Linux Progress

Work continues with SUSE 10.1 Linux both in configuring the system and in learning to use the KDevelop IDE for C++ programming.

Work continues with SUSE 10.1 Linux both in configuring the system and in learning to use the KDevelop IDE for C++ programming. There are several interesting items to mention:

  • Overlay planes
  • Wacom Tablets
  • KDevelop glitches
  • .ICEAuthority lockouts
  • GAIM messenger
  • SKYPE
  • CD backups

  • An OpenGL application that displays on the Overlay plane did not work with built-in drivers. After building and installing the latest NVIDIA drivers for the GF4200 graphics card, still no joy for overlay support. Possibly some parameter needs to be changed, but this needs to be done essentially manually. SAX2, the X server administrator, works pretty well, and has a test mode, but it doesn’t have a plug-in panel that allows drives to supply dialogs to configure graphics cards. But 3D accelleration works and the next programming project will be to port over Gears from windows to display and export gear objects. The KDE mascot is a gear. Installing the NVIDIA drivers apparently deleted the MESA OpenGL libraries, so project wouldn’t build without redirecting which library was used for OpenGL.
  • A Wacom Graphire 2 graphics tablet worked well when attached to the USB ports. But GIMP doesn’t show pressure sensitivity. Further work on this problem is required.
  • KDevelop continues to show some glitches, but they are managable. Few crashes, but occasionally GDB [debugger] fails to work. Closing and reopening the project appears to fix this problem. Learning to configure AutoMake for specific include files and libraires has been part of this learning experience as well.
  • Occasionally .ICEAuthority, a file in a users home directory, becomes either locked or owned by root, which causes headaches for the KDevelop IDE and for launching applications in general. The fix is to use a root file browser to delete any lock files [.ICEAuthority_l and .ICEAuthority_c] and to change the owner of the file back to the current user from root/root. It is not clear why this owner change occurs, but it may be due to running some applications as root to maintain the system.
  • GAIM instant text messaging works fine with both MSN and Trillian. GAIM will eventually have audio chat built in but not yet. SIMP secure chat doesn’t work with GAIM of course, and no response to my email to the Secway folks about that issue. Sending files from GAIM to Trillian doesn’t work, but it didn’t work with MSN Messenger to Trillian either. Sending files between GAIM and MSN works just fine.
  • SKYPE audio phone/chat looks like a first class product on Linux. The SKYPE folks are really serious about Linux support. I’ve spent several hours on SKYPE to windows users without problems. Audio is high quality and setup was trivial. Performance is excellent even on my antiquated 400MHz Dual PII system.
  • Backup of my files to CD should be a priority. If the whole thing goes down the tubes now, significant work will be lost in the KDevelop projects and book marks. Firefox has an excellent bookmark export facility so that will be no problem. The bookmarks are exported as a single HTML file so they can be imported into any browser by launching the file and manually saving them.
  • After solving the localhost permissions problem with MySQL users permissions, Apache-MySQL-php-WordPress is all running just fine. And the move of the web base files to the /home partition was no problem after adding the Directory option to the Apache configuration.
  • A 9GB disk is not big enough for a Linux system with any sort of development and a webserver. Installing the NVIDIA drivers required installing the kernel headers and libraries, which ate up another 200 MB of my root partition. The root partition is now 80% full. In a few months I’ll have to rebuild this whole system on a larger disk to keep using it.

Pressing on and loving every minute of it.
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