Subscribed to Linux Hater’s Blog : Funny and hillarious blog

After discovering Linux Hater’s blog from Google Reader and Technorati, I decided to subscribe it as it was a funny and hillarious blog. It make fun of people who are using Linux for the wrong reasons (such as trying to act cool) and how some things in Linux are not better than any other operating system.

Linux Tux Logo

Other than that, it contains criticism of the Linux community in general, mainly directed towards fanboys and developers, although one can easily surmise that the author himself is a Linux user who has experience in writing applications, and presumably using a Debian-derived Linux distro.

Well I might be wrong, but Linux Haters Blog is a must read if you are a Linux user yourself because it offer insights of the overall of how GNU/Linux operating system compare to other OS and what would make Linux a better OS

Putting Colors to GRUB Bootloader menu

Some distro like Ubuntu installs a plain white on black color scheme of GRUB on your computer. Nothing wrong with it, only it look like as if the computer is running with a monochrome monitor. Rest assured, there are ways you can do to spruce up your GRUB menu

Grub Ubuntu

Add colors to GRUB menu
The easiest way is to add colors to the plain vanilla grub menu. First edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst using your favorite editor.

Then, uncomment the line
# color cyan/blue white/blue

GRUB Color Explanation
cyan/blue = color of the GRUB menu
whte/blue = color when a particular menu item is highlighted

It follows this format : foreground/background … cyan/blue

Finally, save the file and reboot. You shall see your new colorize GRUB menu. Other color combination you might want to try are :

# black
# blue
# green
# cyan
# red
# magenta
# brown
# light-gray

Foreground color :
# dark-gray
# light-blue
# light-green
# light-cyan
# light-red
# light-magenta
# yellow
# white

GRUB boot menu similar to OpenSUSE and Linspire
Alternatively you can use themeable GRUB boot menu similar to those of OpenSUSE and Linspire bootloader. To do this you need to install gfxboot and grub-gfxboot package.

Follow the instruction from, Howto : GfxBoot ( Grub menu like suse )

Linux Kernel Hacking Lessons from LinuxChix

Those who are interested in understanding the Linux Kernel, and wants to be a Linux Kernel Developer might find this website interesting as a stating point, the LinuxChix Kernel Hacking Lessons.

Structured in an easy to follow lessons, the whole online course designed to make you familiar with the kernel development tools, linux system calls and the overview of the kernel source code structure. The course comes in 10 lessons which you may find it interesting as it offers simplified explanation and practical examples :

  1. Lesson #0: Check for Materials
  2. Lesson #1: Get the Kernel Source
  3. Lesson #2: Configure Your Kernel
  4. Lesson #3: Compile Your Kernel
  5. Lesson #4: Boot Your New kernel
  6. Lesson #5: Your First printk
  7. Lesson #6: Overview of the Kernel Source
  8. Lesson #7: Understanding System Calls
  9. Lesson #8: Your First kernel Module
  10. Lesson #9: Creating, Applying and Submitting Patches

Visit LinuxChix Kernel Hacking Lessons. for more information.

How to enable USB-Serial Port adapter (RS-232) in Ubuntu Linux

Though some might argue that Serial port are things in the past, it is still the most popular port for those who are into electronic DIY. Building electronic device with serial port interface is cheaper than buiding one that uses USB. That is the reason why people still sell USB-Serial adapter to those electronic DIY enthusiast.

Here’s how to enable USB-Serial port adapter in Ubuntu Linux (with credit to Freeman from RepRap forum)

First plug in the USB-Serial Port adaptor to one of your USB port. Wait for a couple of second, then run “dmesg”. You should see these message at the end of dmesg output.

usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_and address 2
usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice 

After that, unplug the device and type “lsusb”. You will see a list of output similar to this.

Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 002 Device 007: ID 03f0:4f11 Hewlett-Packard 
Bus 002 Device 006: ID 05e3:1205 Genesys Logic, Inc. Afilias Optical Mouse H3003
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 15d9:0a33  

Plug in the USB-Serial Port converter back, and run “lsusb” again, and you shall see an additional line, like this.

Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 002 Device 007: ID 03f0:4f11 Hewlett-Packard 
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 4348:5523 --- --- --- (notice the additional line!)
Bus 002 Device 006: ID 05e3:1205 Genesys Logic, Inc. Afilias Optical Mouse H3003
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 15d9:0a33  

Now we know the vendor id and the product id of the USB-Serial Port converter, this will enable us to load the linux kernel module “usbserial” to activate the device, like this :

sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0x4348 product=0x5523 

Run “dmesg” again and you shall see lines similar like this :

usbserial_generic 1-1:1.0: generic converter detected
usb 1-1: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB0
usbcore: registered new interface driver usbserial_generic 

As you can see, the new serial port device is mapped to /dev/ttyUSB0. You can instruct Ubuntu to load this module automatically by include the line : “usbserial vendor=0x4348 product=0x5523” inside “/etc/modules” file.

Bonus: What application benefits from usb-serial port adaptor?
For starters, there are modems which uses RS-232 serial port. Some home-made devices includes Infrared remote control which uses LIRC which also depends on the serial port.

I use the adaptor to hook up my morse keyer in order to send morse code through the internet using Xchat CWIRC plugin. The site has an excellent circuit diagram to build such interface.

You can see my home-made morse code oscillator here : My Homemade Morse Code Practice Oscillator

Where can I get USB to Serial port converter?
You can get it from your local computer stores or order it online !