Scratches, VirtualBox and Karmic Koalas

I noticed my damn screen got scratched during Assembly, at some point. I have a five or six thin scratches right in the middle part of the top of my screen. Not deep scratches or anything, just small things that reflect in a rainbow color. Fuck! If anyone has any good tricks, i’m all ears. I’ve used displex to take care of similar scratches from my mobile phone screens, but they are very different, in that they have a hard plastic shell, as opposed to a soft one. I’m not sure what it’ll do. Toothpaste also works.

Karmic Koala, the next release of Ubuntu, also known as 9.10, is reaching alpha 4 tomorrow on the 14th. I’m following the new release closely, as i think it looks great, what with new versions of Gnome, the kernel and for instance, new Intel graphics drivers in place of the broken borked onces that crippled Jaunty completely (doesn’t work to any satisfactory degree on my thinkpad x41). One of the things the development gurus have been paying attention to is the boot-time. We’re getting very close to a sub-20-second boot  (The goal for Jaunty i think was 25 seconds). This is a big topic nowadays, what with MontaVista’s embedded linux that claims to boot in one second in to some kind of environment. Not to mention all the laptop vendors who offer their small OS on a chip that boots as fast as a BIOS setup screen. Basically, there are times when i just need a browser to check some timetables, or some other little thing, and booting up a whole system is kind of moot. At that point you really wish you’d have a browser, maybe an IM or something ready in a few seconds without having to load all sorts of esoterics.

For my testing, i use VirtualBox from Sun Microsystems, which is in the Ubuntu repo’s. It’s a nice little program for running your own virtual servers. It has support for amd virtualization technology, and with it, it really doesn’t place too much load on my Phenom2. I can give it a few hundred megs of ram, a dynamic disk drive, network access and whatever i want.

The only thing it doesn’t do (3.0 version claims to improve this), is gaming, since the OS only sees emulated hardware (as with most virtualization techniques), so it can’t access all the fancy hijinks of the GPU that sits on the host machine. There are ways to emulate stuff, but it’s previously been really slow. I haven’t honestly read too much in to what they’ve been cooking for the 3.0 release, but i’m gonna try it out when i have the time.

Right now, i’m just you know.. learning, watching and testing.

Edit: I was looking through the A3 release (while waiting for A4, actually did a dist-upgrade, which took it to kernel 2.6.31-5, but how do i see which alpha i’m on?), i noticed that Pidgin (the IM client), has been replaced by Empathy. Empathy is an IM client that uses the Telepathy framework for communication. We also have the Firefox 3.5 package *with* ubuntu branding (no more Shiretoko on there…).

64-bit Ubuntu & Citrix XenApps

Hey!

This was a thing i was debating with a colleague for a long time. There is no official x64 client from Citrix for their XenApps dealio. But! There is a way to install it successfully!

I used Madox.net for a part of this, but the rest was googled by myself. I thought i’d compile the instructions here to avoid problems. So, follow the instructions of Madox.net. As for the certificate issue mentioned, you can search my blog for Thawte, or download any necessary certs and place them in your citrix installation folder /keystore/cacerts.

There are a few remaining problems, namely some 32-bit libs that can’t be found when starting wfcmgr or wfica. To solve these, i found an awesome tool called getlibs. Getlibs gets 32 bit libs as they are needed. You can point it to the wfcmgr program (if you used the default, that’s /usr/lib/ICAClient/wfcmgr), and it’ll sniff out the needed libs, download, install and symlink as needed! It fucking worked! Thanks to cappy, if that’s who made the tool. There are tons of other nifty options for that tool, you could look here for some of those.

Fedora 11 woes & ATI troubles

What the hell is up with Fedora 11? Honestly.

I download the x64 image, put it on a usb stick with unetbootin, and boot up. Create partitions, and when i create the swap partition, the installer crashes. Wonderful. Retry. Same problem. Assign an existing partition as swap? No problems.. except later, when it crashes at the package selection.

Burn image on CD, same-ish results. Whatever the fuck ever.

About ATI, ubuntu seemed to work fine with it, straight out of the box, where as debian, for instance, had to ofcourse download the propietary drivers.

The regular driver worked fine, but only in mirrored mode. Any and all attempts to put on xinerama failed.

Installed the fglrx driver from ATI, went … fairly well, what with a few hickups. Xinerama=on -> No more graphical mode. I forgot how wonderful ATI cards were in linux 😀

Ubuntu 9.04 x64 & Pyrit with ATI Stream

Okay, so since i just got the new graphics card (an ASUS EAH4850), i wanted to try out some of the GPU computing possibilities of the card. The Pyrit project exists to take advantage of multiple GPU computing platforms, such as Nvidia CUDA, and ATI Stream, so i decided to give that a whirl.

I downloaded the Pyrit and the Ati Stream packages from the Pyrit site. I found out i also need the ATI Stream SDK, which can be obtained from the AMD site. The thing to be noted here is that there is currently only support for RPM based systems, such as Fedora, CentOS etc. So of course, i thought, “Alien!”, the package converter. I apt-get’ed Alien and RPM, and got working on the thing.

You download the package, which is a .tar.gzip file. Unpack the file to get to the .run file. The run file can be exectured simply with ./filename.run. This should result in the script from the .run file being executed. It’ll fail shortly after the EULA, or it did on my x64 system.

I opened up the run file, and commented out the part where it deletes the temporary folder where it extracts the actual RPM file (and before that, tries to run rpm on the file, which fails).

#!/bin/bash
echo “ATI Brook+ SDK Installer”

TMP=”atibrook”

HERE=`pwd`
DST=/usr/local
FOPEN=”more”
RPM=”alien”

#Extract archive into /tmp/atibrook
echo -n “Extracting archive…”
dd if=$0 of=/tmp/${TMP}.tar.gz bs=1 skip=16384 >& /dev/null
echo “DONE”
mkdir /tmp/atibrook
cd /tmp/atibrook
echo -n “Uncompressing package…”
tar -xzf ../${TMP}.tar.gz
echo “DONE”

#Accept EULA
${FOPEN} EndUserLicense.txt
echo -n “Do you accept this license agreement? [y/n]: ”
read agree
if test A”$agree” = Ay -o A”$agree” = AY; then
echo “You accepted the license, continuing installation.”
else
echo “You declined the license, aborting…”
rm -rf /tmp/atibrook
rm /tmp/${TMP}.tar.gz
exit
fi

#Install via rpm
echo “”
echo -n “Select a path for installation [default]: ”
read USERPATH

if test “$USERPATH” != “”; then
echo “Using ‘$USERPATH’ for directory prefix.”
echo “”
echo “Installing package via RPM…”
$RPM –prefix=$USERPATH /tmp/atibrook/*.rpm
else
echo “Using default directory /usr/local/atibrook”
echo “”
echo “Installing package via RPM…”
$RPM /tmp/atibrook/*.rpm
fi

#### THIS PART I COMMENTED OUT SO IT LEAVES THE RPM INTACT ####

#Cleanup
#echo “”
#echo “Removing Temporary Files…”
#rm -rf /tmp/atibrook
#rm /tmp/${TMP}.tar.gz
echo “Exiting installation…”
exit

So the result is that in /tmp/atibrook you now have the rpm file.

Running Alien against it results in an error about rpm.pm on line 155. Something relating to perl, the complete error is:

Installing package via RPM…
Unpacking of ‘/tmp/atibrook/atistream-brook-1.4.0_beta-1.x86_64.rpm’ failed at /usr/share/perl5/Alien/Package/Rpm.pm line 155.
Exiting installation…

Now, i have no fucking idea how to fix it. Looking at line 155, it relates to the cpio command not working properly, but how and why and what the fuck? I’m not a developer. I’ll need to show this to someone, like B, maybe he can figure it out.

I also tried instructions i found on the AMD Developer Forum (requires registration). These detail the use of rpm2cpio, instead of alien, but that doesn’t work either. The RPM seems malformed somehow. Perhaps as a result of it being made with a specific tool (the name of which escapes me), which creates files that are unreadable by rpm2cpio.

Blargh. I’m gonna run a Fedora 11 live CD soon, and see that it actually works. Get some numbers off this thing. It’s supposed to do 7800 PKM’s, which is a lot faster than for instance an Intel I7 920. Sweetness.

Assembly 2009 – Day 4 – 01:20

Last day here at the Hartwall Arena in  Helsinki. Just finished Left 4 Dead on Normal (yeah, big whoop). Before that, we saw the rest of the compos, such as Demo and 64k , and the second price ceremony.

The ceremony had some traditional hijinks by the Netcrew, as they were dressed in Star Wars costumes (with awesome lightsabers), threatening the other organizers. Awesome display, but i have to say, even as a megageek, the geek-o-meter was hitting a high fucking note on that one.

So, L4D done, new graphics card working like a charm. Uh. Time for a late night snack, and more cafeine so i can last until the morning. We’re leaving before noon, since there’s not too much to see anymore. Last price ceremony and ending ceremony, but i’m not too big on those. Compos are cool, but.. other than that, i don’t need it.

Assembly 2009 – Day 3 – 15:12

Music compo underway. Some nice electric tunes, such as Pump My Porn, by renoise.

Just went out to Jimm’s Pc-Store to get a new graphics card, an ASUS Ati Radeon 4850, 512MB DDR. It should serve me well, considering the fact that i have a crossfire motherboard, meaning that i can just get another one later. This isn’t as good as the GTX 260 that i was going to get, but on the other hand, this is 50 bucks (at least) cheaper, and is better supported by my motherboard. I’m not too sad about my choice.

I was looking in to GPU cracking of WPA keys, and found that using a tool called Pyrit, which utilizes ATI Stream, and NVIDIA CUDA technology, you can do about 7800 PMK’s per second where as on the 260 you can do about 9000. In 3DMark 2006 there’s about a 1000 point difference between the two, which is reasonable.

I could have gotten a similarly priced 250 Nvidia, but that’s basically a hopped up 8800 or something. Which i have now. This card is going to my dad.

I’ll install the card once this compo is done.

Assembly 2009 – Day 3 – 01:04

Oh hi.

Oldschool demo compo only had two fucking entries. A little sad, but it was saved by Unreal Voodoo’s awesome piece “3½ inches is enough”, which had a solid plot, and an awesome oldschool theme, where the old tech prevails 🙂

No more compos for this night, next up is music compo 14:30. Now it’s time to do some gaming, and maybe something else.

Oh, installed the Boinc client on Agamemnon, the dual Xeon server.

Assembly 2009 – Day 3 – 00:26

Just saw the 4K intro, and again.. amazing productions. A few very nice ones, including tAAt’s production with the fucking elephants 😀 “Irrelephants”, brilliant name, brilliant idea.

Other good ones included “Patenga” by Traction, and the sony-logo-mockup “dollop” by Sqny. Awesome pieces. Some lazy entries, but overall, very high quality visuals this year!

Next up: Old School Demo

Assembly 2009 – Day 2 – 23:02

Extreme music compo is over, pretty good tunes for some of the old legacy systems; near to my heart of course the NES with its 8 bit wonder. It’s amazing what  they can do with so little space, and so few samples at once.

Next up: Extreme Graphics, hopefully with some traditional boobies.