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To err is human--and to blame it on a computer is even more so.
Linux

Disable a synaptics touchpad when a mouse is plugged in

Touchpad may be convenient when you don't have enough space to use a mouse. But it's more often a source of annoyance when you're typing something and you're losing focus each time your hand hits the touchpad. That's why I like to disable the touchpad when I'm using a mouse. Here is a way to automatically disable your touchpad using udev and synclient.

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Xorg configuration: multi-head on a laptop with nvidia twinview

Xorg configuration is a wide topic which is discussed in many places so this is just a reminder for myself Wink. I'm using a laptop with a GeForce 8400M. It has a built-in 1440x900 LCD screen, a VGA output and a S-video/Composite TV output. I'm using it at work with an additionnal LCD screen and a US keyboard layout, while at home I don't use any extra screen except when watching films on TV. Here is my Xorg configuration with nvidia's TwinView.

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Resize, rotate and rename your holiday photos

Yay, it's holiday time! playa, mountain, road trip... Everyone had a camera and everyone took so much pictures... and there are now hundreds of photos from several devices to resize, rotate and rename Surprised !

To make this an easier task, here are some tools to the rescue Wink. Remember to backup your pictures before performing any change to prevent errors or data loss.

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Convert your CD to mp3 with Sound Juicer

Ripping a CD to mp3 isn't that easy for a debian newbie. This operation require a package that is not available from the official package repositories.

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Play real media files on debian

You just have to install mplayer and a few codecs. The mplayer package has a script to install the needed codecs.

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Install debian with PXE boot

Installing a new OS may be difficult on machines with no CD/DVD (like Portégé 2000 from toshiba or Asus's EeePc). Hopefully those PC supports boot over network. It is called PXE (Preboot Execution Environment). To boot a computer with PXE you'll need a machine with a DHCP server and a TFTP server.

Here is a simple way to setup a PXE boot server.

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Resize root partition without reboot

Today let's resize a root EXT3 partition on a LVM without rebooting!

As every sysadmin knows, partition size must be choosen carefully to avoid running into big problems if one of your partition runs out of space. Hopefully LVM  allow you to manage disk space in a flexible way, allowing you to create partitions across several physical hard drives. Now let's see how to resize a root partition with no service interruption (!). In this example, my root partition uses the EXT3 format and is managed by LVM.

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Input a password in a bash script

Here is a very simple code snippet to ask for an input without showing it on display. Great for all password inputs.

#!/bin/sh
read -p "Username: " uname
stty -echo
read -p "Password: " passw; echo
stty echo

 
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