Showing posts from October, 2009

Kubuntu 9.10 - A short review

I installed it, works well. I missed openSUSE. Reinstalled.

Reinstalling Linux vs Reinstalling Windows

One of the unexpected side effects of running Linux is that you have the opportunity to grown and learn in areas you may not have expected. For example, I have learned so much of the intricacies of my operating system and read so many articles that my understanding of computers has expanded to levels I wasn't expecting. In contrast with Windows, sad to say, I felt I had been stagnating. When I speak to qualified, certified, experienced Microsoft engineers, when faced with a O/S issue, their response is to upgrade the ram, cpu or reinstall O/S. In fact, reinstall O/S is the most common bit of advice I hear from Microsoft People. Next to reboot, of course. The side effect of this is that you tend to interuupt your working Windows setup and you have to download a ton of apps and reinstall them. Antivirus, Web Browser, CD Writer, Chat Clients, Email, etc. Often you forget to backup shortcuts, documents, notes, etc, and they are lost forever. Its possible avoid this by storing

Logitech G15 Keyboard openSUSE 11.2 - follow up

Just a note to say its working beautifully. g15daemon has been automatically added to the startup services during boot. I didn't have to do that manually. It brings up a nice clock + date screen as default. I added g15stats to the startup apps manually and it has a number of screens related to memory / cpu / network usage etc. Will post photos soon.

openSUSE 11.2 RC and NVidia Drivers - follow up

Part of my problems on KDE4 were related to a bug in the Nvidia driver. This was fixed yesterday and a new version was released which fixes the bug. That's the link to the new version's release page. It fixes the bug I was having that made KDE4 unusable. Have been running it stable since installing this fix and I am very happy to be back on KDE4. I have been a long time Gnome user, but I absolutely admire the KDE guys who decided to re-architect a stable release and make it *WORK* more efficiently under the hood. Your hard work is paying off now as each release gets significantly better. On a related note, was glad to see the default choice for my openSUSE install *WAS* KDE. Thanks for listening guys.

openSUSE 11.2 RC and NVidia Drivers

Downloaded the Nvidia linux driver for my Nvidia 8800GT. Can only install it without X loaded so did a: init 3 when running the NVidia***.sh file, it complains that it can't compile a kernel so did the following cd /usr/src/linux make cloneconfig make prepare zypper in linux-kernel-headers kernel-syms module-init-tools make gcc sh -q Followed the prompts until it completed. Lastly did a: sax2 -r m 0=nvidia init 5 All of the above commands were run as root! For some reason, desktop effects in kwin under KDE4 are not working yet. Gnome + Compiz is accelerated, wobbly and pretty as all hell! Need to fix the kde4 kwin bling as I prefer Kde4 to Gnome current versions.

Logitech G15 Keyboard openSUSE 11.2

Got the LCD display on my logitech keyboard working well. As their is no built-in support for the keyboard in openSUSE 11.2 RC, I googled and found the site On their forum, I found packages for openSUSE in a user repository. I added the repo with the following (correct as of 24/10/2009). sudo zypper ar then followed by sudo zypper -r install g15daemon g15stats nextup sudo /usr/sbin/g15daemon lastly g15stats --interface eth0 --daemon Will post a follow-up once I make this autostart every bootup. So far works very well. I get 5 screens on the keyboard lcd from memory / swap stats to clock to eth0 stats, etc. All nice and readable. There are plugins for Songbird and other apps which I need to checkout. Haven't figured out how to attach Macro's to the extra function keys, as I haven't started to research that.

Windows 7 Thoughts

Its better than XP. Its better than Vista. I don't think it stacks up to OSX or Linux when it comes to speed or general responsiveness though. Didn't have much in the way of crashes although frequently encountered pauses / non-responsive apps which would appear dead, but then resume after a few seconds. Much simplified and usable configuration options compared to Vista. I found working with Vista like playing a really hard puzzle game. Nothing seemed to work in a logical way and there were too many screens to configure something as simple as a network. It was frustrating to work with compared to OSX or Linux and even XP. It still *IS* XP under the gloss though. The network domain reboots and frequent reboots after installing apps or patches make it unusable for me. I didn't use much of the Microsoft supplied apps, relying on open source equivalents for web browsing, downloading, music, podcasts,etc. During this time I also checked out Google Chrome. In the same

Upgrade from Windows 7 to OpenSUSE 11.2

I like the title of this post, because it certainly feels this way. I popped another drive into my machine and installed openSUSE 11.2 I was thinking about waiting for Ubuntu, but a beta openSUSE is just as stable as a release Ubuntu in my opinion so why wait? Its been a while since installing linux as my main o/s and it just gets easier. In comparison, my Windows 7 install seemed to take close to an hour with all the reboots and downloads of patches. openSUSE 11.2 took about 20 minutes and I don't remember seeing a reboot. There seems to be a point when it wants to reboot, but it seems to unload everything and then restart booting without a physical reboot. Pretty impressive. As usual all my hardware is detected correctly and I'm up and running with a minimum of fuss. To bring closure to my Windows 7 experience, I will make a final post about life with Win7. Overall it wasn't bad as I was expecting.

Windows 7 First Impressions

Not good initially. I deleted my boot hackintosh partitions, leaving one HPFS+ partition intact with all my data on. I booted the Windows install dvd and installed Windows 7 on the primary partition. Install progressed smoothly if a little slowly. After about an hour everything appeared to be running smoothly. On closer inspection, I found that the pc was crashing randomly within half an hour of bootup. "To hell with this..." said I and proceeded to wipe the installation and try openSUSE 11.2 RC1. Much to my dismay, openSUSE couldn't read the partition table to reformat the drives without erasing my data partition (HPFS) which I wanted to keep. So, reluctantly, back to the crashing W7. I got desperate and checked Intel's website to see what Bios updates were out that could help. Amazed to find that the board had numerous updates in 2009 fixing several stability issues. Mine was about 5 or 6 versions out of date. Considering that the Bios was only about 14

I loved my Hackintosh

So my wife has a Macbook and I bought some software for her which gave me a chance to see what the Mac is all about. After 6 months, I have reluctantly decided to go back to free software. Not that any of the experience was bad. On the contrary. Running OSX has been the best OS I have run in years! Better than Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mint and other desktop friendly linuxes for me and certainly faster than Vista and seemingly more capably. I was constantly surprised by how well it performed and of the ease of use. I know many people who swear and curse Mac users, but frankly, the criticism is not justifiable. I think its an awesome platform and I can see why there is so many users converting from Windows to Mac. Its not as hard as switching to Linux as its a very attractive and easy to use system for windows people. You will have more trouble adapting to the keyboard and mouse changes than to using most of the software. One of my favourite things about the system was the consistent

OSX Update

So, its been about 6 months that I have been using OSX as my principal O/S. I have finally decided to change. Not because of anything bad, mind you. Just, I realised that I can't run a Hackintosh forever. I have had a guilty feeling that I have been neglecting Linux for too long and so with Ubuntu 9.10 and OpenSUSE 11.2 around the corner, I decided to try Windows 7 before going back to Linux. After much hassles getting all my Mac data backed up, I have installed Windows 7. Its been about 24 hours since I started this little experiment and it was rocky at first. 1 day later and everything looks rosy for the time being. Its the final version and on my desktop pc its performing a lot better than on the Netbook. Before I go on to post too much about Windows, I want to spend a post or 2 on OSX.