xubuntu issues, round 1

the notebook was not powering off after shutdown. in some message board threads, "acpi=off" or "acpi=force" as grub args were recommended. what worked was adding the line "apm power_off=1" in /etc/modules.

what's next is to find out what's wrong with the pcmcia xircom network card. i still have to eject & insert the card in order to make it pick it up.


giving xubuntu a try

I'm nuking my crappy WindowsXP install on ye olde notebook - a Toshiba Satellite 4090XDVD. Since I fixed the VPN at work with OpenVPN, I don't need it to connect to the stupid Firebox PPTP (pronounced "PoPToP") VPN anymore. So I'm giving Xubuntu a try because it's supposed to be a lighter desktop.

One gotcha that I encountered on the install is that it didn't initially like my Xircom 10/100+56k modem network card. But I found a tip buried deep in a message board - eject the card, re-insert in and then tell the installer to redetect the network, and it works fine.

Another gotcha was the software dependencies. I am not exactly sure what went wrong, but it failed to install all the dependencies correctly on the first pass. I just told it to re-install again and it was fine. (shrug)

what time is it, redux?

Well, after my last vacation where every photo taken by my Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH was off exactly by one day, I hunkered down and wrote the code to edit the meta information in all the photos using Image::ExifTool. Below is the code:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;
use Image::ExifTool qw(:Public);
use Time::Local;
open(F,"list"); my @files = ; close(F);
my $oneday = 60 * 60 * 24;
foreach my $file (@files) {
chomp $file;
my ($dev,$ino,$mode,$nlink,$uid,$gid,$rdev,$size, $atime,$mtime,$ctime,$blksize,$blocks)
= stat($file);
my $newmtime = $mtime + $oneday;
# Create a new Image::ExifTool object
my $exifTool = new Image::ExifTool;
my %options;
# Extract meta information from an image
$exifTool->ExtractInfo($file, \%options);
# Get list of tags in the order they were found in the file
my @taglist = $exifTool->GetFoundTags('File');
TAG: foreach my $tag (@taglist) {
next TAG if $tag !~ /date/i;
# Get a tag description
my $description = $exifTool->GetDescription($tag);
# Get the group name associated with this tag
my $group = $exifTool->GetGroup($tag);
# Get the value of a specified tag
my $value = $exifTool->GetValue($tag);
# 2007:01:05 12:26:43
my ($year,$mon,$mday,$hour,$min,$sec) = $value =~ /(\d\d\d\d):(\d\d):(\d\d) (\d\d):(\d\d):(\d\d)/;
$mon -= 1;
my $oldtime = timelocal($sec,$min,$hour,$mday,$mon,$year);
# let's do the time warp agaaaaain
my $newtime = $oldtime + $oneday;
my ($newsec,$newmin,$newhour,$newmday,$newmon,$newyear,$newwday,$newyday,$newisdst) = localtime($newtime);
$newmon += 1;
$newyear += 1900;
my $newvalue = sprintf("%04d:%02d:%02d %02d:%02d:%02d",$newyear,$newmon,$newmday,$newhour,$newmin,$newsec);
# set a new value and capture any error message
my ($success, $errStr) = $exifTool->SetNewValue($tag, $newvalue, Replace => 1);
if ( ! $success > 0 ) {
print "***\n";
print qq!ERROR: $file - $tag ($description) $group '$errStr'\n!;
print "***\n";

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