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JakobCHR's Linux Page

(Linux for the Serious Scientist)

I have been running Linux at home since 1996. I have my Linux-box(es) exclusively for both my scientific research and for more personal use. On this page I will list some of the programs that I have found usefull in my work and I will also list some of the tips and tricks in regard to maintaining the Linux system.

Hardware (in early 2002)

Hardware (in 1997)


Tips & Tricks



Hardware (2002)

I have two Linux boxes running Red Hat 7.2. One for general use and another for multi-media stuff (playing DVDs, and working as a juke box connected digitally to my audio system).

In addition I have a IBM laptop: Pentium-M 1.3 GHz R40 with 512 MB DDR RAM, 1400x1050. I have configured the laptop as a dual boot machine running Red Hat Linux 9.0 and Windows XP (Home).

I have also added a Xerox (Tektronix) Phaser 8200DP color solid ink printer.

I am still using my Nec P750 monitor. It still works great!

Hardware (1997)

The specifications of my Linux box is as follows:

ASUS TX97-X (430TX chipset) based 166 MHz Pentium

128 Mb SDRAM (10 ns)

4.3 Gb Quantum Ultra-IDE HD, 6.5 Gb Seagate Medalist Pro Ultra-IDE HD

Matrox Millennium 4Mb WRAM

NEC P750 17 inch Color Monitor

Lexmark Optra Ep laser printer (E+ with optional PS emulator)

This system configuration runs very well with Linux and has plenty of power even though a 166MHz P5 is not that fast today. The amount of RAM lets me run four virtual screens full of windows of programs comfortably with no performance penalty.
Monitor also very recommedable; you get high refresh rates at high resolutions; I use a resolution of 1152x864 at 85Hz (implies that it is comfortable to work long hours without your eyes getting tired).
The printer is a 6ppm postscript printer; also very recommendable.



I have used the following software packages on a variety of Red Hat Linux systems, including Red Hat 4.2, 5.2, 7.2 and now 9.0 linux systems.

Red Hat Linux

seminar.sty: Making slides with LaTeX.

psfrag.sty: Inserting text typeset by LaTeX into ps-files.

a2ps: Postscript Pretty Printer.

LaTeX2html : Converts LaTeX documents to html for web publishing.

Natbib: LaTeX packages for typesetting of cites of bibiographic entries using a format which is most commonly used in scientific journals.

Bibview: X-windows program for easy editing and creation of bibliographic data bases used for LaTeX.

apmd: Program which sets up a daemon for advanced power management. In order to use, the kernel may have to be recompiled with advanced power management enabled.

psmulti: Program which prints a postscript file arranging several pages of the original file on a single sheet of paper, ie good for saving paper. Note this can be used with printing html documents using Netscape if you choose to print the html to a file (which is in postscript). To print 4 pages on a single sheet of paper use:
     psmulti -pages 4 <filename.ps> | lpr

Tips & Tricks

  Red Hat 4.2
Ever had you linux system complain about "No iso9660 support in kernel" or "No ppp support in kernel":
Note: As far as I know this problem is not exsistent in the newer releases of Red Hat Linux!
When I choose to install a new hard drive in my linux box something strange happened: Suddently I seemed to loose support for iso9660 and ppp in my linux kernel. The source of these problems probably has to be found in the system start-up files, like rc.init. But without specific knowledge how to build a correct system start-up file I started to seek out other alternatives for alleviating this problem.
It turns out that the errornous init files cause the loading of dynamic modules to fail and that is the cause for the mysterious errors occuring.
The conclusion is that a safe and relatively easy way to alleviate these problems is to recompile the kernel without dynamic modules and of course remember to include features like iso9660 file system and ppp support in the customized kernel.
Using power saving:
First of all make sure that your kernel was compiled with the APM (Advanced Power Management) option. Next download and install the apmd program packages (mentioned earlier on this page!), and reboot the machine in order to start up the apm-daemon.
I mainly use the power save feature to force my machine into suspend mode (lowest energy consumption) when I go to sleep at night. In suspend mode the CPU is halted and the hard drives are not spinning. I use the following scripts to enter and "exit" suspend mode. The scripts set the hard drive spin-down time---enter sets it to 0.5s and --> --"exit" sets it to 18min.

Suspend script:
      /sbin/hdparm -S1 /dev/hda
      /sbin/hdparm -S1 /dev/hdb
      apm -s
Un-suspend script:
      /sbin/hdparm -S220 /dev/hda
      /sbin/hdparm -S200 /dev/hdb

Linux visitors since March 1, 1999
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E-Mail: webmaster@JakobCHR.com
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