CategoryNerd Stuff

Ubuntu 17.10 64bit on Lenovo ideapad 100s

Ubuntu ideapad 100s, finally.

It works much better with Ubuntu 17.10 now. Instructions edited for 17.10 below.

I struggled with this for a while, but today I found the magic combination of efi and grub parts to mix with an Ubuntu 16.04.1 64 bit ISO to produce an almost perfect Linux laptop. As always, this documentation is for my own use, but it would be nice if it helps someone else looking to get Ubuntu running on a low-grade, lightweight laptop.

  • Keyboard works
  • Trackpad works
  • Wifi works
  • Power management seems to work
  • Wifi not yet without a USB wifi adapter
  • Power and suspend TBD

Here’s what I did.

  1. (on Windows) Download ubuntu-17.10-desktop-amd64.iso
  2. (on Windows) Download debian-8.6.0-amd64-i386-netinst.iso (debian multiarch)
  3. (on Windows) Right click the debian-8.6.0-amd64-i386-netinst.iso and select Mount
    1. Open the virtual disk in windows explorer, we need to copy a couple things from it.
  4. (on Windows) Using Rufus 2.11, burn ubuntu-17.10-desktop-amd64.iso to a bootable USB drive.
    1. Close Rufus
    2. Open the drive in windows explorer, we need to put a few things here.
  5. (on Windows) From the debian image
    1. Copy \boot\grub\i386-efi (the whole folder)
    2. Paste it in to the USB drive (Ubuntu boot disk) in \boot\grub\
    3. Copy \efi\boot\bootia32.efi
    4. Paste it in to the USB drive (Ubuntu boot disk) in \efi\boot\
  6. Now you can shut down the ideapad, insert the USB drive (Ubuntu boot disk), and enter the utility by pressing the smaller button to the right of the indicator LEDs next to the power button.
  7. Choose Boot Menu
  8. Highlight your USB drive.
  9. Install ubuntu.
  10. Change power settings so it never goes to sleep!
  11. You can also add xscreensaver and configure its daemon to start at boot time:


Sleep and wake seem to work with no fiddling now. Battery life is excellent.

While I was writing this in windows 10 on another computer, I learned that if the ideapad does go to sleep, you will have to power cycle it to get it back up. 🙁


I love Ubuntu but I want Kali tools

Yup I love Ubuntu. I even love the Unity desktop UI (so shoot me).  I also want to play with all the tools in the Kali distro, but one thing that gets in my way is the UI is just different enough to make it a little difficult. Blah blah blah this guide is mostly to help me remember how to do it again without having to remember the right questions to ask The Google.

  1. Install Ubuntu
    1. Just do it.
    2. Customize if you like. I can’t get going without reducing the launcher icon size and adding redshift and guake.
  2. Install Git
    1. sudo apt-get install git
  3. Install Katoolin
    1. sudo su
    2. git clone  && cp katoolin/ /usr/bin/katoolin
    3. chmod +x /usr/bin/katoolin
    4. katoolin
  4. Configure Katoolin
    1. 1,1,2
    2. back
    3. 2
    4. 0
  5. Fixing Katoolin package problems
    1. Sometimes the packages listed in the katoolin script are unavailable. In my case it was multiforce that apt couldn’t get. To fix that you need to edit the katoolin script:
      1. gedit /usr/bin/katoolin
      2. search for the missing package and delete its name
      3. save the file
      4. repeat step 4 above.
  6. Now I have Kali tools AND my favorite desktop.

Why do they call me Whoopee?

Is it because I have dreadlocks? No.

Am I prone to screaming “Whoopee!” when I get excited? No.

A decade ago I was working with the same core group of teammates at Spruce Technologies, a DVD authoring software developer. I worked for the “Convergence Services” division, where we made things like DVD-on-CD and Internet-Connected DVDs. We worked directly with studios and artists to produce and format their content. On occasion we even filmed and recorded the content for them as part of the process. Those were the days! One particular artist (we called him Ice), an AWESOME guitarist and producer and musical director (for Top-10 artists by the way), who was our gateway to most of the talent that came our way, noticed that whenever something was broken or just not working right, the team always called me. I guess he’d been watching cartoons that morning because he called me Whoopee. We all looked at each other and wondered why, so he explained. “You remember on the Tennessee Tuxedo Show, how Tennessee and Chumley always went to the professor for solutions to tough problems? That professor’s name was Phineas J. Whoopee, and he was known to Tennessee and Chumley as “The man with all the answers.”


I’m flattered of course, but I realize the reference may also come from the appearance of my cluttered cubicle, not unlike the pile of junk from which Mr. Whoopee always fished out his 3D Blackboard to illustrate one of his many answers.

Tracking MPG with Raspberry Pi and OBDII

I was bitten by the Raspberry Pi bug. The first time I saw it mentioned, I ordered one immediately. I ordered it in August and didn’t get it till April. The first thing I did was to follow a tutorial using python and GPIO to light up a red LED when my unread email count was 0, and flash a yellow LED every time a new unread email showed up. I had connected the cloud to my physical world and I was hooked. There were many experiments after that which I can’t remember. Then I found this video on YouTube and I had a mission.

Martin’s goal was to display diagnostic information overlaid on video from his dash cam. I didn’t have a dash cam and I didn’t want one. I wanted something else. My wife’s car has a “gauge” that shows in real time how efficiently you’re burning gas. Mash the pedal and it will dip below the “econ” mark; feather it and you’ll be rewarded with an indication that you are being green. My truck lacks such feedback, and my truck is inherently less fuel-efficient than her car, so I wanted to create a way to help remind me to be as green as possible in my truck.

More to come…

MOV_2246.MOV Screen shot 2014-01-07 at 6.09.39 PM

My data center



I used to have servers sitting on my desk, but they’re noisy and they are extremely overqualified as paperweights. Now I need a couple shelves to get all the desktop NAS boxes in there too, and my bookshelves will have more room for books.

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