Run Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ on a Macbook Air with a proper Norwegian keyboard layout

Before I start, I would just like to add that any part below replacing the Norwegian Macintosh layout is all based on my preferences. You might think “What the hell kind of key mappings does this guy use?”, but hopefully you will get some feeling of how to tweak my settings further to please your preferences.

autsmuxer – It’s basically mkv2vob for Linux/OS X/BSD!

For all you people out there running Linux, OS X or BSD (basically Unix-based systems) there’s now a great tool for converting those (illegally) downloaded movies and series to a Playstation 3 friendly format! It allows far more than my pre-alpha ps3m2ts tool that I developed oh so long ago like selecting which formats you want to output to (ts/m2ts/bluray/avchd/demux), what A/V tracks to use and subtitle support.

Quote from the forumpost:

This is effectively MKV2VOB for UNiX based systems. (minus the GUI.)
It is entirely automated once called with desired options and switches, and will handle all known exceptions of MKV, including those with compressed headers or corrupt audio streams.

I suggest you try it out and tell me what you think of the tool as I currently am unable to test it myself.

Huge thanks goes to Michael for giving me this tip!

Download it here

Linux/Ubuntu: The problem of the line!

In my last post I went through the steps on how to set up a dual-monitor system in Linux the way you wanted to. I had my laptop on the left side of my main monitor and I couldn’t get it right with the ATI Catalyst Control Center so I had to resort to a script that utilized xrandr.

I mentioned in my last post that I experienced a little problem though, an annoying 1-2 pixel wide line that pushed the desktop on my main monitor to the right. I don’t know why but I figured out what seemed to have happened. It seems that the auto resolution on the laptop monitor caused it to extend onto the main display. The resolution which was set was 1366×758. I didn’t think it would do any good so I joked with the idea of setting the resolution down to 1360×758, and I did for fun and it magically fixed everything!

The only thing is that I don’t know why I had to do that, because the resolution I have on my laptop screen in Windows is 1366×758 and it works fine with dual monitors. It’s a strange world…

Linux & ATI: Making your second monitor the main display!

Hi all!

If you’ve followed my “Linux on my laptop” page you probably know of this problem. The ATI Catalyst Control Center won’t allow me to set my second monitor as my main display and let it extend onto the laptop screen which is positioned left of my 26″ monitor. After wiping my drive and making Ubuntu 10.10 : MAVERICK! my main operating system and getting the “good luck” from the Ubuntu IRC channel I started my quest to solve the problem. Turns out you can do it! The poster on the ubuntu forums had a nifty little script that after modifying solved my problem! The solution involves using xrandr to turn off the displays and then re-enable them with the proper settings.

xrandr –output LVDS –off;
xrandr –output DFP1 –off;
xrandr –output DFP1 –auto –primary;
xrandr –output LVDS –auto –left-of DFP1;

The two first commands there turns off LVDS (Laptop Display) and my 26″ monitor (DFP1). The last two sets DFP1 as the primary screen, and will auto extend the LVDS left of DFP1. This works like a charm except there’s one little bug I’m experiencing. I’ve got a 1 pixel wide line that runs right at the left edge of my 26″ monitor pushing the desktop 1 pixel to the right. It’s a little annoying at first but I hardly notice it now, although it still appears when running full screen video so I guess that can be a little annoying but it’s something I will work on getting rid of 🙂 There’s also one thing worth mentioning: I have to run the script every time I boot Ubuntu if I’m in a dual-monitor setup. For me that’s no problem, as either I’m at school with only my laptop display or I’m home running the system without rebooting until I have to shutdown for school.

At least it’s a step in the right direction! Hopefully one day it can be as simple to do as the new Screen preferences in Windows 7 🙂

Getting Linux right on a laptop with switchable graphics (almost)

The reason why I haven’t used Linux for a while, especially on the laptop that I use is the way my laptop is built. It has a switchable graphics solution that lets me choose from the integrated Intel HD card and the ‘external’ ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 card. I must say, it’s a real good solution when it works properly; which it kinda does when I use Windows 7. The amount of battery life you get when going into the power saving mode with the Intel HD card is astonishing. I get everything from 7 to 9 hours out of the thing before I have to plug in the AC adapter. Anyways, this particular feature isn’t working too well in Linux at the moment. You can’t install the ATI drivers for the Radeon card, because it won’t work properly. I would gladly use it the way the system is set up after a clean install of say Ubuntu 10.10 or Linux Mint but without the ability to set up dual monitors or use accelerated 3D graphics there’s really no point for me.

BIOS Switchable Graphics

A while back I stumbled upon some notes while searching for a solution for this very problem and while I can’t recall where this was posted or who posted it but the solution to getting your laptop running smoothly with Linux is to change a setting in BIOS. I bet there’s an option for turning the switchable graphics from Enabled to Discrete/Disabled or maybe you’re lucky and get to choose what card to use. Disabling the switchable

graphics results in it only using the external ATI card which then allowed me to install the proprietary ATI drivers properly and getting it to work! My life was getting back on the right track..

.. until I started fiddling about with the dual-monitor settings. I haven’t done enough research or asked the right persons about this issue yet but from what I can gather from the Catalyst Control Center there’s no way to set my second monitor as my main display. I have a 26″ 1080p display that I use as my main display and then extend the desktop onto the laptop’s screen. My temporary solution was to just disable the laptop’s display from the Control Center, but turns out that might cause some problems with the accelerated graphics and compositing.

Why do I keep pursuing this Linux business? Well, those couple of hours I spent using Linux Mint was incredible. I’ve missed the sheer elegance of the GNOME desktop environment and how snappy the interface can be. Everything seemed to be going on overdrive in contrast to Windows 7 which I just did a fresh install of.

If anyone out there have a simple solution for this problem please let me know!

Installing Windows 7 Professional x64 on Acer Aspire 5943G: Thank you Linux!

After waiting a couple of weeks now and watching my lovely laptop deteriorate everytime I turned it off and on again I finally burned Windows 7 Professional x64 edition on to a DVD download legally from MSDNAA (Thank you school!). A short visit to acer.com showed me I didn’t have to download any drivers so I went ahead with the install. Everything seemed right! Or so I thought…

Minutes later a fresh Windows 7 desktop was staring at me, but something was off. There was no network connection, a low resolution and generally things were missing. A quick look in the device manager revealed that I was missing all of the drivers I was told were going to be in Windows 7 by default. I panicked a little bit, because how on God’s earth would I be able to get my system up and running in time for the evening? And why was Acer lying to me about the driver?

My first attempt was to use my Samsung Galaxy S phone to download the necessary LAN driver but with no luck. Turns out the browser won’t allow me to download files that aren’t supported/associated by Android and the Acer support site doesn’t work properly on the Android device. I realized later that I’m a Linux fanboy/enthusiast and that I always keep a couple of distros laying around. My savior? Linux Mint. Booting up the Live CD allowed me to browse the net and download the LAN driver for Windows. That’s what I love about Linux distributions, they’ve got almost every driver in place for use. Of course there’s some devices that aren’t supported or need to download restricted drivers but yeah.. My savior was Linux Mint.

Turns out that Acer wasn’t lying to me. I just didn’t see the drop-down box showing me what version of Windows 7 I wanted at first, so it defaults to one of the  32-bit Home versions. So if you’re going to reinstall your operating system on an Acer laptop, be sure to check that you have the necessary drivers or have a Live CD with a Linux distribution at hand.

Eurosport Player in Linux.. revisited!

Last post I mentioned how you could use a shell-script to play the Eurosport Player streams in VLC, well guess what? There’s a simpler way! My brother pointed me to userscripts.org which is a place you can get scripts for Greasemonkey, a Firefox extension. He found a script that was written by a Dominik Grafenhofer that finds the MMS url and replaces the non-existing embedded player object with a link you can click which will start your videoplayer. Can’t get any simpler than that (except maybe if Eurosport made their player Linux compatible).

His script was written to work with the French Eurosport website which has some different URLs than the UK & Scandinavian ones I believe so I made a quick fix to it and you can download and install it from my blog.

While drafting this post, the author himself actually commented on my previous post which I find awesome and it gives me the ability to contribute to the script, so here you go Dominik: You’ll find the URLs in the script. Script: Eurosport Player COM version

Before ending this post I just have to say, I watched the Blake vs Del Potro match earlier and I was amazed! These first rounds have really brought some exciting tennis, going to five sets with both Blake vs Del Potro and Richard Gasquet vs Mikhail Youzhny! I can’t wait to see what’s to come next.