Archive

Archive for January, 2012

Upgrades

28.01.2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been silent this month, but I’m preparing for the highly anticipated release of Diablo 3. I used to be a gamer back in the day, but haven’t had time to play games in recent years. I’m a fan of the Diablo genre, it’s been almost 12 years since the second part. The third installment was announced almost 5 years ago and it’s been in the making probably for more than that. I’ve had a chance to play the demo recently and I can’t wait for the final release.

So I blew off the dust of my almost six year old computer. It has a dual core Opteron 1.8GHz, 1GB of RAM and GF 6600 graphics card. That’s below the game’s official spec, so I upgraded RAM to 2GB and acquired GF 460GT graphics card (still in the shipment). I’m holding off with the CPU upgrade until I’m sure it’s really needed. The official spec recommends a 2.2GHz CPU, but I have a feeling my current one should do just fine, after all all that matters should be the graphics card, shouldn’t it? All that I know for sure is that I can’t go higher than 2.6GHz, that was the fastest Opteron for my motherboard, these are scarce these days since they’ve been discontinued a long time ago.

I played the demo on a 27″ (I think) monitor and it looked great. So I started thinking of upgrading my 19″ monitor as well, though my wife opposed and proposed that I leverage the TV. Well, I’ll see how our 50″ plasma can deal with games.

At this occasion I switched from Ubuntu to Linux Mint. I got fed up with Ubuntu since they keep adding more and more cruft and bloat. I got aggravated by them constantly changing image viewers, media players and even desktop environment. The Linux Mint setup I chose is based on rolling Debian distribution. By rolling I understand there are no major upgrades, new packages simply appear ready for upgrade from time to time. This is similar to Gentoo, you can keep the system up to date all the time if you want and when you want it, you don’t have to depend on major releases. Also I switched back to the good old XFCE, which is one of the leanest but still useful desktop environments for GNU/Linux.

Not long after I screwed up my Gentoo-based Linux desktop at work. Came at the wrong moment of course. So I decided to switch it to Linux Mint as well. Works good so far – with two exceptions: QEMU is slow as hell and there was no sound! I still haven’t figured it out. With QEMU it’s problematic, since I compiled it from source (the one from the package database was also slow but was hanging). I don’t have a clue how to approach it yet, maybe I’ll end up trying to rebuild the kernel. Now regarding sound, the matter isĀ embarrassingĀ (for Linux Mint of course). I tried everything I think and there was still no sound. Finally I wiped out pulseaudio with anger. Now I can play a sound in the command line through ALSA, but I still have no sound in Chrome and other apps. Doh!

No wonder the year of Linux desktop never came! Well, it’s not that surprising after all, but Linux got into pocket masquerading as Android…

Advertisements
Categories: Computing