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:


Minesweeper: The Movie

August 14, 2007

You have to see this one to believe it.

Watch the Minesweeper: The Movie – Trailer here!


A different idea for the 3D desktop

August 8, 2007

I came across this video today about a different (completely different) 3 dimensional desktop from OS X, MS Aero or Compiz. It’s called BumpTop and it’s interesting in that it is more like working with your Real Life desktop with documents scattered and strewn about your computer desktop, the ability to stack or pile them, sort them and rifle through them.

Check out the video, this is really compelling stuff!


Compiz-Fusion release 0.5.2 announced

August 4, 2007

Check it out here

For those who don’t know, Compiz-Fusion is a true 3D accelerated version of your desktop. Why not let your processor process processes and let your graphic card actually show you what you sunk $300 into it for?

Want to see Compiz-Fusion in action? Take a look at this video first, then head over to Youtube for more.

Sorry Windows users, Compiz is only for Linux. Billy et al already tried to give you a pretty interface with Aero. What? You can’t use Aero because your computer isn’t fast enough? Maybe you should switch to Linux, it’s making a damned fine entry into the desktop market with distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

I’ve been running Compiz-Fusion just dandy-fine for the last month on my 2004 Compaq Presario with a whopping 2 GHZ Athlon, 512 megs of RAM and a Geforce 6200 AGP-4x.


OpenGL in your Virtual Machine is here!

July 11, 2007

Several Virtual Machine developers have been promising OpenGL support for their VM’s in future releases. Well, the future is now thanks to Open Source programming with VMGL

From their site:

OpenGL apps running inside a Virtual Machine (VM) can use VMGL to take advantage of graphics hardware acceleration. VMGL can be used on VMware guests, Xen HVM domains (depending on hardware virtualization extensions) and Xen paravirtual domains, using XVnc or the virtual framebuffer. Although we haven’t tested it, VMGL should work for qemu, KVM, etc. VMGL is available for X11-based guest OS’s: Linux, FreeBSD and OpenSolaris. Finally, VMGL is GPU-independent: we support ATI, Nvidia and Intel GPUs.

Not really that interesting you say? I disagree – because this is open source and cross platform it means that we won’t necessarily be stuck with only one or two choices of VM software to support GL based apps. This is one of the final barriers to virtualized computing in my rather humble opinion…


Microsoft will not distribute GPLv3

July 10, 2007

Apparently Microsoft has stated that it’s cross-licensing and distribution deal with SUSE Linux will end. Sort-of. Microsoft will continue to sell the support coupons (and provide source) for SUSE while it remains GPLv2. Microsoft further said that they will not sell or distribute GPLv3 software.

Read it here. 

What’s the problem? Well, Microsft has been selling to some heavy hitters like WalMart and Credit Suisse. These customers may have purchased the coupons with the intent of coverage for future versions (I understand the coupons to be good for 3 years), but if future versions of SUSE go GPLv3 these customers will be left high and dry, at least on taking advantage of emerging technologies and advances in the Linux kernel.
Here’s the real problem: Samba (the highly popular Linux file/print networking stack) has decided that future releases will be under GPLv3 starting with 3.2.0.

To be clear, all versions of Samba numbered 3.2 and later will be under the GPLv3, all versions of Samba numbered 3.0.x and before remain under the GPLv2.
The Samba Team would like to thank Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen and the Free Software Foundation for updating the GPL license, and also all the individuals and corporations involved in helping to create the GPLv3. We feel this is an important change to help promote the interests of Samba and other Free Software.

Without Samba there is no interoperability between Linux and Windows – or more specifically, SUSE Linux and Windows Server 2003, the very relationship that Microsoft was trying to leverage with the distribution plan it started earlier this year.


My latest Windows error…

July 7, 2007

This is an actual screenshot of a Windows generated message I recieved today when installing drivers on a machine at work…

windowserror.png

I was (and am still) left speechless. Even the developers of Windows programs know that Windows isn’t going to like what you’re about to do…