Posts Tagged “linux”

Windows 8 was a cheap upgrade path for me as the software that I wanted to run was no-longer supported by XP 64. That software, of course, was the sole reason for running Windows. Video games.

If you’ve tried Windows 8, you’ll probably have had the experience of booting up your desktop PC to what appears top be a tablet or smartphone OS and does nothing but get in the way of the normal desktop tasks you are used to. This ‘start page’, part of the Windows 8 Metro interface would be great if you were looking at 10″ portable touch-screen but the fact of the matter is, no matter how hard you prod your 23″ TFT, all you get are pressure splotches and the keyboard and mouse get lonely.

The term 'Metro' can bring back painful memories for some users.

The term ‘Metro’ can bring back painful memories for some users.

Fear not for help is at hand!

Help comes in the form a an open-source software project known as Classic Shell. This software allows you to return a Start Menu to it’s rightful place on the lower left of the taskbar and access your applications (I’ll choke if I have to now call them ‘apps’) in the manner in which you are used to.

Classic Shell also allows you to add back some popular features such as a full path and status bar to Windows Explorer and normal navigation on IE9.

Classic Shell Start Menu on Windows 8

Thankfully, I only really need Windows 8 as an engine for running games so I am spared the painful task of re-learning my workflow from scratch. I dual boot to Linux for serious tasks and with Gabe Newell’s pro-Linux stance for Valve and it’s Steam platform, the need for Windows in future will hopefully diminish.

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Marvell of the USA have announced a sub $100 (projected sub $50!) computer built into a ‘power-brick’ or ‘wall wart’.

sheevaplug-devkit

Bascially, the device is the size of a regular plug-in power adaptor and does just that; it plugs into the mains socket and runs. It’s power consumption is supposedly about 5 Watts.

  • 1.2Ghz ARM CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • 512MB Flash storage
  • Gigabit wired ethernet
  • USB 2.0 socket
  • SDIO Expansion

Marvell already claim linux distributions to be running on the device and the possibilities for utilisation seem endless.

The $99 “development kit” is effectively a pre-release model and I’m really tempted to order one in to see what I can make of it.

Unfortunately, Slashdot got hold of this before I did so you will be able to see the Marvell SheevaPlug over at Linux Devices when their server stops smoking ;)

You also be able to order the SheevaPlug devkit directly from Marvell

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I recently installed Ubuntu Linux 8.10 on a Compaq Presario 2100 laptop. Specifically, this model of the 2100 series has an intel Celeron mobile processor which nominally runs a 1.7Ghz.

Naturally, on a laptop you don’t want to be running you CPU at full-chat all the time as the fan can be noisy and the flesh on your legs may burn. By default, Ubuntu didn’t work out how to step down the speed of the CPU which is unusual.

I could swear that I’d had this laptop throttling it’s cpu frequency before and with a little brain wracking and internet searching, I [re]found the solution.

You need to activate the p4-clockmod module using the command sudo modprobe p4-clockmod. Once this is done, you can activate the Gnome panel cpu frequency applet (right-click panel>Add to panel>CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor)

cpu_widget_ubuntu

You should now be able to choose a speed from 1.7Ghz down to 212Mhz from the list or select one of the automatic speed governors.

You still need to make sure that the kernel module is loaded every time at boot time. To do this, use sudo gedit /etc/modules and add the line p4-clockmod.

Now, every time your machine starts, the cpu governors will be activated and you’ll hopefully have a quieter and cooler experience.

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