19 December 2011

Creating a USB rescue disk

  1. First find an empty USB flash drive. I recommend at least 8GB, if you plan on saving changes to the drive. 2GB should work if you don't plan on installing updates.

  2. Partition the drive to have:

    1. one 750MB partition formatted as fat32

    2. one partition with the rest formatted as ext3 with the label casper-rw

  3. Use UNetbootin to install your favorite distribution's live disk (I use Xubuntu)

  4. Then reboot your computer and boot off the USB flash drive and install updates if desired!

You now have a working USB rescue disk!

Update 1/5/2014:
 I have found this to be slightly outdated. I now recommend using Linux Live USB Creator instead. As this software can even format the drive for you and install VirtualBox software to run inside windows.
  Here is where I downloaded the ISO from: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/

21 May 2011

Repairing Cambridge Soundworks DTT2500

I have been having problems with my Cambridge Soundworks DTT2500. Basically some of the speakers would not work at different volume levels, but it was different speakers at each different volume level. Also the subwoofer would not work at any level. The speakers also made a scratchy noise when using the master volume knob.

I thought it was hopeless until I read this article: http://blog.chadlindstrom.ca/archives/2010/09/dtt2500-repaired It gave me hope that my tuner could be salvaged and that I didn't need to buy new PC speakers.

I then followed these steps to repair it:

  1. Went to Radio Shack and bought some TV Tuner Cleaner and Lubricant

  2. Disconnnected the tuner from the speakers and power

  3. Removed the feet from the bottom and unscrewed the 4 screws hidden there.

  4. Removed the top and bottom pieces of plastic.

  5. From the bottom, removed the 4 screws that attach the top circuit board to the bottom.

  6. Carefully, pulled the top board up and away from the bottom board.

  7. Just to be safe, removed the 4 screws and pulled the LEDs out. This is optional.

  8. Carefully sprayed in each of the holes of the knobs and moved each one from lowest setting to highest setting several times. Warning: You may want to wear glasses or some sort of eye protection during this step as the cleaner is under high pressure and the spray may blow back into your face.

  9. Reassembled the tuner.

  10. Important: Left it sitting overnight to ensure that it dried completely.

  11. Hooked it back up and gave it a test and much to my pleasant surprise, it worked! My tuner volume and speaker issues were solved!

29 April 2011

Setting up a Samsung SCX-4623F under Ubuntu

I got a new Samsung SCX-4623F Multi-Function Monochrome Laser Printer from Office Max for $50 + tax after a trade-in of an extremely old ink jet printer.

My goal was to set it up as a shared printer/scanner for several Windows XP/7 computers. Below is how I was able to accomplish this.

Server Edits:

  1. Downloaded the Unified Linux Driver from Samsung's website: Samsung

  2. Ran that install process to install the drivers

  3. Did not use the install to add the printer

  4. Used Ubuntu's add printer wizard

  5. Ensured that the printer was shared

  6. Added the following lines into /etc/sane.d/xerox_mfp.conf:
    #Samsung SCX-4623F
    usb 0x04e8 0x3434

  7. ran xsane to ensure scanner was working

  8. Editted /etc/sane.d/saned.conf to add the subnet to share the scanner on. In my case it was:

  9. Added the sane user to the following group:
    sudo adduser saned scanner

  10. created /etc/xinetd.d/saned with the following:
    service saned
    socket_type = stream
    server = /usr/sbin/saned
    protocol = tcp
    user = saned
    group = scanner
    wait = no
    disable = no

  11. started the sane service:
    sudo service saned restart

On the Windows PC's:

  1. Installed the windows print driver from: Samsung

  2. Added the printer from the network

  3. Installed xsane on the C drive

  4. Editted net.conf to point to the ip address of my server

That's It! Enjoy printing and scanning from anywhere on your network!

18 February 2011

Server Build

Here are the components to my server build from 2009-12:

  1. Dual Xeon Server - $209.99 from geeks.com

    • 1x Intel Server Board SE7501BR2

    • 2x 2.4GHz Xeon Processors

    • 2x 512MB ECC DDR

    • 3x 36GB SCSI Hard Drives in Raid

    • 1x 40GB IDE Hard Drive - Removed

    • 1x DVD Drive

    • 1x CD-RW Drive

    • 1x Floppy Drive

  2. 2x Micron 1GB DDR PC2100 ECC memory chips - $46 for both from geeks.com

  3. 1x HP Adaptec 2610SA PCI-X Raid Card - $79 from ebay.com

  4. 2x WD Green 1TB 16MB SATA 3Gbps - $209.98 for both from newegg.com

  5. 2x SATA Cables - $5.98 for both from newegg.com

  6. 1x Powercolor 2400 Pro PCI video car - $36.99 from newegg.com

  7. Shipping: $44 + $11.45 + $5.99

Total: 649.38

Firefox 4 beta tips

Firefox 4 beta tips:

  • To have firefox remember which tabs were open when you close firefox:

    • Firefox button -> options

    • General Tab

    • In the startup box change when firefox starts to "Show my windows and tabs from last time"

  • If your tabs are not showing on top correctly with the firefox single button menu

    • View -> Toolbars

    • Make sure Tabs on Top is checked

    • View -> Toolbars -> Customize

    • Click Restore Default Set

  • Hotmail Appears to have trouble in FF4beta. I just use Chrome for that

02 January 2011

Linux UPnP DLNA client

In my search to connect my Droid X to my server wireless, I came across the idea of using DLNA to copy my pictures over to it.

To set it up:

mkdir /mnt/dlna
sudo modprobe -l -t /mnt/dlna fuse
sudo djmount /mnt/dlna -o allow_other

To run in a diagnose mode try:

sudo djmount /mnt/dlna -f -o allow_other

However, I have found 2 problems with it
1. does not maintain the file date/time
2. only seems to pull the first 90 files