R761's commentary

5 May 2009

Upgrading to Ubuntu 9.04

Filed under: E51, Ubuntu — r761 @ 9:37 pm

Ubuntu 9.04 is out, and so far it looks good. I’ve upgraded 3 computer from 8.10.  The upgrade has fixed several problems from previous releases.

Nautilus can now write to obex shares over Bluetooth – this means I now have an easy way to write files to my Nokia E51 without resorting to extra adaptors (previously I had been removing the Micro SD card from the phone and putting it in a Micro SD to SD adaptor and then into my laptop).

“Mod4” (otherwise know as the Windows key) modifiers now work for more window manager shortcuts. Specifically I can now map Win-Home to bring up my home directory in Nautilus, and Win-L to lock the screen. A long time ago I mapped Win-F1 to desktop 1, Win-F2 to desktop 2, etc. This mapping continues to work in 9.04.

Apparently 9.04 includes support for force feedback wheels out of the box. I’ll test this once I’ve resurrected the PC with the network card which was taken out by lightening.

The much hyped notification system is a non-event. I had assumed that it would include a history – so you could bring up previous notifications to see what the one you missed was. If this functionality exists I’ve yet to work out how to access it.

Sound on my low powe Via system (called “fan less”, but actually has 2 fans) is still broken. This broke back with the upgrade to 8.10, and is still broken in 9.04. By broken I mean the audio stutters, making it unpleasant to use for listening to audio.

In other Ubuntu configuration changes I recently changed the power button to suspend (to disk) my laptop. (Configured under System->Preferences->Power Management->General->Actions->When the power button is pressed=Hibernate). Given I just about never shutdown my laptop, always opting to Hibernate instead this makes it quick to Hibernate. Previously I would press Alt-F1, Up arrow, enter, use mouse to select the shutdown menu as it invariably didn’t get focus, and then stuff around as the keyboard shortcuts didn’t work well. These keyboard shortcuts appear to be improved in 9.04, but pressing the power button is still much quicker.


12 July 2008

Connecting Ubuntu with bluetooth to Telstra 3g

Filed under: E51, Ubuntu — Tags: , , , , , , — r761 @ 10:35 pm

I have a Nokia E51 with a Telstra (Australia) SIM. There are a number of pages which describe how to connect. The one crucial step they didn’t explain is what Telstra calls its access point. It is “telstra.wap”. The AT command required is:


Here’s the whole process:

  1. Set bluetooh on the phone to temporarily discoverable (Home/Menu, Connectivity, Bluetooth, My phone’s visibility=Defined period, 2 minutes.)
  2. Run: sdptool search dun
    Make a note of the MAC address (00:1D:FD:….) and the Channel, (eg 4)
  3. Edit /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf to look like
    # RFCOMM configuration file.
    rfcomm0 {
    # Automatically bind the device at startup
    bind yes;
    # Bluetooth address of the device
    device 00:1D:FD:AB:CD:EF;  # replace with your MAC
    # RFCOMM channel for the connection
    channel	4;  # replace with your channel
    # Description of the connection
    comment "Nokia E51 phone";
  4. Run: sudo rfcomm bind 0 00:1D:FD:AB:CD:EF
  5. Run: sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart
  6. Edit /etc/ppp/peers/3g to look like
    # user and password are ignored by the other end
    user "3g"
    password "3g"
    connect "/usr/sbin/chat -t 5 -v '' ATZ OK 'ATV1 E0' OK 'AT+CGDCONT=1,\"IP\",\"telstra.wap\"' OK 'ATDT*99***1#' '}'"
    # Serial device to which the modem is connected.
    # Speed of the serial line.
    # Assumes that your IP address is allocated dynamically by the ISP.
    # Try to get the name server addresses from the ISP.
    # Use this connection as the default route.
    # Makes pppd "dial again" when the connection is lost.
    # Do not ask the remote to authenticate.
    # log connecting messages to /var/log/syslog (via syslog)
    # serial port locking
    # disable compression
  7. To connect run: pon 3g
  8. Enjoy the internet at premium Telstra prices
  9. To disconnect run: poff

If the bluetooth serial port stops working for no apparent reason, and minicom complains that the device has gone away, check the channel. It changed on me for no apparent reason. Once I updated it in /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm0 and ran /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart it started working again.

12 June 2008

Predictive text not always available

Filed under: E51 — Tags: , — r761 @ 1:34 pm

In several places, particularly in the web browser, predictive text is not available. Specifically, when entering a a URL or bookmark name predictive text can not be activated. Pressing “#” cycles between “abc”, “ABC”, and “123”, none of which have the “…” for predictive text. This unnecessarily slows down text entry on these screens.

E51 charging

Filed under: E51 — Tags: , — r761 @ 10:27 am

The Nokia E51 doesn’t charge when connected via USB. This means I need yet another different type of phone charger, rather than being able to use a standard USB cable or charger.

11 June 2008

Phone menu efficiency

Filed under: E51 — Tags: , — r761 @ 8:41 am

The menus on Nokia’s E51 are inefficient to navigate. To get the 3rd menu item requires pressing Menu, down twice, and select: a total of 4 keypresses. What would be much more efficient would be to have each menu item numbered, and accessible by pressing the corresponding key. For example, to access the 3rd I could simply press Menu, “3”.

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