Wake Ubuntu with USB keyboard/mouse

I have Logitech DiNovo USB Bluetooth Keyboard. To make it wake your computer please follow this thread . Worked for me.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work through hub. In that case, the whole hub is either in sleep mode, or it awake all time and prevents my PC from going into sleep. Had to connect this keyboard directly to PC then. Strangely, the same keyboard woke Windows 7 even via hub.
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Want a super fast SSD for your lappie? Live in Latvia? Bad luck.

Due to economical crisis, prices of computer hardware been falling faster than usual. But. For a small country of Latvia, full of unemployed and bankrupt citizens, that means that sometimes, you can't buy nice things, because nobody imports them here.

Here I am, tried to order Intel X-25 80GB SSD (generation 2) and got answers from all shop that damn thing is not available in Latvia, minimum order from Poland or Estonia is 10pcs, and, obviously, nobody cares to order it for Latvia, 'cause they are not sure that they can sell 10 pcs. here? C'mon Intel, try harder...

If you've got any idea how to get SSDSA2MH080G2C1 for about 200 EUR in Riga, ping me. :(
Update. After failing to get it anywhere in the usual retail channels, I turned to ebay. Found 2 sellers that shipped from European country (Germany) and ordered 2 units (on 3rd of January,2010). Cost is 194 EUR x 2 for the goods, plus 16 EUR for shipping to Latvia with UPS. It arrived today (8th of January). Yeehah!


Installing Steam game demos under WINE, Ubuntu

There is a problem with Steam client under wine, that it allows to install only games from your purchased games list. If you want to try demo that you found on a steam client, "install game" button doesn't perform any action.

Workaround: to install demos with steam under wine use

cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Steam
wine Steam.exe -applaunch XXXX

where XXXX is a code of the game you want, can be seen in the url of the game (for that you need to open store.steampowered.com in the browser in linux)

Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade in Latvia

So, Windows 7 is here. Since trying W7 beta in the beginning of 2009, I knew that this was the first OS that I’ll upgrade my home computers to and will be willing to pay for it. I will need several copies for my home:

1. gaming/multimedia PC – currently runs W7 RC. It absolutely needs a Windows license, because I use it to for playing games, and Linux just can’t compete here. Will update it to Windows 7 Home Premium (which has all I need, including Windows Media Center).

2. home server- has Ubuntu and W7 trials at the moment. I can use it in this mode for another 100 days. It is now fully configured to provide the functionality I need – filesharing, utorrent, orb, wuala, https web server, webdav and vpn. In the upcoming 3 months I will try get same functionality (except orb) under Ubuntu. If that works, fine. Otherwise, will upgrade to W7 too. Home Premium does not support Remote Desktop server, but I can manage with VNC I think.

3. 2 laptops – running W7 trials atm, need to upgrade.


So, I am going to buy 3-4 upgrade licenses. Today, I checked pricing and availability of Windows 7 here in Riga, Latvia. Unfortunately, there is no Family Pack available (some people say it might appear after Oct, 31st, when Latvian language Windows is promised). But, price for Home Premium OEM upgrade is quite good ($70 or 50 EUR). Buying Family pack of 3 licenses at amazon UK, would cost the same after shipment. I think I will rather buy HP OEM upgrades here.

I do not have that many Vista or XP licenses (basically all my PC were self made, and laptops came with Linux), but will try to find some old/written-off licenses from sysadmin friends. I know that OEM will work only with one machine, but Retail copy is almost 4 times more expensive (180 EUR) and for that money, I can buy new OEM upgrades later if needed.

I checked to computer shops today and in both, was asked to prove that I have a copy of Windows to upgrade from. Windows label on the bottom of laptop is enough of the proof they said. Interesting, can I show the same laptop in various shops to buy 3-4 upgrade licenses? I think I can.

SSL, certificates, VPN and WebDAV under Windows 7

Under Windows 7 (and Vista too, I think) WebDAV and VPN fail if you use a self-signed (and therefore, untrusted) server certificate. Too bad that error messages are cryptic, and talk about failure to establish connection, or something like it, but never complains about SSL cert. Hmm. If you try to access such server with IE then (unlike Firefox) there is no way to turn off warnings. Also, if you try to play media from such website, IE and Firefox  will launch associated media player (WMP in my case), which will also fail to connect to net resource to play it. Long story, short, kids – use trusted certificate if you need to use SSL in Windows.

And the good news is that now there is a provider of free SSL certificates (really free, not a 30-day trial as some advertise), who is also included into default Windows Certificate storage as a Certified Root Authority. This is Free SSL service from Startcom. With their cert for my server, WebDAV and VPN began to work.


The only fly in the ointment – Windows 7 implementation of WebDAV is buggy and slow and compared to Ubuntu.


Playing Steam games on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

Installation of Wine 1.31 amd64 went ok, but Steam client failed after installation and self update. Had to switch to 1.3 amd64 deb and also make sure that Windows version=XP in wine configuration tool. Now Steam works and I am downloading my games. Quickly tried Ricochet Infinity and it work well, in full screen, in windowed mode and downloading extension packs from internet works too.
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Access your home files from anywhere via browser and webdav (https) disk

This weekend I fiddled with enabling access to my home fileserver. I already can access it via RDP (Windows7) and FreeNX (fastest, recommended remote access with Ubuntu/Linux). I also manage my torrents with uTorrent's webUI. Files are accessible on home network via Windows files sharing (SMB on Windows/Samba on Linux).

My goal for the weekend was to enable remote access to files from anywhere on internet, under both Windows and Linux, with secure password protection.  For this purpose, I use webdav sharing with SSL (self-signed certificate) on my server. It can be raised on Apache2 (free on both Windows and Linux) and on IIS (free from Microsoft only on Windows).

Choosing server
I killed couple of hours raising apache2 on Ubuntu, but ultimately failed forcing it to use SSL. (meh, will try later) and then I tried apache2 on Windows - and this is utterly pervert feeling to configure it in CLI on Windows. Will try to avoid at any cost in the future. Luckily, there is free web server from Microsoft, IIS 7. It probably has some limits that would make it unsuitable for large website hosting, but it is perfectly Ok for my purposes. So, I installed IIS7 and enabled WebDAV.

IIS7/WebDAV Configuration (sorry, this is not a full manual explaining where to click each time, rather a milestone walkthrough for me or someone already familiar with IIS7 interface. I am saving it here, to read again should I ever need to repeat this procedure)

First, create self signed certificate. Add it to default websiite.
Bind website to your own domain. I do not have fixed IP, so I use dynamic dns service for dns resolution. So, I bind default website in IIS to my dynamic dns: solnyshok.dyndns.info
Then limit protocols to SSL (port 443).
Authorization method = application passthrough.
Enable WebDav module.
Enable Basic Authetication.
Enable Authorization for specific user.
Enable SSL = required
Create Authoring Rule for WebDav (* allow for all users)
Enable "Directory browsing" if you want to browse your folders in your web browser. This is not related to WebDAV, but rather is an additional extra, for getting access to your files on any computer wherever you are, with just a browser and a password.
Add virtual directory (directories) pointing to the folder (NOT DRIVE!!!) that you want to share. Check that authentication setting, authoring rules, filtering, directory browsing, ssl setting have been inherited.

Notes to myself
1. User "Network Service" and "IIS*" should have access to the destination folders or it fails to access it.
2. Drive root (at least on my Windows 7 system) contains protected system folders that IIS will fail to open, resulting in failure to show content of the root of the drive. (so, https://mywebsite.com/drive1tb fails to open, but https://mywebsite.com/drive1tb/subfolder opens ok)
3. If you want to be able to access certain files that are not listed in the MIME-types module, you can't. Need to add to MIME type list first.

Accessing remote WebDAV drive on
To connect to webdav shares on needs to map network drive in windows (https://solnyshok.dyndns.info) or connect to network share with SecureWebDav (davs://solnyshok.dyndns.info) in Ubuntu (9.10, Karmic Koala beta). You will be asked  username/password on first access. Update: I have run into problems with Windows, seems that Windows7 network drive mapper prevents connection to a server with self-signed certificate, and there is no way to override this behaviour. :(

And here is how it looks in web browser (if Directory Browsing module is enabled).

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