Monday, June 29, 2009

Firefox 3.5 Announcing Release

According to article Mozilla has officially announced the release of Firefox 3.5 for Tuesday June 30th. I know I have been waiting for this release and I plan on being in that number of expected 1 billion cumulative downloads. Features to look for are a Private Browsing Mode, Trace Monkey defined as a new Javascript engine, Location Awareness and support for more locales and HTTP 5. See the Mozilla website for more details on the upcoming features. I have been using this browser in Fedora 11 and I like it a lot. It is very snappy and more responsive than previous versions. I am looking forward to this becoming a full release product. This will give MS a run for their money in the browser arena. Firefox is leading the path for customization and allowing the user to personalize their browsing experience via extensions and better support for add-ons. Its availability for other platforms is a big plus too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Linux is a Lifestyle

With every passing week I grow more and more accustomed to Linux. I am on Fedora 11 as I write, (surprise) and I have been playing online Poker using Wine with PokerStars software in AntiX most of the night. Now that should surprise you, playing online poker with Windows software, running Fluxbox on top of AntiX. With this said it should be very apparent I am moving towards using Linux more often and Windows less. I am adopting the Linux Lifestyle. Free software and lots of choices for all my hardware. You can't get that with Windows or OSX. This laptop is six years old and Linux has breathed new life into it. I still run XP on this machine but run Ubuntu and Fedora more than ever. I can find just about all of my needs in the repositories for at least one of these and apps I would never have run if I had to pay big bucks for them. Linux has spawned a renewed interest in learning again. Such as downlading a new OS and getting it to work on a laptop that is running a P3 processor. It simply feels good. The same feeling those of us had when configuring dip switches on a 2400 baud modem and then being able to connect to your local BBS. (If you don't know what BBS is head to Wikipedia and search Bulletin Board Systems) In my most humble opinion I believe that the majority of Linux users are folks that don't mind going under the hood. They don't always have the answer to everything but are willing to try, willing to learn and best of all willing to share. For me in a nutshell, that is the Linux Lifestyle and I'm glad to be a part of it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ubuntu Speedtest Comparison

I ran the speedtest from using Ubuntu 9.04. The results do not stack up as well as Fedora 11. I was hoping for a better result since the network is fairly quiet at this time of the night. But this is comparable to tests done under Ubuntu 8.10 which was slightly better. Ubuntu gets the driver correct and the wireless works well but it is definitely not as good as Fedora. Using Ubuntu 8.10 on the same hardware was definitely smoother but still not as fast as Fedora 11. In this version web browsing will be just fine and then it just quits for several seconds. I never have this issue n this hardware in Fedora or Windows XP. I am updating this version right now and will re-boot and test again.

After new Linux (2.6.28-13-generic) headers installed the new test was only slightly better. Definitely not what I had hoped for.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Adding Multimedia Support To Fedora 11

This is where getting to know your command line and loving every minute of it pays off. I'm learning and so can you. First open terminal and enter these commands:

[Johnny@localhost ~]$ su

[root@localhost liveuser]# rpm -Uvh
warning: /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.T59gcP: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 217521f6
Preparing... ########################################### [100%]
1:epel-release ########################################### [100%]
[root@localhost liveuser]# yum install foo
Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit
adobe-linux-i386 | 951 B 00:00
adobe-linux-i386/primary | 11 kB 00:00
adobe-linux-i386 17/17
epel | 2.1 kB 00:00
epel/primary_db | 2.4 MB 00:25
fedora/metalink | 12 kB 00:00
fedora | 3.8 kB 00:00
fedora/primary_db | 8.4 MB 00:30
updates/metalink | 12 kB 00:00
updates | 4.0 kB 00:00
updates/primary_db | 974 kB 00:02
Setting up Install Process
No package foo available.
Nothing to do
[root@localhost liveuser]# rpm -Uhv
warning: /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.bi9F37: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 signature: NOKEY, key ID 16ca1a56
warning: /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.QQMxvE: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 signature: NOKEY, key ID a3a882c1
error: Failed dependencies:
system-release >= 11.90 is needed by rpmfusion-free-release-11.90-1.noarch
system-release >= 11.90 is needed by rpmfusion-nonfree-release-11.90-1.noarch
[root@localhost liveuser]# rpm -Uvh

(snipped due to length)

1:rpmfusion-free-release ########################################### [ 50%]
2:rpmfusion-nonfree-relea########################################### [100%]
[root@localhost liveuser]# yum list | grep rpmfusion-free
rpmfusion-free-release.noarch 5-0.1 installed
DVDRipOMatic.noarch 0.95-5.el5 rpmfusion-free-updates-testing
a52dec.i386 0.7.4-13.el5 rpmfusion-free-updates-testing
a52dec-devel.i386 0.7.4-13.el5 rpmfusion-free-updates-testing

(snipped due to length)

xvidcore-devel.i386 1.1.3-4.el5 rpmfusion-free-updates-testing

[root@localhost liveuser]# yum install gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-ffmpeg
Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package gstreamer-ffmpeg.i386 0:0.10.5-1.el5 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-ffmpeg
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-ffmpeg
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-ffmpeg
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-ffmpeg
---> Package gstreamer-plugins-bad.i386 0:0.10.8-4.el5.1 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-plugins-bad
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-plugins-bad

(snipped due to length)

--> Running transaction check
---> Package a52dec.i386 0:0.7.4-13.el5 set to be updated
---> Package dirac-libs.i586 0:1.0.2-2.fc11 set to be updated
---> Package directfb.i386 0:1.0.0-0.1.rc3.el5 set to be updated
---> Package faac.i386 0:1.28-1.el5 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: for package: faac
---> Package faad2-libs.i386 1:2.6.1-5.el5 set to be updated
---> Package ffmpeg-libs.i386 0:0.4.9-0.52.20080908.el5 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: for package: ffmpeg-libs
---> Package gstreamer-plugins-ugly.i386 0:0.10.9-2.el5.1 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-plugins-ugly
--> Processing Dependency: for package: gstreamer-plugins-ugly
---> Package lame-libs.i386 0:3.97-7.el5 set to be updated

(snipped due to length)

---> Package libmpeg2.i386 0:0.5.1-3.el5 set to be updated
---> Package libofa.i586 0:0.9.3-15.fc11 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: for package: libofa
---> Package libsysfs.i586 0:2.1.0-5.fc11 set to be updated
---> Package mjpegtools-libs.i386 0:1.9.0-0.6.rc3.el5 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: libquicktime >= 0.9.8 for package: mjpegtools-libs
--> Processing Dependency: for package: mjpegtools-libs
---> Package x264-libs.i386 0:0.0.0-0.15.20080613.el5 set to be updated
---> Package xvidcore.i386 0:1.1.3-4.el5 set to be updated
--> Running transaction check
---> Package fftw.i586 0:3.2.1-2.fc11 set to be updated
---> Package gstreamer-plugins-ugly.i386 0:0.10.9-2.el5.1 set to be updated

(snipped due to length)

Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package gstreamer-plugins-ugly-0.10.9-2.el5.1.i386 (rpmfusion-free-updates-testing)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package gstreamer-plugins-ugly-0.10.9-2.el5.1.i386 (rpmfusion-free-updates-testing)
You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
package-cleanup --dupes
rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest

Since I was missing I ran this next:

[root@localhost liveuser]# yum install
Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package libcdio.i386 0:0.78.2-5.el5 set to be updated
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

Package Arch Version Repository Size
libcdio i386 0.78.2-5.el5 epel 267 k

Transaction Summary
Install 1 Package(s)
Update 0 Package(s)
Remove 0 Package(s)

Total download size: 267 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
libcdio-0.78.2-5.el5.i386.rpm | 267 kB 00:01
warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 217521f6
epel/gpgkey | 1.7 kB 00:00
Importing GPG key 0x217521F6 "Fedora EPEL <>" from /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Running rpm_check_debug
ERROR with rpm_check_debug vs depsolve: is needed by (installed) gvfs-1.2.3-2.fc11.i586 is needed by (installed) gvfs-1.2.3-2.fc11.i586

Since it ended in an error I decided to visit the rpmfusion website and follow the instructions there. Could not have been simpler. I re-added the repositories by clicking on two links and allowing the install. Next in terminal as su I ran almost the same commands as before:

rpm -Uvh

and finishing with:

[root@localhost liveuser]# yum install gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-ffmpeg

This time it finished without errors. I now have Mp3 support and a repository to install other multimedia codecs and applications. I have to pass thanks onto and poster Vincent Danen for the missing pieces to the puzzle. Here is the link to the post by Vincent Danen.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Speedtest Results

Cox Cable advertises all time about Powerboost but only in off hours like almost 4am have I obtained the results advertised.

I ran a second test on a Los Angeles server for comparison and the results were almost the same.

I did these tests in Fedora 11 on my HP laptop. I am using a D-link wireless N card. It has the Atheros chip set which has been very difficult in the past to get any connection. In Fedora 10 it would connect but never go anywhere. In Ubuntu 8.04, 8.10 and 9.04 I was able to get it working but not at this speed rating. I should also mention that my best test ever in Windows only went above just above 12 Mb/s. So once again I am very pleased with the progress Project Fedora is making.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ripping With Rhythymbox

One of the most used apps on our computers is the music player. In Fedora 11 you will find Rhythymbox v0.12.1. Rhythymbox is at the top of many folks list for a music player. I found it to be a very straight forward player that can do everything I want in a music player. I did notice though that Mp3 support was lacking in the default install. Something I will need since I listen to my tunes on a Nano Ipod. Time to search the repository in the non-free section for the codecs. I was able to open Rhythymbox and rip a cd without looking up any instructions. I am ripping the Doors as I type this and I might add that I am running from the USB key and I am not seeing any negative performance in computer speed or application lagging. That is something I can't say when ripping from iTunes on my XP laptop. When I rip with iTunes in XP everything comes to a halt. The computer is not that much of a dog and I ripped cd's in the past with other programs never having as much lag as with iTunes. Apple has simply let iTunes get too bloated. I think it is time to separate the player and the store and allow the app to direct your favourite browser in that direction. Fedora and Rhythymbox are ripping my cd of the Doors rather nicely. It is now on track 8 of 14 in only about 5 minutes all from the live-USB installation. But everything is not perfect and I have to voice this one gripe. Rhythymbox did not pre-load the cd information in the property fields. That was something that surprised me since this cd has been around for quite a while. Is there a config file I need to edit? If someone knows the answer help me out. I will look to see if that type of feature can be enabled later but for this rip it wasn't that hard to enter the information. But go figure it did show the correct album art. Right now it's time to rock!

Fedora 11 Speedtest

I just hit and my results weren't way up there on this wireless N laptop but response times are seemingly very fast. Still faster than with Ubuntu but not as fast as WindowsXP. I will test again during the day on this and wired systems and post the link for results. The perceived speed is very fast for page loads and web browsing. Downloads have been quick too. Obviously a lot of testing could be done here but this is definitely faster than Ubuntu 9.04 and Fedora 10. I am starting to become a real believer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Something To Shout About

Wow is all I can say so far. I am writing this from Fedora 11 on my USB stick. This is the first boot on this laptop and all I had to do to get connected was enter my SSID, select my security and enter the pass phrase. I was connected about 5 seconds later and at a higher rate than I have been with Ubuntu. This is for me anyway, the most polished distro I've ever run. I am looking forward to seeing more.

Fedora 11 Has Arrived

Fedora 11 is finally an official release. If you want to download a copy now click on the banner to the right. I have downloaded the live cd version tonight and the new LiveUSB-Creator. I am loading it to a USB flash drive and will test drive this new version of Fedora right away. I am using a 4gb stick for the live USB install and the first difference I have noticed is the newer USB-Creator is allowing me to use all of the available space left for persistent storage. The older version maxed out at about 2gb's. The LiveUSB-Creator worked in just over 16 minutes which was about 7 minutes longer than the previous version. Okay now for the real test. l booted to the stick and Project Fedora team has hit it right! I was on the desktop in just about 20 seconds as promised. Network was detected, setup and working. Also detected correctly was the underlying file system. I now have a working Fedora 11 USB stick with about 3gb's of useful storage space. That's so cool! I will post more later after trying this out on a laptop or two.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

Before I plunk down some of my hard earned cash for Windows 7, I want to know how it will run on my system. I have two options with one option being to download the rather large release candidate and install it. Option two is to run the Upgrade Advisor and get a report of how Windows 7 should install. The test laptop is a HP ze5385us which runs on a P4 2.66ghz cpu with 1gb of ram. My first step is to download the Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft here. The Upgrade Advisor is packaged as a msi file and is 6414kb in size.

Double clicking the msi file starts the install process. Simply accept the defaults for the install and it completes in about ten seconds leaving you at this screen with the option to launch the advisor.

The system check ran for only a couple of minutes. I now had enough information to decide running Windows 7. The good news it reported was that all my hardware passed minimum requirements. I did have two warnings listed in the report. One about the upgrade process and another about Aero Desktop. I won't be able to run Aero Desktop on this laptop since I can't upgrade the graphics card. The upgrade warning gave a link for step by step installation information. This could be very helpful and is a nice touch from Microsoft. All in all I'm glad I ran the tool. Upgrade Advisor has given me enough information to make an informed decision. Upgrading to Windows 7 on this laptop should go quite smoothly if I decide to install.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are You Ready For Windows 7?

Ready or not Windows 7 is on the way. The word from the Windows blog is set for October 22 of this year. I'll personally believe it when I see it since Microsoft has always pushed back the official release dates for every version of Windows I personally have seen released. However in their defense the release candidates are looking like they are pretty close to full release. Tonight I plan on running Microsoft's Upgrade Adviser Tool on a HP Laptop with an Intel P4 running at 2.66ghz and 1gb of ram. Check back tomorrow for the results.