Me and minime

Ok, I know that I am not the only one to call my Mac mini ..well.. minime. But hey, I did name my iPod “Escape Pod” so I get points there.

I wanted to share some impressions during my first month with the Mac mini. The form factory is a big plus. I have it on my desk right beside my monitor, and it takes up no space to speak of.

I purchased the 1.5g model with 512mb or ram. Performance seems to be very good. I have used it to burn DVDs and iMovie for editing, and it seems to just crank along. It is also very quiet. I have turned off my Linux box, and really only have the Mac on always. I can sit in my small windowless (in more ways than one) office at home, and I can think.

OSX is nice. Linux with Gnome is a lot like it in some ways, so I feel comfortable with it. I like how when I attach a new device to it, you don’t see balloons popping up telling me that there is a new device installed (Well Duh). For example, my DVcam, I hooked it up, couldn’t tell if it was recognized. I opened iMove and it was just there waiting for me. Now, Installing applications are a little different. Most of which you just drag the application into the applications folder. It is odd at first, but makes the machine very easy to manage.

I did install Gimp on it, and I wasn’t quite happy with that. It felt very “Tacked onto OSX”. I get that feeling with the Windows version too, like mouse focus was quirky or something with X. However native OSX apps are awesome. So unless Photoshop for OSX falls out of the sky, There are some things that I will just have to continue do on my Linux box.

So, I see me using it for really anything. I bought it for editing movies primarily, but it has proven to be a great general purpose machine. Very happy with it, and I would recommend it to anyone, especially family.

BTW: iLife is worth the price you paid for the whole machine, and consider a USB, and a Firewire hub.

Gimp Splash Screen Winner

I want to congratulate Bill Luhtala on his win with “work in progress…”. There were a lot of good choices, and I am sure it was hard to pick just one…

It was a fun contest, and I really enjoyed having an image in the running.

You can find out more information, as well as other contestants that were high on the cut list over at The Gimp

Vote for my Gimp Splash Screen!

The folks over at The Gimp are running a contest to pick the next splash screen that appears when you run the program. There are a ton of splash screens there, and some really good ones too.

I choose a homage to Norman Rockwell. Norman is one of my favorite painters, and it just seemed right to work up an image with him in mind.

Currently there is a voting process to pick everyones favorite, so if you feel so inclined: Please go and vote (Please vote for who you want really. You can vote for more than one too)
Previously, Blender, the opensource 3d, modeling package also held splash screen contest and there are a lot of interesting images there too.

Firefox 1.0

Firefox is now 1.0!

I know that I am not the only one, but I have been using Mozilla since .5x series and seen it grow into a nice internet suite…and Firefox is just building on that. They have a lot of smart people putting this together, in the programming side, and the marketing side also. I am very happy for them.

Long Live Firefox!

Soft Modding your XBOX

I often think about modding my XBOX, mainly because I want a place to put all my MAME stuff on. However, I am not sure about popping open the cover of the thing. (Interesting because this feeling hasn’t stopped me before.)

Anyway, here is a link to a step by step guide to Softmodding your XBOX, and even installing Mac OSX on it. Maybe I can get over that feeling this coming weekend…

XBOX MOD – Mac Install

Fedora Core 3 Test 2

I am a sucker for eye candy, and when I saw that Fedora Core 3 Test 2 had Xorgs 6.8 included I thought that this would be a good chance to see the new Shadow and Transparency extensions that came with xorg. Well, it has been quite an event.

First off, I installed FC3t2 and ran update to get all the new updated RPMS that were new since the release , and that included the xorg 6.8 final. Then I found some postings that told you how to get it running.
Add this to your xorg.conf file:

Section "Extensions"
        Option "Composite" "Enable"

Then when you restart X you should be able to open a terminal and type:

xcompmgr -c &

…to start the Shadows. I found that Metacity apparently doesn’t like this at all, and as far as I can see Metacity segfaults on me. I see it come and go a few times (My window borders come and go) and then it dies. I read somewhere that someone got Metacity 2.8.3 working without a problem, but 2.8.4 comes with FC3t2. Turns out that Metacity has some kind of a compositing manager included in it, and that was causing the conflict. I basically got the source rpm, and modified the to not enable the compositor and made a new RPM. No go there either.

Finally I said screw it. (I guess I am starting to learn to stop while I am ahead.) I installed xfwm4 and started that up instead of Metacity, and then got my shadows up and running.

It looks great, except it is a little slower moving windows.

My workstation here has a Intel i810 video card. It’s good but not great. I bet it would perform better on my Nvidia card at home.

Fedora Core 2 has arrived!

I have to say that as with all previous versions of linux that Redhat has put out, it has consistantly gotten better as time went on, and Fedora Core 2 is no exception. I installed it on two machines, one being a Dell D400 Laptop, and have had no problems… except with SambaFS or now called CIFS.

My problem was that I was trying to mount a Windows share from my new Fedora box, and I couldn’t. No matter how I set up the command. I was getting an ERROR 13 Permission Denied. I was getting frustrated…and finally I got the answer, buried under the scattered text of several message boards was it. My machine needed a kernel update. Once I updated the kernel to 2.6.6-1.374 from the stock kernel that came with FC2, mounting worked perfectly. I’m sure that that kernel will be released shortly, but if you are looking for it, I got it from the development branch on the Fedora Download Server.

I am just putting this out there in case someone else has the same problem.

Other than that, FC2 works as advertised. BTW Props go out the all the guys working thier butts off to put this thing together. Thank You.