Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fixing overused touchpad with sticky note

If you're like me who spends more time with laptop than anything/one else, you'll end up with touchpad like this:

Due to overuse, the outer coarse layer wears off and touchpad starts acting funny. Plus it's difficult to slide your finger over it.

Fix? Stick a sticky-note over the touchpad. This surprisingly works!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grub2 recordfail FAIL

I have this headless, keyboardless server running on Ubuntu 10.04. Runs fine, but once in a while while there's power cut off the server still remains dead when the power is back. I connected monitor and keyboard and found that the problem is with Grub2.

Turns out there's a variable named recordfail which is set to 1 during next boot whenever there's some problem with the computer (like due to power failure).

Now if you see /boot/grub/grub.cfg file, it has the following lines:

if [ ${recordfail} = 1 ]; then
set timeout=-1
set timeout=10
Which means, the timeout counter is disabled whenever the recordfail variable is set. This is nice for desktop environment, which has a monitor, so I can see the Grub countdown is disabled so I can proceed with Repair option if I have to, but for headless servers the computer just sits idle at Grub screen, puzzling the poor sysadmin.

Fix? I changed the timeout=-1 to timeout=10.