Saturday, March 03, 2012

Fixing Ubuntu Issues: No Wireless on Reboot

Continuing on with my series on solving problems I've encountered while using Ubuntu 11.10, I've found yet another solution to a problem that I heard a lot of people talking about. It's also a hot topic on the Ubuntu forums. I',m speaking, of course, about Ubuntu and wireless internet access.

In recent times it has not been uncommon for Ubuntu to not be able to connect to my wireless network on boot up, so I did some digging and found out that the problem was that the Automatic DHCP IPv4 settings were to blame. My solution: use manual IPv4 configuration. Here's how.

My internet set up is as follows :- My modem is connected to my wireless router which propagates the signal that my PC's USB wireless adapter receives. There's plenty of networking going on there, (something I am not the best at) but I do know that finding out the IP addresses of my various pieces of network hardware will be the key.

So on my Windows machine i ran ipconfig and found out those addresses: - My modem's address - My wireless router's address (Default gateway) - Address of PC - Subnet mask

I took those settings over to Ubuntu, opened the network manager by clicking the Wireless icon in the top task bar, selecting Edit connections... > Wireless > FBI_VAN_467 (My SSID) > Edit... > IPv4 Settings and entering the information as follows:

I chose a random non-conflicting IP address for my Ubuntu PC's address, used my wireless router's IP address for my default gateway and set my DNS server address to my modem's address.

After that it worked like a charm. I hope this helps!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

New Search Engine - DuckDuckGo

After reading this very interesting and informative article ( and hearing mentions of it in the tech-o-sphere, I was intrigued to look into this DuckDuckGo search engine to see what it was about.

Now, anybody who knows me knows that I'm a G-Man (Google Man) through and through, but honestly i've not been to happy about their recent skirmishes with the law when it comes to people's privacy and the extent to which they will go to get your personal information so that they can target ads to better suit you.

Truthfully I was never a fan of the idea that I was being herded and processed by a big company that was going to use my personal information, my likes, dislikes, hobbies - my personality - to make money, but I had to tolerate it because it was the companies behind some of the best internet services that I use were doing this.

Now there's a new duck in the search engine pond and this one is more morally secure and less thirsty for money and is doing... just fine! I'm talking of course, about DuckDuckGo.

Granted i've only been using it for a grand total of 6 hours, I was very impressed with the speed, the relevance of the search and the cleanliness of the design... I'm just not too fond of the name. It doesn't quite adhere to the web 2.0 naming convention of 2 syllables, real/unreal word but I guess it sort of works for them. DuckDuckGo doesn't really roll off the tongue like Google or Yahoo or Bing but the name contributes to the overall playful charm of the site and to be honest, I would be reluctant to use another Web 2.0 named search engine like Searchly or Fynd or something like that.

A Sample Search

I did a Google search for  Railscasts and compared the results to those I found on DuckDuckGo. I preferred Duck's search results. They pointed to some more relevant resources.

Google Search Results

Results from the Duck
I personally prefer Duck's results. As you can see I snatched up the Railscasts them for Vim :) What do you think?