Useful Information Update

Whenever I discover a solution to a computer-related problem that isn’t easily found on google, I post it on my useful linux page, in the hopes of saving other people time with the same problem. I’m always trying to figure out the best way to present the problem and solution so that people will find what they’re looking for. Right now, I’ve just got a laundry list of problems and solutions on that page, which seems to work pretty well based on my traffic analysis (particularly for people searching for the cups client-error-forbidden message, which has brought thousands of visitors to my site).

In any case, here’s my most recent batch of useful stuff:

  • I’ve written a few times about my wireless woes. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my Xircom CWE-1120 card couldn’t connect to my Access Point. As it turns out, the card was set to the French Channel Set, which is different from the North American Channel Set, except on Channels 10 and 11. So I set my Access Point to Channel 10, and now I can finally access my network. There is, allegedly, a DOS command line tool that allows you to reprogram the EEPROM on Cisco cards to switch the channel set to North American, but I was unable to locate it. In fact, Intel (who purchased Xircom, which produced the card) was very wary of the whole topic. I suspect it might be illegal to have/use this tool, since it might permit you to set your card to a mode that violates FCC regulations. Intel was actually pretty spooked that I even had the cards (which I purchased legitimately in the United States, thinking they were North American cards). Thanks to Dan Lanciani on the airo-linux-gen80211 list for finally pointing this out to me.
  • I’ve been trying to set up GNU/Linux (remotely) on my brother’s Toshiba p25-s477 (one of a seemingly endless number of obscurely named Toshiba laptops). Almost everything worked fine, except the sound was almost inaudible, and substantially distorted with external amplified speakers. It turns out I needed to go into the alsamixer (ncurses GUI) program and set “External Amp Power Down” to “Mute.” This is far from intuitive: first, that “external amp power down” would be “on” by default, and second, that you need to “mute” this setting to have “power down” turned “off.” But that’s how it works. (solution posted by someone in the aesthetically weird tlinux-users mailing list.)
  • I’ve been looking for functional Debian Java packages that work with latest Mozilla in sid. I tried downloading several Java binaries from sun and elsewhere and either it didn’t register in Mozilla or crashed immediately. I finally discovered José Fonseca’s excellent Java packages that actually work. Add the following to your /etc/apt/sources.list to get these packages:

    deb ./

    As a side note, does anyone have any idea why so many webmail interfaces are hooked on unnecessary Java? I provide SquirrelMail as the webmail interface for, and it seems to do quite well without Java, Flash, streaming video, or any other silliness. Do makers of webmail software just get a kick out of making their software not work with standard browser installations?

Leave a Reply

(Markdown Syntax Permitted)