Getting ATI Radeon HD Drivers to work in Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 1

These instructions will hopefully help those who are testing the Beta over the next few days to get full hardware acceleration from their graphics cards.

These instructions are based off Ubuntu’s guide here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RadeonHD and I can only comment on my set up, I cannot guarantee that they will work for anyone else.

Firstly make sure that you graphics card is not already working properly, in a terminal type:

glxinfo | grep “renderer string”

If you see “software rasterizing” as the output then the drivers are NOT working right, if you see something else then they most likely are.

First prepare your system for installing the new drivers, do this by removing the old drivers and making sure you have the right libraries installed:

sudo sh /usr/share/ati/fglrx-uninstall.sh

If the file cannot be found then it is good, just means the driver was never installed in the first place.

sudo apt-get purge xorg-driver-fglrx fglrx-amdcccle fglrx-kernel-source xorg-driver-fglrx-dev

Package not found errors here are also really good.

sudo apt-get --reinstall install libgl1-mesa-glx xserver-xorg-core

Make sure that the reinstall of these two packages completes properly. (Note: the reinstall flag has two – before it not one, some web browsers render the double dash as a single long dash).

Next you need to install a new Kernel, Ubuntu 10.04 will ship with 2.6.32 but at a minimum (at the moment) you need 2.6.33, this is simple to do though:

cd ~/

mkdir kerneldebs

cd kerneldebs/

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.33/linux-headers-2.6.33-020633-generic_2.6.33-020633_amd64.deb http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.33/linux-headers-2.6.33-020633_2.6.33-020633_all.deb http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.33/linux-image-2.6.33-020633-generic_2.6.33-020633_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i linux*

Now reboot and make sure that you boot into the new kernel and not the old one.

Add the following address to your systems software sources:

ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa

Reload the sources list when prompted, then go to update manager, check for new updates, install all the new updates that are listed. Once installed reboot your system.

Now try “glxinfo | grep “renderer string” again and hopefully it will no longer display software raster and instead something a lot more promising.

Getting USB Browser Mice to work in Vista

I have had this issue with a number of mice and a number of different computers now. Some older USB mice will not work when you plug them into Windows Vista. What happens is a dialog appears saying installing software and then fails saying unknown device.

The fix for this as I just found out this morning is quite simple:

  • Click on start
  • Right click on computer
  • Select properties
  • On the left side of the dialog that comes up select device manager
  • Scroll down the list of devices to the known device
  • Right click and select Update Driver Software
  • Select chose from a list of drivers
  • Select Human Interface Device
  • Select HID compliant mouse
  • Click okay and the mouse should now work

Simple. And Windows had the drivers to make it work all along! Sometimes Windows does some really simple things wrong and as a result is just so frustrating. It is a mouse it should just work!

Little bird big city

I have now been in Sydney for 11 days and every night I have planned to blog about the first few days here and every day I have been too tired or too busy. Tonight I am in the too tired camp but have decided to force myself to give an update and get over and done with it.

I arrived in Sydney two Saturdays ago at 8.30 in the morning, after leaving Auckland at 7am (which meant a 3am get up time for the flight). We arrived into Sydney at the same time as about 10 other flights which meant it was chaos trying to get our bags and get through customs. In the end it took close to an hour and a half to get out and into the rental car hire queue. The rental car I got was a 2009 Toyota Corolla and by far the smoothest and nicest car I have ever driven.

The first few days in Sydney were spent getting my new flat/apartment set up. It is amazing how much money you can spend in just getting the basics – like food, cooking equipment, and basic furniture. In between all this chaos I also managed to do a few things that got me to see a bit of my new home these included:

  • Going to Opera in the Domain with a friend who I had not seen in 9 years.
  • Going to Hillsong Church
  • Going to Penrith – driving at a speed limit of 110kmh is a new experience.

The second part of my first week here was spent sorting out things like insurance and the like. The most interesting part of this was sorting out Medicare where I had to make a signed legal declaration that I had moved from NZ for good and was living in Australia for the next few years – the guy at the office didn’t seem to believe me even though I had all my uni forms with me! Thought I was some crazy kid on holiday. I also managed to get a cellphone and internet set up. After terrible customer service from Optus I went to Vodafone who set me up with this awesome mobile broadband USB stick which is faster than my old wired broadband in NZ. Although a much smaller data cap so I have to take care about how much data I use.

My second weekend in Sydney was spent having fun in the rain as some of the heaviest rainfall in years hit the city. On Saturday I went out to Bondi Junction shopping mall. Bondi Junction is massive. Imagine the Albany Mall and times it by 2 just for the ground floor, and then make it seven stories high. There is something like 450 shops in the mall. And you know what. I walked through the entire mall and only went into 2 of them! They were nearly all clothes shops – the last thing I need when I am trying to get set up for uni on a budget. On the Sunday I decided to look through town and found this most amazing hobby store in the QVB mall called Hobbyco.

Monday and today was spent at Uni. There is nothing that exciting to report here about my course – Mostly what I was expecting with a few minor hiccups around enrolment. What is amazing though is the size of the campus. Having come from Massey Albany with only around 6000 – 7000 students it is so weird to be on campus with close to 50,000. There is a sign at the front gate that welcomes the 9,000 new first year students! Almost twice the numbers of the entire Massey Albany campus.

The one thing that I will get sick of very quickly, and already am, is having to catch the bus to campus. I have not had to use public transport in years and while the Sydney transport network is far better than Auckland – I love the underground trains, the buses remain as noisy, as crowded, as bumpy, as slow, and as annoying as ever. Given that I have no plans, or money for a car for around a year I guess it is something that I am going to get used to – I just wish there was a train to campus rather than a bus!

P.S. I may have used to complain about the humidity during summer in Auckland but it is nothing compared to heat here. Last night was 25c overnight it makes it so hard to sleep!

Say hi to your mum for me

Good news:

I have arrived in Sydney and getting set up before starting university next week.

After four days of being in the 90s (aka the stone age) I now have a mobile phone and mobile broadband internet – it is quick too:

I have many photos to sort through and put online at some point as well as that a much larger blog to write detailing the first few days of my new life. In the meantime I will leave you to wonder how I managed to drive 600km in a rental car in 3 days without leaving Sydney.

First Trip to Sydney (2020 Re-Edit)

Flight over was good, the plane before us was cancelled (due to the infamous 2009 Australian Dust Storm) so we ended up with a 747 to take us over because of all the people.

Despite a few bumps leaving a very stormy Auckland everything went smoothly.

And even better I have free internet in my hotel room.

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