Shit They Didn’t tell You About DRI

11 11 2011

Extra-short post, stemming from my general annoyance at the difficulty with which I enabled DRI on my latest laptop. You see, there are MANY factors that all come into play, many of which are described in detail at the DRI wiki.. I, however, had to spend an annoyingly long time reading to get it working. Here’s a quick step-by-step for getting it working on a clean (with X) Arch install:

  1. Install drivers! Package names for X drivers are formatted as such: xf86-<class>-<driver>. For an Intel video driver, for example, it’d be xf86-video-intel. That should grab DRI packages for that driver as well. For Intel, that’d be intel-dri. In case you forgot or something, you’ll want to install it with pacman -Syu <package> as root.
  2. Break out the text editor! Run your editor of choice (nano, vi, gedit, mousepad, etc.) as root, then paste the following in:
    Section “DRI”
    Mode 0666
  3. Save that file as /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-dri.conf, then quit your editor.
  4. Run gpasswd -a <user> video, where <user> is your username, as root.
  5. Reboot!
  6. Start X!
  7. Play Minecraft or similar, revel in the rendering!
  8. Profit?

Hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it got you working… leave feedback in the comments!

New Laptop

11 11 2011

The title of this post is actually rather misleading, as one might assume that it refers to the first new laptop I have acquired since my last post to this blog. That, however, is not the case. I have actually acquired several laptops, of varying age and performance, since my last post, but I shall save the complete list for a future post. This post shall be dedicated to my latest acquisition, a Dell Latitude D610.  Many of my readers may immediately recognise this as a model that is seemingly ubiquitous in schools and corporate workplaces, and indeed it is to an extent. For example, approximately 20 feet behind me and to the left is a similar laptop, owned by the school. Most of this school’s laptop fleet is made up of this model of laptop, and both of the schools I attended before Compass had similar fleets. Now, for a moment, I’d like to focus on the reason for this model (or, more accurately, series’) apparent ubiquity; its IT-friendliness. The entire Latitude D series is made up of laptops that have many interchangeable components, are easy and fast to disassemble and reassemble, and have relatively inexpensive replacement parts. These factors are, of course, just as attractive to me as they are to IT departments, albeit not necessarily for the same reasons. I enjoy the flexibility of upgrading offered by these laptops, the potential for modding, and the robust stock feature set, as well as the comfortable form factor and wide range of peripherals available. IT departments enjoy the speed with which they can return laptops, working, to their fellow (non-IT) employees, the ease with which they can return a laptop with a failed part to the field, often by simply swapping the part out of another laptop. They also appreciate the fact that they can simply move a “dead” laptop’s hard drive into a “live” laptop to keep all of its data without having to reinstall drivers or reconfigure any part of the operating system (in the case of windows, at least).

Now that I’ve covered some of the advantages of this laptop series, I’ll proceed to my specific laptop. First, the specifications:

  • 2.00 GHz Pentium M (Pentium 4 Based)
  • 2 GB RAM (Upgraded from 1 GB)
  • 80 GB HDD (Upgraded from 40 GB)
  • 14″ 1024×768 LCD
  • Intel 915 GM Express graphics
  • Broadcom BCM4306 a/b/g WiFi
  • Dell Bluetooth adapter
  • DVD-R/RW Module
  • CD-R/RW/DVD Module
  • Floppy Module
  • Dell Latitude D/Dock
  • ~2 hour battery

I swapped it for an iBook G3 14″/900 MHz with 576 MB of RAM, so I believe it was an excellent trade. The only real downside is that I don’t actually have a power cord for it, so I have to charge it on the docking station. To tell the truth, however, the docking station itself is enough of an upside to justify the loss of convenience.

When I first got it, there was an admin password on the BIOS, which was a significant reason for the ease with which I obtained it… I quickly removed the password with the help of the absolutely amazing Dogbert, whose blog can be found at

I’ve installed Arch Linux on it, as per usual, and it runs GNOME-Shell marvelously. As of now, it’s yet to stutter on any task I’ve put to it, and I believe it’s a very well-specced laptop. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about it in the future, but at the moment I believe I shall conclude this post. Farewell, and please do look forward to my future posts, which shall hopefully become more frequent.

— platnicat

Updating in Ubuntu Tutorial

26 03 2010

So, this is a quick tutorial, made at the request of the wonderful Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast podcast, (A technology geek podcast with an eeever so slight Macintosh bias) on how to update apps in Ubuntu 9.10.

Step 1: Open a Terminal.

Step 2: Type “sudo update-manager” without the quotes.

Step 3: Type your password when it asks you.

Step 4a: If a window opens and checks for updates, you’re good. Install the updates.

Step 4b: If no window opens and you get an “update-manager: command not found. Use sudo apt-get install update-manager to install it.” error, install it.

Step 4c: If NEITHER happens, comment on this post and I’ll add more detail. However, this should be enough to get it working.

Importing Tap Tap Revenge 2 Songs Into TTR3

25 03 2010

First of all, sorry for the fact that all of the images are at the bottom of the post, the iPhone WordPress app doesn’t allow you to insert them inline. 😦

Well, I was idly laying around, being a general lump and playing TTR2, when I wondered, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if I could play all of these songs in TTR3?” So, I set about mucking around in my Applications folder with iFile. What I found is that every TTR2 song has 4 basic files. These are: the artwork.png, which is the pretty little picture you see next to the song title, the (song name).m4a audio file, (you can import this into iTunes too!), the info.plist, and the taptrack.ttr2_track. See the bottom of the post for a look at all these files. Now, these files are also present in TTR3 tracks, so I ran the most basic of tests. I copied one Track folder from /var/mobile/Applications/(long string of alphanumeric characters)/Documents/Tracks to the same location in TTR3’s folder. You’ll be able to distinguish between the two by looking in a few of the folders. When you see a song that you only have in one version, that’ll be it! If this doesn’t make sense or you just want proof, look down at the bottom of the post for images.

Error 1600 in iTunes

8 03 2010

Well, I was having some problems with my iPod touch not really liking being jailbroken, and I thought I traced it back to redsn0w. So, I downloaded the latest version of PwnageTool, ran it, and (slowly, painfully) generated a custom .ipsw. Then, since I hadn’t been able to put my iPod into standard restore mode, I used the learned-by-heart combination of 2sec-power, 10sec-power+home, as long as it takes-home for DFU mode. It showed up, and I ⌥-clicked to restore from my custom IPSW. But what? Right after it said “Preparing iPod for Restore”, I got Error 1600, which isn’t even documented on Apple’s site! I tried again, and the same result. So, I tried the stock firmware. Oh no! Error 1600! Next, I tried my mom’s Vista laptop. Error 1600! After all this, feeling rather downhearted, I thought of what else I could try. Since the error was right at “Preparing iPod for Restore”, AKA “We’re putting it in copy-files-to-the-root-directory mode”, I thought the problem might be that it was in DFU mode. Considering that, I grabbed my half shot-put and a tact switch that was missing its legs, and made a button-presser of sorts. I used the 10sec-home, plug it in, keep holding home combination, but after 30 seconds of holding home, I put the tact switch and shot-put on the button, carefully shifting it so that it stayed pressed. 5 minutes later, “iTunes has detected an iPod in Recovery Mode.”! Now, my iPod has been properly restored! So, to sum up, Error 1600 means: Dude, your iDevice is in DFU Mode, and we can’t make it go into copy-to-root mode. PUT THE F***ING THING IN STANDARD RESTORE MODE!!!

Ooh! Cool Boot Logos!

27 02 2010

Today I used redsn0w to change my boot and recovery logos. I made the boot logo myself, it’s a Happy iPhone:

My new boot logo!

And I removed the byline of the Sad iPhone for my restore:

My new restore logo.

Feel free to use either of these yourself, but if you post ’em anywhere, say where you got ’em!

APT in Ubuntu Tutorial

26 02 2010

This is a tutorial for the NosillaCast on how to use APT (Advanced Packaging Tool) from the command line in Ubuntu Linux.

To add a PPA in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala:

1.) Open a Terminal
2.) Type: “sudo add-apt-repository Insert-PPA-Here”, replacing “Insert-PPA-Here” with the URL of the PPA. (EG. ppa:ppa/section)

To add any other repository:

1.) Open a Terminal,

2.) Type: “sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list”

3.) Paste the APT line of the repo at the end of the document. (EG. deb karmic non-free)

4.) Save and quit

My new APT line is highlighted.

If it requires a key, add the one provided on the site (usually it doesn’t)

1.) Open a Terminal

2.) Get the key from the site. (EG. wget

3.) Add it with: “sudo apt-key add Key-Path”, replacing “Key-Path” with the path to the key. (EG. sun_vbox.asc)

Adding the key

To install a package:

1.) Open a Terminal

2.) Update the package listing: “sudo apt-get update”

The command only. The results can be seen in the next image.

2.) Type: “sudo apt-get install Package-Name”, replacing “Package-Name” with the name of the package. (EG. virtualbox-3.1)

3.) Tell it “Yes!”

4.) Wait, have a cup of coffee

5.) Run your app!

Installing VirtualBox

3.1.3 Jailbreak

4 02 2010

Well, redsn0w 0.9.4 is out, and I can jailbreak 3.1.3 with it. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll work!

I Was Bored, So I Made This

20 01 2010

I was sitting in front of my Mac, reading blogs, when my eyes alighted on a laser diode I had lying around. Immediately, a thought came into my mind, so I grabbed my electrical tape, a spare USB cable, and the diode, headed out to my soldering station, and fired up my soldering iron. Five minutes later, this was born! (Sorry for the low quality photos)

My Brand New USB Laser Pointer!

The Laser Plugged In And In Action!

Pointing It At The Wall

Other than the fact that I didn’t use the whole length of the USB cable (facepalm) I’m happy with it! As it doesn’t have a definitive use, it’s awesome! 😉

A Bunch Of Apps Worth Jailbreaking Your iDevice To Get

16 01 2010

I’ve read a bunch of “Top 10” posts, but they all seem to be outdated or device-specific, so I decide to create my own. In this post, I’m assuming that you already know how to install apps from Cydia. I’ll probably improve this list over time as well. So without further ado, let’s get to the list!

#1: Categories

The Main Categories UI

Categories is a tweak that lets you place all your apps in folders. You can change the icons of the folders as well,  but I didn’t find this to be particularly intuitive. It is accessed by pressing “Edit” after creating your folder, then poking “Icon”. A very useful feature of Categories is that while your apps are removed from the main SpringBoard while they’re in a folder, they still show up in Spotlight.

#2: iPhoneVM and ProSwitcher

ProSwitcher’s UI

I’ve lumped both of these into one item because ProSwitcher’s performance improves greatly when iPhoneVM is installed. ProSwitcher is a multitasking solution styled like the Palm Pre’s “Deck of Cards” interface. It can be activated by a short hold of the home button, a short hold of the lock button, a double press of the home button, a few more press/gesture types, and even just single-pressing the home button! iPhoneVM is a completely silent tweak (no UI whatsoever) that gives your iDevice Virtual Memory. This allows for proper multitasking, making it very important if you want that feature. Please note that iPhoneVM is only available on the BeYouriPhone repo. To add this repo, open Cydia, press “Manage”, then “Sources”. Now, press “Edit”, then “Add”. In the box that appears, type “” (Without the quotes).

#3: Infinidock

The Dock Is Using InfiniDock

InfiniDock is a tweak which allows you to have an infinite scrolling dock with as many icons as you want in it. This is available in the BeYouriPhone repo as well.

#4: Winterboard

WinterBoard's Understated UI

The screenshot really understates this one. WinterBoard is a tool which allows you to theme almost any aspect of your iDevice. The theme in the screenshots above is iLlumine with a few tweaks. A quick Google of “WinterBoard Themes” will turn up loads of results. They’re all over Cydia as well.

#5: SBSettings

SBSettings UI

SBSettings allows you to perform many of the actions available in from your Status Bar. For example, it can: Toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, EDGE, SSH, AFP, VNC, and a whole load of others, allow you to take a quick note, use a mini-calculator, play/pause your iPod, and kill processes.

#6: qTweeter

qTweeter's UI

qTweeter is also available on the BeYouriPhone Repo. It allows you to update your Twitter and Facebook status from anywhere on your iDevice.

To be continued…