Enabling accelerated 1080p video playback on HP Mini 311 (Nvidia Ion) netbook in Ubuntu

Enabling accelerated 1080p video playback on HP Mini 311 (Nvidia Ion) netbook in Ubuntu

Minutes after turning on my trusty HP Mini 311 netbook, it got hit by a variant of the Blaster worm. I spent several hours Googling and trying several remedies – all unsuccessfully – before deciding to give up on Windows XP; after all, Microsoft has announced that Windows XP will reach end-of-life in a few months. I wasn’t keen on forking out $$$ for a Windows 7/8 license for a 4-year old netbook, so I turned to Ubuntu Linux. I’m very happy with how speedy, user-friendly and beautiful Ubuntu Linux has become in version 13.10. Firefox v24 renders pages smoothly and even LibreOffice v4.1.2.3 loads within seconds! Everything worked perfectly except for…  720p and 1080p YouTube and video files playing with headache-inducing jerkiness Seeing that the CPU is a mere first-generation Intel Atom N280, that seemed to be it…till I remembered that the netbook is also equipped with an Nvidia Ion graphics processor! Here are the steps I took to enable graphics acceleration in Ubuntu 13.10 on my netbook (1) Enable Nvidia drivers Launch Software & Updates and select the NVIDIA binary driver from the Additional Drivers tab (2) Enable accelerated playback of video files Specifically, we are looking at enabling accelerated playback in VLC. In Terminal, enter the following command sudo apt-get install vlc vdpau-va-driver Then launch VLC and enable GPU accelerated decoding in Tools –> Preferences (3) Enable accelerated playback for Flash videos In Terminal, enter the following commands cd /etc sudo mkdir adobe cd adobe sudo touch mms.cfg sudo nano mms.cfg Type the following line and save changes EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1 Now test it by running a Youtube video using Firefox in 1080p quality. Right-click and select Show stats for nerds As you can see from the above screenshot, both accelerated video rendering and accelerated video decoding have been enabled successfuly (the dropped frames happened when I right-clicked on the video). And so there you have it – smooth 1080p video playback on a 4-year old single-core Atom netbook with the Nvidia Ion!...

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Setup Google Apps calendar on iOS via CalDAV

You’ve been synchronising your Google Apps Mail and Calendars to your iOS device for years without incident, thanks to the power of Google Sync. One day, the IT Bosses decide that Google Sync must be turned off! There goes convenient access to your Mail and Calendars. Is this the end? Not quite. For Mail, actually it IS. Get used to not being able to check your emails wherever you are. For Calendar though – now that is a different story. Follow the steps below and you’ll once again have your schedules at your (iOS devices and) fingertips! Step 1 – Locate and tap on “Settings” Step 2 – Tap on “Mail, Contacts & Calendars” Step 3 – Tap “Add Account” Step 4 – Tap “Other” Step 5 – Tap “Add CalDAV Account” Step 6 – Setup CalDAV 1. For Server, enter www.google.com 2. For User Name, enter your full email address e.g. hansel_gretel@gingerbreadhouse.com 3. Enter your password for this email account 4. Enter anything descriptive for Description :p 5. Tap “Next” Step 7 – Locate and Tap “Calendar” Step 8 – Tap “Calendars” Step 9 – Select all the Calendars on your account and tap on Done Step 10 – And there you have it! Calendars synching on iOS is...

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Solving the stuck at Time Machine “preparing backup”

Solving the stuck at Time Machine “preparing backup”

The hard drive I’d been using for my iMac’s Time Machine backups had died and was replaced. But frustratingly, even after 9 hours, Time Machine was still stuck at “preparing backup”! I’d of course done the usual like running Disk Utility (on both Macintosh HD and the new drive for Time Machine) and even restarted to a full reset of Time Machine – without any success! Finally, what DID work was…resetting and and re-running Spotlight indexing to completion. I’d previously simply turned off Spotlight indexing due to frustration. So it seems like Spotlight first needs fixing if one is to run Time Machine successfully! To see what exactly Time Machine is doing at any point, enter this line in Terminal sudo opensnoop -n...

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How to reset Spotlight indexing in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

How to reset Spotlight indexing in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

For no apparent reason, Spotlight kept indexing my iMac’s hard drive over and over again – for a few days! In the meantime, searching for anything using Spotlight was impossible and everything became sluggish because the hard drive kept trashing.. The solution came in the following procedure: 1. Quit all applications 2. Launch Terminal 3. Enter each of the following lines in succession into Terminal sudo mdutil -i off / sudo mdutil -E / sudo rm -Rf /var/folders/* 4. Reboot the Mac 5. Enter the following line into Terminal sudo mdutil -i on / These commands turn Spotlight indexing off, erase the existing index files and turn spotlight indexing back on. To see the the progress of Spotlight indexing, enter the following line into Terminal sudo opensnoop -n...

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How To Fix Repeating Items in OS X 10.8 ‘Open With’ Menu

How To Fix Repeating Items in OS X 10.8  ‘Open With’ Menu

I was getting annoyed with multiple occurrences of the same app appearing in OS X Mountain Lion’s ‘Open With” menu. Fortunately, the fix is really easy and all you need to do is paste the following line in Terminal /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user && pkill...

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What to do about “syslog-ng: Error setting capabilities, capability management disabled; error=’Operation not permitted'”

What to do about “syslog-ng: Error setting capabilities, capability management disabled; error=’Operation not permitted'”

I have been getting the following email on a daily basis on a new Debian Squeeze OpenVZ VPS  /etc/cron.daily/logrotate: syslog-ng: Error setting capabilities, capability management disabled; error=’Operation not permitted’ The solution does not seem to be widely available, so I’ll post mine here: 1. Edit /etc/default/syslog-ng 2. Uncomment (i.e. remove # before) the following statement SYSLOGNG_OPTS=”–no-caps” Yet another annoying mystery...

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Unattended updates on CentOS 6

Unattended updates on CentOS 6

It’s been slightly more than a year since I wrote about how to keep your CentOS 5 machine automatically updated. While CentOS 5 will still be around and supported for about another 5 more years, many new linux servers are now installed with CentOS 6. So it’s about time my tutorial got updated for CentOS 6! Here we go! yum install yum-cron chkconfig yum-cron on nano /etc/sysconfig/yum-cron to modify these lines ERROR_LEVEL=1 MAILTO=your_email_address_here And now your CentOS 6 machine will automatically check, download and install any updates daily plus send you an email when it...

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ipv6 ready