Archive for August 2009

Dell Mini 10 (#2)

Hooray! We have GUI. I installed GDM and LXDE now works? I did have a GTK icon theme error but it works.

Outstanding problems

  • Keyboard reset to US (This will probably be something to do with policykit).
  • Locales up the creek as per usual “Falling back to default”.
  • Still no WIFI (Need to install the broadcom-wl apparently).
  • Wicd horribly broken (Dunno will need to have a look).

Still to be done

  • Camera
  • USB (Do they work? Will they mount?)
  • SD slot
  • Function keys

Need some answers

  • Should I install laptop-tools?
  • What else is there that would be good specifically for this machine?

Dell Mini 10 (#1)

Dell Mini BlueI’ve owned a Dell Mini 10 for about two weeks now it came pre-installed with Ubuntu which was OK and worked fine but was just not my cup of tea.

I ran the Chakra Live to see what it looked like on the Dell and also to find out what was not working and would need tweaking. As I suspected WIFI was not working wicd reported that no wireless network points could be found which was clearly a fib, smearing the blood of a virgin chicken had little effect either and obviously some stronger Voodoo was going to be required. Now I’ve used Arch for about two years and have a rough idea of what I’m doing so downloaded the USB image and went ahead and installed the base system, by the way glad to see the default IP has been changed to ‘dhcp’ why it was never that in the first place is beyond me.

I set up sound and installed Xorg along with LXDE, Wireless is not sorted yet. X works doing startx brings up the basic xterm however doing exec startlxde fails? To be honest I’ve been doing most of this at the wrong times generally when I only have 30 minutes to an hour spare which is nowhere near enough time. I now need to trawl through the logs to find out whats going on so for the minute I’m stuck with a CLI interface.

If anyone else owns a Dell Mini 10 feel free to get in touch and pass on any wisdom you have, the Wiki page for the Dell Mini 10v is a bit sparse information wise.

Hope that helps

Updating was up the creek for me over the past couple of days, I’m not 100% sure what was wrong it seemed to take anything from 20 minutes to an hour just to sync let alone update. I hopped over to the Arch Forum half expecting some sort of message “Sorry folks pacman has got swine flu” but did not see anything that jumped out at me so did a few searches.

I ran across this post; pacman -Syu error thinking maybe this was my problem I read on, unfortunately it was nothing of the sort it turned out that a new user to Arch Linux had got himself into a bit of a mess with regards his mirrorlist seeking help he was, in a nutshell, told to “Go away and use something else and come back when you’ve learnt more” I’ll be honest, it made my blood boil!

I posted a step by step walk-through which so far has seemed to raise a few hackles which is sort of funny if you think about it apparently helping someone with a problem on forum that is there to, um help, is a bad thing? Hoarding knowledge so as to disenfranchise potential converts is a good thing? Oh and the icing on the cake pat them on the head and suggest another distro! This reminded me of I post I read recently New User Retention.

Here’s a pledge: If you want to know how to do something and I know how, ask me and I’ll tell you, I’ll even work with you to sort it.

What a nice group

I was minding my own business yesterday on a number of IRC channels when I was pinged by a member of the Arch Mobile team. Apparently they had come across my post regarding installing Arch on the Nokia N810, panicking that I’d written something wrong I hopped over to #arch-arm where I came across a very friendly group of people.

After a few questions about my seriousness of installing Arch on my N810 the main protagonist threw me curve ball which took me by surprise “How’d you fancy being a Dev?” Now I keep telling everyone who will listen I don’t code and I’ve never written a program. This did not seem to phase them;

welcomeCan you configure X?

Er yeah I have done on the odd occasion.

Can you use /make /make install etc?

Yeah with varying levels of success.

Then you should not have any problems and we can help you with packaging

I was totally shocked, surely these people are not Open Source developers? Where’s the grouchiness? Where’s the put down line? Where’s the wall of silence? No what I found was some friendly people who went out of ‘their’ way to track down a nobody who had shown some interest in their project.

If you’re what I’d call a proper developer and fancy helping these people out or would like to get involved then hop over to or #arch-arm

As soon as I buy a bigger Micro SD card I will definately have a go at installing then hopefully I will feel less of a fraud and take them up on their offer.

Midori. Feel the love

I spent a some time customising Midori which I have installed on my Arch laptop, not only is the speed of this browser awesome but its jam packed with time saving features.

Under ‘Tools’ you will notice a menu entry ‘Manage Search Engines’ here you can add custom search criteria, “whats the point?” I’ll tell you, you set whats called tokens then add the URL so for example lets say you want to add the Arch Linux wiki you add the following URL:

I then added the token: aw

This (For me) stands for Arch Wiki then all I now need to do in the browser address bar is type: aw xorg and Midori brings up the Xorg page on the wiki which is a heck of a lot faster than typing in then typing my search criteria.

I currently have;

  • g = Google
  • wp = WikiPedia
  • fd = The free dictionary
  • aw = Arch Linux wiki

As I fathom out more I will write some updates.