May 30, 2006

HOWTO: Set Up Wireless Networking, Part 2

Filed under: General — ubuntux @ 4:55 pm

In a previous post, I talked about the importance of chipset support in getting your wireless connection to work. In this post, I’ll introduce the basic commands needed to get wireless working, and I’ll show you how to install Network Manager, a GNOME / KDE panel applet that does wireless configuration Windows-style (but better, of course).



May 25, 2006

HOWTO: Get joysticks working under Dapper

Filed under: Gaming — ubuntux @ 12:09 pm

Linux joystick support has always been sort of hit-or-miss: the support is definitely there, but you generally feel like you have to go through an arcane ritual every time you want your joystick or gamepad to actually work. Here’s a simple little script though which will let you ditch the tradition of waving a dead chicken in favor of a more Ubuntu-style “it just works” mentality.


May 24, 2006

GCFilms – DVD Collections Made Easy

Filed under: Audio / Video — ubuntux @ 4:49 pm

If you’ve got as large of a DVD collection as I do, you know that it can become pretty challenging to keep track of all your movies. GCFilms makes it easy to organize your collection by grabbing movie information (and photos!) for you automatically from IMDb, Amazon.com, or one of many other sources, in addition to giving you a place to keep track of where you put a particular movie (is it in Binder #2? On Shelf #3?) and who has borrowed movies from you.

However, there’s just one problem with using GCFilms under Ubuntu: the Ubuntu repositories have GCFilms 6.0, while the latest release is 6.1 – which fixes a lot of bugs. So, before you go pulling your hair out, here are some simple steps you can take to get the absolute latest version direct from the authors.


May 18, 2006

HOWTO: Set Up Wireless Networking, Part 1

Filed under: Networking / Internet, System Administration — ubuntux @ 12:47 pm

Wireless support on Linux has come a long way, but it can still be somewhat difficult to set up properly. This is mainly the result of manufacturer stupidity. There are a small number of widely-used wireless chipsets, which are then used by third-party manufacturers to create the wide variety of wireless products that you see on the shelves of your local computer store. The first problem that Linux users face is that third-party manufacturers like Linksys or Netgear never tell you what chipset they used on the product’s packaging. To make this problem even worse, manufacturers have a tendency to create several “revisions” of a product, each of which uses a different chipset but the same model number, with no way to tell what revision is actually inside the box you’re looking at. I had this problem myself when I bought my first wireless card; I spent days researching products online, settling on a Netgear product which used the well-supported Atheros chipset. I bought the product at a store, took it home, and opened the box to discover a “Revision 2” card – sporting a poorly-supported Texas Instruments ACX111 chipset instead. Rule 1 of wireless setup, therefore, is to always make sure that the store you buy your card from has a good return policy.


May 17, 2006

HOWTO: Compile Gens from source

Filed under: Emulation, Gaming — ubuntux @ 2:21 pm

The Sega Genesis (or MegaDrive, for our European readers) was a technological marvel, bringing gaming kicking and screaming into the 16-bit era. Genesis consoles are hard to come by nowadays, meaning that emulation is the only way for those with broken consoles and fond memories to relive their favorite Genesis games. Ubuntu includes the dgen emulator in its Universe repository, which does a fine job of emulating the Genesis system but which, as a command-line only program, is less than inviting. This article will show you how to compile Gens, one of the best Genesis emulators for Windows, to run natively on Ubuntu.


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