMA, I waited for a while for my RMA number. I waited a total of one or two weeks. During these one or two weeks, I sent a second RMA request. After this, I was replied with two emails from ASUS, one stating the directions and the RMA number, and another stating that I had already been given an RMA number. I then proceeded to follow the directions. The directions were not in order, although they were easy to understand. After I recieved my RMA number, I readied, packaged, and sent my EeePC via USPS Priority Mail. Goodbye EeePC, See you sometime soon!

The Third Encounter
With the mailing, I ordered delivery conformation to ensure that ASUS recieved the laptop via USPS. I also insured it. After I had mailed it on Thursday of the previous week, I confirmed that ASUS had recieved the laptop on Monday. As soon as I noted this, I headed to ASUS' website, and clicked Live Chat. I spoke to a person named Roald, a very nice person (Thank you Roald!), who I asked what the state of my RMA was in. He replied with repair (This was Tuesday). I thanked him and continued on my way, expecting to not see my laptop until the next month.

The Final Encounter
After I checked the status, I waited for a little while not expecting to see my laptop for a while. The holiday of Christmas goes by, and I have not checked the status for a while. One day when I return home, there is a FedEx slip saying that the company had missed finishing shipment. This went on for another day. On the third day, my laptop was back. Thank you ASUS!

A Final Statement

The process of RMAing my laptop was decently short. ASUS has provided for every aspect of my laptop that needed to be fixed. Even my Audio is fixed. My charger and battery were replaced at a cost of nothing with an increased capacity. Thank you ASUS.

Linux Review 12- Ubuntu 9.10

With almost a two month absence, the blogger is back, and ready to do just that.

Ubuntu is a distribution designed for ease of use and simplicity of use. The Ubuntu team releases a new distribution at a frequency of every 6 months, and the next distribution has work beginning as early as the beta stages of the current one. My distribution of choice, the ultimately customizable Arch, is a rolling release distribution, meaning that once packages are ready and tested, they are released into mirrors for the user to download the package and use it on the system. Anyway, let's review how the systems are looked at.

Either VirtualBox or KVM is used. VirtualBox reviews are performed on my Intel Atom Netbook with 1GB of memory. KVM reviews are currently not taking place, as the desktop with KVM is currently nonfunctional. VirtualBox reviews are performed with 512MB of memory, and a 1.6GHz processor. VirtualBox is less efficient than KVM, so it is hoped that the KVM machine will be usable again soon.

Ubuntu 9.10- Karmic Koala- Tested with VirtualBox

Ubuntu is and has been the distribution for new Linux users. Ubuntu is known for it's simplicity of use, easy user interface, and a simple installer. The installer is basically identical to the previous install guide that was made for Ubuntu. Otherwise, to the graphical user, Ubuntu's appearance has not really changed. The boot of Ubuntu is much sleeker, a process that seems almost seamless from after the boot menu, other than the GDM login screen. The scrolling bar across the screen no longer shows progress. It is now for eye candy, and a sleek boot.

The graphical installer continues to be simple, very similar to the previous guide to install. The installer is one of the easiest with Ubuntu, the directions are clear, and the installer reccomends defaults. New users will most likely encounter this installer as easy and clear to use, and many guides to help them along with the process exist.

User Interface
Ubuntu's brown interface still remains in the distribution, along with a new theme, called New Wave. (New Wave is shown above). The themes are familiar and the artwork in Ubuntu 9.10 is simple.

Ubuntu 9.10 incorporates new features such as Ubuntu One, and a new Add/Remove Software interface, similar to a storefront. The software interface is now more intuitive, and software installs with a single click once located. Synaptic Package Manager still exists, in the System -> Administration Menu. Ubuntu's software set continues to be the usual, Openoffice.org, and Firefox, but Pidgin is now replaced. The Gnome Project's Empathy Instant Messenger has replaced it. The set up process with Empathy is somewhat more simple, but it does not give options to set up settings such as only use SSL.

Stability is important for a new Linux user. When using their computers, they want no crashes and a stable system. Today, the Virtual Machine for Ubuntu was booted, and X server would start, crash, go back to the CLI login prompt, and repeat over and over again. It seems that Ubuntu has an unstable X server inside of VirtualBox. Because of the flashing screen, repair by a new user cannot be performed. Ubuntu also has a strange Grub setup. At this time, the test will end here.

Ubuntu 9.10 continues to be the simple, easy distribution that it has been previously. The stability issue may have been caused by the usage of VirtualBox. Hopefully, KVM will be operational soon.
Graphical User Interface-4/5
Total- Ubuntu earns 15.5 points out of 20 possible.
Ubuntu will continue to be the distribution it is, but Ubuntu is not for me. I have found my cozy home with Arch, but distributions will continue to be reviewed, without bias. Distribution reviewing is a fun thing to pass the time with. Have a good Thanksgiving for all who celebrate it. I plan to review OpenSUSE and Fedora next. Have a nice, Linux-filled day.

Would you like to install Ubuntu?

A friend/New Linux user asked for the creation of directions on how to install Ubuntu. Hoping that these will help someone out there, they will be made available to blog readers. This may continue to span many distributions.

Preview and Download:
How to Install Ubuntu


I recently ran into a file system corruption on my laptop. Today, everything is fine. The day it happened, I thought I lost over 400 pictures. I realize that it is my fault for not backing up that single copy, but that is besides the point. I had deleted all of these pictures off my memory card (Via Linux - FAT32 Formatted SD Card), and my laptop file system was inaccessible. How did I recover the photos? I recovered them with a free software named Restoration. This little software may not be the best way of recovering these pictures, but it worked for my purpose. This software is not Open Source, and it runs on Windows, but it was perfect for my situation. It also doesn't need an installation, and if you are in a dire situation without rights to a computer, this means a great deal.
Restoration was able to retrieve the "deleted" pictures from the SD card, as files are not deleted until they are overwritten on the FAT32 file system. Thanks Restoration!
Unfortunately, I believe that undelete capabilities do not exist on Linux's EXT3 and EXT4 file systems, correct me if I am wrong.
My laptop has a new install of Arch, and I will be working on that to show off when it is ready!