Fun with MPlayer and ImageMagick

Just a loose collection of stuff I found very easy to do with MPlayer and, occasionally, ImageMagick.


change LCD brightness

If you cannot change your LCD brightness under openSUSE 10.3, this might be due to a "feature" in the new xorg which prevents the module video.ko from being loaded. The following steps will help you regain control over your LCD brightness again. Yaaaaaay for battery life!

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/xorg-x11-driver-video

Comment out the line "install video /bin/true"

sudo modprobe video

If the module loaded correctly, you should now have a file called /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness.

Now open kpowersave. You should be able to enable scheme specific brightness settings. Play around with the slider until you find your preferred brightness. At least on my computer (Toshiba Satellite A100-01L), the percentages do not correspond to the actual brightness levels, so you might have to fiddle around a bit until you get your settings sorted out.

I can set my brightness to 8 different levels, which correspond to the following percentages on the slider: 100 - 90 - 75 - 60 - 50 - 35 - 25 - 24

To load the module at boot time, go to

YaST --> System --> /etc/sysconfig editor --> system/kernel/MODULES_LOADED_ON_BOOT

and add "video" (without the quotes).


Edit: It seems that you need to repeat the commenting out part after each update of xorg-x11-driver-video. Fortunately though, those don't seem to happen too often - otherwise I would've noticed that much sooner.


I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't mount that...

Some experimental research on HAL automount issues. I've let this posting lie idle for weeks, so I have to rely on my somewhat vague memory here.

4 guinea pigs (Xanthippe, Tisiphone, Archimedes and Hactar), each starting off with openSuSE 10.3. All but Hactar experienced a HAL automount failure for USB drives after a kernel update. Both dmesg and lsusb identified the devices correctly, mounting by hand as root worked also.

A similar problem has been solved in some forums by reverting to an older HAL version, but that one must be prehistoric by now. I fiddled a bit with HAL policies, as explained in this KDE list posting, but with no success.

As it turned out, Archimedes had the gparted issue posted by taaris, what I did with Xanthippe I can't remember (miracle healing after just another kernel/HAL update?), and Tisiphone got a clean reinstall of the whole distribution after even CD/DVD mounting failed - I had additional graphics problems anyway.

So, everything is working again and I have no idea how or why - maybe some rogue update messed with a config file I don't know about...


GParted and automount

Do your KDE automounting abilities appear to be broken after installing GParted? Here's how to fix it. This has been driving my crazy!

# cd /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/

# rm gparted-disable-automount.fdi

Now why does GParted have to mess with HAL in the first place? The solution was found here, btw.