Ubuntu number key weirdness

June 30, 2011

My Ubuntu 10.04 install was behaving weirdly when I used the numeric keypad. The keys would never generate numbers; rather, they would move the mouse cursor.

Luckily, I found this post:

In short, the solution to turning off this feature is to go into System->Preferences->Assistive Technologies, press “Keyboard Accessibility”, then under “Mouse Keys” uncheck “Pointer can be controlled using the keypad.”

My KVM switch often leaves the shift state down – and the keyboard shortcut for this is Shift + NumLock.

Setting up soundmodem on Ubuntu 10.04

June 29, 2011

After a long delay, I finally decided to upgrade to 10.04 LTS and get soundmodem running again.

Luckily, there was help this time. I started with my config, and merged with this post:

Here’s the config I ended up using:

Configuration: AX.25
Mode: soundcard
Audio Driver: /dev/dsp
Half Duplex: selected
PTT Driver: none

Channel Access:
TxDelay: 150
Slot Time: 100
P-Persistence: 40
Full Duplex: not selected
TxTail: 10

Channel 0:
Mode: afsk
Bits/s: 1200
Freq 0: 1200
Freq 1: 2200
Differential: selected

Mode: afsk
Bits/s: 1200
Freq 0: 1200
Freq 1: 2200
Differential: selected

Packet IO:
Interface: sm0
Callsign: mycall
IP address:
Network mask:
Broadcast addr:

I also set up /etc/ax25/axports to have:

sm0 mycall 1200 255 7 144.39 APRS (1200 bps)

Finally, I made sure Avahi was set to ignore sm0. This is easier than it was prevously – now you just add:


to /etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf

Once that’s done, don’t forget to chmod 4755 /usr/bin/xastir so it can open sm0 and things are good.

Intel can’t do video

June 12, 2011

I recently upgraded my Ubuntu installation from 9.10 (with the old 8.10 video drivers that didn’t crash) to 10.04. I immediately began seeing the video crash, especially when there was a lot of activity.

It turns out I have an Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 01). This is one of the many Intel video cards that have trouble.

I applied workaround F from here:

That led me to here:

After applying the Method 2 fix from there, things seem to be a little more stable. Time will tell.