Saturday, 17 January, 2009

KDE4.1

While I am at cursing KDE4.1 let me also do it a bit more.

One thing we all accept is KDE 4.1 is "cool" period. Only other desktop more funkier than this is probably a Mac. It has some really nice features. Especially the idea of not having an explicit "desktop" and letting any (and many" folders to become desktop is appreciable. The widgets etc is also good. Unfortunate thing is Compiz STILL doesn't work for me. It blows me all out after the install. But my desktop simply freezes on a restart. I think Compiz does not like my ATI Radeon X1100 :-(

I know SEV, that it works on your ATI but I am so far not lucky with it.

No.. But Compiz is not the reason why I am upset with KDE4.1. In fact I am least bothered about it. Its the shortcuts I am mad about. For some reason KDE4.1 cannot recognize WIN key so ALL my customized shortcuts are just gone. WTF. The main reason why opted for KDE is custom shortcuts (for almost anything and everything, if u knew existence of kmenuedit). I do understand that it is matter of fixing the WIN key issue but I have been unable to do so and that drives me mad.

So ... all this have caused me to lose all the excitement about KDE4.1. Yes, it may be the thing for some of you but I would not mind going back to 1.5.10 if there is an easy way of doing it.

Amarok2 and OSSv4 is a disaster

I am a religious supporter of OSS4 over ALSA. I recently upgraded to KDE4.1 and came across this shitty sound system called phonon. Apparently it is supposed to improve the whole user experience but it murders it. The worse part is Amarok2 is insane enough to assume that phonon is always going to work. WHAT CRAP. The best part abut amarok1.* is that it lets you select your sound system. However, phonon simply cant see OSS. So basically Amarok tries to play sound without managing to get anything out of your speakers. The (only) good part is old faithful VLC (and mplayer) just works as it used to.

While doing a frantic forum-googling I just realized that other than some more funky looks and this phonon shit, there is nothing in Amarok2 that will really excite me (No I am not a big fan of having widgets in everything window doing needless crazy stuff). So I simply downgraded it back to older amarok.

So if you expect you multimedia player to manage your collection and play it properly Amarok 2 is just not worth the pain. OFC if you are already "pulsed into alsa" then go ahead and try it.

Sunday, 11 January, 2009

I have faced problems getting ALSA to do everything I want. So I switched to OSS instead. I must say, OSS has been way better that ALSA. But little did I know about the potential problems when I recently upgraded from Hardy to Intrepid. It seems that Ubuntu (to be more specific Kubuntu) has undergone some changes in the way packaged are organized (Just my guess....) . Even adept-manager has changed its name to just "adept" with "manager" as a command line argument. So basically (k)ubuntu won't upgrade/remove my existing OSS. Fine. But It couldn't even detect it. Worst, It assumed that there is no sound system so installed alsa. WTF ?
So I had this OSS installation which ubuntu was agnostic about. I had another alsa installed which for some reason never worked. Ubuntu won't let me remove existing OSS. It won't let me install the fresh one. I got following looking errors :

/var/lib/dpkg/info/oss-linux.prerm: 3: source: not found
... and several others

So basically I was stuck in a deadlock. From the error I kinda assumed that it has got to do something with the installer/uninstaller scripts (or related files) being misplaced. So I manually removed (after taking a backup ofc) all the oss related files (/var/lib/dpkg/info/oss-linux*) from package database. Just tried to install the oss again

sudo dpkg -i oss-linux-4.1-1051_amd64.deb

Voila... dpkg assumed that my previous package files were corrupted but did a fresh reinstall. Ofc I did get this ominous looking (serious) warning:

dpkg: serious warning: files list file for package `oss-linux' missing, assuming package has no files currently installed.

But in end of the it did what I wanted to.

I still do not know if there is a correct way of doing this. Please note that we are actually fiddling with package manager's files which may cause very serious problems. If anyone knows a better/correct way, please let me know.

The main point of this post is to document my experience. Because I didn't find anyone else who had faced a similar problem. So this may be of some help to someone who is facing similar problems.

Friday, 9 January, 2009

Conclusions from my latest "research"

Rule 1:
You are so busy with your course work during the semester that you hardly get time to do research

Rule 2:
Once the semester ends, your mind goes in "vacationing" mode which renders any efforts from your brain to do research useless...