Ubuntu Desktop Effects

Quick notes about Ubuntu Feisty Fawn’s Desktop Effects on my Dell Inspiron 8600:



Doesn’t really slow down the system.

Doesn’t add anything to the experience except coolness, JUST LIKE VISTA.

Kills my laptop battery in half the time.

Useless. (but I like the effort)

Update (7/5/2007): For some ungodly reason this post is making rank on the big G, and I am sure that you, if you found this, you were looking for some more substance…

Here goes some riffin’ …

My Insipron 8600 with a GeForce FX Go5200 works with Desktop effects. Considering the age of this laptop, that is pretty good. I would venture a guess that any Nvidia card from the last few years will run Ubuntu Desktop Effects with little or no issues as long as you have the Nvidia proprietary precompiled drivers installed.

I also have an two year old Dell Poweredge SC420 (read: cheap, reliable, bargain basement) with Intel chipset, the E7221. Since the video is so poor (really, really poor – made for being a server not a desktop) I expected it not to work. Guess what. It doesn’t.

From everything else I have looked up, ATI cards, with their proprietary drivers, should work with U.D.E. as well. You know if you are running them because Ubuntu will grouse at you with a “proprietary driver” warning upon an installation.

The only other issue I had on the Dell Laptop is if you want to change the amount of virtual desktops you have, you have to stop the effect, then change the quantity of virtual desktops, then start the effects up again – then put your hand on your head and put the left foot on the red dot – Yahtzee!

I know you don’t get the full on Beryl/Compiz love with U.D.E. (So, I made up an acronym on the fly – I’m riffin’) but it give does give you a decent, non-committal, taste.



On the General’s Orders (Wong Fei Hung theme)

I probably spent far to much of my twenties watching anime and kung fu movies. One of my favorite kung fu movies was Once Upon a Time in China with Jet Li. The whole series (yes, there was a II and III and so on…) is just one of those guilty pleasures that I do not make others suffer through (“Subtitles? Oh no.”). I found the Won Fei Hung (the main character) theme song in the movies to be quite moving.

Well, I can leave well enough alone…

On the General’s Orders (Wong Fei Hung theme).mp3

Needs more cowbell.

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It was 20 years (and 2 days) ago today

A week before my junior year of High School was over, my fascination with hippies (not being a hippie myself, ever) was at its peak. Seven months earlier I had come to learn that the entire Beatles catalog will be released on CD for the first time and on June 1, 1987 “Sgt. Pepper’s” would be available in stores in all its remastered digital glory (the first, in a long line of remasterings).

Well, June 1st of 1987 was a weekday, so it would have to be after school and at the time I did not have a driver’s license (I was 6 months too young) so my Beatles fanatic friend, who was licensed to drive, and myself made the 40 minute trek to the nearest record store (records were large plastic disks that held music that was extracted with a needle). Take it from me, when the town you live in is so small that music was something that you had to use a half gallon of gas to get to, you really begin to rethink about your current living location.

Needless to say it was purchased, and listened to many times. I still have it. The liner notes are a little battered but the CD is in great shape.

Why would somebody who was 35 years too young to really appreciate the magnitude of this particular Beatles album care? When I was four years of age I had a kiddie record player (remember those plastic disks?) and one day I rummaged through the house looking for something to put on my record player. I found Sgt. Pepper (with the yellow “STEREO” bar at the top). The needles of the kiddie record player and my lack of gentle touch were a bad combination for archiving sound recordings. I used to play it forwards, and backwards, sort of like the pre-hip-hop hip-hop of a 4 year old, while the needle, which was a large rock at the end of an arm, would scrape new grooves making each listening experience a new listening experience with the added skips and jumps.

I ruined my mother’s first pressing Sgt. Pepper.

I bought it out of 12 years of guilt, at first. But the music overcame that feeling pretty quickly, and the experiences listening to the CD and what associated experiences going on in my life during the ownership of that CD are more powerful memories than that of a 4 year old’s experimentation in noise making and destruction.

And it is, still, one of my favorites.

Burning Cycles

For fun, I thought I would try a simple word-processor for that Macintosh called Bean (I am using it to write this, I have been trying to find a smarter alternative to the online blogger.com interface). And I must say I am impressed. It has all the functionality of a most basic word-processor without of the weirdness and the bloat of Open-Office or Word. You open it fast, get to typing, save, then close. And it closes fast. Hmm… Harkens back to the day…

Last Thursday, to be precise, Slashdot posted an article comparing a modern AMD screamer to an old Mac Plus. Guess which one wins. Well obviously the Mac plus which is old enough to drink in the states (it is 21 years old) cannot do the hard processing of video or audio, but it can adeptly run Microsoft’s Word and Excel, created for its day, as fast as the AMD runs current versions. Hmm…

Are we just burning cycles here?