“How can I help Free Software?”

Ocak 28, 2011 at 8:48 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

Free Software is great. And the biggest advantage of it is being dependent on actual individuals. And this is where you come into play:

1. Use it

It’s that easy: just use it. While installing (or compiling) you may run into errors. You may run into bugs while using the software. Report them to the developers. Every software developer needs specific information with that bug report. Don’t worry, they will guide you through it. You may even submit feature requests.

2. Translate it

If you can speak any other language than English (in may case, Turkish) translate the software. There are very good translation softwares to use, like Poedit and Qt Linguist. That way you will be helping the software to be more reachable for people speaking that language.

3. Create tutorials

If you got hold of the software, you can contribute to the wiki of that software, put together a blog post, or even record a video explaining the software. You can also CC Licence it in the spirit of Free Software.

4. Code

You can learn a programming language and contribute to the code. For example C++ and Python are very straightforward and easy-to-learn languages. You can even learn GTK+ or Qt and start GUI programming.

Alright, what have we learned so far? You don’t have to be a full-time hacker to help Free Software. Even only by using the software you will be of a lot of help.

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Nouveau Update

Eylül 4, 2010 at 7:35 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I have been using Nouveau drivers for a long time now (almost a year). This is kind of a sequel to Nouveau: The Libré nVidia Drivers. To my experience, Nouveau has come a long way. I have two proofs for this and both are about the 3-D support.

First one is compositing. I’m using Openbox so I don’t care much for about Compiz (or KWin for that matter). I like simple compositing just enough so I can use Avant Window Navigotor. I had been using xcompmgr since I discovered Cairo Composite Manager. It can be used along-side Openbox and it has cool effects. What I should tell you is that it’s working great with Nouveau. So I’m marking it DONE.

The second one is the OpenGL games. I like playing games every now and then. Most of the time I play XMoto and it’s based on SDL. Like Battle for Wesnoth, Frozen Bubble and many other SDL games, Nouveau doesn’t have a problem running them. Yet again what I should tell you is that it’s also working great with Tremulous, Urban Terror, Smokin’ Guns, AssaultCube, Glest and Warzone 2100.

I should also add that HDMI and VGA outputs are working without a hitch here. I’m enjoying HD (720p) movies with my Epson projector.

I think this is great and a big Congratulations! from me to the developers of this great project.

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PES 2010 on Arch Linux

Haziran 5, 2010 at 9:58 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I never thought I would see this day. I’m kidding, I foresaw this day back in the 90′s :)

Just for the hell of it I borrowed PES 2010 from a friend and tried it on my good old Arch Linux. The installation went well till the end then just quit with an unspecified error. A quick look on Wine Application Database revelead the solution: I just added a registry key and the installation was complete.

The next obstacle occured during the start: yet again an unspecified error (why do I hate Windows again?!). And yet again the solution lies in the same Wine App DB page: download a d3dx9_30.dll and move it to the system32 folder. The end result? Here it is:

There is just one more thing: I couldn’t get my gamepads working, I filed a bug report. If anybody knows a solution I would be glad. I hope you enjoy your PES 2010. I know I do.

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Microsoft’s Lock-in Finally Broken in Turkey

Aralık 17, 2009 at 1:02 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

It’s a good day for free software. Why? Because Microsoft will no more be able to force Windows pre-installed PC’s onto Turkish citizens.

Lawyer Nihat Karslı -who is the president of Pardus Users Group (Pardus Kullanıcıları Derneği) and also a member of Linux Users Group- filed a lawsuit against Windows pre-installed PC’s. Consumer Court of Ankara (Ankara 1. Tüketici Mahkemesi) ruled for Karslı and banned the forced sales of Windows operating system with a new PC. We’ll see if this ruling will be taken seriously by PC stores.

Regardless of this ruling, the interest in Free Software have been rising steadily in Turkey. I have been observing this for a couple of years now. Firefox is the first thing people install after a new Windows format-reinstall cycle. OpenOffice.org has gained a lot of ground (now more and more government PC’s are OO.o installed). Most important is that people have been installing a flavor of Linux on their PC’s.

I hope this will be a breaking point for all PC users in Turkey because Free Software is a far better choice for most them.

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There are no games for Linux!!

Kasım 14, 2009 at 6:03 AM (Uncategorized) (, )

This is the first response most Linux convertees give. Of course they have a right to say this but this does not change the fact that they miss some crucial points.

The biggest argument game developers have come up so far is “Linux marketshare is what prevents us from developing games for Linux blah blah blah…”. At this point, in order to avoid such claims, Linux gamers should show that they are live and kicking. Send mails, e-mails to the game developers; write about the lack of support on your blog, microblogs; talk to your friends about it and so on, so forth. To put it another way: “Raise awareness!”

Actually there’s a better way to enhance this awareness: Buy Linux games (Penumbra series is should be a very good start, for instance). This way other developers would see that there’s potential for investing in Linux.

If you can’t do any of the above, then check the Wine Application Database for the game you will buy. Make sure that it has a Platinum or Gold rating.

With the financial turmoil and low-energy processors, Linux is gaining a serious marketshare. Come on Linux gamers! This is the chance we’ve been looking for! This is when we strike :)

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Nouveau: The Libré nVidia Drivers

Kasım 6, 2009 at 11:00 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The latest nVidia driver update (IIRC 190.42) came with a plethora of problems (at least for me). I have an nVidia GeForce 9200M GS graphics card and we were getting along quite well until the aformentioned update. X started crashing every minute. This led me to try something new: Nouveau.

The nouveau project aims to build high-quality, open source drivers for nVidia cards.

Since I always root for replacing proprietary stuff with their F/LOSS alternatives, this was the perfect chance for me. ArchWiki describes how to install and set the driver to load with kernel (i.e. KMS).

There were a couple of features I was looking for and here’s how everything turned out:

  • First I started with the video playback. Under SMPlayer’s preferences I found a new output driver: xv (0 – Nouveau GeForce 8/9 Textured Video). This is what worked for me. Now that I had image, let’s get a little rough: I opened Sita Sings the Blues, and mind you this video has 1920×1080 pixels (1080p for short). VLC did a great job playing the file (SMPlayer couldn’t play this one with nVidia drivers, either). So, check!

  • The chronological first step is KMS, of course. KMS stands for kernel modesetting:

Currently, most graphics modes are initialized during the X server startup. Kernel Modesetting (referred to as KMS hereafter) moves this process from the X server’s DDX drivers to the kernel.

This means a seamless transition between console and X server, and also a seamless transition between virtual terminals. The Fedora page also indicates that KMS means graphical error messages and a prettier graphical boot but those don’t interest me. I set up KMS following the wiki and with a reboot I had a pretty console and seamless transitions. So, check!

  • Another important thing for me is XMoto. I love it, I play it all the time. Lucky for me the game is based on SDL and it doesn’t need 3D graphics. The game mostly works well, but for a couple of levels the graphics slow down. This is not a very big issue since there is the “Ugly Mode” for those occasions :) So, check!

  • Every now and then I do presentations so external devices must work. Since I don’t own a projector, I tried it with my old 15″ monitor. As soon as I plugged in the device I could see it on display settings under KDE’s System Settings. I configured the resolution, the color depth and I was good to go. So, check!
  • The last thing was, and this was a bonus for me, power consumption. I haven’t timed the drivers yet but there’s something that can give you a clue. With nVidia drivers, my battery never reaches %100, it’s charged to %97-98 and stays there. With Nouveau drivers the battery can be fully charged and stays that way. So, bonus check!

All in all, it’s been a great experience so far. Since I don’t use any composite managers (like Compiz or KWin), I don’t need the card’s 3D capabilities. And as far as the 2D performance goes, it’s working perfectly. Great job Nouveau developers and keep it coming!

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Why I switched back from Gnome to KDE

Kasım 2, 2009 at 7:16 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

This is not a sequel to “Why I switched back from Ubuntu to Fedora“. However they’re connected in a way. By the way, I installed Arch Linux on my machine one week after that post. But first thing’s first, why did I switch to KDE?

The first and most important reason that led me to KDE was that it’s caught up with version 3.5 now, feature-wise. I loved the responsiveness of KDE 3.5 but compared to Gnome, it looked horrible. This was the only reason I didn’t use KDE 3.5 that much. Now that it looks and works amazing (even with the compositing turned off), I’ve started using it full-time.

Second, most Qt applications work and look better that their GTK alternatives. Let me give a couple of examples: Amarok vs. Rhythmbox, SMPlayer vs. GMPlayer(?), Skanlite vs. XSane, Okular vs. Evince, Blogilo (formerly Bilbo) vs. Drivel, Qwit vs. Gwibber, K3b vs. Gnomebaker, and the list goes on.

Finally, and it’s not that important since it’s still in the planning/gossip state, there’s serious effort going in the Mono/C# way. I have expressed how I felt about Mono in my aformentioned post, I don’t want to go into the details again. I will not use Gnome again until I see developers saying something like “We will not make Gnome 3.x -or 2.x for that matter- Mono dependent” and I will advise anyone I know using Linux to switch to KDE, Enlightenment or even *box’es.

This post was written under KDE, with Blogilo, listening to Abdou Day on Amarok :)

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Özür Diliyorum

Ekim 30, 2009 at 1:26 PM (Uncategorized)

26 yaşındayım ve çok kısa bir zaman öncesine kadar çarpık düzenin bana empoze ettiği fikirleri kendi fikirlerimmiş gibi, uğruna benliğimi verebilecek derecede savunuyordum.

Ben bu yaşıma kadar mutlu çoğunluktan başka hiçkimseyle tanışmamıştım, tanıştıysam bile -bu kişilerin şimdiye kadar gördükleri yıldırıcı baskılar nedeniyle- bana hiçbir şekilde hissettirmemişlerdi. Ve ben 26 yaşımda bu ülkede “benim devletim” dediğim kurumun benim komşuma, kardeşime yıllarca neler yaptığını yeni öğreniyorum.

O kadar utanıyorum ki, şu anda bu satırları yazabilme cesaretini bulabilmem bile epey zamanımı aldı. Ben şimdiye kadar, ne kadar benden olmayan varsa hepsinin hareketlerinin arka planında bölücülük olduğunu savundum. Fakat tanıdığım insanların anlattıkları, yasaklı kitaplardan okuduklarım ve son dönemin verdiği az biraz cesaretle yazabilen birkaç yazar sayesinde ne kadar insanlık dışı bir iş yaptığımı anladım.

Şimdi ise -özellikle Kürt ve Ermeni vatandaşlarımız başta olmak üzere- bu ülkede yaşamış ve yaşayan bütün ezilmiş insanlardan özür diliyorum.

Affedilmek için özür dilemiyorum. Ben sizin yerinizde olsam affedebilir miydim bilemiyorum çünkü. Vatandaşı olduğum devlet beni onyıllarca ezse, bana işkence etse, beni öldürse, dağlara sürse, yerimden yurdumdan etse, en akla gelmez fizikî aşağılamalara maruz bıraksa ve bunların hiçbiri yetmiyormuş gibi bir de beni terörist ilân etse, ben sizin kadar akl-ı selim sahibi olabilir miydim bilemiyorum çünkü. Bana “sen sen değilsin, bizim kalın kırmızı çizgilerle çizdiğimiz kalıbın içerisinde olmak zorundasın ya da öleceksin ya da daha beter olacaksın” denseydi sizin kadar ferasetli davranabilir miydim bilemiyorum çünkü. O yüzden affedilmeyi beklemek haddim değil.

Bundan sonra artık birisi bir şey dediğinde bunu “Türk gözlüğüyle” değil, “insaniyet gözlüğüyle” inceleyeceğim. Öğrendiklerimi anlayabilecek herkese anlatacağım. Belki daha fazla insanın kendi halkına eziyet etmemesine bir miskal faydam olabilir.

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Gnash Has Come a Long Way

Ekim 25, 2009 at 10:24 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Gnash is a F/LOSS replacement for Adobe’s infamous Flash plugin. I’ve been following the development of Gnash for some time now and I must say, with every new release it’s becoming more and more a good alternative for Flash.

The new version (0.8.6) hit the Arch Linux repos today and I was eager to try it out. First I removed the Flash plugin and then installed Gnash:

pacman -R flashplugin

pacman -S gnash-gtk

Since Gnash supports most of the stuff other than videos very well, the next step for me was to test a couple of video sharing sites. Youtube works well and so does Google Videos, Blip.tv and Mojoflix. However Vimeo doesn’t work, since I use it a lot that’s a bummer for me (and if I’m not mistaken, it used to work but I think the Vimeo guys changed something with the player). Grooveshark doesn’t work, either. There are a lot of websites out there using Flash but the ones I use are limited with these, so I’ll leave the rest to other users.

All in all, Gnash is certainly getting better with every release and I think, in a very near future, people will start seriously using it. Me? I have already ditched the Flash plugin. Sure I won’t be able to view a couple of videos on BlenderNation but I will be using Free Software.

Great job Gnash developers and I surely appreciate the hard work you’ve been putting on.

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Canon MP190 on Arch Linux

Ekim 16, 2009 at 11:27 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I recently bought a Canon PIXMA MP190 and it’s working without a glitch.

Prior to buying I did a little research, of course. On Open Printing Database, there was just one comment and it suggested that the printer is working perfectly. Because the printer was like $50, I thought “What the hey, it’s worth a shot”. I followed the wiki and got the printer working in 5 minutes with these steps:

  • Installed CUPS
  • Installed the driver (cups-canon-3.00 from the AUR)
  • Added the module (modprobe usblp) and the daemon (/etc/rc.d/cups start) to the rc.conf

After these 3 quick steps, I was printing (from e.g. OpenOffice.org), scanning (through XSane) and photo-copying. All in all, I’m very happy with the printer. It’s easy to install and use. I can recommend MP190 to anyone looking for a cheap and all-in-one printer.

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