Thursday, December 28, 2006

I pledged $10 for an Open Source Nvidia driver

Nvdia makes great drivers, awesome drivers for Linux. Those drivers are so great that no one has been motivated enough to write a good Open source driver for it.

OK, I'm kidding, there is a good Open Source driver for Nvidia cards already but they only support 2D functions. So if you want 3D hardware acceleration, you have to settle for the official driver. So whats wrong with that? you might ask.

Well if you are a Linux user, you might have come across the inconveniences involved with of upgrading the Nivida driver or the Linux kernel. But thats really a minor price to pay, compared to the freedom lost as a result.

An year or so ago, Nvidia dropped support for some of their old graphic cards such as the Riva TNT2. The result - you either had to upgrade your graphic card or use the last driver they put out. Chances are that last driver doesn't support any of the recent kernels. So your also stuck using an old kernel. Your freedom to keep up is lost.

One of my friends had an Apple PPC notebook (a really expensive Powerbook) which had an Nvidia card. He decided to install GNU/Linux and all of a sudden, there is no (3D) driver for his graphics card. Nvidia doesn't think its worth the trouble to put out a PPC compatible binary driver for Linux as most Apple users' run MacOS.

There are just some of the reasons why its healthy to have an Open Source Nvidia driver which supports 3D acceleration, thats good enough to run a 3D desktop such as XGL/AIGLX. Thats why I made the following pledge:

"I will pledge at least $10 USD towards the development of the
open source nouveau driver for the nvidia card series but only
if 1,000 other people will too."

If you believe in the cause, you too can pledge (no you don't need to enter your credit card just yet). If anything, it motivates the developers who are working hard with no official support from NVidia.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The alternative KDE Menu (made in Sri Lanka)

Came across this article that featured KBFX, the alternative application for KDE, which IMHO is a whole lot more appealing than what KDE and Gnome , for that matter currently has by stock. The KBFX project, by the way was started by our very own, Kandy resident, Siraj Razick, but now has few other developers & graphic artists contributing from around the world.

KBFX is quite popular because it enables one to theme the menu system in addition to providing a much cleaner UI to find all those apps. Popular eye candy portal, KDE-Look, even has a separate KBFX Theme category.

Anyway check out the article:

The geek is back...

Been a long time since I've last blogged. Kept my self extremely busy at work and home, and I guess been a little lazy to blog given a couple of newer developments. So I thought I'd share the main developments that kept me away from blogging...

My new ipod

After battling with the idea of whether I should buy an ipod or not, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new 30GB video ipod. When Apple came out with these slightly improved babies (models), I figured that if it was good enough for all those million users then it was good enough for storing my mp3 collection.

After accidentally repartitioning the ipod, becuase it didn't seem to show the partiton using fdisk -l on Linux, and then finding out that I had just destroyed the the firmware partition, I had to go through the hassel of downloading the latest version of iTunes for my Mac mini just so I can download and install the firmware from within it.

But on a positive note, that process installated the firmware on an Apple HFSPlus filesystem, which of course was far more superior to that of Microsoft's FAT32, which was there by factory default.

Getting everything working on Linux was a snap thanks to GTKPod. All I had to do was to compile the hfsplus module for the Linux kernel and it automatically mounted as I plugged it in. While not all the features available through iTunes for the newer generation ipod, worked with GTKPod, I was neverthekless able to do the essential basics such as upload music/videos, create playlists, modify meta data and create smart play lists.


Another thing that kept me away from Blogging was all those great podcast shows. Now I don't want to sound like I've been living under a rock, not knowing about podcast. Actually, I've even created a video podcast with Arunan, which of course was too lame to be properly released. But the fact that I can have a bunch of these podcast on my ipod, ready for listening on my way to work and back was just ideal and highly addictive. Instead of listening to lame DJs go on and on like a theme from Titanic, I now get to listen to geeks go on and on :) So I now get most of my geek news from podcasts.

Console mania

Tracking the launch of the Sony PS3 and the Nintendo Wii was another one of those things that took away some of my blogging time in trade of doing research into these awsome nextgen consoles. I admit, I'm a fanboy of both these consoles (ok even M$'s Xbox 360 is pretty awsome). It was very exciting watching a video on utube showing an 8 penguins lineup (as a result of the 8 core processor) as Fedora Core Linux PPC version booted on a PS3.

The Wii with its motion detector and the ability to emulate the classic NES/SNES and perhaps with an optimistic possibility of even running Linux (Wii is also based on PPC) did keep me awake at night. So I do somewhat sympathize with all those losers that stood in 2 week ques to bye it :)


We were all doing fine, and I've even forgot all bout that gadget, until that is, they started shouting about how the courts had allowed them to broadcast immediately. Well, its been a couple of days but nothing much except for a few minutes of the green light. The channels are not yet back on online. And so we wait, reading the CBNSat blog, reading the humorous comments by people who are formulating crazy plans to get even with their enemies.

So there you have it folks. The top 5 reasons why I was away from my blog (the 1st being work of course).