Beware: only little to no KDE content…
Finally after about 5 and a half year since I last bought new PC hardware I got myself some “more power”. That last one was my first laptop ever and those who where with me last year in munich know how old it felt (slow, only 1 hour battery life….). In fact ever since I’ve been using computers this is my first completely-self-paid PC, all other were either the old machine(s) of my dad or uncle that they spend or I did partial upgrades…
I actually didn’t spend too much attention to the actual specs, partly because I don’t care too much – anything in the mid-range is just fine – and partly because nowadays I have little clue about what is the latest coolest . The little attention I paid to the details already got back at me, first I needed 30 minutes to figure out how to get network running under linux (Realtek r8168 chipset onboard, the r8169 driver was loaded but it doesn’t support this one, solution was using r1000), then I realized after some checks that I seem to have gotten the same 2 disks even though I wanted to get two different ones from two different vendors (you know, reducing the failure-possibility a bit). Turns out Seagate and Maxtor are the same nowadays and my two disks only differ in one number. Nothing major though, thus far.
I actually got it yesterday and spend 4 hours trying to get a barely usable windows on it. The last 3 hours were spent with choosing the bare minimum of software (and devel packages for KDE4) and some copying around of /home stuff from my other machine(s). In the next couple of hours this machine will checkout trunk/ and build it (hopefully at least), after that I’m all set basically. Thats what I call a system installation 🙂 (I guess I need another 3 or 4 nights to get the windows partition up to speed).
Oh and for those of you interested the specs: Intel Quad Core 2.6GHz, Gigabyte board, 4G RAM, 2x500GB disks, lg dvd rom, nice-looking enermax case and an nvidia 9800 graphics card (I still hope intel will release a good one some day along with proper drivers, but so far nvidia seems at least to catch up better with problems raised by new X/KDE4 features).
Last but not least: Compared to both my old laptop and my work-laptop this baby is damn fast. Installing about 1GB of packages took 5 minutes or so (including me reading and answering a couple of debconf questions).
Today I decided to give XRandR 1.2 a second try, using Debian unstable’s Xorg 7.3 and the experimental radeon driver.
Result: I can get a 3360×1050 desktop with 2 heads. Thats a bit of a surprise as I currently run Xorg 7.2 with a 3080×1050. So XRandR 1.2 decided to let my CRT run at 1680×1050 (after giving it an apropriate modeline for that of course).
If I try to get a 3080×1050 desktop XRandR does tell me that the maximum size of the virtual desktop is that, but it actually still creates a 3360×1050 desktop – no idea why. Also X11 decides to set a DPI setting of 96 which is completely wrong for my setup, proper would be something like 130 dpi as it is with Xorg 7.2.
More serious though is that KDE3 somehow deactivates the second screen again when starting up. And unfortunately I’m currently not able to re-activate it again without X11 going completely blank. The same happens when starting XFCE4 session (though it might happen there due to it starting the kde-stuff like kdeinit).
On the bright side: KDE4 started up perfectly fine on that desktop, unfortunately its not a bit faster so I can’t use it as daily desktop 😦
So if anybody has an idea why kde3 screws my second head, how to get a 3080×1050 desktop or even just how to tell Xorg the right dpi-resolution I’d appreciate a comment.
Yesterday I figured that adding my ancient PIII/500 to my “build farm” (consisting of only my laptop at the point) wasn’t going to cut it (well seemed to save about 20% gcc-time during qt-copy build, but in the end the overall saving wasn’t that much). So I decided to free some space on my girlfriends pc and put linux on it.
As I’m pretty familiar with setting up debian nowadays I thought a change would be cool, so I decided to give Gentoo a shot. And I’m impressed actually. If you know your way around linux its absolutely easy to setup a system using the online manual, you don’t even need to read all the text just check which commands to execute 🙂
So I managed to have an icecream-enabled gentoo within something like 1-2 hours, not bad at all given that most things have been compiled from scratch. And it did work quite well. But then I wanted to check the USE flags and set them apropriately and having a look at the list of available options I was blasted away – a ton of things to configure. Also keeping compiling every night to maybe have a basic KDE sometime next week doesn’t sound too appealing to me.
So while I think this is a nice distribution, its not something for me at this point as I need to have a system up-and-running faster and with less configuration effort.
Today XServer 1.4 and with it new ATI driver entered Debian unstable. Unfortunately that breaks existing Xinerama Setups, but the helpful package maintainers very fast replied that I need to use XRandR 1.2 now.
So I tried and failed 😦 I do have an xorg.conf that “should” work, only one monitor,device,screen section no leftovers from Xinerama. But XRandR always tells me there are no modes for my CRT, even though it seems to find the modes just fine – at least the radeon driver prints them all in the log. More info on the Debian Bugreport #443122
Hopefully this will be resolved soon, the package maintainers seem to be very knowledgeable about the problems and are very responsive.