What to do if youre mp3 player (Sanse e200 series) is stuck in read only in Ubuntu 8.10

Hi everyone,  I’m back from a long weekend.  I got myself a new Samsung m320 phone.  My old lg rumor screen just died.. I guess it couldn’t hold it’s own against my weight when i stepped on it.  They don’t make phones like they used to anymore.   Oh well.  I decided to go with a smaller phone that does what it was what it was meant for and only that… make calls.  The techie side of me was pushing me to get something like an instinct, or a black berry, but the graduate student side of me reminded me that paying $100 a month for the rest of my life is not a great choice economically.  Maybe if I figure out how to use that wireless signal with my laptop and home computer I’ll chose that over having  home dsl or cable. Well… most likely you’re not here to hear my blathering, so on with the guide.

How to fix the read only mp3 player problems (thanks to Ronnie from Full Circle Magazine)

  1. Plug in your Sansa e200 (or other mp3 player)
  2. Make sure it is mounted ( make sure it is recognized by ubuntu)
  3. Open a Terminal by going to Applications < Accessories < Terminal
  4. First you need to find out how your systems has recognized the  mounted device so type in the following command in terminal


5.  You will sometthing lik e this:

Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1 92196516 70846008 16667164 81% /
tmpfs 1032308 0 1032308 0% /lib/init/rw
varrun 1032308 216 1032092 1% /var/run
varlock 1032308 0 1032308 0% /var/lock
udev 1032308 2820 1029488 1% /dev
tmpfs 1032308 12 1032296 1% /dev/shm
lrm 1032308 2004 1030304 1% /lib/modules/2.6.27-11-generic/volatile
/dev/mmcblk0p1 1005600 32176 973424 4% /media/disk
/dev/sdb1 1938464 1905500 32964 99% /media/Sansa e250

6. notice that my sansa is recognized as /dev/sdb1.  Keep that in mind, and make sure you know what .  It is NOT the /media/Sansa e250 location. It should be at the beginning of the line right before all those numbers.

7.  Now type the following command in the terminal (make sure you change it to match your device):

sudo fsck.msdos -a /dev/sdb

8. Put in your password, okay the operation, and after this you should be able to drag files into your sansa e200 or whatever mp3 player you are using.

9. voila!


Top 5 Technological Aids for Students

I have been looking on line at all the things I (cannot afford) would like to eventually buy, and thought would be helpful. So interpret this more as “Top 5 Thinks I think Would Help Students”.

1. Western Digital Passport External HDD, $150.00 for 500gb – I have had one for most of this year, and it is essential for saving back ups of data, video for class, power points, and it’s small enough to always carry in my backpack or laptop bag. They have smaller versions that cost less (250 for 99.99).

website : http://www.wdc.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=9&language=en

2. Bebook Digital Reader, $279.99 – Unlike the Kindle and Sony Reader, this reader allows you to read pdf files and view jpgs. Although I do not have one, it seems like it would be useful for reading those hundred of research articles that are always sent to us. I hear that the battery life lasts forever as well.

Website : http://mybebook.com/

3. Touchbook netbook pc, $399.99 – Can’t decide between a netbook and a tablet pc? Well you may not have to choose.  The touchbook is not released yet but is set for a june/early summer release date.  According to the website it has many claims and I hope it can satisfy them.  Among it’s features,the screen can detach from the keyboard and becomes a touch screen tablet pc, it will turn on as fast as a cell phone (the arm processor is given credit for this), internal usb ports (to hide usb dongles), the battery will last from 10 to 15 hours, and it runs on open source. It must have been sent down by geek heaven.

Website: http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/

4. Pulse Smart Pen 149.95 1gb 199.95 2gb

The Pulse smartpen records audio and links it to what you write. If you miss a date or equation or start doodling you can tap on your notes or drawings with the tip of your Pulse smartpen to hear what was said while you were writing. So it record the audio and links it to what you write.  It also captures and digitized your notes! Neat! You also have to buy the speacial notebooks.

Website : http://www.livescribe.com/

5. Something fun to keep you Sane, $0 – $lots – This may be a music, a portable dvd, an ipod, a nintendo ds.  Remember as students, graduate students, and professors we need to have something fun to lighten our mood every now and then.



Don’t forget the classic way of relaxing as well, go for a walk or jog, take a class for fun, visit your family and friends, make enought time for your partner and family. By the way, just in case you were wonderin gwhat the non-ipod mp3 player was, it’s a 25 dollar 2 gig mp3 player that shows videos, has a built in digital camara for pics and recording, and more.  Try the following website out if you are in a budget but still would like to buy some geeky toys.


How to Play Mp3,DVD and other media formats in Ubuntu

I thought I would provide this considering I just posted some free music. This is actually one of the first things you might want to run after installing Ubuntu.

Open your terminal. Applications < Accessories < Terminal . Then copy the following text and paste it in the Terminal. To paste right click and then pick paste (ctrl +v does not work in the Terminal).

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Thanks to jmszr on the ubntu forums for this tip

If for some reason you come across a big blue box, scroll to the bottom and you will see . To get past this step, press the TAB key on your keyboard, then ENTER on your keyboard. This may not happen to you, since I was doing other random things on my system at the time of this installation.

6 Gigs of Free Legal Music Downloads

As students we often find creative ways to get new music.  Luckily there is a new option. The SXSX ’09  a Music Festival in Austin, Texas has been recently been going on, the music portion ends on March 22.  The festival is splict to three categories: film, video, and music. Their goal as stated on their website is:

SXSW’s original goal was to create an event that would act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to develop their careers, to bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas. That continues to be the goal today whether it is music, film or the Internet. And Austin continues to be the perfect location

Throughout music festival artists were allowed to publicly (this means free to you and me) post music on the SXSW website.  Luckily Ben Stoit collected all the music and posted them as torrents here.   Thanks for keeping us out of trouble with the RIAA for now Ben! Support this initiative of free legal music downloads by seeding this torrent after downloading.


Grading with Ubuntu

I find that grading sometimes requires me to stick to Windows XP while grading.  I received a template for student evaluations that requires mail merge so I have been currently been running virtual box in full screen mode without a hitch.  I installed Microsoft office (it came with my dell) and have no problem e-mailing and sending messages from my Windows installed on vbox.  It’s good to know that even though I’m still transitioning to Ubuntu, I have the option to go back to what I know.

I also recently also bouth a new used printer for my computer.  It’s an officejet 4200 series. It scans to pdf, copies, prints (wow!), and faxes.  It’s great! Ubuntu automatically recognized it and installed the print and fax options, but unfortunately I could not install the scan option.  I ended up doing this through windows xp in virtual box using the cd that came with the printer.

I also found a well known website in the process of searching for a printing cord.  I was able to score one for less than 2 dollars, and also bought my hdm cord, ipod cord, xbox 360 to vga cord, mini usb cord from monoprice.  Great prices for quality cords.  Most are less than $2 and usually don’t go over $8.  http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp

Happy Grading for Everyone on the Quarter system! and good luck with finals!

Small Tip of the Week for Beginners

Before Ubuntu completely stopped working last time I remember that the sound stopped working.  I heard a buzzing sound and freaked out, but no audio from any website, mp3 player, or video player.  I went to the forums, tried sudo this sudo that and ended  up losing a lot of the functionality my system had (usb devices stopped being recognized!).  Yesterday, I lost audio again and that buzzing sound came back!  This happened after usb started working with windows xp in virtual box (it randomly started to work after I installed Linux Mint and Ubuntu in virtual box).  Luckily I figured out a fix, it’s so easy it’s embarassing.  I’m not sure exactly what caused my sound to go in the first place but try this before freaking out and going to the forums.

    • Go to the little speaker icon on the top right of your screen.  Right-click the icon.  Choose open volume control.  Make sure PCM is all the way up, and that your Master volume control is at least in the middle.


      You are done….. Just goes to show you, sometimes we overcomplicate things.  If your sound didn’t work to start with then it may be an issue with not having a driver for your sound card.  In this case try this thread http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=205449 .

      Sort Columns in Open Office Spreadsheet while Keeping Rows Aligned

      I always forget how to do this, it may prove useful when you least expect it.

      Sort columns and keep rows aligned- I decided to add a fourth tip since it bugged me. In order to sort a column and keep everything else aligned highlight every cell you want to sort (usually you don’t highlight the titles to your columns).  Then simply go to Data < Sort and choose the colun in question. Pick if you want in ascending or descending.  You can even put a second and third column to sort after your first choice.