Flash Player 9 for Linux expected in early 2007

August 31, 2006

Yesterday the following information was released by the people over at Penguin.SWF (developers of Flash Player 9 for Linux):

Our current schedule for releasing the final version of Flash Player 9 for Linux is early 2007. Many readers have understandably requested a beta version before that time.alpha-beta.pngYes, we do plan to release a beta version in advance of the final version. However, it will be a beta in the classical software engineering sense– i.e., a version that we believe to be largely bug-free and submitted to the users in the hopes that the last of the bugs will be found and reported.Why are we stubbornly refusing to release, say, an alpha version now? Primarily because there are known bugs in the Linux Flash Player, and because we know what the bugs are, and we are on track to fix these known bugs. If we were to release an alpha now, we would likely be inundated with reports about bugs we already know about. We think that processing such redundant reports would not necessarily be the most industrious use of our time.So, the beta will come. Watch this space.

Source: Penguin.SWF

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Should I try (ai)xgl/compiz

August 25, 2006

It has been weeks since I’ve installed Compiz on my portable. Should you use (AI)XGL/Compiz on your normal working machine?Not in my case. I’ve been experiencing some rendering issues. In order to solve the problem I have to restart Compiz every time it happens. Is that bad?Since the whole XGL/Compiz thing is alpha I don’t expect an all feature working release. I even don’t expect it to be stable. But for an absolute beginner who doesn’t knows his way around the wole matter will make it even worse. Textboxes with no content will be appearing. Option won’t be visible. If an absolute beginner edits settings out of curiosity he won’t be able to just quickly apply the default values. A nice example is starting an application which requires a system password. I know when to expect this box. While an absolute beginner will be presented with simply an vague opacity screen.If you have a system or partition available which isn’t of importance for you, trying out XGL/Compiz will only be fun.


My first day as an Apple Technician.

August 23, 2006

Today was the first day I could experience my job. Yesterday my store manager asked me if I was interested in helping out the guys at the head office. At the moment they are missing two colleagues. One of them has found other work, I will be replacing him permanently soon. An other employee at the head office couldn’t work much this week. So why not. It would be a nice opportunity to check everything out and get used to my new desk which will be mine within a couple of weeks.I start earlier. My train leaves at 7:22 AM and since I like big breakfasts and checking my email and daily links my day starts while it’s still dark. Around 8:10 AM I arrive at work and the first thing to do is find the coffee machine. Though I always drink coffee in the morning when I get up I still need an other cup to become productive. While drinking my coffee I could match the faces with names I’ve been talking with on the telephone.The day started highly tech. Bas, my supervisor pointed out an Apple PowerMac G5 2.0 Dual Core of which the Power Supply was dead. Since the PowerMac has three to four different kind of screws and they vary in length it was a bit sketchy and difficult to work at a fast tempo. But still, taking out the motherboard, all connectors, Power Supply Unit, loads of screws and fans and putting it all back took me two hours without practically any help. So yes, even after one year being away from fixing normal desktop computer I still have the skills.After a short break it was time to disassemble a Macbook 1.83. I’ve never disassembled a notebook in my life, especially no Apple type. Taking one apart is much easier actually only you have to be very careful and get the feeling. But for the first time it also went very well. But… I still managed to brake something. The top case of the macbooks (which also contains the track pad and keyboard) is connected to the Main Logic Board via a small and fragile cable. Yes, I broke that connector. No worries though, it will be fixed tomorrow by replacing the top case.Bas and Johan (an other Apple Certified Technician) decided to work over. The workload at the head office is very huge. Since I’ll be their colleague withing some weeks and I was enjoying the whole day I automatically wanted to help out too. So after having dinner at the local cafeteria we drove back and got busy.Having to deal with some paperwork I went berserk on that. After that it was time again to repair another Macbook. While the Macbook was fixing itself (software), I diagnosed / analyzed an iMac and arranged replacement parts to be ordered.I enjoyed the day tremendously. Being always interested in hardware, software and troubleshooting this is just the job for me. After four years of experience with desktop computers I decided I wanted to continue in the same lane until I am going to start my new study. Upcoming Friday I’m going back again since they still will be low on people. In Utrecht, they are still looking for someone to replace my tasks, salesman and technical service stuff handler. In Utrecht the technical handling is no big deal. Fixing iPod’s and retuning dead keyboards.


Ubuntu has a new community manager

August 22, 2006

Quoted from markshuttleworth.com

A short while ago I blogged about what I think is one of the most interesting and challenging positions at Canonical – the Ubuntu community manager. We had several fantastic folks in the shortlist and I’m pleased to say that Jono Bacon (a.k.a. jono on IRC.freenode.net, pictured here playing his own interpretation of Hamlet) will be stepping up to the plate.Jono – welcome aboard!We have one of the world’s best technology communities in Ubuntu – from the UbuntuForums to the MOTU with LoCo teams, Art, Doc, Marketing, and specialist interest groups all collaborating to make Ubuntu rock. I’m excited to have someone working across the project to help them all rock even harder!

Some more information quoted from jonobacon.org

Well, after an awesome time working with my good friends at OpenAdvantage, I am moving on and recently handed in my notice to move to a new role at Canonical. On September 4th I start as the Ubuntu Community Manager, and I am raring to go.

I have had a wonderful time at OpenAdvantage, and the team there are fantastic to work with, incredibly supportive and great fun. I will miss each and every one of them, and particularly enjoyed the impromptu discussions, debates and demos in and around all manner of subjects. At OpenAdvantage we have made huge strides in developing the West Midlands as a hotbed of activity for Open Source, and it has been great to be part of the ride. As the project nears its completion, I really hope OpenAdvantage can continue to do such sterling work across the West Midlands and hopefully across the UK. My departure from OpenAdvantage is entirely amicable and I look forward to staying in touch with all my friends there.So, onto the Ubuntu role. Some of you may have seen Mark’s blog post about the position. It is an interesting and challenging role, and one I am ready for. For the last eight years I have worked in a number of different communities, developing community relations and working to understand, rationalise and manage the different aspects of community effectively. Most recently I have been doing this with the Jokosher project, and we have an awesome community with a strong culture and direction.As Ubuntu Community Manager, my energy will be focused in a number of different areas, each a foundation for a strong Ubuntu community. This includes:

  • Ensuring the wheels of the community are well oiled, and the different teams (Documentation, Art, LoCo, Marketing, Press, Accessibility etc.) can effectively work together, resolve conflict, source resources and more.
  • Refine and explore methods to make the Ubuntu community as approachable as possible. I want to ensure potential contributors can get started quickly and know when, where and how to get involved easily.
  • Develop processes and practises to ensure we get the most out of contributor time. Many contributors only have limited time they can dedicate to a project – we want to make sure they get the most out of that time and there are as few obstacles and red tape in the way. Happy contributors get things done and achieve doable goals – lets make this rock even more.
  • To foster innovation at every level. We have so much potential to think outside the box, develop better ways of working together and new ways of delivering in each of the different teams.
  • Making the Ubuntu community as inclusive as possible. The ever-growing Ubuntu community spreads across many countries, cultures and communication mediums – lets make sure that we always retain community feel and spirit.
  • Measure and explore patterns in the community so we can understand it better and ensure all aspects of the community get the attention they need.

This is just a small subset of the work I will be doing as part of the Ubuntu project, and the job will bend, twist and move in the same direction that the community moves. Importantly, I am here to be a point of contact for the Ubuntu community. If you want to discuss something, have a concern, are unsure about something, do get in touch.So, where now? Well, in the meantime I need to get the usual new-job related things set up, wrap up a book and finish up some OpenAdvantage projects. This should take me up till the end of the month and then I get started.While I am doing this I want to know what you think about how the Ubuntu community could be improved, where is excels, what you would like to see happen and where you see the Ubuntu community in two years. I will be asking the same question to the different Ubuntu teams when my company email is set up, but I am interested in readers of jonobacon.org’s comments too. So, share with me your thoughts…


Absolute Beginner Guide: 915resolution

August 20, 2006

For those who own Intel graphical chipset it might happen that the maximum resolution can’t be set. Why this problem still isn’t solved I don’t know. It might have something to do with Ubuntu Linux or Intel drivers.Earlier in my blog I wrote how to install drivers for a Intel Graphical card. I took my own graphical card as an example. You can read the guide here.But even I have to apply an application to patch or set the resolution to the maximum. In my case that is 1400 x 1050. The application to achieve that is called 915resolution. So let’s get started then.

  • Know your max. resolution

This is really important. In case 915resolution displays resolutions your monitor / LCD can’t bear. Otherwise you will risk xserver-xorg failures and in the worst case damage your monitor / LCD. In my case the max. resolution is 1400 x 1050.

  • Download and install 915resolution

This is also very simple to do. 915resolution is an application which is located in your package manager. But first you must add the ‘universe’ and ‘multiverse’ repositories since it’s located there.System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager -> Settings -> Repositories.After you have added them you’ll be asked to reload your Package Manager information. If not, click the reload button on the left. After that’s done it’s just selecting 915resolution and hitting the apply button which will install the application on your hard drive.

  • Setting up 915resolution

The application is a CLI (Command Line Interface) one. But don’t worry it’s really easy to use. Let’s discuss how 915resolution works.915resolution has the ability to recognize Intel Graphical Chips and determine their max. resolutions and bit depth. But except recognizing 915resolution is able to patch the system so that the real maximum resolution can be used. The user has to run the application with a parameter. Then when choosing a mode from the output, the user has to edit a config file. This file will be addressed to every time the user logs in. After editing the file 915resolution has to be used one more time to set / activate the mode. So it’s quite simple.

  • Determine the Intel graphical chipset

In order to apply the correct resolution and bit depth 915resolution first has to know with what kind of Intel Chipset it has to deal. Perform the following terminal work to find out:

$sudo 915resolution -l

The output displays mode for you to choose from. I will stick to my own chipset in order to make the example as easy as possible.

Intel 800/900 Series VBIOS Hack : version 0.5.2Chipset: 855GMBIOS: TYPE 2Mode Table Offset: $C0000 + $36fMode Table Entries: 21Mode 30 : 640×480, 8 bits/pixelMode 32 : 800×600, 8 bits/pixelMode 34 : 1024×768, 8 bits/pixelMode 38 : 1280×1024, 8 bits/pixelMode 3a : 1600×1200, 8 bits/pixelMode 3c : 1400×1050, 8 bits/pixelMode 41 : 640×480, 16 bits/pixelMode 43 : 800×600, 16 bits/pixelMode 45 : 1024×768, 16 bits/pixelMode 49 : 1280×1024, 16 bits/pixelMode 4b : 1600×1200, 16 bits/pixelMode 4d : 1400×1050, 16 bits/pixelMode 50 : 640×480, 32 bits/pixelMode 52 : 800×600, 32 bits/pixelMode 54 : 1024×768, 32 bits/pixelMode 58 : 1280×1024, 32 bits/pixelMode 5a : 1600×1200, 32 bits/pixelMode 5c : 1400×1050, 32 bits/pixelMode 7c : 1024×600, 8 bits/pixelMode 7d : 1024×600, 16 bits/pixelMode 7e : 1024×600, 32 bits/pixeldjons@tosh-empire:~$

Note that I have found my max. resolution and bit depth (Mode 5c). Also note that my output has another max. resolution of 1600 x 1200 (Mode 4b and Mode 5a). I know for sure my LCD does not support that. Remember not to choose resolutions which are higher than your max. since it can or will damage your xserver-xorg or monitor / LCD.

  • Editing the 915resolution file

The configuration file of 915resolution makes sure your setup won’t be lost the next time you reboot the system. Editing the configuration file is also a breeze. It asks you to specify the Mode, bit depth and max. resolution. That’s it!Do the following terminal work to open the 915resolution for editing:

$sudo gedit /etc/default/915resolution

Below here I’ve copy / pasted the content of the file with the options I had to write down for my Intel Graphical Card and type of LCD.

## 915resolution default## find free modes by /usr/sbin/915resolution -l# and set it to MODE or set to ‘MODE=auto’## With ‘auto’ detection, the panel-size will be fetched from the VBE# BIOS if possible and the highest-numbered mode in each bit-depth# will be overwritten with the detected panel-size.MODE=5c## and set resolutions for the mode.#XRESO=1400YRESO=1050## We can also set the pixel mode.# Please note that this is optional,# you can also leave this value blank.BIT=32

It is possible to let the 915resolution file alone keeping it on auto. But in my case every time I rebooted the system it switched back to 1280 x 1024. Also this way you ensure 915resolution by accident or whatever does not select a resolution which will wreck.

  • Applying / Patching / Setting the Mode

After you have saved the configuration file and closed it there is one last thing we have to do with the terminal. We have sought for modes, we have specified one and now we have to let 915resolution know what our choice will be. Do the following terminal work to apply the Mode.

$sudo 915resolution 5c 1400 1050

Note that the mode 5c and the resolution 1400 x 1050 are part of my own Intel Graphical Chipset in combination with my own type of LCD Panel. If everything goes well you should receive a message which looks like this:

Intel 800/900 Series VBIOS Hack : version 0.5.2Chipset: 855GMBIOS: TYPE 2Mode Table Offset: $C0000 + $36fMode Table Entries: 21Patch mode 5c to resolution 1400×1050 complete

You are done! The only thing rest to do is restart the xserver (ctrl + alt + backspace) or restart the system. When you login it should be the maximum resolution. You can always open:System -> Preferences -> Screen ResolutionIn order to check if the application works.


New job, same company!

August 18, 2006

A lot of things have been going on lately. I’m working several articles for the blog at the same time. In real life I just got a new job at the same company. Within a few weeks I’m done with selling Apple hardware, software and accessories. I’ve have been chosen to work at our head office in Rhenen, The Netherlands. There I will be repairing Apple Hardware, provide service and keep the administration clean.Everything about the decision I made makes me smile. I work from early morning till early evening. Instead of late morning till late evening. I won’t have to stand and keep up appearances since the technical service is a behind the shop happening. I’m going back to my roots. Being a salesman is one thing but doing the technical has always been one of my better qualities.Since it’s almost a year ago I joined the company I won’t have to go through the whole ‘learning the company’ procedure. It’s just immediately starting to do what I’m being told to do.Boy I can’t wait.


Some minor flaws with XGL

August 8, 2006

Several hours of fun and a quick nap have passed since I installed XGL on my system and Compiz to manage it all. It’s running cute on my portable which is equipped with an Intel 855GM onboard chipset. But there are a few flaws which I can’t seem to correct.

  • Two modules (state and trailfocus) are causing the whole XGL/Compiz configuration to fail. Even restarting Compiz does not seem to help. But I haven’t really looked in to this problem. Maybe it’s simple to solve.
  • Not all shorcuts work. Also, when I manually add / replace shortcuts (even after restarting Compiz) they don’t work.

But even with these two small problems, XGL can be a nice extra running on top of your desktop.