Lenovo Adjust Keyboardmapping (Fn/Ctrl and PageUp/PageDown to Home/End)

Lenovo Adjust Keyboardmapping (Fn/Ctrl and PageUp/PageDown to Home/End)

Swap the Ctrl and Fn Key

Lenovo has awkwardly placed the Fn key as first key of the last row instead of the “Ctrl”-key like most laptop and keyboard manufacturers. The “Fn Key” is unique to laptops and does not register in the normal character map. Thankfully you can swap the two keys in the Bios-settings.

Caution: If you do not know what Bios is – do not change any other settings.

  1. Restart the computer
  2. When you see the ThinkPad Logo Press “Enter” to interrupt the normal startup process.
  3. Then Press “F1” to enter the Bios Settings
  4. Navigate to the page “Config ” (using the arrow keys) and select “Keyboard/Mouse”
  5. Enable “Fn and Ctrl Key swap”
  6. Press “Esc” and Navigate to “Restart”
  7. Select save changes and restart
Posted by happyneal in Hardware, 2 comments
Lenovo T430 – Reduce fan noise

Lenovo T430 – Reduce fan noise

For some reason on some T430 laptops the fan is always on even if the CPU has a 0% load. If you are running Windows here are a few suggestions how you can fix this issue:

Update Bios

Make sure your laptop has the newest Bios installed – maybe Lenovo figured out how to resolve the Fan control on the hardware level.

  1. Run Lenovo – Update and Drivers
  2. Update Bios

Official Fan Speed Control Driver

  1. Download the driver from: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS001691
  2. Install the driver
  3. Restart the computer
  4. Open the Task manager and check if “FanSpeedControl.exe” is running (if not, de-install the driver again

TPFanControl

Apparently “troubadix” from the German Uni-Marburg created a small program to control the ThinkPad Fan.  Caution: As you are actively manipulating the fan speed, your hardware could overheat and be damaged which could not be

  1. Go to: http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~schmitzr/donate.html (yes – the webpage is in ComicSans)
  2. Scroll down to “download area” and select the “latest common Version” (or check if the special version is better suited for your laptop)
  3. Install and restart
  4. As default the fan is being controlled in the “Smart”-mode, based on the temperature of the CPU.  I did not have to change any settings, usually the CPU runs at around 42 degrees Celsius. If your CPU heats up faster you may want to use a more aggressive cooling strategy provided by the program.
  5. To minimize the window to the “Notification Area” Right-click on the TPFanControl icon in the Notification Area and disable “Show Window”

 

Posted by happyneal in Hardware, 2 comments
Google App Engine: Import CSV to Datastore

Google App Engine: Import CSV to Datastore

Processing CSV Data with the Google App Engine is a two step process.
First you need to upload the data and store it in the blobstore.
Then you retrieve the file and process the information and save it to the Datastore(Database).
You can process the csv data with the standard python tools from the csv module, however instead of parsing a file you must parse a BlobReader.

Posted by happyneal in Python, Web Technologies, 6 comments
Windows: Password Recovery

Windows: Password Recovery

Sometimes you run into the problem that someone has forgotten their password for their home PC. As a good friend you are going to help them recover their password.

Preparation

  1. Go over to http://ophcrack.sourceforge.net/ and download a Live CD with tables  (either for XP or Vista/7)
  2. Burn the CD with imgburn or create a USB-Boot disk with Universal Usb Installer

Password Recovery

  1. Start the computer by booting from the USB-stick/CD
  2. Ophcrack will launch immediately and try to crack the password by brute force
  3. If it does not work, click on the button “tables”
  4. Now click on the button “Install” and navigate to the tables directory on the CD or USB-drive (something like /media/usb-drive/tables)
  5. Enable the tables, it is going to take a while to load them into RAM
  6. Retry to crack the password.

Finishing up

Write down the password, restart the computer and login. Change the password to something that a human being can remember.

 

Posted by happyneal in Windows, 0 comments
SteamOS: Beta

SteamOS: Beta

Valve has released a beta version of their OS. Hyped as the “killer app” for Linux and many hoped it will be the replacement for Windows.

In reality SteamOS is not going to be the Windows Desktop replacement OS. It is going to be a OS to be used with your TV and game-pad. Exactly like Valve has originally advertised the system, an OS for a “steam machine”; a computer controlled primarily by an game controller. The system is designed to compete with other consoles like the XBox or Playstation. The system is now in its beta state. Mostly Linux enthusiasts and hardware distributors are probably interested in the system.

The OS will be delivered to the majority of users on a pre-installed “steam machine”. Most Users will never have to interact with the underlying Linux environment and the computer will only be used for gaming purposes.

However time will tell how this development will effect the overall perception and acceptance of the Linux platform. Hardware developers like Nvidia and AMD have already announced a better driver support for the Linux platform. Hopefully major software developers will follow suit.

System Requirements

From the official site the hardware requirements are as follows:

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
  • 4GB or more memory
  • 500GB or larger disk
  • NVIDIA graphics card (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon)
  • UEFI boot support
  • USB port for installation

Oddly the requirements stated is the need for a 500GB disk. However after installation the OS requires only around 2.7GB, making the installation on a smaller disk is technically possible. Valve has not yet said anything more specific why 500GB are needed. It looks like the requirements are more of a guideline for a suitable gaming system.

Installation

There are two ways of installing the OS either restoring an existing image or doing a clean install.  Many users were reporting issues with the restore method as well as  the requirement of a 1TB disk to restore the image. Thus it is easier to do a clean install.

Clean Install

  1. Prepare a disk, the installation will automatically partition your drive, no matter what previous system is installed. (= everything is going to be deleted)
  2. Download the installation files from http://repo.steampowered.com/download/SteamOSInstaller.zip
  3. Extract the zip file to an USB-disk (formatted as FAT32)
  4. Boot the system from the USB-disk and follow the automatic installation setup

First Start

  1. Select the Gnome Desktop
  2. Log on as user “steam”, password: “steam”
  3. Log on as user “desktop”, password: “desktop”

Initial Impression

Sadly the Steam Interface never loaded on my system. I did not spend a lot of time on tinkering around with it, as it is currently in the state of preview/beta software. I hope Valve gets a lot of feedback and can fix these issues.

However most of the experience is positive, the install procedure was smooth and automated and you did not have to know anything about computers to get it running except how to “boot from usb-stick”. Mostly user-friendly, however they currently have not put a lot of work into their installer and a couple of more options would be nice.

Conclusion

Sadly I can’t say a lot about the new OS – it is beta software and I could not get it to work with my PC – However it is going to be an interesting development to watch in the next couple of years.

Official Links

Announcementhttp://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/
Download: http://repo.steampowered.com/download/ 
FAQ: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648814395741989999/ 

Posted by happyneal in Linux, 1 comment
Aptana / Eclipse: Set up Git Repository (Github, Bitbucket)

Aptana / Eclipse: Set up Git Repository (Github, Bitbucket)

If you code for yourself or with a team you should be using a code repository. However getting started you need a dedicated server, installation etc. or you take the more convenient route and use one of the many repository providers.

Step 1: Get a Repository

For small teams you can get free Repositories. The two most popular providers are:

  • Github.com: Allows you to host as many open source projects as you like. (private projects cost a monthly fee)
  • Bitbucket.com: Allows a small team to host private projects. (As the team gets bigger you got to pay a monthly fee)

Larger teams, hopefully have the budget to pay for these awesome services.

Step 2: Set up your SSH key

Eclipse and Aptana Studio have Git already integrated. Git uses an encrypted connection to transmit data. You need to provide a SSH keypair.

Check for existing SSH keys

  1. Go to the directory “C:\Users\<username>\.ssh”
  2. Check if the files “id_rsa” and “id_rsa.pub” exist

Generate new SSH keys

If the two files already exist, you can skip this step.

  1. Open git-bash.bat (either by using windows search or navigate to C:\Users\%USRNAME%\Documents\Aptana Studio 3 Workspace\.metadata\.plugins\com.aptana.portablegit.win32\git-bash.bat)
  2. Enter the following command using your correct email-address.
    ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "name@email.com"
  3. For the first question, just press enter.
    Generating public/private rsa key pair.
    # Enter file in which to save the key (/c/Users/you/.ssh/id_rsa):
    
  4. Now enter a passphrase for your key (Password Generator) and confirm the password

Add SSH key to Repository

  1. Go to the directory “C:\Users\<username>\.ssh”
  2. Open the file ‘id_rsa.pub’ in a texteditor
  3. Copy the entire contents to the Clipboard (Ctrl-C)
  4. Open a web browser and login to github.com or bitbucket.com
    • (Github) Click on the “Edit my profile” button on the top right
    • (Bitbucket) Click on your Avatar > “Manage Account”
  5. On the left side navigate to “SSH Keys”
  6. Click “Add SSH key”
  7. Give the key a title (like username with the computer name) and paste the key into the form

Test Connection

  1. Open git-bash.bat
  2. Use the command
    • (Github) ssh git@github.com
    • (Bitbucket) ssh git@bitbucket.com

If everything went well you will get a message like:

Hi username! You’ve successfully authenticated, but GitHub does not provide shell access.

Note: At first I had difficulties to establish a connection. If you are having problems, check if the keys are in the right directory and have the proper names id_rsa and id_rsa.pub.

Source/Further information: Github – https://help.github.com/articles/generating-ssh-keys

Step 3: Set up Aptana/Eclipse

The initial setup is now complete you can now use Eclipse/Aptana to access your Repository.

New/Existing Project

To start using git create or use an existing project.

  1. In the Project Manager, Right-click on the project and select Team > Share Project…Screenshot - 11_19_2013 , 8_43_54 AM
  2. Select the Project, click Create and then Finish.Screenshot - 11_19_2013 , 8_45_51 AM

You now have a local git repository. You now can “Push” the repository to github/bitbucket.

  1. First create a Repository on the website and copy the address of the repository
  2. In the Project Manager, Right-click on the project and select Team > Remotes > Add RemoteScreenshot - 11_19_2013 , 8_52_00 AM
  3. Give the remote a name and paste the address of the repository
  4. Finally push your initial commit with Team > Push

Retrieve from Repository

If you already have a Project stored in your repository and want to retrieve it.

  1. Go to File > Import 
  2. Select Git > Git Repository as New ProjectScreenshot - 11_19_2013 , 8_31_50 AM
  3. Enter the URI of your repository:
    • (Github) git@github.com:<username>/<repository>
    • (Bitbucket) git@bitbucket.com:<username>/<repository>

Use your Repository

Here are some tips on using the repository (well they are based on my experience using SVN, but the same principles apply):

Commit as often as possible

The beauty of subversioning is that you can figure out step by step what parts of your code created the error. When working in a team, always make sure that the entire code is correct and valid and still be compiled/executed.

Write proper commit messages

Always comment what you are currently committing. It helps to rollback to a specific point, and it is a documentation of your work.

Regular updates

When working in a team regularly check that you have the newest version of the code available by doing a “Pull”.

Best Practices

A lot of experts have articles on how to use git effectively in a team. Read up on them and see if they are suitable for your team.  Check out this article about Git Best practices.

Posted by happyneal in Programming, 8 comments