Thinkpad T420 IPS/PLS Screen Upgrade

Tired of the awful OEM screen on your T420? Want FHD (1920×1080) resolution with the full colors and deep blacks of IPS screens? Having a hard time deciding which to order? Then this page might help you.

There are several screens available for the non-S T420 laptop which have performance characteristics on par with true IPS screens. This page has a good explanation of how the various panel types differ.

This thread by RMSMajestic seems to be the origin of the screen upgrade for the non-S Thinkpad T420 and T430. The first post explains why flickering is a common problem.

There are several eBay sellers carrying FHD IPS controllers. The one sold by moe-tech, for example, supports the following screens:

1920×1080 (FHD) Screens

Brand Model Type Finish Colors Brightness Contrast Viewing Angle
AUO B140HAN01.0 AHVA Glossy 16.2m 300 cd/m^2 800:1 89/89/89/89
B140HAN01.1 AHVA Matte, hard 16.2m 300 cd/m^2 700:1 89/89/89/89
B140HAN01.2 AHVA Matte, hard 16.2m 300 cd/m^2 700:1 89/89/89/89
B140HAN01.3 AHVA Matte, hard 16.2m 300 cd/m^2 700:1 89/89/89/89
LG LP140WF1-SPB1 AH-IPS Matte 262k 300 cd/m^2 700:1 85/85/85/85
LP140WF1-SPV1
LP140WF1-SPK1 AH-IPS Matte, hard 262k 300 cd/m^2 700:1 80/80/80/80
Samsung LTN140HL02-B01 PLS Matte, hard 262k ??? ??? 85/85/85/85
BOE NV140FHM-N62 ADS Matte 16.7m 300 cd/m^2 800:1 85/85/85/85
NV140fhm-n41 ADS Matte, hard 262k 250 cd/m^2 800:1 85/85/85/85
Innolux N140HCA-EAC AAS Matte 262k 250 cd/m^2 800:1 89/89/89/89

There are also 40-pin controllers that support 2560×1440, such as this one by e-qstore. It lists the following screens:

2560×1400 (WQHD) Screens

Brand Model Type Finish Colors Brightness Contrast Viewing Angle
AUO B140QAN01.1 AHVA Matte, hard 16.7m 340 cd/m^2 700:1 85/85/85/85
B140QAN01.5 AHVA Matte 16.7m 300cd/m^2 700:1 85/85/85/85
LG LP140QH1-SPB1 IPS Matte 16.7m 300cd/m^2 700:1 85/85/85/85
LP140QH1-SPB3
LP140QH1-SPA2 IPS Glossy 16.7m 300cd/m^2 700:1 85/85/85/85
LP140QH2-SPB1 IPS Matte 16.7m ??? 800:1 85/85/85/85

I chose the AUO B140HAN01.3 from eBay seller neidersch, and the LCD controller from moe-tech. Why that particular screen? Because I wanted a matte finish, and it appears to be identical to the B140HAN01.1, aside from being 0.2mm shallower. Both have been working great for around nine months.

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Microsoft Symbol Server Configuration for WinDbg

Since I always forget how to configure a symbol cache on a new machine, here’s my configuration. Setting this environmental variable will download symbols from Microsoft’s servers and cache them at E:\symbols:

_NT_SYMBOL_PATH=srv*E:\symbols*https://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols

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Far Cry 5: Only 32 Hours of Story

I finished Far Cry 5’s main story with only 32 hours of game play. I spent a fair amount of time doing side missions, too. I generally see 50 – 70 hours of game play in AAA titles, so I’d rate this a mediocre value. Still better than FC4, though.

Far Cry 5 game play time

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It’s 2017 and Windows 10 Notification Sounds Are Still Obnoxiously Loud

Back in August of 2015, I wrote about how System Notifications in Windows 10 were deafening and ignored System Volume settings.

It’s 2017, and the problem appears to still be there. In fact, it’s even worse, since Dropbox has to notify me every time I take a screenshot (even though I turned off notifications), and Windows chooses to notify me when Windows Defender has not detected any threats.

One very ugly fix is to go into System Sounds and disable the Windows | Notification entry. But I actually want notification sounds, I just don’t want them blasting at full volume.

So, here is my ugly hack: I loaded the “Windows Notify System Generic.wav” file into Audacity, dropped the volume 20dB, and set that as my notification sound.

Here is a link to a ZIP file containing -5dB, -10dB, and -20dB versions of the default system sound. To use them, download the file, extract its contents to C:\Windows\Media, then type “Change System Sounds” into the Start menu, scroll down to ‘Notification’ under ‘Windows’, ‘Browse’, and select the sound file you want:

SystemSoundDialog

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Lenovo Thinkpad T420 – Removing Whitelist from BIOS 1.49

I wanted to install an Intel 7260-N WiFi PCIe card into my T420. For this to work, I had to flash a modified BIOS that removes the hardware whitelist. Unfortunately, I had just upgraded to BIOS 1.49, which ostensibly cannot be downgraded.

The solution was to manually call winflash using the sv and sd flags:

winflash.exe /sv /sd 83ET76WW\$01C8000.FL1

The above command assumes that you’re in the bios_mod folder, which is contained in the modified BIOS archive on ThinkWiki.

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PPTP on Lubuntu with PureVPN

I was having problems getting PPTP to work with PureVPN on a Lubuntu VM. I followed PureVPN’s directions, but only one of the four VPNs I created actually worked. The configuration appeared to be identical, based on what the user interface was telling me.

When I looked at the VPN configuration files in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections, I found a discrepancy. The VPN that worked contained three entries under [vpn] that were missing from the other files:

[vpn]
refuse-chap=yes
refuse-eap=yes
refuse-pap=yes

Once I added these entries, the PPTP connections worked as expected.

Posted in Linux, Network, Technology | Leave a comment

Installing Electron under Ubuntu – “node: not found”

I was trying to install Electron on Ubuntu using this command:

npm install electron-prebuilt -g

It would run for awhile, then fail with this error:

sh: 1: node: not found

Several online sources said to install “node-legacy”, but this never worked:

sudo apt-get install node-legacy
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package node-legacy

Searching the apt cache revealed something:

sudo apt-cache search legacy | grep node
node-dompurify – XSS sanitizer for HTML, MathML and SVG – Node.js module
node-es5-shim – ECMAScript 5 compat. shims for old JavaScript engines (Node.js)
node-es6-shim – ECMAScript 6 compat. shims for legacy JavaScript engines (Node.js)
nodejs-legacy – evented I/O for V8 javascript (legacy symlink)

The package is nodejs-legacy, not node-legacy! Installing nodejs-legacy solved the problem, and Electron installed cleanly after that.

sudo apt-get install nodejs-legacy

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Removing Open VM Tools and VirtualBox Components from Lubuntu (Linux) Guest

After moving a Lubuntu virtual machine from VirtualBox to VMware Workstation and installing VMware Tools, I needed to clean out an old installation of Open-VM-Tools (OVT) and VirtualBox Guest Additions. Here are the steps I followed:

List installed dkms packages:

dkms status

Remove open-vm-tools and vboxguest that were listed by the previous command (note that you’ll need to provide the corresponding version numbers):

sudo dkms remove open-vm-tools/9.10.2 --all
sudo dkms remove vboxguest/5.0.2 --all

List openbox related tools (note that this will list anything with ‘open’ in the title, you only want open-vm related items):

dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall | grep -i open

Remove open-vm-tools:

sudo apt-get remove open-vm-tools-dkms
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Fixing Broken VMware Shared Folders in Kubuntu/Ubuntu (f_dentry and d_alias errors)

I recently installed Kubuntu 14.04 LTS (3.19.0-25) 64-bit in a VMware virtual machine. After doing an apt- get upgrade, Shared Folders stopped working. When attempting to build and install VMware Tools, I saw compilation errors relating to f_dentry and d_alias.

I fixed this using rasa’s VMware Tools patcher. It’s a slick tool that automatically applies appropriate patches to the VMware Tools distribution.

Before using the script, I selected Install VMware Tools from the VMware menu. For whatever reason, the VM used /media/username/VMware Tools/, and only after I selected “Open with File Manager” from the Kubuntu popup.

The exact commands I used on a fresh install were:

cd ~
tar xvzf /media/username/VMware\ Tools\VMwareTools-9.6.5-2700074.tar-gz

sudo apt-get install git
git clone https://github.com/rasa/vmware-tools-patches.git
cd vmware-tools-patches
mv ../vmware-tools-distrib .
./patch.sh

cd vmware-tools-distrib
sudo ./vmware-install.pl --default

Looking back at the rasa code repository, it looks like I didn’t need to do all those steps. Instead, this should work on a clean install:

cd ~
sudo apt-get install git
git clone https://github.com/rasa/vmware-tools-patches.git
cd vmware-tools-patches
./patched-open-vm-tools.sh
Posted in Linux, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Convert FLAC to MP3 on Linux

This is the script I use to convert FLAC files to MP3. After converting, it moves all the FLAC files into a subdirectory named .flac:

#!/bin/bash

#------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Converts all FLAC files in the current folder to high-quality VBR MP3s.
# Moves all .flac files into a folder named .flac.
#------------------------------------------------------------------------------

for f in *.flac; do  
    ffmpeg -i "$f" -qscale:a 0 "${f[@]/%flac/mp3}"
done

mkdir .flac
mv *.flac .flac/

echo Done.

This script requires ffmpeg. Install using:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

 

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