Skip to main content

Pokin' around Ubuntu 7.10 alpha 4 and openSuse 10.3 beta 1

Well, it's getting to be that time of the year when the next generation of Linux distributions are ripening towards release. So I went over to the openSuse site and grabbed a copy of 10.3 beta 1 and then over to the Ubuntu testing site and grabbed 7.10 Tribe (alpha) 4.

Trying to test openSuse 10.3 beta 1 turned out to be a bust, both on the Gateway notebook (running openSuse 10.2) as well as europa. openSuse refused to boot in graphical mode on the Gateway. After the grub selection the screen went black and stayed that way. On europa I got a lot further, and was even able to test the integrity of the DVD, which it passed. But after that the installation failed because it could not see the DVD. I've had this problem in the past (most notably on the Gateway M680 with Suse 10), but never on my desktop system. Two strikes and openSuse 10.3 beta 1 was out. Maybe the next beta will work...

Then I booted the Gateway with Ubuntu 7.10 alpha 4, and that worked rather spectacularly (see image capture below). Not only did it boot with the ATI X700 graphics chip in 1680 x 1050 resolution, but a number of 3D features were enabled, such as drop shadows around the windows and partial transparency on window borders for windows that don't have the focus.

The following is a closeup that shows shadowing and transparency.

One other feature in Tribe 4 was desktop switching. When switching using the keyboard ([Ctrl][Alt] left arrow or right arrow) the desktops slid left and right respectively, which was much preferable to the flipping as if spinning a cube. The only feature missing was the Expose-like feature that is currently available on regular Compiz and Beryl window managers.

Most other features seemed to work, such as wireless networking and USB mounting. I was able to plug in my Kingston 4GiB thumb drive and save off the screen capture to it. The only feature that seemed to have a problem was playback of video Ogg. I couldn't play back the Mandela sample video. I heard the audio, but the video did not display.

I think I'll wait until Tribe 5 before making a decision about installation. And from the looks of things, the good free version of the ATI driver seems to be spreading out to more and more distributions, which is indeed a good thing. Perhaps they'll re-spin Fedora 7 with the latest Xorg ATI video driver.


  1. Hey blogbeebe

    Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to download the 10.3 alpha and check it out. Good to see another Orlandonian as well.


  2. Dear Bill,

    I have never posted to a blog before but I feel compelled to.

    I live in the UK, Married with 2 grown-up children.

    I have been following your blog for months now ever since I found how useful it was with getting SuSE 10 to work as I wanted it to. Thanks for that BTW.
    I also set up feisty fawn 7.04 with your help too.
    I get more fun out of fiddling with op/systems then I would ever get playing games.

    Keep up the good work.

    AND i've followed SCO from their arrogant declaration, thru their corporate bullying as well. I'm delighted with the outcome.

    Enough. You can post this or not Bill. I just wanted you to know that your efforts are appreciated.

    oh yes LOL
    P.S. your movie fav list is uncannily like mine too.

    This rant DOES sound a bit sycophantic I know.



Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…