Ideas Before Their Time

It seems that with a lot of inventions, ideas, etc. there’s always a precursor. For example, xcompmgr was basically the precursor to what we now know as Compiz Fusion. So I was loading up an old Windows 2000 box with the latest of my favorite open source software, πŸ˜€ when I happened to notice something: there’s a lot of features in Windows 2000 that got dropped in XP, but reappeared in Vista. Only they were implemented better. (If you want to call it that πŸ˜› )

Ok, so what the heck am I talking about? In Windows 2000 if you single clicked on an image in the My Pictures folder you would get a little interactive preview thing
2000-preview.png

This was a feature that was dropped in XP, only to reappear in Vista (not exactly the same, but very close)
vista-image-preview.png

Same goes for audio files. Single click on an audio file in Windows 2000 and it brings up a little Windows Media Player plug-in type thing right in Explorer

audio-preview.png

Yet another feature that was dropped in XP only to pop up again in Vista

vista-audio-preview2.png

Finally, when pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete in Windows 2000 it brings up a screen with a bunch of options on it.

options.png

Yet again, it’s not present in XP, but came back with Vista

vista-options.jpg

So, where did these features go in XP? Was it as simple as a feature that was before its time?

Just thought that this was interesting. I’m now sitting back at my Linux box. Home sweet home πŸ˜‰

Gimp 2.4 and Pidgin 2.2.2 Released

Yep. Gimp 2.4 is officially out

http://www.gimp.org/

Release notes

http://www.gimp.org/release-notes/gimp-2.4.html

There’s so much new stuff. πŸ˜€

w00t!! πŸ˜†

And Pidgin 2.2.2 has also been released.

http://www.pidgin.im/

Changelog

http://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/ChangeLog

Lots of new stuff happening in the open source world πŸ˜€

Gnome 2.20.1 in Gutsy

This is a short one πŸ˜›

By enabling the Gutsy Proposed Updates, you will see bits and pieces of Gnome 2.20.1 starting to come down. πŸ˜€

software-sources2.png

gnome-2-20-1.png

Just, a warning. These updates are called Proposed for a reason. They are mainly for testing purposes and they can sometimes cause breakage. If you enable this repository you are doing so at your own risk. They will eventually come through the regular updates. But it’s also a good way to help with testing new packages πŸ˜‰

Edit: Gnome 2.20.1 is now officially in Ubuntu Gutsy πŸ˜€

Getting Intel ICH8 Family (rev 03) Sound Card to Work in Gutsy

Update 2:

This how-to is very old. If you have this sound card and sound is not working for you with the latest version of Ubuntu (currently 10.04) this guide will not help you. Please file a bug report on Launchpad.

Update:

If you are going to upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron you will notice that it will want to remove the linux-backports-modules package.Β  This is OK.Β  Doing so will not affect your sound since it now works out of the “box” with 8.04. πŸ˜€

_____________________________________________________________________

There’s currently a bug in the latest stable version of the ALSA drivers (1.0.14). There is no sound with a HDA Intel ICH8 Family (rev 03) sound card.

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
        Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Unknown device 30cc
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23
        Memory at f8500000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
        Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
        Capabilities: [60] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
        Capabilities: [70] Express Unknown type IRQ 0

There was no sound in Feisty and the only way to get it working was to compile ALSA with the special instructions here along with a custom patch for the Realtek codec which you had to go digging through the ALSA bug tracking system to find. Anyways a lot of work to get sound working in Feisty.

But now that Gutsy is out, there still is no sound out of the virtual “box”. πŸ˜› However, getting sound to work is extremely easy now. The issue was fixed in the latest development version of ALSA (1.0.15rc3), but Gutsy ships with 1.0.14. Compiling ALSA is not necessary to get sound working anymore. In fact, doing so would only cause more problems due to the fact that when you compile ALSA, it places a module in one place while Ubuntu has that same module, but a different version, in a different place causing a bunch of conflicts and in the end, no sound.

So in order to fix this all you need to do is open the Software Properties, go to the Updates tab, and enable the Gutsy Backports.

backports.png
(click for a larger view)

Click the Reload button when prompted.

Then just run this command
sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-generic

If you are running a different kernel, such as the i386 kernel, replace generic with i386. The default install uses a generic kernel. Reboot and you should have sound working. πŸ˜€

The reason it works is because that package contains ALSA 1.0.15rc3

This worked for me on an HP Pavilion dv6500t laptop

(Edit: Gutsy Proposed Updates is not needed for this.)

Annoying Freezes Caused by Nvidia Driver

Update: This seems to finally be fixed in Karmic. Whoohoo! πŸ˜€

This is specifically referring to Nvidia GeForce2 and GeForce2 Go cards (and GeForce 4?). From the searching I’ve done, this random freezing on Linux systems has been going on for quite a while without any obvious solution. I’ve figured out that it comes down to a bug in the driver that makes it not agree with CPU frequency scaling. However this bug is extremely odd in that it doesn’t always show up. For instance, I have found certain distros that do not have this problem. Ubuntu Dapper 6.06 did not have this problem, which was why I was still using it on my laptop until a couple of months ago when I found a workaround for this problem. Mepis 6.5 also did not have this problem (probably due to the fact it’s based on Ubuntu 6.06) and neither did PCLinuxOS.

Now for the workaround. Like I said, it basically comes down to CPU scaling. In Ubuntu, CPU scaling is controlled by the powernow daemon, known as powernowd. This needs to be disabled. Yes, this will eliminate the ability of your CPU to be scaled and it will be running at full throttle, but it will make your computer usable. There are a couple of ways to go about doing this. One way is to edit powernowd so that it doesn’t run. To do this

$ gksudo gedit /etc/init.d/powernowd

Right below the the very first line which should be #! /bin/sh add this line

exit 0

Save and either reboot or issue this command which should restart the powernow daemon

$ sudo /etc/init.d/powernowd restart

The other way is to open the Services tool in System→Administration→Services and disable powernowd from there.

screenshot-services-settings.png

If you don’t use Ubuntu you will need to find out what is responsible for CPU frequency scaling since every distro is different.