Sunday, September 23, 2007

My modem is working now

The modem is alive. It is working now. I am posting this from my Linux box. I feel so happy now as I have spent quite a number of days to configure my modem. To search for the latest modem driver is not a hard job but configure it to make work is a hard job. Right until now, the modem still haven't correctly configure. Every time I turn on my Linux I still need to configure it in order to get online. By the time I configure the modem, it fails for the first time when I try to connect to the Internet.

An error message prompt timeout expired while waiting for the PPP interface to come up. This is so annoying for me to click on the OK button every time I connect to the Internet. This is annoying too every time I need to configure my modem after Linux was bootup.

Things going to solve soon. I need some configuration setting to make my modem “permanently” stay in my Linux.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tools to detect my modem

I have downloaded a tool called Scanmodem from linmodem support page while I get into this HOWTO slmodem for Gentoo. I know this site is definitely for Gentoo Linux, but I was running out of hope to install my modem. There are so limited resources out there. I must give try on whatever I found.

This tool can help you to detect your modem device, the files needed to compile your modem and many more. It was a very good tool. To use it, follow this simple steps:

gunzip Scanmodem.gz
chmod U+X Scanmodem


This will create a ModemData.txt under a Modem directory (there are many more files generated). So I open up the file and I see a lot of info which I couldn’t understand. The very interesting part to me is this:

PCI ID: 2000:2800
Subsystem ID: 122d:2800

Candidate modem in PCI bus: 00:0c.0
Class 0703: 200:2800
Primary PCI_id: 2000:2800
Type needed: slamr

After reading this, so called spec, I become blur and struggle. It seems helpless on Internet after a few weeks of searching and googling. The only hope is to go back read carefully the README from the package. This is the only hope I think.

One thing for sure is my modem chipset is SL2800.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First try on installing a modem on Mandriva 2007

Few months ago, when starting to setup my Linux box on my machine, the primary installation before development tools is the modem driver and display driver. The first driver I was trying to install is the modem driver. This driver is come together with the hardware. Unlike the display driver, this free me some hassle work in searching for the driver.

I am surprising that I am able to see the driver source code after I have extract the zip file. (I am new to the Linux world.) There is no exe file. I go through the instruction from the README file and following every step to in the setup process. It gives me an error. This is so interesting that the console showing which line is having trouble in which file. Just like a debugger. I follow what have been told by the compiler to see what is inside the code.

Open it. I have no idea on how to fix the code although I am a C++ developer. (Frankly my core skills are UI only.) This is so funny that I can read the C++ code but I have no idea on how this code is work. I put this aside for a few weeks until I manage to find a latest driver. I get the package from here.

It compiled and installed but I have no way to configure it. Did some Google search and I got this thread. This thread did mention about on how to setting up and configuring the modem. It works exactly. Unfortunately the modem is not able to query. Is it my false?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Changing Direction of My Project

I have a bad news. Due to the limited time I have, the project was drop as my initial plan. But something was change; I was planning to make a UI-less utility to make it simpler to develop. I don't need to care the about UI design issues, the feel and look. This project will be changing its development tools from MFC to STL. I was planning to make it executable in both window and Linux OS since I am switch my development environment to Linux.

Currently I was busy in setting up my Linux box on my machine. I have facing some troubleshooting issues during setup. (I am newbie in Linux.) Not the installation of Linux but the driver itself. It is pretty hard to find a driver in Linux. But I enjoy the process.

Monday, September 10, 2007

WHAT is Winmodem

WHAT is Winmodem

These few days working on Linux modem and been struggling in installing the driver. Winmodem and Linmodem are a new term which I see frequently during my searching process. I was curious about these and did a search from the Internet. This is what I got.

"A Winmodem is a software modem designed to work with the Microsoft Windows
operating system. A traditional modem uses hardware to perform its tasks, but
Winmodems perform their key tasks with software. This makes them smaller and
cheaper to produce, but it also means they cannot be easily used on other
operating systems because the driver support requires far more effort to
produce." -

Another resource which talks more on this is available from this link.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Disable XGL on MANDRIVA 2007

Well! I got the NVIDIA ready on my PC now. I have two options to turn into 3D mode. One is AIGLX and the other is XGL. What was that actually? Have a quick search at Google, but I still couldn’t find one solution.

First I try on AIGLX; this seems no different with the previous setting which is using the generic driver. Then I try on XGL, the whole desktop was turn into white screen with a black box at the middle (I think that must be the splash screen). I am still able to see the splash box at the initial stage of the loading process just before the window manager was loaded. I still can hear the startup sound but I get a white screen after the window manager was loaded.

Did some search on the forum found out that using XGL on NVIDIA is still buggies. Some will say need to do some hacking stuff. I spent around one week to figure out the way to disable XGL in console.

Here is how I did it. Boot in failsafe mode. Change to root user. The reason for this is to let the ls command to show files in color mode. I have tried this without login in as root user. The ls command doesn’t show files in color mode. Go to the directory etc/sysconfig to look for xgl file. Edit it by using vi command. You will see just one line in that file. Xgl=yes. Change this to Xgl=no. Save and reboot again.

I have found a very good resource for vi command. You can get it from here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Install NVIDIA on Mandriva 2007

I have installed the display card driver on Mandriva 2007 successfully. Cheers!! There was a long story in order to get the work done and due to the lack of knowledge in Linux, I have been hitting the wall for so many times. You know what; I have spent up to three days to install this driver. This is so ridiculous.

First day:

I get the driver from NVIDIA website. There was a file with RUN extension. I think this must be EXE file for the setup. Unfortunately I am not able to execute this file under my user account. Why? In order to execute this file I must have the administrator privilege.

How can I gain the administrator privilege? I think that must be the root user. But how can I switch to root user?

I spent a few hours to search in my Linux book. Frankly, I have learned this shell command during my school time. I have totally forgotten my learning due to the reason of I never use Linux in my daily work as it can not play my favorite games. I just learn for fun. By the way the driver is quite hard to find too.

Second day:

I continue my searching. Finally I found it. It is su command. But I get this from Internet, not from the book.

Although I have successfully switch to root user but I am still not able to execute the program. This is because it require me to log out from X window then only I can continue the installation.

Well. This seems a bit tricky for me as the distribution which install on my machine is automatically start X window after boot up. I have no clue on how to exit the X window. As I mention earlier I have totally forgotten what I have learn.

I did a search on the help to look up how can I logout to the console mode. Frankly I had never trying to logout to Linux console on this distribution since the installation. I have spent few hours on this issue. Fortunately I have find out how to do that.

Now what? This is the real time for me to install the driver at the initial though. It failed again during the installation process; an error showing that the driver is not able to find the source tree.

What the source tree exactly is? I spent some time on Internet to dig out this.

Luckily this is not a big issue. It is actually referring to the kernel source tree. Wow, this really a bit surprise for me. This is my first installation experience that requires the source tree to compile the driver. I had never done it on Windows. This is so interesting...

Third day:

The source tree needs to be installed manually in my machine. It is not in the default list of the installation. This can be done under the control center.

Well. Everything is ready. Guess what? After the installation, first thing I am going to do is to turn on the 3D mode. But I don’t see any 3D after the configuration. I do log out and back again in order for the new setting to take effect. Does the installation completely done? Do I need to make some configuration to the X config file? One thing for sure is the desktop alignment was correct (before this the desktop alignment is shift at the right side) and during the boot up process I can see the NVIDIA logo shown up.

Does this means that I have successfully install the driver?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Setup wireless network in my uncle house

On Wednesday, my uncle called me to help him to setup a wireless network. Unfortunately I don’t have this knowledge and I do tell him that I don’t know how to do that. But he keep persuading me to go as it is very easy to setup. But in fact it is not. The first thing I ask to myself is how am I going to connect my PC to the wireless router? There must be some setting for the IP address. But how am I going to do that? I spent a few hours there try and error. Base on the experience (just two months) that I have when I work as an IT support in past few years ago. I try my best to do it but it still wouldn’t work.

At last I sitting there look at the computer. How am I going to communicate with router from my PC? I do looking to the manual but it still wouldn’t work. I call for help rather than just sitting there searching my past experience regarding to wireless thing. Frankly, I have zero experience on wireless and little knowledge on networking like setting up a print server. That’s all. The person I call is the salesman where the wireless device is purchase from. He don’t seems really want to help me because he keep pointing out that he is a distributor and they don’t provide guidance support. Because I don’t have knowledge in wireless thing, even I am not able to find out which network I am connecting to. He feels that I am annoying. Then I let my uncle handle him and my uncle successfully persuades him to provide guidance to me.

At first he teaches me on how to setup the wireless security, and then he teaches me on how to connect to the wireless router and setup some configuration setting on the router. Due to some error during the setup, I need to restart my setup again. Thus the security setup was gone. I repeat the same steps again. Finally I have the wireless router working probably. And now I want to setup the security on the router. The salesman seem little busy and I feel that I have bother him for so long, thus we drop the line. I follow the steps that he teaches me few minutes ago.

Oh no! Something goes wrong. The Internet connection was down. I am not able to connect to the port. What was happened? Then I remove the password security. See whether this is cause by the security issue? It still wouldn’t work. No matter how hard I have tried, it still wouldn’t work.

On my way heading home, I feel that I am not a perfect IT guy. To survive in IT, I must take initiative to learn new thing. But somehow although learn the new thing but I don’t have a chances to show off my skill on my work as my work don’t need it, it were still useless.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tedious Defect

Monday (16 July 2007)

This is a hard war. I am working on a defect which is having calculation error in report. At first I suspect there is a double entry error. This could be a new challenge on me as I never work this before. I am spending the whole day to look for the real problem in the source code, resource file and the work flow. Unfortunately all the effort are wasted in this day because nothing can be found.

Tuesday (17 July 2007)

There was no error in double entry because the calculation was a real time process during the "report making" process.

Today I dive into the code to see how double entry was created, how the journal entry is made and how the recap function work. Actually the error is not here. If this is an error, there must be an error in double entry. Since double entry is working fine. There must something wrong in other place. I stop my analysis work on double entry and request help from my senior. After the discussion, I suspect there must be some work need to be done in resource file.

Wednesday (18 July 2007)

I have found something in the resource file. This is very tricky. Every ID defines in resource file represent fields in the data file. This field may have some attribute apply on it to indicate how the field is 'work'. A few changes were made and it works finally. But I need to test other part of the report to ensure my work is complete.

Thursday (19 July 2007)

I am doing the wrong thing. All my works are gone. My effort was wasted. I am not yet clearly understand the real problem. I am not yet clearly understood the work flow. I though I have complete my work. But the fixed I have done will be reactivated in someday. I have no clue how this thing should be fix.

Friday (20 July 2007)

YES!! I have completed the fix. The report is showing the correct value in both invoice and purchase. I couldn't sleep well on yesterday night just because of thinking a 'real' solution for this problem. Now it is working fine here.

Anyhow I found an error during the crash test. I am almost complete my work. At this moment I need to calm down to check every test detail. It should be done in one day effort.

New Explore: MCNLive

On last weekend, I found a mini OS called MCNLive. MCNLive is base on the Mandriva 2007. It just cost me around 440MB and without the need to installed it into hard disk. Everything are load from the CD and execute from RAM when it is needed. Thus I did a test on it. I burn it into CD, and boot up from the CD with my PC which have Windows XP installed.

When it first boot, I see a series of boot option. The first boot option is default option. (I like this option.) Choose on it, wait for a few second and it is ready to be use. One thing I notice that the CD ROM was locked. When U load an application, I saw the CD ROM is spinning. I'll never eject the CD until I shutdown the OS.

I have try on other boot option like "some thing called boot from NTFS hard disk", I don't really remember the full name. With this option, I can eject the CD after the OS is bootup. This is the most interesting part. The other is called "boot from USB". I get stuck the middle during the boot process. I don really know what happen. May be I don have a USB ready during that moment.

At last, I can have an option to remaster the OS. This is really interesting. When I found something is not install in the OS. I can install it and remaster the CD. Something like customization. This is so great. But the OS size might increase depends on the application installed. I never try on this. Will make it one day.

Monday, March 26, 2007

How to deliver software on time?

After reading the article provided by Steve McConnell, it gave me a sense to bargain with my boss. You can find this article below in this post.

To deliver software on time is the most difficult task for me. I could say that it just like “Mission Impossible X – James Bone version”. Say, you have features A, B, and C in version 1 and deliver it within two months, then your boss want you to add on feature D without any adjustment on timeline. This feature most probably will drag seven days from your resource plan. What can you do?

For me, I’ll add feature D to meet my boss requirement, but I’ll cut down some fancy work for features A, B, and C without any adjustment on timeline. Of course you need to have a nice conversation with your boss as well. At the end of this conversation, your boss will still requires you to remain the fancy work for feature A, B, and C plus feature D. Then what can you do?

My suggestion is to tell him everything, tell him the problems that you are facing, tell him about your needs, negotiate the “MUST HAVE” features with your boss (ignore the NICE-TO-HAVE stuff), and also request for necessary tools and resources to speed up your development.

Learn to negotiate is a very good “subject” for developer to defence their timeline. Just like my mom bargain in sales. Developers should learn from them in order to buy the cheapest time. Conclusion, if you don’t negotiate about your needs, you will be three days two night without sleeping (or may be you sleep not more than eight hours) in order to deliver your software on time. What is the purpose of doing this? I am not saying that this is the wrong way of doing things. Unless the software project having a very attractive revenue. We should work hard and smart, but not work like a cow!

Article: How to defend an unpopular schedule

Saturday, March 24, 2007

File Manager Project


My project is on run again. I have been stop for this excitement activity for a long time. Now it comes to me again. For this year, I have a couple of idea to work on it. So many stuff need to be done for this year.

Let me introduce my first project - the File Manager. This is my personal assistant to help me in organizing the file on CD/DVD. I used to do my backup in CD/DVD, unfortunately I never label it. U see… If I label each CD/DVD, this project is actually wasted. Any how, I still will continue working on this project as there are still plenty of important files kept in CD/DVD.

This project was started on last week. I will be spending one or two days to work on this project but it will depend on my availability. I have just started the work on whitepaper. The work is undergoing smoothly.