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Glossop, United Kingdom
You can email me andybleaden@gmail.com ,ICQ 277487048 or contact via twitter @andybleaden and yes I am still here-always will be!

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Kubuntu Skype and Logitech Webcam Issue

Getting Logitech webcam working again in Kubuntu on Skype


Background

Had webcam, and skype and it was not working in Skype for some reason. See here for background to the issue from the Ubuntu Forums

Ubuntu Forums


So I had been running Skype with a fix using a Konsole (terminal) command that started Skype via the Konsole using this command
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype

But it was a pain in the rear end as I had to try to get my family to use this method as well as they are not so confident with Linux at all....and it should have been easier to fix


Solution

So as you will see from the Ubuntu Forums post there were suggestions of scripts (not good at that) and amendments to the applicaiton ( ooh eck!) However I then remembered that this was done via editing the KDE Menu Editor and tried putting the command above in instead of the skype command as per below

Apologies if this is very simple but it took me a while

I right clicked the 'kick off application launcher button' traditionally in the left corner and selected Menu Editor

In the KDE Menu Editor Box that comes up I selected 'Internet' by clicking on the + sign next to it and opened all the internet applications then scrolled down and clicked on 'Skype'

Now on the right hand side of the KDE menu editor under the General Tab is a box called Command with the words skype written in it. This starts the Skyep programme. So far so good? Ok. I clicked on it and deleted it and then copy and pasted this command in
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype

(Which until now I have been using via Konsole to start Skype...not very user friendly...especially for my family!)

After pasting it in I then pressed the save icon in the corner.

This has now saved the command above for everytime you start skype!

When skype starts up next time it will automatically point skype to the camera.You can now fire up skype and test in Options on the bottom left Blue S button or by hitting ctrl and O, clicking Video Devices and hitting the Test button next tothe details of your webcam.

and it worked...no more konsole commands and post it notes...it just works!!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Dual boot Moblin and Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04


Indecision: How to dual boot your netbook to run Ubuntu Netbook Remix AND Moblin




Ok...You may have realised I like to tinker with software. I liked Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) when I tried it on my Netbook. I also liked Moblin when I installed it as was fast and looked good.

Every time I got stuck with Moblin I had to reinstall Ubuntu or Kubuntu which was easy enough and taught me how to install quicker and quicker from a USB stick but it was time consuming. So I thought about dual booting my netbook with both.

Overcoming Barriers
The first barrier was that when you install Moblin it has a bootloader which does not easily sit with other distributions  as it installs the bootloader in the SDA partition.

So a little googling and a trial or too (loud tuts from home as I had rendered the netbook dead again!)  and I found some good guidance here on Gary’s Web Sofa which helped me a great deal.


Warning
I have to say now that this guide which is excellent like many does assume you do this when you are not:

1 Tired
2 Weary
3 Drinking Beer
4 Stupid (stupid enough to make a big error-more later)

I had moblin installed already and did not want to reinstall it so I edited the boot menu list as described and then fired up a live pen drive. I have to say now that I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as I had downloaded Ubuntu desktop and not Netbook Remix and so had to do this all over again!-(Hence the stupid comment)

Creating space

So before installing UNR I created a partition using GParted and then when I installed UNR it created a new partition sda3 which is where I put the bootloader for UNR.

Now when the Netbook starts I press esc and then can choose between moblin and ubuntu in the grub for moblin. If I want moblin I have to do nothing. If I want UNR I press esc and then select the menu I have titled Ubuntu Netbook remix. Note this then jumps to the Grub2 in sda3 and I can boot directly into UNR.

I also noted that if I did not create a separate partition first then the installation failed to create a sda3. When installing side by side it did not create an new partition so you had no where else to put a new bootloader

A little complicated at first until you realise that the chain loader is jump start your pc to another partition and therefore another Grub menu. Once you realise that….all becomes clearer.

Another thing to note is that you will have 2 file systems on your pc (one ext3 and one ext 4) Moblin will throw up an ext4 error message which you can dismiss and cannot read any files on the UNR partition and vice versa for UNR but with no error message.

Given I have a 160gb to play with this is not a problem but I can imagine it could be a tight squeeze on a smaller system with  a SSD drive of say 16gb.

Summary

In summary this is a suitable tool for the indecisive like me who want a little of both moblin and ubuntu...and it just works