Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Computer

I got my new computer built! Yay!
Here's the specs:
Motherboard: Intel D975XBX2
cpu: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
ram: 2GB (another GB is on the way. Will be here today or tomorrow.)
Video: Nvidia GeForce 8500GT (PCI Express)
Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy 4 (also have integrated Intel Audio)
Drives: 250GB SATA HDD
LiteOn DVD burner
Fans: 4 LED fans, 1 regular fan.
This computer is very fast. The only problem is that the CPU gets very hot. It idles around 48 - 55 degrees Celsius. XP and Kubuntu both scream on this thing. Holy crap. Games are very fast too. Doom 3 and Warhammer can both be run on the highest settings with no problems. Haven't tried RE4 on here yet but I'm sure it'll do fine.

Ok... I did something bad. I installed Windows Vista Ultimate. It installed in about 16 1/2 minutes. XP took 12. Not bad considering how huge Vista is.
I'm very ashamed to say this.. but Windows Vista is actually pretty nice. Its a lot more stable and probably faster than XP (if you have the right hardware). My only complaints about are that it asks you permission for every little thing and that Telnet was removed from the command prompt. I use telnet for my router. They could have at least replaced it with SSH. Anyways.. I installed Putty and took care of that problem.

In other news, Dell is now offering Ubuntu computers. Yay! Check it out.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Feisty is Awesome

I got my Kubuntu Feisty CDs in the mail a couple of weeks ago and holy crap it's awesome. They've really made things a lot easier. One thing I really like is that if you type in a command for a program that isn't installed on your computer, it tells you what you need to install as opposed to just letting you figure it out on your own.
Here's an Example:
donkey@kubuntu:~$ fglrxinfo
The program 'fglrxinfo' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx
Make sure you have the 'restricted' component enabled
bash: fglrxinfo: command not found

Also, all of the software is very up to date and there is much more software avalable in the repositories.

But I must say, the greatest thing about this release is that it required less configuration to get it working the way I need it too. It 'just worked'. It even loaded the 686 kernel by default. Who uses 386 anymore? However I did have to edit my xorg.conf. It still sets my resolution to the maximum supported by my monitor. It's a 17 inch monitor but it supports 1600x1200. (I've even seen it go higher with some distros)
It's hard to read anything at that resolution.

I'm not using ATI's driver because the open source driver is pretty nice in Feisty. I was able to get AIGLX and Beryl working with the open source driver without any problems.
Then... I did something bad. I installed all kinds of stuff to make my Kubuntu look exactly like the evil Wind0ze Vista. I didn't do it because I think Vista is nice. Vista really sucks. However it does look halfway decent and I'm getting the aero experience for free. I also did it to prove a point. Aero requires a very powerful computer. I'm running Beryl on an 8 year old computer with the following specs without any problem:
CPU: Intel Celeron 1.1GHz (coppermine) - 100MHZ front side bus
RAM: 384 MB PC133
Video: Radeon 9250 (AGP)
Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy 4
240 watt PSU

It runs great. I haven't tried Vista, nor do I plan to. I know it wouldn't work on this computer. I am planning to build a very high end computer withing the next two weeks that would definitely be able to run it (Core 2 Duo and Radeon X1650), but I certainly wont be installing Vista. I don't even have Vista. It's expensive and crappy. I also hear the pirated versions aren't that great. Windows is good for only one thing - games. And the only reason for that is because it's the platform games are made for. The same games could run even better on linux using OpenGL. I really think game and software developers should get together and decide to completely drop support for Wind0ze. Focus on an operating system that has a future. Also, don't forget the Mac. OS X is just as capable as linux (mostly).

Well.. that's enough of my M$ rant.

Update: Since writing this I have ordered the parts for my new computer. I went with a Geforce 8500GT instead of ATI. I'm expecting it to be here in about a week. It all cost me about $884.
I'm poor now :(

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Dude. You're going to hell.

Yeah, it's happening. Sometime in the next couple of months Dell will be offering desktops with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled as an alternative to Windows. This is great news for the linux community and for people planning to buy a new computer. Dell already makes cheap computers. Offering Ubuntu as an alternative and subtracting the cost of Vista or ecks pee will only make them cheaper (also faster and more stable). The first version they will be offering is 7.04 feisty. I just hope they hurry and get it out before the next release. I wonder how Dell plans to keep up with the 6 month release cycle. It's going to be a lot more work than keeping up with Wind0ze. I wonder if they will also give customers a choice between Ubuntu and Kubuntu. Will They combine them and simply allow the customer to pick when they turn on the computer? We'll see.
Up until now I've hated Dell computers. Mainy because of the BIOS, but also the preinstalled Windows. Dell is on their way to becoming my favorite computer company. They just need to get rid of that damn Dell BIOS.

All of this is thanks to their site, Dell IdeaStorm, where thousands of people stated that they want Linux on the desktop. Go there and vote for it some more.

Here's a link to Dell's Ubuntu section

Monday, April 30, 2007

Zip disks are fun

I've had a couple zip drives laying around for awhile now but I've never used them because I've never bought zip disks for them. With the huge hard drives we have now, every new computer having a DVD burner, and flash media... no one uses zip disks anymoar. They're kinda expensive and just aren't practical. But my girlfriend got me some for $1 and a yard sale. $1 is pretty damn good. They were made in 1994 but hadn't been opened yet. Getting the zip drive working in kubuntu was kind of a pain. It's a really old ZIP 250 that plugs into the parallel port. Here's how you make one of these work on ubuntu (or how I did it):
1. make a mount point
sudo mkdir /media/zip

2. load the imm module (load ppa for zip 100 drives)
sudo modprobe imm

3. Mount the disk
sudo mount /dev/sda4 /media/zip

4. That's all there is to it. If you want imm to be loaded on startup do this:
sudo nano /etc/modules
and add imm to the bottom (or ppa for zip 100)
Note: I've noticed imm will not load if a disk is not inserted. You will have to load it manually if a disk is not inserted at startup.

5. press ctrl+x and then press enter when done

6. set up fstab
sudo nano /etc/fstab

7. add this line (change vfat to whatever filesystem you will use on it. I used ext2) then save.
/dev/sda4 /media/zip vfat noauto,user 0 0

8. Format if needed
You can format a zip disk the same way you would a hard drive. I used QTParted and formatted it as ext2.

You zip drive should now be accessable when your computer boots. Sometimes it acts a little weird though. If for some reason your zip drive isn't letting you access it, try reloading the imm module.
sudo modprobe -r imm && sudo modprobe imm

Here's another neat trick: eject disk from the command line:
eject /dev/sda4
I could do that for hours. srsly.

I got bored and didn't know what to use my zip disk for. After awhile I decided that I'd like to backup my /etc directory. Here's how I did that:
sudo su

mkdir /media/zip/sysbackup/etc

cd /etc

find . -depth -print0 | cpio --null --sparse --no-preserve-owner --preserve-modification-time -pvd /media/zip/sys_backup/etc

Neat huh?
I was surprised at how fast these disks really are. They're not that bad.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04 is here!

Yeah, the new Ubuntu is out. I just ordered some Kubuntu CDs from shipit (I don't like gnome). I'm using 6.06 and from what I've heard, upgrading from 6.06 to 7.04 is stupid. So I'm just going to do a clean install. people using 6.10 can just use the upgrade tool. 7.04 has many new features and many things have been improved. One thing I really like about this new release is the OEM installation. It's not really new. I guess it had it before and I didn't know about it. Anyways.. it's been updated quite a bit. This will make it easier for computer dealers to preinstall Ubuntu for their customers. Maybe more people will switch to linux.
Other nice features are:
The new network manager
New help system
KDE has been updated to 3.5.6 (gnome is probably updated too. I don't care though.)
Improved power management
Other stuff - GCC 4.1.2 Glibc 2.5 Python 2.5 Linux 2.6.20

Those are only a few of the good things about 7.04
I'll have an update when I get my CDs in the mail.

My only complaint about ubuntu at this point in time is that they no longer support PPC. This really pisses me off. I have a G3 that I'm using as a file server. It's running Ubuntu Server Edition 6.10. I now have to look for another distro to run on it. Though I probably wont install anything else for some time. My server works just fine and I'm going to leave it alone for now.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Welcome to my stupid blog.

I don't know why I just now decided to start a blog. I don't really want one. Maybe I just need a place to ramble on about mooses and ground beef. I really like ground beef. I also need to complain about Microsoft and how much their operating system sucks (it really sucks).
This blog will be my place to talk about things that interest me... Mostly computer stuff, mooses, ground beef, and Dani - my really hot girlfriend.
... Yeah. That's about it.