Month: March 2010

3D Acceleration for VMWare Player

I noticed a message saying that I did not have 3d acceleration in my virtual image with VMWare player. I didn’t really need it as all I was doing was using the PeopleSoft IDE and a web browser, but I wondered if it would improve performance. I will probably never know if it made a difference other than get rid of the message.

The fix was to install driconf and enable “S3TC texture compression even if software support is not available”.

Installing driconf was as easy as:
sudo apt-get install driconf

Run driconf from the command line with the command:

Go to the “Image Quality” tab, and click “Yes” for “Enable S3TC texture compression even if software support is not available”



3D Acceleration on Intel X3100


Today, I was looking for a Sybase JDBC driver, and found this software project:

The jTDS Project

It is a open source JDBC driver for both SQL Server and Sybase.  I haven’t had much opportunity to use it, but it looks great.  They claim to be very fast.

I have started incorporating it into my query tool: Project Shaphan.

Here are some links and information to help you get started:

Here is the code that I am working with to create a link:

[sourcecode language=”java”]
try {
} catch (ClassNotFoundException e) {
(new ProjectJobException(e)).displayException();
String serverType = optionsGUI.getServerType();
String serverName = optionsGUI.getServerName();
String portNumber = optionsGUI.getPort().trim();
if(portNumber.length() > 0) {
portNumber = ":" + portNumber;
String userName = optionsGUI.getUser();
String password = optionsGUI.getPassword();
try {
connection = DriverManager.getConnection("jdbc:jtds:" + serverType + "://" + serverName + portNumber, userName, password);
} catch (SQLException e) {
(new ProjectJobException(e)).displayException();
ShaphanApp.getMainWindow().getSQLEditorsPane().setConnection(new ConnectionDetails(connection, ConnectionDetails.CONN_TYPE_SQL_SERVER));

Great Links: System76

I just discovered a new PC manufacturer (at least new to me): System76.  It comes with Ubuntu preinstalled, which sounds cool to me.  The price wasn’t too bad either.  The 17″ laptop (Bonobo performance) is what interested me since 17″ is what I currently have.

I am not ready for a new laptop (especially considering I just replaced my battery and my hard drive is pretty new too), but this is an option I want to consider the next time I am in the market.

The specs on the 17″ laptop looked pretty good (although I haven’t compared to other vendors).  The two things I noticed right off were the battery and the keyboard.  The battery was only 6 cell, and I am getting spoiled by my 9 cell battery.  I didn’t see any option to upgrade to the 9 cell, and if I had to replace the battery, how would I know which model to buy?  Since Dell is pretty popular, lots of options exist for their models.  What about System76?  Also, the keyboard is more compact with lots of wasted space around the edges.  My Dell keyboard has more space around the edges and more extra buttons like volume buttons.

The two things that I would think would be important with Linux laptops would be the price and the innovation.  The price wasn’t too bad (without doing comparisons), but the innovation wasn’t the greatest.  The hardware offerings weren’t too bad for the innovation department, but I would expect more to make it standout.  Maybe an ergonomic keyboard or a big escape button (for vi users) would make the case standout.  The Ubuntu logo on the “Start” key was a good touch though.  Those are all observations without actually touching or using it.

–Just some thoughts.  I would love to hear opinions from people who actually have a System76 computer.

WebEx working again in Ubuntu 9.10-64bit!

It seems like this is the pattern with me and WebEx.  I tinker to get it working, I upgrade, it breaks, repeat.  Well, my most recent fling through this cycle started with a broken hard drive.  Actually, several things started it.  First, I originally thought my laptop had a 32-bit processor.  When I found out the new version of PeopleSoft requires a 64-bit OS, I did some research and found that it was actually a 64-bit processor.  Then, when I sent the laptop off to have the hard drive replaced, I figured that was the time to put 64-bit Ubuntu on it.

So, that is how it started, and then, I couldn’t get WebEx to work.  I got Eclipse to work on 64-bit Java, Java worked in the browser, and everything was fine.  I didn’t want to try to pull it all out and reinstall the 32-bit Java just to get WebEx working.  So, I decided to attempt to try to install the 64-bit and 32-bit versions side by side.  With some help, I got it to work:

Ubuntu Forums: 32-bit and 64-bit Firefox at the same time

The first step was installing Java.  It was pretty simple and straight forward.  I downloaded it from Sun’s website.  Essentially, you just extract it and set your environment variables to use it.  The path I chose was $HOME/bin/java.

Next, I found that you cannot use the 32-bit version of Java with the 64-bit version of Firefox.  Firefox throws out all of the 32-bit plugins with this message: “wrong ELF class”.    So, I installed Firefox by downloading it from Firefox’s website.  I extracted it to $HOME/bin/java/firefox.

The next key was linking the Java plugin in the path where Firefox would see it.  First, I linked the plugin into plugins directory:

ln -s $JAVA_HOME/lib/i386/

Once in the Firefox plugins directory, you have to make sure Firefox knows where the plugins directory is with the MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH variable.

So, to recap, I have:

  • Java installed at $HOME/bin/java
  • Firefox installed at $HOME/bin/java/firefox
  • Java pluing installed at $HOME/bin/java/firefox/plugins from $HOME/bin/java/jdk…/lib/i386/

Then, I created an environment script that sets all of the paths and variables to make it work:

export PATH=~/bin/java/firefox:~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/jre/bin/:~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/bin/:$PATH
export JAVA_HOME=~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/jre
export MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH=~/bin/java/firefox/plugins

Finally, I created a script to launch firefox:


cd ~/bin/java
. ./
firefox --no-remote -P WebEx

And, it worked!

Olympics Moonlight Issue

I finally caught a screenshot of the warning message displayed when watching the Olympics with the Moonlight plugin:


To my knowledge, everything still worked with no problem.  The quality of the video was not the greatest, but I did not compare it to Windows/Silverlight.

This message just kind of irritated me a little.  Why should I be handicapped in watching the Olympics just because I choose to run Linux on my computer?  It seems to me that they should choose a little less propriety technology that might be implemented on a wider range of systems.  What about HTML5 or Flash?  Those seem to have pretty good support now across more platforms, don’t they?

Hacking Gnome-RDP

The Gnome-RDP application has been very helpful to me in connecting to various remote machines.  So, I have been trying to contribute a few changes here and there.  Here is how I have been making my patches to contribute:

Step 1: Check out the Source Code

svn co gnome-rdp

Step 2: Create a copy for comparing

cp -r gnome-rdp gnome-rdp-compare

Step 3: Compare and Copy my changes into what I checked out

meld previous/gnome-rdp-svn/branches/experimental gnome-rdp/branches/experimental/

Step 4: Create the patch

diff -Naur gnome-rdp-compare/branches/experimental/ gnome-rdp/branches/experimental/ > change.patch

Step 5: Publish the Patch

I created a new bug in the launchpad bug tracker, and I attached the patch there.

Here are the patches I have done so far:

I am most definitely welcome to suggestions for anything that I am doing wrong or could do easier.