August 15th, 2007


orinoco -> atheros

Well, I've just upgraded all wireless hardware from prism-based hardware to atheros-based hardware. HAL/firmware licensing aside, the madwifi drivers just work a lot better than the orinoco/prism2/hostap selection. The hardware is faster and supports more modern wifi standards. Not to mention madwifi also works with hostapd (i.e., in Master mode).

New hard drive -> getting 3D desktop effects going from scratch.

Well, I rarely get a chance to do a full install of Ubuntu, but today's the day, since my old (ca. 2002) Thinkpad T30's hard drive has been tossing bad sectors at me. I think I may have done 2 installs of Ubuntu on it in the past 3 years (once for the first install, once when IBM wiped my hard drive when I sent it in for service -- all it needed was a new fan and system board).

Anyway, 3d desktop effects will probably be enabled by default on qualifying hardware in 7.10 (gutsy gibbon), and they don't work out of the box on my laptop, so here are the steps to get it going on a Thinkpad T30  with the Radeon 7500 (RV200) chip.

  1. echo '<option name="allow_large_textures" value="2" />' | sudo tee /etc/drirc
  2. sudoedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf # put 'Option "AGPSize" "32"' and 'Option "AGPMode" "2"' in the 'ati' section and switch '24' to '16' in the display section

Log out, log back in, and the 3d effects will be on. There are graphical programs which will do the critical bits (enable large textures and switch to 16 bpp mode), but this is probably the easiest way to get it going.