It’s About Time ATI/AMD

It sounds like AMD will follow Intel’s lead in opening up their graphics processors for open source driver development. Today they released full specifications, no strings attached (in the form of NDAs that is). This comes after last week’s announcement that the new fglrx will offer a major improvement in performance for Linux users. As my computer has a obsolete Radeon 9600, I await the day when running Compiz Fusion is possible without the use of that ugly beast known as XGL. That date is set for October should I decide to stick with the fglrx driver. Hopefully by Christmas the open-source driver will be a truly viable option (I spent three days trying to get it to work with my 9600 with no luck).

On a side note, I received over a terabyte worth of hard drives plus other computer components. This time a good portion of the drives are 7200 RPM, and I now have a back-up motherboard (exact same model as my current). Ideally, I’ll add a 250GB hard drive to mtekktux to supplement it’s 80GB drive to turn it into a media and print server. Then I’ll replace my 160GB 5400 RPM hard drive with a 250 GB 7200RPM one for my XP drive, that should shorten the load times for maps in 2142.

-John Havlik

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WordPress 2.3 Beta 1

Guess what, WordPress 2.3 Beta 1 came out last week and after doing some initial testing, Breadcrumb Navigation XT will work as it currently does except for archives by tags. Since the default theme still has some work to be done to support tags properly, I will defer programming in support for tags until Beta 2 or 3. Feel free to do some playing around with WordPress 2.3 Beta 1 and Breadcrumb Navigation XT 1.9.3. And, by chance, if you find a bug report it please.

Oh, yeah, by the way, WordPress 2.3 as of Beta 1 does not support tags in syndication feeds, only categories.

-John Havlik

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Next DMP

While on a flight out to Philadelphia this past Monday I began thinking about the age of my current Digital Audio Player, Creative’s Zen Micro. The player is nice, and it does what I need and has a removable battery, which is a life saver for longer trips. I have this habit, however, which causes me to get a new portable audio device every three years. At the end of September, I will have had the Zen Micro for two and a half years. It’s time to look for a replacement. Playing MP3’s is good, but sometimes having the ability to play video would be nice. Transcoding sucks and I refuse to transcode my media files. Thus, many solutions out there today will not even be considered. In the real world, size matters, I need something that is about the same size as my current DAP, but a bigger screen would be nice.

As a runner, I would like to run with my DAP. Hard drive based players are not ideal for any high movement conditions. Previously, the Zen Vision:W caught my eye. However, it fills the ‘full sized’ market, too large for my tastes.

Creative has a new player now, the Zen (a recycled name). It is approximately the same size of my DAP, but at about half the thickness, which should be really nice (the Zen Micro should be about a quarter of an inch thinner to appeal to a larger market). Flash based, and available in 4GiB, 8GiB, and 16GiB versions, this would be perfect for running.

Sadly, the battery is not removable. However Creative is claiming over 25 hours of battery life when playing audio. An added bonus is the SD slot for expansion, even though my 5GB Zen Micro still has about 1GB free, storage expansion is always welcomed, especially if it is hot-swappable (in contrast to the Nomad II’s SmartMedia slot). I’ll probably get the 8GiB version since the 16GiB version is 100USD more expensive.

-John Havlik

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Breadcrumb Navigation XT Bug Fix

Some users, while trying to use the new administration system for Breadcrumb Navigation XT, had problems with the breadcrumb displaying. These users happen to be running PHP4. Since both my development environment and my web server run versions of PHP5, it is not a simple task of maintaining full PHP4 compatibility. In order to regain PHP4 compatibility version 1.9.2 was released today with a fix which is both in bad style and potentially dangerous. I am seeking a more elegant solution but until then this will have to do. Beginning with Breadcrumb Navigation XT 2.0.0, the way the Administration interface is handled will change and will eliminate the current problem.

-John Havlik

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Breadcrumb Navigation XT Version 1.9.0

Holy GUIs, Batman! Yep, the new Breadcrumb Navigation XT administration panel/GUI is finished and distributed with the new version. Other than the administration panel, some tweaks were made involving the behavior for attachment posts (which are broken for certain permalink structures until WordPress 2.4), search pages, and date archive pages. Attachment posts are properly supported and recognized as an attachment of a post instead of a post in the ‘uncategorized’ category. Now in search pages, the search terms are output into the breadcrumb along with a customizable prefix and suffix replacing the single title of previous versions. Date archive pages when the year, month, and day are specified now allow three of the most common wording orders: big endian (ISO standard), middle endian (common in the US), and little endian (common in Europe).

The next major version 2.0.0 will contain major changes and support for WordPress 2.3. It will not be released until a WordPress 2.3 preview release has been released. 2.0.0 will nearly be rewritten from the ground up to address some performance concerns I have about the current code. These mainly pertain to unnecessary redundant branch statements that require some major work to fix. Until then, do grab Breadcrumb NavXT from its project page.

-John Havlik

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