WordPress default theme 1024 wide

I love the WordPress default theme based on the famous Kubrick theme but it has two problems in my eyes:

  • There are no sidebars on posts or pages making navigation kind of tricky.
  • It is designed for 800 pixel wide screens. This was fine 3 years ago but now 95% of people use at least 1024 so its a waste of screen real-estate having all that grey at the sides.

I am lazy so looked around for a version that fixed these issues but couldn’t find one. So, I took a few minutes to make some adjustments and solve these two problems. The result, that you’re looking at now, is an exact replica of the default WordPress theme but enlarged for viewing at 1024 pixels and with sidebars on pages and posts. Other than that it is identical – and even the dynamic colour changing header image still works.

I submitted the theme to WordPress for publication but meanwhile you can download it here (if you like!).

Update: 1 March 2013 – This post is now totally ancient but still gets a lot of traffic. You really shouldn’t be using the Kubrick theme in any modern wordpress installation as although it will mostly work, it does not implement any of the new features of WordPress 3.x. Use it at your own risk.

Update: 2 December 2008 – WordPress.org rejected my theme for publication – no reason given it just disappeared. I think that’s pretty lame. The least they could do is provide a reason. I won’t bother ever submitting anything else to them.

RPM installation of Broadcom 802.11 STA wireless driver in Fedora 8/9/10

RPMs for the Broadcom 802.11 STA Wireless Driver are now available from the rpmfusion.org repos for Fedora 8, 9 and 10.

This is an official-release of Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n hybrid Linux device driver for use with Broadcom’s BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4321-, and BCM4322-based hardware. This driver also supports the incorrectly identified BCM4328 chipset which is actually a BCM4321 or BCM4322 chipset.

Previously I explained how to build the Broadcom STA driver from source but now the installation and updates can all be taken care of using yum and the rpmfusion non-free repository. Just follow these two simple steps:

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Installing the Broadcom 802.11 STA driver in Fedora 9

Update 15 November 2008: Just a note to mention that I’ve packaged this up into an RPM and so this driver is now available as an RPM in the rpmfusion repos for Fedora 8, 9 and 10.

See this post for instructions of how to install using the RPM version (much easier!).

Update 26 January 2009: These instructions are now fairly outdated. The latest releases of the broadcom driver don’t require the same patches as mentioned here to make them build correctly against recent kernels. I highly recommend using the RPM installation instructions linked above, or if you require help with building the latest drivers please drop me a message or leave a comment below.

Happy, happy days! At long last, a Linux Broadcom driver for the BCM4328 chipset that doesn’t require ndiswrapper and Windows drivers. For me, this is really, really huge: ndiswrapper has never worked properly with NetworkManager using WPA security but this new Broadcom driver seems bullet-proof. It is even supposed to support 802.11n standard but I can’t verify that just yet.

The source packages currently available from Broadcom (version 5.10.27.6) don’t build on the current Fedora 9 kernel (2.6.26.5-45) and probably won’t compile on any newer kernel either. Digging around a bit I found a patch that makes the driver build successfully.

Great, but that’s not the whole story: I then found that with the new driver I was unable to SSH or telnet into any remote servers – bummer. However, some more digging turned up another patch that fixes this problem. With these two patches in place the new driver really rocks. For the first time in 10 months (since I bought my MacBook) I can actually connect to WPA secured networks using NetworkManager – no more fiddling around with wpa_supplicant scripts for me!

Anyhow, here’s a little how-to guide to install the new Broadcom driver in Fedora 9. Note: I’m a little unsure of which Broadcom chipsets this driver actually supports but I can confirm that it works beautifully with the BCM4328 which is standard on MacBook 3,1 and 4,1 versions.

Important note: Since writing this guide Broadcom have released an updated driver (v 5.10.27.11). The updated driver and updated patches can be downloaded here along with the original driver/patches mentioned in this guide. Adjust the instructions below according to the version you are using.

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Custom build of synaptics for Fedora 8 x86_64 on MacBook

Based on the patches found in this post over at Ubuntu forums I have created an updated synaptics touchpad driver RPM package for Fedora 8 x86_64.

As the original author notes, this makes it more enjoyable to use the touchpad while using the MacBook. It does two things:

  1. Adds the option “MultiFingerButton” to synaptics. This allows us to configure the touchpad to right-click and middle-click by placing two or three fingers on the pad and then clicking the button. In my experience this is far more reliable than the “two finger tap” method of right-clicking.
  2. It makes the mouse arrow more stable – I have found this to be a HUGE improvement in usability over the stock synaptics driver. With the original driver, if you put two fingers on the mousepad and release only one, the mouse arrow moves. This is the default behaviour in Linux and Windows, but in MacOSX, the mouse arrow stays put, and in my personal opinion, this is a much better behaviour. This patch makes it behave just like MacOSX. This may not sound much, but you’ll find it makes a huge difference to the stability and usability of the touchpad.

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Fedora 8 x86_64 fixes for battery being reported twice error

The latest 2.6.25.x Fedora 8 kernels have both ACPI_PROCFS_POWER and ACPI_SYSFS_POWER turned on and this can cause a strange problem with HAL which results in it incorrectly displaying the same battery twice and reporting incorrect charge levels for the “bogus” battery. This in turn creates problems with power management software such as kpowersave and gnome-power-manager.

I have only seen this reported on some specific x86_64 machines but it may affect other architectures too.

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Banshee 1.0 RPM for Fedora 8 x86_64

Banshee Media PlayerBanshee 1.0 was released on June 5 2008. At the time of writing I haven’t been able to find an official Fedora 8 RPM build so I have built my own using the Fedora 9 source RPM and made it available here for you to download and install.

For those that don’t know, Banshee is a great multimedia player for Linux with support for iPod syncing, podcasts, streaming radio, video and lots more. For iPod owners Banshee is one of few viable Linux alternatives to iTunes.

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Yorkshire Dales three peaks challenge!

Big thanks to everyone who contributed to my birthday present of a weekend away in the Yorkshire Dales to do the 3 peaks challenge. We had a lovely time and to spare me the pain of telling everyone about it individually I thought I’d write about it here instead.

We completed the gruelling 25 mile trek including 1,672 metres ascent in just under 9 hours. The target time is 12 hours so we did pretty well. If you can’t be bothered reading then scroll straight to the bottom for a gallery of our photos from the walk.

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Tip: never flash a BIOS from within Windows!

This much I have learned: never, and I mean *never*, flash your computer’s BIOS from within Windows.

I’ve done it before and never had a problem, but my luck ran out when I recently tried to flash the BIOS of an Acer TravelMate 6410 using the “WinPhlash” tool downloaded from the Acer website. The tool ran, backed up and erased the old BIOS, then crashed at block 5 of 16 when flashing the new BIOS. Result: a computer that won’t even POST, nevermind boot.

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