Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to dismount MSI PR201

Today I'm starting a new serie of posts regarding laptop modding. The first step of every laptop modding is of course the notebook dismount. The tools required are very common: a small screw driver, better if magnetic, a pair of tweezers, a plastic blade (maybe a plastic knife or plettrum) and the most important of course patience and care.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Remove Openoffice start delay


even if in many setups this trouble it's silent in fast environment it's really a pain. I'm talking about the slow startup of Openoffice when you want to open a file. It takes ages to do nothing, as it doesn't write or read from drive, no CPU use or whatever. It took a lot to figure out where the trouble was. From time to time it happened to do some text edit without internet connection... and surprise... no problem!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Speedup Desktop Environment


one of the last post I was wondering what made my system idle for 3 sec before finishing boot. I think I've found. I asked Sherlock Holmes and he revealed me the truth. So let's take the chance and find the best way to get a responsive and fast environment.

First of all unless you have a good dedicated graphic card I suggest to forget about compiz and other beautiful but useless beautifiers. I even suggest Xfce which is very light fast and reliable. This means that Gnome and KDE are good if you want a cool look, but not always the best choice.

In my case I have an Integrated Intel Graphics, so I have to do without compiz, I love very minimalist desktops, so decided to do without compiz, without KDE and without Gnome, just Xfce, and an even lighter panel manager, tint2.

Friday, October 8, 2010

CPU downvoltage, downclock and monitoring on gentoo linux

Hey everybody,

since I assembled my laptop starting from spare parts I had a serious problem: heat. I don't mean my laptop went on fire in idle, but when doing some serious computing form my MRI jobs, it happens to work for several minutes with both CPU at 100%.  That should not scare anybody, but I did force my barebone specs plugging a T9800 CPU, 35W, when the suggested CPU was of downvolted family (25W). Hehe :]. Obviously you can solve many overheating troubles, but the first solution should always be heatsink cleaning and fan check.

Keeping in mind that I always run my pc with the best airflow possible (no pc-bag under it or cover while sitting on the bed etc.), this is how I solved my problem, handling the CPU management in the same time, and how I tested the final configuration.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

MSI PR201 and linux: bluetooth, fingerprint, Intel video, Intel audio and card reader

Hi everybody,

today I'm going to write about some tricks to fully handle MSI PR201 features. As comes out of the title we are going to treat 5 main areas: bluetooth dongle, fingerprint sensor, Intel Graphics, Intel audio and MSI PR201 is a small but complete notebook, it comes in a small and lightweight chassis, with a 12" screen. It has a Montevina chipset, so it won't support latest Intel processors (i5, i7 etc), but can run up to the T9900 or X9100 with 3,1GHz clock. The ram supported is DDR2 up to 8GB. Our hardware is going to be:
Device 002: ID 0db0:a97a Micro Star International Bluetooth EDR Device
Device 002: ID 147e:1000 Upek (fingerprint sensor)
VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller
Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller
?? Card Reader ??

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boot time tuning chapter 5th: Timing

Hi everybody,

as promised I'm here again with another chapter about boot tuning. Last time I made a little step back to improve my system reliability, today I'm moving forth again, with no renounce of course!

The solution I was trying it is very customizable, but I'm going to explain as well as I can how can you achieve the same degree of optimization on your box. Our requisites are a text editor, bootchart and if you are running gentoo we will use eselect tool. If you don't have bootchart you can find a guide how to install it here or googling around.

As always I suggest you to give up if you don't know what you're doing, unless you try it on a "testbox". I don't take liability of any consequence.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boot time tuning chapter 4th: Reliability


today I'm making a little step back but another forward. I mean that in the last tuning chapter I was enthusiastic of my 9 sec boot time, even knowing I was on the edge of the blade. Actually nothing bad has happened, I was even able to cut away another second.

I did optimize booting levels and made some order in my xorg.conf. Maybe some little extra is given by the latest xorg version, which I installed in these days. At the very end of my optimization I was able to boot in 8s... but sometimes I was not able to boot. So here is the detailed story.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Multidimensional matrices operations: Matlab mtimesx

Hi guys,

today it's the first time I'm writing about something concerning the world of engineering. In particular we are talking about matlab: an awsome platform for computing. Imagine a swiss-knife with easy high-level programming language, GUIs, rapid and optimized libraries, data importing, terminal board connection, graphig drawing, 3d animation, system terminal interface and lots of toolbox developed by users from all over the world: this is Matlab.

When I heard the first time that name at university I was not happy to learn another programming language more than C++, but time made me change my mind. Now that program is the base to do any sort of thing in my working environment. A brief look at my work is some 3-d processing on a set of slices coming from MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and believe the results are amazing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Adobe Flash support for 64 bit system

Hi guys,

Seems finally the day has come. One of the most desidered ad still not available features of 64bit os was the Flash-reader plugin. Still on Gentoo-x86_64 it was the default choice to install the 32bit plugin with 32bit precompiled libraries and nspluginwrapper. This sounds not easy and indeed it is, at least conceptually. The major cause of the choice was of course the lack of a 64bit plugin. Maybe some opensource were available, but you know those work correctly on 1 content over 10.

Adobe released the Adobe Flash Player "Square" on sept 27th, but gentoo portage have already included beta version few months ago. It comes with beta version 10.2, here comes the steps to install it.