Tuesday, 30 June 2009

GPU accelerated Flash

Recently there has been a lot of take about Adobe finally bringing GPU acceleration to Flash but did you know that Flash on Linux already supports this?

Flash on Linux uses OpenGL to render video making it acceleratable (new word?) by your GPU. "But wait" I hear you say "I've got (insert name of stronking great graphics card here) and I can't play YouTube in HD" This is because the Flash GPU acceleration won't work with compiz enabled.

Whilst researching this issue I've come across a solution. Obviously everytime you want to watch a flash video smoothly you don't want to be messing around with the "Appearance" settings to disable compiz. There is, however, an easier way!

Enter Compiz-Switch a small application whose only role in life is to swich off compiz if compiz is enabled and switch it back on if it isn't.

Hitting this button just before you click on a YouTube link will allow Flash to use the full power of you stonking great graphics card and render that HD YouTube experience you've been craving smoothly.

Find the Compiz-Switch program here at http://forlong.blogage.de/en and look in the sidebar under projects for the latest build of Compiz-Switch

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

In search of Tux wallpapers

The redesign is basically complete, as you can see, so I've decided to release the wallpapers I've made for each of my OSes.

The original design was inspired by this wallpaper from PulsarMedia.

Click to make big.




I might get round to making an iPhone wallpaper at some point so stay tuned for that and an agnostic one featuring all 3 logos.

Feel free to download use, modify and redistribute but please give credit unless you are making major alterations. Thanks

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Totally agnostic (REDUX)

I finally have Mac OS X 10.5.5 running on my AMD pc. The entire reason behind running OS X on my PC was because I have a number of ideas for iPhone apps. However Apple in their infinate wisdom has decided to make the iPhone SDK Mac only! As a result I'm forced to either spend £499 on the cheapest possible Mac (The bottom of the line Mac Mini) or hack Mac (tee hee hee that rhymes!) onto my PC.

To cure my conscience I've bought a copy of OS X from Apple so that I own a copy of the code legally. I'm not a laywer so I'm not sure if that makes hacking Mac onto my PC more legal or not but it makes me feel better.

So that's the back story. After what must be 10 or 12 attempts at installing Mac unsucessfully I have finally installed iDeneb 10.5.5 sucessfully! Audio, Ethernet and resolution (thanks to a new graphics card) all work.

So I've just popped over to the iPhone developer site and downloaded the iPhone SDK only to find that in the time it's taken me to get 10.5.5 working Apple has released a new version of the SDK for iPhone OS 3.0. Great right? Wrong! The new iPhone SDK can only run on 10.5.7 :-(

So I'm now downloading a special hacked 10.5.7 update package which will allow me to run 10.5.7 without reinstalling. So in the mean time here's a screenie.

Update: The 10.5.7 package has finished installing and I'm now waiting for my hackintosh to restart, which for some reason takes ages!

Also I've changed my wallpaper to this:

Which has inspired me to want to redesign In Search of Tux. The blog never really had a distinctive look and feel that made you think "oh this is a tech blog" so I'm going to nab this style and make a banner with the Ubuntu, Mac and Windows logos and match the rest of the theme to it.

New theme will probably begin being put together tomorrow evening and as always I'll keep you up to date.

Monday, 15 June 2009

An interesting proposition

A couple of months back I found a Linux operating system called gOS Cloud, you may already be familiar with it. The basic premise is for it to be a netbook or kiosk OS. The only think which loads up at boot time is a browser, this makes the boot time next to nothing.

The browser looks very similar to Google Chrome with a AWN/Kiba Dock/GnomeDO/MacOS style dock at the bottom of the screen. The idea of this OS is that you use web services rather than applications to get your work done. The dock has links to the main google apps (gmail, calender, docs, spreadsheets etc) as well as a power icon a wifi hotspot selector and a "boot into windows button".

The Windows button is interesting becuase this OS isn't meant to be used on its own. Its supposed to be dual booted with another OS. In my case it'd probably be a flavour of Linux.

But what if you wanted to use this as the only OS? Could you still get work done? This is where we get to my main reason for this post. gOS Cloud is all well and good but aside from the fast boot times it isn't very exciting. The other reason I haven't posted about it is that it is in invite only private beta, a beta for which I'm still waiting for my invite!

Today whilst stumbling around the interwebs I came across eyeOS, it was Apple that started this "lets have lowercase letters infront of capitals nonsence with the iPod wasn't it! Anyway... eyeOS is a totally browser based OS which looks pretty much like other Linux based distros. This however lives on a server somewhere (possibly Narnia) and you control it with your browser.

eyeOS has a file manager, a web browser (yes I know, a web browser in an OS inside a web browser!), an office suite and image viewer amongst other things. You can either log into your eyeOS desktop on the Narnia based server or host your own eyeOS server.

The only problem is that you have to have an underlying operating system to run the web browser so you can log into eyeOS. If eyeOS was combined with gOS Cloud you could have a fully functioning desktop within seconds of pressing the power button.

The only issue I can see is if you don't have an internet connection (or connection to the server if its your own local one). This is solved in gOS Cloud by having the option to boot into a full blown operating system like Ubuntu of Windows but this defeats the point. One implamentation of eyeOS could be to have a google gears style offline function where the OS is cached on the connecting machine and syncs with the server when it has a connection but my guess would be that this is still some way off being a reality.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Podcast catcher for iPod Touch

I'm a huge fan of podcasts. I'm not however a huge fan of booting into Vista and syncing my iPod Touch with iTunes to get the latest episode. Now, before I end up drowning in comments, I know that iTunes Mobile can download podcasts OTA (Over The Air) but it doesn't allow me to subscribe to the feeds and have them download automatically when new episodes come out.

In steps Podcaster. This is one of those rare apps which started out life only for jailbroken devices and has made it into the official app store (albeit under the new name of RSS Player). As regular readers of this blog will know I hate paying for things if I can get hold of a free open source version. The official app store only contains the pay version of Podcaster (RSS Player) but Cydia contains the original version which is still pretty up to date when it comes to bug fixes and things.

The only limitation to the free version that I could find so far is that you can only add 3 podcasts through the search function. That's rubbish I hear you shout, however as always there is a work around. The app also includes an option to add podcasts directly from their XML link this method of adding podcasts doesn't seem to have a restriction on it at all! Couple this with clippy (iPhone and iPod Touch jailbroken copy and paste) and adding an unlimited amount of podcasts is really easy.

So if your looking for a podcast catcher for free give Podcaster a go from the Modmyi repository in Cydia.