Stop lubuntu turning off screen

stop lubuntu 11.04 blanking screen.
etc etc etc

Turns out lubuntu 11.04 uses xfce4-power-manager-settings. So to stop the screen blanking / going to sleep / turning off all you need to do is press ALT F2 (Run command) then enter


and then you can set the screen to never turn off! Yay

Don’t know why this isn’t in the System or Preferences menu…

Eclipse, PHPUnit, xdebug, MakeGood and Ubuntu (PHP Unit testing)

Well after about 2 hours of head desking I have I got the above to all work nicely together.

Firstly you need to install all the prerequisites. If you are using you can install most of these though apt-get. I assume you have LAMP set up locally and you will be testing on this

sudo apt-get install php5-dev php-pear php5-cli php5-xdebug phpunit

This will install a bunch of stuff you will need. If you want to install from source feel free.

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Arduino + LCD + Telnet = good fun

So I have been playing with my arduino with a LCD I got ages ago. First off I had to solder some pin headers to the LCD so that I can plug it into a breadboard. I could have soldered the pins straight to the LCD but I used some ribbon cable in the middle, and some veroboard (Note to self: Get a dremel for birthday, that stuff is a pain to cut though!) to add flexibility and some give if/when I drop it… Continue reading

My new linode!

Just got me a linode and have been setting it up for the past hour and a bit. I’m going to use it as a personal svn, testing and development server and I might move this site over there at some point. Maybe

Anyway it is really quick and easy to set yourself up with a linode (or I assume any VPS for that matter), but the documentation that the linode people have amassed is huge, and really helpful and easy to follow. If you have not set up a linux server before then it can seem a bit daunting but their beginners guide is a good introduction and easy to follow for people who have a little bit of linux experience but not experience as I have set up a couple of LAMP stacks before I found it nice and easy. Even creating the SVN server was easy, only needing a couple of commands.

There are other VPS hosts out there but I went with linode because of the massive documentation library, their custom written ‘linode manager’, which works really well and the fact that they were the only hosts that I could find that offered a vps with Ubuntu 10.04. Hooray for them

I was going to make this post a how to set up a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack with svn and trac however their documentation is really good anyway, so why reinvent the wheel. They don’t how ever have documentation about how to install trac and link it in with svn, so maybe I’ll make that a how to later on. Can’t do it yet because I am waiting for my web hosts to add some dns records for me so I can start using some Apache virtual name based hosts.

There really isn’t any limit on what you can do with a VPS, and with linodes LISP stuff it really is like you have your own server sitting in front of you which you can do with what ever you want. Even what it boot up if you really want…

So if I have inspired you to get a vps then good for you. If you choose to get a linode then please use this link or put in my referral code:


when you purchase one and share the love a little. Thanks 😀

Linksys wrt54gl wireless bridge

How to make a wireless bridge using a linksys wrt54gl and openwrt

<<<Disclaimer :- not my fault if you brick your router >>>

So after many hours head bashing I have manged to get my router to act as a bridge. Basically follow these instructions 😀

But remember that you need to flash the router with brcm-2.4 build!
I used backfire 10.03.1-rc5, brcm-2.4 (I upgraded from an older version of openwrt)

A couple of things learnt:

  • Don’t be tempted to use the LuCI (web interface) – each time I did it didn’t work. SSH in and follow the commands and use vi to edit the files
  • Set the correct ip address first before you start changing things
  • To get into ‘failsafe’ mode you press the ‘Secure Easy Setup’ button as soon as the DMZ light comes on after you power it up (See this)
  • To reset your wireless router to the default settings, boot it into failsafe mode, telnet into it

    and type


    This will reset any config changes you made and any files you created. Then use

    reboot -f

    to reboot.

  • Devices plugged into the wireless router that pick up dhcp addresses appear to have the same mac address as the router to whoever is suppling the addresses

Change Ubuntu Screen Resolution to what ever you want

Ok this one is more for me so I can remember what I did next time!

Basically the story is I have a monitor attached to a computer running Ubuntu (Minimalist) via a 20m VGA cable. The monitor is mounted on a wall and rotated 90o
clockwise. It is also a small widescreen so has a strange resolution. When I connect it to the computer with a short VGA cable it is fine and Ubuntu picks up the details, however with the long VGA cable it doesn’t so puts on an even stranger resolution.

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Well finally finished my electronic enigma at the weekend. Only a couple years later from buying it at Bletchley park, and it worked first time!

You get a bag of bits and some instructions and you have to make it all yourself – a lot of soldering, but good practice 🙂

My Enigma E

In the photo the bottom part with all the wires is the Steckerbrett board, above that is the keyboard, above that the lamp panel, and at the top are the digital wheels.

I never actually realised that the wheels actually go around as you type, so even if you press say the letter A twice, it will be encoded as a different letter each time.

Now all I need to do is wire up the mains adaptor, add the serial port and make a box for it all, and then I can connect it to my computer and send enigma encoded messages across the internet!