Fixing a Thunderbolt dock/display issue on Dell XPS 1300 in Ubuntu by unlocking Thunderbird

I came into work this morning after taking a week off.

I plugged my notebook into my docking station as usual, but couldn’t get the screens or wired internet to work. When I went to Settings > Display only the built in display was showing rather than the three I have attached to my docking station. I could turn the computer on and off using the button on my docking station.

I did the usual things when the docking station doesn’t work exactly as it should:

  1. Restart the computer
  2. Cold boot the computer (i.e. Read the rest of this entry »

Resetting a Dell TB16 Thunderbolt dock

I have a TB16 Thunderbolt dock to act as a hub for my screens, internet, camera, and so on. This afternoon I came back from a meeting and my computer was hibernating and the doc was dead: no power light, no light on the thunderbolt cable, no response to commands, and no screen, sound, or internet pass through. Looked through the Dell troubleshooting guide and found nothing. In a chat with a tech, they told me how to reset the dock, humblerise.com(I don’t see this anywhere obvious on the Dell site):
    1. Unplug the dock from power and from the computer
    2. Hold the power button on the dock down for 45 seconds
    3. plug everything back in
Read the rest of this entry »

Recovery key for Dell XPS 13 OEM Ubuntu (Developer edition)

Just bought a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with OEM Ubuntu (18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver) installed.

As I was setting the computer up for the first use, it asked me if I wanted to create a recovery key (i.e. disk or USB), but indicated that you could also do this later. I didn’t have a USB key with me, so I skipped the step.

Once I got set up, however, I wasn’t able to see where I could access the utility to make the recovery disk. I thought the dialogue during set up had said the Ubuntu app store, and various Dell sites seemed to indicate either the app store or launchpad. Read the rest of this entry »


Finding files modified within a specific time period

I had been working experimentally on a file a couple of days ago and forgot to change the name to something meaningful. I remembered roughly when I was working on it and would recognise the name and context when I saw it (probably). But the problem is how to you find the relevant files? Stackoverflow to the rescue (as always), with a bit of man find:

find /home/dan/ -name *.xml -mtime -2 -ls |more

It’s all pretty self explanatory except the -mtime -2: the utility, the start directory, any restrictions on the file name (you want to use this if you are searching a home directory: I have 10k+ files, it looked like before I added it, given all the cache files from the web browsers), the time period in days (-mtime), and a ls-style display. |more is a pipe that allows you to look at the output in segments if there is more than a screen’s worth.

-mtime is the only funny bit: it searches back the number of days expressed by its value. If the value is positive, it searches bac Read the rest of this entry »

Finding and replacing text in multiple files from BASH

A problem I’ve had lately has been how to find and replace text in multiple files from the command line. Since I keep googling the answer, here’s a post to remind me. It is based on this page: https://superuser.com/questions/428493/how-can-i-do-a-recursive-find-and-replace-from-the-command-line

find . -type f -name "*.txt" -print0 | xargs -0 sed -i'' -e 's/foo/bar/g'

Note that unlike the source, I have -i'' rather than -i ''. This seems to required on a *nixes.

I also discovered (mostly ‘cause I’m not good at regular expressions, I suspect), that if you are searching and adding things in < and > that you need to escape everything except the first and the last < and >. Read the rest of this entry »


Finding and moving off screen applications in Gnome 3/Ubuntu 17.10

I have a strange problem in the gnew gnome windows manager that ships with Ubuntu 17.10: on my three-monitor desktop, application windows occasionally open off screen. I.e. in the following screen shot, they open partially or entirely in the space marked “invisible window” to the left or right of the tall window.

To make matters worse, applications that open like this do it all the time. I.e. Read the rest of this entry »


An interesting issue with the *nix ls command, or, why you should never begin a filename with a hyphen

In which I discover an odd error using ls and learn how to solve it.


How to fix tables that run off the page in Google Docs

Here’s a problem I wasn’t able to find a solution online to…

The Problem

Sometimes, when you import a document into Google Doc from a different wordprocessor, you can end up with the problem that the table is wider than the page. The following is an example:

The problem is that there is nothing to grab on the top ribbon to pull the edge of the table back. If the problem was the internal alignment of the columns, then you could use a slider in the ribbon bar:

But since there isn’t one, then there’s nothing to grab.

The solution

The solution is to go to Table>Table Properties and then uncheck the column width button. Read the rest of this entry »


Master slides in Libreoffice reminders

Some quick reminders for my own use about master slides in Office

Turn on default sections

Impress master slides come with some sections built in (e.g. slide count, date, etc.). But by default these sections don’t appear unless you turn them on.

To turn them on:

  • Insert > Header/Footer > make sure the relevant section is checked in the dialogue that opens.

Read the rest of this entry »

Linux/Chrome on Chromebook using Crouton

There are many articles about this on the web. This is just a reminder to me as to what I’ve been doing.

Change boot to developer mode

Doing the following deletes all local data on your system. You can always reinstall the Operating System (Chrome seems to do that remotely). But your data is wiped after you do this.

  • Hold down the ESC + ↻ (refresh) key (the refresh key is where F3 would be on a normal keyboard)
  • While holding them down push the ⏽ (power) key (top right corner).
  • Read the rest of this entry »

How to open the container folder for a Google Doc

I quite like using Google Docs. I’m less crazy about Google Drive.

One of the common issues I have with the relationship between the two comes when I am given the direct link to a Google Doc or Sheet as part of a project. I often want to access (or start) other documents in that same folder. But until now I never knew how to find that folder (everything I learned comes from this page).

It turns out that all you need to do is click on the little folder icon beside the file name (highlighted in yellow in the following image):

When you do this, a dialogue opens up with a “Move” button. Read the rest of this entry »


Installing Vidyo on Ubuntu 16.10

I need to use Vidyo conferencing software for some projects I’m on. Because I just reinstalled Ubuntu 16.04, I needed to reinstall the Vidyo desktop.

This is not easy, since the installation file Vidyo directs you to contains a dependency that is not available on Ubuntu 16.10 (libqt4-gui).

There are various solutions out there, though I was not able to get the one proposed by Vidyo itself to work.

The one that did work for me is on the CERN site. Read the rest of this entry »


Displaylink and Ubuntu 16.10 and 17.04

I have a new supercool three screen setup in my office.

To run this, I am using two cables: A old-style displayport cable to the middle screen, and HDMI cables, via a Dell USB3 Docking station, to the side screens.

Running screens via a USB docking station requires me to use DisplayLink. Fortunately, Displaylink have an Ubuntu driver. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to work with 17.04 and getting it to work well with 16.10 LTS requires a little fiddling. Read the rest of this entry »


Updating Textpattern and Solving a Rewrite Problem

Just updated my CMS (Textpattern) to the latest version (6.4.2). I had to because the University just updated the PHP on the server and this broke the old install.

Everything worked great except for one thing: I could get it to work if I put the full URL to the index page in (i.e. http://people.uleth.ca/~daniel. Read the rest of this entry »


How to make a table wider in Google Docs

I’ve spent a frustrating couple of days trying to squeeze things into a Google Docs table that was too narrow for its content.

The problem was that while I could move individual columns within a table, I simply couldn’t find the way of widening the outer boundaries of the table—i.e. moving the leftmost border to the left or the rightmost border to the right. Making things worse, I had been able to do it a couple of weeks ago. But nothing I was doing seemed to work now.

The trick turned out to be remarkably easy, though it points to a UI problem in Google Docs. Basically, Google Docs allows you to adjust column width in two different ways: by reaching up into the measurement ribbon at the top of the document and moving columns there (when you do this, you see a left-right arrow cursor [⇔] that has not been captured in the screenshot):

Read the rest of this entry »
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: