Showing posts from January, 2012

John Weighs in on Linux Backspace/Delete Topic

If you google "Linux Backspace Delete" you'll be treated to an array of articles that are exceedingly comprehensive and well written explaining how The whole topic of keyboard handling in linux is very complex. How backspace and delete are particularly problematic. The complexity goes all the way back to the early days of computing, and how VT100 terminals were implemented. You would think that here in 2012 we would no longer be saddled with issues related to trying to emulate these historical relics but that, sadly, is not the case.   The layers of processing that go on between a key being pressed on your keyboard and a character appearing on your screen are way more than you might think. There are scancodes, keycodes, and keysyms. There are termcap and terminfo databases, there is X which has a say in the whole matter, and there are the individual applications themselves. And then there are the terminals (xterm, gnome-terminal, KDE console, etc.).  To ma

Easylife utility confounded by legacy UID 500 in FC16

With Fedora Core 16 UIDs (and GIDs) now start at 1000 instead of 500 as was the case previously . However, if a system has been upgraded from a previous version of Fedora, existing UIDs and GIDs are preserved. I recently found that this creates an ambiguous situation for the easylife utility . Easylife  is a utility that allows Fedora users to configure their systems by helping to install things like fonts, drivers, codecs and the like. When the easylife program is invoked as a regular user the consolehelper program is in turn invoked which requests the root password. When I did this after supplying the root password, the program would terminate with a window that popped up and displayed the following error message NO regular user found! It's a  dangerous  mistake to use your system as root. Most programs don't expect to be run with root privileges. Create a regular user and login again. Then you should run this program again. It turns out that easylife is making a

Windows 7 VirtualBox Install: Need Passthrough Option

I recently installed Windows 7 on VirtualBox 4.1.8 for Fedora Core 16. I had previously installed Windows XP on same system without any problems. However, while trying to install Windows 7 I got the following error early in the process: “A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now. Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.” Note that this is a generic sort of error. Some people have reported this same error when the Windows 7 install media is an ISO file that is corrupted, perhaps due to a truncated download. However, since I was installing from a factory DVD this was obviously not the case for me. It turned out that the way around this error was to enable the "Passthrough" option in VirtualBox Guest Machine Settings (under "Storage") specifically to enable the DVD drive to be "Passthrough".  Once t