Category Archives: Gentoo

Gentoo’s Binaural Beat

Gentoo’s Binaural Beat – A binaural beat is a combination of two differing frequencies broadcasted through headphones that produced a combined sensation. Ever since I was very very young, I’ve had pain problems in my ears. Years back I discovered that there are frequencies on tones that can have a soothing effect on the ears, binaural beat’s really provide help.

I’ve been using Gentoo coming on a year now and my ears thankfully have been pretty healthy yet lately I’ve had problems with painful noises. While, just offhandly exploring the web, I discovered Gnaural. Years back, I used a program that helped soothe my bad ears called SBaGen. I had forgotten all about it (I just remembered what it named). So I, trying to remember, scavenged the internet looking for it again. Well I located another similiar program (Gnaural) and it looked very very promising. Since I found this project on Sourceforge, I prayed that it also had a Linux version. Well, it turns out that it can be made for linux. I searched through bugzilla and surprisingly and to my great hapiness there was an ebuild for it. I, using a PPC processor now, began to think it may processor specific. I tried to build it and it did say that it was missing keyword, so I added the ~ppc keyword to the ebuild and it did build and Gnaural is on my laptop. My ears have been real bad lately so this turns out to be a real ear saver.

Gnaural Screen

I’ve posted my final screenshot that I had left from my MacBook and the best desktop I had to date. I used the Si Theme Pack metacity, Tango-M icons and the Desktop is Micro-Animals Elephant from VladStudio.com. This is near the same desktop I’m using now. The Si Theme is nice because it is now integrated with the gnome 2.2* customizablecolor scheme.

Customizing Internet Webpages

I really like sites that take the time to make text viewable. There is zero doubt that content comes first. I’ve know I’ve read enough books where the typing was barely large enough to read. Sites, I think, should generally be designed to allow the users to choose their own font preferences instead forcing a font on them. Unless, of course, the theme needs it.

award2

award1

award 3

Here’s three examples of websites that show nicely.

These goto into my Web Design Awards.

Though Brian Carper’s

BrianCarper.CoW doesn’t allow the browser chosen font, he seems to know a fair deal about choosing a nice font and size. Yes, of course, the size of monitor and resolution vary alot, and that this making a standard difficult, but, in the future scalable desktops will be standard.

This means desktops will proportionally look similar, monitors of increa

sed resolution will just show more detail.

So to my point. Gentoo Forums look terrible. The design must have been made years ago because one of the first things you’ll notice is the small text.

As screens get larger text size decreases.

Also to note, the thing I’ve noticed about sites that don’t pay attention to design – people tend to care less what they scribble. If you look closely at the forums you’ll see alot of type o’s, misspellings, trollings… So I made it an exercise to fix the the layout to improve readability. I used Greasemonkey ( great app ) to alter the css to allow for better padding.

What it looked like before

What it looks like now

If you care to try the script you can find it in the forums. This script also could be very easy to adjust fo other website as well, just match the css tags. If you try it, what you think of it?

Local DNS for Faster Browsing

By using a Local DNS, previously looked up domain name resolutions are saved on the local computer and therefore don’t require a query to a remote server. Using a local DNS can and does improve lookup times – expecially for busy DNS’s. Local DNS cacher’s can be lightweight (like dnsmasq) and don’t consume alot of the computer’s resources.

What is a Domain Name Server?

When Internet site addresses are typed into the browsers location bar, for example, the computer queries another computer called a Domain Name Server. DNS’s either know or can discover where a specific server’s address is. Domain name servers use IP’s (Internet Protocol) or numbered addresses to discover how to find the server. So first the query is converted to a number (e.g. 204.74.99.100 – that’s Gentoo’s) then the query is routed to that server.

Creating a local DNS cache with dnsmasq/dhclient

This method uses dhclient but several DHCP clients exist and should be able to be used with dnsmasq (for dhcpcd see below). Whatever dhcp client is used each dhcp client configuration will have to be configured to query the local loopback interface (127.0.0.1).

Install dnsmasq and dhclient (part of net-misc/dhcp in Gentoo) and add them to the runtime environment:

emerge dnsmasq dhcp

Setup the dnsmasq configuration file to allow a local DNS in /etc/dnsmasq.conf.

listen-address=127.0.0.1

The name servers list file (/etc/resolv.conf) gets respawned everytime a DHCP client connects to a DHCP server. So every time dhclient runs the local loopback needs to be defined. In /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf uncomment or add:

# /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf
prepend domain-name-servers 127.0.0.1;

Now DNSmasq (or local DNS cacher) and the dhclient need to be started and added to the default runlevels (Gentoo uses baselayout to manage it initialization scripts, several other initialization systems exist):

/etc/init.d/dnsmasq start
/etc/init.d/dhcpd start
rc-update add dnsmasq default
rc-update add dhcpd default

In Gentoo, specify which DHCP client baselayout should use in /etc/conf.d/net:

modules=( “dhclient” )

Before initializing the new network backup /etc/resolv.conf.

cp /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.bck

Now with that set up, reconnecting to the internet will get the DHCP client setup to use the local loopback in /etc/resolv.conf. Gentoo users can restart baselayouts network script by:

/etc/init.d/net.yourdevice restart

Check to be sure that /etc/resolve.conf has added the loopback interface.

To test if dnsmasq is correctly caching and using a local DNS, see “Test Test” below.

Using dhcpcd

The instructions are pretty much the same as above. Set up dnsmasq.conf, then have dhcpcd prepend the local loopback in it’s own special file:

echo “nameserver 127.0.0.1″ > /etc/resolv.conf.head

Test Test

To test install bind-tools in Gentoo, in other distrobutions I’ve seen it as dnsutils too. Test with the “dig” command on a website that hasn’t been visited before.

dig google.com

Do it again to see the lookup difference time.

Use of OpenDNS servers to speed up queries?

If the service provider DNS servers become jammed (some ISP’s are notorious for this) is have been suggested that OpenDNS can be useful.

NetworkManager

NetworkManager uses dhclient. So set up /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf as listed above.

Thanks 2

This tidbit is began from Carthik Sharma’s original Local DNS for Faster Browsing, and built up from there. Thanks for the tip, Carthik.

Tip: Update

I want to talk about updating in gentoo but first I want to talk about linuxs wikis first.

I like perusing wikis. I use gentoo’s linux wiki so often I’m obligated to return what I learn back to it. I also recently discovered the Arch Linux Wiki and check it out every so often. It’s one of better put together wikis in the linux sphere. The regular hodgepodge you can see in technological wikis typically mean you have to sort data, vary between a myriad of different versions, blah…. It’s the only wiki I know that a distro maintains, making it detailed and concise. The gentoo version in contrast is built entirely by enthusiasts, though it’s has no professional maintenance. The Gentoo Linux Wiki maintainer does a heck service to the community which is what wiki’s are all about. Service to the community. The affiliated (Arch’s) wiki main point of concern will obviously be denying the force of attractive bias. The suppose the whole issue I’m trying to create is how healthy is this to wiki’s. The whole “The neutrality of this article or section is disputed will not be seen here says difference to the whole philosophy of a wiki.

The Arch Linux Wiki talks about the differences between distros and Arch. If I ever tried a new distro is would be Arch. People have been talking about Arch lately in the Ubuntu Forums, and I am definitely interested. I never heard of the ability of pacman to compile and though I’m curious I think it probably shouldn’t be touted as a selling-point. So it is unlikely I’ll switch soon. But in my opinion this bias-en-wiki. As well as neutrality arguments that all wiki should have another disclaimer should state the sed area is written by a maintainer.

As this Arch Linux states working with Gentoo can be boon or bust. I find it more boon though but sometimes it isnt always that way. Like all package systems dependencies are pulled in sometimes when we need a package. Emerging though can sometimes pull in dependencies you don’t want. Its best not update all items if say you patched a certain version of a packages. Here’s little dirty way around it:

First mask the package: nano /etc/portage/package.mask

app-emmulations/wine

add the specific version in package.unmask

nano /etc/portage/package.unmask

=app-emulation/wine-0.9.37

There are exceptions, for example, corefonts, the Microsoft fonts, don’t particularly render well on my system but several different packages uses them as a dependency. Even if I first mask them the dependency appears to override it. This is true also for the adobe fonts, which need to have anti-aliasing support to be brought up to date. I don’t want either of them. So what I do (I have no choice but to emerge these fonts) is mask them and then unmask the version that was used, like above, then delete these fonts. Locate the folder in /usr/share/fonts/ and change into its directory. Remove all the fonts then rebuild the cache.

rm *

fc-cache -vf

Now the fonts will not intrude on the rest of the system.

Trying Warsow…

My computer isn’t exactly Micheal Johnson with it comes to 3D effects, the MacBook that I use has the Intel 945GM video chipset which shares memory from main memory. I’ve found some games run quite well: Warzone, Dawinia… anything cutting edge Doom 3, Quake 4… probably won’t. Though I’ve always been a big fan of the FPS category, so this disappointed me a little.

Obviously I’ve been a little apprehensive about trying anything, to declare my computer gaming inept. Let alone an online FPS. I am not a big fan of FPS online. I’ve found that instant stopping and direction changes make hitting anyone almost impossible. Haven’t the game developers heard of inertia? Plus if your graphic card isn’t up to snuff, close encounters can drag the frames per second so low that this too will make it almost impossible to hit someone. But I’ve heard good things about Warsow’s rendering ability. Its character rendering is less detailed where you find a large degree of graphic intensivity. And all the positive reviews I’ve heard have raved about Warsows performance. Since I could think of no FPS in Linux that has AI, I decided to try Warsow.

I didn’t watch as I installed Warsow but I believe it used a binary because it took a lot less time than I expected a 90MB file to. Usually I like to compile but at times the binary is better. Warsow impressed me at the get go. Everything seem very clean and started without any bugs. I entered an empty arena at first. I usually do this so I can set up my video and audio settings. Because the 945GM is is still somewhat new, it doesn’t have all the ability it’s been programmed before. There are even a couple video card abilities that apparently are under litigation and can’t be be realeased yet in an open source driver. So it goes.

I discovered the best settings for the driver through trial slash error:

screenshot-warsow.pngscreenshot-warsow-1.png

The most needed items to change are: Dynamic Lighting and Marks on Walls as the will draw incorrectly when fired on. Everything else are performance enhancements. I find 800×600 was the best balance of detail and performance.

Unfortunately thats as far as I got. When I joined a server with a few gamers on it, I began seeing huge issues. Warsow locked up, and not just , a minor lock up, I mean locked up completely. I tried to force quit the app, change desktop, then I tried killing the x-server. Nothing. Then the white then black, leaving nothing but the fan going. I finally tracked the problem, but it doesnt’ matter as I won’t be able to play it. I have had luck with apps runing laterly :(

For those curious, I traced the problem to someone entering the arena, and I’m willing to bet that that person is a windows user. I’m not harping here but I’m figuring there is some code the isn’t very inter-operable between systems. Anyways you can read more about it here. Maybe I’ll try another one. Tremulous possibly?

WineCVS attempt, oh boy.

I play with an older game from time to time that isn’t working too well in wine. So last night I had compiled enough xserver crashes over the last 6 months to try something different. I’ve read of a couple of blogs of users installing WineCVS. So I thought I’d give it a go. The program is on cedega’s application database. Unfortunately it turned into a complete time waste. It does work but not for this particular game, but if someone needs it I posted it here:

Forums Gentoo

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers