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Month: July 2012

The Wondiferousness That is Linux Mint 13

Introduction

Anyone who has followed or read through the archives of this site may think that I am a little schizophrenic when it comes to my Linux distribution choice. I’ve been all over the place: Linux Mint 11, Xubuntu 11.10, openSUSE 12.1, Fedora 16/17, Ubuntu 12.04… everywhere. In fairness, there were always problems that made it difficult for me to just do the things I needed to do.

Linux Mint 11 was okay (and still may have been) except the ATI drivers my laptop needed didn’t exist at the time. Xubuntu 11.10 was great, but I had issues with heat and the system crashing from time to time. openSUSE 12.1 had by far the best installation for the ATI drivers ever, but I had to type in the root password to connect to a new wireless network. Fedora ran really, really hot. Ubuntu 12.04 crashed when installing the proprietary graphics driver, but worked fine if I disabled the ATI card and just ran off the Intel card and FOSS drivers.

Enter Mint 13

About two weeks ago, I installed Linux Mint 13 MATE. It works amazingly well on my HP dv6t Quad laptop. I’ve only had to do a few things to make it work well.

  1. Install Proprietary Drivers. Install the closed-source ATI drivers. After running your initial updates, Linux Mint will have the latest drivers available and you’ll want to select the choice that contains the phrase “post-release updates”. Once those are installed, you can run sudo aticonfig --initial, then sudo amdcccle to select the Intel graphics card.
  2. Enable Backlight Adjustment. Add “acpi_backlight=vendor” to your GRUB command lines in /etc/default/grub, then run sudo update-grub.

So far, things are running wonderfully. I have noticed a bug where the wireless will not reconnect once the laptop suspends (like when the lid is closed). Not too big of a deal, as I just need to shut down before I close up.

Back Into Coding… and in a Big Way

I’ve coded a good bit before. I spent two years in high school in Computer Science classes and majored in CS for the short time I was in college. I even wrote a web app for the Army while I was in Iraq.

However, I’ve been much more into the networking and systems administration side of things in the past few years. As it’s been part of my job, I thought that learning as much as I could about it would be greatly beneficial and it has been.

Unfortunately, the equipment is expensive. I can only afford so many pieces of Cisco gear before the wife will get pissed (I’ve reached the limit, apparently, as I get the ‘evil eye’ every time I say the word ‘router’).

So, my tech projects are focusing back on software. Here’s what I’m working on now:

  • phpNetManager – A webapp for managing network devices and address allocations. More project managing this than coding it, but handling some of the coding.
  • SCTorrent – A lightweight BitTorrent client for Windows.
  • A Rouge-like game using ncurses. This is more of a “let’s learn how to make a game engine” kind of thing.
  • A cross-platform, tile-based game engine. Very early in and slow going.

All are open-source, except for the tile-based engine, which might be at some point, but might not be. Playing that one close to the chest.