Author Archive

Feb
21

New PBIs: SILC client, KPorts, Fio, Banshee, ATAidle

The following PBIs are now available through Software Manager:

SILC client: SILC (Secure Internet Live Conferencing) is a protocol which provides secure conferencing services in the Internet over an insecure channel. SILC is IRC like although internally they are very different. Biggest similarity between SILC and IRC is that they both provide conferencing services and that SILC has almost same commands as IRC. Other than that they are nothing alike.

KPorts: KPorts is a KDE-frontend to the FreeBSD Ports collection. You can browse and search through your ports tree and perform actions like upgrades, installs, and uninstalls.

Fio: Fio is an I/O testing tool that will spawn a number of threads or processes doing a particular type of I/O action as specified by the user. Fio can be driven by a ‘job file’ describing the I/O load one wants to simulate.

Banshee: Import, organize, play, and share your music using Banshee’s simple, powerful interface. Rip CDs, play and sync your iPod, create playlists, and burn audio and MP3 CDs. Most portable music devices are supported.

ATAidle: ATAidle is a utility to set the power management features of ata hard drives. This includes standby timeouts, power (APM) and acoustic (AAM) level settings, and it can show details about the installed devices.

Thanks to Jesse Smith and Bruce Cran for creating these PBIs and to draconian, mbybee, and kmf for requesting them.

Feb
02

Possible Fix for Wireless Freezes

It has been a known issue for sometime that some wireless cards will freeze or panic the system on PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.x. Some cards do this intermittently while others do it quite regularly. The problem seems to have been narrowed down to a conflict between devd and the netif startup script as it only occurs when devd is running.

Earlier this week Kris committed a fix which will show up in the next snapshots for 8.2 RC.3 and 9.0. If your wireless card is affected and you’d like to test the fix now, try adding this line to your wpa_supplicant.conf file:

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant

Let us know if it makes a difference on your system!

Feb
02

More Webcamd Man Pages

I’ve finished up the latest round of webcamd man pages which cover the drivers used for DVB devices. Hans Petter Selasky has committed them and we hope to have them included when PC-BSD 8.2 is released.

If you’re impatient and would like to read through the man pages now, you can do so as follows. Assuming subversion is installed (it is by default on PC-BSD and can be installed with pkg_add –r subversion on FreeBSD), cd to a directory where you’d like to save the man page files (e.g. in your home directory or a temporary directory). Then, issue this command as one line:

svn –username anonsvn –password anonsvn checkout svn://svn.turbocat.net/i4b/trunk/usbcam/ulinux/man4

This will create a directory called man4 which contains the man pages. You can read a man page using nroff:

nroff –man name_of_manpage.4 | more

or, if you’re interested in searching for a vendor or product ID, use grep. In this example, I’ll search for devices with the Logitech vendor ID:

grep “046d” man4/*

Jan
31

New PBI: Claws Mail

The following PBI is now available through Software Manager:

Claws Mail: an e-mail client and news reader based on GTK+. Currently, many features are supported including POP3, IMAP, NNTP, multiple accounts, threading, filtering, MIME attachments, APOP, SMTP AUTH, SSL, IPv6, GnuPG, internalization, and more.

Thanks to Jesse Smith for creating this PBI and to draconian for requesting the PBI.

Jan
26

8.1 & OSS4">PCBSD 8.1 & OSS4

traebarlow has started a blog on his experiences with PC-BSD. One of his recent entries may be of interest to other PC-BSD users as it explains how he got the latest OSS to work on his PC-BSD system.

Jan
24

PC-BSD on Thinkpad Laptops with Known BIOS Bug

During an installfest over the weekend, my local user group was bitten by an IBM BIOS bug that affects some versions of older IBM Thinkpad laptops. This bug was originally discussed on a FreeBSD mailing list back in 2001. Since then, IBM has released BIOS versions that fix the bug, but it is important to check your Thinkpad model number and BIOS version before attempting to install either FreeBSD or PC-BSD.

Details regarding the affected model numbers and BIOS versions are now in the this section of the PC-BSD Handbook.

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