Category Archives: Geeky stuff

Running Citrix with Ubuntu

I recently set up Citrix Receiver on the home laptop (which runs Ubuntu Linux) in order to connect to work.

After successful installation I found that once I was RDC’d to my desktop in the office something strange was happening with the display: it was as if the mouse pointer on the screen was really a bit below in reality; meaning that when you clicked, the area below the pointer was activated. This was a real pain when trying to do even the simplest things like read email and navigate round the desktop.

The problem is described further in this forum thread.

After some playing about, I found that in the Settings option of the Citrix Xenapp page you can configure the window size in which to run your application. This was set to “Seamless” which when active leaves the Ubuntu taskbar visible – I think this has something to do with why the pointer is offset.

It turns out (for me anyway) that setting this to “Full screen” prevented the mouse problem from occuring and meant I could view my work desktop as if I was sitting at the PC.

Whilst in full screen mode, you can use Ctrl-F2 then Alt-Tab to switch back to your Ubuntu desktop.

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Dell Studio 1537 media panel problem

Although these laptops are getting a bit long in the tooth now, I bet there are still plenty out there in daily use (mine is) and suffering from the annoying media panel issue.

This is where the eject button keeps lighting and trying to eject media from the CD/DVD drive, even if it is empty – I think this affected the 1535, 1536 and 1537 Studio laptops. Generally this occurs following power on and can carry on for 10 minutes or so, until it magically stops.

At the time there were lots of suggestions about loosening screws behind the battery or taking the keyboard out and taping up various contacts. Suffice to say that none of these worked and the issue was fixed by a firmware update from Dell that specifically addressed this problem: Studio – Jammed Touch Sensitive Eject Button

It requires you to download a image file (.iso) and burn to a CD. You then boot your laptop from the CD and follow the on-screen prompts. This will update the firmware that runs the media panel. As reported in the thread, the fix works perfectly and I can confirm that there’s been no repeat of the problem since – 5 years and counting…

Extend your wi-fi reach with DD-WRT

I recently had the problem of getting a decent wi-fi signal to the kitchen and conservatory which are two solid walls away from my primary router. We have a music streamer in the conservatory for lazy Summer days, but sadly it was reporting 13% wireless strength and buffering every few seconds during use.

Initally, I thought about getting a pair of plug adapters to route the network traffic via the mains. Then I discovered DD-WRT – firmware that would allow an old router to act as a repeater and extend the wi-fi right out to the garden. The added advantage of course was that we could also use our other wireless devices instead of being limited to ethernet connections only.

There are various guides out there for flashing the DD-WRT firmware, but they sounded like quite a faff, and you need specifically compatible hardware. The easier option is to search eBay for “DD-WRT” and chose from the dozen or so routers for sale which have already been upgraded. I paid about £15 for a D-Link DIR 615.

Once you have your router, follow these instructions to configure the repeater functionality; it worked first-time for me!
Setting up a repeater bridge with DD-WRT and D-Link DIR-600

The repeater needs to be able to connect to your primary router, but does not need a very strong signal (otherwise what would be the point?). Ours is tucked away in the corner of the kitchen and seems to function perfectly well – we now enjoy >80% signal strenth in the conservatory and, more importantly, buffering-free music streaming!