Crazy Bluetooth issues on Linux with Bose QC35 headphones

For a while, I simply could not get my Bose QC35 headphones to connect to my Thinkpad while running Ubuntu Linux. I had the hack some crap to get them working. I'm not quite sure why Bluetooth is still a pain in the ass on Linux, but it is by far the worst experience ever for me. I thought Apple was bad with handling Bluetooth, but Linux wanted to prove me wrong.

I actually have forgotten most of what I did, as it was over weeks of working on it that I finally got the stuff working properly. So, I will post here what I have changed and edit this post as I remember crap. I'm sure I'll need to remember how I did this in the future as well.

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External monitors with xrandr and a Lenovo Thinkpad Pro Dock

Recently, I purchased a nice new Lenovo ThinkPad T460s. Naturally, I'm running Ubuntu on it and maintaining my new venture into using the i3 window manager. One problem that I ran into with this was when docking the ThinkPad at work. I wanted to use an external monitor that was plugged into the dock. Since i3 doesn't manage things like this for you, I had to hook into some events that know when the laptop has been docked and undocked and then use xrandr to hook up the external monitor. This is how I managed to make it work. Albeit, with a few bugs...

First, you need to create a script that will handle your xrandr commands. I called this script manage-monitor.sh and I put it inside of /etc/acpi/.

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i3 window manager

Lately, a buddy of mine, joshtronic, has been getting back into the Linux world after a short hiatus using OSX. During this process, he has been trying different distributions as well as desktop environments and window managers. We both had a stint using xmonad for a while and we both really enjoyed using it. This time, he decided to try i3wm. This sort of inspired me to try it out myself as well... I figured I would make some notes on some of the things I did to get it in a usable state for myself.

The desktop

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How to save VPN passwords with NetworkManger

I was having a lot of trouble with NetworkManager not saving my VPN group and user passwords. I'm guessing this is a bug and I did see some references to launchpad bugs while doing my googling to find a solution. However, it took me a while to figure it out. It requires a little editing of the system-connection files.

If you look in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/, you will see your connection files. Open one of them and change a few of the settings. The two settings I had to change/add were:

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Hide gnome-terminal menubar in gnome3 on Ubuntu 11.10

So, lately I have been using Ubuntu 11.10 inside of Parallels on my Mac. I have really enjoyed using Gnome 3. It is a vast improvement over the Gnome 2. The reason I left Linux and started using a Mac was specifically the desktop experience. I loved Linux up until around the year 2007 and I started using a Mac then because I realized the desktop wasn't going anywhere. Gnome was stuck in the 1990's and KDE is just simply an odd experience, not very intuitive and kind of reminds me of a bubble gum pop star, but without the sex appeal.

So, fast forward to today and now I find Gnome to be completely usable. I love the Activities pane. I love how it manages virtual desktops. I love the "dock" and how it only shows up in Activities mode. I love the quick search Gnome-Do like application finder. I love the notifications and how well some apps like Empathy uses it. I'm pretty happy so far... I'm going to run it in Parallels for a while at home and at work and if I find myself happy enough, I may switch back to Ubuntu full time... although, not on the MacBook Air. It's kind of a miserable experience installing it natively on one...

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