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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.

Open Java and Windows Options

Well it’s officially been announced that Java J2SE, J2ME, J2EE will all be released by sun as reference implementations under the Gnu GPL + classpath exception. Which I’m sure will bring a new era of Java, especially to Linux since Java will be able to be shipped with distributions without concern just like Mono is today.

I really hope this means the MVM will get done faster it would be a great thing for the platform.

On a unrelated note one of my pet peeves about Windows is the way that Explorer.exe works. The problem is that it is the window manager as well as the file browser. What I usually find is that the file manager will lock up the window manager which is most annoying. However there is an option to make them work in separate processes which users more memory but for the stability of the system it’s well worth it.
Edit In Seperate Process

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.


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


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 :).

I do Ubuntu

Not long back(July 2004) I told a story of my love for Gentoo Linux. However I must confess this is now over :( my wondering has continued and last Monday night (18 Oct) I installed yet another distribution over Gentoo.

I went out and installed Ubuntu Linux in it’s pre-release 4.10. Yesterday however (21/10/2004) “Warty Warthog” went “Gold” ie. out of pre-release phase so tomorrow it’s off to update my system. Which like Gentoo will never need a reformat because they promise that the distribution will be upgradeable via apt-get alone. Which is great, for this was one of the main factors I appreciated in Gentoo in the first place.

But what really got me changed was the fact that the initial pre-release with Gnome 2.8 went out only a few days after 2.8.0 was officially available. A lot sooner than 2.8 was even in hard-masked testing in Gentoo.

Finally I was sick of playing around with emerge for the entire time I was on the computer rather than enjoying my Linux which from what I have read on the Ubuntu Forums is a rather large sticking point for a lot of people.

And as for now on you will notice I no longer have a Gentoo section on the Blog and it is now Ubuntu and once I finally get to have a bit of a play and finish setting it up I might get around to taking some screenies :P.