Category Archives: FOSS

Bits and pieces about Linux and free software..

Bootology [bōōt-ol-uh-jee] -noun. The art of booting Linux

Bootchart openSUSE 11.0I just came across bootchart, a tool for “performance analysis and visualization of the GNU/Linux boot process”.

Ever wondered what was causing that big delay in bootup? Install bootchart and check!

I installed bootchart on my openSUSE box at work with sudo zypper in bootchart, rebooted and edited grub on the fly, adding init=/sbin/bootchartd to the kernel line.

After your system has loaded, bootchart creates a log of the process which you can then turn into a chart with the command bootchart. You can also specify the log location if required, or change the output format of the chart from PNG to SVG or EPS.

Of course, what you do with this information is up to you 🙂 Happy hacking.

GentXo

OLPCA few months back Dave Tulloh let me borrow his XO (one laptop per child machine). It’s pretty sweet and a nice little unit, but I couldn’t use the UI for everyday stuff. So, I decided to build a custom Gentoo system for it – yes, of course optimised for the geode cpu.

What I did is not exactly ground breaking. I didn’t discover anything or work it out, all I did was make a Gentoo system and boot it from a USB memory key. I even cheated and used their kernel and initramfs 🙂 Tisk, tisk! But hey, someone out there might find it interesting.

The goal was to build as small a system as possible, with XFCE4, Firefox, other main applications and multimedia capabilities. Here’s what I did.
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Knock, knock. Who’s there? EeePC 1000. EeePC who? Exactly.

We’ve all heard of the EeePC, Asus’ flagship netbook running Linux that took the world by storm and forged a whole new market for open source software (potentially).


Ta daa.

It was a huge success! A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines.. ahh, hang on a sec.. ok yeah, a new race of machines. Now every man and his dog are making them.

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The ‘Little Blue Penguin’ dies

Well that’s it, there is no more Kororaa.
I’ve redirected the domain to ‘Make The Move’ and deleted my email account. If you wish to contact me, you’ll have to do so via my new domain email (or here on my blog).

It’s really is a little sad to see Kororaa die, it was a lot of fun 🙁

The Kororaa Penguin
Bye bye, little dude. You’re still the cutest penguin around.

-c

Please forward..

UPDATE: No sooner had I finished publishing this post I got a message on the IRC channel saying this feature has been commited to the main trunk. Yay!

These days I mostly use GNOME as my desktop. My home computer has it, my work computer has it. It’s great.

The default mail client for GNOME is called Evolution and it’s pretty good too. It has lots of icons around the place for things like new mail, read mail, replied mail, etc, but wait.. there’s no icon for forwarded email. Huh?

I came across this when porting KDE’s Oxygen icon set to GNOME – my father actually mentioned it was missing. I dug around and searched here there and everywhere but I just couldn’t get an icon to show up. I ran strace and there were two opens on mail-forward.png but these only appear on the action, not the status.

Jumping on IRC (#evolution@irc.gimp.org) I was lead to Evolution’s bugzilla where I found this feature request from 2001:
http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=203600

D’oh.

Now, if only I was a programmer..

MythTV Down Under (finally, it’s not all upside down)

Every 6 months or so for the past number of years I have tried to install a dedicated PVR, and fail. I give up because I just can’t get all the Australian stuff working nicely, but finally I have succeeded!

The main problem is that the tv guide grabbers just don’t work nicely in Australia. Install mythtv in the States and you’ll be working in 5 minutes, but here it’s a whole lot of heartache and pain.

Sure, I can easily watch TV, but I can do that in 30 seconds under Linux with Me-TV or Kaffeine. I want to be able to see what’s coming up, schedule recordings and all that sweet stuff (OK, Me-TV can do that too, but it’s new, and I also like the idea of mythtv :))

For anyone else out there like me, here’s what I did!
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Wine 1.0 and Civ 4 = awesome

WINE (Wine Is Not An Emulator) is an open source implementation of the Windows API which lets you install many Windows applications natively on Linux. After 15 years they just released their first stable release, version 1.0.

Awesome.

Although most linux distros have been using versions just pre-1.0, I thought I’d give it a shot. I added the repository to my sources.lst and installed wine 1.0 on my Debian machine.

Although WINE has their own directx implementation which lets you play many Windows 3D games I thought I’d try with Civilization IV which required a few external dlls. So, after doing a little search I came across a post on how to install Microsoft’s DirectX and replace the one included with WINE.

I followed the howto, including some tips for installing Civ 4 and I have to say it was sweet! I just got a new computer, so it is hard to tell if it’s faster than it used to be under Cedega, but I can say that the game didn’t feel slow at all, even at a late stage in the game with dozens of cities. This was at 1280×1024 with all settings at the highest level.

Civ 4 under Wine

If you’re a Civ 4 fan, give this a shot and let me know how it went for you!

-c