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I keep upgrading my Home PC with better peripherals to make it to breathe better for long time. The recent one is a nVidia Graphics card of model 6200A – 256MB – 8X from Zebronics. I got it from ebay for Rs.2000 ($47) which is 7 months old. Now my PC configuration is

Intel PIII/850MHz, Intel 82815 Chipset, PC133 450MB, nVidia 6200A 256MB, 20+10 GB HDD

I have installed Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) for home productive purpose. Here is the steps I did to install this Graphics card in Ubuntu.

1. Plugged-in the Graphics card in AGP Slot of motherboard. (This card is AGP 8X speed, though my motherboard (Intel 82815) supports upto 4X AGP only. Since nvidia cards are backward compatible, it fits perfect with my motherboard) Connected the monitor to D-SUB connector of this card.

2. Booted the machine. Bios automatically detected the AGP Card and switched over the default display to this card.

3. No GUI desktop login manager. X windows failed due to mismatch between current display hardware and existing /etc/X11/xorg.conf. xorg.conf has entries for Intel i810 driver which is built-in graphics chip.

4. Looking into the xorg.conf, I came to know the following command to reconfigure the X server.

5. $ sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

6. $ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

7. Just logged into my gnome desktop. At this stage this card is driven by open source driver called “nv”.

8. I wanted to check the power of this card. So clicked System->Preferences->Desktop Effects. I was offered to enable and install proprietory nvidia driver to get better performance. I said yes. It installed “nvidia-glx” driver from restricted repository.Then it prompted for reboot.

9. Upon reboot, it is performing wonderful. I checked both compiz and beryl window managers, both work well.

Note: If Ubuntu is able to detect the newly plugged-in graphics card and configure the xorg.conf accordingly, it would be wonderful. Hope in the future version we can expect it.

I have upgraded the RAM of my home PC from 192MB to 448MB by plugging in a PC133 256MB RAM. It costs Rs.1200 (US$ 26) Here is my hardware configuration now.

Motherboard: Intel 815EEA

CPU: Intel PIII 800MHz


Graphics: Built-in 815 chipset

Harddisk: 20 + 10 GB

After upgrade, My Ubuntu (Linux Mint) runs with better speed. Really it is worth upgrade. I have installed Pardux Linux just now on this upgraded system. Let me post my review on Pardus in a few days.

I have MA620 compatible ES620 IrDA adapter with Nokia 6610 GPRS enabled mobile phone. Here is a smal HOW-TO on connecting to internet with this setup.

1. Ensure that the following modules available and loaded.
a. uhci_hcd
b. ircomm-tty
c. pl2303
d. ma600-sir
e. irda
f. irtty-sir

3. make as script called with the following content:

# Minimal stuff required to get the MA620 USB IrDA dongle recognised by
# the kernel. Version 1 — works with unpatched kernel, but only at
# 9600bps.

modprobe uhci_hcd
modprobe pl2303
modprobe irda
echo 9600 > /proc/sys/net/irda/max_baud_rate
modprobe irtty-sir
modprobe ma600-sir
modprobe ircomm-tty
irattach /dev/usb/ttyUSB0 -d ma600 -s

exit 0

4. I tested it with my Nokia 6610. It works fine. irdadump confirmed it. The I dialed to internet through “wvdial” command using /dev/ircomm0 as modem device.

5. My service provider is Airtel, India. Here is settings for the same in my city Chennai, India.

Phone number to dial: *99***1#



(both username and password or blank or any junk)

Happy GPRS browsing!

A few weeks back, after analysing various internet resources I came to conclusion that AMD 64 X2 Processors performs better than Intel Dual Core D Series Processors. But suddenly things have changed upright down. Intel has pre-released Core Duo Processors. They seem to be outperforms AMD 64 X2 in wide aspects and good margin. This is not only technically but also monetarily. But it is expected that AMD will also go for price cut by this month end. Here are the summary of benchmark testing by

1. Though Core Duo does not have integrated memory controllers, memory latency is very less.
2. One of the major advantage of AMD has been met by the Core Duo processors; it is power consumption. Intel’s power consumption is competetive to AMD in this Core Duo series
3. In application performance area also Core Duo rules with large margin.
4. Surprisingly Intel wins in gaming applications too!!!!

Moral: Don’t upgrade your system with any Dual Core Processors (Intel Pentium D / AMD 64 X2) available in the market now. This month end will see a lot of price cute from both Intel and AMD. For around Rs.10,000/- we will decent hight power processors, fitting to our budget.

Reference: Anand’s comparison

Oh, God! Thanks a lot for making me learn more on Linux!
Oh, Ubuntu! Thanks a lot for giving me a stable complete system!
oh, My Wife! Thanks for caring me to work over night!
Oh, My child! Thanks for motivating me with your flash smile!

It is a lot of pain and patience to install Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake LTS on my legacy (to some extent) machine. My machine is of PIII/192MB/20GB/Intel-D815-Chipset. The real problem of installing Dapper on this machine is due to low RAM. I was able to run Live Cd of SimplyMepis 3.4.1.rc1 in excellent speed and able to install during live cd session without any issues. But Ubuntu’s installation was not so easy. I had discussed with Ubuntu forums on compatibility of this machine with Ubuntu. Many Ubuntians had warned me and wished best of luck. Yes, it is true. I had a lot of patience to install Ubuntu. But after installation, it is -breezy- -breezy- -breezy- that is what I can say. Everything (yes, ***every hardware***) worked out of box with nice configuration. To my surprise, all applications are flying like jet. I don’t find any difference between working on PIV/512MB system and this legacy system. You might have read so many reviews about Ubuntu desktop system, so I need not to tell you more on that. But I want to summarize some of the important precautions/steps/consideration while installing Ubuntu 6.06 on any legacy system with lower RAM.

Upto Ubuntu 5.10, we did not have such installation problem on legacy machine. But since Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) has become Live CD (**complete** live cd), it is not cope up with the lower RAM. Here are tips to install Ubuntu 6.06 Desktop successfully on a low end RAM system. What I am suggesting here are more safer to install and increase the chance of successful installation.

1. Boot your machine with Live CD either with option-1 (Start or Install Ubuntu) or option-2 (generice video driver mode). Ensure that you are getting desktop after a few minutes.

2. Don’t click Install icon on desktop. This installation tool is a great one, but not yet stable. This tool in turn call GParted for disk partitioning while installtion, which is also not stable. Don’t run GParted which is available on System->Administration menu also. In my three installation of Ubuntu 6.06, I have faced problem of crashing of GParted consistently. Let us utilize fdisk for partitioning work.

3. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to go to console. You will have already live cd user logged in shell prompt.

4. Try to allocate a full hard disk for Ubuntu installation. This technic is to avoid calling GParted in installation wizard. (Console work: You no need to do anything on console)

5. If you want to partition the hard disk for other OS also: Make sure that you have a large free space (not partitioned) available for Ubuntu installation (min 2GB). For example if you want to allocate 10GB for Ubuntu, create a 10GB free space by deleting the existing partition. No other free space size on this hard disk should be more than this 10GB of free space. This technic is to avoid calling GParted in installation wizard. (Console work example: $ sudo fdisk /dev/hda)

6. This is very important. Since live CD creates a root file system on RAM, the installation wizard has no enough RAM to run. This is the most common reason for installation hang. To avoid this we can create a temporary swap partition of atleast 256MB (512MB is fine). (Console work example:
(a) Create swap partition: $ sudo fdisk /dev/hda
(b) Make swap file system (hda5 is swap file system in this example): $ sudo mkswap /dev/hda5
(c) Add swap to the running system: $ sudo swapon /dev/hda5
(d) Make sure that swap is live: $ sudo swapon -s

7. Press Ctrl+Alt+F7 to go to desktop. Don’t run any other program in desktop (please cool, wait! don’t listen music while running installation). Double-click install icon on desktop to run Installation wizard. Now it should not take more than 20 to 30 minutes for entire installation.

8. Ubuntu will create / and swap partition automatically. If you want seperate /home partition, you can add it any time after installation.

Bottomline: 1. Avoid running GParted (use fdisk). 2. Make swap file system available for running live system.

Top moral: Linux makes you to customize your installation according to your hardware configuration. It does not warrant any strict configuration. It is all about choices and freedom.