Asus X202E touchpad sensitivity with Ubuntu

The ones out there who decided to drop Windows 8 in favor of Ubuntu after buying an Asus X202E will probably face the issue of a too sensitive touchpad which makes the laptop barely usable, with a lot of random unwanted clicks especially during the “two finger scrolling”. The two finger scrolling is a feature I really don’t want to give up as well as the touch to click one, as i find them really convenient as long as I have to use the laptop as laptop, which means without an external pointing device such as a mouse.

First step to get to the desired settings is to check which hardware are we using.

As reported at this url http://superuser.com/questions/229839/reduce-laptop-touch-pad-sensitivity-in-ubuntu the best is to run the command:

xinput list

This will return the list of the input devices used by X (for a complete man page, refer to this : Xinput man page in a new tab)

From the list returned it will be easy to guess which is the touchpad device, in the Asus X202E it is:

ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad (debian wiki here)

Since the laptop is equipped with a touchscreen display, do not confuse the touchpad with the digitizer of the display (Atmel Atmel maXTouch Digitizer).

Now we can easily get the initial parameter of the touchpad so we can tinker with them and the worst of the cases we can use them to revert the settings to the initial state.

To do this, to read the setting we are currently running with, the command to be issued is:

 xinput list-props "ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad" | grep -i finger

This will return a few lines:

Synaptics Finger (289): 1, 1, 0
Synaptics Two-Finger Pressure (295): 282
Synaptics Two-Finger Width (296): 7
Synaptics Two-Finger Scrolling (299): 1, 1

We are going to tinker with the first parameter, “Synaptic Finger” in order to require much more pressure of the finger for the touchpad to become active.

what I type is:

sudo xinput set-prop "ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad" "Synaptics Finger" 5 20 0

Where the second parameter (30) is the one used as threshold for the measured finger pressure. The first one seems to be the one used as “Release pressure” to measure the act of clicking.

I hope this short guide will be useful for other out there.

Final tip:

This settings will be gone after next reboot, so the best is to create a bash script and make it being executed at your login as suggested on this page: http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.php?title=Configuring_the_touchpad_with_xinput

so let’s create a script called touchpad.sh

#!/bin/bash
sudo xinput set-prop "ETPS/2 Elantech Touchpad" "Synaptics Finger" 5 20 0

Let’s make it executable with:

chmod 755 touchpad.sh

You conveniently save it under a easily accessible folder like /usr/bin

then, if ou use Gnome 2or 3 like me, it’s sufficient to do as reported on this page http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8247706/start-script-when-gnome-starts-up you can open the terminal and type:

gnome-session-properties

Using the graphical interface you can set it up and look for the script by just browsing the filesystem.

useful info here as well: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SynapticsTouchpad

Enjoy your new configured touchpad.

asus x202e

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Ubuntu & Debian FIX java plugin for Firefox and Chrome

friends_dont_let_friends_windows_mugHow to Fix java plugin in Ubuntu for Firefox/Chrome

The error:

Your browser Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome refuses to execute a java applet because of the security risks related to an old version of java, most likely the jdk1.7.0_40 which has been disabled by Mozilla Firefox plugin mantainers on October the 16th. So you probably want to install jdk1.7.0_45.  Anyway, this said, this procedure will most likely work with following versions of Java, Firefox, Chrome, Ubuntu 🙂 And of course. if you need to install Java for your browsers or operating system and you haven’t yet installed once, just skip the parts with the “rm” command as the rest is the same.

Download and install the Jdk

First of all download the latest version of java from the oracle website:

from this page http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk7-downloads-1880260.html , download either jdk-7u45-linux-x64.tar.gz OR jdk-7u45-linux-i586.tar.gz; which one of the two versions depends on your operating system.

Once the download finishes extract the folder in /usr/lib/jvm so you obtain /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_45/jre/bin/java. The Java binaries folder is linked so developers can quickly switch between several versions. What we are doing here, will not affect the operating system use of java, if you want to use the new version of java in your operating system, then you’ll find some instructions at the end of this post.

Firefox, Chrome:

Usually you are tempted to use the folder in ~/.mozilla, I tried, it doesn’t seem to affect any way nor Firefox, nor Chrome. The clue is to use /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ so Google Chrome will be able to use this plugin as well. What we need to do, if you already have an old version of java, is to remove the link called libnpjp2.so. to do so move to the directory:

cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

As you can see a link to java is already there, but it is outdated:

 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 50 okt 22 22:03 libnpjp2.so -> /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_40/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so*

Remove the link with the command:

 sudo rm -f libnpjp2.so

Then we can create a new link pointing to the new downloaded java in /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_45/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so with the command:

ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_45/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so
libnpjp2.so

Restart Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome and that’s all!
enjoy your up to date java plugin for Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Giuseppe

 

P.s. Fixing java for your operating system

As i wrote before, the version of java picked up by the operating system in order to execute java code depends on the symbolic link in /etc/alternatives

Just check which version of java is picked up before changing it typing:

java -version

you should get something like:

java version "1.7.0_40"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_40-b43)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.0-b56, mixed mode)

Now, just remove the link in /etc/alternatives and replace it with a new one pointing to the new downloaded java in /usr/lib/jvm, like this:

cd /etc/alternatives
sudo rm -f java
ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_45/jre/bin/java java

Then try to check again which version of java is in use now:

java -version
java version "1.7.0_45"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_45-b18)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.45-b08, mixed mode)

 

Yeeee, the new version is picked up now.

If you have problem just drop me a comment.

 

 

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Notes About compiling Kernel 3.9 on my Asus X202E with Debian

thanks to http://linuxg.net/compile-kernel-3-9-on-debian-wheezy/

Very short notes for personal use:

Install the needed packages:

$ sudo apt-get install kernel-package fakeroot build-essential ncurses-dev

Download the new kernel:

$ wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/linux-3.9.tar.bz2

Extract the archive and cd into it:

$ tar xvf linux-3.9.tar.bz2
$ cd linux-3.9/

Do this tweaks:

$ cat /boot/config-`uname -r`>.config
$ make oldconfig

You will be asked a lot of questions. If in doubt, choose the default answer (press enter).

Next, do:

$ make-kpkg clean

Compile the kernel:

$ sudo time fakeroot make-kpkg -j4 --initrd kernel_image kernel_headers

Replace 4 with the number of cores on your computer.

Install the Kernel:

$ sudo dpkg -i ../linux-image-3.9.0_3.9.0-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb ../linux-headers-3.9.0_3.9.0-10.00.Custom_amd64.deb

Installing Skype on Debian Wheezy 64bit

How to install Skype on your brand new Debian Wheezy 64bitSkype-debian

I’m migrating all my personal computers to Debian Wheezy (or Jessie in some cases). Personally i hate Skype but i have friends who don’t want to understand the importance of using open source software only, and for this reason i need Skype at least to school them to the open source life style.

Skype will come in what they claim being a multi  architecture package, but in the end it’s just a 32 bit package.

So if i want to install this program i have to enable the multiarch and i have to add the “i386” arcgitecture to my system. The guide at the address http://wiki.debian.org/Multiarch is pretty useful in this sense.

So to enable the multiarch superpowers open up a terminal and type:

dpkg --add-architecture i386

Time to download skype:

 http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-linux/downloading/?type=debian32

You can install your new “multiarch” skype typing:

dpkg -i skype-debian_4.2.0.11-1_i386.deb

At this point your package manager will complain about unsatisfied dependencies, which you will resolve with

apt-get -f install

Have nice chats with your friends!

Giuseppe

I was just thinking about buying a Chromebook.

I think I need a netbook.

chromebooks

Speaking about Linux on Desktop and Laptop Computers…

Video of Linus Torvalds About Linux on Desktop pc – youtube (new tab).

Well thanks Linus Torvalds for this unwanted advice for me and for all potential chromebook customers.
What now? Probably Lenovo, or something cheaper. Any case the operating system “will be” or “will be replaced with”: Debian.

The problem is:

I spend 1.5 (decimal) hour to go to the office in Amsterdam and the way back.
I would really like to invest this time to do some reading, or managing small things using a vpn, or just check the new email (i receive hundreds email a day) without having to do it with the cell phone, which is very useful but if nobody uses a smartphone or a tablet (excluding momentary fanatisms) on the desk in place of a laptop or a desktop pc there must be some reason.

The first is the poor display: I mean it could have a billion pixels, but who cares? If you have to read on something which is as big as a marlboro pack , who really cares.

Second reason: the phiscal keyboard. You cannot ask me to type for more than few sentences with a touchscreen keyboard, c’mon. It’s a torture even on a tablet. Most of us have probably already found their own way with touchscreens but I want real keys.

For these reasons (and because my Laptop and my Macbook are too big and heavy), I want a netbook, so I can have a physical keyboard, a display with a desktop manager and I can type and read comfortably on the train or in the metro, It’s a little more heavy than a cellphone, it has no mobile connectivity but for this reason the cellphone will be used as hot-spot when in non wifi areas.

The big BUT

But this will never replace a real pc and for this reason it should not require a big expense of money. This is what yuo have to take into account unless you want a very small powerful Ultrabook (this case you have to invest almost three time the price of a normal netbook). Which is a good thing if you want to carry around your own machine and possibly using a docking station you will not notice the difference whit a normal machine when you will be in the office. But this case you will probably replace your working machine.

P.s.

While writing this post to share my thought, I just realized that I have already a laptop with a docking station from a decent company, Dell, which ,if I’m not wrong, produces net-book as well. In this case I will check first if there is any chance to take advantage of inherited hardware (which is very powerful but difficult to be carried around) and manage to move towards a Net book or Ultra-book, using them with a docking station.

Giuseppe

 

How to take a screenshot with Gnome in Debian Wheezy

gnome screenshot screenshotScreenshot in gnome is very easy, as there is a program called: Screenshot 🙂

This program should come with the default Gnome 3 installation with the Debian Wheezy installer. You can find it in the Debian Classic application menu as well as in the Gnome application menu (the cool one).

Continue reading “How to take a screenshot with Gnome in Debian Wheezy”

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How to record your desktop on Debian using Gnome

recordmydesktop interface in gnomeRecording my desktop on Debian with RecordMyDesktop.

If you are using Debian or other debian derivatives, you can record your desktop session to a video using RecordMyDesktop. This program is available in the Wheezy repository and ad usual, you just need a command to install it:

sudo apt-get install recordmydesktop gtk-recordmydesktop

The program will be available in gnome menu and in the Debian applications menu: Continue reading “How to record your desktop on Debian using Gnome”

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My top 5 Gnome Apps for writing tutorial or posts

GnomeThis article is just a memo to me because I see so many good software everyday, both for command line and with GUI, that is difficult to me to remember exactly the name so i could install it on the office pc at Hippo in Amsterdam or , viceversa, at home.

These are my most used apps for productivity Continue reading “My top 5 Gnome Apps for writing tutorial or posts”

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Debian Wheezy on my Macbook, cool.

Another one bites the dust

Picture of my macbook running Debian
Mac running Deb.
Sorry for image ugliness, but i wanted to show both screen content and the macbook.

I couldn’t resist and at the end I managed to get Debian running on my macbook.

I kept myself the chance to reboot on OsX using refit (which now is discontinued in favor of refind) and grub, but the truth is that since then i never rebooted on Os X again. Not even once.

Why?

Well, first of all let me say that the more packages you install, the more you realize that this distro has nothing less (apart the price) than the commercial OSs.

Some info about my Mac:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo

Memory : 4Gb @ 1067Mhz

 

Continue reading “Debian Wheezy on my Macbook, cool.”