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Archive for December, 2008

Dell Mini 9 in the house

Posted by anjilslaire on December 28, 2008

Finally got my mini 9 from the FedEx man yesterday, and I’m impressed so far.

As others have said, the keyboard is taking abit getting used to. So far, everything has worked well out of the box on a vanilla Intrepid installation, except for WPA access. Nothing I can do will allow me to connect to my router when WPA is on. If I disable WPA, it connects fine with broadcasting turned off & MAC filtering turned on. More testing will be going on in the future on my part.

All in all, I’m happy with my new system. I just need to pick up more ram & go from 512 to 2gigs. Then this thing will fly…

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Firefox scrolling: One more time…

Posted by anjilslaire on December 16, 2008

OK, beating a dead horse, I know.

Out of the blue, my mouse starting acting up again, thinking the “back” button was clicked in Firefox 3 when I scroll up. Did I say “again”?

I was about to pull my hair out, as I live by my trusty scroll wheel. The new xorg.conf in Intrepid doesn’t accept configuration changes. That is to say, you can edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf all you want, and it doesn’t care. Xserver will use its own settings as it sees fit, thank you. This of course makes my previously posted mouse config settings obsolete.

So, after more searching I’ve finally found a bug on Launchpad that describes the situation perfectly, and also includes a working fix. While I certainly don’t take credit for the fix, it has a simple solution:

sudo rmmod psmouse && sudo modprobe psmouse rate=100 proto=imps

And a permanent fix, add the following to /etc/modprobe.d/options:

#Fix mouse for KVM
options psmouse proto=imps

Hopefully this is finally put to rest. Now, the inability to edit xorg.conf is a whole ‘nother pet peeve…

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NXE: Encouraging used games?

Posted by anjilslaire on December 14, 2008

OK, I’ve installed the  NXE for my Xbox 360 Elite. While the new navigation system and Marketplace layout is nice, and the Avatars are , well, Mii-like, my favorite new feature by far is the ability to install games to the hard drive. Some of the benefits include:
improved load times (in most cases)
less heat generated (arguably)
much quieter operation without the DVD drive spinning.

I’ve installed several games to my 120gig drive, making me really appreciate my choosing the Elite when I bought it last year. Recently I had been wondering if dropping the extra cash was worth it, since I don’t plan on buying stuff from the Marketplace (too much DRM, thanks), making the extra $100 or so essentially cosmetic for the black case.

So, when the new hard drive installation became an option, I was overjoyed. I have a softmodded Xbox with a 120gig drive that I load all of my (legally purchased) games on, in addition to streaming all of my movies that I rip from the DVD to xvid from my linux server to XBMC. So suffice it to say I’m not fond of digging my discs out to use the content, but I digress…

The new feature works great. Insert disc, select it from the Dashboard and select Install to Hard drive. This essentially rips an ISO of th game disc to the hard drive to be read during play. After this, you select the game, and it prompts you to insert the original disc for authentication. You didn’t think MS would allow disc-free play, did you?
In any event, I find this acceptable as the disc drive screeches for about 1 second, then goes absolutely silent, and the game loads.
And loads well. In fact, I never hear the fans kick in at all during gameplay, so the system obviously does stay cooler to some extent.

Now, to the point of this post.
While shopping for gifts this past week, I saw a few games I would like to have myself, but not enough to pay full retail price. Now when I see these games, I would normally just think, “I’ll wait a few months and pick them up new after the price drop”. I don’t normally participate in th used games market, as it’s essentially a ripoff:
Gamestop is selling Force Unleashed used for $55 in my neck of the woods. That’s a whole $5 less than retail. For a used disc. For a used disc that who knows whats been done to it, and what condition it’s in, specifically. Not to mention the developer sees none of that money, but thats another post I’m not going to get into now. ( Yes, 1st right of sale, I agree that’s a good right, etc)

However, I saw another game thats maybe a year old, still selling for $40 retail that I saw in the bin for $15 used. Now that’s a bargain. And I thought, “hmm, used. It only needs 1 really good rip to the hard drive, and then a validation check at load time.”

I don’t know if I’m the only weirdo that thinks this way, but in a strange way it seems to me that loading to drive and the less intensive verification check would be an encouragement to buy used, as it takes some of the fear out of getting an abused game disc.
I’m personally going to continue to buy new when possible, but I think it will be interesting to see what kinds of changes to the used game market will be seen now that the consoles allow hard drive-based play.

Posted in gaming, media, rants, stuff, xbox 360 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blog of Helios

Posted by anjilslaire on December 12, 2008

There’s been a ruckus this week about a teacher confiscating a  student’s linux CDs. While I feel there was confusion on both sides, I think everyone should read Part II (assuming this interchange is legitimate):
http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/

UPDATE:

A week later I’m not to sure this is even legitmate, however. There has been zero confirmation or proof that this event even occurred. I’m ashamed that I jumped to the assumption that this is fact, regardless of which side of the fence I’m sitting on, on this one.

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Xubuntu: 1 month in

Posted by anjilslaire on December 9, 2008

So I’ve been running Xubuntu Intepid for about a month now. I must say I’m feeling very much at home now. As much as I enjoy all the settings & options in KDE3.5 (still no fan of KDE4, sorry) I’m really getting my groove on in the stripped down environment that is XFCE.

I’m really an application fan anyay, so as long as I have a DE that stays out of my way & lets me run my preferred applications without any unneeded overhead is good in my book. Give me firefox, AmaroK, acidrip, pidgin, k3b, a few choice applets & I’m a happy camper for the most part.

Compiz is running great, much better than in KDE3.5 (yes KDE4 has built-in eye candy, blah blah blah) and the whole system feels more responsive, even running QTE/KDE apps under what appears to essentially be a gnome  framework.

I’m getting my mini 9 for Christmas (there are some things the missus just can’t get for me), and I plan on wiping the Dell Ubuntu image & loading Xubuntu 8.10 with 2 gigs of ram. I haven’t seen any reports yet of XFCE being run on this thing, so I’m excited to try it out and report back.

I’ll post details after New Year’s about the mini, but I’ll likely be back before then rambling about something else, I’m sure.

Posted in linux, xubuntu | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »