Saturday, February 26, 2011

My PC's Journey Back to Functionality

For starters, the graphics card discussed here is the ProSavage8 KM266/KL266 with the xserver-xorg-video-savage driver. In the event some unfortunate Linux using soul with similar problems finds this, perhaps my journey will be of some use.

It started in Ubuntu 10.04. The display would glitch up when logging in and logging out. After noticing that I was using the latest version of the xorg display driver, I took a gambit and updated to 10.10. Yep, that's when the chaos really started.

After I got it installed, I couldn't get past the GDM. Ubuntu would abruptly crash and return to the login screen. So, I deleted ~/.config/monitors.xml, which caused Ubuntu to search for an acceptable resolution. This worked, but more problems arose. Whenever the pc went idle, it would crash and return to the GDM. It did the same whenever I'd attempt to change the resolution, and also whenever I attempted to open any program which involved resolution changes (i.e. certain games).Furthermore, it would even fizz out when watching mpg videos.

So, the search was on for some solution. I disabled the screensaver to stop the idling crashes, and did my best to avoid performing any action that would result in crashes. After trying numerous things, I eventually resolved to create an xorg.conf file. That didn't work. So, I switched to the alternative xserver-xorg-video-vesa driver. That sort of did it, but then the pc was crashing on shut down. Horrible!

Then, earlier today, I did some searching over at, glancing over the savage driver versions. I thought I'd attempt to install the Ubuntu 9.10 savage driver. Couldn't hurt, right? Well, anyway, I found a new version of the savage driver which hasn't been put into the repositories as of yet. There is at least one fairly minor quirk on the startup, but this version of savage is a hundred times better than the currently used version. (xserver-xorg-video-savage 1:2.3.1-2ubuntu2.1. See the list at this page.) It works. I can change resolutions, log on, log off, shut down, and play 2D games again. Nice.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Rambling about Twilight Princess

I was reading a review of "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" earlier, and I found myself realizing that it was the same "party line," if you will, that I'd heard from hundreds of other people. Opinions and facts are all too easily absorbed in this manner. One person with a loudspeaker can gain hundreds of followers because people often simply absorb the things they hear.

Anyway, that's just the nature of humanity, and while it might raise a few interesting ideas for philosophical rants, it's slightly beyond the scope of what I wish to ramble about. I wanted to do a review of my own.

Graphics: I like them.
Audio: It has its moments, but the main motif of the game (Hyrule Field intro) is awful. It feels very forced, I don't think it lives up to some of the previous tracks in the series. This track is laid over "Midna's Lament" and gets some play in the Sacred Forest Meadow if I'm not mistaken, and pretty well ruins whatever it touches.
Controls: Terrible.
Storyline:Pretty good! I like the fact that they brought Ganon back again. Bring him back every time. Zant sucked, and I"m pretty sure that if Ganon hadn't appeared, the cries from the faithful would have been "He's not as good as Ganon!" Mario has Bowser/King Koopa, Mega Man has Dr. Wily, and Link has Ganon(dorf). The in-game specifics were ok. I liked the setting and how ties were forged to previous games.

That's pretty much it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ubuntu 10.10 -- Empathy "Network Error" Fix

It seems worthy of a blogpost. I was getting a network error from Empathy which kept me from logging in. I did some searching, and apparently you've got to kill a telepathy process.

At a terminal, type "killall telepathy-haze", or you can just end it by clicking over to Systems -> Administration -> System Monitor. After that, restart Empathy and you should be able to login. I'll assume the fine folks at are aware of this since everyone in the free world has asked about it.

Now, the advice that worked for a few folks on was "killall telepathy-butterfly". Whichever one you see... kill 'em both if you have to! ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fact: CDs are a scam!

Theory: After some smarty pants invented the cd, his boss said, "We can definitely abuse this scratch-prone item to force customers to buy products more than once."

I happened to come across a music video featuring a track from 'The Legend of Dragoon' for the ps1. Man, LoD is about one third as awesome as LoZ, and that's pretty awesome. I sort of wanted to stick the thing into my dust collecting ps2 and have a good runthrough. However, I then remembered that disc 2 of LoD is scratched to death and freezes up on the battle screens. Now what caused this? Apparently use! I went to great lengths to protect those 4 cds from, but the wear and tear somehow got it anyway!

Now, some CD-believer is probably thinking, "But Charlie! Aren't CDs faster than cartridges, and can't they hold more data than cassettes?" I call bullshit on the former claim. A little pen drive can hold 12 gigs of data and transfer the whole thing to a hard drive in a few minutes. I refuse to believe this silly notion that cartridges are that inferior to cds. And when you factor in durability, they're just all around more preferable.

Cartridges never froze. Cassette tapes never skipped. CDs do both of these things. Thankfully, downloads are getting more and more popular. I pray that soon the world will be rid of the scam that is the compact disc.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Mystery of Facebook Maintenance

Account Unavailable

Your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This is what I'm told when I try to login to Facebook. It is not cool. How am I to know the many good things that aren't being posted??? Someone might have answered a question about me using Truths About You, or even sent me a Farmville request! Oh merciful Facebook, end thy maintenance!

In the case of some future maintenance in which a random reader finds themselves wondering wtf is wrong with facebook, I found the following at

"Site Maintenance" usually means that we're making an improvement to the database that your account is stored on. While we're doing this, you will not be able to access your account. In most instances, this maintenance will last only a few hours. Please note:
  • After the maintenance is over, you will still be able to login with the same password.

  • Your profile and account will not be affected by the maintenance.

  • We don't do site maintenance on all accounts at the same time, so it is possible that some of your friends will be able to access the site while your account is unavailable.

  • It is not necessary to contact us about a "Site Maintenance" error.

  • If your maintenance lasts longer than 24 hours, please follow these instructions to clear your browser's cache and cookies.