Shane Duffy

Archive for the ‘Ubuntu’ Category

I decided to get some logging data from the CurrentCost (cc128) model which I have but I was having issues with getting data from the /dev/ttyUSB0 port at which it was attached using the pl2303 drivers for usb to serial.

A simple cat of /dev/ttyUSB0 lead to just gibberish been output on the terminal. Poking around at the system I found that the cable im using has the pl2303x chip set which can have driver issues with some older kernel modules. There are patchs for the older kernal modules which stop this device been picked up as the older incompatible pl2303 (see here).  The real cause of my problems was the serial port settings which I was able to resolve by using minicom to set the right settings for the port.

The cc128 uses 57600 bps 8N1

You can use the minicom application to set this and then using cat /dev/ttyUSB0 will work fine for you.

Ill add another update later once I start logging the data. Plan is to be able to log all data to mysql DB, create a RRD file at the same time for some simple graphs and also allow a real time feed of the application in the form of an AJAX web client I think.

Update: Just found the link to the full xml spec of the CurrentCost cc128 v11 that I have thanks to the CurrentCost founder MartinDix

On a note for anyone who needs to factory reset there CurrentCost energy monitor you can just hold down any 2 of the buttons when powering up the device and it will reset everything to factory defaults.


Here is how I got Ubuntu 7.10 installed and working on my parallels virtual machine, also you might find Ubuntu 7.10 Linux Unleashed a very useful book to read.

VM Memory: 512 HD size 6-10GB

1. Boot the install CD. When the menu screen comes up press F6 for boot options before it starts the install

2. Delete the ‘splash’ option and press the Return key to start up the installation. This will prevent the terminal window from being hidden by a splash screen so you can do the next steps.

3. The install system will begin to boot and the display server will die as before. However now it will go back and forth between the graphic display window and the terminal window. During the moments that it is in the terminal window you can type to the command shell. If it comes up with the window that says ‘The display server has been shut down about 6 times in the last 90 seconds’ go ahead and type Return to select the OK and you will again get the terminal window and in a few minutes get the dying display server again. Persevere and you can keep typing thing in the terminal window.

4. First type ctrl-c to kill the script and get you a shell prompt. Then using vi or pico as you prefer, edit xorg.conf as root:

sudo pico /etc/X11/xorg.conf

5. Scroll down to the Device section (not Input Device), and insert inside it the line

Option “LVDSBiosNativeMode” “false”
then save the file and exit the editor.

6. Start up the display server again by typing the command


This will bring up a window filled with a grey pattern. Have patience and wait, and in a minute or two you will get a real Ubuntu desktop with an Install icon on it. Double-click the Install icon to start up the install process.

7. The display server error will keep happening, but the install continues anyway. Whenever you get the ‘The display server has been shut down about 6 times in the last 90 seconds’ window you have to type Return again to get back to the install window. It is really annoying having to do that every few minutes, but eventually the install is completed.

8. However you are not yet done. If you reboot after the installation (remember to disconnect the install CD) you will still get that display server death problem. The next steps are to get rid of that:

9. Reboot the virtual machine and when it says to press ESC to get the boot menu, quickly press ESC to get the boot menu, scroll down, and boot in recovery mode. That gives you a root shell prompt in a terminal window.

10. Type the appropriate keys to get your mouse back and in Parallels’ Actions menu select Install Parallels Tools. That will show you instructions on how to install the tools, and will connect the tools CDROM image.

11. At the root shell prompt, type the commands that you were shown to install the tools

mount /media/cdrom
cd /media/cdrom
shutdown -r now

12. That last command reboots the virtual machine. When it comes back you should have a working Ubuntu 7.10

I would also recommend Ubuntu 7.10 Linux Unleashed, 3rd Edition

So earlier today I was trying to install the latest version of Ubuntu 7.10 on my Macbook pro with out any success.

Turns out there are some issues with the VM machine and memory, by setting the VM to use only 512MB instead of the 1024MB I had alloted first time round the installer process now runs without crashing.

Updated: See Ubuntu 7.10 install guide parallels

Ubuntu 7.10 Linux Unleashed, 3rd Edition
Ubuntu 7.10 - Coming soon

Just downloaded the lastest release of of Ubuntu. And decided to install in under Parallels of which Im running the current latest version 5162. Unbuntu installer just seems to lock up while trying to install with no errors or warnings and can only be recovered by resetting the the VM.

There seems to be a number of users on the parallels support forums reporting the same problems and posting work arounds of installing Ubuntu 7.04 and preforming a distupgrade to get the latest version install.

For now Im going to poke around with the install some more and see if I can come up with anything that would help anyone else having the same problems.

Updated: See Ubuntu 7.10 install guide parallels 
and Installing ubuntu 7.10 on Macbook pro (parallels)

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