It Lives!

My inverter board arrived today and the surgery was a complete success!

I basically followed the service manual from HP. There are serveral steps in there that you really don’t  have to do. All you really need to do is remove the key cover and the outside of the monitor. (you don’t need to take the display off first) The inverter is sort of a pain to unplug, but otherwise it’s a really simple procedure. (If you don’t spend a half hour trying to take off the keyboard only to find out you don’t need to! >:-( )

This was my first laptop repair. 🙂


October 25, 2007 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment


I just noticed that in the Slackware boot process ldconfig finally got its ‘&

For years putting ‘&‘ after ldconfig has been one of the most widely used ways to speed up the boot process. I guess Pat finally got tired of the extra wait. 😉

October 23, 2007 at 8:43 pm 1 comment


One of the things I love about Linux is learning about all the different package mangers. It is so cool to see how the same problem is tackled in hundreds of different ways, and even how those different solutions are applied differently.

Many people think that a program is not a package manager unless it can keep track of dependencies. (Just never say that to a Slackware user 😉 ) If your distribution keeps a centralized package repository dependency tracking really isn’t too much more convienient than using a package manager that doesn’t track them. There are only a few instances when dependency trackers have the advantage.

The biggest advantage of dependency tracking package mangers (abreviated DTPMs) is abstraction. You don’t have to know or care what a program needs to run. All you need to know is the name of the program and everything else is installed. This is great for novice users and a nice time saver for power users.

The next biggest advantage of DTPMs is with dependency heavy applications. (*cough * MPlayer) These applications are also those that have several dependency’s depencencies that need to be tracked down or very modular programs like X11. After a certain number of dependencies the command to install an application becomes error prone. There is also the need to visit several web pages to find out the dependencies of a dependency.

Once you have a working system the need for a DTPM decreases as time goes on. The more packages you install, typically the more dependencies you install and therefore less are packages need to be installed later on. Also, once you have a stable working system with most of the apps you use, you really don’t spend too much time installing stuff.

October 22, 2007 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment


I’ve been tinkering around with setting up an SSH server on my home computer. I would prefer having a dedicated server at home instead of running everything on my laptop, but I’m not sure how much I can trust the hard drives on the Pentium II computers lying around the house.

I’m a little uncomfortable having my computer open to the world (or the windows box 😉 ) so I look up some stuff about hardening ssh. It seems to be a really easy process. Basically just change the default port, disable the version 1 protocol, hostbased authentication, root logins, and allow only public key logins. Also set up a list of allowed users or groups and use /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny to block access to certain hosts. Finally put in place a nice iptables firewall to block traffic to anything outside the parts of the world you plan to be in. (I’ve read mixed messages about the last one, but mainly just performance concerns.)

Now your SSH server should be as secure as the underlying OS.

October 22, 2007 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

Here Comes the Inverter

While trying to diagnose the exact problem with my laptop’s display (the inverter board or the backlight itself) I noticed that the backlight still flashes when the computer is turned on. If I did my research correctly this means the inverter board is faulty and the backlight isn’t getting the initial power boast to it needs to turn on.

I found a place online that sells the part I need and hopefully my laptop will be back in action in a week.

October 22, 2007 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

A Whole New Slackware

After several failed attempts to burn the Slackware 12.0 install DVD (and a new pack of DVD’s) I finally quit complaining and burned the 2 install CDs.

A lot has changed since Slack 11, especially in the internals of how Slackware works. (At least my small understanding of it) I think I’ll have better luck getting around on this install if I treat it like learning a new distribution.

October 18, 2007 at 8:52 pm Leave a comment

Slackware Niceities

I’m starting to miss xorgsetup and some of the other little helpful scripts that come with Slackware. I also miss how all the Slackware config files are nice and well commented and everything basically works out of the box.

Really the only reason I like arch is because it’s much easier to start with a minimal system and build your way up. I also really like pacman, but not as much as the simplicity of pkgtools. Pacman made system updates really easy, but on Slackware I really never had a need to update. I also like the ability to get my package from a single source and not have to track them down across the internet.

October 18, 2007 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

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