Ubuntu Fan

life with ubuntu on a thinkpad T40

Archive for October, 2006

Taking a ScreenShot

Posted by ubuntufan on October 10, 2006

This may seem like a simple little tip, and it ain’t specifically Ubuntu, but I’ve seen others out there go through some similar tips and I need add some content, so here goes.

Let’s say that you want to take a screen shot. Gnome has a nice little screenshot link if you click on applications->accessories->take screenshot. You’re then prompted with the dialog box below. Nice and easy right?


But wait, how did I get just the dialog box and not the whole screen? Well instead of clicking all the menu items, just hit the print screen key on your keyboard and you will be presented with a similar dialog box but with the entire screen. If you want the active window (like the dialog box above) just hold down the alt key when you press the print screen key.

That’s it! Really, that’s all there is to it. Yeah it’s nice to have the menu option but it’s MUCH easier to just hit a keystroke or 2.



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Fresh Install of Dapper

Posted by ubuntufan on October 7, 2006

Okay, so I just wrote about how great the upgrade process was, when I went from breezy to dapper using a dist upgrade, and it was or…it is…whatever. I started tinkering with my music library and quickly disocvered that the little 10 gig hard drive that I was using to test with, wasn’t going to cut it. I figured it was as good a time as ever to do a fresh install using the Dapper livecd install and the new graphical installer. I had a 40 gig drive in an external usb enclosure…perfect. So I swapped them out, putting the 10 gig back into the external enclosure so I could copy the stuff over that I needed.

Once everything was put back together, I booted from the cd and after what seemed like longer than it should have been, I was presented with an X desktop with an install icon. I double clicked and away it went. Just answer some questions and it starts the official install (7 steps in all)

I like the new graphical installer, but it just seems to take a long time to get anywhere, maybe it’s just me but the text based installer was fine, but I digress.

Once I rebooted, everything worked out of the schute. I mean everything, wireless card, sound, all of it. I also noticed that a the default theme had a little nicer polish than doing it via the dist upgrade. Again, maybe it’s just me, plecebo, or the beer, but it did seem like it was just a bit “different”. The only thing I can complain about is that the buttons on most dialog boxes have some lines in them.

dialog box

So now I have a fresh install of Dapper and it’s time to start setting up some applications and of course Apache, MySQL, PHP (AMP)….more on that later


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Detecting Dual Displays

Posted by ubuntufan on October 6, 2006

So I installed Ubuntu 5.10 breezy badger because that was the media that I had. It picked up all of the hadware on my Thinkpad T40 by default. I was totally stoked. I tweaked things for a few days before thinking about trying to get dual displays working. I have read that others have done it with a pc but not a laptop. After some googleing, I found some references to folks that had it working on various Thinkpads, so I sat down to try and figure it out.

I will post my xorg.conf file some other time as I want to devote some time to explaining the different sections of the file and what they do. Today I want to go over how to detect if an external display is present and use the correct xorg.conf file and profile. I’m sure that there are many ways to skin this cat but this one works for me.

# determine whether an external display is attached
#cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.pre-local
if /usr/sbin/ddcprobe | grep -q "analog signal"; then
echo "External Display attached."
# set external display as exclusive primary
# cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf.pre-local | sed 's#"Single"#"Single,Reverse"#g' > /etc/X11/xorg.conf
cp /etc/X11/xorg.dual.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf
echo "Using build-in LCD."
# set build-in LCD as exclusive primary display
# cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf.pre-local | sed 's#"Single,Reverse"#"Single"#g' > /etc/X11/xorg.conf
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.orig /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Copy and past the above code into a file and name it xorg.conf_switcher.sh (or whatever you want). Place it in your /etc/init.d directory. Don’t for get to issue a sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/xorg.conf_switcher.sh command.

Ok, so what does it do? Well, ddcprobe is a neat little utility that will return cool information about your video chip, monitor(s) etc. What we’re doing here is looking for the term “analog signal” . If it’s there the xorg.dual.conf file gets copied over xorg.conf otherwise xorg.conf.orig gets copied over. I know there’s a way to specify which xorg.conf file to use at launch but this works for me. Hope this helps.

Feel free to let me know what you think and if there are ways to improve on this. I’m really liking my new Ubuntized T40. Oh, I did do a distro upgrade to 6.0.6 and it was flawless.


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