carlfoxmarten: (Default)
I've posted about this in several other locations, so I'll post it here too.

About a week ago I'd upgraded my Ubuntu Linux installation from Natty Narwhal (version 11.04) to Oneiric Ocelot (version 11.11).

I have regretted that decision almost every day I've been using it since.

The updater has removed three programs I use fairly frequently, without asking permission.
(previous updates have asked permission to remove outdated software. This one was rude enough not to)

The three programs are, in order from most important to me to least important:
  1. gnome-device-manager: I've been using this to check on the devices I have plugged into the system to make sure that they're actually working, whether or not the drivers are actually working.
  2. gnome-pilot: Yes, another Gnome application. This one would sit on my screen and wait until I plugged my Palm Pilot in and then synchronize my files so I always had a backup in case its battery died.
  3. Pidgin: A chat client that supports many protocols. This wasn't that bid a deal since they didn't actually remove it from the repositories, but why remove it without asking if you're not completely getting rid of it?
Another issue I found out about today was the Gimp image editor. It's kind of broken right now, and isn't updating its window when editing images.
Very strange.

I want to go back a version, but am not entirely sure how yet.
Either that or switch to another Linux distribution...
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
As I've been writing my code, I've also been having a relatively close look at the developer help section of the Android Market site.

I have to say I'm a little confused.

Apparently, you need to have a Google Checkout account, which is hooked up to either a credit card or a bank account, and it won't let me hook it up to a bank account, and I don't have a credit card right now.
(I've bought about half a dozen pre-paid credit cards, but I'm quite sure those don't count for this)

After trying to read some of the help pages, my brain almost hurts.

Apparently, they have to handle each country separately as far as payment goes (which, I suppose, is to be expected), but the drop-down menu for countries on the Google Checkout Seller page only lists the US and UK, leaving out the vast majority of the list they have elsewhere.

I hope this will become clear when I actually get started, but there's no way to know for sure until I get there.
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
This is a picture of the video cable I'm having problems with on my laptop.

(yes, I am aware that it needs to be dusted)

I have three options to deal with this:
  1. Order a factor-recommended replacement cable for $60USD plus shipping, handling and taxes (the Canadian government charges taxes on the package as it comes across the border)
  2. Try to repair the multiple breaks myself. Only problem is that I'm not sure I can find wire that fine.
  3. Buy a new laptop to replace this one.

The option I like best is option 3, but it'll cost way more than the $100 I estimate it'll cost for option 1.

The cheapest option is #2, but still, I have to find a place that sells wire that fine.
(though it would be a good idea to make it with wire a bit less fine so it wouldn't break as easily)

Whatever I do should be done soon, though.
I have to almost literally fight with this wire before I can adequately read the screen.
(which probably means I should stop closing the screen at night)

Unbricked!

Mar. 28th, 2011 01:31 am
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
After playing around with the software I'd used to brick my MP3 player last time, I managed to figure out how fix it again, so I now have a usable MP3 player again!

It's a Samsung YP-K3 JAB/XAC model MP3 player, and oddly enough, has two "levels" of firmware.
The lowest level seems to be the actual firmware used to run the device, while the second level provided a graphical interface to interact with.
(as evidenced by the fact that version 3.09 has four versions of the second level, each with a different interface colour, and the additional fact that it doesn't like firmwares of different sizes than the one for its particular version)

After I'd tried to upgrade from 3.09 straight to 4.10 (skipping 4.03 and 4.06), along with the requisite reformatting to a Windows filesystem, it had worked just fine before the first couple of reboots, after which the display turned a solid shade of blue and reverted to using the MTP protocol.

It took me a while to figure out that it had reverted to the older 3.09 revision, though once I'd figured it out, I loaded the matching second layer file, and it worked again!

I've finally loaded almost all my music back onto it, leaving off only the music that I never bothered to listen to, which saved me a bit of space, as I've been hanging on the edge of less than 1GB of free space for a while now.

I'm actually quite relieved that it's working again, as if it hadn't, I would've had to buy a whole new media player, costing at least sixty dollars.
(for me, that's about two week's worth of work. I really need to get a better-paying job)
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
This is getting annoying yet again.

So far I've taken the cover just back of my laptop's keyboard off and jiggled the video cable, poked the cable, removed it and put it back in again, and finally pulled some of the tape off the cable and poked the wires some more, and each time have got a little more life out of the slowly-dying cable.

However, I don't suppose this could last forever.

Eventually I'm going to have to replace the cable or the whole laptop, and I'm not sure which I'd rather do.
Technically, I don't have money for either option right now (when does anybody have the money to replace one of their major computer systems?) so I have to deal with the cable as best I can.

If it was my only computer, I'd have thrown it out the window long before now, so I'm lucky in that respect.

I could extend the laptop's life a bit longer at the expense of portability by hooking it up to my current monitor, but that would mean I'd be tied down to my desk, though it would solve my display problem.

Ugh, looks like I really need to find a better job than a paper route so I can replace the ailing tech in my life...
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
Too bad it's the video cable...

When I turned my laptop on this morning, the display was even worse than it had been a while ago.
A little fiddling around with it didn't improve anything, and even made it worse than that.

Right now I'm lucky I can use my 2-port KVM switch to view the laptop on my desktop screen, but this means I can't take my laptop anywhere else at all without trying to fix or replace this blasted cable.

I had found a company that is the official supplier of replacement parts, but they want $60USD plus shipping and handling (plus duty and taxes at the border) for a dinky little cable that could be made for less than $10.

Granted, it would be cheaper than buying a new laptop, but sometimes I'd rather just buy a new laptop, as the video cable would be prone to breaking again, due to it making at least three right-angle bends, a real no-no for any cable, small or otherwise.

If I did buy a new laptop, I'd probably want it to at least have a dual-core processor, and at least 500GB of hard disk space, to ensure that it'll be able to last for at least a few years.

I have thought about trying to repair the cable myself, but when I got some of the tape off and had a good look at the wires inside, they appeared to be mostly very fine wires.
Wires of ordinary diameter are fairly easy to obtain, but fine wires are typically more difficult, and I'm not sure where to look to find them.

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Carl Foxmarten

August 2017

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