… and now for something completely different

recently a good friend of mine started to blog. He was so kind to refer to my blog, so will I.
Stefan writes about his daily life, professional Java development and tools and coffee. The last part might be exaggerated, but he should write about coffee. Everyone should.

So please have a look: aza-net.blogspot.com

Backspace in Firefox and Linux

Anyone who is used to firefox under windows (and probably mac) is also used to the backspace key. under windows, firefox will go one page backwards if you hit backspace.

Under Linux if you hit backspace, there happens… nothing. Which is disgusting.

I found a website (german) which describes how to change the behavior:

Continue reading Backspace in Firefox and Linux

How to install HandBrake on Ubuntu 11.10

If not already happened: Install the synaptic package manager (search for synaptic in the Ubuntu software center)

Download this package according to your architecture. If you are not sure which architecture you need, try amd64 or i386. This are the two most used architectures.

Install the package by double clicking.

Open a terminal and execute sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases

Open synaptics package manager, go to preferences / package sources / other software. There should be two entrys like “http://ppa.launchpad.net/stebbins/handbrake-releases/ubuntu”. Mark the first one and click on “change”. Alter the distribution code from “oneiric” to “natty”. Do the same for the second entry. Apply the changes

Back in synaptic, click on reload. Now you can search for handbrake in the package search


Ubuntu 11.10 + Lenovo Ideapad Z370

Two days ago I’ve updated Ubuntu to 11.10 and it worked well.

I started from scratch, so I won’t have to deal with “old” problems:

Here is my setup:

  • Plain vanilla Lenovo Z370
  • Harddrive was replaced by a 60 Gb Sata2 SSD
  • Ubuntu 11.10 (Desktop edition)
  • I installed the IdeaPad Driver Package (get it here) to get rid of a lot of the “Keycode 240”

On the pro side:

  • The sd-card reader works out of the f**king box!
  • The key manager works!
  • Fn + F1 = Suspend to ram!
  • Fn + F2 = Switch the Backlite off
  • Fn + F5 = Switch all wireless connections off
  • Fn + F8 = Activates Num “block”
  • Fn +F9-F12 = Media keys (Play, Stop, Next, Previous) tested in Banshee
  • Fn + Arrow left + Arrow right = Louder and quiter

On the down side:

  • Special keys 1-3 kill the deskop
  • Special keys 4-5 didn’t work
  • Frequently sended “keycode 240” interupts the standby
  • Fn functions:
  • Fn + Esc = Nothing happens (should disable the camera)
  • Fn + F4 = No function (should do …)
  • Fn + F6 = No function (should disable the touchpad)
  • Fn + Arrow Up, Arrow Down (is a little bit buggy) (Should adjust the intensity of the backlite)


  • HDMI connection with my 23″ Monitor
  • Fn + F3 = Switch between display modes (for beamer and external displays)


  • The new Ubuntu feels like it uses more energy (which I can’t prove right now)

New task: Get my sd-card reader working…

New task of the day: Get my sd-card reader in my laptop working. My Lenovo IdeaPad is nice and everything but sometimes there are some annoying things. Like a not working sd-card reader. There absolut no reaction on Ubuntu if I insert a sd-card… Maybe, I will find out 🙂

rmmod ehci_hcd doesn’t work
“echo “usb-storage” >> /etc/modules; modprobe usb-storage” was promising, but doesn’t work either

What do I know? My laptop has a “Realtek Semiconductor Corp.” sd-card reader.
If I insert an sd-card, dmesg will show


Wohoo, 11.10 fixes this problem! I’m able to use sd-cards! Not that I realy use them, but it’s nice to know, I could

Slideshow2 Vertical Alignment

To update my last post, this solution worked for me:

On the Slideshow2 homepage is an working example with vertical alignment. So I downloaded exactly  this version of the slideshow2.js and the according mootools and tadaa! It works. It seems that the current version simply is not capable of vertical scrolling.

A single drawback is still there: The option “resize” doesn’t work. But as long as you can live with that, the slideshow2 V1.2.5.1 is sufficient

Slideshow2 – Vertical alignment

I was looking for a javascript gallery plugin for a website I maintain. After I checked two or three plugins (incl. galleria) I decided that Slideshow2 is the tool, I’ll use. One of the big points in my decision for Slideshow2 was the simple integration of a vertical thumbnail list. I tried it in galleria as well but failed.

With Slideshow2 everything went well. Download the package, edit the file like specified and voilá you’ve got an vertical thumbnail list. Life can be so easy…

… until you add additional pictures: With more thumbnails than the complete height of the container (around eight in my case) the problems reveal. There is no scrolling!

After some (read alot) try and error I wrote to the googlegroup of the developer and sent a complete error description and a way to reproduce the problem in. So stay tuned 🙂

Problems… Weird ones…

I just bought a nice and sleek Asus 23″ Display for my PC. Because of my old Hardware, I’am not able to attach it via HDMI to it. Good for me I’ve had my Lenovo IdeaPad Z370. I’ve attached it to the display and you know what? It works. Just out of the box…

… Until I decided, to change the alignment of the two displays (the Asus and the laptop one). It works fine if the big display is right of the small laptop monitor. If I choose to have the big one left of the small one, I’ve got a weird behaviour: The Asus display won’t show the lower-left part of the screen!

See the two pictures attached for details:

Bildschirmfoto1.png was captured with the external Asus display on the right, Bildschirmfoto2.png with the external Asus Display on the left. The point of disapprovement is the left black part on bildschirmfoto2.png. The black parts on the screenshots are usable for the mouse (the cursor will get rendered) but no window will get rendered. It’s the same behaviour like the black parts on the right side, where in reality is no display (because of the lower resolution on the laptop display)

My guess is, that some of the internals (x? gnome? some fancy abstraction layer?) think that there is no display. But… why?

Technical data:
Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 on 1366 x 768
Display: Asus VS247H 23,6 Inch (connected via HDMI) on 1920 x 1080
OS: Ubuntu 11.04 (Kernel 2.6.38-10)

Ubuntu on Lenovo IdeaPad Z370

This post is designed for everyone who considers to buy a Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 and plans to install Ubuntu 11.04 on it.

The Z370 is a cheap (around 430€) , 13,3″ wide screen laptop with an core I3 2nd generation CPU and 4 gig ram. About Ubuntu I don’t have say anything. On the other hand I have to mention the problems regarding laptop hardware support.

Long story short: There are problems, but none of them are serious.

Here is an overview of problems I’ve registered so far:

The special keys (volume up, down, mute) aren’t supportet. That wouldn’t be a problem, if a key press of one of these three keys wouldn’t evoke a crash on the unity or gnome pannels…

Another problem is the Ubuntu keyring. It seems to have problems to remember my ssh passphrases. I don’t know if this is a problem emerging only on Ubuntu + Z370 but, so far I have no solution for this problem.

Beside these problems, everything is fine. The Lenovo IdeaPad Z370 is a subnotebook, which is worth its salt. For an improved user experience you can add an SSD harddisk (which I did) and boot your laptop in roughly 15 to 18 seconds.


As mentioned in my later posts there a two additional problems with Ubuntu: The sd-card reader doesn’t work and the extra monitor is a little bit weird