Sat Jan 9 11:12:45 CET 2010

The Windows Install Game

Recently I aquired a nice Lenovo notebook. I'm quite happy so far with it (and need to document how to setup EVERYTHING), but I did have some small troubles getting the integrated GSM/UMTS modem to work as expected.
[btw, if anyone has some bluetooth gadgets to send me I'd appreciate it since I have no way of testing if bluetooth works or is configured right]
Now this notebook had a preinstalled XP (which booted once so I was sure the machine would boot) and some Vista recovery DVD I decided to use these magic recovery DVDs (three all in all) to install Windows so I could test the UMTS part. I needed to wipe the disk anyway for a fully encrypted setup, so nothing was lost :)
I might be spoiled from using Linux, but it took over 3 hours until the install was done. During that time it rebooted nine times. Imagine that. To recover from a simple failure ... 3 hours? On quite nice hardware? What! I am seriously annoyed at the level of fail exposed there. A binary distro like Ubuntu takes about that time to download, install, update. Heck, emerge -e world doesn't take that long.
Plus Vista lags. I mean, it does have some basic effects like transparency and does compiz-like "omg I haz effects" thingies when minimizing or maximizing windows, but it looks quite primitive and dated. So how can it be THAT slow?
On a normal desktop showing two or three windows I see no acceptable excuse for making a focus switch take noticeable time. If I click on a window I don't see why it should take half a second for the window to get focus. And starting apps shouldn't take that long. Also, what the bleeeeeep happened to the Control Panel? That looks like a nice game now, but it doesn't even let me configure my wired network interface in any easy and accessible way. Seriously not nice. Bah, I'm glad it's gone. It's a waste of time and nerves, and it's not viable as a desktop operating system. KDE4 or death!
Which leads me to the next disappointment - KDE4.5 trunk has not broken in unexpected ways. It's so boring! I expected a commit flood (which happened) and stuff breaking (which hasn't happened yet). Looks like those kids got the integration problems under control and things will only get more boring and predictable for us packagers. Isn't it nice?

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Thu Jan 7 02:27:46 CET 2010

Things I did today

So today has been quite productive.
On the XEN front I've killed the 2.6.20 and 2.6.21 kernels as they were lacking a will to live. Instead I finally added (masked) the shiny new kernels from the gentoo-xen-kernel project. That allowed me to close about 20 stale bugs ... and give y'all a chance to file a dozen new ones.
On the postgres front things are looking good, I finally fixed 7.4.27, made the init scripts posix sh compliant and fixed this annoying integer-datetime switcheroo. If all goes well we'll have the "new" split ebuilds stable and I can finally exterminate the oooold libpq and postgresql bugs. Aaaah :)
If you haven't noticed there's an election for a vacant council seat running, so stop slacking and vote. And/or live with the results.
KDE 4.5 branched. So I'm one login away from not using 4.4 anymore. Oooooooold :D
The whole bugwrangling thing is getting on my nerves a bit, I've been wrangling something over 30 bugs a day for a while now. And as soon as I don't do it for a day or two the bugwrangler queue grows over 100 bugs and I'm sad.

And that's how it goes. Another day ends, another pile of bugs sneaks up in the middle of the night. In the morning things look sad again and we restart our sysiphean task once more.

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Sun Jan 3 21:27:26 CET 2010

All things radeon

The recent updates in radeon and mesa have been quite nice, it leads to this:
OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.                             
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R600 (RV730 9498) 20090101  TCL               
OpenGL version string: 2.0 Mesa 7.8-devel                                      
OpenGL shading language version string: 1.10 
which means that more things work better now.
The upside (things like doom3 not crashing but actually starting) comes at a price for now: Some applications are just stupid slow. For example UT2003 is so slow that the menu is barely usable, but UT2004 runs very nicely. And the things that run fast seem to have gotten faster since last time I tried (when OpenGL 1.2 was all you could get from radeon).

Now I'll only have to wait a while until the nice people that are working on it fix the performance issues - that shouldn't take long, I hope. Open source drivers are fun!

Posted by Patrick | Permalink