Archive for April, 2006

Ubuntu on a Samsung X05

April 25, 2006

My laptop is a Samsung NXO5. This was not made available to Portugal by Samsung. This is a very classy, lightweight and thin laptop.


  • Processor: Intel Pentium M 1.4 GHz
  • Chipset : Intel 82855 GM (Montara)
  • RAM: 512 MB DDR
  • Graphic adapter: Intel Extreme Graphics 2
  • Interfaces: PCMCIA/Card Bus, USB (2x), VGA, LAN, modem, Wireless-LAN (802.11b), S/PDIF, analog sound, Memory Stick

The advised OS for this Intel Based laptop is MS Windows XP (go figure why!). I have it running in Ubuntu 5.10 (also known as the Brezzy Bagger), without any problem, every thing worked right out of the box (only the modem and the Memory Stic wheren't tested yet….)

The only problem that i found was that my Teac DVD Multi-Recorder did not had the DMA activated. So what i did was:

  • On my terminal:

~$sudo hdparm /dev/hdc


  • This command let's you check the state of a certain drive, in this case my DVD drive.
  • Hdparm let's you get/set drive parameters (for more information check this link or wright "man -k hdparm" on your terminal).
  • To execute it, you will need super user (sudo) permission.
  • The /dev/hdc is the path to my DVD drive.
  • you should get something like this:

IO_support= 0 (default 16-bit)
unmaskirq= 0 (off)
using_dma= 0 (off)
keepsettings= 0 (off)
readonly= 0 (off)
readhead= 256 (off)
HDIO_GETGEO failed: Invalid argument

  • If you have the DMA off (using_dma = 0 (off))then let's activate it

~$sudo hdparm -d1 /dev/hdc

note: This command will enable the DMA, but you would need to do it again every time you reboot the computer, if you wanted to enable DMA.

  • To activate the DMA every time you reboot the computer you need to edit the hdparm.conf file so on the terminal window:

~$sudo cp /etc/hdparm.conf /etc/hdparm.conf.enable-dma.backupnote: This command will backup the previous hdparm.conf file. This is always a good politics. Only Super User can edit the files on this OS folder , that is why you will need sudo

~$sudo gedit /etc/hdparm.conf

note: Gedit is the default ASCII text editor for Ubuntu. Something like Notepad, but far better.

  • Then you just need to add this lines to the end of the file

/dev/cdrom {
dma= on

note: the information on the file is very good to learn more about setting a drive configuration.

Hello world!

April 23, 2006

Some time ago i got tired of using MS Windows…too many virus, worms, bugs, yada, yada, yada… where on the base of that decision. Besides i wanted to learn something new.

About six years ago, i started to use several Linux distributions: 1st, Suse Linux, 2nd the formerly Linux distribution known as Mandrake (Mandriva in this days), then Caixa Mágica (a Portuguese distribution). All of them where installed on my desktop at the time.

But I never ridded myself from MS Windows, because the software that i need in the faculty only existed for Uncle Bill's Operation System, i needed to port information between distinct PC's with the same software and, i confess, i was mind lazy.

And then i about one year ago i found out Ubuntu…Then, and now, everybody here and there talked about a “Linux for Human Beings”. Since i'm an Ergonomics student, Usability fan, and i had time to learn something new…so i though “Why not! Since, i am tired of always emule the last MS Windows version. So let's give it a shot, and kill two birds with one stone”.

So, at the dawn of this year, i completed my migration to Linux, and installed the Ubuntu, and removed form Maria (my laptop) Ms Windows. This is the reports of my adventure.

my first ubuntu desktop