Adam Kessel's Thinkpad X40 discoveries

The first thing i did when I returned from vacation in Paris with my girlfriend was to check out all my regular open source information websites to keep me up to date (More on Paris later). On Adam Kessel wrote some interesting things for ThinkPad X40 owners. I have stolen the text from his blog entry in fear that the link to his weblog won’t work one day.

A couple of extremely useful recent discoveries on my IBM Thinkpad X40:

  • /proc/acpi/ibm, provided by the ibm-acpi package. You can control all sorts of Thinkpad-specific behaviors in here—including my favorite, which is the automatic display switching when you open and close the lid or dock/undock. You can turn off automatic display switching with:

    echo auto_disable > /proc/acpi/ibm/video

    You can also turn the light keyboard light on and off with:

    echo on > /proc/acpi/ibm/light
    echo off > /proc/acpi/ibm/light

    Etc. Go IBM!

  • Display corruption: this brings me to my biggest problem running GNU/Linux on the Thinkpad X40—display corruption. When you switch from internal LCD to external CRT, or sleep and resume, or close/open the lid (with the automatic switch behavior described above), the display moves down 15-20 pixels and the top lines are corrupted garbage. I’d post a screenshot, but of course the screen doesn’t realize it’s corrupted, so it would have to be a digital photo. In any case, I just discovered this experimental driver to replace i810_drv.o· which makes the problem go away entirely. Just drop it in over the i810_drv.o in /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/ (bad behavior for Debian—will be overwritten by an upgrade of course). Hopefully this driver will make its way into the mainline X drivers and eventually back into Debian. This makes using my Thinkpad at least 20% less annoying.

Now if only someone would write a driver for the internal SD card reader (apparently no one has gotten it to work·), I think I would have 100% usage of my laptop’s features.

FriFinans got a new homepage

The Open Source accounting system FriFinans has got a new homepage. The homepage is in danish but we are working on a english version. All developer documents (where they exsist) and code comments is in english, so this shouldn’t stop non-danish speaking people to join in.

New layout for my blog

Yesterday I got an idear for a layout for my weblog, and today I actually took the time to realize it. Though it looked better inside my head, I’m satisfied with the result. Of course I used Inkscape to implement it. I have also used some time tweaking the stylesheet to look good with the html generated by markdown… no I will not stop talk about it ;)

Markdown syntax installed on weblog


I found a Markdown serendipity plugin, and I have now installed it!

Wiki with Markdown

After I stumbled upon the cool Markdown syntax and the Markdown text parser, some time ago. I have been looking for a wiki system which uses this cool syntax. We use a wiki system at work to document customer setups in, and a wiki with a decent syntax would be nice. A guy has made PHP Markdown an port of Markdown to PHP and I hoped it would be easy to find a wiki system using markdown syntax. So far I only found Instiki who lives up to this demand fully, which works very well under Ubuntu. Other wikis - like DokuWiki - are able to use markdown as a rendering plugin but it never feels fully integraded. With DokuWiki you need to wrap you text in tags like this:

text with markdown syntax here

… and why would I want to do that on every page I create? Another thing that turned me away from DokuWiki was the fact that I wasn’t able to make it work :-D

Thought I find Instiki really cool it has it’s drawbacks too:

  1. The first I noticed was that it is written in ruby. Not that that Ruby is a bad thing but I would have prefeered a wiki system in PHP so I would understand the code myself. This I can live with.
  2. The fact that it is written in Ruby, makes unable to run it on port 80 where my Apache server is running. Perhapes I would be able to solve this using some sort of proxy thing with Apache. Requsts on a certain domains/page gets forwarded to another port (for Instiki that would be 2500)… I think this is also the way Zope usually works. If this would endeed work I could live with that. I havn’t searched for this “problem” on their website though…
  3. I’m not able to upload files not even images and that is a thing I cannot live without.

When image (file) upload enters Instiki it will contain all I need for a great wiki. I trust they will implement it in a good way… all the other things they made is. It would be cool if I could use the syntax in my weblog… but that is only a matter of doing a little footwork.