31 January 2013

ChrUbuntu: VirtualBox *with* KVM extensions on an Acer C7 Chromebook

tl;dr: ubuntu-kernel-for-acer-c7.sh. Works for Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 12.10.

I followed Jay Lee's instructions and installed ChrUbuntu on my Acer C7 Chromebook, after having upgraded the RAM and replaced the hard drive with an SSD.

Out of curiosity, I ran the command kvm-ok, which reported that the machine was able to make use of the KVM extensions:

Then I proceed to install VirtualBox itself. Part of the installation process involves compiling and installing the host kernel modules. The process failed because no suitable kernel headers could be found on the system.

I then followed olofg's instructions in order to create Ubuntu packages for linux-image and linux-headers. The process finished successfully, but now kvm-ok reported that KVM extensions were not supported on the system.

It turns out that by adding the parameter disablevmx=offto the kernel command line, the KVM extensions are supported.

I've compiled a shell script, based on olofg's instructions  which updates the boot partition with a KVM-enabled kernel, and installs the generated Ubuntu kernel packages (kernel image and headers), so that compiling VirtualBox kernel modules is possible:

19 December 2010

Dell Mini 10v

This week I bought a Dell Mini 10v on eBay (GBP 150, shipping included). I wanted a cheap, light and noiseless device to write code while I'm away from my desktop computer. With the Dell Mini 10v I got all those features, so I'm quite happy with it.

Being a 10" machine, it's not so portable as the Mini 9 which is now playing my music on the living room, but that extra inch gives you a perfectly usable keyboard.

I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 on it -- the regular desktop edition, not the Netbook Remix. XMonad works great with these kind of machines where screen real state is so scarce, as usual. Its Atom N270 is powerful enough for working on my experiments in Python, Haskell and Common Lisp. I'll give it a try with Eclipse and Java later, but I'm afraid it might be just barely usable, if at all.

I had to install the proprietary Broadcomm drivers in order to have a working WiFi :-( Since I don't run the default GNOME desktop environment, I replaced the NetworkManager application with ConnMan, which gives me a CLI interface to connect to wireless networks.

Battery life's rather low, though: Just two and a half hours when reading Practical Common Lisp and working through the code with Emacs and SBCL. Most probably I'll get a 6-cell replacement battery, available on eBay for GBP 35.

3 November 2010

Star Trek

La última película: Mismos esquijamas, pero ahora de Calvin Klein.

3 September 2010

17 August 2010

In Their Own Words: British Novelists Collection

An impressive collection of interviews with famous British writers at the BBC website.

15 August 2010

All-digital Hi-Fi setup

A few weeks ago the CD player in my all-in-one Hi-Fi died, and I took the opportunity to turn all-digital. This is my current setup and workflow.


I use abcde to tip my CDs to FLAC files. abcde, in its turn, uses cdparanoia to read the tracks from the CD into WAV files, and flac to convert them to FLAC format.

When the FLACs are ready, I use EasyTAG to normalise the artist, title and track names, and to insert cover artwork, in case I have it available.


My FLAC files are stored in my desktop computer (the one I use for ripping). Every time I rip a CD, I rsync the whole collection to the netbook in the living room, where I normally do most of the listening.

I keep a three-level file system structure: Author name, disk title, and disk tracks:

I haven't got many CDs, so that layout is enough to keep my collection organised. The directory 'Various', for CDs by multiple composers, is getting worryingly big...


For playback I use a second-hand Dell Mini 9 netbook running Ubuntu. It has not moving parts (no fans, an SSD instead of a hard drive), so it's completely silent. Its SSD, at 8 GB, is too small to be used for music storage, so I keep the FLAC files on an external Western Digital 1 TB USB hard drive. The external disk is barely audible when I'm browsing the FLAC collection in front of the netbook, and not audible at all when I'm sitting on the armchair by the Hi-Fi.

The netbook is connected to my Hi-Fi through a V-DAC USB digital-to-analog converter that I got from my brother-in-law.

FLAC files are played by MPD, which I control with Sonata: