Flgrx? More like F#@$%!!!!

June 8, 2007

Nobody comes close to knowing the frustration I’ve had with my graphics drivers and Ubuntu. I’ve reconfigured xorg.conf at least 12 times. Reinstalled Ubuntu twice. Ugh…

So I have an Ati Radeon 9800 in my PC. I couldn’t have picked a worse compatible video card for Ubuntu. Not only does ATI not release open source software, but even with the supplied propriatery drivers, I couldn’t get things to work! Specifically, Beryl.

Beryl is a really cool window manager that gives all sorts of 3d accelerated effects on your desktop. Here’s a video. Cool, no? Of course it isn’t necessary, but it’d really snazz things up. The easy solution is to download the Flgrx drivers (closed source) from ATI and then be done with it. But for some reason, my card wont switch over from the old ones, to flgrx. I can’t get any 3d acceleration. This is definatley a widespread problem in the community, and I’m really awaiting breakthroughs with it.

Mmmm…Epsilen

June 8, 2007

The world of ePortfolios is a large and daunting one. Services from the Open Source, OS Portfolio to the text based myeport are all calling my name in hopes that I utilize their system. I haven’t tried them all, but I’ve seen ’em all, and there is an obvious winner, no contest.

The Epsilen Environment is the BEST electronic portfolio system out there.

It’s simpy the best…better than all the rest!

Epsilen works through Javascript. None of that slow flash or shockwave or anything. It’s fast, fun, and affordable. Your documents are presented one after the other in a sort of showcase. They have a specific area for your resume and blogging software too.

The greatest downside was the requirement of an .edu email address to create an account. Suckers! I think I get mine for New Paltz at the end of this month, during orientation. So I’m using someone else’s. It’s no problem, except my URL is hername.cuny.epsilen.com. But that’s just a URL and look at tinyurl. It’s easy.

So, find an @college.edu, and sign up with epsilen if you want an online directorate of your work.

Digitally Planning For a Trip

June 6, 2007

I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, the fact that I’m leaving in a month is almost surreal. My best friend will be there for a month before I leave, and I’m going to meet her in Barcelona. As we’re still in the midst of planning, and I just had to take a step back, and realize what an asset the internet really is for us.

We found hostels online, bought plane and ferry tickets online, called shops and hostels through skype, and much more. The internet is the sole resource making this trip possible. We’ve logged on to so many international URL’s that we have Altavista’s Babelfish at the top of our bookmarks bar!

The only thing we’re using that isn’t on the internet are guidebooks. We buy really nice expensive guidebooks from Barnes and noble. We be really careful with them, and take notes on the things that interest us, and then we return them, getting two more guidebooks. It’s a great system and I highly suggest it to anyone. But there’s a two week maximum!

I wonder what else we could do online for this trip. I’ve already started creating a map on google maps, detailing my route and landmarks and stuff that I want to see. I’ve also been playing with the “trips” application on facebook. I”d like to spread the word about my trip, see what people have to say. If you’re interested, leave a comment and I can email you the KML file. You can load it into google earth and track me where I am. If I were REALLY fancy (and rich) I would update it periodically with a GPS while i’m over there.

Democracy Player!

June 5, 2007

On windows, my internet TV watching consisted primarily of you tubing old shows I had enjoyed as a kid. I knew there was a community out somewhere broadcasting internet television, but I didn’t know the first place to look. Luckily, on Ubuntu every application you could want is provided. It was easy to enlighten me on the various internet TV viewing software that was out there.

I settled on Democracy player because it was a name that I had heard before, and the concept seemed really cool. Channels and RSS feeds and whatnot, video podcasts. (vidcast?)

It was no hassle to download and install. Once I started it, I was greeted with various channels pre-installed. Much of the “Media that matters” film festival is on here. Shorts that I had been yearning to see!

Going through the channel guide is a breeze, but it’s kind of hard to sort the corporate channels from the DIY ones. But the gems are out there. I’ll post couple I recommend when I have them in front of me.

So, I highly highly recommend democracy player. It will introduce you to media and videos available no where else but the internet.

My “Switch”

June 4, 2007

I’ve been interested in Linux ever since I heard about some red hat my friend had set up. He never showed it to me directly, but he gave me the CD’s for it. It wouldn’t even boot on an old computer I had, so I quickly dismissed it.

After getting into digg and slashdot and others like that I heard a lot of buzz centered around ubuntu, but I never pursued it. It wasn’t until a writer whose blog I follow made his own “switch” to linux. And it inspired me to do so as well. That, coupled with a new release of the software had me sold. I realize Ubuntu isn’t exactly the get on your knees and get dirty distro, but it’s a start.

So I downloaded the .iso, burned it to a CD. I then realized how confusing partitions are… It took a lot of research to figure out exactly what type of partitions I needed, because the Gnome partition utility wouldn’t do what I wanted to. It probably would have, but I was just too frustrated.

I set up my partitions correctly, and then I’m set! My wireless card wasn’t natively supported, and the only solution was Linuxant’s driverloader, with a $19.95 liscense. I used the free trial for a week, then came across a wireless card someone else was throwing out, which was a godsend. It worked flawlessly with ubuntu’s open source drivers. The only propietary drivers i’m using is for my ATI. But that’s another post on it’s own.

I’ve been using it for about a month now, and I’ll provide overall opinions on it later, but I’m pretty sure that the switch is there to stay. I kinda messed up my windows XP installation, so I have no choice! I’m not worrying, there are alternatives to anything I could want to do. I’m probably even utilizing my computer more with Ubuntu than I ever have with windows!

Digital Resistance

May 30, 2007

I was surprised and very much impressed with this article in the New York Times. The government of Estonia removed the bust of a Soviet war hero, and Russians didn’t take kindly to it. They held protests in the square where the statue was removed plus a slew of attacks on the “Estonian cyberspace.”

Digital resistance, anyone? Direct action via protests or riots combined with this type of digital action could really blossom into a force to be reckoned with. Imagine a rally planned some Friday night, in tandem with a digital riot. Do you see how effective that could be? Sadly, in this case it wasn’t. But I think the whole thing speaks volumes about the 21st century and activism.

The thing I don’t particularly agree with is the article’s depiction of these “hacktivists.” They speak about them as if they were bloodthirsty wolves. While I don’t think the way they went about it was the best,the article doesn’t really give hope for what this could set an example for.

Jeremy’s Open Source Blog

May 30, 2007

I won’t go into the fine details of what I’ll be writing about, but it’ll have to do with computing, the internet, Ubuntu, open source philosophy, etc.

Oriinally this was a project focused on detailing what it was like to switch off a windows OS, but I want to include so much more.