just another web log
1 Jun 2003 11:18 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
Well that was fun, after 20 mins of OpenSSH trying to install I get no space on device >:(
Still, gives me a chance to uninstall all the X stuff I never use (X works but only at 640x480 with 16 colors, Erck
Got lm-sensors to work by linking it to where all the other libraries are, that was after a painful trial to get the PATH to change.
All the information I had said to use SET PATH= but that DOES NOT WORK !!
You need (to add an extra directory) just PATH=$PATH:/new/path
You know you have married the right woman when she gives you a ceiling apache helicopter for the wedding anaversery and she loves the flowers and bits you got her :)

31 May 2003 10:53 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
No news on the screen saver front but i might work on that today.
I keep trying to install OpenSSH on this machine to allow secure access to the main machine avoiding FTP/telnet etc, but each time I get a different error about what to install, first it was zlib then libcrypto and then when I had them it took over 2 hours to install OpenSSL (which is the libcrypto) so I still have not installed OpenSSH, I going to do that now.
I have been playing Lbreakout which is brilliant old school arkroid clone for X, much better than the gnome one that I got as part of the games install.
I found out why I changed the ld.so.conf file, lmsensors needed it, I know cos now lmsensors will not work :(

25 May 2003 18:34 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
Well I used the source code of one of the hacks in the xscreensaver as a base but found that its method of writing to the screen was to slow (i needed every pixel to be updated every frame) so after some searching I came across XCreateImage/XPutPixel/XputImage as a way of off screen buffering my changes.
One of the big things with xscreensaver is it should work on any color depth and because of this I am finding it hard to select the colors I want :(
I tried to get a free upgrade to my mobile phone to find a '*free*' upgrade would cost me 75 quid (t-mobile) so I said "but, I can just cancel the phone and sign up and get the same phone *free* from YOU!", so they put me through to another department that offered my the same deal for the cut price of 35 pounds, "Err, no, I want a free phone !", not something they can do, so I tried to cancel. "We need to speak to the owner of the phone" (it had been Sarah's originally) my reply "I am ringing from the phone, I have given the password correctly, I am the bill payer and the owners husband, plus she will not have these details", they reply "No, must speak to the registered owner", so I hung up got Sarah to ring back canceled the phone and now I am getting a nice new Nokia 7650 from o2 (*free*) oh and "my phone is a Nokia" ;)
Got my color stuff worked out only now I try it full screen it is not fast enough, but of course with my 1280x960 display it is running that many pixels per frame, I could either, find a quicker way of changing the pixels (avoiding XPutPixel) or change the display to 800x600 etc, I am not sure now to change the screen in X.

24 May 2003 13:46 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
I think I worked out what I did, I removed the line in /etc/ld.so.conf to /usr/local/lib and then ran ldconfig, but i can not be sure.
And after all that mucking about I got the latest xscreensaver 4.10 and it built no problems, not to impressed with the new cloudlife hack though, oh and to get extrusion to work with any image you want fist make sure it is in XPM format (use GIMP) and then in the settings use ADVANCED and add -texture and -image /your/image/path sorted !!
I got Super Monkey Ball cheap for the game cube, it has one of those accumulating points to unlock new stuff things, BUT the auto save option is NOT turned on by default, so I lost my first 4 hours of points >:(
But I have now opened Monkey Billiards, weird game to be sure, glad I did not pay full price as it seems to be lacking in some areas.
I am trying my hand a xscreensaver creation today, I will let you know how it goes.

22 May 2003 21:22 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
I was still missing some xscreensaver hacks and found it was due to missing GLE (openGL Extrusion) so tried to install that to find it could not see /usr/lib/libGL.la Well I have never heard of a .la file but it turns out it is some kind of library assistant for linking libs together. I found the file in /usr/local/lib and annoyingly with a load of libGL* files linking to MESA so I linked /usr/lib/libGL.la to the one in /usr/local/ now it would compile and all the demos ran well.
But that is not the end of the story, I went and rebuilt xscreensaver and all seemed well (added my jigglypuff hack) but now all the 3D stuff was slow, VERY slow >:(
I tried to re-link all the stuff in /usr/local/lib to /usr/lib and then tested this by rebuilding GLE, only I got scrambled images if it compiled at all.
So (as I had backed up all the files I was editing) I copied back all the original files, now GLE would build properly, but I get weird errors in the Makefile ("missing separator" >:(
The line referenced to by the error is near lines that NOW include references to GLE, oh and to top it all a new version of xscreensaver is out that I keep forgetting to bring home <sound type="growl">GRRRRrrr</sound>
On a rather weird note, I was reading the Linux Pro mag that came with Linux Format 41 while the 'make' was doing its thing. The article that I was looking at was 'make your own compiler' and it noted that "missing separator" errors were miss placed space/tabs in the Makefile, so I edited the Makefile.in directly and everything compiled (after 'make clean' etc)
All the hacks now work fine at full frame rate, what the hell did i change ?! >:(

21 May 2003 20:17 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
I have finished reading "faster than the speed of light" a very interesting book on the theory of Variable Speed of Light (VSL), which explores how differing speeds of light during the history of the universe solve many problems that relativity have not been able to get a handle on. And on top of that it is written in a very personable manner and is a lot of fun.
Also just finished reading "Hackers Challenge 2" which lays out scenarios with questions at the end with a separate answers section at the back of the book. Out of the 19 challenges put forward some are simple and seem benign while others are deeply interesting and explored fully. As these are all new challenges a lot refer to wifi, something I am not familiar with but over all I learnt a lot and would recommend it.
My main machine (AMD 1.4T-Bird) was almost to noisy to work with but all that changed last night when I fitted a silent PSU (300watt) and Zalman Flower Heat Sink (CNPS6000-Cu) all from http://www.quietpc.com (which arrived in less than 24 hours of web order!)
Fitting the PSU was straight forward but time consuming as I had to unplug everything, but it worked straight away and is VERY quiet !!
The Zalman Flower Heat Sink (FHS) was a bit more tricky due to the location of the CPU in my case, but after removing the old Cooler-master and using the tool provided the new FHS was in place (with a little thermal grease).
Incidentally the instructions clearly show a finger smoothing the thermal grease over the CPU core (and online Flash animations show the same), yet the small squeezy tube of grease clear says "Keep away from eyes and skin" did not stop me ;)
The FHS itself is made up of two distinct parts, the flower (which sits as the sink on the CPU) and the fan which is 'hovering' above the Flower/CPU.
The flower has a huge number of pure copper fins which all converge directly onto the core and are highly polished.
The fan is a bit odd, to avoid direct contact to the flower you use a highly configurable bracket mounted on the PCI/AGP slots. It is a large 90mm fan but due to its size it can run very slowly and even comes with 'fan mate' to control the speed. Again easy to fit (well straight forward, still takes a while) and is very quiet even at full speed.
I install lm-sensors to test the CPU/System temperature and after fitting the PSU/FHS the CPU is down 5 degrees and the System temp is down 13 degrees !!
Only problem now is I can hear the whiney hard drives, I might save up for the 'Silent drive' from quietpc.com ;)
Lm-sensors is very intimidating to install, but a quick 'make all' 'make install' (as root) on both packages and then 'sensors-detect' accepting all the defaults and it works perfectly on my VIA motherboard.

17 May 2003 13:13 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
Well I found one of the xscreensaver hacks was not working (just got a blank screen) so I contacted the author, who very kindly sent me the latest version of 'jigglypuff'.
After some fun hacking the Makefile to link jigglypuff to xpm-ximage.h it works beautifully, though I am not sure on the name as it is more a weird mutating blob than the singing pokemon ;)
I also installed MPlayer, which is even better than windows media player at playing AVI files(supposedly handles MOV and MPG as well), now I just need a nice front end (MPlayer is just the screen showing the movie, no controls etc).
It also seems really good at playing movies full screen (1240x960 for me), very clear and much less compression artifacts than media player :)
I tried to insmod the spca50x(built from the latest tar ball from sourceforge) but got errors, so still no luck on the webcam front :(
If you head over to the home page you should find a link to my new Linux section.
At the moment in has the steps I took in trying to install Debian and hardware/software installs, its pretty unsanitized and includes all the steps that gave me problems so make sure u read the WHOLE file and not just follow the part you are interested in !!

14 May 2003 20:02 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
I came home to find a blank screen, no keyboard or mouse response, but I could still FTP into the machine, how ever I never setup any other services so I could not shut it down without rebooting and that means half an hour fsck fixing file errors >:(
Next task install some kind of remote restart daemon !!
Installed the basic telnetd and works fine setup the firewall rules to not allow any incoming connections from the internet and I am happy as .... happy .. thing.. y .
Made sure the iptables script was in /etc/init.d/ and symlinked in /etc/rc2.d/ and I should not worry about it again for a long time.
I am wondering what caused the failure earlier, possibly the system went into power saving mode though that does not make much sense as I disabled it all in the BIOS when I originally built the machine !
The 3D/openGL xscreensaver hacks are cooool! with impossible cubes, swimming whales dolphins sharks, weird lights things, springy things negotiating steps and much much more !!
I have been looking at some of the games available at freshmeat.net now to try some of them out, like the 3D flight sim where you poop on people as a bird ;)

13 May 2003 20:35 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
So I goto great lengths to install Mesa the free openGL library thinking the Nvidia drivers will want to link to it to find the Nvidia drivers come with there own openGL libraries and even Mesa suggests you use them instead :(
I would not mind but I spent all night running the Mesa demos! Some seemed completely pointless with just a dot or line on the screen, but then some others were cool 3D effects, but not with a very good frame rate. Lets see if the Nvidia drivers can rectify that ....
Ah, helps if I load the module first (my bad), especially as the README that comes with the drivers is very very complete !
Hmmm well after changing the XF86config-4 file X loads ok, but the screen is slightly shifted to far to the left on the monitor .... (monitor OSD then)
Lets try those openGL demos again. hmmm appear exactly the same maybe they are not linking to the Nvidia libraries.
Nope all the checks say the Nvidia openGL libs are the only ones linked on the system, lets try rebuilding xscreensaver.
continued tomorrow ...

12 May 2003 20:47 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
While my windows laptop wirrs away to itself (and I honestly think it has crashed!) I can watch the VERY cool xscreensaver hacks.
It comes with 150 hacks (or to you different screen savers) some are amazing and I hope after I install the latest Nvidia drivers and OpenGL I will be able to see some cool 3D.
There are particle physics, fluid dynamics, zooming fractals, lightning, error messages from old computers and a guy with a big nose who talks rubbish. All these and more happily rotate every 5 mins :)
I am still working on getting the web cams to work, more on that as it develops.
Speaking of which, I opened the Nisis DV1 up and photographed the chips in the hope I can track down a driver that uses the same chip set, of course I then had to find a window machine to test it still works (especially as I had to solder the power leads back on after they broke off ).

11 May 2003 17:44 -- no distributed network project statistics for the mo
Hmmm, that seemed to take a while ;)
I have had some major problems setting up Debian, but I have over come almost all of them and more to the point I have had lots of fun doing it !
For more details just wait for me to update the home page with a new Linux url.

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