Toshiba L675D And Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick/Lucid No-Boot – SOLVED!

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I picked up a new laptop last week (L675D-S7015) to replace my failing HP laptop, and one of the first things that I wanted to be able to do on it was install Linux. On the old machine, when it was set to dual boot the Windows part would randomly reboot during startup, which was terribly annoying. So, on this machine I was very frustrated when I went to boot my 10.10 Kubuntu Live CD, and was just presented with a blinking cursor seconds after pushing the Start Kubuntu option from the disk menu!!

After a bit of playing and thinking about the problem, I remembered an issue I had a long time ago on a different Toshiba with ACPI. I did some googling and all I could find on the subject was people trying the ‘nomodeset’ and ‘forcevesa’ modes, which didn’t work in this particular case. I was able to remedy the issue by pushing F6 on the CD menu and select ‘acpi=off’ and then booting. Fired right up!

Once Kubuntu is installed, and you reboot for the first time, you will again experience the same problem. To fix this, we need to make a slight tweak to the Grub boot options. When the Grub menu appears showing your choice of OS, highlight the Linux kernel and push ‘e’ to edit it. If your linux doesn’t show the grub menu, you can hold shift during the beginning of the boot to show it. Scroll down to the part that says ‘quiet splash’ and add ‘acpi=off’ to the end of the string. Push Ctrl+X to boot it. You should find now that you can boot to the linux desktop.

Now we can get it to work, we need to make these changes permanent. Once booted, go to a terminal window and type ‘sudo vi /etc/default/grub’ and just like before, find the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and add acpi=off to the end, it should then read ‘quiet splash acpi=off’. Save the changes, exit the editor and you MUST run update-grub in order to make them permanent. It re-generates the grub configuration file, and makes the changes permanent.

After this is done, you can reboot to test it, but it should work without you needing to do anything else! You can proceed to install updates and new kernels, and the option will automatically be applied when the kernel is upgraded!

If like me you boot to more than one OS, while you are editing the grub config file you can change which OS is booted by default. Looking at GRUB_DEFAULT which is 0 by default, and will boot the topmost option. Set it to 3, it will boot the 3rd OS in the list. Set it to whichever OS you want to boot if it isnt the default, and dont forget to update-grub! You can also change the GRUB_TIMEOUT value from 10 seconds to anything you please.

I took some crude pictures using my phone of the process. Hope this helps someone else who has been frustrated with this process!

Commodore plus 4

Latest Addition To My Commodore Family!

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Commodore plus 4

My new Commodore plus/4, in excellent condition and fully working. Even has the original warranty, leaflets and factory stickers on it!

While at the local flea market this weekend I picked up a nice little addition to my family of Commodore computers, a commodore plus/4 in excellent condition. I even had to go out and buy a small portable TV so I could use it, as I couldn’t find my Commodore video cable anywhere, and of course none of the local electronic stores even knew what a 262 degree male DIN plug was hehe 🙂 Amateurs 🙂

The plus/4 was released after the C64. and didn’t live up to its older brother for many different reasons. While it had more memory access and some tools built into the ROM, it lacked many of the things that the C64 used for games (sprite abilities and that sweet SID sound) and so it never really took off in those areas. It did feature the first issue of what would eventually come to be the Amiga keyboard, with a much more comfortable typing experience than the C64 keys.

Still, it’s a great and welcomed piece to my collection 🙂

A Couple more pictures:

Our Thoughts & Prayers With Those In Japan

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Our thoughts & prayers go out to those people in Japan who have been affected by the huge earthquake and giant Tsunami floods. After watching the events of Friday unfold in front of my eyes on the BBC live coverage, the swift speed of the floods and the damage that they caused is just mind-blowing. I am hoping the country can get back on it’s feet very soon.

Many charities and organizations around the world are setting up donation pages. Don’t be scammed! Unfortunately, the world is full of people who are willing to take advantage of people wishing to help others in such a time of crisis. If making a donation, be sure you know about the charity first (we recommend the Red Cross or World Vision charities).

Japan has a lot of work to do yet; They are still facing more widespread problems with their nuclear reactors becoming unstable, many people are yet to be found and there are millions of homes that need to be rebuilt. The world should unite at times like this to help those desperately in need.

Android Development Finally Taking Shape!!

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Over the last few weeks, I have been helping my friend Paul port some of his code over to Android. Currently he releases games for PC, Mac, and iPhone and so the move to Android is a good one. Most of my involvement was working on sound, and the C to Java handling code. Lots of stress when digging through the error logs, but it has coming along very nicely! We started the process aiming for an Android 1.6 target, to ensure we can support the most amount of users across all devices.

I have also been tinkering with some of my own Android projects, moreso converting some of the games I have written to work on the new platform. So far its working out well, I have the basis for my framework in and working, and I am hoping to have the first of my games ready in about 2 months. I’ll post more about them here as I get them ready for testing or release.

In the meantime, check out some of Paul’s great games at http://www.shoecakegames.com 🙂

New FlexIO Module – XYZ Movement Detection

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I added a basic module to the new FlexIO program this week to assist in detecting moved XYZ tables. After a frustrating day at the office, I came home, had a few beers and came up with this solution to try and fix my problem for the next time. A common problem I faced was after a drawing had been created for a part, the actual part itself had been moved in virtual space. Then when the bend file had been created, the tables were completely different because of the move. Because of this, how to correctly determine if the table is actually correct, or if there was an actual geometry change in the design that had been overlooked?

The module I created just looks for simple X/Y/Z direction movements, it gets a little more complex when looking for parts that have been rotated in 3D space, so the model doesn’t look for that yet. It works by asking for the first row of coordinates from the drawing, and calculates the differences between the X/Y/Z in the bend file. If its just a case of simple movement, the offset is applied to the remaining points and the new table when updated will then identically match the drawing (if there is no geometry change). If you start seeing some points being a little off, you can check in CAD to make sure there is no rotation, and put the difference to being a design change which requires the original part designer to submit a revision change.

It’s a start, and saves me a lot of time when verifying a large number of drawings at one time. Still lots of other verification code to add to other areas of the program 🙂

Robert Kubica – Wishing You A Speedy Recovery

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Hoping Robert Kubica recovers from his rally injuries soon, and makes a full recovery in time for next year’s F1 season. We need you back in the car to kick Alonso’s arse 🙂

Robert was injured on Sunday during a freak crash in his Skoda rallying car. Details Here.

Get well soon mate 🙂

2011 Snow Pictures

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Some pictures I took of the snowfall in 2011. Will auto-update as I add more this year 🙂

Enjoy!

Dual-Booting Kubuntu Alongside Windows 7 Without Wubi – Properly!

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Windows 7/Kubuntu Dual BootThe hard drive took a major dump in my laptop this weekend, left it backing up some stuff while I went to go see Tron, and when I got home it sounded like a DJ was scratching some kind of new rap tune. Needless to say, the drive was on its way out, but luckily I have been able to recover almost all of my data so far 🙂

After installing a replacement hard drive, I thought it was about time that I put a dedicated linux partition on this system as I have been using Kubuntu to do some Android development (installed via Wubi). While Wubi is nice for messing around, it isn’t the most stable system to be using and I have had a couple of disasters in the past with it messing up my virtual partitions. Wubi also has some known bugs, where after installing inside Windows, you’ll get a message about no root filesystem being defined and that you should fix it in the partition manager. Nice, if you can actually get there to do it!

So, I installed Windows 7, left 40gb of free space intentionally for Kubuntu. After the process of doing all the software installs and updates etc. for Windows I thought that I had better take a shot at installing the Linux side of things. Boy, what a mess 🙂 Firstly, there is something about the partition layout in Windows 7 that GPartEd just cannot see them (even using the GPartEd Live CD, or any LiveCD including Kubuntu). It thinks my hard drive is completely unpartitioned. Not what I was expecting, as I was hoping I could just throw some linux partitions into the free space, and then install. Very confusing 🙂 Adding any changes at this point would erase my new Windows 7 partition instantly.

I remember something a friend told me years ago about partitioning, that he had once used Linux to do the partitioning of his drives for some wierd XP install, as the Windows tools at the time were quite shit, so I figured that to get this to work the way I want it, I should probbably attempt something similar. I didnt really have much to lose (besides sitting through a few hundred megs of Windows Updates) so I went ahead and prepared the partition in GPartEd.

An important thing to remember here is the partition table. You must go into the Partition Table section and create a new ms-dos partition table, otherwise if you don’t it may try and use GPT by default (which won’t work with Windows 7). If you try to install Windows 7 without this partition type change, it will pop up a Warning message when you try to select the partition, and clicking Details will tell you that it cannot install on a GPT partition. So, after this step (which will completely zap your entire drive) I proceeded to create an NTFS partition, leaving 40gb free space for Linux later on. After applying the partition changes, booting the Windows 7 installer and installing windows by selecting the NTFS partition I just created, I was then able to reboot with a KUbuntu LiveCD and work with the free space on the drive correctly! It will even mount the Windows partition (just remember to hit Yes on the option to Unmount it duringi the Kubuntu install). Even grub works well and offers Windows 7 as an option in the boot menu.

When installing Linux with manual partitions, remember to add a swap partition at least 2x the size of the available ram in the machine, and the rest can then be an ext4 partition (that mounts to /) and thats the minimal that Kubuntu will need in order to boot correctly. Grub takes care of the rest of the issues with booting and selection etc. as most of Grub resides in the liunux part.

I am sure that several people have had problems trying to get the dual booting to work correctly, so I hope that this helps at least one human being out there who has struggled with this as long as I have.

And So We End 2010 :)

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NOW! ScreenshotWith the end of 2010, now is the time after all the wild parties and heavy drinking to look back on the year that just ended 🙂 Overall, I think it was a great year with many of my personal achievements accomplished 🙂

The year began with a very big bang for me as I had started working on Zine at the beginning of the year. Zine was to be my first big contribution to the scene in a very long time, since my Amiga days actually, and I was very excited to be able to travel to Evoke in Germany and see it unveiled, talk to the people who read it, and cook a few sausages for people attending the release party. I got to meet a lot of cool people, a lot of people who I idolized as a spotty nerd teen, and most of my fellow Brainstorm guys. I was also proud to get Bit Arts and Romeo Knight (musicians from the Red Sector Megademo) together in the same room for beers \o/ Lots of beer, tears and laughs were had that weekend 🙂 It was definitely my greatest moment this year and I can’t thank everyone who helped on this project enough! Issue 15 will appear some time soon! [Zine #14 Page | Pouet Link]

The next big personal acheivement for me came with working with Ultrasyd on a last-minute Amstrad CPC project called NOW! I spent most of my early life developing on the Sinclair Spectrum and I had wanted to get back into 8-bit coding for quite some time. The Spectrum & Amstrad are very similar in design. Syd and Fenyx Kell composed the music for the project, and I threw a very basic interface together in about 2-3 weeks to get the release ready for Main party. Boy were we shocked when we scored a 3rd place win! Completely unexpected, as we weren’t really trying to win anything 🙂 Again, the feeling was great to see the video being played on the big screen, and watching people’s reactions. Great job guys 🙂 [NOW! Page | Pouet Link]

Another project I was proud to be involved with this year was the Alien Invasion music disk supported by Nectarine, and coded by maep. This disk took the 4sceners.de award for the best music disk of 2010. Nectarine is a demoscene web radio station, using the Demovibes codebase that I work on with Terrasque (Project Page). Congratulations to everyone involved, especially maep who stayed up late to talk to me, and for working so hard on the project! [Pouet Link]

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to release any new games this year though I have been working on some projects. I have been working a lot on the new Piles’O’Tiles engine, which i’m not sure yet when it will be ready. I have also started working on some Android code, so I am hoping to be bringing some of my games to this exciting platform. The first game released will most likely be Jelly Othelly, but I may change my mind in the future with that and release something else instead, like Piles’O’Tiles.

I am pretty sure I have forgotten to add something epic to this post, so I apologize ahead of time and will keep editing it as time goes on to thank all the great people that helped me this year. It’s time to enjoy a bit of 2011 with a large pint of beer and a compiler!

FishGuy876

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