Thursday, July 07, 2005

Nothing to do with

This picture has nothing to do with anything I know of

Except that I thought it was pretty cool.

I get to see

Alexisonfire tomorrow, along with Comeback Kid for Wakefest going on down the street. Party party music bikini music splash.

-Just a keyboard cowboy

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

War of the worlds movie

Because I said so.

I did say I was going to post my thoughts on Spielburg's War of the Worlds movie, didn't I. Let me just say, Ebert can have his opinion all to himself.

Oh, speaking of Ebert and his review: Is the Canadian version different from the American version? It appeared to me that in the American review they only see an alien outside his machine once, during the final death march that brings the machines down. However, when I saw the movie this weekend there was a scene where a group of three or four aliens peruse the contents of a basement.

But back to my thoughts. Spielburg stuck to the original story as best as a modern day era could allow. He pulled it off, he really did. The tripod machines, the heat ray, the human collecting, the fluid extraction, the red weed. OK, wait. The red weed wasn't quite like I envisioned. I was thinking something more short and shrubby, less tendril-y. He seemed to use a lot of firecracker sound effects, too. When a machine set down his huge pod of a foot "crack-crackle-pop-splutter". When someone burst into a cloud of dust (which evidently sends your shirt and pants flying straight up into the air) "crackle-boom-fizzle-pop-pop-boom".

And about those pants and shirts, there's a scene where Tom Cruise's character is running for his life from the monsters and all around him are pants and shirts falling from the sky. This happens again later in the film when he's accompanied by his children.

I'm looking forward to Timothy Hine's version of War as well, his being set during the actually time frame of the book. To see these awesome monsters destroying London of the 1800s should be fun to watch.

-crackle-fizz-pop "Oh look out! FALLING PANTS!!!"

Monday, July 04, 2005

simple audio fix

Well, listen here

Turns out I had a problem with my onboard sound card (via chipset) conflicting with my Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Gamer 5.1 sound card. The quick and easy fix? Here's what I had to do:

Show all sound modules currently enabled

> lsmod|grep snd

and in my case, I knew I wanted to turn off anything to do with via. So I looked on the left side for snd_[whatever via] and made a note of it. What is on the right side isn't important, even if you see via on that side.

snd_emu10k1 81668 1
snd_rawmidi 22944 1 snd_emu10k1
snd_seq_device 8332 2 snd_emu10k1,snd_rawmidi
snd_ac97_codec 64608 1 snd_emu10k1
snd_pcm_oss 47652 0
snd_mixer_oss 16768 1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm 84872 3 snd_emu10k1,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer 23300 1 snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc 9604 2 snd_emu10k1,snd_pcm
snd_via82xx [someNumber] [somethingElse]
snd_util_mem 4608 1 snd_emu10k1
snd_hwdep 9220 1 snd_emu10k1
snd 50276 11 snd_emu10k1,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_hwdep
soundcore 9824 1 snd

I make a note of snd_via82xx because I want to add that to the system's blacklist. Open up blacklist with editing privileges:

> sudo emacs /etc/hotplug/blacklist

And somewhere at the bottom should be the snd_ section. Simply add whichever module you want blacklisted and it will no longer load at system restart. That allows the other sound card, my SB Live! 5.1 to work without the sound being disabled.

A point to note, this enables the dsp channel of the system. Only one program at a time can use this channel, wheres the alsa works any way. At least that's my understanding.

To see what is using the alsa channel:

> lsof /dev/snd/*

and to see what is using the dsp channel:

> lsof /dev/dsp

One last thing, codecs. You'll want to install audio and/or video codecs now that you've got your soundcard working. The codecs section of the Ubuntu guide suggests the following steps. However, you can search for the packages through Kynaptic just as well. Through kynaptic you don't have to do the gst-register step:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.8-plugins
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.8-lame
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.8-ffmpeg
sudo apt-get install w32codecs
sudo apt-get install libdivx4linux
sudo apt-get install lame
sudo apt-get install sox
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
sudo apt-get install mjpegtools
sudo apt-get install vorbis-tools

-Audio goodness

simple nvidia fix

Get that nVidia video card working.

Real solution at the end of this post, borrowed from the ubuntu wiki. If this solution does not work or you do not have an nVidia video card, try there. It may have a better solution for you.

I couldn't figure out why my nVidia video card wasn't working with my new install of Kubuntu. I tried downloading a .sh package from the nVidia web site. When I installed the script, it complained about shutting off the X server. Well, figuring out what the hell X server is was another bit of research. Another easy fix.

Ctrl-Alt-F1 to bring up a text login screen.

Log in as root (or do it all through sudo). When logging in as root, you may have to set the root password now. That requires editing of the shadow file, basically erasing the * in the roots password (this makes it so you don't need a password for root. A very dangerous thing). Now that root requires no password, log in as root and change its password with passwd.

To turn off the X server (the graphical user interface of Linux, like the fancy login screen)

> sudo /etc/init.d/?dm stop
# where ? is either g for gnome, k for kde
# of course, to start it again, end the line with start instead of stop.

Now that X is turned off, the video card install script still didn't want to install. Something about not having access to the kernel to reconfigure itself. So the true, easy fix appears and viola! working video card.

Here are the simple lines to type into the terminal in order to automatically configure your video card for your system. Note, this is specifically for an nVidia video card. It will be different for ATI.

> sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx

> sudo nvidia-glx-config enable

And that will do it! To make sure it's working, benchmark it in glxgears.

> glxgears

kyle@waggyMachine:~$ glxgears
8151 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1630.200 FPS
8825 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1765.000 FPS
8764 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1752.800 FPS
8774 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1754.800 FPS
8870 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1774.000 FPS

Not getting above 1000 frames per second? Don't fear. Either reboot the computer or simply log in as root from a text terminal then

> /etc/init.d/kdm stop
> /etc/inti.d/kdm start

and it should work fine.

-Now if I could only get my sound working

Three days of Kubuntu

I've converted

No longer am I a slave to windows. I've taken to Linux, I dove in head first. Some things don't work, sure. But they will, and I'll make them work. I'll be given instructions and I'll fix these problems myself. First was setting up repositories so I have a bigger list of programs to download and install. Next was setting up my passwords, I got to play with the shadow file. I wanted to play games next, so I installed almost everything game related. Well, not everything to do with games, but I did select gnome games and kde games and kde toys and supertux and tuxkart and tuxracer.

Waitaminute. How come I can't play tuxracer!? Right, 'build your own operating system'. My graphics card wasn't configured for my computer yet. More on this later, as it's another helpful hint for installing a new debian operating system.

Though I figured out my video card problem, I am still having troubles with my sound. I've installed the recommended media packages and still no luck. What is really strange is the game Frozen Bubble has sound wrapped around it's little finger. It has made audio its bitch. But why won't any other program make use of it? I can't hear an mp3 in Juk or Amarok. I've got no sound with a video in Noatun. Not even a squeek when playing Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid. Just another problem I've got to read about and and easy fix to apply.

-It's finding the easy fix that's the hard part