My ubuntu 9.10 Desktop

Here is a capture of my Ubuntu 9.10 64bit install.

ubuntu-9.10--november-09

ubuntu-9.10--november-09

I have a few things like Spaz, pidgin, skype, screenlets, drapes (a wallpaper changer) linux version of the Wakoopa program tracker, Cario Dock.

Some of the extra programs that I have installed is:

  • Adobe PDF reader
  • Adobe Air
  • Spaz twitter client
  • Ubuntu Tweak
  • gDesklets
  • Screenlets
  • Wine (steam and Half Life 2 which has major graphics problems)
  • WineTricks for things like windows runtime files, direct sound and direct3d etc
  • Desktop Drapes which is a Linux wallpaper changer (just single click the icon in the tray and it changes your wallpaper instantly)
  • ClamTk Virus Scanner which is a GUI front-end for ClamAV
  • Google Earth
  • Picasa
  • Virtual Box
  • Wakoopa software tracker
  • Skype
  • Java
  • Opera
  • Cario Dock with the GLX openGL adon.

And others that I use are kompozer, F-spot photo manager, Flickr up loader, Blue fish editor, a number of programming tools. Kino, songbird, mplayer media player, kaffiene media player, Amarok, Dvd::rip, VLC media player and many other tools and applications I wont go into.

I love the desktop affects like the window wobble and all the other desktop affects which a windows operating system would struggle to do.

A few small issues that I have with Ubuntu (or Linux in particular)

  • There seems to be a problem where this final release version is still using certain beta software like grub
  • some thing that drives me crazy is that if I am in Firefox and I click the address bar it doesn’t automatically highlight the entire thing, I know if you press F6 then it will jump to the address bar with the whole thing selected.
  • Would it kill Mozilla to keep the same Firefox shortcuts between different versions, ie between the Linux and Mac versions (not a linux thing but still drives me nuts)
  • Ubuntu is not for gaming, I know I can just dual boot but I find that to be a real pain in the bum as I either use one OS or the other because gaming for me is usually a spur of the moment thing and if I have to reboot into the correct OS just to play a game then by the time that has happened I don’t feel like playing that game (I know what I am getting at)
  • I have hundreds of Games going back at least 15 or more years and it is crazy the amount of time and stuffing around that is involved in just getting the game to load, never mind the fact that once you get into the game it is all half missing or the sound doesn’t work correctly or the AI is all screwed up, textures are all crazy etc, etc, etc, etc… I know that Linux was not designed to play games but if it wants to keep up with and try to be a replacement with the windows line of operating systems then there is a lot of work that needs to be done.
  • I have a lot of problems with TV tuner hardware and watching general TV which should be a very easy thing to do and is in windows, it takes a long time to setup even with the supported hardware.
  • I love just jumping into the terminal and typing something along the lines of sudo apt-get install wine which is fine but I find the amount of extras or dependences that get installed / re-installed is insane, shouldn’t it detect what is installed and just work around that, seems to me that it isn’t to smart (actually I could say that about a lot of other software across many platforms)

When I talk about gaming in Ubuntu I am referring to games like UT3, Crysis, Farcry 2, Mass Effect, overlord etc (major windows games)

I do find ubuntu 100 times faster and smoother in everything from loading a program to scrolling down a web page in a browser, There is flash 64bit in Linux which is something that windows lacks.

My web camera now works perfectly with no intervention from me.

Okay that is enough of my Ubuntu ranting. So just to sum up it is a fine operating system and has come along way even in the last few years but it has a long way to go.

ATI Catalyst 9.6 Drivers Out

ATI Catalyst 9.6 drivers for Vista and XP have been released with many updates, changes and improvements etc.

Change log on this page

Download ATI Catalyst Drivers Vista from FileHippo.com

Download ATI Catalyst Drivers Vista 64 from FileHippo.com

Download ATI Catalyst Drivers XP from FileHippo.com

Download ATI Catalyst Drivers XP 64 from FileHippo.com

Seems like I only just installed the Catalyst 9.5 drivers on my Vista x64 system.

Looking at the changelog it seems that the ATI driver team like Crysis :)

Vista Service Pack 2

Well better late then never, but Microsoft has released service pack 2 for Vista

I noticed it in the windows update list the other day so I installed it.

vista-sp2-out

vista-sp2-out

The update is quiet large

vista-sp2-windows-update-567mb

vista-sp2-windows-update-567mb

Only took about 10 minutes to download if that.

Some of the updates include

  • Application compatibility improvements – here for more information
  • support for the 64-bit central processing unit (CPU) from VIA Technologies
  • Integrates the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, which contains support for Bluetooth v2.1 and Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration
  • Improved performance for Wi-Fi connections after resuming from sleep mode
  • Includes updates to the RSS feeds sidebar for improved performance and responsiveness
  • Ability to record data to Blu-Ray Disc media
  • Windows Search 4.0
  • Improves Windows Media Center (WMC) in the area of content protection for TV
  • Removes the limit of 10 half open outbound TCP connections. By default, SP2 has no limit on the number of half open outbound TCP connections.

Microsoft has already released several application compatibility updates which allow more applications to work seamlessly for the end user. These appear in SP2 for Windows Vista – information here

More information located here about Vista SP2

Hor fixes and security updates in Vista SP2 – information here in an excel document

SP2 for 32bit windows download here

SP2 for 64bit windows download here

More general information located here

Vista 64bit and 8.0GB of System Ram

I have been having a few problems overall with Vista and games mainly.
I have 4x 2.0GB sticks of DDR2-800 memory.
The main problem is in a few games like UT3 where you get this lagging or surging thing happening every 20 seconds or so. I couldn’t figure out what is was, at first I thought it was some sidebar gadgets that I had installed, then I remember reading that the intel 965 chipset on my motherboard didn’t like any more than 2x dimm modules installed at a time. I couldn’t confirm this so I just removed 2 of the sticks to see what would happen.
The whole system become more responsive and UT3 now works perfectly.

I did notice that when I had 8.0GB of system ram that a few games would only detect that I actually had 4.0GB installed instead od the full 8.0GB.

Stalker is one game.

stalker-system-check

stalker-system-check

Also to note is the page file size that it detects isn’t even close to what I have.

It seems that any more than 4.0GB of system ram is a total waste unless you do a lot of graphics work or like your virtual enviroments.

Well until next time keep it clean.

Windows Vista x64 OEM TV pack 2008 Install

These are the steps that I took to install the Vista MCE update called Media Center TV pack 2008

Note that this update is for the 64bit version of Vista (Home premium and Ultimate) and will only install under an OEM version of Vista

Here is how I installed the TV pack

1. Prepare a machine with a clean install of Vista SP1

2. Install the TV Pack linked to below

3. Install the play ready PC runtime

4. Install the following updates, the KB950754 then the KB951685

5. Install any required or recommended updates in windows update

6. Launch media center and go through the set up process

A few new menu items

main menu

main menu

There was no internet connection so it said it could get the EPG etc information from the TV broadcast

download guide

download guide

It found my dual digital DVB-T tuner card perfectly

2 tuners found perfectly

2 tuners found perfectly

The EPG now fully works with out an internet connection

epg from the broadcast stream

epg from the broadcast stream

Teletext on prime TV (digital that is) press the small coloured buttons on the bottom left of the screen to access the teletext as an overlay

tele text on prime digital

tele text on prime digital

That is it for now

Remember that this is only for Vista 64bit OEM versions.

Windows 7 Information

Well I have finally gotten my hands on Windows 7 (I am using the 64bit build 7000) and I must say that it works better then Vista.

Images have been removed as I no longer have a flickr account.

many new features which are listed here.

Some good links for Windows 7 information

  1. Within Windows blog.
  2. Windows 7 team blog.
  3. Whats new.
  4. The bumper list of Windows 7 secrets.

The only problem I have is that I cant get my ATI drivers installed, even when I use the ones that are designed for Windows 7 (beta though they are)

Windows 7 can be downloaded by any one as it is a public beta which expires on August 1st 2009.

More Vista issues

Well it has been a shit 2009 so far.

Sick, no home phone or internet which makes my computer very boring.

Sick again, tooth issues.

And to top it all off i have more Vista issues.

First up is a problem I come across far to often is that when ever I go to install a program it says that I don’t have permission, but if I right click on the file and choose properties and then under the general tab there is a unblock button which unlocks the file so that I can install it, this is a file that I downloaded my self and is a joke if you ask me.

unblock

unblock

Next up is a couple off errors.

The top one which I later found out to be that the latest ATI drivers above 8.10 (so 8.11 and 8.12 etc) don’t seem to support my x1950gt which is a load of rubbish, the bottom one I use to get quiet often so i restarted the scheduling service and it has now gone away.

ati and scheduler error

ati and scheduler error

Third is a problem I have with this poorly implamented UAC in the fact the I need eluvated privliages to rename a desktop shortcut (how sad is that?)

shortcut-rename-permission

shortcut-rename-permission

Lastly I get this some times when I try to move a file from one folder to another

move-file-error

move-file-error

Well happy new year to all (I think)

My Desktop Wall

Well I have been busy working, Home internet is offline for at least the next 6 months until I work out a few things.

I have given up trying to work out the in’s and out’s of Vista and have just decided to enjoy it more.

Here is a screen shot of my Vista home premium 64bit operating system and my Benq 20inch wide screen LCD at a resaloution of 1680 x 1050.

Click for the full size version of 1680 x 1050.

Images have been removed as I no longer have a flickr account.

Well until next time.