How-To: Tutorials and Walkthroughs

Replaced the F250's wiper motor

Ever since I got it, my 1992 F250 has had a bad wiper motor. The symptom, which can be caused by several different kinds of faults, is that it didn't "park". That is to say, the switch turned the wiper motor on and off, regardless of setting. High speed always worked, but park never did. I proved that the motor was the problem by taking off the cover and cleaning the contacts, and having it work for a short time. Rather than fight corrosion and continually shave switch contacts, I decided to drop the forty bucks retail on a new window motor.

How to identify a touch screen (or mouse?) protocol with gpm

Install gpm (e.g. aptitude install gpm for Debian, Ubuntu, etc.) and run the following as root (you can sudo bash first)

( for i in `gpm -t types`; do sudo gpm -m /dev/input/whatever -t $i -T -D; done ) 2>&1 | tee /tmp/gpm.log

(where "whatever" is the device you're trying to identify.) Now press the left button or the touch screen repeatedly. Some drivers will spit out a lot of this:

Manually pairing keyboard and mouse on Ubuntu Lucid

Recently I decided to give XBMC Live a try as the alternative to making my own Ubuntu install. I figured they might have it worked out to go a little faster. It looks as though I was right, and it's a great install so far as I can see, but I also discovered that they left out bluetooth. As probably the best cheap option for a good remote is a used Playstation 3 remote available at a gamestop near you for thirty bucks or less, this seems like an unfortunate omission. As I want to use a Logitech MX5000 keyboard hooked up to an MX900's USB Bluetooth dongle/mouse charging cradle, it was especially annoying.

Make Ubuntu use local (non-UTC) time

Ubuntu has set the system clock to UTC since the Intrepid Ibex (8.10.) I didn't notice because I had upgraded through several other versions. Using UTC for the system clock is cool if you don't dual-boot, but I do. The functionality exists in at least Vista and later to use UTC for the system clock, but I'm using XP and don't trust it to work even if it appears to.

MiniDLNA on Debian 5.0 "Lenny"

For some time now I have been using ps3mediaserver to stream video to my Xbox 360. Since solutions for playing various video streams on various devices have become more convenient of late I've become less picky about what I transcode to, except that I like to achieve fairly high quality. ogmrip has become less useful of late, failing on most source video on which I try to use it, so I've gone back to Handbrake, the most competent and arrogant of DVD transcoders.

Howto toggle dual monitors with nVidia on Linux

I have two LCDs and Ubuntu, and I want to use compositing so I can use Compiz. Xinerama still doesn't work with Composite outside of Xgl, which was deprecated some years ago. I want to play full screen games but they don't properly span monitors in many cases, even if that's what I wanted. What is needed then is a way to easily toggle the second monitor. I found it in the Ubuntu forums archive in the form of Disper.

How to improve software on Magellan Maestro 4050

As I now own a Magellan Maestro 4050, which unlike my 4250 has bluetooth and a headphone jack, I decided to upgrade the software. After hunting around a little I found Miopocket 4.0, a complete shell replacement for WinCE 4.x through 6.x GPS devices including smartphones with touch. It implements an iPhone-like interface and provides dozens of utilities, apps, and games.

Stop a Linux password from expiring

After installing plugbox linux on my Dockstar I found that new users' passwords expired on login and forced a logout forever. To fix this for a single user use this script:

chage -d 1 -E -1 -I -1 -m -1 -M -1 -W -1 $1

Call it with the username you want to fix. It sets the last change date to a day after the epoch but it works.

Install GoogleCL on Windows

GoogleCL is a python-based command-line utility for accessing Google. It uses gdata-python-client for the google interface. No Windows release is planned, but this is largely irrelevant because python runs fine on Windows, and so do gdata-python-client and GoogleCL. Here are simple instructions for installing GoogleCL under Windows.


Subscribe to RSS - howto