Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ubuntu Juanty Jackalope vs. ATI Radeon Mobility 9600

Okay - After lots of begging for help on the Ubuntu Forums, I found a workable configuration for my ATI graphics card in my old eMachines M6809 laptop. With out these settings in my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file it was totally unsatisfactory. Now however, it's near full speed as compared to Hardy and the infamous MS WinXP Pro.  Here are the settings I'm now using.

Section "Device"
Identifier     "Configured Video Device"
Option         "AccelDFS"                               "on"
Option         "AccelMethod"                         "XAA"
Option         "MigrationHeuristic"                "smart" # "greedy" works well also
Option         "EnablePageFlip"                      "on"
Option         "EnableDepthMoves"                "on"
Option         "ColorTiling"                            "on"
Option         "FBTexPercent"                         "0"
Option         "RenderAccel"                          "on"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Timekpr Version 0.3.0 is released!

This program will track and control the computer usage of your user accounts. You can limit their daily usage based on a timed access duration and configure periods of day when they can or cannot log in. With this application, administrators can limit account login time duration or account access hours.


  • This program is heavily depended on Linux-PAM and its time and access modules.
  • If you would like to contribute to the code, join the timekpr-maintainers team on launchpad.

  • Ubuntu   - Jaunty, Intrepid, Hardy
  • Kubuntu - Jaunty, Intrepid, Hardy
  • Xubuntu - Jaunty, Intrepid, Hardy


  • Timekpr-gui gives a warning if no other user than administrator is present (Bugs #345515 and #330261, thanks to BearTM)
  • An administrator will not be able to restrict him self (Bug ##286529)
  • Removed hard reference to /etc/timekpr in (Bug #314061), allows for configuration of timekpr dir (no gui for this)
  • Added a man page (Bug #302770)
  • Added i18n support (Bug #302782), this release includes translations for Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Norwegian Bokmal and Swedish. Please help to translate timekpr into more languages!
  • Timekpr works with Jaunty (Bug #344538)
  • Fixed packaging error for KDE (Bug #345515)
  • Fixed a bug that could kick any user who was logged in all day, also unrestricted users and administrators


  • This project was born after Charles Jackson's (crjackson) request for a program that time-limits user accounts:
    Ubuntu Forums. You can also find a progression of the history posted at the
    Bucknasty. blog.
  • This is a complete re-write in python and vast improvement from the original timekpr bash script:
  • Even Nedberg initially began to improve the original bash script from Chris Jackson. Savvas Radević packaged it and soon began co-development.
  • Special thanks go to Charles Jackson (crjackson), who has contributed a lot by suggesting, brainstorming useful features, writing the initial blueprint, and
    being the primary tester.
  • We would also like to thank all the people posting to that topic in ubuntu forums for their comments.

Additional Information
Developers Even Nedberg and Savvas Radević (or .nedberg and forger) of the Ubuntu forums have rewritten the package using python as opposed to the bash shell script of it's previous form. timekpr now has a full featured interface with the ability to change and grow as needed.

I have requested an additional feature of a black-out setting that would let you slice a chunk of time right out of the normally allowable login hours. This would be for designated home work time, or other required activities. Please bookmark this page for future updates.
- Charles
Download the deb file and double click on it to install. Configure your users, click apply and then quit when done. Just remember to check back here to always get the latest version available.

Intrepid Ibex Users should install by adding Even's PPA repository to there software sources list, and then use your package manager to install. This will always give you the latest version and keep your system updated.

Stable repository:
deb jaunty main

deb-src jaunty main

Development repository:
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Prior to installation, you must Un-install any previous versions by running the code below in a terminal session.
sudo dpkg --purge timekpr

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 - Jaunty Jackalope Testing

I've been testing the soon to be released version of Ubuntu 9.04 beta. I am very impressed with it's performance and stability so far. Only time will tell however if it's going to be suitable for my laptop with an Intel GMA X3100.  Intel video adapters have a poor history with Linux and I couldn't run Intrepid due to poor video performance.  Hardy runs fine however. The performance issues stem from the latest/greatest xorg system. The drivers just haven't caught up yet.  So far the beta on LiveCD runs great though, and I have high expectations.