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Slackware 10.1

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On February 7 Slackware released its 10.1 version of its famous linux distribution. With the death of one of my harddrives the other night and the resulting loss of 10.0, I finally found the time to give it a try.

Mdk 10.2 beta 3

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I lost my hdb night before last and with it went my installs of Sorcerer, Fedora, Vector, One Base, SUSE, a couple older PCLOS, a couple older gentoos, mdk cooker, and most hurtful my Slackware 10.0.

Having a spare coupla partitions on hda I thought I just had to replace my cooker and slack. So, I set off to download the latest of each.

Upon returning home from work last night I wanted to set up mandrake and take screenshots, thinking that'd make a good story for my fledgling site.

It took like no time to install and I noticed some new features in the installer, but nothing earth shattering. I was anxious to login to my new install and look around and take my screenshots.

Weird *ss Weather

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Just talk

You'd think after living in TN for 25 years, no make that 35 years, I'd be used to this weird weather. One saying that's become cliche around here is 'If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes - it'll change'. Yet it never seems to cease to amaze me. It's been raining here for several days now, it was raining when I went to bed last night and a thunderstorm awoke me this morning. This thunderstorm was a little spookier than most because the sky had taken on this eerie greenish-yellowish cast. Well, we practically-native Tennesseans know that's one of the warning signs of tornado activity, another thing we should be used to by now.

Big rpm update

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I've been a busy bee the past couple of days generating a big pack of rpm updates. udev is about fixed for the printers so I'm happy about that. There is a problem with cd symlinks especially for cdrw devices but the udev mailing list shows this is being addressed and a new version of udev will be out shortly.

Cybercfo is building an Amarok livecd based on a stripped down version of pclinuxos. I updated all the gstreamer rpms as well as amorak from their cvs build last night so he would have some new packages to work with for his project. You can find out more information about this exciting project at:


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Im still having some printer, network printer and usb issues with pclinuxos updates. I've been digging into hotplug and udev and have gotten a few more printers functional now. Usbkeys are still dead and I know it is related to udev and hotplug. Im hoping these issues will clear out in the next few days and I am able to cut an updated iso.

I also found xorg 6.8.2 released today so I built a set of binaries and uploaded them to the premuim server and Tonight I noticed in the forums a person who has the unichrome video card that will only go 800x600 so I downloaded the r30 unichrome driver release and added to my next build of xorg 6.8.2-2tex which I will post tomorrow. Hopefully his video will be able to go to a higher resolution.

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Games for GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU/Linux ports can be less performant, a more in-depth answer
    When it comes to data handling, or rather data manipulation, different APIs can perform it in different ways. In one, you might simply be able to modify some memory and all is ok. In another, you might have to point to a copy and say "use that when you can instead and free the original then". This is not a one way is better than the other discussion - it's important only that they require different methods of handling it. Actually, OpenGL can have a lot of different methods, and knowing the "best" way for a particular scenario takes some experience to get right. When dealing with porting a game across though, there may not be a lot of options: the engine does things a certain way, so that way has to be faked if there's no exact translation. Guess what? That can affect OpenGL state, and require re-validation of an entire rendering pipeline, stalling command submission to the GPU, a.k.a less performance than the original game. It's again not really feasible to rip apart an entire game engine and redesign it just for that: take the performance hit and carry on. Note that some decisions are based around _porting_ a game. If one could design from the ground up with OpenGL, then OpenGL would likely give better performance...but it might also be more difficult to develop and test for. So there's a bit of a trade-off there, and most developers are probably going to be concerned with getting it running on Windows first, GNU/Linux second. This includes engine developers.
  • Why Linux games often perform worse than on Windows
    Drivers on Windows are tweaked rather often for specific games. You often see a "Game Ready" (or whatever term they use now) driver from Nvidia and AMD where they often state "increased performance in x game by x%". This happens for most major game releases on Windows. Nvidia and AMD have teams of people to specifically tweak the drivers for games on Windows. Looking at Nvidia specifically, in the last three months they have released six new drivers to improve performance in specific games.
  • Thoughts on 'Stellaris' with the 'Leviathans Story Pack' and latest patch, a better game that still needs work
  • Linux community has been sending their love to Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media
    This is awesome to see, people in the community have sent both Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media some little care packages full of treats. Since Aspyr Media have yet to bring us the new Civilization game, it looks like Linux users have been guilt-tripping the porters into speeding up, or just sending them into a sugar coma.
  • Feral Interactive's Linux ports may come with Vulkan sooner than we thought
  • Using Nvidia's NVENC with OBS Studio makes Linux game recording really great
    I had been meaning to try out Nvidia's NVENC for a while, but I never really bothered as I didn't think it would make such a drastic difference in recording gaming videos, but wow does it ever! I was trying to record a game recently and all other methods I tried made the game performance utterly dive, making it impossible to record it. So I asked for advice and eventually came to this way.

Leftovers: Software

  • DocKnot 1.00
    I'm a bit of a perfectionist about package documentation, and I'm also a huge fan of consistency. As I've slowly accumulated more open source software packages (alas, fewer new ones these days since I have less day-job time to work on them), I've developed a standard format for package documentation files, particularly the README in the package and the web pages I publish. I've iterated on these, tweaking them and messing with them, trying to incorporate all my accumulated wisdom about what information people need.
  • Shotwell moving along
    A new feature that was included is a contrast slider in the enhancement tool, moving on with integrating patches hanging around on Bugzilla for quite some time.
  • GObject and SVG
    GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification. GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice. SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.
  • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes
    Today, October 27, 2016, we've been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite. You're reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.