Monday, March 14, 2005

A taste of Eye Candy ...

I had a good weekend not doing much work except for playing around with my gentoo box adding some eye candy for a sexier desktop. It all started on Saturday when I woke up in the morning and suddenly decided I wasn't going for classes. Instead I opt to goto Expograhics to pick up some books. Its been a while since I've went book shopping as reflected by the 5,500/= bill! Oh well more books to my collection that I would read some day when I'm old and retired (good thing that linux books don't become obsolete).

Anyway after a tiring day walking around fort and carrying a ton of books, I came home just dozed off for about two hours. After a good rest and feeling a little better I started researching for an article I am writing on Linux and Hardware. Soon I was distracted and was searching to get 3D acceleration working on my IGP 340 graphic card that came on my notebook. I had this working some time back on Xfree86 4.3.99 using a 3rd party patch, but now that I was on Gentoo it used xorg instead. After some googling it was evident that my card was already officially supported by the xorg server. All I had to do was to emerge x11-drm && opengl-update.

3D performance wasn't all that awesome! It was at a disappointing below 400 fps. May be I can tweak it further to squeeze some more fps out of it but will have to wait and see. For now that seemed good enough to run all those opengl screen savers :) Next I installed the 3ddesk package that can be used to switch between virtual desktops. I set a shortcut Ctrl+Alt+3 to run the 3ddesk when I need to switch.


Next I wanted to try out the experimental composite support on xorg that allows you to get some further eyecandy effects such as drop down shadows and translucency! Lucky for me I found a good article on that. I set a short cut Ctrl+Alt+T, so that I can click on any window to make it transparent.


Well that's it for now. More fun next weekend :)

Monday, March 07, 2005

LKLUG @ the EDEX exhibition

pissucrew The EDEX (creatively abbreviated Education Exhibition), was held last week from the 4th to the 6th. Although the highlight of this exhibition was undoubtedly the various institutions offering a multitude of courses, LKLUG too was able to make an impression.

This time around we had some classy machines which included a couple of HP servers, LCD panels as well as an HP notebook donated by Prof computers (honestly I didn't even know they still existed). It was also the debut for my barebone system, which I bought partly to chaperones with during exhibition such as these. The stall was shared and sponsored by OST (Open System Technologies), who also happens to be the local dealers for RedHat. Finally we also managed to have a projector to screen some movies that were made using Linux, adding more class to the stall.

I'm sure that no one will object when I say the highlight of our stall was indeed the talented Mrs. Pradeeper (Thilini) who was showcasing grappix, a remaster knoppix variant developed by our very own Wasantha. Using her voodoo she was able to turnout beautiful wallpapers featuring GNU and Tux, only with the help of a tool called GIMP and her imagination! While this was happening, I was demonstrating the 64bit edition of Gentoo by running some cool 2D/3D applications such as the 3D desktop pager and UT2004 demo edition. Other activities included but were not limited to distributing and selling Linux CDs, T- shirts and handouts.

packed2 All though the crowd at this exhibition wasn't our usual target audience, we did manage to create enough interest. Compared to previous exhibitions, one thing that I noticed different about those who visited the stall, was the fact that most had already encountered Linux previously and had come back for more (info, CDs etc.) This I find as encouraging evidence to our ongoing advocacy efforts.


Though unfortunately I couldn't attend the last day of the exhibition, I'm sure it ended in style from what I've heard. Until the next exhibition, this is Bud signing off!