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Card Reader on BenQ S52

In my continued coverage of getting my BenQ S52 laptop running correctly under Ubuntu Linux, I recently had the need to use the integrated memory card reader with an SD card.

And Lucky me it didn’t just work so I hunted around the internet which lead me to an article on the Ubuntu forums. However I found that this does not work with this particular laptop and should not be done.

The solution however is simple you just have to make sure the tifm_sd module is loaded. The it does just work which is great. Though if you are wanting to use another type of card with this reader you are out of luck for now as SD is the only format that is supported by the driver at the moment.

So to load this module once

> sudo modprobe tifm_sd

But to load it at every boot add tifm_sd to /etc/modules

The coolness of a 3D desktop

Well it’s happened I have been working full time for over a year now and I am just getting more and more slack at writing valuable stuff on my blog, he he he.

But something most wonderful has happened over the Christmas break the alsa bug report tracking the problem with my soundcard has heated up, and someone found that by poking a register my soundcard will work under Linux.

So I have been spending the last few weeks getting back into my OS of choice.

I have Compiz working which is the coolest innovation on the desktop in a long time. I actually started with the fork Beryl but that version has a problem with java swing that is only fixed for Compiz in a Beta update for Java6 but not Beryl. So I am now enjoying the spinning cube virtual desktop, wobbly windows and the like in all their glory.

I also received an old Dell Latitude 600m which I mentioned I could use as a server box at home. The idea was to use it to host a webserver for AME, if I ever get it finished, so that I could host my own ads and receive full donations as per the sourceforge terms of service. But since I have not managed to finish it yet, I have been finding uses for it as a home server.

Such as using it to host torrentflux, as well as a SAMBA server for home multimedia sharing and I think I will get rid of my embedded print server and use it as a print server for the house aswell no need to pay for multiple devices to be running all the time.

And our land development has been pushed back to a release some time in April so house is on hold for now. Should get this post out it has been way to long coming till next time.

Freaking ALSA

Well I am still trying to get my sound card for my lovely new laptop to work in Linux, but it’s just not. I have googled so much and there is just an underlying problem with the card :(. The soundcard for this computer is actually part of the modem which really sucks and it just seems that there is no solution even with Dapper Flight 4 which was only released last week, that was a great waste of 650mb download. This is just frustrating, it says that the card is AC’97 compatible but it’s just not why o why can’t hardware manufacturers just do what they say they will.

So still no Linux love for me I just don’t know what to do wow is me.

Laptops and Email

Well it’s the start of a new year and I am back here at work. I have decided to get a laptop this year and finally replace my aging desktop. I got a Benq S52 v54 and got it salary sacrifice which is great.

A not about this laptop and Ubuntu though.. it doesn’t work, I got it working in widescreen using the 915resolution hack but that really doesn’t matter because the sound doesn’t work and acpi doesn’t work. So the laptop under ubuntu is basically useless. So I am using the WinXP (shiver) but I guess I will wait for Dapper Drake to come out and hopefully every thing is hunky dory. But for now I will just have to settle for windows and keep hacking on the Teachers tool for my wife there.

But here at work I have come across another interesting problem, we needed to integrate a c++ library for sending email to people to alert them to different situations. So I went on the hunt for a free smtp libarary that support HTML email, because we support multi-byte character sets such as Chinese as our main market. I came across a fantastic library from PJ Naughter called CPJNSMTPConnection which even contains a demo app. However for almost two days I fought with it getting a WSAECONNABORTED error on the connect command from WinSock. I eventually found the problem is with McAfee AntiVirus 8.0, you can see a full write up on it here.

But basically I put the information here for anyone else who comes up with this problem and goes for a Google.


Motivation is quite a strange beast. I can have unlimited motivation for say… Software Testing and Reliabilty which I have failed once already I have none, and stay up till all hours of the morning finishing an assignment the night before it is due?

But even worse than that is when you are at home and there is a million and one things to do in terms of cleaning and all I can do is spend my day coding :P. Or pointlessly writing in a blog.

O well….

I have just upgraded to the RC of Ubuntu for “Breezy Badger” and the improvements are vast but most impressive is the graphical boot looks to be a frame buffer and also a side note the post install has a frame buffer giving a percentage complete which is much nicer than before which was just pages of apt scrolling by…. anyway back to coding…. mmmm coding.

Thin Client Fun

After reformatting our old Celron 400 Laptop to Hoary Hedghog, Oh the joy of only having Linux on a computer. However since most of my time at the moment is taken up doing C# development and more importantly of the MS.NET kind rather than the Mono :(

But I was pleasantly surprised that Ubuntu comes with rdesktop a Unix remote terminal services client. So using my Windoz knowledge configured my main PC for remote goodness and then my trusty wireless laptop allowed me to use my main computer from anywhere in the house well use as much as 800×600 will let you these days :P

Woe is me

Since my great happiness with Ubuntu last post it all went down the proverbial toilet the very next day :(

I went to install something and all my permissions were stuffed up and so it wouldn’t boot any more :cry: So I saved off my /home directory and went ahead with a reformat (to a fresh 5.04) however after doing the first part of the install Ubuntu still wouldn’t boot. So I went back to install again figuring that something had to have gone wrong. But then when it came to partitioning it thought that my HD wasn’t partitioned!!! A quick panic and a reboot into Windows showed that all my data on a VFat directory and the windows installation NTFS was still there. It seems that the partitioning didn’t go as hopped in the installation and my partition table was a bit screwed so out with a trusty partition utility and fixed that and now I have Linux back to it’s full glory. And it seems that the boot process wasn’t completely installed with my incremental installation as it now seems Ubuntu boots without all those pesky error messages :). Then a whole heap of apt-get later we are back in and running.

Also at work now we got an automatic espresso machine instead of the peculator that we always have had. Which was great real coffee but now because of the additional expense we have to pay $1 for each cup so I’m drinking tea or should I dare instant coffee :( because I am a student with no money for coffee. Or at least no money for coffee at work :P


For weeks now my computer, in Ubuntu of course, has been having trouble with ep0in at every boot my messages have been filled with:

Jun 14 08:36:45 localhost kernel: usb 2-1: hald timed out on ep0in

Which has in turn stopped hal from working properly so mounting my usb key most of the time just wouldn’t happen.

However last night we (My wife and I) moved the house around, moved the computer from the lounge room to the spare bedroom, and I noticed that our scanner, a old HP Scanject 4100c, was warm. So I thought in the interest of energy conservation I would hook it up to a separate power outlet since we don’t use it often at all.

This morning when I powered up Linux just went which was great! So after months of checking the Ubuntu forums and playing around with boot parameters I have a fully functional Linux system again :)! So in the end it wasn’t a buggy bios or USB drivers it was just an old scanner that I could turn off. Yey for Linux.

Well I should study for my exam that I have this afternoon.

Speed up that laptop

I realised that acpi was not working correctly on my Laptop installation of Ubuntu so when I saw a tip for getting it working on the Ubuntu Forums I decided to give it a shot. Just by adding:


as a kernel parameter, either at boot using grub and saved it into /boot/grub/menu.lst

And too my surprise it not only make acpi work but actually sped up the responsiveness of the entire distribution making it entirely usable…. So if I ever do another install I think I will be passing that as a boot parameter :).

How long can an install take?

After my success with installing Ubuntu on my Desktop system last week I installed it on my old Laptop as well this weekend. Bad idea

The laptop 400 Celeron with 192mb ram was running Fedora RC 2 so not too old and running at an acceptable rate :). So upgrading shouldn’t hurt it too much I thought.

But after 4-5 hours it was finished, I never knew a 1 CD install could take so long and I didn’t even download the updates I just installed straight from what was on the CD. And once the screen actually came up everything was slow. :(

However when I booted it this morning it was back to the same sort of level it was booting at with FRC2 so I’m happy now just some tweaking and I might have a reasonably usable system. But my old Wi-Fi card that I have worked a treat with the installer so in the end I am happy.

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