Miscellaneous: Poulsbo / GMA 500 on F14, The Social Network, whining about monitors, and more…

So, here’s some miscellaneous stuff which is popping into my head!

First up, Poulsbo / GMA 500 (I really ought to make a category…) on Fedora 14. Short story – it works, now, just as F11 / F12 / F13. Long story – follow the instructions here (use the ‘Rawhide’ fusion repos), with the exception that you’re going to have to set up an xorg.conf file manually as all the foobar-config-display tools in Fedora 14 are currently broken due to this bug. The driver packages use livna-config-display to set up the X config file, so that doesn’t work (same bug exists with all drivers in RPM Fusion at present). If you pull over an xorg.conf from any previous Fedora / psb setup, it ought to work.

I saw The Social Network the other day. I agree with a lot of the geek criticism of the strict accuracy of the movie, but as a movie it’s stunning. I thought it was really short when I was walking out of the theatre, then checked my watch and realized two hours had gone by without me noticing. Even Justin Timberlake was good (okay, okay, actually I love Justin, are you happy now?) I’m guessing my reaction to the Harvard bits was atypical though: it was, roughly, ‘aww, isn’t it cute that they try so hard’. 🙂 Has anyone figured out what distro Zuckerberg’s systems run? I’m guessing it could well be Mandrake, as it’s KDE 3.5. Toss up between Mandrake and SUSE, probably, if they’re going for historical accuracy, given the time frame and the use of KDE rather than GNOME…

I want new monitors for my desktop. The only problem is that the monitors I want basically don’t exist. The thing is that my laptops have spoiled me – they have high-resolution panels with DPIs of 221 and 140 (small cookie for anyone who can name them). Now, that kind of display with a sane OS (that is, Linux or OS X) with the DPI setting correct gives seriously lovely font rendering with such a panel. Only problem is, now I want that for my desktop, and it’s pretty much impossible. The best DPI you can get in a mainstream consumer display is just over 100, with 1920×1080 / 1920×1200 21.5″ panels. There are a few extremely exotic displays with much higher DPI than this, but as far as I can tell, they’re all no longer manufactured and cost ridiculous amounts of money when they were. The DPI calculator site lists most of them as ‘noteworthy’ monitors, but you just can’t buy the damn things. All I want is, say, WQXGA (2560×1600) at a 23-24″ panel size. Hell, I’d even settle for 1920×1200 at 20″, which would at least be 113dpi, which is better than a kick in the head. But nope, there’s just nothing. It seems like displays are all built around a 90-100dpi range to deal with broken operating systems (cough, Windows, cough) which are terrible at dealing with higher resolutions. Anyone know of anything I’m missing here? I want something under 25″ with a DPI in the 120-200 range which costs in the three figures. Why this is possible in laptops but no-one will do it in a desktop display, I’ve no idea. There’s gotta be at least a niche market for it.

Vaguely a propos of the above, I’ve switched to using gnome-shell on my desktop and main laptop for a bit, just to see how it goes. It seems like it still doesn’t do anything with the window hint which, in GNOME 2 / metacity, makes a window’s task list entry pulsate; this is very frustrating because I rely on this to know when someone’s messaged me on IRC. Still, I can work around this with xchat-gnome’s notification plugin, and get an icon in the notification tray when someone messages me. It’s not as noticeable as a pulsating task list entry, but it’s better than nothing. Aside from that (and not having a Windows key on my desktop keyboard, heh) I’m quite enjoying it so far. Looking forward to being able to switch to Fedora 15 and get all the latest developments (F14’s gnome-shell is kind of frozen a bit back in time). I’ve also switched my desktop to using the Droid fonts I’ve been using on my laptop for a while now; I finally decided that they do look a bit nicer than Bitstream / Deja Vu (though I’m not sure they have the character set coverage yet).

We’re entering the final stretch for Fedora 14 now, which means lots and lots of blocker bug tracking. The blocker list is looking really quite acceptable right now – that looks quite long right now but all the ones in ON_QA and MODIFIED are (hopefully) basically fixed, the ones to worry about are NEW and ASSIGNED, which is a nice short list. Of course, final desktop and install validation of the TC1 images might lengthen the list again. I’ve been focussing my efforts on this bug, which is an icky regression between kernel 2.6.33 and 2.6.34 in support for some fairly common Intel graphics chipsetted Dell systems; I’m trying to work with Intel’s Jesse Barnes to squeak a fix for this in under the wire, but it’ll be tight.

Finally, administrivia: I know you probably can’t leave comments right now. The RPX plugin I used to use for OpenID authentication now requires me to have WordPress’s ‘anyone can register’ setting enabled, which it previously didn’t require, and I’m not cool with that: it means I get 50 spam registrations per day which I just Do Not Want. So I tried the ‘official’ OpenID plugin, but it doesn’t seem to work – for me and the one person I got to test it, it seems to work but never actually logs you in. I’ll try and figure something out, but for right now, I am just leaving it this way because I really don’t want to deal with BS spam registrations / comments. Sorry about that. Please do email me your pearls of wisdom, though.

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