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2004 Feb 28 21:49

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[vox-outreach] Newsbeat Kiosk upgraded
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[vox-outreach] Newsbeat Kiosk upgraded

I upgraded and cleaned up the Debian- and KDE-based kiosk that we put
together for Omsoft, and which has been running over at Newsbeat
(in downtown Davis) the past ~year.

A power fluctuation the other night caused it to power cycle, and it
was stuck in an "I need manual fsck!" mode.  Unfortunately, the root
password had been misplaced. :^)

So, we cleared the CMOS, booted up a Knoppix disc (reminder to self:
DON'T let it boot into German locale!), did an e2fsck to clean up the
drive inconsistencies, and then mounted the HD's "/" partition,
chroot'ed to it, and reset the root password.

When it came back up, network wasn't working.  It seems the reset BIOS
settings changed the Plug-n-Play setting, which kept the NIC from working.
Changed the setting, rebooted, viola!  Up and running.

We did an apt-get update && apt-get upgrade to pull down the last
year's worth of Debian security updates (weren't too many).  I changed
the KDE apt source URL to get it from its new home (and to upgrade from
3.1.0 to 3.1.5 [*]).

I corrected an issue where cookies weren't getting cleared
(needed to call "kcookiejar --reload-config" or some-such, after doing the

I finally squashed the issue with the "Menu Editor..." option being available
under the KDE "K" menu.  A brief glance showed that someone changed the
Konqueror icon to KDE's version of the Macintosh happy face icon.  GRR >:^P
It seemed a few people tried using menu editor to jam bookmarks into the
system, but obviously failed.  I cleaned that up, and that should settle that.

I set the kwinrc file to "immutable", so that people can't change the
window border (kwin theme), which it appeared someone else also figured out.

I don't entirely trust the system ('course, I don't even trust the one
at Chamonix; I'm paranoid!), due to the fact that Menu Editor could've
let someone go muck with more advanced things.  Down the road, I'd
probably suggest a full re-install.

ACTUALLY, I suggest a replacement computer, since this one's so dog-slow!
I tried setting DMA and 32bit modes in hdparm, but that caused the system
to lock up occasionally, waiting for DMA.  Whatever interrupt stuff was
going on would eventually timeout, but it made the system pretty unusable. :^(

Also, it needs a new monitor.  The current one is EXTREMELY dim, esp. when
you first turn it on.

But, all in all, I'm pleased.  The aching feeling I had in the back of my
head about that Menu Editor option still being there is now gone. :^)
My special thanks to someone named Thiago Macieira on #kde on Freenode
for their help with things.  I could've figured out some of this stuff
with dcop, but it would've been SLOW. :^(  Thiago was actually looking at
source in CVS, and comparing versions' features, to tell me what I needed. :^)

[*] I've had trouble getting my existing "works under 3.1.x" kiosk settings
    on the Chamonix kiosk to work under 3.2, so I decided against getting the
    /absolute/ latest version.

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