Joshua Davis Photography


The Pile: Thoughts, Life, and Photography of Joshua Davis

Fully Working Ubuntu with a Compaq Presario V2000

Edit: I no longer a Compaq Presario V2000, so I can no longer provide help for any issues you may be having with Ubuntu.

I’ve had good experiances with Compaq and Linux (except for Redhat), but getting Linux fully operational on my Presario V2000 laptop was another story. But I finaly got 3d and WiFi working. Here are the tutorials I used, one found at the Ubuntu forums, the other at

A Fast Way To Install ATIand NVIDIA Drivers

One of the first questions Linux users often ask, after installing their distro of choice, is “How do I install Nvidia drivers?” Although the process has been hit and miss in the past, one of the best solutions that I have come across is Envy for the Ubuntu distribution. The process is breathtakingly easy and works like a charm everytime. Since version 0.8.1 Envy now installs Ati drivers as well as Nvidia. The process is as easy as :


sudo dpkg -i envy_0.8.1-0ubuntu6_all.deb

then press Alt+Cntrl+F1 to kill X-Windows and type

at the terminal. From there press a few “Yes” and you have the latest stable Nvidia drivers installed on your computer. The program even brings you back into X-Windows. Envy is one very sweet script. The author of the program is Alberto Milone, better known as tseliot in the Ubuntu Forums. He was nice enough to answer to some questions on Envy, as well Ubuntu.

*Note for users of previous Envy versions you should first do these two steps before the installation of version 0.8.1

sudo aptitude purge envy

sudo rm -R /usr/share/envy

HOWTO: Broadcom 4318 Wireless Cards

This HOWTO is for people who have a Broadcom 4318 Wireless card in their laptop. This card can sometimes be a bit difficult to setup, so I have provided a working method (for me, anyway).

To check if you have a Broadcom 4318 Card, open up the terminal (click the Applications button, then Accessories, and then Terminal) and run (just copy and paste the code from the code boxes throughout the HOWTO [in the terminal, this is done by right click anywhere and clicking paste, ctrl+v doesn’t work])


lspci | grep Broadcom\ Corporation

If your output looks similar to


0000:05:02.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02)

or you can see the string BCM4318 in the output, then this should work for you.

Please note that this was really designed to be run on a very fresh install, right after Ubuntu has come up for the first time. It is mostly likely to work then. If you have tried other attempts at making this card work, I have no promises for you, but it only takes two minutes, so it is worth a shot (most people can get it to work, even on a not-so-fresh install).

The point of this HOWTO is to make it as simple as possible (not to educate people – if you want to know how this works, open the script and read it) for people who have just installed Ubuntu for the first time, so I wrote a script and have provided a set of drivers that worked for me. Not all drivers will work with ndiswrapper, so please use the ones I have provided.

The script requires no internet connection after it is downloaded…all required files are on the CD you installed Ubuntu with, and the package manager should recognize this.


Download…buntu2_all.deb and double click it to install. Reboot. Enjoy wireless.

Dapper and Edgy

  1. Put the CD that you installed Ubuntu with in the CD drive.
  2. Download this file to your Desktop (the Firefox default, so if you haven’t changed it, that’s where it went/will go).
  3. Open a terminal (click the Applications button, then Accessories, and then Terminal)
  4. Change the current directory to the desktop (copy and paste the following commands exactly into your terminal by right clicking anywhere on the terminal and clicking paste)


    cd ~/Desktop
  5. Extract the compressed file


    tar -xf bcm4318*.tar.gz
  6. Run the script, which will install ndiswrapper on your system, and set it up.


    sudo ./ndiswrapper_setup
  7. Use the internet (you will have to open the System menu at the top of the screen, go to Administration, and then click Networking. Configure the interface eth1 or wlan0, and connect to your wifi network)
  8. If you are an Acer user, you will need to use the acerhk driver.
  9. If it doesn’t work, reboot.
  10. If that doesn’t work, read the troubleshooting section below.
  11. If you still can’t make it work, try reading this post by The Raven, which is so long I can’t even fit it in here without doubling the length of the post

Filed under: Guides and Howtos

Capturing the Fourth

festival of fireworks displayAmerica’s Independence Day is almost here. With it comes hot dogs on the grill, fireworks, family, and friends. Maybe you don’t live in the US, if so these tips can still be used for any summer holiday. If you’re like most, there will be some memories you want to keep on film.

As a photographer, surely you’ll want to capture the fireworks. The shots you see in the chemistry book of multiple fireworks exploding are achieved using long exposures. Some are in excess of 5 seconds. With long exposures comes camera shake. So invest $15 in a tripod. If you’re broke use an improvised tripod device like a car roof, or tree stump.

Every year the place where I watch the firework has some incident, a stabbing, a literal mob… So my family always goes to a park near the show. If you want to take pictures, try getting away from the crowds, so you can have ample space to capture the show. And make sure to be away from obstructions such as trees and power lines.

Family, friends, and food, how do you capture it all? Try shooting in the late afternoon, and under a shady spot. This will lead to softer colors, and less chance of someones face being blown out from the harsh sunlight.

Food is the hardest subject to photograph. For a more flattering angle capture the food from the side, not from the top. If your camera has optical zoom, stand back, and zoom into the food, this increases depth of field*. Most of all have a great time, don’t spend so much time getting the perfect photo you have no fun.

*Depth of field is how blurry the background (and sometimes foreground) of an image is.

Filed under: Guides and Howtos


MyopiaAlmost anyone who has a Flickr, MySpace, Xanga, or other similar account has at least one self portrait. Why do people do self portraits? Some are narcissistic, others had no model, and others where plane ‘ol board. Whatever the reason self portraiture has a element of experimentation.

If you go through the streams of many users on Flickr who have a lot of self portraits you’ll see exponential improvement. And even among those users have hit “perfection” in their self portraits you’ll still see that there styles have evolved.

Many start with taking a picture of themselves in a mirror. While I’ve seen some really nice shots, the lighting in a bathroom is often times dim, and the mirror tends to distort the image. So what’s the next step, why not hand held shots? Hand held shots always produce something unique. Once you capture a certain angle you may not be able to get it again. And their easy to take.

A tripod and self timer on the camerae really allow you to experiment. You have ten seconds to pose, and the final image can look like you where working with a model. Even if you don’t have a tripod you could use a bed, dresser or other raised surface to replace a tripod.

A non cluttered background also helps to make your self portraits better. Sometimes you can use a plain white wall, curtains or other surface as the background. Other times a bed sheet will work will. You can hang it on curtain rod, use closepins to pin it to a to some other surface like a shelf or closet door.

Experimentation is the most important part of photography. Your audience wants to see something different, not the same old rehashed thing.

Filed under: Guides and Howtos

Five Ways to Get Your Photos Published

This blog has moved, you can view the post on .how to get your photos published here.

Filed under: Guides and Howtos