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neddie's Achievements

Mandriva Guru

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  1. Thanks for the tips! Here's a follow-up though - I'm happy with this little beastie and it's living up to what I'd hoped. It seems happy with Gnome, and Firefox, although I didn't put OpenOffice on it. Best of all, it's quite happy with eclipse so I can play on the train with it! And I got rsync set up so I can sync up what I've done on both machines. Result! As expected, videos aren't great, and scrolling is sometimes a little strained, but overall it's surprisingly capable. The only thing which doesn't work properly is the internal SD card reader but that's something for a separate thread. Count this one as solved!
  2. Thanks for the tips, everyone! I decided to take the plunge, it was on special offer for one week only :) Now I just need to decide whether it's worth the trouble of claiming a refund of my Microsoft tax or not - originally I thought definitely yes, but Acer have said that you have to actually send the whole machine back to their service centre, and I could do without the risk of damage during the post, delays while they figure out what to do etc etc. I suggested I can reformat the drive myself or have it done in the shop, but apparently that's not good enough. And they said the refund for Win7 starter is only 20 EUR, but I have to pay for the postage MYSELF, which makes the whole thing probably a bit more trouble than it's worth. Gah. I wasn't considering running KDE or OO.o on it, but maybe Xfce. And probably a lightweight browser rather than Firefox I guess. But it would be nice to be able to play with eclipse on the train...
  3. I'm interested in getting a little netbook to while away the commuting time, and I'm surprised how cheap the current offers are. In particular, there's one by Acer which seems to fit quite well. I'm well aware though that it's no supercomputer, so I'd like an idea of what it's realistic to be able to do on it. Here are the listed specs: CPU - Intel Atom N455, 1.66 GHz (I guess this means single core) 1 GB DDR3-RAM 250 GB HDD Graphics - Intel GMA 3150 10.1" screen, 1024 x 600 So it's a low power CPU with only 1GB RAM and sub-stellar graphics - it's a netbook of course. But compared to my old (now sadly deceased) laptop, maybe it's not as slow as I think? That only had a 1.6 GHz Centrino and 700 MB RAM and that was plenty fast for regular stuff. So what can I reasonably expect? Is it only going to be able to handle typing emails and showing a few photos, or can I run something like Eclipse to play with java development, or run something like Stellarium? Maybe even play videos? Should I go for a lightweight desktop or would it be happy with the demands of Gnome? Has anyone any experience of these little things? [moved from Hardware by spinynorman]
  4. Not for me they're not! :DMaybe it varies depending on time of day etc but right now it looks like the only difference is that I'm now going through wireless whereas before I was plugged into the router with a wire. I'm not using wireless cards, I'm using a USB thingy as described above (from TP-Link) I'll see what I can find in the router config.
  5. I don't think so. My internet service says it should be 20 Mbps, and this is what I confirmed with speedtest.net when I was plugged into the router. The router should be capable of wireless N (Netgear N300 which promises "802.11 b/g/n" and "up to 300 Mbps"), and so should the receiver (TP-Link WN821N which also says "Wireless N" and "300 Mbps"). Yet when I run the same test now from the new room I only get between 5 and 10 Mbps. I can see tha the signal strength meter says only around 40-50%, but I can't see a way to check whether it's using b or g or n, or any way to diagnose the speed issue.
  6. Thanks guys. Yes I was careful to activate the security settings before switching on the wifi bit of the router. The wifi is now working, but I'm a bit disappointed with the signal strength (it says 50%) and the much reduced speed (less than half of what I got plugged in by wire to the router). I've tried playing a little with the positions of the USB thingy and the router but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Ah well. About the powerline stuff, yes I still agree it would have been an option but as I said earlier all I need to test out wifi is a cheap USB thingy, and to test out the powerline stuff (also with no guaranteed results) I'd have to shell out significantly more for the pair of powerline boxes. I guess you can call this one solved.
  7. Looks like I've got some reading to do about TKIP and WPA2 and the other acronyms. My gut tells me that whatever trickery is behind it, with clever keys being generated, it's still just a pass(word|phrase) at the end. So if someone knows or guesses the password, they can generate their own key and they're in. Sure you can't sniff it but still. That's why I thought it might be a good idea to generate a random alphanumeric string for a passphrase so that it's trickier to guess than a string of English-language words separated by spaces. But anyway. I haven't even got that far because despite some diligent searching before purchasing my USB thingy, and despite being convinced that all I'd have to do is plug it in and install the right packages, it turns out I believed the wrong person and the hardware is too new. So I've got to faff around to get hold of a newer kernel. Rats. Note I'm not asking for advice on this particular part of the problem, I'm just venting. Stupid monolithic kernel where you can't just add the appropriate widget for the peripheral hardware
  8. Still here but I've got a job now so (much) less time for mub! :D
  9. I owe you an apology, SilverSurfer60, it seems I reacted hastily to your suggestion. After a little research it turns out that they're actually quite widespread (I thought they were UK-only) and there are several such products on offer here too. Of course you still need to be somewhat concerned about security because you don't know how far the signals will travel, but there are encrypted setups on sale here. I guess you get the advantage of less radiation but it works out to be quite a bit more expensive than WLAN and I still don't know whether it will work between the rooms here - maybe the rooms are on different circuits, or maybe the wiring is old, and so on. But then again I don't know for certain whether WLAN will work either (maybe the walls are full of metal etc etc), but trying WLAN is a lot cheaper than trying the powerline thingies. I'll try with a single USB WLAN receiver and see how that goes. I've snarfed a free WLAN router so that's definitely the easiest way to try out. I didn't realise WPA was just based on a password though (called a passphrase but still...) I thought it was based on certificates or something. So it's a good idea to generate a random passphrase somehow do you think?
  10. You got it! :D I agree that MAC filtering is not perfect but as Ian says it's not obvious what a faker would need to fake, so it's better than nothing I guess. The main question was whether the individual PCs connect wirelessly to the router, or whether they connect via a wire to a single access point. From the sounds of it it doesn't really matter too much (except maybe for the speed of transferring files from one PC to the other? I guess over wires through the access point would be faster than wirelessly to the router and then wirelessly back again?) But it sounds like it's just a question of the cheapest way to do it then. Given that some laptops have problems between wireless cards and linux (or at least they used to?), I guessed the same might be true for desktops too, so in that case it might be a better idea to use a single bridge. Oh well, thanks for your advice guys!
  11. Thanks for your replies! :) About the power socket idea, it sounds interesting but perhaps a bit too experimental for me! I've no idea whether it would work in this country, or in this flat, or between circuits in this flat. I don't want to buy expensive kit that I then can't use. I looked at that Asus gadget, Ian, and it seems like a similar idea to the "bridge" thing I was looking at, except the Asus one only has one ethernet port so presumably I'd either need two of them, or take the output from there into a regular router... but it's more or less the same price as the four-port bridge anyway. I'll look at the PCI cards too, although my little Shuttle hasn't got space for cards like that so I'd have to go for either an internal or external USB thingy. What about securing the network, is it sufficient to just tell it to use WPA and that's good enough? Or is it recommended to use MAC-address filtering? Is it useful (or possible) to make the WLAN router more directional so that the signal is only strong in the direction of the intended bridge / access point?
  12. I know nothing about WLAN. Up till now I've had a fixed wired network and it's worked great. It went something like this: Wall --- Modem --- Router --- Computer1 (Linux) L------- Computer2 (WinXP) So far so good. Now I've got a new flat and unfortunately the sockets are arranged such that the only place the modem can be is miles away from where the computers need to be. :sad: So I'm going to have to (reluctantly) setup some kind of WLAN link, I can't see any other way to do it. The most obvious option is to add some kind of WLAN receiver to each of the two PCs, like this: Wall --- Modem --- WLANRouter z z z Computer1 (Linux) z z z Computer2 (WinXP) where "z z z" is a wireless link. This means adding new bits to the PCs of course, and it seems those would either be external USB dongles or internal PCI cards, or perhaps even internal USB modules which might make things a bit neater. I would have to make sure though that those adapters were compatible with the older XP hardware and with the linux OS - can anyone suggest ways to ensure this would be reasonably painless? Anything I would need to bear in mind when buying those adapters? A second option would be to get what I think is called a "wireless bridge", which would offer wired connections to the two PCS: Wall --- Modem --- WLANRouter z z z Bridge--- Computer1 (Linux) L----- Computer2 (WinXP) This might be a bit more expensive (and would be yet another box sucking power) but I have the feeling it might make the compatibility a bit easier, because the PCs just have wired networks as far as they're concerned. Am I right? A third option might be to have a WLAN receiver on one of the PCs which would then offer a wired ethernet connection to the second PC, but even if that were possible that would mean that PC1 would have to be powered on for PC2 to have network access, so that wouldn't work. So, can anyone offer any advice what would be the cheapest / easiest / neatest solution to this problem? And of course my next question would be for whatever kind of wireless link, how would I make sure that: a ) Noone else can connect to my WLAN router (WPA encryption? MAC address filtering?) b ) Noone can sniff what's going between my computers and the WLAN router (WPA encryption?) c ) Noone can access my computers or my bridge I realise that's a bunch of questions there but this is all new to me and there's a bewildering variety of products on sale. You guys for sure know how to make sometihng like this neat, reliable and secure, right? :D
  13. neddie


    Crikey. Talk about a bad week at the office! :unsure:
  14. Have you tried the option "-nosub" ? A quick search tells me that some DVDs have a set of subtitles in track "0" and so mencoder takes them by default.
  15. I posted this already in another forum but I've got no responses so maybe the Mandriva guys can help me here... I've got a java program, and one of the things it should be able to do is play sound files. Now, I can play some wavs directly from java, but not all wavs (UnsupportedAudioFileException) and not oggs or mp3s. I can add a bunch of libraries to let me play oggs, but I can't guarantee that people have those libraries and don't want to include them all myself. So I figure why not just launch the system's media player and pass the file over? So I tried using "Desktop.getDesktop().open(soundFile)" and it certainly launches Totem, but Totem just says "Location not found" and the java program spits out the following error to the console: ** Message: Error: Resource not found. gstfilesrc.c(977): gst_file_src_start (): /play/source: No such file "/home/neddie/code/test/file:/home/neddie/sounds/test.wav" I can print out the file's path, and check that it exists and is readable, but somehow it seems to be passing a file:/ url (to the absolute file path) which is then getting misinterpreted as a relative url (appended to the current path) and obviously then it doesn't work. Note that I can double-click on the file in Nautilus and Totem plays the file no problem. Does anyone know, is this a Totem problem, or just a misconfig of my system, or what? If I do the same thing with a text file then it opens gedit ok, if I use a jpeg it opens the picture player ok, and if I change the default wav-file handler to either mplayer or VLC then they also work. So it must be specific to Totem I guess. Or does anyone know if there's a more reliable method for launching a sound player in a cross-platform way? And while I'm here, does anyone know an easy way to determine the duration of a sound clip, whether it's wav or ogg or mp3 or whatever? Preferably without my program having to understand all the audio formats and preferably without having to read the whole file into memory? I see that Nautilus is able to show the length of audio files on the "audio" tab, but is there any way for a java program to access that meta-information?
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