Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Audio Video Production : Why I Chose KDE for my DE

By JayR

    Let me start off by saying one thing, people reading this blog I hope will keep in mind that this is a place for my personal and public thought's, it is not intended to be news.

    For the past several years I have been beating my brains out trying to piecemeal together my own custom built Linux distro, I can tell ya right now that's not gonna happen anytime  soon. At one time I was hell bent on the Cinnamon and the Mate desktop environments for Linux. I'll sum it up this way Cinnamon is pretty much a Mint Linux deal, and I have lost so much respect for the distribution in the past year, I seriously doubt it will ever become a viable player. Mate is a complete throwback to the once almighty Gnome2 desktop of ages ago. The point I am making here is it's ancient stuff, they are both based on Gnome and GTK, and I am wore out, mentally and physically, I just want something that works, and GTK is a complete disaster, and not it.

    Linux, contrary to popular belief is a formidable player in the Audio mixing business, however when it comes to Video, the graphic(s) card drivers are only so-so at best, pretty much they are no where near the polished product of their Windows counterparts. Now lets tack on this extra weight. Gnome is DEAD, GTK is DEAD and i seriously doubt if the Dev's are on top of anything.

    KDE however bizarre it seemed to me at first with the Plasma 4 and soon to be version 5 is one of those gotcha kinda things, it was like, Oh-Ok now I understand, damm this is so simple. It has got to be the hands down most versatile Desk Top Environment I have yet to encounter.

    Now here's the biggie, QT is here to stay, GTK needs to go away. This is kinda cliche but QT is rapidly becoming a very up and coming player within APP Development circles, and it is pretty much universal, it will run on just about anything. And KDE is QT.

Just my personal opinion

JayR :_)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Virtual Worlds Filming Graphics Quality on Linux : Screen Tearing Issues : Doing Battle The Easy Way : 2 Simple Rules

By JayR

    Dealing with screen tear while panning a scene for a Machinima or Presentation shot using Linux as your production ( pre ~ post ) OS environment can either make or break your entire day's worth of work. There is no need to pull your hair out, following 2 simple rules does not require your full understanding of the issues involved, a fairly basic procedure and easy routine to get into the habit of performing will easily do the trick.

     Power Consumption and Composting, that's it ! This may sound funny to people coming from the Windows crowd, both of these issues are usually handled by MicroSoft's DirectX api. and rarley present a problem. Mac's I have only used for audio production, not much experience in the Video department, however both the OSX and Linux api. for graphics system calls is OpenGL, the same as is used in a number of Virtual World Type Enviornments. ( Open Sim, SecondLife client software and cross platform Video Games...... )

    Chances are you will be dealing with either AMD / ATI or Nvidia hardware, and who knows what Linux distribution or desktop enviornment you may be using. This should make little difference, your only concearn is the two basic underlying conditions, power consumption and composting ( or ) PCaC
    rule #1 : Allways adjust for Maximum Preformance Mode Power Consumption, in other words turn off all power saving features in the Video Driver(s) settings Control Panel. !! OFF !! ( my current KDE and Nvidia enviornment is displayed below )

    Open your X Server Settings, then adjust the OpenGL Image quality to the maximum performace level allowed, repeat this procedure for your power usage as well.

    rule #2 : Get used to having to fiddle around with the various Composting options available to you. That being said. Go to your System Desktop Settings Control Panel and locate the Desktop Effects area of adjustment.

   Look around for an Advanced tab, and make several adjustments to the Composting Type of OpenGL being used 1.x ~ 2.x ~ 3.x  ( dissregarding  XRender alltogether )

       Next choose the OS graphic display sub system ( usually GTK ~ QT or X ) at this point, 90% of the time it will be "Native" to the sub system, "Raster" has more specific purposes I will not be discussing here.


    Moving right along to your Scaling method adjustment. ( in my case Crisp, Smooth or Accurate ) ~  ( where as Smooth does just what you think it would ).

    OK VSync is next, ( Screen Tearing Prevention ) Vertical Sync is important, I can not strees this enough. My advice is to just use common sense here.

    For that matter, performing all of the above and then running a few short tests by panning with your camera view controls horizontaly back and forth several times, should allow you to see noticeable differences in moving image content quality.

    Last but not least of your concerns is your main Control Panel's, Power Management section,
( sometimes referred to as Energy Saving ), never forgetting the goal is not saving electricity, on the contrary we want as much juice as we can get.  You should also take a look at your Rig's BIOS as well, kill all functions that conserve power. My last bit of advice is to use some sort of heat sensor monitoring app during the testing procedure and your actual usage.

    Trail and error, a bit of patience, and within a short period of time you will be a Pro / LOL I just had to toss that in there :_)

    As with most things in the Linux world, you can more than likely automate the process with a few simple scripts. Once you have settled upon your best setting's per usage requirements it's just depends on the user, and what they ( you ) want, and feel comfortable with.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nvidia 343.x Graphic's Driver Available : An Easy Installation Procedure For *Buntu* 14.04 based Distributions

By JayR

    I was just noticing this morning that Nvidia has released the 343.x series driver for Linux recently. The installation procedure is a bit convoluted as usual, but no where near as difficult as it used to be in the past. The first thing you will want to do is take a visit to the official Nvidia site and do a driver search in order to determine which one will actually support your hardware. Driver 340.x will be the last to support 500 and below series cards and or chip-sets.

    If you are unsure of your current model try this command from a terminal prompt
$ lspci -vnn | grep -i VGA -A 12
This should provide you with some basic information " Nvidia Corporation [GeForce GT.xxx]
Where Gx.xxx is a G series,GT or GTX, as far as I know 340.x will be the last to support the 500 based cards and below from here on out. I do not really recommend downloading and installing the tar ball directly from Nvidia unless you really know what you are doing. It is much easier to add the xorg-edgers ppa to your system. Follow the instructions located on this web page, by the way it also a few other this web page.
Once you are done with that, reboot your machine and go into rescue mode, activate network connection, then DKPG update, then Clean, then ROOT type in 
$ sudo nvidia-xconfig
$ startx
once logged in reboot again, things should be back to normal, but with a brand new latest and greatest driver.
That should do it, in my next post I will be dealing with screen tearing while panning in various virtual world environments and how to lessen it.
JayR :_)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hardware Failure's : Seem To Be Plaguing Me As Of Late

By JayR

   I don't know where my luck took a turn for the worse recently, I have been through 3 hard drive failures in the past 6 weeks, all of them Seagates, I don't know what the heck happened to this once stable brand, but that's it for me, I will never purchase one of their product's again, including Lacie which was bought by Seagate last year. All three drives were just past the now 1 year only warranty period, they previously had a 3 year warranty.

    Anyways I did replace all of them with WD Blacks OEM's that include a 5 year warranty, and I can safely say the Western Digital's coverage is excellent. No Questions Asked, as long as the drive has not been physically abused. I have had to return 2 WD Hard Drives in the past 4 years, no problems whatsoever, box it up and pay the shipping and, about a week later you should have a refurbished Black series HD replacement, with a 1 year warranty period.

    Oh well, by this time next year I hope to convert to SSD's, I just installed a Samsung 500GB into an ASUS laptop for a friend a few weeks back, and damn talk about fast. The difference compared to a spinning mechanical disk is astounding.

JayR :_)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I'm Saying Goodbye To Sabayon Linux : The Killer Linux Distro, "Not For Everyone" !

By JayR

   Boy I gotta tell ya I absolutely am in love with Sabayon Linux, unfortunately the rapid pace of  remaining up on the total cutting edge has just plain and simply done worn my brain out to the point of being totally numb. LOL / I cant keep pace.

    So I am very sad to admit, I'm getting to old for this sort of stuff, at least I can maintain a reasonable state of sanity following Debian and Ubuntu.

    It has been a wild and thoroughly enjoyable ride using Sabayon Linux the past 10 month's or so, I can hardly believe the amount of knowledge I have absorbed during the process. However it's time to get back to my Debian / ( Ubuntu ) Root's.

    I still haven't figured out exactly what I am going to do with this blog, for the time being it is merely a sounding board for me, a place to keep my public thought's alive wile using Linux as an alternative to Win & OsX.

JayR :_)

Why I Chose To Place The Cinnamon and Mate Desktop's On The Back Burner In Favor of KXStudios Version of KDE

By JayR

    Oh boy this has been a tough go around for me with the Cinnamon and Mate DE's, and it boils down to this, plain and simple, neither are ready for prime time yet. If I am offending any Mint Linux folks out there, oh well :_(

   All I can tell ya is that both are very buggy, and that's expected considering the relative newness of each environment. I have high hopes for Cinnamon, I truly believe it will one day become a truly outstanding User Interface for the Linux OS.

    The Mate DE, unfortunately I believe is loosing ground fast, perhaps in the hands of the Mint Linux team they can pull off a miracle, and eventually combine the two of them into one coherent Desk Top, as it stands right now the amount of conflicting LIB's, although rather small seem to cause very bizarre behavior once combined.

     Both Mate and Cinnamon are forks of Gnome 2, and each has their own idea's of what is good, and what's not. For instance the Mint Menu extension ( exclusive to the LinuxMint distribution ) is horribly broken, slow as a snail, and completely worthless as far as editing the actual menu is concerned. For that matter Mint 17 ( the folks that are heading up the Cinnamon project ) feels extremely bloated and sluggish in comparison to just about every other DE I have tested so far, besides Gnome,Unity and the stock KDE. Believe it or not those are even worse, but at least they are not hopelessly broken, and once you figure out how to turn off all of the completely worthless Eye Candy Crap, you end up with a workable UI  on all 3. Mate and Cinnamon are both broken right out of the box :_(


JayR :_(

KXStudio Linux 14.04(b) : Have I Finally Found The Perfect Linux Distro ?

By JayR

    I do not post here on this blog very often, mostly because I am usually busy trying to figure out all sort's of oddball Linux eccentricities. Those day's I am happy to say, may soon be coming to an end. I believe I have actually found the ultimate Audio / Video content creation operating system suite, so now it's time to get to work creating things.

    KXStudio is a total mind blower ( in my opinion ) I'll admit to having an aversion to the KDE Plasma desktop, too much eye candy, and worthless garbage no one really need's, not to mention the toll on your GPU that the stock KDE desktop takes in order to run at a decent speed. KXStudio strips out all the crap and leaves you with a lean and mean working machine, it is nearly as fast as the striped down FluxBox X-screen environment, and I'll put $10.00 to a Doughnut it will keep pace with the XFCE Desktop that Ubuntu Studio uses. However that is not the total beauty of KXS, the removal of QjackCTL, and restriction of not allowing anyone to use Gdebi for installation of possible rouge applications is outstanding to say the least. This baby is rock solid, usable, flexible and simply might just make you think seriously about even bothering to boot into a MS Windows environment again.

    I hope you can bear with me, as I intend to spend a lot of upcoming free time exploring KXS during the coming summer and fall months ahead.

JayR :_)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Thought's "Ubuntu Studio ~or~ KX Studio"

By JayR

   These past few weeks I have been experimenting with Ubuntu Studio and KX Studio, both of which are excellent examples of how Linux can actually hold it's own as an Audio Video content creation suite, the former is based on the XFCE Desktop Environment and lightening fast on a wide range of hardware configurations, the later KX Studio uses KDE, a somewhat non-intuitive DE, however extremely flexible once you get a grip on things.

    I'll sum this up briefly until I have more time available for further testing. Ubuntu Studio is a total no-extra brain power required installation and operation, you should be up and running within an hour, as a mater of fact I would feel comfortable  installing this on a friends computer, wither or not they are interested in A/V content creation. KX Studio, will require some reading on your part. Myself being new to the current KDE Plasma DE, a lot of reading was required, but once I finally figured out the concept of Widgets and  and Capsules ( similar to the old Next Step OS, it is a truly Object Oriented DE ) the amount of flexibility is unsurpassed in the Linux world. You can do virtually anything your heart desires.

    KX Studio also ditches QJackCTL in favor of the in-house developed Cadence, and several other modules vastly superior to the aged and somewhat cantankerous  QJack. No you wont have to relearn any of the old QJack trick's you have acquired of the years, just put them to use in a much more intuitive and easy to set up environment.

    The KX Team has also done a major rework of the current KDE desktop, stripping it of most of the annoying and totally  unnecessary eye-candy, gimmicky stuff no one really needs in order to be productive. As a mater of fact during the installation one of the final steps is to chose the KX desktop tweaks or continue with a standard KDE install, by all means choose the former, you wont see much difference ( performance wise ) between Ubuntu Studio with XFCE and  KX Studio with the vastly improved ( KX Tweaked ) KDE environment. As a matter of fact I like it so much, I have decided to install it on all 3 of my workstations, and push my CinnaMateStudio project into the background as I wait for the Cinnamon DE to fully mature.

   I can not say enough good things about either of these Ubuntu 14.04 based distributions. If you want fast and now total ease of use, go with Ubuntu Studio. If you don't mind doing some research, quite a bit of reading, and unlimited flexibility, then defiantly go for the gold and take KXStudio for a spin.



JayR :_)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Why 8-Bit Style Gaming Is Making A Comeback

By JayR

     I don't know about you, but I just loved my Atari 800 and the original NES console. Some of those early 8-bit games were incredibly fun. Don't get me wrong here, I love the graphics capabilities of newer hardware, and all the very kool  game-play of modern graphic game engines. But there is something to be said for the classic's.

    Personally I think the reason is developing an 8-bit style game as an Indie Developer, is much easier and you have the opportunity to reach a much larger audience. There are some really great game development tools available on the Linux platform. It's time to start exploring them.

JayR :_)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

UbuntuStudio 14.04 / Installing a Generic Kernel & Nvidia Graphic's / Does It Improve Graphic's Performance ?

By JayR

    I have been playing around with UbuntuStudio 14.04 for about a week now, it is a very nice "Distro" I would highly recommend it to people that are new to Linux and are interested in Audio / Video / Game Creation, as a very solid starting point.

    There are however some problems with the Nvidia drivers,  ( ATI Radeon, I have no experience there, however it seems to be the norm now to default these cards to the Open Source alternative ) Anyway's  I have been using Nvidia as long as I can remember.

    So here's the deal I found, as you more than likely know using a Real Time Kernel, and a Generic or Server, and perhaps a Cloud based one produce different throughput result's depending upon what your ultimate goal is.

     For Filming in a Virtual World such as SecondLife, Open Sim or Video Games more than likely you are going to prefer the Generic Kernel. However for final mixing you will require a Real Time kernel.

    So here's the problem, getting the Nvidia driver kernel to to work on both boot option's is a real exercise in patience. I did manage to get it working correctly, by re-installing the Nvidia drivers ( all of them related to my hardware / minus a few I just did not need, mostly notebook related stuff  ) on both kernels and multiple reboot's. And here is one thing that keeps rearing it's ugly head. The SUDO user command substituting for ROOT, don't get me wrong here, it's a double edged sword, for folk's unfamiliar with LINUX, it helps in preventing them from screwing things up too badly. I know there are some workaround's such as FAKEROOT and CALIFE, but I require actual ROOT and CHROOT privilege's, if I'm ever going to get anything accomplished.

    Is it worth the amount of time required to install a Standard Kernel ? I'm going to perhaps go out on a limb here, but NO !  I can not really see much of a difference in FPS ( and that's not First Person Shooter ) performance, at least on modern hardware.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

UbuntuStudio 14.04 : Thumbs UP ! KXStudio Looking Great Too !


     I just stared playing around with this Linux distribution.


    It's about as solid as your going to get. They are using XFCE and OpenBox for the UI, and it is extremely responsive, almost lightening fast on older hardware.

    This is a really fascinating study in the ability of Linux and the gradual migration towards the open source platform in general.

    I will be getting back with ya on this one, and the new KXStudio Linux is out and about, supposedly they are migrating to a pure  ~or~ unsure  total Debian or a mixture of Ubuntu. Either way it sounds good to me, for one reason or another I enjoy using Linux, it definitely keeps me on my toe's, so to speak :_)

JayR :_)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Excuse The Mess Please : Lot's of stuff happening

By JayR

    Anyone reading or following this blog may have noticed I removed several post's yesterday in order to refocus my energies on the new A / V studio here in Melvindale Michigan, and just get back to basics. I'm still a Linux nut-case, I use Window's and occasionally Mac's as well. Their all good :_)

   I like Linux, and it's free, so it's a no-brain-er for me.

    I intend to concentrate on the creative art aspect's of Audio and Video design, and have some fun while gaining knowledge too. This is not going to be a religious based blog, however since I will be working closely with the Faith Christian Community Church during the construction, and hopefully full time operation. Hey a little bit of Faith can't be all that bad :_)

    I hope you'll check back here from time to time, I have no idea what's going to happen next. I am excited to be involved with a project from the ground floor.

John R Kostelnik

Friday, March 28, 2014

CinnaMateStudios Future Home


    Hi there, you may have previously run across mention of my Linux Based Machinima, Audio/Video, Game Creation project, this future site will be under construction for a while. feel free to stop back anytime during the process.

CinnaMate1 :_)