Acer Aspire L5100 won't boot - black display only

Posted on September 14th, 2014 by David Luhman and tagged .

My desktop Acer Aspire L5100 (purchased Jan. 2009) was having sporadic boot problems, and then finally wouldn't boot at all. Upon power-on, there was no display from the BIOS or any other feedback on the screen.

I had seen some problems like this after the machine went into hibernation, but I don't believe that was the case here.

Upon doing a bit of Internet research, I opened the case and checked the motherboard's battery. After pulling one screw holding the DVD/HD unit, I uncovered the battery. The CR2032 battery only had about 1.5 volts instead of its 3.0 volt rating.

Network interfaces for Ubuntu VirtualBox guest on Windows host

Posted on August 14th, 2014 by David Luhman and tagged .

To work effectively and relatively securely on a VirtualBox guest system, the guest needs two network adapters - a NAT and a host-only adapter. The NAT interface allows talking out to the internet, and the host-only adapter allows ssh and http in from the host.

However, it seems that Ubunt/Debian only recognizes one network interface on system installation.

So to get two interfaces on the guest, I found the following to work :

Getting an entry-level job in computer programming

Posted on May 4th, 2014 by David Luhman and tagged , , , .

A young man who's studying computer science in college asked me for information regarding how to get an internship in the software industry. Here's what I told him :

There is great demand for programmers with a bit of experience. You just need to get a bit of the right (or desired) experience.

I think there are several ways to do this :

Upgrading Drupal 7 PHPTemplate-based themes to Drupal 8

Posted on July 21st, 2013 by David Luhman and tagged .

I'm looking to start trying out Drupal 8. But I need some themes for display.

Here's a couple good articles on how to handle this :

For my current D7-based themes, looks like I have a couple options :

- Modify "slightly" the PHPTemplate-based themes and use them mostly as-is.

- Run the PHPTemplate-based theme thru "Twigify" at

College and open source (Drupal)

Posted on July 18th, 2013 by David Luhman and tagged , .

Here's a response to Open Source: The New College!

Although I have two bachelor's and one master's degree, I've been blogging for a while about the declining value of a college education.

Follow-up on Ubuntu apt sources.list in Amazon Web Services

Posted on March 24th, 2013 by David Luhman and tagged , .

This is a follow-up to a previous post where I was having trouble running apt-get as part of the initial boot process for a new AWS instance.

I actually never could automatically load packages using the recommended workaround of using apt_mirror :


When I'd check the cloud-init log at /var/log/ apt-get would just sort of silently fail.

Getting Ubuntu cloud-init to work in an Amazon (AWS) VPC

Posted on March 16th, 2013 by David Luhman and tagged , , .

Ubuntu's cloud-init is a mechanism which can be used to provision a new instance upon initial boot. I imagine cloud-init can be used in many environments, but I'll focus on its use in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

You can invoke cloud-init in at least a couple ways :

- shell, with a lead line of #!/bin/sh
- cloud-init, with a lead line of #cloud-config

Amazon Web Services PHP SDK 2 - "Hello AWS" sample

Posted on March 11th, 2013 by David Luhman and tagged , .

I was able to install the AWS PHP SDK 2 on Ubuntu 12.04 using Composer.

Here's a simple script which will show sample output from the EC2 Describe commands :

Amazon Web Services SDK for PHP 2 Documentation

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by David Luhman and tagged , .

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the new SDK for PHP 2 for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is kind of lacking in documentation. Since the PHP SDK 2 for AWS is pretty new (November, 2012), hopefully this lack of documentation will be addressed. However, here are some notes which will help me and hopefully others.

At least for now, I'll focus on EC2 examples and code as that's what I need at the moment.

Amazon Web Services SDK for PHP 1 vs. SDK for PHP 2

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by David Luhman and tagged , .

I'm pretty new to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and especially "managing" AWS through PHP, so hopefully this will help me and others.

There are apparently two ("1" and "2") PHP-based SDKs available to manage AWS with PHP. It looks like version two was announced in November, 2012.

When the PHP SDK 2 was released, it seemed like it didn't support as many AWS features as PHP SDK 1, but now SDK 2 seems to support all AWS features, including new ones like OpsWorks.

So which one is better?