How to prevent Linux from waking up due to USB devices

I’ll start this one off with a funny story. Whenever I spark something in the room (like, my hand on a doorknob), my linux box wakes up from sleep. I tracked the problem down to the wireless receiver for the Logitech M570 wireless mouse on my desk – the electrostatic discharge from the spark causes the USB receiver to send some signal to the computer.

The problem is, that every time this happens (4+ times per day), it wakes up my machine. I then have to wait for everything to wake up, enter my password to unlock it, then put it back to sleep. Not fun. So I determined what I needed to do was prevent the USB ports from waking up the machine (or replace my beloved mouse). I chose the former, but for the longest time, could not figure out how the hell to do it. I finally figured it out, and to save anyone else from my misery, here’s the short version.
Continue reading “How to prevent Linux from waking up due to USB devices”

Electrum vs Multibit: a Bitcoin thin client comparison

I couldn’t find a decent comparison between Electrum and MultiBit, so I downloaded them both, and decided to write my own. They’re both excellent Bitcoin thin clients; and for the average user, the choice likely doesn’t matter. If your Bitcoin client needs are a little beyond basic, keep reading for a showdown of Electrum vs MultiBit.

I’ve written a follow-up to this article: Bitcoin – Two (ish) Years Later Continue reading “Electrum vs Multibit: a Bitcoin thin client comparison”

How to convert videos for the VTech Innotab 3 on Mac and Linux via the terminal

Innotab 3 Photo

I picked up an Innotab 3 for my son’s 3rd birthday, and one of the selling points for this, aside from being a rugged (hopefully) kid-proof tablet, was that I could encode his favorite movies and put them on there for him. A Google search yielded tons of how-to videos on this subject, but the problem with them all is that they’re either not free, only for Windows, or some convoluted single-purpose bloatware. That being said, I took it upon myself to solve the problem. Continue reading “How to convert videos for the VTech Innotab 3 on Mac and Linux via the terminal”

Decimal Hour Display in Task Coach

As a freelancer, it’s imperative that I keep track of my time spent per client. The problem, is that while Task Coach uses hour:minute:second to format effort totals, my invoicing/finance software, GnuCash, uses decimal hours. This makes transferring times from my Task Coach to my invoices a bit onerous.

I’ve looked around, and couldn’t find anything on how to make Task Coach use decimal hours, so I dug around in the source code and implemented it myself.  The patch is below.  This is a simple fix – there’s no settings for it, it simply switches the display of efforts to decimal hours.

Continue reading “Decimal Hour Display in Task Coach”

Saitek Eclipse II Left Control Key Anomaly

left control key

I’ve noticed another issue with the Eclipse II – the left control key takes harder pressing to activate.  I surmise this is deliberate – most FPS games require hammering and/or mashing the left control key to fire the primary weapon.  On Linux, where many of my terminal operations and application shortcuts make heavy use of the left control key (think emacs, or simply sending a process a SIGINT) it can be quite annoying.  While there’s no fix, as usual, I’ve got a handy workaround (for KDE users).

Continue reading “Saitek Eclipse II Left Control Key Anomaly”

Saitek Eclipse II Backlight Color Change Button on Linux

The Saitek Eclipse II has an annoying issue under linux: pressing the button to change the keyboard backlight color causes the mouse to act up until the keyboard is unplugged/replugged, resetting the color back to blue. It does this by simulating a key being held down, but not released. I’ve not found a solution to this, per se – but I have found a simple workaround.

To prevent the keyboard from screwing up the X11 session, just switch to a console first. Pretty easy. Let’s review.

  1. Press CTRL-ALT-F1 to switch to a text console.
  2. Press the color change button all you want.
  3. Press CTRL-ALT-F7 to go back to X11.