Monday, September 23, 2013

Sound and Vision: Drivers (NVidia Edition)

title: Sound and Vision: Drivers

date: 2013-09-23, 12:47:44

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tl;dr: I set up my HP Pavilion dv9000 computer running SalixOS to use the proprietary Nvidia Drivers using this guide, and documented the process.

The Nvidia Logo

So, because my system doesn’t have enough problems as it is, I decided to install the proprietary Nvidia drivers for GNU/Linux.

The guide I followed was for SalixOS, and can be found here. There were a few steps, however, I want to elaborate on, that I am sure will help me when I wipe the slate clean and start over again.

First thing is first: Updating my system to the latest version of everything. For me, this meant finally switching over to a kernel, and updating a few silly packages. You don’t know what will react badly with the new driver, so You might as well have everything at the highest version possible.

This was no problem for me. I usually keep my computer completely up to date. I have been toying with updating the kernel and fixing my LILO setup for a while, just haven’t had a really good reason to do so and break my workflow. Now, I do.

Reboot for Sanity of the System.

Next, I had to track down the latest version of the Nvidia driver. I am definitely the kind of person to install the latest updates, but I do prefer the choice, and it seems they do give it to You. I chose the “Latest Short Lived Branch Version,” which at the time of this writing was 325.15.

Blacklisting the nouveau driver, which is the one I have been using up til now, is a bit more difficult: I was able to downgrade to the blacklist file using gslapt. Just search for “xf68-video” and You’ll see, there are about 10 of them in the repo as I write this. Downgrade that, and Your blacklist file is installed.

After that, the guide says to install the kernel source. Well, I already installed it along with the new kernel, so I am done here. Moving on.

Reboot one more time, and don’t bother logging into the GUI. Instead, hit C-M-<F1> (Ctrl-Alt-F1) and log in there.

Finally, installing the driver itself. This was fairly simple, just following the prompts and waiting. Then, reboot, and voila!

The Nvidia Installer

Or, it would have been voila, if I had remembered to reinstall LILO. Don’t worry though, if You forget to as well, there is an easy way to fix that.

Simply boot into some kind of live version of GNU/Linux (I chose the install disc for Slackware) and mount all of Your drives. Change Directories to the partition which is usually Your root partition, and then type “chroot .”. Do this as root. Then, install LILO as normal, from the command line.

Time for me to get back to work. Comments are always appreciated!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bass Time

title: Bass Time

date: 2013-09-12, 15:34:23

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A Closeup of my Bass's Knobs and Saddle.

I have been playing the bass for just over one year now.

I am very glad I purchased it. I can think of only a few other things I may have chosen to do with that money, and all of them are doable for me in the near future. And, for electric music like Rock, I much prefer the bass to the guitar. I dunno, it just suits my personality and creative profile, more, I guess.

I hadn’t truly played the instrument for a few months, because of a _Really bad audition. For whatever reason I was made to believe that I couldn’t even tune the instrument properly, and then (when I disproved that notion by tuning to the right notes with three separate tuners) told that my bass has bad intonation.

I have since checked, rechecked, and rerechecked the intonation on my Bass and can find no standing problems, provided that I do not press too hard on the strings (which I have found to be a bass thing in general, not something specific to my instrument… kind of like scallopped guitars).

I also have found two projects to work on, which I am very greatful for. Without them, I may not have picked the bass up again in 2013.

Anyway, I played for three hours last night, and plan on another two tonight. Just like the harp and the concertina, I am going to shoot for 10-12 hours of practice a week, on average. If You would like to see the pieces I play for practice, check them out here, on my main website. I update that list (almost) every time I practice, and try to add to it regularly.

Which leads me to my question, for this blog post. If You play Rock Music of any kind (or Jazz, really), what are some tunes I should add to my practice regimen, that will help me to become a better bassist? Leave those suggestions in the comments below, or You can tweet them at me, if You would prefer. All suggestions will be responded to!

Time for me to get back to work. Comments are always appreciated!