How to switch Firefox Java plugin to Sun Java on Ubuntu Linux

When I recently tried to open my favourite Java webcam applet in Firefox on Ubuntu Natty 11.04, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t working. Issues with legacy Java applications are common these days, now that the Java world is moving towards OpenJDK as the future standard. In certain cases, like my issue with the webcam applet above, you may still have to use an older version of Java, however. This will tell you how to install Sun Java 6 and set your system to use it as the default virtual machine for local Java applications and web applets in your browser… [...]

How to install Realtek RTL8188CE WiFi drivers (ThinkPad Edge 13) on Ubuntu Natty 11.04

After a two-week long battle trying to get Realtek’s RTL8188CE WiFi network card to work on Ubuntu Natty 11.04, countless reinstalls and email exchanges with Realtek’s customer support, I finally managed to get Realtek’s PCI Express Mini WiFi card to establish a stable connection. I figured I’d share my findings with the world and save other users some trouble.

Realtek’s RTL8188CE card uses the RTL8192CE chipset, which can be found in different kinds of Lenovo ThinkPad Edge laptops. Although drivers for the RTL8192CE chipset are included in Natty’s kernel, they don’t work reliably with a number of chipsets. This shouldn’t be a problem, since you can always just compile and install the official Realtek drivers yourself, right? Well, yes, you can. And in fact this worked quite well on Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) and Ubuntu Maverick (10.10). If you’re on Natty, however, you can’t simply install the original Realtek drivers over the ones already present. Also, Realtek offers two different versions of the 8192CE driver. Which is the right one to choose? Let’s take a look… [...]