Posts Tagged ‘linux’

Playing Fallout 3 on Linux with PlayOnLinux and Steam

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

This week I bought a bottle of “Nuka Cola” ( in a geek shop which has opened in Munich recently. This remembered me of the good time I had when playing Fallout 3 – so I decided to give it a try to get the game running on my current Mint 14 machine.

Remembering I had the game running once using Wine on Snow Leopard, I was confident get it working on Linux, too. I read about something called “PlayOnLinux” some time ago, I wanted to try this handy tool also. And, it really helped me and saved precious time which I would have normally wasted on configuring Wine.
To keep the long story short, here my approach:

– get PlayOnLinux (apt-get install playonlinux)
– install Steam inside of PlayOnLinux (the automatically chosen version of Wine 1.5.25 works fine for me)
– install d3dx9 and msasn1 packages for the Steam virtual drive
– start steam, log in with your account and install Fallout 3
– launch Fallout 3 and have fun!

The game runs fine with me GeForce 210 graphics card and the NVIDIA binary Xorg driver (304).

Installing the Xilinx Cable Drivers under Ubuntu

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Each time I install Xilinx ISE under Ubuntu – and that happened a few times in the last months – I wonder how to get the Cable Drivers working so I can program my Spartan3E Starter Board. Although there seems to be an official Linux support, Cable Drivers do not work per default after installation. There’s a very useful link describing the process, and it works really fine for me. I bookmarked it lately and want to share, so other people can find this recipe more easily:

It worked fine with ISE 13.1 and Ubuntu 10.10 for me.

Good luck!


Fujitsu Point 510

Thursday, October 21st, 2010
So i have this Fujitsu Point 510 ancient TabletPC that i play with once every 6 months. Its a pretty old device (i think from 1991 or so) but that doesnt make it any less intresting!

It features a 10.4″ resistive touchscreen, some extra buttons (for rightclick, contrast, soundlevel), indicator lights for HDD, battery, operation, builtin mic and speaker, a place for the pen to reside, IR, DSUB-9 serial, PS2 for a keyboard, two (i think) proprietary connectors (printer/dockingstation maybe) and a PCMCIA Slot for 16bit cards. Yes, its one slot, but it can handle those cards that need two slots because of their size.

Internally it has a 100Mhz AMD CPU and 8MB of soldered RAM which can be expanded easily with two modules. More on those two later. Also, there is room for a 2.5″ IDE harddrive (i have read about some upper size limits somewhere) which is about 3GB big.

On the CPU and again on the case itself, it states that this machine is designed for Windows 95. Actually, Windows 95 runs pretty smoothly on there (check out the Solitaire Animation on YouTube) and there are actually still drivers available from here (just select TabletPC->Point, all the drivers there should work since the hardware didnt really change between the versions). But then again, Windows 95 is just not quite ready for nowadays tasks, especially network/internet or multimedia. And who still supports Win95?

So now there are two options: install Windows98SE or install Linux. For the Linux part (which i will do eventually hopefully [probably in 6 months, or later], please check the links at the end). For the Windows98SE part, go on reading.

Since the Point 510 doesnt provide a Floppy or CD drive (one could try PXE or CD via PCMCIA), its probably the easiest to take out the harddrive, plug it onto a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter and put it into a regular PC. Taking out the harddrive is quite easy since its installed in a booth which can be taken out after loosening one screw on the side.

Once you have the Win98 (se) CD in the drive (you either need a bootfloppy or a bootcdrom, i used a win98 boot cdrom which loads CD-Rom drivers from the installation is relativly straight forward. One thing i strongly advice is to boot up your system on the Host and copy the whole CD contents to the harddrive. Windows98 will ask you for the CD whenever you even think about changing a driver or adding a new software component. You should also install the touchscreen drivers (using the windows 95 ones works just fine), because otherwise you will be stuck with a system that you cant control. Afterwards, put the harddrive back and it should work allright.

Things i didnt get to work: any form of networking :(

In order to get a little more bang out of your point, you can overclock the CPU to 133Mhz and install more RAM. First the easier part, which is installing more RAM.

On the back of the Point 510 is a compartment which houses two slots for 72pin 3.3V EDO SODIMM Laptop RAM modules. Those a quite rare nowaydays but i found a store on Ebay that still sells them. They ship overseas, are totally nice and: it works! I ordered two 16MB modules and two 32MB modules just to try some combinations. Everything but the 32MB+32MB+8MB (builtin) combination worked. The 64MB would show up in the BIOS check, but the system wont continue to boot. So if one were to remove the internal 8MB, it might work. So my machine runs with 56MB (32MB+16MB+8MB).

bios point 510

Another intresting detail in the above image is the frequency of the AMD CPU beeing 133Mhz instead of 100Mhz. This can be achieved by a hardware modification.

Be warned, this should just show you how to do it, its not a garantuee that you wont break your device. All modifications are done at your own risk!

First of all, you need to disassemble the whole device. Its always good to remove the battery, harddrive and RAM, then loosen all screws (you will need torx and a phillips screwdriver) and then cautiously crack open the case. Some wire will be attaching the screen and the board, but they can be unplugged easily. The next step is to unmount the motherboard from the case since the CPU is on the other side underneath a silver heatdissipater, which you have to remove as well. You should see the following:

Point510 Board before modification
Point510 Board before modification

Now according to this Post, Pin11 of the CPU selects the frequency. If its high or undefined, the selektor will result in 100Mhz, but if its pulled to ground, it will result in 133Mhz. Luckily, the layout of the board already has a little slot for R7, which is not equipped but will connect Pin11 to ground. So the modification is rather simple. Just take the leg of a resistor (or some other wire), cut it to length, connect the two points of R7 and Pin11 will be grounded. My modification looks like this:

Point510 modification
Point510 modification

Before you reassemble the Point, try out if it still boots (hookup the screen and power). If it does: congratulations!

Since Windows98SE didnt quite fullfill my needs, installing Linux (some stripped down gentoo maybe) will be one of my future projects.

UPDATE: another modification i did was to take a cf-to-ide (2.5) adapter and plug it into the Point510, instead of the harddrive. Now its totally passive, should use less power and is of course much more quiet. works like a charm. maybe its even faster. The adapter can be also bought at ebay.

Links for Linux on the Point 510:

More Infos on the Point 510:

How to boot a decent Kernel on your IBM Netvista 2200 (8363)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

So over at this post i described how to in general get linux running on this device.

Since i had some issues with my usbcluster (lvm over 4 usbsticks) i wanted to update udev, which in current versions needs a kernel beyond 2.6.27. Building a 2.6.31 first failed, i searched the net a bit and emailed some people and finally got a response from antonio (big thanks again) forwarding an email from Georg Schiesser who located the troublemaker.

Once again its the missing RTC. Because of the following lines, kernels beyond 2.6.24* wont boot:

* If UIP is clear, then we have >= 244 microseconds before
* RTC registers will be updated.  Spec sheet says that this
* is the reliable way to read RTC - registers. If UIP is set
* then the register access might be invalid.

Disabling the last two lines helped. So you have to comment them out, as well as the known patches.

These are:


replace the line
static char mode_option[32] = "640x480-16@60";
static char mode_option[32] = "1024x768-16@60";



ROOT_DEV = old_decode_dev(boot_params.hdr.root_dev);



Watch out, normally you hardcode Root_HDA1 which is the CF card with the old ATA drivers. In my kernelconfig im using ATA SFF which maps the CF card to SDA1 and any usb devices to /dev/uba1 and so on. Play with the drivers at own will. You can also disable DMA by changing


static int libata_dma_mask = .... to static int libata_dma_mask = 0;

after building your kernel, take the file “vmlinux” from /usr/src/linux/arch/x86/boot/compressed (with linux -> linux-2.6.31/, i used the vanilla sources) and binary patch it. source i found somewhere is attached. copy it to your /usr/src/linux directory, build it (gcc -o patch_nvista.c) and start ./ it should patch the right file and copy the output to /usr/src/linux/kernel.2×00. Use that file to boot.

Problems i am still facing: the new kernel wont boot of my 8GB CF card and i dont want to strip my RootFS that much (next working size is 2GB :(). Im trying to solve that by using a busybox init which mounts an usbstick which contains my rootfs. Disadvantage: its wicked slow! Kind of working version is attached as tar.gz. Just unpack that to a relativly small CF Card and edit to your needs.

Second problem which kind of led to my “solution” with the busybox init is that there seems to be some cache-limit the kernel runs into. I just couldnt boot anything beyond 2.5MB (tried embedding an initramfs directly into the kernel but it got too big). So keep that in mind.

Since i dont have enough time right now to test any further this blog entry can be seen as a share of information “as is”, so that people can work on it and with it to get their babies a decent kernel. Feel free to contact me tho if you have any questions!


Linux is quietly breaking my harddrive

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

So i wondered if linux could be the reason for my laptop battery draining so fast. During my search through the web i found this intresting Article: German Ubuntu-Wiki on Harddrivebug

Because of a bug in the acpi-settings, harddrives in laptops are told to park their read/write head, allthough there is no need to while beeing on AC. In order to save battery it makes sense to park the head while in batterymode though. Since the parking procedure is limitted bei abraison, its good to help the hardrive survive.

This can be achieved by installing a script which checks if the laptop is running on AC or battery and then uses hdparm to set the harddrive into power saving mode or not. Its described in the above mentioned link here.

I have a rather new harddrive in my laptop (IBM X31) which i leave on AC practically 24/7. I just checked with the following command:

sudo smartctl -A /dev/sdX | grep -E "(Load_Cycle_Count|ID)" && date

and the outcome is a little concerning:

root@x31:/# smartctl -A /dev/sda | grep -E "(Load_Cycle_Count|ID)" && date
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0012   001   001   000    Old_age   Always       -       1593642
225 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0012   001   001   000    Old_age   Always       -       1593642
Wed Oct  8 20:42:53 CEST 2008

RAW_VALUE is the actual count of parkings the head did in his lifetime. Manufacturers claim that harddrives have between 300k and 600k cycles. I already have 1.6M.
VALUE should be 100, the closer it gets to 0 the more cycles the head had and the more likely a harddrive crash is.

After applying the patch and rebooting i havent had a single parking yet, lets see if now the temprature of the harddrive becomes a problem. Im definatly overdue for a big backup!

My advice: do the patch, or at least check your cycles!