Mediatek 7630 on Ubuntu

We are now proud owners of an ASUS TP500LA-AB52T laptop.  It is a new laptop to help my wife with her new teaching job.  I have installed Ubuntu on it so that it matches the rest of the computers in the house.

The first issue is that the wireless doesn’t work on first boot.  This is a major blow because the point of the laptop was so that she could catch up on her teaching plans anywhere.  Being tethered to the router in the back room kind of defeats the purpose.

Here’s the wireless card information:

$ lspci | grep -i wireless
03:00.0 Network controller: MEDIATEK Corp. MT7630e 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter

The fix was to just to manually install the wireless driver.  I found a bug post with fairly good instructions (Thank you keshara Dorakumbura).


Updating Shutter

I use shutter a lot for documentation and taking notes.  Some of that makes it to my blog.  So, I was delighted when I saw that they had a new version available and that it was easy to install.

I am thinking about adding this repository to my regular list of things to install.


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Password Manager

I have finally gotten tired of keeping up with millions of passwords.  I thought I would up the security level by using a password manager to generate secure and unique passwords for each site.  I read Tim’s post about KeePass, and he made it sound so easy that I decided to go for it.

Here are my notes on how I got everything working…


Chrome App Launcher

I found Google Operating System’s post about the Chrome App Launcher.  Here’s my experience with getting it to work.

First, I found that I needed to install a “Desktop Web App”.  So, I picked up one from the Chrome Web Store.  It needed to be one from the “For Your Desktop” Collection.  I decided to try out the Pocket app.

Before installing that app, this didn’t work.  Afterward, I was able to search for “Chrome App Launcher”.

Chrome App Launcher in the Unity Menu

Here’s what it looked like when it opened:

Chrome App Launcher

To get it to stay where I could easily click on it, I right clicked on it’s icon and selected “Lock to Launcher”.

Locking to the laucher


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Great Link: Mario Music

I ran across a link to this cool project: Mario Sequencer.  You can create music using your favorite Nintendo characters.

Mario Sequencer

Mario Sequencer

If you are interested in learning more about the project, you can view the source on Git Hub.


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Great Link: 10 Books for $10 on Packt

If you are looking for an eBook, check out Packt!  I was just told about a special promotion that they are running.  Until July 5th, all of their books are $10 each.

Packt 10 for 10

Check out the books on the Packt webite.

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Game: Spiritual Warfare

As a kid, I played this game called Spiritual Warfare.  I’m not sure if it was a gift or if it was something that we got at the Christian bookstore.  Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun.  I don’t remember that much of it, but I do remember some of the hymns that played in the background during the game play.

Spiritual Warfare Title Screen

I found that you can still purchase the game online.  I thought my son would enjoy it, plus it would be a good challenge to get it to work in Linux.  Here’s the website:

Note:  I had a little issue with my order, and it took over a month to arrive.  I think I caught the company at a bad time when staff was working through some form of personal emergency compounded by some shipping issues.  They made up for it by providing another game, which I will have to blog about when I get a chance to try to get it working.

Installing Wine

The game came on a CD with a Windows installer.  The game itself is a DOS game, but the installer requires Windows.  I used Wine to run the installer.  In actuality, since Windows is not required for running the game, I could have used a VM or a friend’s computer.

I added the latest Wine repository and installed Wine with these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine1.6

This installed the Wine version 1.6.  On my laptop, I tried it first with version 1.7, and that did not work at all.  Apparently, there is a bug out there between the latest kernel, Wine, and 16-bit applications.  It gave me this error on my laptop:

err:module:attach_process_dlls "krnl386.exe16" failed to initialize, aborting
err:module:LdrInitializeThunk Main exe initialization for L"C:\\windows\\system32\\winevdm.exe" failed, status c0000005

I went to my other laptop, and the 1.6 version worked fine.

I created a separate Wine prefix for this install.  I think the 32-bit part was important (WINEARCH=win32).

mkdir .wineprefixes
export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.wineprefixes/spiritualwarfare
export WINEARCH=win32

I ran winecfg to create the Wineprefix, although that wasn’t necessary.  The only thing that I did was to select Windows 98 for the Windows version.

To start the installation, I ran:

wine cmd

Actually, the CD wouldn’t work in the other computer.  I had no problem copying the install files off the CD on my laptop and transfering them over the network to the other computer.  You can just launch setup.exe from any location where you have the install files.

wine setup.exe

I basically accepted the defaults for the install.  This installed the game into C:\SPIRIT, which considering Linux and the Wine prefix, that would be $HOME/.wineprefixes/spiritualwarfare/drive_c/SPIRIT.


Wine will not run the game itself because it is actually a DOS-based game.  So, I installed DosBox with this command:

sudo apt-get install dosbox

Then, after starting DosBox, and I had to do a couple of things to get it to run.   First, you have to mount the C: drive to get access to the executable:

mount c .wineprefixes/spiritualwarfare/drive_c

Then, you can just launch it like you would in DOS:


At first, the game was a little fast.  I learned that you can slow it down with the Ctrl + F11 sequence.  (You can speed it back up with Ctrl + F12).  Then, you can go to full screen mode.


Now, my son is not going to enter a mount command and go through all of that.  (If it was the only way he could play the game, I’m sure he would learn how!)  I found that I could create a custom configuration file just for the game.  I copied the default one:

cp $HOME/.dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf $HOME/.dosbox/spiritualwarfare.conf

Then, I edited my copy.  I changed:

  • fullscreen=true
  • cycles=768 (under [cpu] )
  • The [autoexec] section

At the end, the lines I put in autoexec where:

# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.
mount c ~/.wineprefixes/spiritualwarfare/drive_c

Finally, I made a shortcut with the “Menu Editor” program (alacarte), and I entered the command:

dosbox -conf $HOME/.dosbox/spiritualwarfare.conf

Game Play

In the installation directory, there is a readme.txt file with some helpful information to playing the game.  You’ll probably want to go through that.  Just to help, here are the keys to use:

Arrow Keys – Control the hero
Space Bar – Makes the hero throw fruit
Tab – Makes the hero drop a vial or throw the jawbone or the sword
Pause or F10 – Pauses the game

1 – Select Pear
2 – Select Apple
3 – Select Pomegranate
4 – Select Grapes
5 – Select Banana

P – Pray
M – Bring up the map
V – Select Vial of God’s Wrath
S – Select Sword of the Spirit
J – Select Samson’s Jawbone
R – Select the Raft
T – Light the Torch
A – Use Anointing Oil

F1 – Options Menu
F2 – Load Game
F3 – Save Game
F4 – Sound Menu
F5 – Game Speed Menu

ESC – Quit Game or Clear Menu

Other than that, just explore.  Keep looking for things to get.  It’s a lot of fun.

Playing Spiritual Warfare


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Android 4.4.3

I got my official HTA Update on my Nexus 5!  So, I am now at Android 4.4.3…

Android 4.4.3 Update

I am on the T-Mobile network, so I don’t know if the other carriers are pushing at the same time.

Tools for Singing Practice

Here’s the situation: we have a song that we want to sing for church on Father’s day.  The challenge is that it is a tough song for us to learn.  I’ve used some open source tools to try to aid our practice and mastering of this song.

Here are my notes…


Office Online Apps in Chrome

Recently, Microsoft’s Online applications have come to the rescue.  I’ve learned that I can edit Word documents on my Linux OS without needing Wine or a Windows VM.  I don’t have the full feature set, but it’s close enough for basic editing.  One big issue that I have is that I can’t create Styles.  I’m not sure that I can adjust tab stops either.

So, when I ran across the Chrome store apps for Office Online, I was excited.  Maybe Microsoft is showing Linux, or at least Web-based users a little more attention?

Here are the links to the Apps in the Chrome Web Store:

Unfortunately, these apps didn’t help me much.  Anytime I click on one of the apps, it requests my email address.  Then, it takes me to an Outlook page.  I’m not sure if it is because I am using my company account which is has a Sharepoint corporate account associated.

I was hoping that these apps might help me with some major bugs that I have been experiencing.  First, in Word documents, Chrome deletes my selection when I press Ctrl + C.  If I try to right click and ask it to copy, I just get a message saying the browser doesn’t have access to the clipboard.  Second, in Excel, Chrome seems to get in this mode where it deletes the contents of cells when I navigate to them with the arrows on the keyboard.

Both of those are serious issues, so I have taken to using Firefox for the time being.  At least this shows that Chrome is on the radar for supporting the online applications.


OMG Chrome: Microsoft Brings Office Online Apps to Chrome Web Store