No Icons on Cinnamon Desktop

I’ve posted before about Linux Mint, as well as using Xfce.  While I hadn’t gotten Cinnamon working on the older machine, I did realize that there is in fact an ebuild for this on Gentoo.  I’ve been trying it on a laptop, and have found it to be pretty nice.  However, after logging in a few times, I could no longer see any icons on my desktop, nor could I drag anything onto it.

This is caused by the filemanager, nemo, not starting at login and taking over the desktop.  Starting the file manager manually by clicking the taskbar icon brings the icons back, but this only lasts until you close it.  I wasn’t sure what was causing this, until I remembered that I still had Gnome3 installed, which uses nautilus to manage the desktop.  Cinnamon is derived from Gnome, and you can actually use gnome-session-properties to manage startup applications in both.  The problem was that both nautilus and nemo were trying to take over, and neither were winning.

I didn’t have gnome-session-poperties installed, but I got it by emerging gnome-media.  In the list of applications it listed ‘Files’ twice.  Find the one that starts nautilus (highlight it and click ‘Edit’, then see what command it uses) and disable it.  After logging out and logging in again I had my desktop back to normal.

Decent Toshiba CPU Speed!

I have a Toshiba Tecra M2 laptop that normally runs Ubuntu.  It used to run Windows a while back, and after that Gentoo.  One thing I noticed while running Linux on it was that I could never get the CPU speed to go above 598 Mhz, or if was lucky 600 Mhz.  I thought for the longest time that this was a software issue, with the operating system itself.  And then I tried Windows again.

I have the original hard disk, with Windows, just in case.  (I used a new disk for my Linux install, rather than dual-booting.)  So, I stuck it in, and took a look at the speed reported in My Computer.  I was surprised to see that it too reported the speed as 598 Mhz.  Shocked, I hunted around on the Web.

It turns out that if you replace the processor or motherboard on a Tecra or similar laptop, it can mess up the CPU speed table.  The speed getting stuck at 598 Mhz is a common problem.  There is a fix for this, however.  Basically, you need a Toshiba utility which creates a boot floppy.  You boot the computer to the floppy, which runs a simple program that updates the BIOS.

You can find some details here.  Now, the link to the utility doesn’t work, so there is a mirror here.  If that mirror is down, I have it mirrored on my own server: pom200t1-v15.  Note that if you don’t have a floppy drive on my laptop (mine didn’t), you’ll need a USB floppy drive — I was able to use one with no trouble.  Note also that though this worked for me, I am not responsible for any damage to your system if it does not work.  You have been warned.

Well, I still use CPU speed scaling on Ubuntu, but now the speed does go up to 1.4 Ghz.  Note that this will probably reduce your battery life.  But, it’s still nice having this power.  Hopefully, this will help some of you struggling with this.