Saturday, February 26, 2011

More on Vesa driver and Intel 845/945 graphics

Switching to Vesa driver did have one problem.

Skype can show the remote video but if I try to enable local video, skype client crashes. With the legacy intel driver, if I disabled remote video and then enabled local video, it would work. Subsequently, the remote video could be enabled and the client would continue to work.

However, we decided to use the netbook for the occasional skype usage on which the video calls work flawlessly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arch Linux 2.6.37, Xorg 1.9.4, Vesa driver and Intel 845/945 graphics

After a long time, I decided to retry upgrading Xserver to the current 1.9.4 version on the P4 with Intel 845 graphics controller. My experience had been that the systems with intel 845/945 graphics  would hang often with the new version of intel driver.  So, I have continued to use Xserver 1.6.3! The wonderful aspect of Arch Linux is that it allowed me to upgrade everything else but hold back 6 packages needed to keep using the xf86-video-intel-legacy driver.

After the upgrade, I got an unexpected error:
 /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/ undefined symbol: resVgaShared
I have probably made a mistake in the upgrade and some old library might not have been uninstalled. I have not had a chance to check it out as yet.

However, meanwhile, the vesa driver worked very well. Earlier, it also used to give errors on this hardware and would not work at 1280x1024 at all.  The system is stable and working well with the Vesa driver; so there is no need for me to revert to the old intel driver anymore even if the current intel driver still gives problems on this hardware.

Update: The error was pretty obvious and silly. Since the package names of the old and new inter video drivers were different - xf86-video-intel-legacy and xf86-video-intel. A pacman update did not replace the legacy driver with the new one! I am now using the updated intel driver. A short usage did not create any problem but will have to wait and see.

Update: Even with Intel driver, the system no longer seems to hang. However, several times, the display was distorted, especially when the screensaver was active. Hence, I have switched to the Vesa display driver, which is good enough for the needs of the old system.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Arch Linux 2.6.37 and resuming after sleep

I have been using 2.6.37 on Arch Linux for several days now. I did not expect to notice any difference on a hardware like Lenovo netbook.

Still, there was the question whether 'intel_idle.max_cstate=0' as a kernel boot option is still needed. The system booted fine without it as it did with the 2.6.36 kernel. Sadly, the system still did not resume after sleep. So, the boot option is still useful.

What ever happened to Living Stories?

Yesterday, my wife and I were discussing that in the excitement of Egypt, there seems to be no news of what is happening in Tunisia.

I thought of Google's Living Stories experiment. It seems the experiment ended. A pity!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

OOPS - I got a Canon LiDE 110 Scanner

It was stupid of me. I bought a Canon LiDE 110 scanner and did not bother to check whether it was supported on Linux. I felt very foolish when I plugged it in and it did not get recognized.

Fortunately, Google helped me find the status and the issues for this model and the status of drivers available in the git repository.

Then, it was a matter finding some nice people who had already written the installation instructions - Ubuntu and Fedora

It works well. Now I have to see the best way to scan old photos and convert them to digital before they fade.

Update 14 May 2012: The Canon LiDE 110 works out of the box on Ubuntu and Arch Linux but for some reason not on Fedora 16 though it is reported to work on Fedora 17. I could build and install the sane-backends using the source from Sane project site and it works.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can there be a ZipCar in India?

I had really liked the idea of ZipCar when I first came across it on TED talks.

Every time I see a parking mess in Indian residential areas, I keep wondering whether it is at all possible in India. A major problem is that each family seems to need a second or a third car or .... The reasons may be varied but clearly public transport does not seem to offer a solution.

A recent ad of Nano with extended warranty and maintenance services included at a low cost  made me think whether this could a viable alternative for creating a shared pool of cars, at least, as a replacement for  second/third cars for a family.

What if it could start with cooperative societies. Any large society should be able to afford and buy a few cars, which could be shared by the residents who may pay reasonable usage charges. The society may even hire a driver for older residents and/or just picking up or dropping members at a convenient point from where alternate mode of transport would be available. For Delhi and Mumbai and, soon, Bangalore, these could be the nearest metro/suburban train stations.

This may even help bring back some social interaction between society members as life in coop societies is increasingly becoming isolated and anonymous.

An online application could make it easy for society members to keep track of the bookings and usage of cars. May be TATA's can encourage and promote such usage as a compensation for putting still more cars on the roads!