i am huge in japan

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Vista n Benchmarks

Yesterday I was able to install Windows Vista beta2.

It's a mix of nicer things and horrid redesign. They really seem to have changed things for the sake of changing things. It takes 5 or 6 clicks to do start-run!

I really hope they improve it dramatically for final release because right now I'd rather be using XP.

Speaking of XP, I was doing some benchmarking with it and Windows 2000 on a double dual-core 3.2GHz Dell with 4 GbBof RAM. 2000 and XP, Ubuntu and Knoppix can only see 3 GB of the memory. Vista could see all 4. The upshot is the pc is almost twice as fast under XP because 2K is not seeing all of the CPU. Silly old OS!

I was also at an expo and got a broken compass/stop watch from HP. Nice quality control guys. A prize draw I missed out on but the announcer kept saying there was 'three boobie' prizes. Haha

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

new adventures in buntu

Getting bored with my current single panel Gnome lay out at work, I designed a lower left corner double panel set up. One vertical with the apps, launchers and system tray and one short horizontal with the menu and clock. At first it was a bit weird but I'm getting used to it. I also ousted the OS X theme and replaced it with a slick grey ensemble.

But the true action has been taking place on the Powerbook. Kubuntu was too slow really so I gave Xfce a try. It loaded a plain desktop but no panels and no configuration dialogs would open. So I dumped it. For a lark I installed JWM, but that was a similar story. Fast though.

Accepting I may have to give up QT for GTK again, I attempted a Xubuntu-desktop install. It went kind of ok but the laptop was clearly getting confused. I had a Kubuntu boot splash and would get dumped to the console instead of GDM or KDM loading. A Startx would kick in Xubuntu but I still couldn't do that much. With all the instability I decided to try to start again with a fresh install of Ubuntu. But the live cd was doing the same crap about not having network - so bizarre.

In the end I set a download of the alternate (text install) iso of Xubuntu. After work I installed it flawlessly and I'm posting from it now. I've done my usual clean up activities and it's definitely a faster experience. Memory usage is also significantly lower. Gaim and Opera + a few tabs open and I am using 110 ot 256 MB, I used to only have a few MB free!
(also it boots about 20 seconds faster!)

Lighter GTK window manager plus more RAM = P-P-P-Powerbook!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Yesterday I got stuck in to making the Kubuntu Powerbook go faster. I did the usual thing of removing unneeded startup processes and I uninstalled a whole bunch of software I wouldn't ever need on it. Gnome has been almost completely gutted as well.

But then I got hold of some 128 MB RAM for it and decided to attempt an upgrade. It had more than I remembered, 192 instead of the 128 I thought. This could potentially have been a problem because the stock standard model came with 64 MB. Only the top RAM slot is (easily) user servicable so I was thinking the 192 was made up of 128 at the top and 64 at the bottom. But I gave it a go anyway and was pleasantly surprised to see the RAM level bump up to 256 MB! woo. There is a noticeable difference but I still max out on RAM usage. Though I can often sit at about 1 or 2 MB of RAM free ;)

There has been suggestion I give Xubuntu a try on it. I may do some day but I am just getting sick of the GNOME/GTK look at the moment and need a bit of KDE/QT in my life.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Macbook and Kubuntu

So the Macbook came and it is truly stunning. I want one for myself but I suspect that will just be a pipe dream. It boots in 20 seconds and had such a nice screen. Wireless is up and running. Bought a new white router to go with it

At the moment the dual booting has been delayed because I'm not sure it will be needed. OS X is being liked more than an anticipated. :)

The Ubuntu Powerbook has been reborn as a Kubuntu Powerbook. Ubuntu doesn't like to boot when there is no network connection. Frustrated I downloaded a Kubuntu iso to start fresh because I've been missing KDE a bit lately. It failed to boot the livecd successfully. I could force the desktop to load but the installer would crash.

Later in the night Ubuntu did decide to boot up ok. Provided with the new network details it was away with a sudu apt-get install kubuntu-desktop. An hour later and another half hour later for KDE 3.5.3 it's up and running. I am currently gutting out all the gnome stuff which will probably make it fall down dead. Hah ha..

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Virtual XP does the job

I am pleased to report my VMWare install of XP achieved the goal I set for it. Today I had the opportunity to load Yahoo Messenger and view my wifes isight. Of course it was in her last few hours before her flight home, but the fact remains it was done!

I could not get Windows to see my usb webcam though. USB devices were allowed to be mounted but it wasn't happening.

Soon the project to dual boot Ubuntu and OS X will start!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


So I got stuck in and streamlined my Ubuntu boot process yesterday. Disabling unneeded services and some obscure ones. I found some good instructions on the Ubuntu forums. The net result was that I now boot about to the login prompt about 15 seconds faster than before. 40 seconds!

I didn't realise how many laptop specific services I was starting each time. I also uninstalled my previous 386 kernel so I'd stop getting nagged about security updates for it.

Oddly enough, the GNOME system monitor reports that I have two CPU's in my work machine. Which surprises me because it's just a P4 2.6 GHz.

I must look into trimming my SUSE boot some more. I have disabled some things I can see are unnecessary but there must be more I can do. The boot seems to have slowed down some what.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


As you can see from this picture, I am very happy with my cable internet. I find I peak around 250k/s which is just glorious. Tends to slow down just at the end of a download though so the numbers are slightly misleading.

Nothing too much to report on the geek side of things. I have been starting to look at the best way to dual boot Ubuntu and OS X on the Macbook. But that will have to wait until I have it in my hands.