19 April 2007


The left hinge on my old-school laptop gave way a few months ago, and it was going to be another custom job to get it fixed again. The breakage occurred during that whole PhD thing so I had just kept on putting off the repairs - until I chewed up a few hours of Dad's time last weekend to get another part manufactured.

Since we'd made the part previously, we didn't have to spend long measuring the size of the aluminum brackets that we'd have to cut and shape, and were able to knock up a new (and stronger) part relatively quickly. Now the laptop rides on the bus with me every day, where I can sit and tweak the stack of papers I still have left over from my PhD to get published. Huzzah!

This also gave me an excuse to reinstall Mandriva, upgrading it to the new, shiny Mandriva 2007.1 spring release. Unlike a lot of other beta-ish releases, it came with a decent set of development libraries, and the hardware worked quite nicely out of the box. The only gripe I had was with the needlessly complex Drak3d tool to set up the 3D desktop. I got it working like this:

  • Do the default mandriva install - don't touch anything
  • Don't do the drak3d thing from KDM - this will lead to nightmares
  • Instead, just login as root (without any 3D stuff) and run drakconf
  • Go to Hardware->Configure 3D Desktop Effects
  • Select metisse/compiz/beryl/whatever
  • Logout, login as normal user
  • Voila, instant 3D without any mucking about with config files

Beryl is very, very shiny. Its fast, and the tilable windows are actually really useful on a small screen. I play with the spinny cube thing on the bus, and it makes the other passengers nauseous. Yes, that includes you, random bus traveller, reading over my shoulder. Go back to reading MX or something.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What the hell? I leave CSIRO and you go to work for your wife? What is the world coming to? Greetings from the Bay area where doing science is SOOO much nicer. I noticed Briony asked me to join her linkedIn thing that a certain Bhautik Joshi is listed as working at Emotiv? You still get to keep the funky PhD hat right? Get a job in the Bay area and move here now! Kamil