Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quick Tip: Smooth Compiz Desktop Zooming

Visually impaired or not, full desktop zooming is always a great feature to have, and the Compiz plugin that allows you to do that had always been one of my favorites.

A couple of years ago, when I first tried it, I was impressed by its speed and smoothness, especially on my then 7-year old machine. Sadly, for I think two Ubuntu releases, it became really choppy which badly affected the overall experience. Since then, from time to time, I found myself tinkering with all kinds of settings, but I never got to the bottom of it. It was especially frustrating, as this was happening on a modern computer, with powerful specs.

But finally, just yesterday, while browsing the Ubuntu forums, I came across the solution: go to your Preferences menu, open up CompizConfig Settings Manager and look for "Mouse Position Polling". Inside it, decrease the interval to any value under 10. Done!

This should also be a lesson for all of us to always dig deeper and search under the surface. If I had been curious to learn about every plugin in CCSM, I would've found this solution much earlier. How? The Compiz Wiki page provides this description for the Mousepoll plugin: "How often to poll the mouse position, in milliseconds. Reduce this to reduce choppy behaviour." Well, I'll be damned...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cool Projects: Novacut Collaborative Video Editor

I am not going to retype what Novacut is all about, as it is much better explained by the developers themselves. What I am going to say -and I believe it needs no explanation- is that Linux needs a professional video editor. Will Novacut provide what we've been waiting for? That I do not know, but I sure hope so.

The amount of work, money and passion put into this project is tremendous and, by that alone, I am confident that the team won't stop until they deliver. What they now need is a few more thousand dollars to be pledged on Kickstarter. If the $25,000 goal is reached by Friday, they win them. If not, they get nothing. As of now, $18,617 have been raised. If you have a few dollars to spare, why not invest them in a project you will surely benefit from as well?  And while I am here, you should do that for every open source software you use. If it's free, it doesn't mean it was created for free and even the smallest donation is always more than welcome.

Well, that's it for now. Just getting the word out. Oh, expect a more in-depth article once Novacut is released. ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Annonymous Caught on Camera

Ha! I've never seen/heard anything related to Anonymous in my little Romanian town so I was pretty surprised when I came across this: 

Expect them! :D

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quick Tip: Install Canon MP250 Drivers in Linux

With all the hoppin` lately, I think it is high time I hit you with a lighter article. This is only for Canon multifunctionals owners, so, if you're not in that group, feel free to do something else. Like chasing squirrels!

I've seen only one Linux distribution that would pull the neccesary drivers for MP250's printer. The scanner worked, surprisingly, out of the box, across all the distros I've happened to host on my HDD.

Happily, the people at Canon, unlike most companies, don't blissfully ignore our presence and they offer Linux drivers for their products.

I've recorded a little step-by-step video to guide you. Granted, the installation process is far from being difficult, so even Linux beginners might be able to handle it without much help. A few notes: my OS is Linux Mint, which is Debian based, so I only worked with the .deb file. But, as you can see, there is also an RPM package (Red Hat, Fedora, etc.) and the source file, for the more exotic distros. :)

Also, if you're using plain Debian, you will have to first login to your root account inside the terminal, before attempting to install the printer. To do that, simply type su, press enter and throw in your password.

Some distros (including Linux Mint) might offer the open-in-terminal nautilus plugin that will allow you to right click inside the extracted .deb folder and open a terminal window with the starting location set to that folder => type only the ./ command and the installation will begin, no need to navigate to that directory.

With that out of the way, here it is:

Oh, if you choose US from the list, you might have a nasty surprise when directed to Canon's support page: there's no "Linux" entry in the operating system drop down menu. If so, simply choose another country. Or just click this direct link. *wink wink*.

What would the world do without Windows ME drivers...

And that would be all! I will hopefully be back with a new article in the near future...  Don't you dare leave me! :) Ok, have an awesome Weekend Eve (if you're reading this on a Friday :D ).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Distro Hoppin`: Fusion Linux 14.1

Good day, good day! Do I have a new article for you! Oh, man. So fresh you can almost smell the fonts...

Some of you may have tried Fedora, but found it to be a bit difficult to shape and bend to your needs or desires and went looking elsewhere. For you, and for new users of Linux, I present... Fusion Linux, an OS that is based on Fedora, but is packed with all kinds of goodies to make your e-life more pleasant and hassle-free.

The "packed with goodies" perk comes with the obvious downsize of disc image dimensions, but nowadays, that hurdle is easily hopped over with the help of super cheap DVD-RW drives or unetbootin + USB flash drive. I chose the latter for Fusion's 1709 MBs worth of ISO data.

The live "preview" loaded pretty fast and I was welcomed by a set of pre-activated desktop effects (powered by nouveau), like wobbly windows, Scale or Desktop Cube. After spending a worrying amount of time playing with said wobbly windows, I snapped out of it and double clicked the Install icon.

Much can be said about Fedora's installer, but one can't deny its sheer speed and, most importantly, user-friendliness. One particular component makes me love it: the option of replacing existing Linux partitions, an important timesaver, especially for distro-hoppers.