Slow guest OS installation and poor integration support in Hyper-V

I have been trying out various OSes in Hyper-V environment but one thing that I am noticing is its slow installation process.  Even installling Windows guest OSes takes a long time.  However, once intergration service is installed on Windows guest OSes, performance improves.

However, linux in Hyper-V is out of question yet.  I tried to install 32, 64 bit Debian, Ubuntu Desktop/Server but Debian is the only distribution that I was able to be patient enough to complete the installation.  Debian base installation without GUI took a couple hours, where text frame buffer was horrible, almost unbareable, I had to wait about 10 seconds for each page to come up.  All other distributions, I waited about a couple hours too but it did not even get into the installation screen so I gave up.

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How to create deb package – part 1

Creating an empty debian package for Debian/Ubuntu that just installs certain packages you need can be very useful when you install a fresh OS.  For instance, if you need Apache2, PHP5, MySQL5, and phpmyadmin on fresh-installed Ubuntu machine, you can install all of them at once by creating an empty package that depends on those packages.  

Step 1. You will need root privilege

sudo su

Step 2. Create a folder that will contains content of the package

mkdir myserver

Step 3. Create a DEBIAN folder that stores meta data for the package
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Enable Vino VNC Server for Login Manager (GDM) in Ubuntu

I have been a big fan for Remote Desktop in Windows XP/Server/Vista platform because you get a native display resolution of your client monitor and file/printer share is supported; however, for Windows 2000 or linux distributions, I do not have the option.  There is an alternate option for Windows 2000 or linux distribution which is VNC.

For Windows platform, it looks like RealVNC and UltraVNC are the most popular ones while linux has many different VNC servers.

In this example, I would like to introduce a way to enable a built-in Vino VNC server for Ubuntu distribution.

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How to enable VT in XPS 600 temporarily

I have a very powerful XPS 600 from Dell and I still love it very much.  However, I had only one complaint which is its VT capapility switch in BIOS.  CPU has VT capability but BIOS does not offer VT enable switch in BIOS.  I have contacted Dell a few times before but it does not seem that it will be supported.  So I started looking for a way to get around it.

The following information is what I found online.  The feature control Machine Specific Register (MSR) for VT has two bits.  The first bit is a lock bit and the second bit is a on and off bit.  If the lock bit is locked then you do not really have a choice.  However, if the lock bit is clear then you can enable the second bit from OS temporarily. 

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How to replace LCD backlight for laptops

My sister bought a Compaq laptop a couple years ago and its LCD has gone bad.  When external monitor was plugged in, it works fine so it was something related to LCD.  I found some articles online describing the same issue and determined that I have 2 options.  Option 1. buy a new LCD for about $150.  Option 2. identify a bad part and replace it under $20.  Since I like experimental stuff I decided to try Option 2!!

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Improved D-Link WUA-2340 USB Wireless Driver

I purchased this small USB wireless adapter about a year ago, and this has been the worst product that I have ever bought.  At least up until they released a new driver for the device which really works!!

This adapter used to drop its connection frequently so it was almost unusable.  I have never been able to transfer a 300MB file using this wireless connection because it dropped connection while the file was being copied.  I have tried it in 4 different machines and 5 different OSes including Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, 2008, and Ubuntu, but same result.  It dropped its connection in a random interval – sometimes 20mins somtimes days.

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