Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Disabling the beep sound in Windows machine

Some PCs have internal speaker that can be used by Windows to produce beep sound. This was inherited from old systems when sound cards were not common place.

Windows produces beep sound on many cases. One being when user presses enter key on a treeview control or an enter key on a textbox control. This is used to alert the user that the input is not acceptable for the control with the focus.

But when you are using "SendKeys{System.Windows.Forms.Sendkeys}" to simulate keystrokes, this can get annoying.

To disable this beep sound in Windows XP (should be applicable to Windows 7), open Device Manager (devmgmt.msc if you are cli buff). From the View menu, select Show hidden devices. See figure below.
Figure 1. Show hidden devivces.

Then drill down to Non-Plug and Play Driver/Beep, then open properties dialog.
Figure 2. Traverse to the Beep device.

From the dialog window, goto Drivers tab then click on "Stop" button. This should immediately disable the device. If you want this to be disabled permanently, select Startup type to "Disabled" and hit on OK.
Figure 3. Beep Properties


Monday, August 30, 2010

Google Chrome cannot be installed in PCLinuxOS 2010.07

I have documented in another post that Google Chrome cannot be installed in CentOS 5.5 due to Linux Standard Base library is outdated.

I would expect differently with PCLinux OS as it is trying to get as updated as possible to the extent that the distro is releasing new version quarterly.

Here is the version of Chrome that I am trying to install:
[root@localhost Downloads]# rpm -i google-chrome-stable_current_i386.rpm warning: google-chrome-stable_current_i386.rpm: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 7fac5991 error: Failed dependencies: lsb >= 3.2 is needed by google-chrome-stable-5.0.375.127-55887.i386

As you can see, it complains that lsb needed by the package is 3.2 but what is installed is 2.0.x.
[root@localhost Downloads]# apt-cache show lsb-release Package: lsb-release Section: System/Base Installed Size: 19233 Packager: Texstar Version: 2.0-5pclos2007 Depends: bash Provides: lsb-release = 2.0-5pclos2007 Architecture: i586 Size: 1 MD5Sum: Filename: Summary: Linux Standard Base tools Description: LSB version query program This program forms part of the required functionality of the LSB (Linux Standard Base) specification. The program queries the installed state of the distribution to display certain properties such as the version of the LSB against which the distribution claims compliance as well. It can also attempt to display the name and release of the distribution along with an identifier of who produces the distribution.

It is interesting to note that LSB 2.0 was released around September of 2004. So this package was not updated for 6 years. This feels like eternity in internet time.

Well, fallback to Firefox :)


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Installing minimal Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) in VirtualBox

I have been using Ubuntu for a while and I pretty much like it most of the time. It has the latest and the greatest and it looks nice too, at least that's the way I perceived it. In fact, back in Ubuntu Intreprid I played around installing a minimal Ubuntu. This time around, I would like to install a pretty much stripped down version of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, it is kind of a minimal install that still looks like Ubuntu.

Install method has not changed much since Intreprid actually. Without further ado, let us get our hands dirty. Okay, download the latest minimal iso from Ubuntu. You can always download it from the mirrors, I find USC mirror to be quite fast.

While download is busy, let us configure our guest Ubuntu machine in VirtualBox. Here is what I have:
General Name: ubu1004mini OS Type: Ubuntu System Base Memory: 512 MB Processor(s): 1 Boot Order: CD/DVD-ROM, Hard Disk VT-x/AMD-V: Enabled Nested Paging: Enabled Display Video Memory: 12 MB 3D Acceleration: Disabled 2D Video Acceleration: Disabled Remote Display Server: Disabled Storage IDE Controller IDE Primary Master: ubu1004mini.vdi (Normal, 80.00 GB) IDE Secondary Master (CD/DVD): Empty Audio Host Driver: Windows DirectSound Controller: ICH AC97 Network Adapter 1: Intel PRO/1000 MT Server (Bridged adapter, Microsoft Loopback Adapter) Serial Ports Disabled USB Device Filters: 0 (0 active) Shared Folders None

Once download is done, then we are ready to rock'n roll. Power-up guest machine, my case it is ubu1004mini then mount mini.iso. Figure below shows that I have selected mini.iso.
You probably need to do a reset of the guest for the machine to boot using mini.iso. Once in the boot prompt, type:
cli <ENTER>

See below for a screen capture of how it looks like.

Since I am in an English speaking country, I selected English in the figure below. Of course you can select whatever language that best fit your needs.
Select your country here, not that this can be important when selecting the correct timezone.
Since I know my keyboard layout, I select No here.
Select USA for the origin of the keyboard here. Again, select the correct information that applies you.
Select keyboard layout, commonly used layout is USA. You may leave the default value if that is your case.
Supply hostname of this machine. Linux hostnames can be as long as 64 bytes. It would be safe to use [a-zA-Z0-9] and dash for name. If you are planning to make this machine a web server, then take note that IE8 (probably IE7/IE6) have a security issue with a work-around from MS to delete the cookies instead.
In this screen, we have to select a mirror. As stated in the console text, your country may not be the best choice. For now, use your gut feel which one we would like to use. There are tools out there but if your machine is not yet up and running, you have but limited option.
Now select the mirror for the selected country. Mirror "us.archive.ubuntu.com" is pretty decent.
In most residential internet connection, you don't need an HTTP proxy so you can leave this blank. But this might not be the case if you are working for a corporation. You may need to consult with your network administrator for the HTTP proxy, if you are lucky you can probably get this information in your Windows Internet Connection configuration.
This part can take a while, so stay back and relax. Did I mention that you need to have a fast internet connection to make the experience worthwhile :).
Now it is time to set the proper time, Debain/Ubuntu guessed my timezone correctly :).
Since this is a virtual machine, I selected to use the entire disk.
Again, this is a virtual machine, so no worries. Hit ENTER to continue here.
Finally, commit partition changes to disk.
This part can take awhile... so go surf the next :)... I didn't expect that a while in this case can be as long as ~ 6hrs. Maybe my connection speed is not enough (8mbps as per the provider). But maybe I selected a slow mirror. By the way, I tried mirrors from the US and Netherlands. And oh, I got faster updates from Netherlands mirror :(.

Once base installation is done, now it is time to provide your name.
Then username...
Then password...
Re-enter password here to confirm...
Since I am not very particular with the data I store on this virtual machine, I selected not to encrypt the data in home directory.
For total system control, I selected "No automatic updates"
Again, virtual machine... so no problem install GRUB in MBR.
Since I am using VirtualBox 3.2.0 with the new "Hardware clock in UTC time" option, say "Yes" here.
Installation is done!!!

Initially thought that base install to be quick and fast but things happen. Anyway, reboot the machine then do initial login. I would recommend to shutdown the machine after this and make a snaphot.

Then do an update of base install, thus say:
[timus@localhost ~]$ sudo su [root@localhost /home]$ aptitude update [root@localhost /home]$ aptitude safe-upgrade
Observe that if the packages that need update includes the linux kernel, thus say linux-image-*, then a reboot is required.

Now, the moment of truth, install GNOME base with pretty icons just like a stock version of Ubuntu:
[root@localhost /home]$ aptitude install xorg gnome-core gdm gdm-themes gtk2-engines gtk2-engines-pixbuf ubuntu-artwork ubuntustudio-icon-theme indicator-applet-session
This command will install 495 packages. Yap, you got it right, 495. Isn't it amazing? It checks for all the dependencies and install it for you? That's the beauty of Debian/Ubuntu. Anyway, again set back and relax, this can take a while.

By the way, the last package is required otherwise you will have an issue with OAFIID:GNOME_fastuserswitchapplet in GNOME session. Is it a bug? Mabye.

Once install is done, reboot guest machine. You should now see a GUI (gdm) for you to login. This is a good opportunity to take snapshot using VirtualBox.

To make our life a little easier, let us install synaptic.
[timus@localhost /home]$ sudo aptitude install synaptic
Actually, the above command is not necessary for this exercise but would be good to have it available in the future when installing new apps.

Since we will be compiling some stuff, let us install support packages
[timus@localhost /home]$ sudo aptitude install build-essential

From VirtualBox menu, do Devices | Install Guest Additions...
Then in GNOME menu, select Places | VBOXADDITIONS_*.

Go back to gnome-terminal and do:
[timus@localhost /home]$ cd /media/VBOXADDITIONS_3.2.0_61806 [timus@localhost /home]$ sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run [timus@localhost /home]$ sudo reboot



Installing minimal Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) in VirtualBox the faster way

In this blog post, I have documented how to install minimal Ubuntu 10.04 in VirtualBox using netinstall. The good thing with netinstall is that the initial download is pretty small, around 13MB, but the total time to install the whole package takes a little longer.

If you have fast pipe, you can instead download alternate ISO. This link will download a copy from University of California, Santa Barbara. Using this ISO should get you up and running quickly into a fully working Ubuntu desktop.

Just for the uninitiated, boot VirtualBox guest machine using the ISO as download above. You should see a screen same a below.
Figure 1. Boot screen of the Alternate installer. Select your language here, my case, I have selected English.
Figure 2. This is the main, menu driven, console interface. Press "F4 Modes" here.
Figure 3. Select "Install a command-line system". This should bring you back to a screen the same as Figure 2.

After selecting the mode, press [ENTER] on "Install Ubuntu" selection. From here on, you should be able to use the instructions from here.

Have fun!!!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Installing PCLinuxOS 2010.07 GNOME on VirtualBox

PCLinux OS releases new distribution quarterly, at least that is how it looks right now. Last time, I did a screen capture of PCLinuxOS KDE. The latest release came around July 2010 (I believe it was released 08July2010). This time around I will document installing GNOME. This can be helpful for folks who are distro hoping but don't have the time yet to install it.

Figure 1. This is the boot screen. It looks geeky and pretty nice.
Figure 2. Splash screen.
Figure 3. Keyboard layout. Select the physical layout of your keyboard not your current location.
Figure 4. GDM login screen. Select "guest", password is "guest".
Figure 5. This is the PCLinux OS GNOME desktop. Dark theme with applications you have come to expect from a regular full Linux distribution.
Figure 6. Double-click(run) on "Install Licecd". Root password is "root".
Figure 7. PCLinuxOS Installation Wizard introduction screen.
Figure 8. Hard disk partitioning. Default should be fine if you are doing this on a VirtualBox guest machine.
Figure 9. Commit changes and format partition.
Figure 10. Boot loader options. For VirtualBox guest installation defaults should be fine. If you are performing a dual boot installation, you may need to tweak something in this screen.
Figure 11. Boot menu option, item with * will be used as the default during a bootup sequence.
Figure 12. Installation complete. Reboot as instructed.
Figure 13. Welcome to your PCLinuxOS 2010.07 GNOME Edition!!! But we are not done, yet.
Figure 14. This is where you define your "root" password. This is the superuser, similar to "Administrator" in Windows.
Figure 15. Create a user account. This should be the user that you will use often. It is not advisable to use root as your regular user account.
Figure 16. We are back to GDM login screen. But this time we are running from  the installed copy of PCLinuxOS instead of Livecd.
Figure 17. Welcome to your PCLinuxOS 2010.07 GNOME Desktop!!!.
Figure 18. Screen capture of the GNOME menu structure as implemented by this distro.

Note that it comes with VirtualBox guest additions pre-installed. Isn't that neat? :)



Sunday, August 01, 2010

Cannot find root file system booting Meego in Eee PC 900

First off, Meego 1.0 does not support Eee PC 900 as the processor does not support SSSE3. This is documented in the website. But that should not stop you from running it using LiveUSB.

And so that's what I did. Downloaded the IMG file and copied it over into the USB using Univeral-USB-Installer. With all high hopes of being able to play around Meego, I was greeted with this message instead:
-------------------------------------- WARNING: Cannot find root file system! -------------------------------------- Create symlink /dev/root and then exit this shell to continue the boot sequence bash: cannot set terminal process group (-1): Inappropriate ioctl for device bash: no job control in this shell bash-4.0#:
Of course, I am not RTFM :(...

This link shows the instructions on how to use .IMG file and write it to a USB. And it got more useful information as well.

Show boot options in Eee PC 900

I have been tinkering around my Eee PC 900 lately from installing Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition to booting Meego using the live media (USB).

A nice feature available in this netbook's BIOS is to display a list of media that user can boot after POST sequence, to show this list hit on "ESC" key.