Powertop

Install the “powertop” package and run it to show what needs to be modified on your computer in order to maximize your battery life.

Note that the recommendation that powertop suggests for the wifi, something like

iwconfig eth1 setpower 5

causes your wifi to get reeeeaaaaallllly slow, so don’t do this change. I have tried it it with a setpower arg of 1 and it works fine and saves power. I have not tried other values.

Enabling Compiz

edit /usr/bin/compiz and do 2 searches for intel then comment out the following line

T=”$T 8086:2982 8086:2992 8086:29a2 8086:2a02 8086:2a12″  # intel 965

This line blacklists the i965gm x3100 graphics chipset from compiz due to video playing problems (and sure enough, you cannot play videos with Compiz active).

Then from the menu, select System->Preferences->

Appearance then the Visual Effects tab and select Extra.

You can also install the compizconfig-settings-manager module to enable even more insane desktop effects.

Touchpad

To make the touchpad more responsive.
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=2573230

Add the xorg.conf entries first, then install gsynaptic and then reboot (or restart X)

My MaxSpeed is 1.5

Add this to your xorg.conf file. Then restart X (Ctrl-Alt-Bksp). Save any unsaved work before restarting X.

Option “AccelFactor” “0.25”

Triple Boot 2

Ok, I have got this thing triple booting Media Direct, Vista and Ubuntu.

Roughly, the steps are.

– Do Media Direct prep install (boot from the disk and follow instructions). Make 2 partitons, the first for Vista, the second will be repartitioned later for Ubuntu.
– Start Vista install, Do AHCI driver install during Vista install. Finish Vista install onto the partition set up during Media Direct prep
– Finish Media Direct install
– Install Ubuntu. Do manual partitioning. Delete 2nd partition that was set up during Media Direct prep. Create Ubuntu partitions as required.

For example a primary partition for Ubuntu of 30Gb, ext3, mount point /
an extended partition of 60Gb, ext3, mount point /home
an extended partition of 3.4Gb, swap

Choose to install grub in the ubuntu partition which is (hd0,3) in my case instead of the MBR (hd0)

If you want Windows to boot by default
– chain grub into the Vista bootloader. Download and install easybcd and set up a bootloader entry for ubuntu.
OR
If you want Ubuntu to boot by default
– Boot ubuntu, run fdisk and clear the boot flag from the Windows partition and set it on the primary Ubuntu partition. Vista is already set up in Grub.

Reinstalling Windows

You *must* install the AHCI driver for Vista (on your driver disk) when reinstalling Vista or your install will hang on the “Completing Installation” phase. When going through the Vista Install wizard pages, when you get to the page that asks you which partition you want to put the OS on, there is a button for Load Drivers or something like that in the lower left. Click that and shove in the Dell Drivers disk and select the AHCI driver for installation.

Sound Volume

The default sound volume is messed up, being set too low. To increase the sound volume, in a terminal, run:

alsamixer

use the left arrow key to go over to the Front bar and use the up
arrow to increase it to 100%.

Playing DVDs

From https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats

Go to Applications → Add/Remove…
Set Show: to All available applications
Search for ubuntu-restricted-extras and install it.

Install VLC. Totem-gstreamer will not work properly with DVDs

You may need to go to
/usr/share/doc/libdvdread3 and run
$ sudo ./install-css.sh

to install the DVD decrypter codec, but i am not sure.

Reboot and then use VLC to play the DVD.