Tips & tricks

Couple of things that I have discovered and some features I have added that I thought I would share.
First, some have reported slow bootup when not connected to a network. Up to 30 seconds waiting for network to start. I found that if you do ctr-c when you see network trying to come up during boot, ubuntu will skip it. You would think that then you would need to manually start network after booting up but this is not the case. It seems that it starts automatically sometime after loading Gnome.

Another cool program I have installed is Gnome Artwork from the web site. This little program gives you online access to download themes, backgrounds, GDM themes and splash screens. What is really neat is that you can preview them before installing and if you like, then choose install. Go to and follow the instructions for download. First you will have to load the following required packages via apt-get.
· Ruby
· Ruby-Gnome2
Then untar the download file and perform ./configure, make, make install.
Good luck.

Ubuntu Linux & GPRS

I use an HP Ipaq 6315 PocketPC phone as my cell phone/pda and use Tmobile as my provider. I have unlimited Internet via GPRS data and was thinking that it would be cool to get my laptop to connect to the Internet via bluetooth to the phone, using the GPRS connection. Did some research on the Internet and found that the Belkin USB Bluetooth (F8T003) works well with Linux. Also used instructions from this page
- when you plug in the usb module you can check status by issuing the following command from a terminal window.
phwil@scully:~$ hciconfig -a
hci0: Type: USB
BD Address: 00:0A:3A:56:42:9B ACL MTU: 192:8 SCO MTU: 64:8

- Next run this command to find your phone (make sure your phone's bluetooth is turned on)
phwil@scully:~$ hcitool scan
Scanning ...
08:00:28:93:23:A1 Tmobile

- Then run the following command to determine what services are provided by you phone. You will want to remember the channel number for later configurations:
phwil@scully:~$ sdptool search DUN
Inquiring ...
Searching for DUN on 08:00:28:93:23:A1 ...
Service Name: Dial-up Networking
Service RecHandle: 0x10004
Service Class ID List:
"Dialup Networking" (0x1103)
Protocol Descriptor List:
"L2CAP" (0x0100)
"RFCOMM" (0x0003)
Channel: 3
Language Base Attr List:
code_ISO639: 0x656e
encoding: 0x6a
base_offset: 0x100
Profile Descriptor List:
"Dialup Networking" (0x1103)
Version: 0x0100

Now try pinging your phone with this command.
phwil@scully:~$ sudo l2ping 08:00:28:93:23:A1
Ping: 08:00:28:93:23:A1 from 00:0A:3A:56:42:9B (data size 20) ...
20 bytes from 08:00:28:93:23:A1 id 200 time 42.49ms
20 bytes from 08:00:28:93:23:A1 id 201 time 64.71ms

Next Step is to bind to the phone:
rfcomm bind 0 08:00:28:93:23:A1 3 (channel # from before)

You can set this up for permanent use by editing the following file:
sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/rfcorfcomm0 {
bind yes;
# # Bluetooth address of the device
device 08:00:28:93:23:A1; #
(add your phone mac address)
# # RFCOMM channel for the connection
channel 3;
#(add your channel)

Now you are ready to set up GPRS connection
Create the following file:
sudo nano /etc/wvdial
and then add the following:
Modem = /dev/rfcomm0
Baud = 57600
SetVolume = 0
Dial Command = ATDT
Init1 = ATE1
Init2 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","","",0,0
FlowControl = CRTSCTS
[Dialer GPRS]
Username = user
Password = user
Phone = *99#
Stupid Mode = 1
Inherits = BluetoothMobile

Now from terminal window just issue command:
sudo wvdial GPRS
--> WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.54.0
--> Initializing modem.
--> Sending: ATE1
--> Sending: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","","",0,0
--> Modem initialized.
--> Sending: ATDT*99#
--> Waiting for carrier.
~[7f]}#@!}!}!} }6}!}$}%\}"}&} } } } }'}"}(}"}#}$@#&4~
--> Carrier detected. Starting PPP immediately.
--> Starting pppd at Thu May 5 19:05:11 2005
--> pid of pppd: 29665
--> Using interface ppp0
--> local IP address
--> remote IP address
--> primary DNS address
--> secondary DNS address

You will see connection in the window and should get assigned IP address and DNS servers. The only problem I have is that /ect/resolv.conf is not updated with DNS. So I had to manually enter DNS for my provider.
to disconnect, ctr-c.

Your done and can now connect to the Internet (slowly) from anywhere you have cell coverage.

Using Ubuntu

Another key feature of Ubuntu Linux is that it is a Debian based system and therefore uses APT for software updates. This gives us the ability to download extra software and also keep our system up-to-date. Ubuntu includes a GUI package called Synaptic for using APT.
But before using Synaptic, you should edit your APT sources config file, this is where you configure the apt repositories that you will be accesing from the Internet. Issue the following command from a terminal window:
phwil@scully:~$ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
Now replace the existing text with the following:

deb hoary main restricted
deb-src hoary main restricted
deb hoary-updates main restricted
deb-src hoary-updates main restricted
deb hoary universe
deb-src hoary universe
deb hoary-security main restricted
deb-src hoary-security main restricted
deb hoary-security universe
deb-src hoary-security universe
deb hoary multiverse
deb-src hoary multiverse
deb stable main
deb unstable main
deb testing main

This will give you access to all the software you need.
I would also advise reading the following page about installing additional software that you may want such as DVD, media codecs, java and lots of other useful stuff:

Ubuntu install

Ubuntu is very easy to install, even for an inexperienced Linux user. You first have to download the ISO and burn to a disk. The good think is that it is only one disk. It uses a text-based install but it just works. The only tricky part is the disk partitioning but I did a complete new install on this laptop and will not be dual-booting so I just chose the defaults.
Then just follow the directions and you will have a great Linux distro installed. You should see the following login screen after the last reboot.
One of the first things I should address before you get started learning Ubuntu is how it handles root logins. Basically it does not allow root access but uses Sudo instead. So when you run an application and it prompts you for a password, just use your username password. This is how OSX manages root access and is much safer than actually logging in as root. To most Linux users this can be confusing because we are used to root.

After logging in, the first thing you will want to do is ensure networking is up and running. For my example, I am setting up connectivity to my home wireless LAN.

  • on the Desktop Top menu bar go under System-Administration-Networking.
    ubuntu-Network settings
  • Now I select Wireless Connection and click Propertiesubuntu-Interface properties
  • Put in the Network Name, also know as your SSID and then put in your WEP key of your local wireless LAN. Now you are ready.
Now open up a terminal window and type the following command, ifconfig.
phwil@scully:~$ ifconfig
ath0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0B:CD:5A:02:F8
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::20b:cdff:fe5a:2f8/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:12747 errors:2772 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:2772
TX packets:8493 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:199
RX bytes:16072193 (15.3 MiB) TX bytes:1285636 (1.2 MiB)
Interrupt:5 Memory:eeb40000-eeb50000

This will show if you have obtained an IP address from the network and you should be good to go for connecting to the Internet.

Ubuntu Linux

I have been using Linux since 1998 starting with Radhat 5.2
Along the way I have enjoyed learning and overcoming the challanges with being a Linux early adopter. Especially since I usually load linux on laptops and that used to be quite a chore. Now it is becoming much easier and Linux has definately come a long way.
I recently loaded Ubuntu Linux on my HP/Compaq nc4000 laptop and it works great.
I will try to share with you some of my experience and hopefully be of help to anyone trying to run Linux on the nc4000 or any laptop for that matter. I really like this laptop and is probably the best ultra-portable laptop that I have used over the years. And I have had a lot of laptops from Toshiba, Compaq and HP. I also have the extended battery that allows for about 4-6 hours of continuous use. I have upgraded the RAM to 1 gig and it has a Pentium M 1.4 processor that is adequate for my needs. I mainly use this laptop for web browsing, IRC, Chat, email and watching movies. I have a car adapter that allows me to use it while in the car and this is really convenient. I plan to add a USB Bluetooth adaptor and then I can connect to the Internet via my cell GPRS connection.
Here are the specs for the nc4000:

  • Pentium-M 1.4GHz processor

  • 1GB PC3200 DDR RAM, 32MB used by ATI Radeon IGP 340M video

  • 30GB Hard Drive

  • USB DVD/CD-RW drive

  • Integrated 802.11b/g Atheros AR5212 Wireless LAN, Broadcom Gigabit ethernet, and ALi modem

Here are some pictures:
nc4k side
nc4k top
nc4k back

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