A rebuild for SPEED

After recently getting my insanely fast ADSL connected last week, I wanted to rebuild Gentoo on my desktop machine. I found the document Installing Gentoo 2005.0: Stage 1 NPTL on a Stage 3 Tarball on the Gentoo forums and thought it sounded quite interesting. The document outlines step-by-step how To Build a Fast and Bulletproof Gentoo System — Stage 1 NPTL Installation on a Stage 3 Tarball Using GCC 3.4.3.

The tricky part is that GCC 3.4.3 is still marked as unstable in portage, and the live-cd still contains GCC 3.3.4. This means that you have to do a stage 3 install, then do a stage 1 again over the top (something about keeping better track of installed apps in portage) and recompiling your GCC, glibc, libstdc++v3, etc a couple of times so that you end up with GCC 3.4.3 compiled by GCC 3.4.3 (and not by GCC 3.3.4 – which is available on the 2005.0 live-cd). Also, the guide provides some pretty crazy GCC optimisation flags, which seem quite stable.

After the very long process of recompiling the GCC suite a couple of times, and using the GCC flags:

CFLAGS=”-O3 -march=athlon-xp -fforce-addr -momit-leaf-frame-pointer -fomit-frame-pointer -ftracer -pipe”

I can notice a huge increase in speed over the old system, and it even seems more stable. Although, GCC flags like these reminds me a lot of The Gentoo is Rice page. 🙂

Also, I wanted to just rave about VMWare 5. I emerged the latest unstable from portage (vmware-workstation-5.0.0.13124) and it rocks! I love the new GTK2 interface, and it does some really nice stuff. One of my favourite things is the dynamic resolution of desktop size. You can resize the VMWare window, and it will automatically adjust the screen res of the OS running inside it. I don’t know if this works in Linux, but Win2k does it.
VMWare 5
Check out the screen res

I still do feel kinda dirty by having this, but I can’t seem to get around it at big T.

Posted in Gentoo at May 19th, 2005. 5 Comments.

Gentoo graphical installer!

Who would have thought… a Gentoo graphical installer! Mick, you should have tried this before rebuilding your system 🙂

Gentoo Linux Installer Project Page and the mirror.

This reminds me a little of the old Mandrake installer that I was using around the v7 mark maybe? Once this installer goes mainstream, will it mean that more people will use gentoo because they were scared off by the text based install? Only time will tell.

I was just thinking about Apache web serving statistics (go figure), and had a look at my Webalizer log. My webcam snapshot which hasn’t been updated in about 3 months is the most active item. My spider senses tell me that it’s probably Mick using the GKrellKam plugin to GKrellm. Nice one bruvva 🙂

Posted in Gentoo at April 28th, 2005. 1 Comment.

Linux.conf.au – Friday night le big: The aftermath

It was a HUGE night last night. I had good intentions in going to the presenations today, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up getting up at about 9:00am – 9:30am and had a shower and stuff. I may have been a little sick too 🙁
I sat in T1 for the keynote by Eben Moglen who is a lawyer working for free software. He was a real champion. I made it about half way through, then I just had to go home. I went back to bed and missed almost the whole day after I finally got up at 4pm. Nick, a guy who we met here from Sydney said that we woke him at at 5am when we were coming home. Apparently we (probably just me) made a heap of noise. Ooops. Sorry to everyone I woke up! The four of us just got back from Hungry Jacks in Belconnen where we cleaned up with the vouchers. I feel so much better now!

Looks like we’re going out again tonight before we go home tomorrow morning. I think I might not drink tonight…..

Here’s some photos LCA2005 photos from Tuddy and Josh, if you’re interested

From the Linux.conf.au Wiki there is plenty of stuff, including some links to some people’s photo galleries. Here’s two that I thought looked pretty good.

Posted in Linux at April 23rd, 2005. No Comments.

Linux.conf.au – Friday night le big

Funny. Very funny night. Here’s a photo of me.


Horses… and more horses. Being poured into sideways glasses… and drunk by my peeps in pubs. Carlton Draught. Made from Beer. Not stolen at all from some random Irish pub in Canberra.

Also, before I got to bed (it’s currently 5:12am!!! OMG WTF BBQ!) the Cats rule for a kick ass win over Port. Boo hoo for Tredrea for not getting a free kick from Scarlett right in the last seconds of the game. Woooo hooooo my nizzle.

Posted in Linux at April 23rd, 2005. 3 Comments.

Linux.conf.au – Day Five

Unfortunatly, I still haven’t won one of the IBM X40 ThinkPads that the LCA organisers have been giving away. I still haven’t given up hope though. There is one left tomorrow, so fingers crossed.

This morning I went to the keynote by Andrew Morton, who is the Linux 2.6 kernel maintainer. Although he wasn’t much of a speaker, he was still interesting. Talked alot about the new development cycle of the kernel which the LWN guy talked about the day before.

Going to play some pool tonight and drink lots of beers. Later fools!

Posted in Linux at April 22nd, 2005. No Comments.

Linux.conf.au – Day Three and Four

The actual conference started on Wednesday, with the tutorials. The four of us (Me, Timmy, Tuddy, and Josh) went to the PHP session. Timmy and I stayed for the first bit, but left soon after. It was kinda dry, and Rasmus was talking lots about the differences in PHP5 compared to PHP4. Looks like they have implemented a heap of Java-style OO stuff.

In the afternoon, Timmy and I went to Building User Interfaces with Video and 3D Graphics For Fun and Profit!. It was run by Wayne Piekarski, who is a research guy from Uni SA, and was playing a lot with augmented reality, and overlaying 3D video over normal video to create an half-virtual world. He is using lots cool stuff, but I haven’t got the energy to write about it all. Have a look at Timmy’s blog for that 🙂

That night, the four of us cooked a BBQ dinner which ROCKED!

Timmy and Andy at the BBQ
Sausage sizzle my nizzle!

Today (Thursday) we heard an awesome presenation by Tridge. He was basically talking about the software engineering practices that he’s using in Samba, which include: code generation, static error checking, runtime error checking and other stuff. He mentioned at two things which changed the way that he codes are Valgrind and talloc.

Next we had Tracking 2.6: what the kernel developers are up to by Jonathan Corbet, who writes for Linux Weekly News. He talked about what has been going on the 2.6 kernel, and about how Linus is not doing the whole odd number kernel revision number for unstable/testing kernels. Apparently, there has been a shift from using a devel kernel series for implementing new kernel changes to putting them straight in the 2.6 series, mainly to get more mainstream users testing the new features.

Also, I forgot to put this on my last post, but we got the place in North Melboune that we applied for! Fo shizzle my nizzle!

Posted in Linux at April 21st, 2005. No Comments.

Linux.conf.au – Day Two

I dragged myself out of bed at about 8am this morning. Needed to get there early for the GNOME miniconf. It was really awesome to actually put faces to the blogs of some of these GNOME guys, that I have been reading so much about on Planet GNOME.

Luis Villa started the morning off by talking about the issues of making a GNOME live-cd based on Ubuntu Linux, and what would happen if the Ubuntu guys suddenly started changing stuff, for example, stop packaging some of the top GNOME apps. We had a quick demo of the wobbly windows thing and then Robert Love stepped up and gave a bit of a demo on Beagle and F-Spot. These are two very awesome apps.

Beagle is for GNOME what Spotlight is for Mac. It also helps that the guy who wrote the indexing engine for Spotlight has now written the engine for Beagle. It allows you to search through anything on your machine, including emails, address book, IM’s, Blogs (using Liferea), files and heaps of other stuff. I think it’s still a bit rough, but it has a lot of potential. Also I think that beagle will become the new backend for Nat Friedman’s Dashboard.

F-Spot is another mono app (like Beagle), but is an all-in-one photo importing and cataloging system. I haven’t had much of a chance to play with it yet, but from what Robert Love was showing off, it looks pretty sweet.

Me, Timmy, Tuddy and Josh took the arvo off, had some lunch and played pool here at Burgmann College (where we are staying). Later, we went into the City (which is soooo dead) and had some Kebabs. Very unsatisfying. Don’t ever eat at one of the Ali Baba stores, you’ll be disappointed!

I’m going to take it easy tonight and maybe get to bed a little earlier tonight and go to the PHP presentation tomorrow morning.

Word foo
This is us at Linux.conf.au

Posted in Linux at April 19th, 2005. 1 Comment.

Linux.conf.au – Day One

Well, we made the trip here in 9 hours from Ballarat. 10 for me, because I had to drive from Geelong to pick the other guys up. It was a pretty exciting trip, especially through Yass 🙂

All roads lead to Yass
All roads lead to Yass

We made it to ANU at about 7pm and migrated to our little res rooms. It brings back fond memories of res at Ballarat. Josh got some crazy invitation to a party hosted by a guy named Hugh, here in Canberra. There were plenty of IBM and HP guys there who were real hardcore kernel hackers, and some lowly students too. It was pretty weird rocking up to the house of these guys, not actually knowing any of them, but being welcomed in, and handed beer. Very cool.

We checked into the conference at about 9 this morning, at the Manning Clarke building. When I walked through the door, it was like a sea of geeks with laptops, all using wireless to get their hit of internet access. Plenty of iBooks and PowerBooks too. Makes me very jealous. After registration, Timmy and I went and checked out the Cluster MiniConf. There were some pretty average presenations, but also some good ones. One of the really good ones was from a guy at APAC. It looks like APAC are doing some very cool stuff with Linux clusters. Also met up with Chris and Brett from VPAC, and yes, his hair looks funny short 🙂

After lunch Timmy and I met up with Tuddy and Josh at the embedded MiniConf. Some cool stuff there, especially a project called gnuradio. They are doing cool stuff with everything radio.

Nearly ran over a guy at the supermarket who was wearing the LinuxConf red t-shirt. So, as I was driving past, I yelled out ‘We brake for penguins’. He loved it 🙂

Right now, I’m sitting on Res in a common room, with some pretty poor wireless signal strength, so i’m trying to make do. It’s the best i’ve been able to get so far. The Gnome MiniConf is on tomorrow, and it’s gonna rock.

Posted in Linux at April 18th, 2005. 3 Comments.