Aug 31, 2014

[Solved] External monitor unknown after updating to Ubuntu 14.04

Awesome Ubuntu Logo
Finally I decide to switch to the new Ubuntu LTS 14.04 code named 'Trusty Tahr'. As usual, the switch is seamless. I just pushed the 'update distribution' button, and ubuntu takes cares of the rest. It took about an hour to download all the required files necessary to complete the installation and perform the installation scripts. And just like that it was done and ready for use again.

But wait! What happened to my external monitor? I use a Samsung, 23" external display with my old Dell Laptop. And after the reboot, the resolution on my external monitor looks horrid. I checked from the Preference -> Monitor Settings(I use LXDE as my desktop manager, if you don't you should. It's crazy fast) and it seems ubuntu is having issues identifying the monitor and it's native resolutions. Under monitor settings, the maximum resolution that was listed was 1024x768 where as the monitor can support full 1080p (1920x1080). I used xrandr and the result is the same wrong resolutions. The reason is probably a driver issue. My old laptop uses the The Mobile Intel® GM45 Express Chipset, featuring the Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD. I went to intel website, to download their latest drivers, but it didn't help to solve the problem.

I thought I would force the 1920x1080 resolution on the external monitor 

So I thought I would force the 1920x1080 resolution on the external monitor and see whether it can handle that. I searched for documentation in the ubuntu wiki, and found some nifty commands to add different resolutions using xrandr. So I issued the following commands (Line that begins with ### is my comment, not a command) -

cvt 1920 1080 60
###to create a new resolution to add using xrandr.
The output of that follows -

# 1920x1080 59.96 Hz (CVT 2.07M9) hsync: 67.16 kHz; pclk: 173.00 MHz
Modeline "1920x1080_60.00"  173.00  1920 2048 2248 2576  1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync

###Copy everything from Modeline and paste it with xrandr --newmode command.

xrandr --newmode 1920x1080_60.00  173.00  1920 2048 2248 2576  1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync

###Finally use addmode option to add the resolution in your xrandr list.
xrandr --addmode VGA1 "1920x1080_60.00"
###Here VGA1 is the name of the external monitor, find it by running xrandr

ubuntu for human logo Now you are done. You should be able to see this new resolution if you open 'Monitor Settings' again. Select and Apply and you can happily use the 1080p resolution once again. Remember, this is not a persistent setting. So every time, you restart you'll lose the resolution. So to avoid doing all of these over again, I saved the instructions in a bash file in my home directory and that in my .bash_profile. So it is automatically executed everytime I restart(which I don't do often).  I hope this helps and eagerly hoping that Ubuntu fixes this problem in their upcoming update.

Aug 25, 2014

Toshiba C35 Chromebook review

Google ChromeOS, Ubuntu, OSX running togather. I can say that the family is complete
So it's been about 10 days since I received my Chromebook and I thought now is a good time to write a review of my experience. To be honest, before receiving one, I was a chromebook virgin. It was the price of the laptop that drove me into buying this, rather than the feature. But after using for last few days, I am happy to say that Chrome OS have come a long way and is a really mature operating system in the market.

Aug 19, 2014

[Solved] Toshiba CB35-A3120 chromebook battery issue

As I mentioned in my previous post about the Toshiba CB35 chromebook's battery problem, I tried various things to solve the problem. It seemed to me that this might be a software issue, as the symptoms were not consistent. One of the primary symptom was dropping the charge indicator from 50-60% to 3-5% within a couple of minutes. Clearly such a quick discharge is not possible unless the battery is faulty.

Aug 16, 2014

Received my first chromebook : Toshiba CB35

Google chrome logo
Google Chrome, slowly taking me over...
my first chromebook. Toshiba CB35 with 13 inches screen, Intel celeron processor and 2GB Ram. So far it looks great and the keyboard is awesome. Although I think the webcam can definitely be better, other than that the chromebook is crazy fast and is capable of serving it's purpose very well.
Just received

Aug 12, 2014

Getting a chromebook - which one to get?

toshiba chromebook intel celeron 2gb ram
Toshiba Chromebook - Intel Celeron Haswell
processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD
(photo from chromebooks product page)
So after my macbook died as I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to look for a cheap, lightweight laptop for my everyday use. Here are the consideration that I had -

  • It has to be cheap, under 300$.
  • It should be able to run linux.

Aug 11, 2014

Macbook pro died (again)!

Laptop overheating funny picture
How should I poach my egg?
My macbook pro died for the second time this year and I decided to wait for Apple to issue a recall rather than spending money to repair it. It is a known issue on all early 2011 macbook pros which uses AMD Radeon HD 6750M due to a faulty thermal paste technique that they use to cool down the gpu. Apple is still sleeping while the complaint page on apple support forum grows into 507 pages, 1041847 Views and 7,595 replies