How to prolong lithium-based batteries

Battery University has an interesting article explaining the physics of and experiences with different battery technologies. Especially interesting are the guidelines given to prolong the life of lithium-ion type batteries as used in laptops and other mobile devices.

I have already “worn out” three batteries for my N800, and in my experience complete discharges are in fact, as mentioned in the article, a crucial and noticeable influence. The article mentions heat as a second decisive factor.

Experience Report: Dell Inspiron 1525 Laptop with Linux pre-installed

Well done, Dell and Ubuntu! What I received for my €550 is hands down the best overall Linux experience I’ve ever had on a PC. Finally, this is a package that feels like a no-compromise end-user alternative to the standard Windows offerings. Almost everything works as expected out of the box, from WLAN, multimedia keys, 3D graphical effects, hibernation up to bluetooth and even BIOS updateability. And last but not least, it is not the typical kind of half-hearted approach of “if it works for you, fine - if not, don’t blame us” - Dell offers support for their Linux machines similar to the Windows side of things, but at a lower cost.

N800 Firmware Upgrade OS2007 to OS2008

These are my steps in upgrading from OS2007 4.2007.38-2 to OS 2008. The reason for the upgrade was that I somehow managed to hose my installation so that more and more python applications refused to run (Canola2, UKMP).

President Bush on Global Warming

Will Ferrell as George BushWill Ferrell makes us believe that the Commander in chief of the World is very concerned about global warming. Deeply, in a deep kind of concerned way.

This video is more than two years old now, but still hilarious, and more up-to-date than ever.

Maemo Backup Application hangs

I just experienced the Maemo backup application to hang when I tried to do a backup. I found out that the culprit of failure was the backup configuration file for pidgin, /etc/osso-backup/applications/pidgin.conf. It tries to backup the directory /home/user/.purple, and osso-backup seems to have big trouble with long filenames containing all kinds of special characters like @ and # which there are plenty of in the logs subdirectory where the chat logs reside. [More…]

Firefox: Change the cursor for links that open in new window

I find it annoying and confusing not to know whether a link I click on will replace my currently viewed page or open in a new window resp. tab. Fortunately, Mozilla offers a way to “know before you go” for their Firefox browser. This configuration will change your mouse pointer to a different shape when hovering over a link that wants to open itself in a new window.

Migrating a KMail installation including GnuPG

These are the steps to migrate a KMail installation with GnuPG (GPG) keys and mail account passwords maintained by KWallet. It worked perfectly for a migration from PCLinuxOS 2005 (0.93) to Kubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), which is KMail 1.9.5/KDE 3.5.5 to KMail 1.9.6/KDE 3.5.8. [More…]

KMail slow? It may be a feature, not a bug…

KMail saved searchesRecently, I experienced KMail becoming unusably slow. With every navigation action, especially when deleting a mail, it came to a grinding halt for several seconds. Since I have a years long backlog of mails and mailing lists, I thought the reason was KMail reaching its limits in mailbox size.

So I made up my own mind about archiving my old mails, which is not exactly straightforward because KMail doesn’t offer an integrated way of archiving. When I was done, I noticed that there was not that much of a speed improvement as I had hoped for.

At the end, the culprit turned out to be a feature of KMail, which is to save your search queries and keep the result updated against modifications. Once these saved searches are deleted, KMail is back at full speed and responsive as ever. The screenshot shows how to delete the search folders.

All this is on an ancient KMail 1.9.5 using KDE 3.5.5.

Kubuntu Gutsy on Toshiba Tecra 8000

Tecra 8000 windowsMy Tecra 8000 is an ancient notebook with a 366MHz Pentium II processor, a 6 GB harddrive and an installed maximum of 256 MB RAM. Kubuntu 7.10 installs nicely on it, albeit very slowly.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the result. The systems feels faster than expected and is a perfect fit for its designated purpose, which is browsing the web and emailing. Application startup times are long, but once loaded, even a monster like OpenOffice is quite useable. There was only one major installation problem, namely getting WPA encryption to work with my PCMCIA WLAN card. [More…]

Hybrid Google Maps for Maemo Mapper

Niko Kotilainen has an interesting server script on his site to bring hybrid Google Street/Satellite maps into Maemo Mapper. Unfortunately, you have to set up your own server with it, since there is no shared public server available. I did not find the time to try this out yet.