Thursday, June 26, 2008

Perian: Codec solution for my quicktime no audio with video files

After having some problems playing audio from some video files, I found this thread on macosxhints which talked about Perian. And voilà! It worked perfectly. It has a simple double click install procedure which adds a new item on your preferences pane. 

Very nice! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And today I knew Shiira...

And I loved it!

I know I said about using firefox 3 and liking it, but after some days I was not confortable with it. I think I could get more. After some research, I found about Shiira on google search and decided to give it a try.

I loved its speed. Also it needs very few resources. At least processor power. I'm still investigating memory usage which I thought it was a little too much for some pages I opened. 
I also liked it because if uses WebKit rendering engine which I think is faster than gecko. Also, it is opensource, so I'm very happy and for while doesn't need to use the proprietary Safari.

For while I'm enjoying it very much.

Shiira homepage:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Update: Two complains: Screen Responsiveness and SuspendToRam/Disk

Hi all!

You may have seen I had two main complains about gnu/linux desktop. Today I updated my ubuntu with some long standing pending updates. I could see there was updates for firefox 3.0 and ati binary drivers.

Well, I can see that now firefox responsiveness is much, much better. It is not so good as I'd like it to be, but it is in the right direction for sure!. I also see that desktop has a better screen responsiveness than before. That's great!

I hope things get better and better as I want to see gnu/desktop as the best user experience possible.

Thanks all who are working on those issues and fixing them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting control back...

Hi all!

After some testing with Firefox on OSX I confess I was a little bit disappointed because with only a blank page firefox was taking up 10%-13% of cpu time!

Today celebrating the firefox download day and of course to test the new version I give it a try again, thinking it could be something with the beta version. No luck :( Firefox was still getting something like 10%-13% of cpu. It was then I tried to google about it and I found something about problems with add-ons. And then I remember I installed add-on. I disabled it and immediately firefox started to use 0.4%-0.1% of cpu time! :) Sweet!! Now I can use firefox as my primary browser again. Thank you guys for such a great product. Version 3 rocks even more!

Another change I made was to give songbird another try. After playing a little bit, I found out there is the 0.6 version available. Wow! What a difference... As they said in songbird release notes, browing music library is much, much faster! Great!! Also, after installing the excellent Album Art Manager I got exactly what I wanted: a cover art displayer and also a very nice growl notification integration. Sweetˆ2 :)

That's it. I'm very happy I could get control back from two main applications I use most. OpenSource rulez! That's what opensource is all about: freedom.

See you.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Two complains: Screen Responsiveness and SuspendToRam/Disk

Hi all!

Firstly, I'd like to say that I love Gnu/Linux and please don't take me wrong. What I'm saying here is based on what I see after using Gnu/Linux for the last 4 years.

About the suspend to ram/disk I understand because it may be very difficult to have it working on all type of hardware. But as it was already pointed out on Ubuntu Brainstorm and I think they are already working on it.

But now, at least to me, the biggest complain I have is the performance of screen responsiveness of gnu/linux desktop. I don't know if this is the correct term, but what I mean is the speed the text is draw in the screen, the speed the windows are rendered and so on. In summary, the perception I have of how fast the screen is drawing its contents.

My experience is based on my old notebook. A Pentium4m with an intel 855gm with shared video memory.
I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 with Gnome.

When I open firefox on my gmail page, for example, the scroll is not so good. The scroll is too slow. On the same hardware, when I boot on windows with firefox the scroll is not perfect but it is much better. I can't even talk about processor usage of firefox. I don't know why this happens. But after so much time using Gnome when I boot up again on windows so a friend of mine who only used windows could work on it, I saw that windowing and screen performance was very very different. I just don't know why it is this way. Another point: Just to change from one tab to another on firefox on my system could make me wait for something like 0.5 seconds. Again, I'd like to say that on windows on the same machine, firefox didn't take so much time like this.

So, I don't know if the problem is in firefox itself. Or somewhere else. I noticed that if I use XFCE I get a better performance on screen rendering but not so much. So, maybe it is Gnome the problem? I noticed that Konqueror on KDE seemed to give me a better screen responsiveness compared to gnome and xfce. Maybe it is a GTK problem? I also thought it could be a problem of X11 but I don't know very well about it to say if it has so much to contribute to this problem or not.

This is what I got with firefox only. If I talk about MPlayer and video performance for example, we have a similar history. On windows, the performance of mplayer is much better. Even when Ubuntu is using XV output driver.

So, please, if someone can explain me this difference and maybe some why's about it. I don't know if I'm saying non sense things and please, correct me if I am. But I really really whish those screen related performance problems were excluded from my gnu/linux experience.

Just another comparison... Before I bought my macbook, I used Ubuntu 8.04 on a sony vaio with a nvidia card 8400GT with 256MB of dedicated video memory and while the screen responsiveness was much much better, of course, I still could see some lags while scrolling the gmail page and while chaging from one tab to other. I had vista installed on it and firefox didn't showed this problem while I was using ff with vista. I don't know if this is a good comparison as I didn't take any numbers of it, but it gives me some practical results about what I feel when using windows, os x and gnu/linux. And as a big fan and advocate of gnu/linux, I repeat, I really really wish those problems to be solved.

Thank you in advance for you time. Please, send your comments.

One week of MacBook later....

Well, Macbook continues to be awesome, but I already have some complains with the software... :(

No ABNT2 keyboard support! Just after one week of research and I still had to make a modification in the keyboard layout, I finally could find one which worked on my ABNT2 keyboard. Thanks to this post I could get a 99% working keyboard layout. I just had to swap back the \ | and ' " mappings. I have to admit I'm really upset with Apple for not providing a keyboard mapping which works on Brazilian Portuguese ABNT2 keyboards.

Another difficult I faced was to use the external monitor only. On gnu/linux I just used the xrandr command xrandr --output LCD off and it was done. Thanks to this post I could get it working by connect my external LCD monitor, close the lid, wait for macbook to sleep and so wake it up with my external keyboard. At least it is working ok now.

Another thing which is making me nuts is that the spaces feature always wants to bring to front the finder window and not the window which had focus before I changed the virtual desktop. I already installed the MacOS 10.5.3 combo update which says something about fixing this but for me it didn't work :(

I will stay with OSX for while, now that my keyboard and monitor problems are solved. But I have to say that I was much more comfortable with the gnome gnu/linux environment. Maybe I still need time to get used to all this. In another post I will talk about what make me nuts with gnu/linux and desktop. Tip: Power management (suspend to ram/disk) and X11 performance (screen updates). 

See you.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thank you for so many OSX tips!!

Wow! I was very surprised by the big number of feedback I got when asking tips for my new MacBook! I'd like to say you a big THANK YOU! You are great.

I already installed iStat Pro. I liked it very much.

I also installed Adium, NoeOffice, Transmission, Songbird and I'm still downloading and installing other suggestions.

One drawback I saw was that after installing some applications, my solid rock brand new MacBook started to hang when shutting down! :O

I uninstalled iStat Pro as I think it is the only low level thing which could give me this type of problem. Until now, I already shut down my laptop two times and the problem seems to be solved. I installed the 4.6 version on my OSX 10.5.3.
I will try another version or a previous one later.

I don't now but I didn't like the SongBird. I don't know why yet. I liked very much the Rhythmbox and I'm sad I can't get it on my Mac :(. For while I think I will keep using iTunes. But I'd rather use some other open source audio player.

I followed the suggestion of creating a new folder inside the Applications special place. (This makes me ask: Is there a way to add other folders to the Places together with my home folder and the applications folder itself?)
I also put this folder near the trashcan in the dock so I can access it easily. I just couldn't use the long click where I could see the hierarchical list of applications through menus. Maybe I need more explanation?? :) Anyway,thank you for your excellent explanations of many other aspects related about OSX. I didn't know I would need to be so cautious about software updates.

Another problem I had was that OSX seemed to not recognize my wireless keyboard correctly. It is an ABNT2 Brazilian Portuguese keyboard. When I connected it it showed me some keyboard options but I couldn't get my ç key to work on it. :( Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I will try again later.

Another problem I faced was when using my external LCD television. It has a resolution of 1360x768 and I couldn't use mirror with native screen resolution. I only could use it with extended desktop. I'd like to be able to turn off laptop lcd and just use the external monitor. Is this possible? A friend of mine said I could close the laptop lid but I think this could make my macbook heat up.

Other than that, everything seems to be working very well. I will post here more things I find about OSX.

Again, I'd like to thank everybody who spent some time to read my post and comment it. Thank you very much! I'm a much happier Mac user now. :)

That's it. See you!

P.S.: Thanks for the Pratchett quote indication. :) I hope my sanity is not so in danger because of so many exclamation marks. Just to be sure, I used fewer ones this time :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I finally got my MacBook!! Tips???

Hi all!!

I finally got a MacBook 13.3"!! This baby is awesome!! I'm enjoying it very much. :) I still didn't install Ubuntu on it because I'd like to play a little bit with MacOS.

My first impressions of MacOS is that it is a very nice OS. I'd like the Aqua UI was opensource so I could have a complete OpenSource OS stack. At least Darwin is OpenSource.

Now I need to familiarize with MacOS and its utilities. So, if you have tips, links, suggestions for nice opensource applications I can install on my MacOS, please let me know.

I already have Mono installed. Thanks mono guys who provide the MacOS install package. It was pretty easy to install. I'd like to know if I can use Banshee on my Mac. I know iTunes is very good, but I'd like to use an OpenSource player. Do you know of anyone for MacOS? I couldn't find anyone.

I also installed MPlayer which worked perfectly! The MacOS sound is awesome!!

I also would like to know of a good IRC client, a good torrent client, and more important: I'd like to know some monitoring tools, like network speed, battery information, fan information, cpu etc. Which could be added to mac menu and give me information directly.

Thanks everybody in advance.

Back to Brazil!!!

Hi, all!

I'm back to Brazil! And I have to say that I loved Canada!! I'm seriously thinking about applying for an immigration process. Let's see what I can get...

I could see a lot of things and I liked very much Canadian people. They are very nice! For me it was a great pleasure to be in such a place! I hope to go back there some day.

I visited Niagara Falls, went for the first time to a casino. In Brazil they are not allowed. I met a lot of people from many places in the world: Korea, Japan, Belgium, England, Australia, USA and so on. I enjoyed very much to stay in a hostel. I never stayed in one before and I liked very much the experience.

That's it! I will post some pictures later and more impressions too.