Monthly Archives: February 2012

The picture on my Samsung LE40B535 turned red. Ish.

So yeah. I was playing around with my TV, and the picture turned red. Yeah, like red red. It had a red tint, or a hue, or some such shit.  So first I was obviously like, “ok some weird settings change occurred”. Check settings. Nothing. Reset settings. Nothing. Picture is still redish. I mean the picture is sharp as all hell, but on all inputs, the picture is red. Including the built in DVB-C tuner, the PS3, the Xbox 360 (both over HDMI).

The only thing that changed? I hooked up a desktop PC through VGA for testing purposes.

Yeah! Hooking up the PC over VGA borked the picture on all other inputs. Great.

Googling… Find a forum that has the solution, luckily. First page was all “I called service!!!”. Second page had the solution. Go to the service menu, set a setting back to normal and presto: we’re back. No service needed. So how was it done? Here goes:

  1. Shut down your tv, but leave it in standby.
  2. On your remote, pointing it at the TV, press, in order, Info, Menu and finally Mute. Do not hold the buttons down, just send one command per button to the tv.
  3. Turn TV on. You should now be in a Service Menu. (this should work for most Samsungs)
  4. From the ADC/WB menu, select ADC Result
  5. From there, find the 2nd_R_Offset value, which for me was about 20 or so higher than the 2nd_G_Offset and 2nd_B_Offset values.
  6. You should see the change immediately.
  7. To get out of the menu, shut down the TV and start it normally.

Note: My TV was running on the latest firmware available for this model. The PC was a standard Fujitsu-Siemens desktop, and i was running memtest, so nothing even remotely graphically complex. I am also running another PC over HDMI: My MediaPC. It runs XBMC on Ubuntu 10.04. No issues on this for the past two years I’ve had it.

I am therefore inclined to blame the VGA. This is an old model so a firmware fix is unlikely. I am also inclined to thank ‘vasili0s’  on the cnet forums. Thanks!

Snazzy random

Another post of random thoughts and ramblings.

I’m on my winter vacation this week, which has been of.. varying quality. I’ve had days where i’ve been able to rest. And i’ve had days where i’ve been totally swamped, or unable to calm down. I’m a bit of an ADD case, really. I have trouble sitting down just doing nothing, even if that would be the best course of action for any given moment. I need to be doing something.

I sold some old stuff this week, just to clear the inventory a bit, and to make a few extra bucks. In fact, i’ve made about 70 this week selling old crap that i had no use for. I sold a WAP54G access point, an old Acer laptop which was lacking most parts, but worked pretty well considering. And I sold my broken 30GB iPod Video. Someone got a cheap 1.8″ drive out of that deal. I had no use for it, and it had been sitting in storage for at least a year, maybe more. I still have some stuff that i’m trying to unload, but i all in good time.

I have a Leatherman Surge. A nice big hunking block of metal which does most things that you would ever need to do in life. It, however, broke down a while back. Just a part of it actually. A spring that holds the screwdriver in place got.. lost. Somehow, somewhere, it sprung lose and now the tool won’t stay in place anymore. So, i found the original receipt, and found out the place that imports and services Leather..men.. in Finland is in Rovaniemi of all places. That’s around a thousand clicks north of Helsinki. I emailed them about my problem and they said “Sure, that’s covered by the 25 year warranty, send it in!”

Brilliant.

So, i find a suitable box, wrap it in some bubble-wrap, and ship it over to Rovaniemi. I hope to get it back next week, better than ever. I love that tool.

I’m on page four hundred and something of REAMDE, and it still manages to be an interesting book. It has taken some weird turns from the somewhat curious  start. The premise is wild. Chinese gold miners for an online RPG turn rogue and screw with the wrong people. Reading about this plot made me order the book instantly out of sheer curiosity. I think i saw it on  Boing Boing or something.

While sorting through my old stuff, i found a box of old processors. Well not “old” old. But still. Pentium 1 and onwards. I’m putting them back in a box. Where are all my older bits and bobs? 486’s? 286’s? 8088’s? Lost! Lost i say.

A bobble-head Storm Trooper is looking at me. Bobbing away. Oblivious fucker.

I’m going to order some tickets to New York for July. Hope 9. It will cost an arm and a leg. Luckily, the Euro is getting stronger vs. the dollar, which makes the trip cheaper. I’m kind of scared to travel there again. Reading about the recent incident where someone was sent back from the states because he wrote some Tweets which were interpreted as threats. Just.. surreal? I guess. Anyway, i calculate the trip will cost me a cool 2500 euros at least. Not accounting for food, travel in NY and so on. Oh boy.

Next week i’m going to be at a Cisco course. Imagine that.

The weather today was the shittest it’s been in years. We had a huge dump of snow, combined with cold weather which played havoc with traffic. We had huge pile ups, traffic stuck up the wazoo. I picked up my son from daycare, which is a 10km trip, it took me well over an hour. And i tried to be clever, and took the long way around. So did a few thousand other people apparently.

The largest accident saw some 30-50 cars get wrecked. Some people even had to be cut out of their vehicles. Just insane. There’s a video of one of the crashes here. You can see people are driving way too fast, considering they can’t fucking see in front of them. Oh shit! 30 cars are wrecked and there’s no way around! Screeeech! *Bang*. One would think that since we’ve had winter in these parts for a few hundred thousand years at least, or like.. ever, we’d get the hang of it already. But no. We still manage to fuck it all up.

Trains are not running, buses are stuck and crashing into cars. Since, after all, we’re living in this cold and arid part of the world; surely we can’t buy trains that run during WINTER. And we have a state run railway, which means, we’re paying out of our asses for a service that isn’t even designed for this country. “Oh boy! We didn’t anticipate ice and snow…”. Great going. And who would we complain to? Our representatives at parliament? Oh that’s a good one. I mean, this is a problem that can be solved after we throw enough money at it. Design rails and junctions that work in cold weather. Heat them. Spray anti-freeze. Whatever. Get trains that have sturdier undercarriages and brake systems that don’t freeze. And if  you think they don’t exist, talk to the Russians, or the Norwegians, or something. Or put some people on the problem. Get a research team and pay them enough money to solve the issue. Then order new trains and rails with these specs. But no. Instead, we just keep on doing a bad job, and raising prices while we’re at it. We should be sitting on sold gold thrones with the way ticket prices are going. Maybe a foot massage on the way to work? Yes please.

Ok tomorrow is a new day. I intend to start it with hot coffee, bacon and eggs. Looking forward to it. And for once, i’m actually feeling tired! I’ve been having some issues sleeping lately. I have two types of sleeping pills. Ones that work always, but leave me too groggy to operate the next morning; and ones that kinda-sorta work, and take about 2 hours to kick in. But now i think i might go to bed, au naturelle, and perhaps, if i am extremely lucky, i’ll be able to sleep a solid.. 8 hours, and wake up without a head ache.

Good night, and good luck.

We’ve come a long way, baby

I was considering Linux compatibility. Back when is started, at the end of the 90’s, compatibility was not much to talk about. Most cards and peripherals were not supported, or the support was iffy. I remember having an ISDN card, which i had no support for. And since there was no support, there was also no internets for me. So using Linux full time was not an option back then. Over the years, support has gotten increasingly better. Nowadays i would be greatly surprised if a device i had was *not* supported.

I remember having a Canon MP500 which was a nice multifunction printer back in the day. Well, this was in 2006 maybe? So not *that* long ago. But still Before that i had a Canon.. something or other, A3-size printer. Neither of these had any support. They were both initially listed as “Paperweights” on the Linux Foundation OpenPrinting list. I think it was that. Whatever equivalent we had back then.

Canon was absolutely unrelenting. They would not support Linux, even if the foundation offered to make drivers for them, if they would only send some hardware to them. Kind of hard to make drivers without specs or hardware. Eventually we got some generic drivers, and the MP500 started working, somewhat. Resolution was limited to about a third of what it was supposed to be, but it worked. A great day. Many times i considered just throwing the Canon out, and getting an HP, which have always had impeccable hardware support under Linux. But, that didn’t seem right. I was having a first world problem.

Reading the OpenPrinting page today i see that Canon is still somewhat of a troubled vendor when it comes to Linux support. Oh well. The MP500 broke down, and printers are usually not worth fixing out of warranty (hell, they are usually not even worth using after the initial bundled ink runs out…). I decided to get an HP, and settled on a cheap multifunctional called F4580, probably no longer for sale. Works great. There are several driver to choose from, and they all seem to work great. Now though, the scanner seems to have broken down 😀 Oh well. The printer still works…

So we’ve come a long way in a little over 10 years. Devices we hadn’t even heard of are now supported under Linux, and you really don’t have to think about what you are buying, unless you need specific fringe devices that are not say.. consumer grade. Most of the stuff you can get out of Verkkokauppa will most probably work when you plug it in. Some vendors even have Linux-sections on their support sites, but mostly it’s all built in to the OS, if you’re using one of the mainstream distros (some .deb or .rpm based one).

To follow my distro-hopping, I’m currently running CrunchBang on my desktop, and Debian 6.0.4 on my work laptop. I have a windows 7 virtual machine if i need to use something that absolutely need windows. Debian was a bit of a hassle to set up so that i’m pleased with it, but it’s mostly done now. I started with a net-install which had pretty much nothing built in.

I’ve also been working on preseeding an Ubuntu installation. Basically an automated install of ubuntu that configures the system in a certain way based on a .seed file (well you can call it whatever you want, really), which contains answers to questions that the installer makes, and other settings. It was about one work day or so to have everything running smoothly. I now have a 11.10 .iso which can be booted, and it’s completely hands-off. When it’s done (within 20 minutes or so), you’re at the login. Might come in handy at some point. The most difficult part, for some reason, was the keyboard layout and locale-settings. They just wouldn’t stick, or it’d interrupt the otherwise automated installation by asking me some question. Eventually, i started from scratch, using the 11.10 preseed example, and got everything working. So it was probably a brain-fart on my part at some point.

The next step will be testing various distribution methods, the first being a PXE-boot type installation, where a TFTP-server dumps the image onto the installing computer and runs it. Should be interesting.

Still waiting for ICS for my Desire Z. CM9 is rumored to be supported on that phone too, but there isn’t so much as an alpha out yet. I’ve seen some videos of this particular phone running CM9, but they are probably self-built firmwares or some CM developer trying things out. So i’ll have to wait a little while longer on this one. I’d even appreciate a nightly for the 2.3.5 series android that i’m running now. They halted all nightlies for the CM7 series while CM9 was being developed. I’ve been looking at the changelog for the next nightly, and it’s already like 2 pages long. So they could just release something in the meanwhile for us tinkerers to play around with. Pretty please?