i am huge in japan

Friday, April 28, 2006

waiting or not waiting

I'm waiting for my pvr parts to arrive soon. I hope they do come today, I expected them this morning but looking more like afternoon (especially since it's lunchtime now)

I'm not waiting for my pvr to boot though. I initially thought it to boot in about a minute, but recent tests have shown it to be closer to 30 seconds to the desktop and 40 seconds into Media Center. I did patch it to Rollup2 so maybe that made a difference?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

purchases and parallels revisited

On Monday I decided to try Parallels again because I remembered doing a kernel patch last week. Joyfully it compiled perfectly this time and I was able to install Windows 2000 virtually. It's working ok but so far no network capability. Though since certain patches aren't on yet I haven't been aggressively trying that.

Yesterday having been paid a day early I ordered my computer bits. Keyboard was out of stock so I postponed that. I did get the Hauppauge PVR-150MCE (with remote) and a red Gigabyte optical mouse to go with it. Red to match the furniture. Hopefully they come before the weekend but you never know.

Still no video cards or 24" monitors at work. Woe is us.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

bang bang you're dead

Forgot to mention that yesterday Justin supplied me with the linux version of Quake 4 Demo. Tried it on my home machine and it installed ok. However running it wasn't so good because the sound was all messed up for an unknown reason. Couldn't make out what people were saying and the guns sounded like electric sparks. Couldn't test the graphics that much because the demo is limited to lower quality. Ran smoothly though.

Friday, April 21, 2006

General happenings

1) Next week, I am going to order a new keyboard for my main home computer and a new optical mouse for the pvr

2) Next week, I am going to order a new Hauppauge tv tuner for the pvr.

3)I am also thinking of buying an RJ45 Ethernet joiner for the pvr so I can easily plug in a network cable and also have the back of the case in an awkward to reach location

4) I switched to using Gnome 2.12 at work. A couple of teething problems after being quite set up with KDE but I have resolved all isues.

5) Wine 0.9.12 was released which I gleefully installed at work. It said it had improved font support so I was hopefull. Unfortunately it seemed to be a regression for me so I reverted back to 0.9.11 and I'll try .13 when it's out.

6) I installed Opera 9 Beta RC1 at work because I had a hankering for widgets. Weather and Wikipedia widgets soon sprung up on my desktop. The next day the real Beta was released and turns out to be a build before RC1. But next week the weekly build will be patched to fix a regression they detected. Not long now hopefully until Opera 9 Final!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Media Center Edition

I got Windows XP Media Center Edition installed on my pvr machine yesterday. It all went smoothly except I have somehow misplaced my motherboard cd and we had to hunt the net for my audio drivers. A couple of codecs installed later I was watching my stuff.

MCE is quite a simple interface but not too bad. I haven't tried the TV part yet because I can't get my TV Tuner to install. I had trouble in Windows 2000 last time because of a change to DirectX. It causes Windows to BSOD on installation of an important driver. So I have disabled it and will look at getting a proper MCE tuner.

I did install a weather program for it so I can check the forecast and satellite images. Unfortunately due to the screen resolution on the tv, the MCE title bar blocks the buttons to change cities so I can't enter more than one. Sigh.

Friday, April 14, 2006

xgl and how it affected me

I tried Kororaa and found XGL to be really cool to use. Still a bit buggy but I can't wait to use it properly. I may install it at work. The cube effect is fun and on the fly translucent windows is a handy feature.

It was using a new version of Gnome that I hadn't used before. Certainly a lot nicer than the version that comes with Mandrake 10.1 or Ubuntu 5.04. This made me want to try it under Suse. I installed the Gnome packages and logged back in. Suddenly my pc is even faster! I quite like the set up and have been customising it a bit. Now it feels more like having a new computer. Looking at different things helps.

I wonder what will look best with my 24" lcd, KDE or Gnome...

Thursday, April 13, 2006


In an effort to use as much of my monthly data cap as possible, I am downloading Kororaa. Kororaa is a linux livecd that showcases the new XGL desktop environment. Cubed desktop and other distortions.
Only 120mb to go as of press time, hopefully I can play with it by lunchtime as I have to go to work soon.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


It's official that I'm getting the 24" monitor. They've been ordered but there might be a couple of weeks delay for stock.

We were playing with a 23" Apple Cinema Display today and I thought it was a great size for what I want. Suddenly the 20" was tiny in my head and I wanted the 24" for sure. Luckily the man with the wallet agreed.

Goings on

Justin got Parallels installed on Windows. The weird thing was, it failed to install Suse 10.0 despite having the option to do so. Installing Ubuntu Hoary worked despite not having the option to do so. Damn computers.

I was talking to my Mother last night about getting a 20" or 24" widescreen LCD for my work. She hit back by showing off that she has dual 19" LCD's for her work computer. I think I'd still prefer a single monitor though. It makes a cleaner look and I don't like having a vertical stripe in the middle.

Monday, April 10, 2006

virtualisation woe

Based on a tip by Justin, I spent the afternoon trying to get Parallels 2.1 to work under Suse Linux. It is OS virtualisation software that runs off of Linux, Windows or Intel OS X.

It installed okay via rpm and tgz but when it came to configuring it, the driver compile section would always fail and an error log file created. I studied the output and was able to change it by fixing minor issues but it looks like there are more complicated things going on. No help in Google of course. Seems to be something to do with a patched kernel.

Tomorrow Justin will have a go on his Windows box to see if he can virtualise linux. Hope he has more luck. In the meantime I will ponder Super Gamer 1 (thanks Andrew)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Geek project

Now that I have a spare computer I am turning it into a PVR. My first instinct is to use linux and MythTV but it is overly complicated. KnoppMyth is not as straight forward as I'd like with my current TV tuner (it wouldnt let me scan for channels). I am going to get a newer tuner anyway I think. Probably a Hauppage card because they have good Linux support. Hardware encoding is very worthwhile.

At the moment the pc is running Windows 2000 for a media playback via the TV. I do need a Windows install around for firmware upgrades of my Wireless modem and iPod so I am thinking of using XP or XP Media Center Edition. Two birds with one stone? If it's just mostly playback of media Windows is fine for the job. Certainly helps with codecs. I am reluctant to change my Linux/OS X only household policy but you should use the right OS for the job, right? Besides, with full screen video it doesn't matter what the desktop looks like.

I get to hang out in my Suse 10.0 desktop the rest of the time.