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I keep upgrading my Home PC with better peripherals to make it to breathe better for long time. The recent one is a nVidia Graphics card of model 6200A – 256MB – 8X from Zebronics. I got it from ebay for Rs.2000 ($47) which is 7 months old. Now my PC configuration is

Intel PIII/850MHz, Intel 82815 Chipset, PC133 450MB, nVidia 6200A 256MB, 20+10 GB HDD

I have installed Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) for home productive purpose. Here is the steps I did to install this Graphics card in Ubuntu.

1. Plugged-in the Graphics card in AGP Slot of motherboard. (This card is AGP 8X speed, though my motherboard (Intel 82815) supports upto 4X AGP only. Since nvidia cards are backward compatible, it fits perfect with my motherboard) Connected the monitor to D-SUB connector of this card.

2. Booted the machine. Bios automatically detected the AGP Card and switched over the default display to this card.

3. No GUI desktop login manager. X windows failed due to mismatch between current display hardware and existing /etc/X11/xorg.conf. xorg.conf has entries for Intel i810 driver which is built-in graphics chip.

4. Looking into the xorg.conf, I came to know the following command to reconfigure the X server.

5. $ sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

6. $ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

7. Just logged into my gnome desktop. At this stage this card is driven by open source driver called “nv”.

8. I wanted to check the power of this card. So clicked System->Preferences->Desktop Effects. I was offered to enable and install proprietory nvidia driver to get better performance. I said yes. It installed “nvidia-glx” driver from restricted repository.Then it prompted for reboot.

9. Upon reboot, it is performing wonderful. I checked both compiz and beryl window managers, both work well.

Note: If Ubuntu is able to detect the newly plugged-in graphics card and configure the xorg.conf accordingly, it would be wonderful. Hope in the future version we can expect it.

I am sure everyone who read this blog regularly knows that I am running Ubuntu on my production system. Ubuntu’s performance, features, and all blah.. blah.. all every one in this tux world knows. So I want to present here what I customize in my shiny new Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn). I took just 3 hours to install and customize the entire desktop.

Additional applications installed:
acroread(.deb), mplayer, realplayer(.bin), vlc, audacity, xmms, vmware, webhttrack, opera(.deb), gcolor2, brasero, tuxpaint, wammu, gmobilemedia(.deb), lbreakout2, barrage, childsplay, circuslinux, gcompris, frozen-bubble, sbackup, ubuntu-restricted-extra, dvdcss, aria2, tamil fonts, chm viewer, gstreamer ffmpeg video codecs, rar, Rainlendar(.tar), ubuntu theme for firefox.

Configurations:

  • irda-start.sh (related packages installed) – This is my custom script, which loads all necessary modules for my USB-IrDA dongle to communicate with my mobile.
  • Tamil web site specific additional Tamil fonts and Mac Fonts installation.
  • Unnecessary services disabling.
  • Evolution removed.
  • IPV6 disabled.
  • /etc/hosts [*updated] with hostname entry for faster application opening
  • UbuntuHuman skin for xmms

My default applications:
1. Browser – Firefox (Extensions: Fasterfox, VideoDownloader)
2. EMail – GMail with firefox
3. Feed reader – Google Reader with firefox
4. Task manager – Rainlendar
5. Calendar – Rainlendar
6. CD Burning – Brasero
7. Mobile – Wammu/gmobilemedia
8. PDF – Evince
9. Real audio/movies – Real player 10
10. AudioCD/VCD/DVD – Totem (Failsafe is VLC/MPlayer)
12. MP3 Player – xmms
13. Audio Recording – Audacity
14. Download manager – aria2
15. Download photos from Camera – gtkam
16. Album viewer – gThumb
17. Text, Spreadsheet & Presentation – OpenOffice
18. Notes – Tomboy
19. Home partition backup – sbackup
20. Photo edit – GIMP
21. default application configuration for detecting VCD,DVD – Totem (failsafe is VLC/MPlayer)
22. default application configuration for Camera detection – gtkam
23. default application configuration for CD-Burning – brasero

Screenshot:

screenshot.png

I have upgraded the RAM of my home PC from 192MB to 448MB by plugging in a PC133 256MB RAM. It costs Rs.1200 (US$ 26) Here is my hardware configuration now.

Motherboard: Intel 815EEA

CPU: Intel PIII 800MHz

RAM: 448MB SDRAM

Graphics: Built-in 815 chipset

Harddisk: 20 + 10 GB

After upgrade, My Ubuntu (Linux Mint) runs with better speed. Really it is worth upgrade. I have installed Pardux Linux just now on this upgraded system. Let me post my review on Pardus in a few days.

Here is a successful file recovery process on my Home PC. Though many tools have contributed to this recovery, PhotoRec is the Hero. I am going to narrate the entire story.

My PC is PIII-850MHz/192MB/20GB+10GB-HDD, moderately old system more than enough for serving as home PC. I had Arch Linux as Production system and Debian sid, Fedora 5 and Ubuntu-Feisty as test/review system. Last week, When I try to adjust the partition to make room for one more distribution, accidentally (over confident on my skills and recovery tools to blame!) I removed my /home production system partition. This is a XFS file system.

Then I used gpart to recover the partition table. It is a wonderful tool, which did the task just like that. I got the partition back. But my bad luck, I am not able to mount the partition, ended with “can’t read superblock” error message while mounting. Even xfs_repair tool failed to identify a valid super block. I tried my best for 10 days to mount the file system, but it went vain.

I use to take backup of my /home regulary. So I am not missing entire data, but post-backup update of my child’s important function photos. So I decided to try PhotoRec (An open source tool from the same author of TestDisk tool, Christophe GRENIER). It gave me options to choose file types to recover. I chose .jpg and .mov files. It recovered those files in just a matter of minutes. The interface of the tool is also very simple apart from its functionality.

Thanks to the author and open source world! I have also updated my Technology side bar column with a link to his site.

Here is my Arch Linux desktop with gnome + adesklets. gdesklets is very slow, my system is not able to run the same. adesklets is a wonderful light weight desktop widget tool.

arch-desk.png