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Archive for October, 2008

Script idea

October 17th, 2008

I noticed I often tend to type the same sequences of commands when I look for files in a directory. For instance: “ls *mp3”, followed by “ls *ogg” if there aren’t any mp3s. Repeating such commands makes me feel like a cymbal-banging monkey, so what I need here is a script that does the boring stuff for me (and guesses my mind. and makes coffee. Damn, I’m hungry now.)

This is a (late night) attempt:

use strict;
use warnings;
use File::Glob qw(:globally :nocase);
my %types = (
    audio => [ qw/mp3 ogg wmv wav voc flac/ ],
    video => [ qw/divx avi wmv ogm flv mpg mpeg/ ],
    pictures => [ qw/jpg jpeg tiff tif pcx bmp png svg/ ],
    archives => [ qw/rpm deb tgz tar.gz zip rar iso/ ],
    docs => [ qw/txt nfo doc pdf/ ],
    web => [ qw/htm html css/ ],
    scripts => [ qw/pl py sh lua/ ],
    code => [ qw/c cpp h hpp/ ],
sub abort_with_help {
    print "Syntax: list <type>\nWhere type in:\n";
    print "* $_: " . join(', ', sort @{$types{$_}}) . "\n" for keys %types;
    exit -1;
abort_with_help unless my $type = shift;
unless (exists $types{$type}) {
    print "No such type.\n";
my $glob = '*.{' . join(',', @{$types{$type}}) . '}';
if (my @files = glob($glob)) {
    print "$_\n" for (@files);
} else {
    print "No $type files found in the current directory.\n";

Compaq presario error 280 at boot

October 12th, 2008

I’ve been playing with a Compaq Presario 1245. As soon as I got it I repartitionned the hard-drive and installed linux, which was fun, but also a bad idea. Apparently the BIOS needs a hibernation partition, and if it doesn’t find it, it just overwrites existing partitions at random.

The official solution is to run PHDISK.exe if you can find it on your old Compaq installation disks. That didn’t work for me since I never had any.

The working solution is to run lphdisk for linux instead. This will repartition your hard drive, so be sure to make a backup first. If you can’t compile lphdisk on the computer you need to fix (because, for instance you’re using puppylinux or systemrescuecd to boot it), compile a static version on another linux computer (Alter Makefile to Include -static in the CFLAGS), and run it from floppy disk (haha! you still have one of those, don’t you?) or USB key.

Yeay, an old laptop !

October 2nd, 2008

My brother found me an old Compaq Presario 1245 at his association (is it still called D├ęclicks ?). It contains a K6-2 333MHz processor, a single USB port, and an amazing 32MB of RAM, more than enough to read text documents in the bus.

I burnt a Puppy Linux 4.1 CD (after some swearing, because my Ubuntu Hardy only recognizes my CD burner one time in 10) and attempted to run it. This failed, 32MB is not enough, and the boot stops at the message “Loading kernel modules”. I restarted it with the boot parameters “pfix=rdsh”, and created a swap partition and activated it. This did it, and the puppy was alive, booting me into a graphical user interface. After playing a little with the live CD, I decided to install it on the hard drive, which sped up matters a lot. Puppy linux is downright snappy on this configuration, and includes enough tools to make me feel right at home (in the command-line mostly). Installing the vim package makes it even better.

I installed mplayer, but that was a waste of time. It’s way too slow to play movies. Playing MP3 uses about 20% of the processor time. 32MB of RAM isn’t enough to run any gecko based browser. They will start, but they will take minutes to switch between windows. The links browser is a better option, it can even render pages in graphics mode using “-g” on the command line, and it’s faster than, uh, something that’s really fast at rendering web pages, but it may horrify CSS purists and other designers.

Retro is fun.