Installing Debian from a USB Flash Disk

USB Flash DriveToday I had to install a new Debian server, and the only CD-ROM drive on a 5km radius decided to die on me. However I have my trusty 64MB no-brand taiwanese USB flash drive with me, and I turned to to find out how to perform the lifesaving miracle of installing Debian from said $25 piece of silicon (I bet it goes for less than $10 these days). The server refused to boot from USB the first time, and after repeating the process a couple of times I gave up and repartitioned the whole drive, did yet another install-mbr and repeated the process. Instant gratification. The base system is being installed as I type this. BTW, I went with the most recent Business card CD Image in

Firefox 1.0

Firefox 1.0I finally got to install Mozilla Firefox 1.0 (and Mozilla Thunderbird 0.9 as well, but that’s a whole different story). I must confess that I thought it was going to be kind of painful because a few weeks ago I tried to upgrade 1.0PR but some of my can’t-live-without extensions -mainly easyGestures and switchProxy– just wouldn’t work. I still look forward to get BugMeNot going, but since I have the bookmarklet in my Bookmarks Toolbar I guess it can wait a bit longer.

TrackPoint + XFree86 Synaptics driver

I just installed the xfree86-driver-synaptics package and now touchpad scrolling and many other features work as advertised! In order to enable both trackpoint and touchpad, the following configuration is necessary:

 Section "ServerLayout"
         Identifier     "XFree86 Configured"
         Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
+        InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
+        InputDevice    "Mouse1"
         InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
 Section "InputDevice"
   Driver        "synaptics"
   Identifier    "Mouse0"
   Option        "Device"        "/dev/psaux"
   Option        "Protocol"      "auto-dev"
   Option        "LeftEdge"      "1700"
   Option        "RightEdge"     "5300"
   Option        "TopEdge"       "1700"
   Option        "BottomEdge"    "4200"
   Option        "FingerLow"     "25"
   Option        "FingerHigh"    "30"
   Option        "MaxTapTime"    "180"
   Option        "MaxTapMove"    "220"
   Option        "VertScrollDelta" "100"
   Option        "MinSpeed"      "0.06"
   Option        "MaxSpeed"      "0.12"
   Option        "AccelFactor" "0.0010"
   Option        "SHMConfig"     "on"
 #  Option       "Repeater"      "/dev/ps2mouse"
 Section "InputDevice"
         Identifier  "Mouse1"
         Driver      "mouse"
+        Option      "SendCoreEvents" "true"
         Option      "Protocol" "ThinkingMouse"
         Option      "Device" "/dev/gpmdata"


The MadWiFi drivers I compiled the last week was hanging up Debian with kernel 2.6.7 on “Configuring network interfaces…”. I noticed that Martin List-Petersen just released version 1.3.3 of his MadWiFi package for Debian. Whe I installed it the first time the driver complained with “cipher module unavailable”, so I went back to the package and made a minor modification to install a few extra modules in the .deb file:

--- madwifi-1.3/module/rules.orig       2004-08-07 12:00:53.000000000 -0500
+++ madwifi-1.3/module/rules    2004-08-07 12:02:06.000000000 -0500
@@ -66,6 +66,12 @@
        dh_install ath/ath_pci.ko     lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
        dh_install ath_hal/ath_hal.ko lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
        dh_install net80211/wlan.ko   lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
+       dh_install net80211/wlan_wep.ko    lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
+       dh_install net80211/wlan_tkip.ko   lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
+       dh_install net80211/wlan_ccmp.ko   lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
+       dh_install net80211/wlan_auth.ko   lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
+       dh_install net80211/wlan_radius.ko lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net
+       dh_install net80211/wlan_acl.ko    lib/modules/$(KVERS)/kernel/drivers/net

 binary_modules: build install

Once I repackaged, recompiled and reinstalled the resulting .deb, ath0 came up just fine.

Taken, Ch. 10

Just watched the final chapter of Taken on HBO. It was *bad*. Heroes became stupid. Bad guys became soft. The climax was boring. There was no proper conclusion. In short, the whole series was shot to hell. Bummer.