A REAL 3 Dimensional Desktop

February 21, 2008

I’m a big proponent in open source software for a few reasons, the best of which is the ability of anyone to work on anything and have anyone else help them if they wish. This really opens up the world to groundbreaking new ideas.

One of the biggest things, in my opinion, in ground breaking new ideas is Compiz-Fusion, the open source OpenGL accelerated desktop environment for Linux. I’ve talked about it in the past, but not really extensively. What Compiz Fusion does is turn over the rendering of your desktop from your CPU to your GPU allowing for some really awesome effects (AKA Eyecandy) without adding any additional overhead to the actual computing power of your computer. For instance, I can do just about anything, and a whole lot more, than Windows Vista’s Aero interface or Mac’s OS-X interface can on a machine that is generally considered sub-par by todays computer standards – a 2 GHZ Athlon, 500 Megs of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 6200 with 256 megs of memory on a 4x AGP port. This is top of the line 2003 hardware here, but in case you hadn’t noticed, this is 2008, 5 years later than my technology.

Now some developers have taken Compiz-Fusion to an all new level. The current 3d desktop is really just a rendered 2d desktop with some effects to make it look pretty. SmSpillaz and others have really made the Compiz-Fusion interface into 3 Dimensions! Take a look at the following video if you don’t believe me:


Catching Up

February 18, 2008

Well, hmmm… I guess it’s been a while. The holidays always get hectic and I had the distinc pleasure of following them up with a month long gig doing the Army Reservist thing. FWIW I teach Psychological Operations (I’ll let you do your own web search on that one!) at lovely Fort Hunter Liggett, Jolon, California.

Well, I’m back now and thought I’d post a little update.

Consider yourselves updated!

300 (The Movie) is absolutely outstanding! Why am I telling you this now, a year later? Because I’m a little slow on the uptake I guess.

Knight Rider, The Movie was absolutely horrible. I know they’ll make a series out of it only because they already paid the writers for it I’m sure. Even with the writers strike over it’s going to take some time to get things going again for the studios. If you want a recap without actually harming your psyche in the process, check out the Autoblog blog on the subject.

I want to aplogize for my rather unprofessional rant on my iPod Mini from last November. It was uncalled for (though it DID feel really good). I find it really funny that at this point most of the music publishers have moved away from DRM and I’ll be willing to bet that Steve Jobs is getting a little nervous about future revenue streams. If only they would make a Linux compatable version of iTunes. Really Steve-O, Your new-ish OS is based on BSD which is an open source variant of Unix on which Linux is closely based. It can’t be that hard to port it over… And all the necessary tools for Linux are already there for you to use, without cost to a single one of your Dev’s.

Lessee, what else?

I’ve been playing a lot with the recently refreshed Screenlets for Linux. Don’t follow that link though. It’s kind-a good, and sorta not good. I’ll make a new post all about Screenlets and hopefully drive some traffic their way.

I also bucked the trend by using Cairo-Dock rather than the ever popular Avant Window Navigator. I don’t know why but AWN was just difficult for me to use and configure, but Cairo-Dock went right together for me. I’ll post up a different entry on this as well.

Interestingly I am rolling up on 9 months my primary computer usage being with Linux. Come April it’ll be a year and I’ll actually screw up the courage to upgrade to Hardy Heron from Feisty Fawn. Maybe this is worthy of a new post also – Psyoppers Fears of Upgrading Ubuntu.

I’m trying to talk the wife into letting me use our tax return to buy a new machine to replace the aging Compaq that she bought when she burned up my machine in 2004 while I was in Iraq. So far it’s looking like I can make a decent quad core machine (Q6600) with 2 gigs of RAM, an 8800 GT and a 24″ Samsung monitor for under $1200 if I make a few concessions like reusing my current case and only upgrading the power supply.