Archive for Linux

Updates suck ass

We’ve all been there. We get a notification “oh updates available, coo” and blindly allow it. Then BANG, something that worked this morning is new perma-broke. Every platform imaginable falls victim to it. Some is by accident, a big “whoops” by developers pushing features forward accidentally breaking other things in the process. Others, are by design.

My particular case today was a simple update of the Ubuntu system which runs my XBMC media pc. Figured that’s kinda safe. I ran it and suddenly XBMC wouldn’t open. What? Now it complains that it requires 3D acceleration. But but but, it has a bloody radeon card in it. It worked this morning! Bastard. So, after some poking I discover it has installed the newest Catalyst drivers which OBSOLETED the card in my girlfriend’s old laptop. Thanks.

Rather than leaving it alone in its WORKING state, it chose to overwrite it with some new garbage that doesn’t work. Thanks a bunch, douche.

In desperation I tried out the Gallium open source drivers and they did work. I was much relieved. A small, but thoroughly annoying problem is my frame rate seems to have been reduced by at least 50%. Choppy and horrid on something that I usually show off to other people not only as an example of Ubuntu’s prowess, but XBMC’s clear superiority in the field of media centre software.

Not wanting to leave it alone, I pursue the issue. Apparently, I can grab some legacy drivers, fantastic! Installed and it worked as before.

Here’s how, open the terminal and:

  • sudo apt-get remove –purge fglrx*
  • sudo reboot
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:makson96/fglrx
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade
  • sudo apt-get install fglrx-legacy
  • sudo reboot

With any luck, you should be restored to former usefulness as I was. If not, you can always revert by:

  • sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
  • sudo ppa-purge ppa:makson96/fglrx
  • sudo reboot

I probably missed the obvious method of rolling back the package (if that was possible, check first) but this worked a treat.

The moral of the story, which I DID know but in temporary insanity forgot, is: if it ‘aint broke don’t fix it. Or in this case, DON’T UPDATE EVER. It’s a sad case that manufacturers deliberately obsolete their products this way, it would have cost them nothing to leave the working driver in there. Thank christ I got it working again just in time for some movies tonight.

Netflix uses HTML5 streams

But only for ARM devices and Chromebooks. Stumbled on this article from Slashdot:

HTML5 Brings Netflix to Samsung’s ARM Chromebook

Could this mean that someday, in this universe, Linux may take its place among the platforms served by Netflix? Better be fuckers. I’m so tired of hooking my laptop up just to use Netflix, when I have a lovely media pc that runs XBMC over Ubuntu. No, installing windows is NOT an option :) .

So Netflix, support Linux already! You are out of excuses. Oh and drop Silverlight, its buggy and annoying.