Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three Good Movies

I've seen three good flicks courtesy of the Sundance TV Channel: Flame and Citron, The Spanish Apartment, and The Russian Dolls. Flame and Citron (Flame and Lemon) is the story of two Danish assassins in WWII. They were hunted and killed by the Gestapo, but they took quite a few Germans and Danish collaborators with them. The Spanish Apartment is a French dramedy about European students living in Barcelona, Spain for a year. It's funny and illuminating and shows how Europe as a whole is becoming a nation without borders at least culturally. This includes Russia, hence the name of the movie The Russian Dolls since travel between Russia and Europe is rather easy these days. The Russian Dolls is the sequel to The Spanish Apartment. If I could find a woman like Wendy in The Russian Dolls, I'd be a happy man.


Toshiba Satellite L775D-S7340 and Linux

The Toshiba Satellite L775D-S7340 is a very good cheap laptop. Toshiba has discontinued making 17" AMD laptops (antitrust? Intel?) so it's best to grab one before they disappear. They retail for about $600 now. Anyway, I recently purchased one and I put Linux on it just like my old one. Unfortunately, the only major distribution that will work on it except for the wireless card is Ubuntu 10. Yesterday, a friend with the exact same laptop texted me and told me he was having trouble. So, I took both laptops along with CD and DVD blanks as well as multiple distros and we discovered that either the wireless card or the Radeon graphics chipset would not be recognized by most major Linux distributions. After a little digging, I discovered in a forum that Zorin OS 5 64-bit would work on this laptop and its wireless card except for the keyboard. With a little bit more digging, I found that if one appends locale=en_EN i8042.reset to the kernel line in GRUB ( just hit the e key during the grub menu to edit the kernel line, then hit F10 ), the keyboard and mouse will be recognized as well as the wireless card. Once you install the Zorin OS 5 x86_64 on the system, you'll need to edit /etc/default/grub and change

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash locale=en_EN i8042.reset"

then run update-grub to update GRUB's configuration. You'll have to edit GRUB directly and apply the fix the first time after installation. I'm sorry, but I can't remember the exact forums where I found the information that allowed me to solve both issues. I try to give attribution where I can. This should help anyone run a Linux Ubuntu derivative on this specific laptop. Kudos to the Zorin OS development team. Be sure to apt-get install mono-runtime, mono-addins, and mono-utils if you want Banshee to work. One of those packages is necessary for that application to work.


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