Tuesday, June 24, 2008

NVIDIA and ATI on openSUSE 11.0

Sorry, this one's mostly a rambling bucket of links and a newsgroup post replicated.
Subject: NVIDIA and ATI on openSUSE 11.0
From: houghi
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 20:34:23 +0530
Newsgroup: alt.os.linux.suse

With the coming of 11.0 juste hours away now, many people will be asking
on how to install NVIDEA and ATI.

This is the posting that explains it all.

The URL with the information

The text version:
ATI drivers 1-click-install : http://opensuse-community.org/ati.ymp
NVIDEA drivers 1-click-install : http://opensuse-community.org/nvidia.ymp

Via the command line:
su -c "OCICLI http://opensuse-community.org/ati.ymp"
su -c "OCICLI http://opensuse-community.org/nvidia.ymp"
This also shows on how to use the _OneClickInstall_on_CLI_

Another via cli:
zypper sa http://download.nvidia.com/opensuse/11.0 nvidia
zypper in x11-video-nvidiaG01

zypper sa http://www2.ati.com/suse/11.0 ati
zypper in x11-video-fglrxG01

No manual configuration of xorg.conf or switching on Xgl required to get
compiz goodness, just launch simple-ccsm and enable compiz from there
after installing the drivers.

Missing window titles on compiz:

openSUSE XGL page:

An appeal for open drivers for linux

My experiments with compiz (failed):


Some good way to search

Search this string:

-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) "Nirvana"

What it basically does is to find file listings of type wma or mp3 for Nirvana songs. One can modify it to search for any particular file one might want to find on ftp servers and that sort.

Source: http://www.employees.org/~smitha/myblog/?q=node/46


Monday, June 16, 2008

Finally Tuxed

This is more on a personal note. If you have been reading this blog, you'd know that I had plans to buy a Compal JFL 92 based laptop and go linux on it and say good bye to windows once and for all, when I go to Wisconsin for my Masters.

Well, as it turns out, the linux migration got expedited ! Special thanks to my colleague and cab-mate Smitha Narayanaswamy who inspired me to do it right off and guided me a lot with locating complementary tools on linux to fit in with the cisco workflow model which mostly is based on Windows.

Although there are a few requirements for which I need to resort to windows on virtualbox, I've mostly been successful in extricating myself out of that OS dependency.


VirtualBox on OpenSUSE 10.3

This is a good intro to installing and using VirtualBox on OpenSUSE 10.3

Basically, the virtualbox which comes bundled with opensuse is the OSS version which doesn't work very well on various fronts. So unintall it..

Then download the prebuilt binary for OpenSUSE 10.3 available at http://www.virtualbox.org/ and install it.

Next, add whichever usernames you want to give access to virtual box to the group vboxusers (easiest done through yast2)

Now run the command "virtualbox" and enjoy !


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Compiz on thinkpad (T43) using OpenSUSE 10.3

Out of the box, OpenSUSE 10.3 detects the graphics card on IBM Thinkpad T43 as ATI Radeon M300 something. That's the default driver bundled with OpenSUSE. And quite expectably, the driver does not support 3D, direct rendering etc. That translates to No Compiz.

However, there seems to be fixes for the same. In fact, at this writing, I'm halfway through the process (having successfully switched to an ATI furnished driver which detects the card properly and allows 3D and direct rendering.) Keeping this as a record of what I do, so that folks as clueless as I was when I started out can make good use of this and do the work faster :)

The step 1. is to go to http://en.opensuse.org/ATI and download the version 8.0.* of the ATI drivers available there. The one click install is what I did. (You might need to add the Opensuse OSS repository to your Yast2 > Software > Software Repositories. The repo maybe found at http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/10.3/repo/oss/ )

Next, once the one-click install is over, do
# aticonfig --initial
as root.

Now, you can run "sax2 -r" as root and you will see the card detected as ATI Radeon X300. Also, CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE will restart the X server for you with the updated configuraion.

Next, in /etc/X11/ open the file xorg.conf, and at the bottom add the following lines
Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Enable"
Option "DAMAGE" "Enable"
(The extensions section might already be there, in which case add/update the options there)
These lines take care of the errors
compiz (core) - Fatal: No composite extension
compiz (core) - Fatal: No DAMAGE extension

At this point, 3D works. (Small issues though, like the arcade game "Chromium B.S.U." hangs the system immediately on launch) However, "compiz --replace" still doesn't. Working on fixing this now.

(For nvidia cards, drivers can similarly be found at http://en.opensuse.org/Nvidia.)
========= ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= =========

I gave up !

The ATI Driver seems to be buggy. Although the above procedure will get you 3D enabled, with beautiful effects and shadows and all that, it makes the system highly unstable.

For example, the chromium game crash I mentioned above. And also, once when I locked the computer, I guess some OpenGL screen saver would have started.. And this (!) crashed the comp !

So I removed the ATI drivers and reverted to the SUSE supplied stable drivers; no 3D but stable as ever.. Hopefully my Compal JFL 92 will work perfect with OpenSUSE 11.0 on that front.. (!)


[1] http://tombuntu.com/index.php/2008/04/28/workaround-for-pink-shadows-with-compiz/


Friday, June 6, 2008

Firefox has a 21% global market share.

A long long time ago (in computer science terms, that translates to 26 years) the Mosaic web browser was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign.

Soon mosaic became Netscape communicator and became among the most successful web browsers. However this was not to stay with Microsoft upsetting the bandwagon with their free Internet Explorer ( a.k.a. Internut Exploder in the anti-microsoft circles; in fact, wikipedia redirects Internut Exploder to Internet Explorer :D ) which was bundled along with the Windows operating system.

The United States vs. Microsoft lawsuit was settled mostly in favor of microsoft. Pursuant to AOL takeover of Netscape, the Mozilla Foundation, which had already been set up as a subsidiary of Netscape, was made a separate entity.

And Mozilla made the Mozilla application suite which today goes by the name Mozilla SeaMonkey. Some of the brilliant intellectuals at Mozilla soon decided that commercial requirements have resulted in a drastic feature creep into Mozilla, bloating up the application suite. Hence, Firefox was spun off as an experimental branch to combat this.

Firefox version 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. Since then, it's adoption by the market has been dramatic.

Today, Mozilla firefox holds a whopping 21.1 % of the global browser market share.. A place which was dominated by over 90% by the Microsoft Internet Explorer !!!

Way to go!!

On a subtler note, what will become of the GNU IceWeasel vs Mozilla Firefox, is another question only time can tell though.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mozilla Thunderbird, sorting threads by the newst email in the thread

One of the annoying issues I was facing with mozilla thunderbird email client was that when I opt to have emails grouped into threads (conversations), the threads are sorted according to the Date and time of the earliest/oldest email in the thread. So if someone replies to a thread a month after the oldest email in that thread, the thread will have an unread message in it, but I won't notice it because it's not among the topmost few threads in my inbox.

Figured out the fix now, to have threads sorted by the date and time of the newest email in it.

View > Sort By > Threaded.

Wonder why thunderbird doesn't have this as the default setting.

Anyways, now when someone replies to an old thread, that entire thread gets brought to the top in my inbox, making it impossible that I miss a mail.

PS: I know this sounds a silly post; but if you use thunderbird, you'll know how annoying this is. In fact, google shows there are people who quit thunderbird for this singular reason.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sending email (smtp) using python

bash$ python
Python 2.1.1 (#1, Dec 29 2004, 11:06:29)
[GCC 3.3.3] on linux2
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> # First we need to import smtplib, which we use for sending email
>>> import smtplib
>>> # Next we compose the message we want to be sent, in MIME format.
>>> # You can go ahead and include attachments or whatever.
>>> # One quick way would be to use MS Outlook or something to compose
>>> # the message, then save it as .eml, and copy the source.
>>> # Note here that "From:", "To:", "Cc:" etc are what your recipients
>>> # will see in the header, but does not reflect on who the message is
>>> # actually from, or is actually sent to.
>>> # The message only goes to people who you specify in the sendmail() call.
>>> # Note also that the \r\n pattern should separate each field in the header
>>> # and the \r\n\r\n separates header from the body.
>>> message = """From: John Dove <john@dove.com>\r\nTo: John Dove <john@dove.com>\r\nCc: Jane Dove <jane@dove.com>\r\nSubject: Hi!\r\n\r\n
... Hi John,

... How are you doing man?
... Just mailing in to let you know that I exist..
... Just woke up when you were loitering around in the pantry :D
... /your alter-ego(2)
... """
>>> # Now we initiate the smtp connection
>>> mailServer = smtplib.SMTP("smtp.server.com")
>>> # Now we actually send the email..
>>> mailServer.sendmail("sender@somewhere.com", ["recipient1@somewhere.com",
... "recipient2@somewhere.com", "john.dove@somewhereelse.com"], message);

>>> # Now that we are done, we 'hang up' the connection
>>> mailServer.close()
>>> # bbye :D