Monday 30 August 2004

XP SP2 Coaster Update

Drat - Nothing to do with software/hardware at all - It was the media - Steer clear of Datawrite Red (v2) 4x DVD-R!

XP SP2 and DVD-R Coasters

Had an enormous amount of problems with my normally very reliable Pioneer DVR-106 producing coasters. It was writing CD-R ok but not DVD-R.

I upgraded the firmware to region free v1.08 from here and I disabled the IMAPI service.  This allowed the drive to write DVD-R again but it was a lot slower.

I found that the drive had switched to PIO mode so I hunted round to try and find how to force it back to DMA and found this.  Also found a hotfix what will prevent the drive slipping into PIO so easily again here.

Sunday 29 August 2004

"The following entry in the [strings] section is too long and has been truncated"

I was having some problems when editing a group policy created from an XP SP2 machine on a non XP SP2 machine. The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC)was complaining about text being to long in the [strings] section of the administrative template.Turns out this is a known problem with hot fixes available in MS KB Article 842933.

2000 (Post SP3)Fix

XP (Pre SP2) Fix - Apply SP2

2003 (Pre SP1)Fix

Wednesday 18 August 2004

Linux integration with Windows AD

I've managed to get my Linux workstation talking to my 2003 AD DC and Exchange server.

Here's the login screen:
(Lost due to Blog move)

Here's the Evolution client talking to Exchange:
(Lost due to Blog move)

Tuesday 17 August 2004

Black projects and UFO's?

Had a bit of a strange conversation with an ex-aerospace employee today after I had mentioned my interest in the Rendlesham incident of 1980.  They were behaving very strangely but strongly suggested I examine Nick Cook's book "The Hunt for Zero Point".

I've had a quick look at the web and the book seems to cover captured Nazi anti-grav technology.  I think I've seen the mentioned somewhere as Aurora and connected to the "Black Triangles".

Interesting and requires further research although my contact suggests I don't follow it up!

No default route on wireless Suse 9.1

I can remember a problem with Suse 9.1 and there being no default route when using a wireless card.  I remember editing /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-wlan0 to contain:


netstat -rn then shows a default route.

Saturday 7 August 2004

Removing the X Windows Display size error on Suse 9.1 and Dell Inspiron 5100

Everytime I logged into KDE X windows presented me with a problem saying that the display had not reported it's size properly.  I measuered the display with a tape measure, (305mm*230mm) and entered these manualy into SAX2 after entering the display type as a Dell 1024x Laptop Display.

Supporting the Inspiron 5100 keyboard volume keys in Linux

I wanted to get the volume keys from the Inspiron keyboard working in Suse 9.1.

I had to do three things to get this working:

1. Control Centre > Regional & Accessibility > Keyboard Model > Laptop/Notebook > Dell Inspiron 8xxx

2.  Replace the volume mixer with KAMix instead of the default (forgot what that was)

3. Assign the volume up and down keys to the volume control in KAMix by:
KAMIX > Settings > Configure shortcuts

I did try to setup a DCOP server setting to the original mixer but could not get this to work.

Wireless network losing connection after suspend

I found that I had to issue a command to get network connectivity back after suspending my Suse 9.1 to disk:
/etc/ restart

By editing the file /etc/sysconfig/powersave/common I've managed to get the network to restart when coming out of suspend:

Problem with Linux mounting Windows Server 2003 Shares

I had some difficulty making my Linux box mount shares from a Windows 2003 Server share as it was giving me an error message.

The command I was trying to use was:
mount -t smbfs -o user=username //server/share /mnt

This caused an error of:
cli_negprot: SMB signing is mandatory and we have disabled it.
15137: protocol negotiation failed
SMB connection failed

The command I got to work was:
mount -t cifs -o user=username //server/share /mnt

Burfora Visit to Rendlesham Forest

Bufora (British UFO Research Association) are holding a day trip to Rendlesham Forest in the company of Larry Warren next weekend.  I don't belong to Bufora but it might be intereting to observe the man who claims to have been present in 1980 first hand.  I won't be able to read his book "Left at East Gate" before I meet him but the reviews seem to indicate he is a crank.  Still, I'll keep an open mind until I meet him!  Details on the visit are here: (Click "Events")

XP SP2 Release

XP SP2 has been released on MSDN Universal - I've downloaded it and am now installing it on my laptop.
Interestingly, the default install backs up your files.  I seem to remember being given a choice about this on previous service packs.
It'll be interesting to see what breaks (if anything).

Wednesday 4 August 2004

Suse 9.1 supports suspend to disk

My laptop running Suse 9.1 supports suspend to disk although it does not support standby.  Suse 9.1 does not allow this to work out of the box so you have to edit /etc/powersaved.conf and change this line:

I have yet to get the power button to suspend the machine though you can rightclick the plug icon in the panel to suspend or suspend from the command line:
powersave --suspend

Suse 9.1 pauses whilst booting to wait for network devices

My laptop was exhibiting a rather annoying pause when booting.  It was complaining about mandatory devices eth0 and wlan0 not being up.
To stop this edit /etc/sysconfig/network/config and edit a line to read:

It no no longer complains.

Inspiron 5100 Winmodem setup

Just realised that my winmodem was not setup. Here is how I did it:

1.  Installed Smartlink Softmodem utilities and userspace driver
rpm -Uvh smartlink-softmodem-2.9.6-79

2. Edited configuration file to set Country
vi /etc/sysconfig/slmodemd

3.  Configured modem driver to load automaticially
vi /etc/modprobe.conf.local
Add 'alias slamr0 slamr'

4. Load the driver manually first time around
modprobe slamr

5. Start the userspace softmodem driver
/etc/init.d/sslmodemd start

6. Verify it's running
/etc/init.d/sslmodemd status

7. Link the device to /dev/modem to test with WVDial
ln -s /dev/ttySL0 /dev/modem

8. Test it

9. Configure an ISP connection
yast > Network Devices > Modem

10. Reboot and make sure it all still works

Your milage may vary as there have been many types of Softmodems put into Inspiron notebooks.  The 'lspci' output of my modem was:
0000:00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801DB AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 02)

Tuesday 3 August 2004

Installing the i8k Kernel module at boot in Suse 9.1

I've been trying to get the i8k kernel module to install automatically on my Dell Inspiron 5100 for a while. Managed it at last! What I had to do was:
1. Create /etc/modprobe.d/i8k containing line "options i8k force=1"
2. Edit /etc/sysconfig/kernel and edit line to read "MODULES_LOADED_ON_BOOT=i8k"

I've also installed i8kutils.1.21-1.rpm sp that I can manually control the fan.
"i8kmon" is a little graphical tool to manage the fan
"i8kfan -1 1" Switches the fan to medium speed
"i8kfan -1 2" Swuches the fan to high speed
"cat /proc/i8k" Allows me to read the temperature
Output looks like "1.0 A29 J9F0V0J 50 -22 1 -22 92430 -1 2"
50 is the temperature

First SPF Pass

Saw my first SPF pass from a non-spam organisation today.  Made an order on and got this in my event log - Looks like SPF is beginning to spread!

WRT54G DynDns Fix

I think I've fixed the problem with my DynDns name expiring.  I enabled telnet on my WRT54G and then telneted in and used "vi" to create /etc/cron.d/dyndns containing:

3 4 5 * * root /usr/sbin/ez-ipupdate --service-type=dyndns --user=username:password  --interface=eth1

This should mean that the DynDns name will be updated at 04:03 on the 5th of each month.

I decided to update only once per month as the DynDns terms and conditions state only every 28-35 days.  We'll see if it works...

(Please replace bold italic text with your own actual values!)

Linksys WRT54G Firmware

For some time now I've been running "hacked" firmware on my Linksys WRT54G wireless broad band router.  The hacked firmware has many advantages such as increased power output, support for VPN and much enhanced port forwarding.  The one thing that was missing was being able to update my dyndns name if the ip address did not change for 35 days.  You can get the firmware from here: