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Intel Speedstep - jerky mouse and keyboard

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  • Sunday, December 02 2007 @ 06:04 PM UTC
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I still had one other nagging problem trying to run the latest version of CentOS Linux on my Dell Inspiron 8100, which includes a Pentium III Mobile CPU capable of SpeedStep. The keyboard and mouse were very jerky. In fact, I would lose actual keystrokes. It's very annoying to type a sentence and lose half of the words. Even very old computers usually do not lose keystrokes, and although they might lag behind a bit, the keystrokes eventually come out of the input buffer. This was a real problem for me since I am a reasonably fast typist.

The issue occured whether or not I was connected to power or running off the battery.

I tried a number of suggestions (such as disabling ACPI by specifying a boot time kernel option) but nothing seemed to work.

Finally, with CentOS 5 installed, I found the solution... turn off the actual daemon that attempts to throttle the CPU speed.

# service cpuspeed stop
# chkconfig cpuspeed off

I'm sure this will affect my battery life, but this laptop doesn't get particularly good battery life anyway and I am usually plugged into a wall outlet. It is possible that the cpuspeed config file (/etc/sysconfig/cpuspeed) could be tweaked to solve the input problem but I did not bother researching this further.

CentOS 5 on Dell Inspiron 8100 with Proxim RangeLAN wifi

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  • Tuesday, November 13 2007 @ 11:18 AM UTC
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I recently installed CentOS 5 on my older Dell Insipron 8100. For wireless, I use a RangeLAN DS card (in Linux, this card uses the orinoco_cs driver and usually shows up as eth1). In previous versions of CentOS I had to manually identify the card by editing the wifi config files and possibly some other magic. CentOS 5 identifies this card just fine but does not function without a little bit of system tweaking. It seems that another kernel module named hostap_cs conflicts with the orinoco_cs module. I noticed that the status light on the PCMCIA card would continue to flash, instead of coming on solid when the card found the AP.

The fix is to blacklist the conflicting hostap_cs module so the system does not try to load it.

Edit this file:

/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-compat

Add these lines and reboot:

# hostap_cs conflicts with orinoco_cs driver.
blacklist hostap_cs


Labeling on the Proxim card itself:

PC CARD 8430
H/W Rev. : 1.0
F/W Rev. : 0.7.6

The wifi card ident info:

# pccardctl ident
Socket 0:
product info: "PROXIM", "RangeLAN-DS/LAN PC CARD", "", ""
manfid: 0x0126, 0x8000
function: 6 (network)

I purchased for $15 from Geeks.com a few years ago (I'm fond of geeks.com for slightly older and cheaper computing gear).

Linux Games - Urban Terror

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  • Saturday, September 15 2007 @ 06:01 PM UTC
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Sometime last year, I removed Microsoft Windows from my home computer and installed Ubuntu Linux. It was a tough decision, because I knew I would not be able to play 3D games like Counter Strike Source. I finally found a free multi-player 1st person shooter that is similar to CSS, fun to play, and performs just fine on my not-so-new computer (Athlon XP 2800+ with GeForce 4 Ti 4200). The game is named Urban Terror and is based on the Quake3 engine. Downloads are available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. Did I mention that it is free?

Screenshots:











Give Urban Terror a try:

http://www.urbanterror.net

Home Addition - New Floor Plan

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  • Sunday, August 12 2007 @ 04:42 PM UTC
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Dan Stoner and Family

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We are making progress again with the help of our contractor. We will be adding around 600 square feet of new air-conditioned living space plus a small covered porch. The new rooms include a Family Room, a Studio / Guest Bedroom, and a Bathroom. A bonus feature is additional closet space in the Master Bedroom which shares a wall with the addition.

We will be replacing all of the windows in our house as part of this project and also blowing additional insulation into the attic and underneath in the crawl space. The new plans have a much more reasonable amount of glass than what the architect designed. These energy efficiency improvements will allow us to use the existing A/C unit instead of having to operate a second system.


The new spaces are colored in green:






This is a rendering from inside the existing Living Room, looking out towards the addition:



Here is a rendering from inside the new Family Room, looking out the new french doors onto the new Covered Porch:

Another year, another Birthday Party

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  • Saturday, August 11 2007 @ 04:18 PM UTC
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Dan Stoner and Family

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This year's starting lineup...




Beer selection courtesy of Ward's Grocery and Gator Beverage.

Florida Fires

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  • Thursday, May 31 2007 @ 12:16 AM UTC
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Dan Stoner and Family

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Here are some pictures of the ash that landed on my car due to the fires in north Florida.

Pictures taken on May 9, 2007.





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