Sunday 25 April 1999

Got the SB drivers in the post this morning (Saturday) and everything is working fine. I have a lovely 8 MB waveset, which sounds not bad fora budget OEM soundcard. I have done some work today, so I've allowed myself a bit of time on the 'net!

Posted by Dominic at 23:50

Friday 23 April 1999

I am hoping not to spend too much time fiddling with my computer this weekend; rather do my music composition on it - the deadline is Monday. I got the Winmodem drivers in the post eventually, but the SB drivers have still not arrived. The Winmodem sucks anyway, it slows the response of the computer right down (even a PII) and after you finished the system resources stay at a low level.


For those who are interested I've added a page to the distributed computing section which, if you have MSIE4+, will display all the stats pages for the Highgate Crunchers simultaneously. Click here to view it. Non MSIE users will get a list of links to the individual pages.

Posted by Dominic at 23:50

Tuesday 20 April 1999

Well, that's the Easter holiday over, then. I go back to school tomorrow, so my Linuxing will have to play a rather smaller part in my life. Probably a good thing, though. Nothing much to report today. I installed some miscellaneous patches for Linux, including XFree86 3.3.3.1. I haven't upgraded the kernel yet, I will probably wait until Redhat 6.0 to do it when it comes out (soon I think). I did get X11amp working, and although it chops up the sound if there is a lot of disk activity (well, it is a beta) it is a cool program. At the moment the only sounds coming out of my SoundBlaster are from Linux, what does that say about Windoze. I can't configure any sort of standard driver. In Linux, though, all I had to do was run one autodetecting program, and Bob's your uncle.

I haven't received the driver disks from MBC that I was supposed to get either yesterday or today, but nothing that they do surprises me any more.

Posted by Dominic at 17:38

Monday 19 April 1999

As you can probably see, I've turned into a bit of a night owl in the past few days. I'm going to have to kick the habit of staying up until 3am, I start school again on Wednesday. Anyway, I've solved the Xwindows display problem - all I needed to do was set up a custom monitor definition. I was a bit wary of doing this initially because there were warnings stamped all over the shop about permanently damaging your monitor. It didn't help that there was a typo in the Xconfigurator program, where it said Hz, not kHz. No, I'm not mistaken!

I have now installed KDE, and my Linux environment has become much improved. I've got a better PPP dialer, file manager and the windows look a lot better too. Installation was a breeze, just executed one script to do the lot. For a 16 meg download it is packed with features - some of them are blatantly copied from M$, but they are better (needless to say :).

At the moment I'm downloading a 7 meg library file, so that I can run X11amp, which is an equivalent to Winamp for X. My setup is getting more and more complete every day - I'm beginning to feel I could swap to Linux more permanently. What I don't have at the moment is decent font support for Wordperfect, and thus a replacement word processor. I might investigate StarOffice, which is the other big player. I'll also try and get truetype fonts working in X.

Posted by Dominic at 01:23

Sunday 18 April 1999

A lot has happened since I last updated this page a mere 4 days ago! I have spent a lot of my time fiddling about with a new installation of Linux which I installed on Wednesday (I think). I have pppd setup up, and have installed Netscape 4.5, Wordperfect 8 (hurrah), JavaICQ beta, and the distributed.net client - in other words all the important stuff! My life has mainly been spent learning how to use the system because I am almost a complete newbie to the OS (I tried it out for a bit on my old 486 but had to physically swap the hard disk to use it so it got a bit neglected.

I'm now editing using emacs, having worked out how to mount my windows partition with long file-name support, and I have about 7000 MB on that and the rest (about 1000 MB) on a Linux partition. My biggest problem at the moment is that my video card is not working properly under X-windows - I can't get more than 640 by 480 out of it at the moment; hopefully that will be solved soon. When I've done that I will install KDE (I've already d'loaded it) and will probably be forever tweaking it afterwards :-)

I will hopefully get around to configuring sendmail rather than cheating with Netscape, tho' I'm still going to be using Netscape in Win98 to save all messages,
for the time being anyway. Other than that I'm just slowly learning the ropes.

Overall getting Linux runnning on my machine is a great experience in learning stuff from scratch, and of course not being dependant on Micro$oft. If you've got the patience it's a rewarding experience, and every day I discover new powerful features of the system.

On the Win98 front, I am waiting for drivers for the USR Winmodem and SB PCI 64V to arrive in the post - they didn't supply them with the replacement machine and apparently the one I had before didn't have quite the same hardware in it. I've now got a PIII compatible motherboard now. Whoopee.

Posted by Dominic at 00:39

Tuesday 13 April 1999

The other news to report is that I am currently in the process of designing a web site for my mum's new partnership: Zebra Translations - there's nothing there at the moment except an 'under construction' note, but it will be coming on line in the next month or so.

Posted by Dominic at 23:45

The latest saga in my computer woes has been a long and tedious process, but it looks like it's nearly over. When I got back from my orchestra course (more on that later) I opened the box of the replacement computer and connected it up - it didn't get past the POST as the video card was not being recognised. It then shut itself off. After lots of phone calls I finally got someone to come round and sort it all out this afternoon (due this morning but I didn't expect much). They fiddled around inside, mumbled some excuse about the cards being improperly seated due to the carriers, and went. At last, I thought, some chance of a working computer again. Well, since then I have been installing programs (again) and generally messing around. Two problems have arisen, that I don't have drivers for either the modem (it's a Sportster Winmodem, but can't get the right drivers from the USR website) or the soundcard, which isn't being recognised as a SoundBlaster - I don't know what it is.

The NISA course last night was very enjoyable, if hard work, and the result of it was a concert of Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, Holst's St Paul's Suite and Bach and Mozart which I didn't play in. We also recorded that programme for a CD.

Posted by Dominic at 20:45

Saturday 3 April 1999

Well, if you thought that the last entry in this page was bad, now it's been completely changed by the latest saga regarding my computer. I am writing this from a computer at my mum's work - at the moment I don't have one that works at all. About a week ago my computer just refused to switch on, and if it did, it switched off again soon afterwards. It is obviously some major hardware fault. It was really annoying because I'd just fdisk'd my drive and reinstalled Win 98 (again) and Linux, and I was just getting into it all.

Anyway, after many annoying conversations with tech support at MBC (the company who sold my computer) I got them to send a replacement computer, which they agreed to do on Thursday, and take mine away.

On Thursday many annoying things happened, but basically the computer never arrived - they said it was due to heavy Easter weekend traffic. They then promised that it would be at my house, delivered by Red Star, by noon on Saturday. You guessed it - it never arrived. So at the moment I have no idea when I'm going to get it - in a sense I won't be worrying about it for a week because I'm going away on the orchestral course, but when I get back I'm gonna need this computer for A-level Music coursework in a big way.

Oh, Alex, sorry about the April fool, I thought I'd made it ridiculous enough!!!

Posted by Dominic at 16:03

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