May 8

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) on a Lenovo R61

*** UPDATE 2008/11/28 ***

See a more complete review of Ubuntu 8.10 on this Lenovo R61 here


General Hardware Specifications of Lenovo R61

Hardware Components Status under Linux Additional notes
Intel Dual Core T7100 1.8Ghz Ok  
15.4 in 1280×800 LCD Ok Default resolution properly set.
Intel X3100 Ok No proprietary drivers available.I installed compiz manager and activated some nice desktop effects like desktop cube. Works perfectly.
2GB RAM Ok  
120GB Hard Drive Ok  
Integrated Network Card Ok  
Intel Pro Wireless 3945ABG Ok Beware to turn on the hardware switch BEFORE booting Ubuntu and if the card has been disabled within Windows, enable it before switching to Ubuntu.Note: The signal indicator on the display panel is is always off even if wireless is working/active.  Regarding this, this blog post has more information about it.After installation, I tried to setup my home network, but the network manager was not displaying SSIDs available in my area. A reboot didn’t help. I tried configuring by providing my SSID manually but still didn’t work. I realized that I disabled the card from my dual-booted Windows installation. So I rebooted into Windows, enabled the card, the re-rebooted into Ubuntu and to my surprise network was working (is it luck??).

*** UPDATE 2008/10/27 ***

I am using this laptop with Ubuntu on and on since the release of 8.04, keeping it up to date and I hadn’t much issues with Wireless.  It worked as expected when moving from one network to the other.  In Windows, I keep enabling/disabling the Wi-Fi depending on my needs.  No matter its state in Windows, when I boot Ubuntu it is enabled (as expected).  So changing it’s state in Windows does not impact the Ubuntu installation as it first seemed to appear before…

Internal 56k Modem I don’t know I never tried the modem
CD-RW/DVD-RW Reading:Ok
I’ve been able to read DVD/CDs, but I haven’t tried burning CDs or DVDs with it.
6 cells Lithium-Ion Battery Ok  
Integrated sound card Ok  
Mouse button Ok  
Mouse trackpad Ok
  • Mouse navigation: ok
  • Tap for click: ok
  • Tap twice for double-click: ok
  • Vertical scrolling: ok
  • Horizontal scrolling: not working (or not configured by default)
  • Drag’n drop: not working (or not configured by default)
PC Speaker Ok Note: You can easily disable PC Speaker beeps using System/Preferences/Sound in “System beep” tab.

Special Keyboard Keys

Key Status Additional notes
Volume Up / Down Ok  
Mute Not working  
Power button I don’t know  
Navigation Back/Forward Not working The browser navigation buttons near the arrow keys.
Fn + Light On / Off Ok There is a little light in the display panel that can be turned on to see the keyboad when using at night.
Fn + Brigthness Up / Down Ok  
Fn + Zoom Not working  
Fn + CRT/LCD I don’t know  
Fn + Sleep Ok  
Fn + NumLock Ok  
Fn + Scroll Lock I don’t know  
Fn + SysRq I don’t know  
Fn + Wireless (on/off) Partially It worked to turn wireless off, but I never succeed to bring the signal back until I did a sleep/unsleep of the system.

Installation Steps

The installation steps are the same that I used when I installed Ubuntu 7.10 on my Inspiron 8600

see additional configuration and conclusion on following page >>

Pages: 1 2


Apr 12

Gartner analysts say Windows is ‘collapsing’

Category: Opinion,Web Link

In this article, the analysts give recommendations Microsoft should follow to prevent collapsing of Windows. That’s interesting to see that some of their recommendations reaches some of my wishes stated in this post.

I’ve been using many Linux distributions (mainly Ubuntu) for over a year now and I’m getting more and more familiar with them. With the acquisition of a little NAS I have restructured my network and my home server. I took the opportunity to rebuild everything from scratch and now my server is running Ubuntu Server and my Windows Server is now a virtual machine. Nice but, what’s the relation with the title of the article? Well I could have done it using VMWare Server on a Windows host but I chose Ubuntu Server because its faster on my hardware. The longer Microsoft will take to answer market needs, the more irreversible market shares the competition will take. That ain’t bad since good competition brings innovation.

No comments

Mar 23

Link: Microsoft forges first official link to Eclipse

Category: News,Web Link
Tags: ,

Another sign of Microsoft opening itself… Interesting to see that it will be easier for Java application to look more like native applications when running in Windows :)

Click here to read the article

No comments

Mar 15

How to change wireless card in a Dell Inspiron 8600


After playing a lot with multiple Linux distributions, I had hard time make my wireless card working. This was back to the release of Ubuntu 6.06. My wireless card was a Dell TrueMobile based on the Broadcom chip. Broadcom is known to not release chip specifications, so at that time, I had to use the just released open source driver built using clean-room reverse engineering, or rely on NdisWrapper to run the native Windows driver. I managed to make the open source driver work but it was painful: Needed to reconnect repetitively to get a “B” (11 mb/s) connection while my card could go “G” (54 mb/s).

Finally I got tired of all this… Since the Inspiron is using a mini-PCI card for the wireless card, I looked for a replacement card that was working well with Linux and found the Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG for less than 50$ CDN. After installation, it worked flawlessly!

If you are tired of you TrueMobile (or Broadcom based) wireless card and you want to replace it, here are the steps:

  • Oh, by the way, if you follow these steps… remember that your doing it at your own risk!
  • First, it is suggested to ground yourself. You can use an anti-static wristband like this Belkin.
  • Turn your Inspiron on the back and identify the battery and Wi-Fi compartment.
  • Turn your Inspiron on the back and identify the battery and Wi-Fi compartment.
  • Remove the battery
the back of the inspiron 8600
  • Once the battery is removed and the Wi-Fi compartment is opened…
Inspiron with battery removed and Wi-Fi compartment opened
  • Now we need to remove the old Dell TrueMobile wireless card.
  • Gently unplug the two antennas represented by the red circles on the picture beside.
    (click on the picture for a bigger display)
  • Then press outwards on the little metal clips (blue circles on the picture) holding the wireless card in its socket and it will pop out at a 45 degree angle.
removing the old Wi-Fi card
  • Install the new card by holding the card at a 45 degree angle and slide into the socket.
  • Push down the card and snap it into place alongside the metal clips.
  • Replug the two antennas (see picture beside).
  • Screw the panel back to close the Wi-Fi compartment.
  • Put the battery back in place.
  • If you are using Windows, install the new drivers. For Linux, it should automatically detect it.
  • Enjoy!
Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG installed

Mar 5

Link: Technet white papers and videos for Sharepoint 2007

Category: Web Link
Tags: ,

Under Planning and architecture for Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft made available “advanced lectures” in video or white paper format (and sometimes both):

click here for Advanced lectures and white papers

No comments

Feb 22

Link: First look at Silverlight 2

Category: Opinion,Web Link

ScottGu’s blog contains a nice post (again) about the upcoming Silverlight 2 with a sample application plus tutorial to demonstrate the concepts behind the product.

People are wondering if Silverlight is going to raise or die. In my opinion it will depend on the general acceptance by the developers and how big is the learning curve… I think it has a chance to stand up if Microsoft delivers what it says:

We will ship Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio tool support that enables great developer / designer workflow and integration when building Silverlight solutions.

Here is the link to ScottGu’s blog article

No comments

Feb 8

Sharepoint Database Exporter Update

I just updated the Sharepoint Database Exporter.  It now supports Sharepoint 2007.

For more details, see the my original post here.

1 comment

Jan 29

Blog site update

Category: News


I just updated my blog site from b2evolution to WordPress. So enjoy the new skin!

If you find any broken link (or if you have a broken bookmark), do not hesitate to report it by adding a comment to this post.

Known issues:



No comments

Jan 17

.NET Framework source code is now available

Category: News,Web Link

Microsoft as made the .NET framework source code available. The interesting part is that you can configure Visual Studio 2008 to support stepping into the .NET Framework’s code automatically while debugging.

Instructions on how to setup Visual Studio 2008 are available from Shawn Burk’s blog here:
Configuring Visual Studio to Debug .NET Framework Source Code

If you do not have Visual Studio 2008 or you just want to download the code for viewing… well, you will need to wait:

from Shawn’s blog post:

10) Can I just download all of the code at once?
Not currently, but we are currently working on enabling this functionality in the future.

14) Can I point a web browser at the symbols URL and download the symbols directly?
No, you’ll get an HTTP 400 (Bad Request) response.

No comments

Jan 9

ASP.NET MVC Framework – Links

Category: How-To,Web Link
Tags: ,

Here is a series of posts from ScottGu’s blog about the new ASP.NET MVC Framework.  That seems pretty interesting…

No comments
« Previous PageNext Page »