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Ritesh Raj Sarraf's picture

Windows 7 Profile Synchronization

Lately, for my day job (to be more efficient for the time I spent), I am required to use Windows, back again. :-)

It is great to be back. By back, I mean using Windows for some of the workflows. All these years, I've been using Linux based tools (Debian, Kontact | IceDove, Konq | Chromium | IceWeasel etc) to get my job done. It is great to try back Windows for some of the workflows.

So my Guest VM is a Windows 7 Client. It is connected to my corporate domain. But interestingly, we do not use Roaming Profiles. That means, if I corrupt my Windows VM, I lose all my local changes. PS: And it did happen twice. That's why you are reading this blog entry. So don't procrastinate.

Back when interactinge with Win2K Client, IIRC, there was an option to specify the location of your profile. I am not sure if that option really was present or was it just my memory.

Anyways, my intent was to look for something which would allow me to sync my profile to a network location, which, I could map to a VirtualBox map, pointing to a Linux File System location. That'd allow me to have a copy of the Windows profile handy, in case the Guest VM ever got lost.

So what do we have???? Microsoft provides the Sync Center tool, which is intended to synchronize and make available your network files / folders.  BUT NOT vice versa. :-( I though MS was good at providing choice but they seem to have been choosing the Apple route.

With Sync Center gone, what other choices do we have??? My intent is to run something from within the Guest VM, and not externally (like samba tools, rsync etc). I also desire to run something native and not a 3rd party, for obvious reasons.

So that brings me to SyncToy. This tool is something I had never heard of before, but then, I never ran into a requirement like this....... Since the very first run, I have been happy and impressed with this tool. Below I'll give you the reasons why....

  • Simplicity - Yeah!!! I like the simplicity they've provided. The screenshot should say it all..
  • Operating Modes - The tool has 3 opeating modes. The one I use is Echo, which as the name suggests, will echo from LHS to RHS
  • Regex Filter - So in within the Profile Folder that I backup, I do not want to backup the Outlook Folder. That data is anyways frequently backed up by my MS Outlook client to the Exchange server. And also, that folder cache is bloatedly big. SyncToy made me happy here too. 
  • Execution Summary - With all the settings in place, just initiate the run and you see the following. Hmmmmm!!!! But run it always, manually. Don't I have a better (cron) job????
  • Windows Cron - Here you go.... I desired to have it run every 12 hrs. But the interface is shy to show. And I'm lazy to poke..

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Ritesh Raj Sarraf's picture

Laptop Mode Tools 1.64

I just released Laptop Mode Tools @ version 1.64. And am pleased to introduce the new graphical utility to toggle individual power saving modules in the package.

 

 

The GUI is written using the PyQT Toolkit and the options in the GUI are generated at runtime, based on the list of available power saving modules.

 

Apart from the GUI configuration tool, this release also includes some bug fixes:

  • Don't touch USB Controller power settings. The individual devices, when plugged in, while on battery, inherit the power settings from the USB controller
  • start-stop-programs: add support for systemd. Thanks to Alexander Mezin
  • Replace hardcoded path to udevadm with "which udevadm". Thanks to Alexander Mezin
  • Honor .conf files only. Thanks to Sven Köhler
  • Make '/usr/lib' path configurable. This is especially useful for systems that use /usr/lib64, or /lib64 directly. Thanks to Nicolas Braud-Santoni
  • Don't call killall with the -g argument. Thanks to Murray Campbell
  • Fix RPM Spec file build errors
The Debian package will follow soon. I don't intend to introduce a new package for the GUI tool because the source is hardly 200 lines. So the dependencies (pyqt packages) will go as Recommeds or Suggests

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Ritesh Raj Sarraf's picture

Power consumption on Linux 3.10

The power consumption on the Linux kernel 3.10 is pretty bad.

On kernel 3.10, with the follwing config, the PowerTop results are:

 
#
# Timers subsystem
#
CONFIG_TICK_ONESHOT=y
CONFIG_NO_HZ_COMMON=y
# CONFIG_HZ_PERIODIC is not set
CONFIG_NO_HZ_IDLE=y
# CONFIG_NO_HZ_FULL is not set
CONFIG_NO_HZ=y
CONFIG_HIGH_RES_TIMERS=y
 
PowerTOP v2.0     Overview   Idle stats   Frequency stats   Device stats   Tunables                                  
 
The battery reports a discharge rate of 28.0 W
The estimated remaining time is 23 minutes
 
Summary: 1785.5 wakeups/second,  0.0 GPU ops/second, 0.0 VFS ops/sec and 22.1% CPU use
 
Power est.      Usage       Events/s    Category       Description
  16.3 W     2915 rpm                   Device         Laptop fan
  5.11 W    100.0%                      Device         USB device: WALTON Primo-X1 Primo-X1
  1.70 W     33.3%                      Device         Display backlight
  849 mW     33.3%                      Device         Display backlight
  425 mW     86.0 ms/s     330.7        Process        /usr/bin/konsole
  316 mW     63.9 ms/s      66.1        Process        /usr/bin/plasma-desktop
  142 mW     28.6 ms/s     396.8        Process        /usr/bin/X :0 -auth /var/run/lightdm/root/:0 -nolisten tcp vt7
 64.1 mW     13.0 ms/s     198.4        Process        kwin -session 101261418fe3000136103713100000053880000_13746081
 53.6 mW     10.8 ms/s      0.00        Process        powertop
 35.9 mW      7.3 ms/s      66.1        Process        /usr/lib/chromium/chromium --type=plugin --plugin-path=/usr/li
 24.3 mW      4.9 ms/s     396.8        Interrupt      PS/2 Touchpad / Keyboard / Mouse
 6.92 mW      1.4 ms/s      0.00        Interrupt      [48] i915
 5.94 mW      1.2 ms/s      66.1        Interrupt      [9] RCU(softirq)
 3.98 mW      0.8 ms/s      0.00        kWork          flush_to_ldisc
 3.78 mW      0.8 ms/s      66.1        Process        [ksoftirqd/2]
 3.33 mW    673.3 us/s      66.1        Process        [rcu_sched]
 1.80 mW    363.1 us/s      66.1        Interrupt      [1] timer(softirq)
 1.79 mW    363.0 us/s      0.00        Process        [ksoftirqd/4]
 

Where as on the 3.9 kernel:

 
 
The battery reports a discharge rate of 13.2 W
The estimated remaining time is 43 minutes
 
Summary: 611.5 wakeups/second,  0.0 GPU ops/second, 0.0 VFS ops/sec and 14.2% CPU use
 
Power est.      Usage       Events/s    Category       Description
  14.0 W     2722 rpm                   Device         Laptop fan
  1.72 W     33.3%                      Device         Display backlight
  862 mW     33.3%                      Device         Display backlight
  255 mW     65.7 ms/s      58.0        Process        /usr/bin/plasma-desktop
 91.9 mW     23.7 ms/s      27.5        Process        /usr/lib/chromium/chromium --type=renderer --lang=en-US --forc
 60.1 mW     15.5 ms/s      96.1        Process        /usr/lib/chromium/chromium --type=plugin --plugin-path=/usr/li
 25.0 mW      6.4 ms/s      25.1        Process        kwin -session 101261418fe3000136103713100000053880000_13746094
 21.5 mW      5.6 ms/s      34.2        Process        /usr/bin/X :0 -auth /var/run/lightdm/root/:0 -nolisten tcp vt7
 13.1 mW      3.4 ms/s       5.6        Process        /usr/bin/konsole
 9.82 mW      2.5 ms/s      53.7        Process        [irq/48-iwlwifi]
 9.11 mW      2.4 ms/s       2.2        Process        /usr/bin/knemo
 8.62 mW      2.2 ms/s      12.3        Process        /usr/lib/chromium/chromium --password-store=detect
 8.32 mW      2.1 ms/s      45.5        Interrupt      [48] iwlwifi
 6.96 mW      1.8 ms/s      35.3        Interrupt      [7] sched(softirq)
 5.13 mW      1.3 ms/s      57.1        Interrupt      [47] i915
 4.24 mW      1.1 ms/s       0.4        Process        powertop
 3.38 mW      0.9 ms/s       1.5        Timer          tcp_keepalive_timer
 2.85 mW      0.7 ms/s      11.9        Process        /usr/sbin/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --plu

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Ritesh Raj Sarraf's picture

I am so indebted to the community

As someone who learned computers on his own, I always acknowledged the value that the Free Software movement has brought. The accessibility of these topics, which are only supposed to be part of text books and schools, is available for anyone and everyone who has the resource and passion to do it.

But this past week, 2 things made me pretty impressed with the maturity and quality of work that we do.

rrs@zan:/media$ sudo lvextend -r -v -L 100G /dev/BackupDisk/DATA

    Finding volume group BackupDisk
    Executing: fsadm --verbose check /dev/BackupDisk/DATA
fsadm: "ext4" filesystem found on "/dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA"
fsadm: Skipping filesystem check for device "/dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA" as the filesystem is mounted on /media/DATA
    fsadm failed: 3
    Archiving volume group "BackupDisk" metadata (seqno 7).
  Extending logical volume DATA to 100.00 GiB
    Found volume group "BackupDisk"
    Found volume group "BackupDisk"
    Loading BackupDisk-DATA table (254:2)
    Suspending BackupDisk-DATA (254:2) with device flush
    Found volume group "BackupDisk"
    Resuming BackupDisk-DATA (254:2)
    Creating volume group backup "/etc/lvm/backup/BackupDisk" (seqno 8).
  Logical volume DATA successfully resized
    Executing: fsadm --verbose resize /dev/BackupDisk/DATA 104857600K
fsadm: "ext4" filesystem found on "/dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA"
fsadm: Device "/dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA" size is 107374182400 bytes
fsadm: Parsing tune2fs -l "/dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA"
fsadm: Resizing filesystem on device "/dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA" to 107374182400 bytes (13107200 -> 26214400 blocks of 4096 bytes)
fsadm: Executing resize2fs /dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA 26214400
resize2fs 1.42.5 (29-Jul-2012)
Filesystem at /dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA is mounted on /media/DATA; on-line resizing required
old_desc_blocks = 4, new_desc_blocks = 7
The filesystem on /dev/mapper/BackupDisk-DATA is now 26214400 blocks long.
 
 
I didn't have much hope that this extend operation would succeed. But it did. When I initiated this operation, in the background, I had the backups being synced parallely (which actually made me resize my volume. :-)
 
 
The other item which made me happy yesterday was Audacity. Once upon a time, when I needed to split a music file to cut a ringtone out of it, I'd go looking for software that could do it. Then I would hope that one of those software vendors have a fully working version and not a demo with just 5 seconds clipping. Cowon was one media player I can recollect I've used to split audio files.
But in this case, I had a different requirement. I needed to increase the dB of my ringtone file so that it sounded really a ringtone (Example: Bourne Ultimatum OST). Audacity, not only did it do the job, it did it for me in just 3-5 minutes. And all with just button clicks. For a n00b with no experience in that domain, I was really impressed.

 

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Ritesh Raj Sarraf's picture

apt-offline - 1.3

It is still 2012 in this part of the world and the world is still intact. Since nothing major happened, I thought of spending the new gifted time to add a long pending item to apt-offline. As shown in the screen shots, apt-offline's GUI now has support to detect and display the downloaded offline bug reports.









This is part of the just released, version 1.3.

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