Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mint 9 X11 Problem

As mentioned in my "A Blogs Beginning" post I stated that I was going to talk about the 3D acceleration issue I had. So time to explain.

When I first started with Linux Mint 9 Isadora as a live CD, it was great. I used it for a few days and was quite impressed. About 4-5 days later I thought it was time to partition my Hard-Drive and give it a full go. In my mind it should be simple, or so I thought. When the instillation was complete, I went on to boot from the Hard-Disk and get started. For some reason I was given an error that X11-xorg was having trouble and could not start correctly. So I tried a few things.

When I went to go check on the xorg.conf file in "/etc/X11/" it came as a surprise that there was no conf file. When I did some looking online it turns out what some people had said that by default Mint 9 doesn't generate an xorg file. Although people went on to point out that the GUI works just fine without it.

So I tried generating an xorg.conf file the usual way with the "Xorg -configure" command as root "#". An for some reason that still didn't fix my issue. So I thought about it for a while. I preceded to load up the Live CD of Mint 9 again. Once it was loaded I opened up a command terminal. I changed to root and generated an Xorg.conf file. It is stored in the home folder. (If my memory serves me right) I then copied the newly created file to "my" hard-drive under the "/etc/X11/" directory and gave booting into my installation another go.

An would you know it, I was finally able to successfully launch X11 and access the Gnome interface. Considering that the Live CD supports Nvidia and ATI already. However I didn't take a look at the differences between the two config files. I already replace the old xorg and didn't compare the two. Once that was fixed, I went about getting the Full 3D acceleration driver installed. I don't know what the issue was but so far that is the "ONLY" issue I have had and experienced with Mint 9 Isadora at this point.

Go all Linux or go home!

Let me start out by saying that the "title" of this post is not my viewpoint on what Operating System to use. Rather it's focusing on others who say such a thing. So I thought I would give my 2 cents on this topic. Keep in mind I'm not pointing fingers but just my opinion on the matter.

When it comes to choosing between an Open Source OS or a proprietary OS such as "Windows", at this point in time you can't have just one. People will find that there are a number of tasks you can do on Linux extremely well and same goes with Windows. As far as I see it you should live in the best of both worlds.

Trying to preform things you are most accustomed to on Windows in Linux, won't always be an easy alternative. A prime example is the latest releases for hardcore gamers. Games that use DirectX 10 and soon to be 11, will have a difficult time running in Linux. Now that is if there is no "native" version available for that game, or solid support for Windows API applications such as Wine or Cedega for instance. This will always be a problem. Although some companies are wanting to climb aboard the Linux bandwagon. Such as "BioWare", "EPIC Games" and "id Software" provide native Linux clients for some of their games.

For me I will always see myself using both the Linux and Windows environments for the time being. That could change in the near future. But again supporting Linux is not on a lot of developers minds considering the Windows still makes up over 90% of the current platform market.

So you want to try Linux ?

So you want to try Linux? The following video (only 8 minutes long) describes how to obtain a Linux distribution of your choice and try it without any Hard-Drive formatting or partitioning required. (aka, you won't have to remove windows or have to change anything on your Hard-Drive)

Note: Stay tuned for the next video that will show you how to use the GUI (Graphical User Interface) and also some basic and common CLI (Command Line Interface) commands. An if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I will gladly answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Video: Trying Linux Part 1
Hosted on:
Length: Just over 8 minutes

COSLinux is now on YouTube

Just an update. I will be adding videos to help in conjunction with my Blog. Any video updates and posts will be announced here on the blog.

These videos will contain tips, tricks, HowTo's, and other helpful information.

It can be found at

History of Linux Distributions Used

Damn Small Linux:
Versions: 4.4.10, 3.3, 3.0
Link: Here

Linux Mint:
Version: 9 Isadora
Link: Here

Versions: 12 Constantine, 10 Cambridge
Link: Here

Versions: 6.10 Edgy, 8.10 Intrepid, 9.10 Karmic
Link: Here

Versions: 6.0.1, 4.0.2, 3.7
Link: Here

Version: 10.0
Link: Here

Mepis Linux:
Version: 3.3.1
Link: Here

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Life of a Machine

Hey everyone. I thought I would share the life of my E6850 PC. Like all the hardware changes, Operating Systems, and just overall fun I have had with this PC.

Lets start off with the hardware. Before it was equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 CPU, it stared with a little Pentium D 805. Let me tell you the 805 was no ordinary CPU. On the lovely site known as Tomshardware, I came across a little article stating that a specific lot of Pentium D 805's have a high overclock capability. An I thought with the Proc only costing around 80$ at the time, I thought why not.

To break it down, the bottom line was that you could overclock the 805 CPU from its stock speed of 2.66GHz to over 4GHz with not a lot of effort. An sure enough it was true. With some simple tuning and BIOS modifications, it was easily reached. I managed to get as high as 4.1GHz "stable". In conjunction with the 805 it had 4Gb of ram and 2 Nvidia 7600GT's in SLi. So back then it was a pretty kick ass rig for around $800-$1000. I sould also add that with the 805, air cooling at those speeds was not an option. So I turned to the Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooling system. Which did a wonderful job if I might add.

Since then I went from the Pentium D 805 to the Core 2 Duo E6850, then the 2 7600GT's to one 8800GTS and finally to a eVGA Nvidia 8800GT (Kick ass card, G92). Coming up last was the switch to the P5B-Deluxe MoBo. After about a 2 years I upgraded from the 8800GT to the GTS 250.

In the beginning I used Windows XP to start with. When Vista arrived I used it for about 8 months then went back to XP. You may be thinking I went back to XP because I didn't like Vista, not true. The whole purpose of using Vista for a period of time was because I knew friends, family and other students would be coming to me with their computer "Vista" related questions. So I thought why not get a chance to learn the new OS while I have a chance. I Dual booted different Linux OS's off an on but couldn't find one that set right. Until I tried Linux Mint 9 Isador just recently. Needless to say I was pretty impressed. Currently I am using Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and Mint 9.

On a side note I would like to point out how revolutionary the 8800GT was for its time. Going from the G80 chip to the G92 made such a huge difference. I remember going to Fry's Electronics like I usually do and seeing that gold eVGA box for the 8800GT on the shelf. Thinking to myself like what kind of card is this ? Why does this thing stick out an say, "I'm so special I have a gold box!". Little did I know what it was capable of. After I went home and did some research on it I couldn't believe the numbers it was posting, I was just blow away.

The next day I went back to the store, and sadly they were all gone! I looked online to order one, and every resource was sold out. Most places had a waiting list just to get a hold of an 8800GT. The edition I bought at the time was an eVGA Superclocked edition. An to this day it still kicks ass. It was an amazing card and will always have a place in my heart.

A Blogs Beginning

At this point in time I currently have two main PC's and one laptop that I use. The laptop is a Compaq/HP nc4000. An absolute wonderful laptop for school use and portability. The performance it offers is perfect for basic daily use. Web surfing, documentation, and video playback. It's currently running Fedora 12. I'm too lazy to find its exact specs online but you have the model number now so be my guest if you are curious.

As for my two PC's, they are quite different. My first PC I consider my "main" is hand built with an Intel E6850 OC'd to 3.4GHz, 4Gb Patriot memory, BFG Nvidia GTS 250, all on a P5B-Deluxe motherboard. In the Operating System department, it currently has Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and Linux Mint 9 Isadora 32-bit. (Gnome)

I have had an extreme amount of success with Mint 9 Isadora. For drivers it was ridiculously simple. The 3D acceleration for the Nvidia card took some time and unique thinking to get it working correctly but that's another post.

The second PC is quite older. It is a Compaq PD1000 desktop. Feel free to look it up. The CPU is a Pentium II with only 512Mb of memory. It did run Windows XP at one point in time but has been on Knoppix 3.7 for some time now. I use it for smaller tasks that it is perfectly capable of handling. As I said I consider the E6850 the "main" PC.

That about wraps up the current hardware I am using at this point in time so I guess on to more business then.