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Showing posts from September, 2011

How to buy a laptop

Laptop is a  very specialized piece of equipment. It has to chosen carefully in order to suit your needs and not just by looking at benchmarks. That procedure is for desktops.

I will not list laptop models or vendors here because the hardware and configurations change so fast that by next day it would be outdated. To figure which ones are topping the list go to pcmag.com, laptopreviews.com But remember the your final choice might be complete different than the ones they recommend. But if you sure that this is what I need then go ahead.

Now let us see how to choose the right laptop.

To select a laptop answer these first

1. Why do I need it ?
2. What do I expect from it?
3. How much spending can I afford ?
4. How much battery life I want?
5. How long do I want my laptop to be mainstream?

CATEGORIES :

A> Business - This means you have to make presentations with it. And travel a lot.

Options : Business laptops are available to suit this niche. But personally I would say - Buy one lapt…

A simple laptop battery monitor script

The script displays alert when the battery falls below 20% or charges up beyond 80% which should be the optimal range of its working.

The code is as below. Just copy and paste and save as any file name but preferably battery-notify.sh. The script can independent of what name it is given. Needs to have acpi (default install) and notify-send installed (sudo apt-get install notify-osd).


============================================

#!/bin/bash


# battery-notify v1.2 by JOnes


# It is a script to monitor battery and keep it between 20% to 80% the optimal battery working range. If the battery goe beyonds the set limit it gives pop-ups every 10 seconds. No sound warning as sound can easily be muted and ignored.
# Things that could be added : 1> The flexibilty of range. But it is not recommended  hence not implemented. 2> Notification in form of email or sms. 3> Sound / beep for critical state of battery.
# The script goes into background. To kill it at any time use : kill `pgrep battery-no…

How to choose a webcam

I am biased. I prefer Linux. So i am going to talk about webcams which work in Linux.
The primary driver for webcam in Linux is the UVC driver. Goto the UVC site and look for the supported hardware - http://www.ideasonboard.org/uvc/#devices

Other drivers available are SPCA drivers. The official website
http://www.quickcamteam.net/software/linux/drivers/spca5xx-webcam-driver .
describes the installation details.

For supported hardware look at -
http://mxhaard.free.fr/spca5xx.html.

For step by step procedure, look at the video at http://www.linuxjournal.com/video/get-your-webcam-working-gspca.

For Skype tested webcams - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SkypeWebCams

For more information go to https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Webcam
To test my webcam and adjust its brightness I use vlc and v4l2ucp. Cheese and v4l2upc combo can also be used. Here's what I do. (vlc needs to be installed)
vlc v4l2:///dev/video0
In another terminal open v4l2ucp, the Video 4 Linux v2 control panel.
v4l2ucp
Now in the v4…