Monthly Archives: November 2009

Dual-Head and Graphics Cards

I now have a dual-head configuration using an HP 2509m and a Samsung SyncMaster 204B.  I am certainly enjoying the extra space though I am still sorting out how to get KDE to handle some things nicely — like when I start a program from krunner, I’d like it to start on the screen where krunner appeared, not the active screen as determined by the last active program.

A mere nit.

I thought I was going to have to replace my graphics card because running two monitors hooked up with one on DSUB and one on DVI caused the GPU fan to run constantly at max speed.  Connecting them both with DSUB works normally — though I notice compositing is temporarily disabled, so we’ll see what happens when that is re-enabled.  However, I now have knowledge of a utility called nvclock and it is most useful in monitoring and setting certain features of the card.

So the good news (for me) is that I can keep my card.  I am increasingly thankful for that since it has a unique collection of features.  The eVGA nVidia 7900 GS KO has a 256 bit memory interface with a mere 256M of RAM, but it is GDDR3.  Getting out of this card and into a true upgrade will cost me more than I want to pay right now.

My next task is to raise the hutch on my desk to admit the second monitor under it.  A little bit of carpentry to keep me entertained among the technology.


Kubuntu 9.10 (x86_64) and VMware 6.5.3

Getting VMware installed got ugly again for a short time.  I should have expected this.  At least there is a solution, and typically a patch is out within a couple of months to fix the RPM (which can be alien‘d to a DEB).


Kubuntu 9.10 Upgrade – fronk

fronk is my 32-bit file-server & quazi back-up machine.  I use this for random bits of development, testing, and primarily as a backup destination.

Saturday & Sunday I performed the 9.10 upgrade on this machine — in place.  I made sure to backup my xorg.conf, smb.conf, fstab, and source.list (apt) as those have been clobbered in the past.

  • KPackageKit exited with a failure — I think the servers were overloaded.  Rerunning it got all of the packages downloaded.
  • KPackageKit exited with an error code of <1> — whatever that means.  I ran sudo aptitude full-upgrade from the CLI.  The only thing remaining to do was to remove packages.
  • Reboot.
  • sudo apt-get upgrade showed nothing to do, and all repositories queried were karmic (9.10)

So, only one reboot, some hiccups that were resolved with persistence, and a lot of leaving this computer to do its own thing, the upgrade took about 16 hours.  I think that time is due to heavy traffic on the server.  I’ve never had it take this long.

Update from my future self:  yes, it was the server traffic.  Two other upgrades took about an hour.