Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Take Your Linux Desktop Everywhere

Take your desktop with you on a USB stick and access it anywhere with the Ubuntu Live CD.
Wouldn't it be handy if you could walk up to any random computer, insert a copy of the Ubuntu Live CD, plug in a USB key, boot it up, and have a fully working system with your own documents, settings, and programswithout modifying the computer in any way?

A little-known feature of the Ubuntu Dapper Drake Live CD allows you to do exactly that. When it starts up, it searches for a volume that has been given the label casper-cow and uses it to store documents, themes, and even extra programs that you install.
This is far more powerful than just booting up a live CD and mounting a memory stick as your home directory because it's not restricted to just storing your documents. It gives you the flexibility of a fully installed system, while retaining the "go anywhere" feature of a live CD.
You can perform this trick with just about any storage device, including removable USB hard disks and compact flash drives, but for this we use a USB memory stick because they're cheap, portable, and commonly available in increasingly large capacities.

Plug in your usb and backup the datas in it coz u r gonna format it.

Once you've backed up your files, it's time to unmount the device:

$ sudo umount


If the system refuses to unmount because the device is still in use, just close any other windows you have open and try again.

Then create a new filesystem with the correct label:

$ sudo mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 -L casper-cow


Plug your USB memory stick into the target machine, power up the computer, and quickly insert the Dapper Drake Live CD. If the computer is not configured to boot from CD-ROM, you may need to press a key (Del or F2) at startup to enter the BIOS settings menu.

When the Live CD starts up, you will see a menu. Normally, you would just press Enter to start the boot process, but instead, press F4 to access the Other Options menu that allows you to start up the Live CD in special modes.

You'll see a list of the arguments that will be passed to the kernel on startup; just add a space and type persistent, then hit Enter.

The computer will now boot from the Live CD in persistent mode, but you won't see anything different. In fact, it can be quite hard to tell if it even worked or not. As a simple test, you can try changing something obvious, such as your desktop picture, and then you can log out and reboot the computer back into persistent mode. If everything worked properly, your desktop picture will still be set as you specified

when running in persistent mode, the system on the Live CD allows items on your memory stick to override items within the Live CD environment. The next time the Live CD sets the desktop, it detects that a new setting has been stored on the device and applies it instead of the default setting. The Live CD therefore provides the basic data for a complete, functional environment, and any changes you make to that environment are written to the removable device and used to override the default settings.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Want To Track Santa

Tracking Santa

This is Christmas time and every child in the world is waiting for Santa.

So why don't you track him instead of simply sitting and waiting for him .....
Just use the site link given below to track him..


The NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) program has been around for a long time, since 1955 to be exact! And while NORAD has the "history" and excellent technology to track Santa, NORAD cannot expend government funds on the program. Besides the short time a NTS Project Officer spends "managing" the program, NORAD spends only the minimal amount of funds on NTS.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tweak To Increase The Battery Life Of Laptops

Under KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

Create a new key called Throttle. (If you've applied the tweak for dual core you'll already have the Throttle key.

Inside the Throttle key add these dword decimal values:

PerfIncreasePercentModifier - 70. This tells the OS at which load level to up the P-state to a higher one. Default is 20 which IMHO is a bit low. MS went save to avoid hiccups, but today with the CD or C2D it's powerful enough and has enough cache to avoid hiccups.

PerfDecreaseMinimumTime - 150000 (150ms) this tells the OS how much time to stay in the current P-State after hitting the drop down percentage before it can drop back down. Default is 500ms. Why state in any P-State longer than you have to? Even if it is half a second.

I got these from a Whitesheet. You may Google "Windows Native Processor Performance Control" and it'll bring it up.

You can play with the values but I've tested these and they help keep power usage down with out affecting performance noticably.

Various Processor's Pro's And Con's


Laptop shopping is a simultaneously exciting and unenviable task. It's a big investment, so having an understanding of what's available and how it can best suit your needs is valuable. Not having criteria even to start with can make the task a frightening one. How to start narrowing down your choices from 100% of the notebooks available?

A good place to start is choosing your platform. But it's not just about AMD and Intel (which, let's face it, virtually owns the notebook market at the time of this writing). By knowing which processor you'd like in your notebook, you can narrow down your choices and pare things down.
Buying a notebook is a lot like voting for a politician; it's nearly impossible to find exactly what you want despite (and probably partially because of) the dizzying wealth of brands and models, so you choose the one that closest fits your needs and ideals. Keep in mind that there is no one BEST processor. It may be best at handling certain tasks, but it's not the best at everything.
Most shoppers are looking for a PC notebook and at the present time I'd find it hard to even recommend an Apple given that the existing hardware's obsolescence is visible. Most PC notebooks being released right now will likely last you a while. Because of these reasons, I have elected to omit Apple hardware from this review.


At the moment, there are six main processors currently being used in notebooks, so I'll cover them in one section each. I will also include a seventh section for legacy, outdated, or rare processors.

Each section will be laid out the same way, and will have the following specific details:

VARIANTS - There may be different subtypes of this processor. For example, Pentium Ms come in Ultra Low Voltage, Low Voltage, and then normal chips.

FASTEST MODEL - I'll list what is currently the fastest available model of this chip.

SPECIFICATIONS - I've broken down the specifications into subcategories:

Cache Size - If a processor were a freeway, this would be the number of lanes of traffic (data) it can move. A lower cache means the onramp is likely to get more backed up, while a greater cache allows the processor to continue moving at a brisk pace. This currently averages about 1MB.

32-Bit / 64-Bit - A 32-bit processor will run most software that's currently available, while a 64-bit processor will be ready for Windows Vista. Note that there will be a 32-bit version of Windows Vista for older processors, but it likely will have less features or won't be as fast as the 64-bit version.

BATTERY LIFE - Ranking from one to four stars, with one being extremely low battery life and four being stellar battery life.

PRICE RANKING - Ranking from one to four stars, with one being overpriced and four being dirt cheap.

MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE - Ranking from one to four, with one being poor performance in video and music tasks (encoding and decoding video or audio), and four being excellent. Note that all processors are going to do well at watching most video or listening to most audio, but some extremely high definition video will put real strain on the processor.

GAMING PERFORMANCE - Ranking from one to four, with one being poor gaming performance and four being excellent. While gaming performance is also contingent upon what graphics card is in the notebook (an article for another day), games tend to tax the entire system. One processor paired with the same graphics card could perform very differently from another processor.

SUMMARY - Marketing points for the chip.
PRO'S - High points for the chip.
CON'S - Low points for the chip.

I'd also like to mention that overall processor power has by and large exceeded what is needed for the basic use of a computer. Taking a small leap for a faster processor (~$50) is easy to justify. Taking a large leap (~$200) gets a bit trickier.

For what it's worth, I had a notebook that used a first generation 1 GHz Pentium M, and I was able to do video work on it. But let's just say my Mobile Athlon 64 3700+ is "a little better" for the job.

INTEL PROCESSORS (http://www.intel.com/)

Pentium M (Centrino)

Variants: Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Pentium M, Low Voltage (LV) Pentium M, Pentium M

Fastest Model: Pentium M 780 (2.26 GHz)

2MB (1MB on older models) Cache, 32-bit

Pro's: The Pentium M is the big fish for a reason. Battery life on Centrino notebooks is unmatched by any other processor. These are extremely efficient processors that offer a lot of performance with relatively small power consumption and heat dissipation.

Con's: Centrino notebooks tend to be more expensive than other notebooks. Also, newer Pentium M's tend to run quite a bit hotter and offer less battery life than their older kin, though they're still unmatched otherwise.

Company Website Info: http://www.intel.com/products/processor/pentiumm/index.htm

Celeron M

Variants: Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Celeron M, Celeron m

Fastest Model: Celeron M 383 (1.6 GHz)

512K - 1MB (512K on older models) Cache

Summary: A stripped down, cost-effective version of the Pentium M.

Pro's: The Celeron M is, if nothing else, extremely affordable, and for everyday tasks performs fairly well. Its battery life is also middling due to the lack of power management features that the Pentium M has.

Con's: Gaming and multimedia performance are pretty crippled on these chips. These are bargain processors and aren't meant for any processor-intensive tasks. They also run hotter than Pentium Ms, and yield less battery life.

Company Website Info: http://www.intel.com/products/processor/celeron_m/index.htm

Mobile Pentium 4

Variants: Mobile Pentium 4 Supporting Hyper-Threading, Mobile Pentium 4

Fastest Model: Mobile Pentium 4 Supporting Hyper-Threading 552 (3.46 GHz)

1MB (512K on older models) Cache, 32-bit (64-bit with 6xx Series)


A desktop Pentium 4, slightly modified for notebook use.

Pro's: Multimedia performance is exceptional in Pentium 4's with Hyper-Threading, and these chips tend to have a very smooth computing experience. If you're looking for a strictly desktop replacement notebook, these are a viable option so long as you mean to use them on a desktop. These tend to be less expensive than Pentium M's for desktop replacements, and usually hover right around the same price as Athlon 64's.

Con's: Absolutely miserable battery life that rarely even hits one hour. Notebooks using Mobile Pentium 4's also tend to be very heavy and loud due to the cooling required for these processors, and even then they tend to be extremely hot. These are really only viable for budget desktop replacement. I'd avoid using it on my actual lap.

Company Website Info: http://www.intel.com/products/processor/mobilepentium4/index.htm

AMD PROCESSORS (http://www.amd.com/)

Athlon 64

Variants: Mobile Athlon 64, Athlon 64 for Desktop Replacements (DTR)

Fastest Model: Mobile Athlon 64 4000+ (2.6 GHz)

512K - 1MB Cache, 64-bit

Summary: Essentially a desktop Athlon 64 capable of running at high speeds with low voltage for notebook use.

Pro's: Athlon 64 notebooks tend to be very inexpensive, and unlike their Pentium 4 counterparts, fairly manageable in regards to heat output, weight, and battery life. The bonus is that they also tend to be much faster than the Pentium 4s. In desktop systems, these are the ideal processors for gamers, and the same applies here. If you're on a budget, these give great performance with mediocre battery life, but tend to be a bargain overall. While the fastest Pentium Ms usually drive a price of at least $2,000, the fastest Athlon 64s float around $1,500 and less.

Con's: Battery life, while respectable for what is essentially an undervolted desktop processor, is still the fatal flaw of an otherwise quality platform. These can also run fairly hot or loud compared to Pentium Ms, though not as bad as Pentium 4s. Also, while being very powerful chips, these do not provide quite as smooth a computing experience as their Intel counterparts. Athlon 64s also tend to be uncommon in the notebook market, which is for the most part dominated by Pentium Ms and Celeron Ms, so they require a little shopping around for. As of this article, HP and Compaq also produce notebooks with Athlon 64s - these notebooks use desktop Athlon 64s, which explains the slightly different model numbering scheme for the processors.

Company Website Info: http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_1276,00.html

Turion 64

Variants: Turion 64 ML Series, Turion 64 MT Series (Low Wattage)

Fastest Model: Turion 64 ML-40 (2.2 GHz)

512K - 1MB Cache, 64-bit

Summary: A much cooler running but downclocked version of the Athlon 64.

Pro's: Turion 64s serve a double purpose as a budget version of the Pentium M and as a 64-bit processor for thin and light notebooks, a market the Athlon 64 can't penetrate due to its heat output. These offer good performance for the price, and have a fairly dedicated following. They offer similar performance clock for clock to Athlon 64s, but can also cost a bit more. They're an excellent alternative to Pentium M notebooks, and are still a far superior choice to a Celeron M notebook.

Con's: The Turion 64 was supposed to be the Pentium M killer and came up a bit short. Worse still, while the ML series is trickling into the marketplace, the MT series - the series with better battery life and heat output - borders on being MIA. It's not impossible to find Turion 64 chips, but it's not that easy either. Also, they still don't offer the kind of efficiency that Pentium M chips do.

Company Website Info: http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_12651,00.html


Variants: Mobile Sempron for Full-Size Notebooks, Mobile Sempron for Thin and Light Notebooks

Fastest Model: Mobile Sempron 3300+ (2 GHz)

128K - 256K Cache, 32-bit

Summary: The budget version of the Athlon 64, similar to the Pentium M's Celeron.

Pro's: Semprons can offer better battery life than Athlon 64s. These will also tend to perform better than Celeron M chips, and with better battery life. For the super budget conscious consumer who can't make the jump to the Athlon 64, Turion 64, or Pentium M, these offer an excellent alternative.

Con's: These, like the Celeron Ms, are crippled chips and are really only for the more budget-conscious consumer.

Company Website Info: http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_11600,00.html


Desktop ChipsProcessors found in desktop machines can sometimes find their way into desktop replacement notebooks. Boutique manufacturers like Alienware and VoodooPC will put powerful desktop processors into their notebooks, but the notebooks are really only notebooks in name, as their portability is somewhat questionable (12+ pounds, 17" screened behemoths). Desktop Pentium 4s also have a habit of showing up in media center notebooks which are, again, only really notebooks in name.

Mobile Pentium 4-MHow's that for a mouthful? These are better in terms of heat and battery life than desktop Pentium 4s, but they take a hit in performance. These are actually one of the main reasons the notebook market was somewhat stagnant until the Pentium M.
Mobile CeleronJust like the Celeron M is directly worse than the Pentium M, so the Mobile Celeron is directly worse than then Mobile Pentium 4-M.

Avoid Mobile Pentium IIIThe Mobile Pentium III was a great notebook chip in its day, offering decent performance for good battery life and heat dissipation. These were actually still found in thin and light notebooks well into the Pentium 4 era and were only replaced by the Pentium M. Pentium Ms are, in many ways, highly optimized descendents of the Mobile Pentium III.

Athlon XP-MThe Athlon XP-M can actually still be found in super bargain-basement notebooks, but its performance isn't comparable to the chips of today. Still, it offers decent battery life, decent performance, and great heat dissipation, if not totally stellar in the first two categories.
Transmeta (http://www.transmeta.com/) Transmeta chips are rare (found only in older Panasonic notebooks), and offer poor performance for solid heat dissipation and battery life. These tended to be expensive and were pretty much entirely overshadowed by the cheaper and better performing Pentium M.

VIA (http://www.via.com.tw/en/) Via chips are incredible in terms of their power consumption, but their performance leaves a lot to be desired. VIA chips tend to be very rare (I've only ever seen them in Fry's brand notebooks) but also very inexpensive. Though VIA chips aren't readily available now (are barely available at all, really), there's a good chance they may begin to penetrate the market in the future, as no one makes a cooler-running, more battery-conscious chip than VIA.

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself what you're going to be using your notebook for.

Remember, too, that clock speeds on chips are not all created equal.

There are Pentium Ms out there faster than some Athlon 64s, and there are some Athlon 64 notebooks with better power consumption than Pentium M notebooks, so as always, do your homework.