Archive for July, 2011

Enable global keys (hot-keys) in Ubuntu on Asus K53

On Asus K53 most of the hot-keys are not working with the default installation of Ubuntu 11.04 with kernel 2.6.38-8, however there is a package available that will enable them, here are instructions on how to perform that:

sudo apt-get install git  (unless you already have git installed)
git clone git://
cd acpi4asus-dkms 
sudo make install
sudo modprobe asus-nb-wmi   (this command will load the newly installed module)

After every kernel update the above will be erased and you will need to re-do it every time until it is included in a kernel version at a later stage. To make it easier create a .deb package which will be easier to install.

sudo apt-get install debhelper 
cd acpi4asus-dkms 
sudo dpkg -i [newly-created-package].deb
sudo modprobe asus-nb-wmi

Disable “Restart Now” on automatic updates in Windows

If you have setup your Windows machine to perform automatic updates, when a new update is available it will nag you with a popup message to restart your computer so that the updates can be applied.

There are several ways to disable or post-pone this from annoying you every 10 minutes (default setting).

  1. Disable the Automatic Updates Service for the current session, meaning it will not show up this message until the computer is restarted. Note that this will be reset after the restart so you will need to repeat it again next time when you have new updates to be applied. To disable the automatic updates for the current session type the following in the Run screen in Windows (Start -> Run):
    sc stop wuauserv

  2. Modify the group policy settings so the time between message popup is greater than the default value. Open the Group Policy Settings by entering gpedit.msc in Start -> Run. On the screen that will open, go to the following location:
    Local Computer Policy

    Computer Configuration
    Administrative Templates
    Windows Components
    Windows Update

    Now, locate the Re-prompt for restart with schedule installations option in the list and double click on it.

    Set it is as Enabled and change the waiting period to 1440 minutes (maximum value == 1 day). Enjoy the uninterrupted work! 🙂

Note: Option 2 works only on Windows XP Professional and not on Windows XP Home. However, option 1 works for all versions of Windows XP. These options were not tested on Windows 7, but they might work there as well.

HOWTO: Opt-out of behavioral advertising

All of the advertising companies are storing cookies on the computer so that they can monitor the users online activities and web preferences to serve ads which are similar to their taste so that they can increase their effectiveness. This is also known as Behavioral Advertising.

There are several ways to opt-out of the behavioral advertising

  1. Google’s advertising companies have a website where you are able to see what they have stored about you already in their cookie(s). They are listed as categories and you can individually remove some or opt-out completely so that in the future they do not collect information about you and just serve you ads related to the search or website you are visiting (more random). Click here to visit the Google website where you can opt-out of their advertising companies.
  2. Network Advertising Initiative provides a big list of advertising companies who are keeping cookies for behavioral advertising and they offer a feature to opt-out of them all at once. In the list you can see which of advertising companies already have a cookie on your computer, but you will not be able to see details about the information they have about you, like Google does. Click here to visit the Network Advertising Initiative website.

Note: The opt-out in this text is related to the cookies kept on your computer and how the advertising companies are monitoring your online activities to serve you tailored ads. You will still see ads from these companies after you opt-out using the method described above.

Enable full touchpad functionality in Ubuntu

I have laptop Asus K53SV and the touchpad was recognized as a mouse only. All of the features that it offered were just navigating the pointer, no scrolling, no disable when typing etc.

There is a patch available (elantech) which solves this issue and the touchpad is recognized with all (at least some 🙂 ) features.

First, install the dkms (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) package if it is not already installed on your machine:

sudo apt-get install dkms

Then, download the patch:

cd /usr/src/
sudo wget

Unpack the patch:

sudo tar jxvf psmouse-elantech-v6.tar.bz2

Add the patch to the psmouse module:

sudo dkms add -m psmouse -v elantech-v6

Build it:

sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v elantech-v6

Install it:

sudo dkms install -m psmouse -v elantech-v6

For successful installation you should get something like this at the end: DKMS: install Completed.

Now, to load the new module with the patch included, you will need to either reboot your machine or reload the new module by executing the following command:

sudo rmmod psmouse && sudo modprobe psmouse

Now, go to System -> Preferences -> Mouse -> Touchpad and you will see all the settings that are available for the touchpad! 🙂


Hibernate on Ubuntu

If the default hibernate does not work on your Ubuntu installation, try installing the package hibernate.

sudo apt-get install hibernate

To use that script then, you can run it via the terminal

sudo hibernate

or create a shortcut on your panel, right-click and Add To Panel, then select Custom Application Launcher and set it up as follows:

After you click Add, there will be a new icon added to your Panel.

Note: when you run the newly created icon it will ask for a password because you are executing it with sudo.

This is tested on ASUS K53SV with Ubuntu 11.04.

Minimize Audacious to system tray

This feature is not enabled by default, at least in Ubuntu 11.04 with Audacious version 2.4.4. However, there is a plugin which enables this feature, the plugin name is called Status Icon and it is located in Preferences -> Plugins -> General.

After you have enabled the plugin, click on the system tray Audacious icon to hide the program completely.

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