Logic for Dummies – Part 1

It seems like one of the things I really have to get my head round if I want to understand some of the principles of computer science is logic. Now, I figured that would be easy. I mean, I can remember truth tables for AND, OR, NOT, NOR, NAND, etc. from school, so how hard can it be?

Yup, how hard can it be – the classic sign of someone who doesn’t know enough about the problem to know that they don’t know enough about the problem. Continue reading “Logic for Dummies – Part 1”


Flickering graphics under Linux with ATI hardware

It’s been driving me mad. For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to watch youtube videos (Educational stuff – not the skateboarding dog – although that is pretty neat…) and been plagued with flickering video playback.

I was also getting flickering when using Compiz desktop effects.

Finally, after a couple of headaches, I researched the problem. Turns out it looks like an incompatibility between my ATI X1900GT card’s drivers and the way Compiz tries to use it. Something to do with an unsupported call making the application use unaccelerated rendering (and all your CPU resources), but at least I now have a fix – turn off desktop effects.

System > Preferences > Appearance > Visual Effects Tab

Select ‘None’, then ‘Close’.

Et voila – no more flickering.

It’s a shame you can’t have the simply beautiful effects AND flicker-free video playback. If anyone’s got a better answer, please leave me a comment, but for now, my advice? If you have the choice and you want an easy Linux life, buy nvidia. My nvidia mobile-based laptop works a treat.

(I did try an alternative solution, adding Option “TexturedVideo” “off” to my /etc/X11/xorg.conf, but it didn’t really work for me – less flickering, but still there.)

Now, back to that skateboarding dog. I mean educational material…

BarCamp Sheffield Diary: Sunday

As I’ve spent most of the weekend here at BarCamp and I’m off darn sarf tonight with work, I decided to spend the morning with my better half, getting to BarCamp at around midday. It’s been a great experience so far, with loads of people to talk to who have something interesting to say. I’ll do the diary thing, and then give up my top tips for BarCamp virgins, based on what I’ve seen and done this weekend.
Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Continue reading “BarCamp Sheffield Diary: Sunday”

BarCamp Sheffield Diary: Saturday

Predictably, BarCamp sheffield 2008 2nd day started way to early for me (what with yesterday evening and BarCamp being in a Bar…). I managed to drag myself out of bed in time to get down to the venue, Sheffield’s Showroom cinema, at around 9:30am. The sausage, bacon and egg breakfast waiting for me there was most welcome and set me up nicely to start taking in some really well put together and fascinating talks.
Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Continue reading “BarCamp Sheffield Diary: Saturday”

BarCamp Sheffield Diary: Friday

I was catching up with superjeans earlier and Sheffield barcamp came up. Turns out that there’s a few folks at work that are interested in what happens but can’t make it – so it looks like I’m blogging about what goes on.
Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Continue reading “BarCamp Sheffield Diary: Friday”

Google Docs – Oh, So Close…

So I thought I’d try Google Docs. Sounds pretty promising – a way to store your documents ‘in the cloud’, so you can get to them from anywhere, edit them using online tools, share them with others and bolt a bit of code onto OpenOffice so you can upload and download documents just like they’re on your local filesystem. Continue reading “Google Docs – Oh, So Close…”