Saturday, October 27, 2007

New ATI fglrx Driver 8.42

I, like many of you, was really excited that ATI released a new driver that allowed AIGLX support. AIGLX allows you to run Beryl, Compiz or Compiz-Fusion without XGL. Intel and NVIDEA users have been able to do this for over a year. I have an EVGA 7600GT in my desktop and AIGLX is a pleasure to run. Unfortunately, the driver came out too late to be included as the default ATI driver in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. You can compile the driver yourself.

I couldn't get the 8.42 driver to work for me after multiple attempts. I was willing to keep on trying until I get this e-mail from a reader named Christopher:

"hibernate/suspend does not work with the new 8.42.3 ati driver. Andfor anyone reading this, i've installed the new driver and though it isa great step forward, i'd stick with the xgl setup in gutsy. The newdriver does eliminate the need for xgl, but its much slower, and notworth it. I eventually took it out, and reverted back to the old setup,trust me its dog slow, you dont want it just yet. Give these guysanother 6 months and maybe well have a decent ati driver by then."

I think I'm going to use the repo ATI driver this release. XGL isn't pretty, but it's relatively fast and does work. I'd love to hear if any of you got the 8.42 driver working and any impressions you have regarding it's performance. For now, I'm going to use XGL for my Compiz-Fusion needs.

edited by pHreaksYcle

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Dirty Little Secret

I owned two Dell Inspiron 1501s, one running Ubuntu and the other running Windows XP. That's right, I was a stupid 1501 owner who ran Windows.

It's my ex girlfriend's fault, she used the the one with Windows XP as her main PC. I never could convince her to use Ubuntu. Once we broke up I sold the Windows 1501 to my kid sister, she kept Windows on it too. Chicks don't dig Linux (wtf aren't you supposed to be smarter then us ladies?). I still see my bastard Windows 1501 all the time. I miss her; could of put Fedora on her and blogged on fedora1501.blogspot.com too.

Long story short, her AC adapter broke so I gave her mine. Dell is sending me a new one in a couple of days but until then I won't be doing much on the 1501.

Sorry guys, I should be a good blogger and write up a way to get the new ATI Driver, 8.42.3, running on the 1501 but I'd rather be a better big brother. Look at the kid, how could you be mean to her?

edited by pHreaksYcle

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Upgrade or Fresh Install?

People have been asking me whether or not they should upgrade their Feisty installs or do a completely new install for Gutsy. My answer is that you should install Gutsy fresh. There are 3 main reasons for doing this:

1. You don't have to worry about 3rd Party Repositories. If you have Wine, Skype, Opera, Mediabuntu or any other 3rd party repo installed you have to make sure they are ready for Gutsy and get updated as well. Some 3rd party repos might not be as easy to update as others.

2. If you have any Compiz-Fusion running on your Feisty install you'll have to completely uninstall it, remove the 3rd party repo you installed it from and reinstall Ubuntu-desktop and the Feisty version of Compiz. There is no way around this. If you don't do all these steps right, you are going to run into a lot of problems with Compiz-Fusion in Gutsy. All Compiz-Fusion guides for Feisty where hacky (including mine) and have potential to cause these conflicting install & dependency problems.

3. I LOVE Ubuntu, but updating it from one version to another sucks and doesn't work. I'm sure people will argue this with me, but they're full of it. Upgrading is a real pain and posses too many problems and complications to ever be a realistic choice. If you want things to work like there supposed to install it fresh. Gutsy is totally worth the work. If one thing is broken during the update you run the risk of losing your ability to actually use Ubuntu. While in Linux everything is fixable, but if you aren't comfortable with the command line you run the risk of completely hosing your system and not being able to get your data back.


Tips for Installing Gutsy
1. Have your Home folder on a different partition.
2. Back up your Home folder.
3. Back up your Home folder. (Not a typo, its so important it needs to be said twice)
edited by pHreaksYcle

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

redDEAD's Other Blog

For the last couple of months I've been writing another blog not related to Ubuntu, Linux or the Dell Inspiron 1501. It's been a nice place for me to blow off steam, post pictures and share stuff that I find funny or amusing. It's definitely NSFW, not safe for work. I curse, there is nudity, chicks dancing very seductively, drawn genitalia, racist porn stars, homage to the karate kid and a guide on not getting beat up by the police. It's not a very good blog or a terribly interesting must read, but it is a nice place to visit if you want to laugh or see the inner workings of my mind. Bookmark it, share it with friends etc. Please don't visit if you are easily offended or not old enough to buy cigarettes.

Learn a little more about redDEAD (click the picture)
blog
edited by pHreaksYcle

Monday, October 15, 2007

Suspend/Hibernate Not Working Due To ATI Driver

*Update suspend & hibernate still not working with newer ATI drivers.

From Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Release Notes:

Suspend to RAM with fglrx
Attempting to suspend to RAM using the "fglrx" ATI video driver from the restricted component will hard-lock the system due to changes in the kernel's memory allocator (which will be the default in Linux 2.6.23) that have not been followed by ATI in a timely fashion; we do not have the resources to support more kernel flavours to support a single outdated driver at this point. Workarounds include remaining on Ubuntu 7.04, avoiding suspending to RAM, or using the free ATI driver. Bug #121653

Gutsy Gibbon Release Notes

Thanks Tyler & Adrian for the heads up, keep reading and thanks for contributing. I will post an update as soon as the bug gets squashed.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ubuntu Now Taking Orders for Free Gutsy CDs

There are many reasons to love Ubuntu, besides being the best operating system out and being free (as in freedom) Ubuntu also will send you FREE (as in money) copies of it's releases.

This morning I woke up and discovered that Ubuntu is taking pre-orders for its upcoming Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon release.

shipit


By going to Ubuntu's ShipIt website You can order your copies of the PC Edition or 64-bit PC Edition. Ubuntu can ship you multiple CDs but the default is two discs. Good thing is you can mix and match between the two. I picked up one PC and one 64 bit. I might actually try the 64 bit again. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wireless in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

Wireless for the Dell Inspiron 1501 now works out of the box in Gutsy Gibbon. It's a simple graphical install that requires four clicks of a mouse. The Ubuntu Restricted Driver Manager does all the work for you. After installing Ubuntu 7.10 you need to run the Restricted Driver Manager; you can find it in System>Administration>Restricted Driver Manager.

*Quick note if you update your install of Gutsy and wifi no longer works, it's a simple matter of running the Restricted Driver Manager over again.

You will see this:
restricted_driver

Next you just need to click on the enable box. Then you will see this:
broadcom_splash

Simply click on the Enable Firmware button. The Restricted Driver Manager will now ask you to Specify Firmware Location:
driver_selection

You now have two choices.
1.- To use a local file for the firmware or to download it from the internet. Using a local file doesn't require you to connect an ethernet cable to the your Dell 1501 but you will have to download a file before installing Gutsy.
2. - Downloading from the internet requires you to connect an ethernet cable to the your Dell 1501 to establish an internet connection before you can download the firmware.

To use a local file you have to download the firmware for the Broadcom 43xx chipset family, before you install Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. You can find the driver here Click the OK button and WiFi works.

If you can plug an ethernet cable into your Dell 1501 you can simply choose download from internet. Click the OK button and WiFi works.

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon makes setting up WiFi a much simpler process then Edgy & Feisty, you no longer need to downloading debs from untrusted sites or set up ndiswrapper. It's four clicks of a mouse button. Dell 1501 owners can now rejoice, it's impossible to screw up the wifi setup.
edited by pHreaksYcle

Last.fm & Ubuntu

What it is?
Last.fm is the world's largest social music platform with over 20 million active users based in more than 232 countries. Using a unique music recommendation system known as "Audioscrobbler", Last.fm builds a detailed profile of each user's musical taste by recording details of all the songs the user listens to, either on the streamed radio stations or on the user's computer or portable music device. This information is transferred to Last.fm's database ("Scrobbled") via a plug-in installed into the users' music player. The profile data is displayed on a personal web page. The site offers numerous social networking features and can recommend and play artists similar to the user's favourites.

Users can create custom radio stations and playlists from any of the audio tracks in Last.fm's music library, but are not able to listen to individual tracks on demand, or to download tracks unless the rightsholder has previously authorized it. Registration is required to acquire a profile but is not necessary to view any part of the site or to listen to radio stations.
From Wikipedia.org

To sign up to get a Last.fm Profile

How to integrate Last.fm into your jukebox in Linux
In Amarok you just need to go to the Settings>Configure Amarok and then scroll down to the last.fm icon.
lastfm

In Rhythmbox, go to Edit>Plugins then select the Last.fm Plugin.
rhythbox_lastfm

Last.fm Player

lastfm_player
The player allows the user to enter the name of any artist or tag which then gives a choice of a number of similar artist stations, or similar global tag stations. Alternatively, Recommendation radio or any of the user's personal radio stations may be played without the necessity to visit the website.

The player displays the name of the station and track currently playing, the song artist, title and track length as well as album details, the artist's photo and biographical details, album cover art when available, lists of similar artists and the most popular tags and top fans. There are several buttons, allowing the user to love, skip, or ban a song. The love button adds the song to the user's loved tracks playlist; the ban button ensures that the song will not be played again. Both features affect the user's profile. The skip button does not. Other buttons allow the user to tag or recommend the currently playing track. Other features offered by the application are: minor editing of the user's profile including removing recently played artists and songs from the loved, banned, or previously played track lists; lists of friends and neighbours, lists of tags and a list of previously played radio stations. Users can also open their full Last.fm profile page directly from the player.
From Wikipedia.org

To get the Last.fm Player:
sudo apt-get install lastfm

This is basically the only radio I listen to anymore. I enter an artist I like and it makes great recommendations. I have found a lot of new music through Last.fm

You can find me on Last.fm here.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Excessive hardrive activity in Gutsy Beta???

Some people have been emailing and instant messaging me about excessive hard drive activity on their Dell Inspiron 1501 with Gutsy, even after disabling "Tracker" and having nothing running in the background. The problem is described as a weird hard drive noise every few seconds while the HD light goes on. They are reporting that this does not happen with their Windows XP and Vista Partitions.

I am not getting any weird noises or excess hard drive activity from my 1501. I'm guessing that it can either be from the problem being isolated to a small subsection of users, or the fact that I upgraded my hard drive a while ago, so I cannot really be of much help.

If anyone is getting weird noises or excessive hard drive activity with Gutsy on their 1501, leave a comment.
edited by pHreaksYcle