Although I haven’t celebrated Christmas in nearly 30 years, I still remember, as a child, experiencing the feeling of excitement and keen anticipation. I must admit that I’ve been a bit like that waiting for the new LTS edition of Ubuntu “Lucid Lynx” to arrive. On launch day of April 29th, I was refreshing my browser every 5 minutes to see when the final release would be available. Read more…
After sorting the case, next on my list was a motherboard. I say “list”, but I’m using the word loosely. I’m not the best at organising myself, so the “list” is purely mental and not in any particular order.
Anyway, it seemed a bit pointless to have a box with nothing inside, so I went shopping for a motherboard, and soon realised what a bewildering array of them there are. It was time for another list!!
- It must be a MicroATX to fit the case
- Cheap, preferably!
- It must work with Linux
- Ideally support up to Quad Core processor
- Have SATA and ATA interfaces
- Have a PCI-Express slot
That didn’t reduce the list much! In the end, I spoke to some friends and colleagues and settled on Asus as the brand. I do want HDMI out, and some Asus motherboards do come with that feature; however I think I’d prefer it to be on a separate PCI-e card, so decided that the extra cost wasn’t worth it. Eventually, I managed to find a brand new Asus P5KPL-AM for €20, which seemed to tick all the right boxes.
It’s a nice, compact board with reasonable features. 1333/1066/800 MHz FSB – 1600 if overclocked, PCI Express x 16 slot, SATA and ATA interfaces, and up to Quad Core support. Everything was included in the box and it slotted into the Antec case beautifully.
Now I just need to control myself and not buy a Quad Core processor!
Hmmm…all seemed well with my Ubuntu installation until I tried playing an AVI file the other day. Of course I was in a hurry, and needed to view the file quickly, so Totem decided to play 2 seconds of the video file and then stop. I could put the seek pointer to anywhere in the file, and the same thing happened!
Very frustrating – especially since I’d tested video playback after installing Ubuntu and everything seemed to work! But, being the patient and kindly soul that I am, I managed to contain my rage to just shouting at the screen. No humans, animals, or (valuable) inanimate objects were harmed.
The fact that video playback had worked and then stopped working confused me a bit. But the answer was relatively simple. After installing Ubuntu, I then went on to install all the whizzy compositing effects – wobbly windows, 3D cube to switch desktops etc. And this, it seems, was causing the problem. One solution, then, is to disable compwiz; however, as any fule kno, once you’ve experienced the joy of wobbly windows, you can’t go back! So a better solution is as follows:
Open a terminal window and type:
Click on the Video tab and change the Default Output plugin from Auto Detect to X Window System (No Xv)
Close it, and test video playback again. If it still doesn’t work then restart X Windows.
After this, video playback works flawlessly again. So I’m having to find other things to shout at now.