Category Archives: General

Bluetooth using the gui in Ubuntu

Bluetooth is of course a well-known mechanism for connecting mobile phones and pda’s to computers and laptops. It is low-power, easy to setup, and works out of the box on most systems. Until recently setting up serial over bluetooth in ubuntu/debian wasn’t a trivial task. I was by all means doable, but for many people meant creating and copying, downloading and tailoring some command-line scripts. This difficulty is mostly still noticeable when looking at the sheer amount of blogposts and articles and wiki’s about this setup. The tools are there (bluez has been in development for years) and work great, but setup is not for Joe / Jane Average.

When I revisited using my mobile phone’s GPRS modem on my netbook via bluetooth (an Acer Aspire One, running Ubuntu Intrepid, 8.10), I found hundreds of articles detailing the aforementioned edits… and a couple about achieving the same with a gui. The sysadmin-side of me prefers console solutions as these can be used over ssh (so I can set this up for others), my advocate-, user-and blogging-sides wanted a gui.

I found Blueman ( I first read about it last november (at version 0.6) and was impressed, at time of this writing it is now at 1.02 and working even easier than before, thumbs up!

In this article I’ll have a look at setting up Blueman “the easy ubuntu way”, i.e. mostly from a gui, with package signatures and without using a terminal (I will have to cheat though :-( ).
Continue reading

Lightweight & fast webmail client

My main home server is a measly pentium II class machine running (now) on Debian Etch. Not the fastest machine but it works, uses little power and is cheap while setup from left-overs. Among other things it serves me my email when not at home using RoundCube Webmail. With the low-end hardware I am using it is key to keep it as fast and lightweight as possible. The server is behind a DSL connection at home so compression comes in handy as well.
Continue reading

Quick status update

So, I’ve been inactive for a while now. With the new job and moving to a new place my time to blog has been very limited. I’ve been preparing some more drafts (the number of drafts is now bigger then the number of posts… Guess I should do something against that).

So, in short an overview of what has been keeping me busy (besides moving and getting used to the new job).

Wireless bridges

Trying to get a wireless to wireless bridge. Since I didn’t want to drill some more holes in my new place, I wanted a wireless to wireless bridge from the closet down stairs to my room upstairs. At Dynabyte they sold me a Belkin wireless N1 router which should, according to them, be able to create a wireless bridge with my Belkin wireless N router. “Of course” that didn’t work, so In the end I settled for a combination of an airport extreme and an airport express, which works perfectly. Even though 1 month had passed, the Dynabyte accepted the return of the N1 router, which is nice of them. And, fortunately for me, the N router has it’s use as well. I’m using it now as an access point, since I’m not able to get my Belkin USB stick to connect with more then 65Mbit to my Airport… And well, it’s better to have the wireless bridge at 5Ghrz and since my mac mini doesn’t support 802.11n I need a non 5Ghrz wireless network as well (oh, that Bekin USB stick doesn’t find the airport at 5Ghrz either, guess that’s why it’s still called Pre-N…)


Having to switch to two airports had a nice side effect. I’m now able to use IPv6, which is a good thing IMHO. If only to be able to see the nice animated google logo on ;-)


I was always using apt-proxy to be able to update multiple debian based systems faster, since you only need to download the packages once that way. But a while ago apt-proxy stopped working so I went looking for an alternative. That alternative has become apt-cacher. More on this will follow later.

Quartz Scheduler

For the new job I’ve been looking at Quartz Scheduler, a cluster aware job scheduler. It looks nice, but the cluster features seem to be very limited. I’ll post something about this once the solution is completed.

Changing the <title> of my blog

And last, the page tittle on the blog has been changed a bit. I don’t want it to start with my blog name, since that makes the google results harder to read. So now it starts with the title of the blog entry, and then the name of the blog. It wasn’t that hard to change it, I just had to alter the header.php of the theme. I used this blog entry as a basis and then did my own “magic” with the header.php file and turned the default <title> into

if (is_home()) {
        echo " &raquo; ";
} else if (! is_single() && ! is_page()) {
        echo " &raquo; Blog Archive &raquo; ";
} else {
        echo " &raquo; ";

The '' in the wp_title call is needed to override the default » that is put before the title otherwise.

VMware and Virtual PC images continued

A few days ago I wrote about VMware and the Virtual PC images. I said that it’s not a problem that you don’t have the Windows CD, and that you just had to press cancel when requested.

This was only true for the IE6 image. The IE7 image needs the CD. Without it, it won’t work properly. Now after I used it for IE7, I thought, well lets do that with the IE6 image as well so all is installed properly. How stupid can I be…. With the IE6 image when the mouse driver is installed, it’s no longer working properly!

But, I did another re-install from the converted images while I was writing this post, and guess what: if you wait long enough after the first boot, windows will request a restart even though there is an software install box waiting for you. If you just ignore the software install box, and restart the system, the problem with the mouse is gone.

Oh, another thing. The fix that is needed to be able to compile the kernel module can be applied before you install VMware. I used the following steps for my second install of VMware (using my version didn’t work since I’m on X86_64 and my colleague is on i386).

tar xzvf VMware-player-2.0.3-80004.i386.tar.gz
cd vmware-player-distrib/lib/modules/source
chmod u+w vmmon.tar
tar xvf vmmon.tar
vi vmmon-only/include/vcpuset.h
change line 74 from: #include "asm/bitops.h" to: #include "linux/bitops.h"
tar uvf vmmon.tar vmmon-only/include/vcpuset.h
rm -r vmmon-only
cd ../../../
sudo ./

Starting to blog

Since I see many people blogging about things they do, and I use that to acquire a lot of knowledge, I’ve decided it’s time for me to start blogging as well. I hope I’ll be able to help you out with some issue’s I / my colleagues encounter.