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Improve Xpress 200m on gutsy14. October 2007, 22:00

You can find a patched Mesa im my PPA, which updates the r300 driver to latest git before the drm2 merge.
This fixes several problems with the 200m and also improves performance.

You will now be able to start compiz, though you will get rendering glitches. But at least there are no rendering glitches in games any more...

Wrong development focus In Gutsy29. September 2007, 00:34

although gutsy will have improvements on many areas which are good, there is one thing which they got wrong: pushing in compiz. Don't get me wrong compiz is great and a real improvement in everyday work, but the time is still not right.
Ubuntu is going to ship a development version of compiz 0.6 and is going to use the Xgl hack to make it run on AMD graphics cards. If they would have waited till gutsy+1, not only compiz 0.6 would have been out by then, but AMD would have released the AIGLX supporting fglrx, which would make Xgl obsolete.

I think I would have made much more sense if they concentrated on getting xserver1.4 in gutsy, since it improves EXA a lot. EXA is the new 2D acceleration architecture and by accelerating 2D drawing you get currently much more than by compositing.
While compositing basically only accelerates the window movement(and allow all the nice effects involving windows), EXA accelerates everything. Though it is not nearly as effective as compositing with compiz when it comes to window movements.
But when you resize a window - even with compiz - you will surely notice EXA since the refreshing of the window will go much more smoothly. Just as the page loading in firefox or the image editing in gimp or even playing wormux.

I just backported xserver1.4 from Debian and the difference in EXA is really noticeable using the free radeon driver.

My PPA Repository17. September 2007, 11:42

The issue with monitoring my packages for new versions just cleared out: I got a PPA.

To use it just add the following line to your sources.list. Hint: You can do it graphically using System->Admin->Software Sources.

deb gutsy main restricted universe multiverse

Currently you will only find pidgin2.2.0 there, but I will merge my packages by and by.

PPA are great idea, since this helps non-MOTU packagers like me a lot; no free webspace searching, automatically building for amd64 and better handling for Users.

The idea is not that new though; Arch Linux had its TUR already for quite a while.

New AMD drivers are out13. September 2007, 00:08

the new AMD graphics drivers with the promised speed improvements are out.

you can grab them here.

In order to build proper Ubuntu packages from them do the following:

$ sudo apt-get install module-assistant
$ ./ --buildpkg Ubuntu/gutsy
$ sudo dpkg -i fglrx-kernel-source_8.41.7-1_i386.deb xorg-driver-fglrx_8.41.7-1_i386.deb
$ sudo module-assistant 

Attention you dont need the module-assistant step since fglrx 8.443

now select the fglrx-kernel module in module-assistant and then build/ install it. Now you have cleanly installed the fglrx driver, which removable/ upgradable through synaptic.

Remember that the kernel module will conflict with the module in linux-restricted-modules. In order to clean this up add fglrx to /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common. so it reads


then reboot and run

$ sudo depmod

thanks to Matteo for this hint.

Straight from the horse's mouth10. September 2007, 12:01

Daniel Stone, a Ubuntu hacker, just added the last details of what the AMD is planning regarding the graphics drivers, which makes up the following roadmap:

  • specifications without NDA
  • 2D as well as 3D
  • new closed source OpenGL drivers with speed on par with Nvidia
  • AIGLX support in one month

now thats more than we might have even dreamed of. Especially the open specs part is great and goes much further than what intel has to offer. Now we will be able to use our graphics hardware the way we want to - without the limits imposed by closed source drivers. Imagine running Gimp on your Shader3 capable Graphics card using LLVM i.e. using it as a hyper fast vector coprocessor for general computing - fully automated through a modified gcc.

But the increased effort on the binary only driver is good news too, since its the best way to support patented techniques like S3TC or HDMI.

Some New Packages05. September 2007, 17:36

Just uploaded Gimp 2.4.0rc2 to the packages page. You will also find there Pingus, Wormux and Battle for Wesnoth Packages, which I uploaded silently without announcing them in the news.

I am currently thinking about a system which would allow you to subscribe to the changes of a specific page, so you could notice the uploads without forcing me to write a new news entry.

Now for something really cool28. August 2007, 15:19

Unleashing the full power of your mp3-Players and routers by flashing an OSS Firmware is probably old news for you, but how about freeing you camera?

CHDK is an extended firmware for Canon cameras using the DigicII processor, like my A620 :)

the main feature highlights are

  • saving the Photos in RAW mode
  • a battery inicator

but there is also

  • Live histogram
  • Zebra mode (blinking highlights and shadows)
  • DOF-calculator
  • Scripts execution
  • File browser
  • Text reader
  • Calendar
  • Some games

I will post more once I can take a break from learning for the exams with a clear concience.

New HowTo: Ubuntu from an USB-Stick05. August 2007, 14:28

ever wanted to get get rid of the DJ job?

read on ...

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