Monday, May 30, 2016

Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.3 On The Thinkpad T430


Well, it was about time, I guess...
Upgraded the Linux Mint release on the T430, it took about 10 minutes, and everything seems to be just fine after the install and a reboot.
After doing the same on the T60 and the T60p without any issue, it was time to take the T430 down the upgrade path... After all, the little lappie that could has a new battery.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

New (Power) Juice For The T430

On Friday got me a new (chinese knockoff) battery for my Thinkpad T430.
Was really worried that the little battery from the distant China won't be able to actually charge on the T430, but so far, so good.
It gave me about 4 and half hours of juice...
Will see how it performs...

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

100K and counting!

Ok, I made it to 100K...
What can I say, I'm speechless...

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Updating the BIOS On The Thinkpad T430

Ok, a follow up on the BIOS update on my beloved T430... Yes, the one that wanted a battery no matter what...
Or going from this:

krull > sudo dmidecode -t bios
[sudo] password for hictio:
# dmidecode 2.12
SMBIOS 2.7 present.

Handle 0x000E, DMI type 0, 24 bytes
BIOS Information
    Vendor: LENOVO
    Version: G1ET45WW (1.20 )
    Release Date: 08/07/2012
    Address: 0xE0000
    Runtime Size: 128 kB
    ROM Size: 12288 kB
    Characteristics:
        PCI is supported
        PNP is supported
        BIOS is upgradeable
        BIOS shadowing is allowed
        Boot from CD is supported
        Selectable boot is supported
        EDD is supported
        3.5"/720 kB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
        Print screen service is supported (int 5h)
        8042 keyboard services are supported (int 9h)
        Serial services are supported (int 14h)
        Printer services are supported (int 17h)
        CGA/mono video services are supported (int 10h)
        ACPI is supported
        USB legacy is supported
        BIOS boot specification is supported
        Targeted content distribution is supported
        UEFI is supported
    BIOS Revision: 1.20
    Firmware Revision: 1.7

Handle 0x002D, DMI type 13, 22 bytes
BIOS Language Information
    Language Description Format: Abbreviated
    Installable Languages: 1
        en-US
    Currently Installed Language: en-US

To this:

SMBIOS 2.7 present.

Handle 0x000C, DMI type 0, 24 bytes
BIOS Information
    Vendor: LENOVO
    Version: G1ETB0WW (2.70 )
    Release Date: 01/21/2016
    Address: 0xE0000
    Runtime Size: 128 kB
    ROM Size: 12288 kB
    Characteristics:
        PCI is supported
        PNP is supported
        BIOS is upgradeable
        BIOS shadowing is allowed
        Boot from CD is supported
        Selectable boot is supported
        EDD is supported
        3.5"/720 kB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
        Print screen service is supported (int 5h)
        8042 keyboard services are supported (int 9h)
        Serial services are supported (int 14h)
        Printer services are supported (int 17h)
        CGA/mono video services are supported (int 10h)
        ACPI is supported
        USB legacy is supported
        BIOS boot specification is supported
        Targeted content distribution is supported
        UEFI is supported
    BIOS Revision: 2.70
    Firmware Revision: 1.13

Handle 0x002B, DMI type 13, 22 bytes
BIOS Language Information
    Language Description Format: Abbreviated
    Installable Languages: 1
        en-US
    Currently Installed Language: en-US


Got the newest BIOS here.

As of today, the current on is the one released on 2/22/2016.
The file named is "g1uj38us.iso" with a size of 37.4 MB.

Instructions on how to install a BIOS on a box without Windows are pretty straight forward:


Here are the steps I did:

cd /tmp/
wget http://userpages.uni-koblenz.de/~krienke/ftp/noarch/geteltorito/geteltorito
chmod +x geteltorito

./geteltorito -o bios.img g1uj38us.iso
Booting catalog starts at sector: 20
Manufacturer of CD: NERO BURNING ROM
Image architecture: x86
Boot media type is: harddisk
El Torito image starts at sector 27 and has 75776 sector(s) of 512 Bytes

Image has been written to file "bios.img".

Then create the booting USB drive:

sudo dd if=bios.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

Reboot the T430, booting from the USB drive (doh!), and follow the instructions, it takes less than 20 minutes.

One cool thing about this whole thing is that you can use one of those old 1 GB USB pen drives that you have around, since the BIOS image is really small.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The current Linux Mint desktop


It's been a while since the last Cinnamon screen shot, so here it goes!
A somewhat fresh install of Linux Mint.
I love this release, Cinnamon looks amazingly clean and sharp.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

HDD Swap For The GF

Another installment of the ongoing battle for switching the GF's Lenovo N585 from Windows 10 to Windows 7.
(Link 1 & Link 2).
Last Sunday, I had to install the old HDD (the one with Windows 10) on the lappie, so the GF can take out a couple of files that got left behind...

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The BIOS Update That Demands a Battery

And if you don't have one, fuck you, dude!
I love Thinkpads, I've been using them with Linux for ages now; but crap like this (and I don't want even start on the sh*t they pull wiht batteries nowadays) really makes me mad.

Ok, so, I wanted to upgrade the BIOS on the T430, in order to try to get a battery, since the one that came with the lappie died...
But, it turns out that:

The battery needs to be charged to avoid an accidental power-off during an update. Turn off the computer and connect the AC adapter to charge the battery.

The thing is, the T430 battery is wiped dead... I was screwed...
Luckily, the battery from the W530 worked A Ok...

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