Lars Wirzenius: Linux, 2003


Sunday, December 21, 2003

Linux: On the Lindows trademark

It seems that Lindows is having trouble with its trademark. Again. I'm not surprised: the words Lindows and Windows differ in exactly one letter and as far as I can see, Lindows's name is a clear attempt to be similar to Microsoft's offering. Since the space of possible names is so huge, I see no point in toeing the line. Lindows is simply wrong in this case, even if they are Linux-friendly.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Linux: Bogofilter

Bogofilter started acting in a peculiar manner, which resulted in it refusing to learn from new messages or even classifying old ones. Then, suddenly, it stopped failing. Not very nice. For the day or so it was acting up, I did not have spam filtering at all, and as a result my inbox was becoming hostile. Not good.

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Linux: LDP is 10 years

It is Thursday, and therefore time for a new issue of the best Linux publication, Linux Weekly News. One of the news items is that the Linux Documentation Project is celebrating its tenth birthday. As far as I can remember, the LDP was founded by myself, Matt Welsh, and Michael K. Johnson in the fall of 1992, so they should more appropriately be celebrating their eleventh birthday. (An earlier version of this entry used the date 2002 instead of 1992. Thanks to Oliver Maruhn for pointing this out.)

More importantly, this is yet another incident of the lack of historical record and a good historical document for Linux. Someone (else) should probably write one. This would be an excellent way for, say, someone with research and writing experience to contribute to Linux. A journalist, maybe.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Linux: I've seen my book

I was spending some time with a friend today and we were hanging around in a bookstore and happened to see my name on a book. It seems that Coriolis Press (or something named like that, I didn't make notes) has printed my Linux System Administrators' Guide together with Olaf Kirch's Linux Network Administrators' Guide. I can't remember if they told me they'd do that, but they might have: I'm quite forgetful. Anyway, it was a nice surprise. Too bad my book is in desperate need of updating and revising, and I'm not up to doing the task.

Of course, I'd be much more likely to remember them if they'd sent me a copy or two of the book. Nudge, nudge.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Linux: Kernel upgrade to 2.6.0-test3

I hate upgrading the kernel.

Today, I decided to try out version 2.6.0-test3, which is the newest development kernel. My laptop did not work very well with the stable 2.4 series in April, when I got it, so I've been running with 2.5.66 for some months now. It works, except that it won't suspend (not even with swsusp), and it will neither reboot nor shutdown cleanly and instead panics when unloading usb stuff. Not good, but good enough.

After I upgraded to 2.6.0-test3, the mouse stopped working in X. After a couple of hours of looking things up and trying various things (nothing is, of course, ever documented clearly), Killeri told me on IRC that the development kernel had dropped support for /dev/psaux and even /dev/input/mice, and that you now have to use /dev/input/eventX. Trouble is, the X server didn't support that...

Eventually the following works. My laptop uses a Synaptics touchpad, and the kernel recognizes it. X does not, natively, but there is a driver, which you can compile and load dynamically. Luckily, I didn't have to compile it, since Killeri had one that worked for me. I put synaptics_drv.o in /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/input. Then I put the following in XF86Config-4:

Section "InputDevice"
  Identifier "Configured Mouse"
  Driver     "synaptics"
  Option     "CorePointer"
  Option     "Device"          "/dev/input/event0"
  Option     "Protocol"        "event"
  Option     "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
  Option     "ZAxisMapping"    "4 5"

This works, for me. Perhaps putting it on the web helps someone else. The Synaptics touchpad driver is supposedly going to be integrated into a future release of XFree86, which will make this a bit simpler.

The good thing about this is that now the touchpad's scroll button works. This is a major improvement in usability.

But I still hate upgrading the kernel.