Thursday, February 22, 2007

Finally Something Broke

Finally! I managed to break something. I got gatal yesterday & upgraded to Java SE 1.6. I read up somewhere that it's incredibly fast. I could use a boost to my Azureus I tot. So I went ahead & updated to 1.6 from the mcnl repo. Azureus started back up & took less than half the time to start & the overall responsiveness was much better. I tot all was well.. until I tried to surf a few sites today & discovered that Java applets won't load. I checked in FF, everything looked ok. Checked out about:plugins, looks alright, it's enabled & detected. Trying to run java in the shell worked. Tried in Konquorer, works fine. Then found out the Java control center failed to load with FF due to some odd libc++ crash. Chialat. It's broken. I tried to uninstall but it wanted to remove a bunch of other programs along with it. 'Dependents'. Refused to downgrade without first uninstalling the newer version. So I decided to screw Java applets(at least in FF), I can live without em as long as my Azureus is always this fast. :)

Next up I tried Kerry, (the KDE front end to Beagle{a type of dog that sniffs around your /home to build a metadata search index}) Worked perfectly, now I can find all my stuff in a flash.

Finally I installed Apollon, (the GUI frontend to GiFT, which connects you to Kaaza & Gnutella networks) Worked perfectly again. Just have to tweak the router to forward ports.

Perfect. till next time...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Getting SCIM, AIGLX & Beryl in Mandriva

Few days ago, I finally got a chance to stretch abit & test some bits of Mandriva that I did not have the spare equipment to do so. Many thanks to THEwe for selling me cheap a slightly gawky looking clone PC. (As I thought, I couldn't get used to the glowy blue LEDs in the transparent side cover :p)

Anyhow I'm typing this now using my new 'to me' pc, attached to a horrible looking 14' CRT monitor. While still waiting for my 20' flat panel. As you'd expect, I have it running Mandriva Free 2007.
A few days ago I got adventurous & decided to try out some things I've not tested before & also try some stuff in the backports repositories. (just to see what I could break)

But to my suprise, I didn't manage to break anything.. yet.
1. I installed SCIM & SKIM. to get Chinese input support. The installation went well, but I couldn't figure out what to do afterwards. I couldn't find a whole lot of help either. Some fonts were showing up as little square boxes. I figured out later that I needed to install locale-zh & font-ttf-chinese. After that, It all seemed to only work in GNOME apps & not in KDE. I later figured out that I needed to change my input method by running 'draklocale'. Finally it all worked & suprisingly well.

2. Next up I upgraded to the latest 9xxx series NVIDIA modules. I decided to play it safe & used the updated ones in plf. (Added the repositories plf-free_updates & plf-nonfree_updates) Did it, restarted & I could now use AIGLX instead of XGL for compiz, no hacks, just using drak3d.

3. Finally I got really excited & decided to go for Beryl. I added the main_backports & contrib_backports repositories. Searched for beryl, install beryl-core, beryl-manager & emerald. Disabled 3D Desktop in MCC, restarted X & ran 'beryl-manager'. It just worked immediately.. & it looked absolutely stunning. to make beryl start everytime, do '$ cd ~/.kde/Autostart' then '$ ln -s /usr/bin/beryl-manager beryl-start'. That's it.

I've been using the system like this for a few days & so far it has survived every situation I threw at it. Someone told me that Beryl is highly experimental & incredibly buggy & unstable. Well not in my experience. I found that Beryl IS ACTUALLY STABLE & fully usable for the everyday desktop. I won't bother posting any video of Beryl on my desktop, there are already tons of these on YouTube. Go have a look if you don't know what I'm talking about.

1 last thing. I forget to mention flash-player in my previous post about setting up a Mandriva box. Well, if you haven't figured it out: Goto '' download the RPM version. install with '# urpmi flash-plugin*.rpm'

Till next time..