Thursday, 22 November 2007

Installing Postgresql 8.2 on 7.10 server

Installing Postgresql 8.2 was tricky. The database did not start automatically. The directory /etc/postgresql was not created by the installation scripts of the package.

In a previous version of this blog I complained that Ubuntu developers would ignore the problem.

Martin Pitt pointed out that the problem had something to do with my settings of locale. It turns out that the installation script checks very stringently for a correct setting of the locales. Otherwise it would simply terminate the installation process.

locales showed a correct list of locale settings.

Martin suggested to use the following command:
sudo locale-gen de_AT.UTF-8 en_US.UTF-8
On my test machine this changed nothing (obvious). Only when Martin explained why he insisted on the locales (setting the character set and collation sequence in tables) did I follow his advice and reset the locales.

Reinstallation postgresql 8.2 worked finally, the database started automatically.

Kudos to Martin Pitt for having the patience putting up with me. Martin, I am sorry.

To set up you database server you first need to:
  • edit postgresql.conf configuration file and set
    listen_addresses = '*'
  • edit pg_hba.conf host based authentication configuration, add
    hostssl all all md5
    to the end of the file to allow all clients to connect to the database
  • restart the database server with
    /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.2 restart
I installed pgadmin3 on my notebook to access and successfully configure the database. I created a table using webmin for testing purposes.. Finally I tried to connect to my database using MonoDevelop and reconfigured the table to my requirements.

Friday, 16 November 2007

7.10 -> HP 8510w

Installing 7.10 on a HP 8510w (T7700, 2.4 GHz, 120 GB SATA HD, 2 GB 600MHz RAM, nVidia FX560M) works fine.

To boot the 64bit Edition you need to adjust SATA Native mode = Disabled, in order to boot the LiveCD. After basic installation, I set SATA Native mode = Enabled.

Migrating settings onto the machine worked as described for the HP 8510p.
  • Copying Thunderbird settings worked fine (with the exception of Lightning, which requires a 64bit version). A special treatment require the additional phone books
  • Migrating keyrings is as simple as to copying the gnupg directory
  • Transfering Firefox settings worked by copying the user profile to the target machine

Some things I did not get to work yet:
  • SD cards are not recognized (they are in my old nx8220)
  • Sleep mode sometimes does not resume. The fans work their maximum, but the screen remains black. This happens every 5th or so sleep and you have to reboot the machine.
All other things work fine:
  • Screen resolution of 1900x1200 was recognized and the screen adjusted correctly
  • Touchpad and the little blue nub in the middle of the keyboard work fine
  • Even though the screen resolution is larger than that of the 8510p, over all the 8510w feels faster and snappier than the 8510p.
A note on the notebook itself: The keyboard feels slightly different to the 8510p I used before or the nx8220. I have to type harder or some letters get swallowed. Also the distance of the keys feel slightly different. I sometimes miss the "i" and get an "o" instead.
Other than that, its a pretty machine.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Installing Ubuntu 7.10 on a Sony Vaio Z600NE

Haven't used my old Sony Vaio Z600NE for a while (Windows XP was prohibitively slow). The Sony Vaio Z600NE was shipped with Windows 98 in 2000. Sony does not support any OS after W98 on this machine, but W2K Windows XP worked fine.

The machine came with a CD ROM that plugs into the PCMCIA slot. USB 1.1 connectors don't support booting from USB devices.There is a 10 Mbit Ethernet connector on board.

Booting LiveCD

First I tried to boot the LiveCD. The machine hung without giving any indication about the cause. I tried several boot parameters and settings:
  • set keyboard to German / left default
  • set graphics resolution to 1024x768 / left VGA
  • set kernel parameters: noquiet, nosplash, irqpoll, irqfixup, acpi=off, pci=off, clocksetup=hpet, clocksetup=pit (in any combination)
LiveCD would not boot, after the graphical or textbased loading of the kernel image (vmlinuz) the screen blanked and installation halted (even tried a full night in case Linux required longer timeout periode).

Booting the Alternate CD

Booting the alternate CD worked fine (I tried several boot parameters first with same results as with the LiveCD: the CD would not boot). Alternate CD boots into a textbased installer.

I entered username, password, keyboard layout and location. From there the installation went without any interupts. Installation took pretty long (approx. 50 minutes), after detecting the hardware, a default set of software packages was copied and in a third round installed.

After installation, a reboot was required.

My Sony did not boot up. Turning the machine off completely did not change the situation.

Removing the CD ROM from the PCMCIA slot and rebooting finally worked. The machine shows the GRUB boot loader prompt. It prints ACPI capabilities on the console. Then the splash screen shows up and with one hesitation it boots up quite fast.

Adding Netgear WG511T Wireless adapter

After the first reboot, software updates were available. In order to get higher bandwidth, I inserted a WG511T wireless adapter from Netgear. The adapter was recognized immediately and configured correctly. I had to enter key information and then could access my network at 108 Mbits/sec.

Software update after this was fast and reliable.


As a general office machine, the Z600NE is sufficient. Accessing the internet or reading E-Mails work fine. Even blogging this article works fine.

However, I tried to install TuxKart und Planet Pinguin Racer. Both programs crawl along so I deinstalled them. Other than this, I am happy having revived a long lasting companion.

Final steps

Sometimes the Z600 refuses to reboot. Kernel boot options were set to quiet splash. After changing this in /boot/grub/menu.lst to
quiet nosplash noapic clocksource=acpi_pm
the machine rebooted reliably.