Tag: tech
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Lenovo T420 Internal Microphone and Linux
I recently -- by which I mean probably 6 months ago -- bought a Lenovo T420. The machine is amazing, except on one point: the microphone and headphone jacks are combined. For work, I need to be able to use Skype; it's not my favorite program in the world, but hey, it sort of works when the weather is right and the stars are aligned. However, with the integrated microphone/headphone port, I had a problem: I could not connect a microphone while still using my laptop's speakers. The T420 also includes a built-in stereo microphone, but this did not work correctly under Linux. I needed to make the internal microphone work.
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Sunday, 29 May 2011
Copying Chromium/Google Chrome Search Engines
Chromium (the open source version of Google Chrome) has a great search engine feature that allows the user to search different websites directly from the omnibox (the address bar). I use this feature heavily; for example, "wp Linux" means search Wikipedia for the Linux article for my browser, "bgo chromium" means search bugs.gentoo.org for all bugs containing the term chromium, etc. All of these search engine features are configured from the "Manage Search Engines" screen under Preferences. Chromium will even add search engines as it finds them, through metadata embedded in some pages. For example, Amazon has this feature embedded in its page, so searching "amazon.com Arduino" will search for the Arduino on Amazon.
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Sunday, 29 May 2011
Arduino Installation Notes
I recently bought an Arduino Uno (thanks in part to SparkFun's free day, thanks SparkFun!), and I have finally gotten around to hooking it up to my main Linux box, which runs Gentoo. Some notes on problems I encountered getting everything working:
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Sunday, 17 October 2010
The Bluetooth Blues: Getting a Linux PC to use a GPS on an Android Device
Bluetooth is one of the modern wonders of modern wireless technology. Whether you want to talk on the phone through your car or play a game on your Wii with a wiimote, you're using bluetooth. It is wonderful, when it works. When it doesn't, however, then it can be a royal pain.
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Saturday, 22 May 2010
BitlBee - Changing the Way I IM
It is not very often that a piece of software dramatically changes my workflow. A few years ago, I largely stopped switching OSes, browsers, email clients, window managers, IM clients, etc. I settled with what I had, as it was largely good enough. While I have switched browsers since then (Firefox -> Chromium; more in another post), the workflow isn't dramatically different. Most of the keyboard shortcuts are even the same. So after a friend pointed me to "Bitlbee":http://www.bitlbee.org, an IM client, and I started to use it, I was hooked. BitlBee is an IM client, but it is unlike any other IM client that I have seen. I did not only change applications, but I fundamentally changed how I access IM services.
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Monday, 17 May 2010
Motorola Droid
My first cell phone was the "Motorola e815":http://www.motorola.com/motoinfo/product/details.jsp?globalObjectId=82, one of the first 3G-enabled phones on the market. It was a great little phone that could get a signal in a canyon in the middle of nowhere, far from where Verizon said it should. Before Verizon killed the program, it also gave me 3G Internet access at the expense of my minutes via a bluetooth connection to my laptop.
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