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Fix slow keyboard on Dell Inspiron 1501

Posted: January 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: fun, howto | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 84 Comments »

One of my colleague asked me to take a look at her laptop and check why the characters appear so slow sometimes.
At that moment I thought it’s a software issue. After several checks we reinstalled the XP but the problem persisted. So, we sent the notebook to the service.
After one month, we received it untouched with the following resolution: please reinstall the OS :).
Ok then…

So I started to investigate by killing unneeded processes.
I have started with ati2evxx.exe.
I was lucky, after two days of tests it seems that this was the problem.
The exe is started by a service named ati hotkey poller (I can’t remember exactly right now).
This process is installed together with the Ati driver (catalyst).
I have changed the service settings to not start at boot time (it cannot be stopped) and rebooted.

The problem was resolved.

On another dell inspiron 1501, but with newer drivers, in the control center the hot key service is disabled by default. In the version from the CD with the drivers, the hot key service is enabled by default.

Update 1: Show me your happy face! if this works for you, you saved at least 500 euro…
Leave a comment if this fixed your laptop.

Update 2:

Edwin suggested below that the cause of this lag is because your batter is too old and you should replace it.
To test it, remove the battery and start your Dell.

If the battery replacement fixed the problem please leave a comment.


opensuse 11 on dell inspiron 1501 and dell vostro 1510

Posted: August 14th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: fun, howto, linux | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

I got a new laptop from work, first thing to do with? … of course, install linux….
because ubuntu disappointed me, hdd problem convinced me to try something else (any distro you may chose, i’m pretty sure you have to hack drivers).

From previous experience with dell 1501, i prefered opensuse 11.0.
On 1501, everything was smooth: ndiswrapper for wifi (fwcutter and restricted driver are unstable) ati driver from the opensuse’s page (check http://en.opensuse.org/Ati).
Graphic performaces? Not even like in windows, too bad.

Now let’s get back to vostro 1510.
After installing opensuse 11 with gnome, the keyboard and touch pad did not work.
No fix on google.
No problem let’s try kde (last kde I had used was on redhat 9, that’s on 2003-2004).
After several minutes and one reboot I could log in. Strange to work with kde but not with gnome.
Those guys from gentoo said it’s becuase ACPI. Anyway it works.
Now let’s fix network:
– the wired network 🙂

rmmod/modprobe r8169 driver to have the wired internet working

– the wireless network

ndiswrapper saves the day, I’ll not give details, I add the fact that I have used XP drivers from dell.com.

For the video card:

go to opensuse’s page download the ymp file and use it with yast. For compiz use simple-ccsm.

Conclusions:

– opensuse 11.0 works better on dell 1501 than ubuntu (i have tried with ubuntu 6.06, 7.10 and 8.04);
– i have no ideea why gnome did not work (the keyboard was not working) and kde succeded to be used on vostro 1501;
– ubuntu is not the only and last alternative to windows on your desktop or laptop, I still have ubuntu installed, but sometime is a pain to modify/hack it;
– the video card from vostro (Nvidia Geforce 8400M) performs as expected (2600fps when running glxgears), compiz works perfect;
– no hdd problems when running opensuse on these two laptops, no need to modify the power management of the harddisk to save it’s life.

I’ll write more about these linux distro in combination with the laptops I have around.


Access MS Office Project Web Access from linux

Posted: March 15th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: howto, linux | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

After some time I have found (by googling) a way to use MS Project web access (2003 version) in IE6 running in wine.

The problem is the IE6 installation doesn’t include MDAC necessary to access project server for data.
IE6 uses some activex, which wont work without MDAC. Installing MDAC was a little bit tricky (there are only a few pages mentioning how to install it for ies4linux) but I am sure you’ll manage to do it.

Here are the steps (tested in ubuntu 7.10 i386):

-install wine
-install ies4linux

wget http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/downloads/ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
tar zxvf ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
cd ies4linux-*
./ies4linux

– downlaod MDAC_TYP.EXE (search it on google) and copy it in “~/.ies4linux/ie6/drive_c/kits
– get wine ready to install MDAC:

export WINEPREFIX="/home/username/.ies4linux/ie6"
open winecfg and “Add programs” and select MDAC_TYP.EXE, select compatibility level to windows 2000
Save and close

– install MDAC_TYP.EXE

hit wine MDAC_TYP.EXE and follow on-screen wizard.

-open ms pwa (here it comes 🙂

open ie6 and add the hostname of the ms project server at the trusted sites
enter the url of the MS PWA
install activex packages (both) when you are asked

– enjoy

Caveats:

It consumes a lot of memory. You better have at leas 1gb. At first ran of PWA in wine, my ubuntu consumed 1.3GB RAM, and the load of the system was about 4. It’s a little bit slow.

Anyway, it’s running…

ms pwa


Ubuntu – console text size

Posted: February 28th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: howto, linux | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I have searched for a method to make the font size on the console (press ctrl+alt+f1) on ubuntu instalation.

After a few hours (yeah, it took a while) I have found this link:

http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-652038.html

It works on dell 1501.

Here is my grub’s menu.lst:

title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=c93d3013-5367-4fc7-9a55-9093c56f544a ro quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic
quiet
title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic (recovery mode)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=c93d3013-5367-4fc7-9a55-9093c56f544a ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic
title Ubuntu 7.10, memtest86+
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin
quiet

No vga tags at all…:)

Now you can easy use the console if you like it.