Adventures In Computing

May 6, 2008

Install Fest Part Two

Filed under: Asus, Compiz-Fusion, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Linux, Mandriva, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:52 pm

A week ago tomorrow I installed Ubuntu on a friends computer. I also had to install a DVD burner in my friends computer. I had issues with the new DVD writer and the CD writer. After screwing around with them I figured that I did something stupid and I should not have made this stupid mistake. Both the DVD writer and the CD writer were set as masters. All my ROM issues were resolved when I set the CD to slave. What a stupid mistake on my part.

After this install I decided to take a break from computing. I can be quoted as saying “I hate computers”. I have taken a break from working on computers. This has lasted until Saturday. I survived five days without working on my computers. After work on Saturday I installed Ubuntu 8.04 64 bit on one of my computer and the eeePC also has Ubuntu 8.04 on it.

I had tried the Ubuntu server kernel on a 32 bit install so that I could use all of my 4GB RAM. I could not get the goodness of desktop effect because I could not get the Nvidia driver to work. This computer being very vain, needed the Compiz-Fusion effect.

I did not like that when I was using my eeePC every time I booted the laptop I had to mount my samba shares. This computer has only 8 GB of memory so I use the hard drive of another computer to save my large files. Ubuntu does this automatically so I switched it to Ubuntu. I have noticed that with the desktop effects on UbuntuI can pay video and there is no jerkiness like there was on Mandriva.  There are quite a few How-To guides out there so do a google search and you’ll have a brand spanking new Ubuntu OS on the eeePC.

I have also installed DSL (Damn Small Linux) on an older IBM notebook. There is a learning curve here.  I might install it on an other older computer that only has 32 MB of RAM and I can’t find anything else that will install on it.

April 20, 2008

eeePC Video With Compiz-Fusion

Last time when I left you I still had to figure out how to get my video working on the eeePC when with either the Metisse or Compiz-Fusion activated in the Mandriva 2008.1 operating system.  I am glad to say that after a bid of searching I figure it out thanks to the Compiz-Fusion forum and google.  I should really say that I got it working with Compiz-Fusion not Metisse yet.  After using it for a little while I turned of the 3D effects because it was slowing down the eeePC.  I’ll only use it to impress friends, family and people that I`ll try to convert to GNU/Linux from Windows.

I’ll never go back to Windows in its present form.  Next Month will mark two full years with a GNU/Linux operating system as my personal choice.  I’ve tried a few distribution, starting with openSUSE and at the moment using Ubuntu and Kubuntu and Mandriva.  I’ve tried Fedora, Elive, GoblniX, openGEU, linux mint and Foresight.  I even tried the Xandros on my eeePC.  I have tried a few BSD Unix distributions.  All these “alternative” operating systems are a lot more secure than Windows.  They are cheaper than Windows.  Almost every applications in Linux are free, well the ones I use are.  No anti virus to install.  Computers that are older than five years are still usable. With that said I can safely say that their is no way that I’ll return to Windows in its present form.

The main reason that a lot of people hate Windows Vista so much is that it is different from Windows XP and a lot of computer users do not want to learn how to do things differently.  They want to use the path with the least resistance.  This is also the major reason that GNU/Linux is still a marginal operating system.   It is great that eeePC comes with Linux.  Dell comes with Ubuntu pre-install.  I think that if Windows does come out with Windows 7 next year it will get a lot of people switching to Linux. 

The time is now to switch to a GNU/Linux operating system.  If you are on the fence trying to decide just go for it, and stick with it for a few months and you will be glad you did.  It does not matter which one you choose they are all fine distributions.  With the money you save by not buying software you can buy a Video Console for all your gaming needs.  This is the only shortfall Linux has in my opinion.  It is getting better but it is not there yet.

April 18, 2008

Mandriva 2008.1 On eeePC

Filed under: Asus, Compiz-Fusion, EeePC, GNU/Linux, KDE, Linux — Normand Bissonnette @ 12:02 am

I finished the internet install of Mandriva 2008.1 on my eeePC.  I ended the last post with 2hrs and 43 minutes left in the install of Mandriva according to the GUI.  I think that I have been through a time warp because it only took an hour to finish the install.  It took a total of 2hrs and 15 minutes for the install.  I tried it out and almost everything worked.  I did not realise that the internet install was the free install and instead of having the nonfree-flash application it had the gnash.  Gnash still has bugs.  When I was trying the Metisse window manager I could not play video, all I got was a black screen, the same can be said when I was using Compiz-Fusion.

I took a break and went to donate blood.  Please do the same.  When I got back home I decided to re install Mandrake 2008.1 the One version not the Free version.  I used an external CD this time and the install only took about 10 minutes.  This time I can view video on YouTube but I still did not have video when I used Metisse or Compiz-Fusion.  I disabled the 3D effects since the eeepc will be my portable video player.

My first impressions of Mandriva is nice looking and seems to do everything I want in a ultra portable notebook.  I have to figure out what to do with the video problem and that seems to be the only tweaking to be done.

February 28, 2008

VirtualBox Bug in Ubuntu and GoblinX

Filed under: Compiz-Fusion, GoblinX, Ubuntu, VirtualBox — Normand Bissonnette @ 11:14 pm

As you know, being a faithful reader of Adventures in Computing, last weekend I wanted to try GoblinX but the CD I burned was corrupt and I did not have anymore at home. Well after writing the last post I tried GoblinX in a virtual cd drive in VirtualBox and VirtualBox could not capture my mouse. After googling it, I found out that their is a bug in the latest version of VirtualBox when it is used in Ubuntu with desktop effects and according to VirtualBox there is no solution to this critical problem. I have a very simple solution: turn off desktop effects and it works fine.

I have tried GolblinX as a liveCD and I like what I saw and what it did. I did try to install it using the HDinstaller that comes on the disc and I could not I did not have root privileges. I did not feel like work hard that night so I did not fool with it like I should have. I will work on it this weekend when I have more time. GoblinX looks good no matter which desktop environment you prefer. I have never used fluxbox so this is what I am going to try.

I am going to cut this post short because my supper is ready and I am hungry, hungry like the wolf as some would say.

September 22, 2007

Procrastination Works Again

Filed under: Compiz-Fusion, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 12:45 pm


My compiz-fusion desktop effects on my lap top are working again. As you know after an update on the 13th of September it had stopped working. Last week another update still not working. This morning another update to compiz and shazam it works. I was hoping this was going to happen, since compiz-fusion is still in development.

So the power of positive thinking wins again. I believed that compiz-fusion would fix itself and voila it happened. Buy the the book “The Secret” and wonderful stuff will happen to you, better yet just think and believe you will get “The Secret” and you get the book just by the power of wishful thinking.

Enough of this bull.

September 21, 2007

New Name Blog

Filed under: Compiz-Fusion, Foresight Linux, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:59 am

For those of you that are regular readers of this blog, you will have noticed the new name. I have gotten rid of the “… and life” in the title of this post. If you want to read my quirky views of life, you’ll have to go to the No Name Blog.

You’ll notice that there are a lot more posting on that blog than this one, and that is because I have less time than I used to with which to experiment with my computers.

Anyways there is nothing new on the compiz-fusion front. It still does not work on my lap top. I have tried Foresight linux for about half an hour last night, I wanted to see and try gnome 2.2. It is alright, but for some reason I was not comfortable with its package manager. I’ll try to work with it some more at a later date.

I guess that is it for today. Go to the No Name Blog later today for a brand new post. I have Posted four times this week already, it is a marathon of posts. Will I stay the course. Go and see. Bye.

September 17, 2007

A Quick One

Filed under: Compiz-Fusion, Gnome, GNU/Linux, iPod, Linux, Rockbox, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:42 pm

Just a quick one to keep you up to date. I still haven’t gotten compiz-fusion working on the lap top. I haven’t really tried to do anything about it yet.

I like what I can do with Rockbox on my iPod but after trying it for half a day I noticed that it is harder on the battery that the original firmware from Apple. I’ll be using the original from Apple for my everyday use, and Rockbox will be to impress people and something to do in my spare time. I hope that we can update our firmware so that we have the same as the iPod classic.

As I said this is a quick post. No pictures this time.

September 15, 2007

Damn Those Updates

Filed under: Compiz-Fusion, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 1:14 am


Last post I was proud to announce that I finally got compiz-fusion working on my lap top. Yesterday their was an update for compiz-fusion. It don’t work no more! I haven’t taken the time to try and fix it, hopefully it is nothing major. I can turn it on but after a few seconds it kicks me out back to my regular metacity windows manager with no eye popping desktop.

The desktop effects the compiz-fusion are totally useless for productivity but they keep me amused and happy, and you know what they say: “an amused and happy Norm is a lot better than a pissed off and angry Norm.” It’s true they all say that, I’m not lying. Check it out you’ll see.

That it for now. I had a long day and in a few hours I have to be at work.

September 12, 2007

With A Little Help From My Friends

Filed under: Compiz-Fusion, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 12:14 am

I finally have gotten compiz-fusion working on Kramer, my Dell Vostro 1500 laptop (as if you didn’t already know). I hadn’t tried installing it until yesterday because when I tried running the desktop effects I lost the borders and headers, so I knew that I would lose them again if I tried compiz-fusion. Also this is the second computer that I have installed the nVidia drivers through Envy and when I try compiz-fusion my computer freezes. Kramer was no exception. I had almost decided to give it a rest and try another day when I found this site (click here). I try the few trouble shooting he has at the end and low and behold everything works. Thank you Kevin van Zonneveld, I am happy and so is Kramer.

Now that I have started writing more, the thing that annoys me the most about a laptop is that when I am typing and I accidentally brush the touch pad I change the cursors’ position and I am typing at the wrong place. The Vostro does not have a “turn off” function key for the touch pad so I had to find something else. With the help of Christer Edwards I have a solution for this. You have to make sure that in the xorg.conf you have SHMConfig “On”. The run the command: syndaemon -d -t -i 2 which basically turns off the touchpad 2 seconds after the last keystroke, so no more accidentally moving the cursor when typing.

From these two examples of solving annoyance in Ubuntu you can see that the is community support. If you are willing to try Ubuntu and willing to stick with it for a few weeks you’ll be glad you tried.

On to other matters, since I started writing the No Name Blog this one has no contained allot of life segment, only the computing segments are present. I’ll sorta want to keep it this way, but let me mention that tomorrow I’ll be giving blood and I would like it if most of you could donate when you can. During my fathers last few month he was getting at least 2 pints a week so I intend to pay the Canadian Blood Services back with interest. 26 weeks time 2 pints equals 52 pints. I can give 1 pint every 3 months so that is 4 pints a year, so in thirteen years I’ll start paying the interest. Please give.

Last week I decided to lose weight and I’ve started. I want this out there so that I cannot deny it in a few weeks if I don’t see results. If there was a Canadian Weight Services I would be glad to them some of mine.

That’s it for now, see you next time.

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