Resetting a PCI device

The Wi-Fi adapter on my VivoBook 17 has been acting up under Ubuntu 18.04 LTS insofar that at a random point in time, possibly accelerated by power saving features, the Wi-Fi will stop working with suspicious syslog entries: ath10k_pci 0000:03:00.0: failed to wake target for read32 at 0x0003a028: -110 The usual tricks (suspend/resume, reload driver, … Continue reading Resetting a PCI device

Unlocking a password-protected hard disk

TL;DR: Recovering data from a password-protected SATA hard disk that was locked by a Thinkpad I wish this post would be as generally valid as the title suggests; at this hour I'm just unspeakably glad to have unlocked a hard disk I didn't even know I had locked and can finally go to bed. What … Continue reading Unlocking a password-protected hard disk

Controlling the TP-LINK HS100 Wi-Fi smart plug

[update 27 January 2017] TP-LINK HS100 project on github: https://github.com/ggeorgovassilis/linuxscripts [update 24 October 2016] TL;DR; This is about a shell script which controls the TP-LINK HS100, HS110, HS200 Wi-Fi smart power plugs.  I was scurrying down the home automation isle at the local electronics discounter, firm in my determination to make it without distractions to … Continue reading Controlling the TP-LINK HS100 Wi-Fi smart plug

Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-571G-51TH)

Having failed the 3rd repair attempt at the Thinkpad E540 [1] I gave up and bought the next best laptop from the nearby store that somehow is usable for programming. Behold: the Acter Inspire E15. 8GB RAM, i5, matte screen (1920x1080). It worked out of the box with the SSD transplant from the old Lenovo, … Continue reading Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-571G-51TH)

Ubuntu 14.04 on the Lenovo Thinkpad E540

Update 25.03.2015: I strongly recommend against the Thinkpad Edge 540. There seems to be a systematic manufacturing problem with keyboards in many Edge models. Mine broke down a week after ordering, I installed a replacement keyboard which broke within two weeks of installing.   For details see: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/11e-Windows-E-and-Edge-series/thinkpad-edge-15-keyboard-problem/td-p/406731/page/8 Original text: After not being so long … Continue reading Ubuntu 14.04 on the Lenovo Thinkpad E540

Formatting USB flash drives for write speed

Flash drives enjoy a reputation for being fast and that certainly goes for high-end models with their elaborate memory controllers and multi-bank layouts. A fundamental "problem" with current flash memory technology is that writing even a single bit of information requires that an entire block of flash memory is reset first [1], which greatly reduces … Continue reading Formatting USB flash drives for write speed

Smaller brightness steps with the Asus N56VB and Ubuntu

Ubuntu on the laptop is definitely maturing. We're way past "at least it boots" and now that survival is ensured, it is time for luxury illnesses. One of those on the Asus N56VB is handling of screen brightness which, for my taste, comes in too steep steps. Especially the minimum brightness is still too bright … Continue reading Smaller brightness steps with the Asus N56VB and Ubuntu

Running windows games with steam on a hybrid graphics card

I don't play much, but when I do, it's Sid Meier's Civilization on a Windows installation boxed into a VM. Earlier this year I got tricked by a Humble-Bundle offer into buying Civilization V, which came with the "trojan horse" of a steam account. Had I known the prerequisite of a Steam account before hand, … Continue reading Running windows games with steam on a hybrid graphics card