Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dvorak keyboard in Ubuntu/Xubuntu

For my own reference, a couple of ways of setting up the Dvorak keyboard in Ubuntu Linux.

In Gnome:

System > Preferences > Keyboard > Layouts tab > Add button > Dvorak

For a single terminal session:

loadkeys dvorak

Adding this line to your .bashrc should result in it applying to all your terminal sessions.

All X sessions (including the GDM logon screen and Gnome):

For all X sessions (including the GDM logon screen and Gnome), add Option "XbdLayout" "dvorak" to /etc/X11/xorg.conf as such:

Section "InputDevice"
  Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
  Driver "kbd"
  Option "CoreKeyboard"
  Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
  Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
  Option "XkbLayout" "dvorak,gb" #use the dvorak keyboard layout

This allows switching between the Dvorak and GB layouts by pressing both shift keys at once.


Simply make sure that /etc/default/console-setup contains the following lines (replacing any options with the same names that might already exist):


The change will take place after the next reboot. This is equivalent to choosing Dvorak as the default keyboard layout during installation, or running sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup from the command line.

posted by Nick at 2:20 am - filed in dvorak, linux  

Monday, December 17, 2007

Vi! Vi! Vi!

I’ve been using Vim for about 4 months now, and I must admit that I’m not sure how I did without it. Modal editing seems like a natural paradigm to me (similar to lifting your hands off the keyboard to perform operations with the mouse, except without lifting hands from the keyboard :-), and the movement commands seemed intuitive and somehow logical, much easier than remember all the different keybindings Emacs has. Vim is a great text editor; however, it isn’t as well suited to more specific tasks, such as being an IDE or a document editor, as dedicated software such as IntelliJ IDEA or Word/OpenOffice are. The problem with those, in turn, is that text editing isn’t half as smooth as with Vim.

So, I was quite pleased when I stumbled upon this:


A Netbeans module for Vi-like editing in Netbeans. I’ve been playing with it a bit and it definitely looks promising; this goes at least some way to resolving the IDE question, as I’ve found Netbeans to be great for Ruby/Rails and second only to IntelliJ as a Java IDE. For work, I’m thinking of splashing out on this:


I’ve had a go with the demo and it works great. They have a version for Word/Outlook too, which is definitely very enticing - even though I already find editing text with Vim a lot more efficient than with a traditional editor, I still feel like I could be quite a bit more productive, and the more I get to practice, the easier this should hopefully become. Now if only I could find an equivalent for Open Office and Thunderbird…

posted by Nick at 11:15 pm - filed in linux, windows  

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

WPA using the WPC54G v3 wireless card in Ubuntu Feisty

OK, this is more of a pense-bete to myself than anything else. To get WPA v1 working under Xubuntu Feisty with my WPC54G v3 wireless card, I used the following guides:

To install the wireless card: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=197102
To add WPA: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=202834

The step by step version is as follows.

Installing the wireless card
1. Download this file to the desktop: https://ubuntuforums.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=30908&d=1177587401

2. Extract the file and run the setup:

cd ~/Desktop
tar -xf bcm4318*.tar.gz
sudo ./ndiswrapper_setup

At this point, the wireless card should be installed correctly. This can be verified as follows:

3. This should display some info about your wireless network interface, probably called ‘wlan0′

nick@nick-laptop:~$ iwconfig
wlan0     IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:xxx
Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: 00:14:BF:3D:xx:xx
Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power:25 dBm
RTS thr=2347 B   Fragment thr=2346 B
Power Management:off
Link Quality:73/100  Signal level:-49 dBm  Noise level:-96 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

4. This should return a list of wireless networks in your vicinity, including the one you want to connect to:

nick@nick-laptop:~/Desktop$ iwlist scan
wlan0     Scan completed :
Cell 01 - Address: 00:11:50:84:1F:F4
Protocol:IEEE 802.11g
Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
Quality:60/100  Signal level:-57 dBm  Noise level:-96 dBm
Encryption key:on
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 22 Mb/s
6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s
36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s

Adding WPA
1. From the wireless access point, make sure of the following:

  • WPA security is enabled using WPA-Personal Shared Key (WPA-PSK)
  • The WPA encryption algorithm is set to TKIP (not AES)
  • You have a note of the SSID (wireless network name) and the PSK (shared key) - here, we will use ‘expresso’ for the SSID and ‘hohohoho’ as an (insecure) PSK example

2. Make sure wpasupplicant is installed:

sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant

3. Convert your PSK as follows:

wpa_passphrase 'your essid' 'your ascii PSK key'

In our example:

nick@nick-laptop:~/Desktop$ wpa_passphrase 'expresso' 'hohohoho'

4. Open /etc/network/interfaces for editing:

sudo mousepad /etc/network/interfaces

5. Find the lines that look as follows:

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp

Replace as follows:

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-driver wext
wpa-ssid <your ssid>
wpa-ap-scan 1 #this assumes SSID broadcast is enabled - set to 2 if SSID broadcast is disabled
wpa-proto WPA
wpa-pairwise TKIP
wpa-group TKIP
wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
wpa-psk <your hex key>

In our example:

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-driver wext
wpa-ssid expresso
wpa-ap-scan 1
wpa-proto WPA
wpa-pairwise TKIP
wpa-group TKIP
wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
wpa-psk 57245dfdd9663e8c9792bfe9a15f41f07cc34a57bd1fc91f2820e3302dbfa7d1

6. Make sure any ethernet cables are unplugged, and restart the network interfaces:

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

At this point, WIFI should be working with WPA enabled… For further reference regarding different WPA configurations, the WPA guide on the Ubuntu forums is excellent.

posted by Nick at 12:49 am - filed in linux