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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Wed, 02 Oct 2013

AMD quietly releases Catalyst 13.10 beta for Linux

Update on Oct. 8, 2013: In the past day or so, AMD has revised its Radeon/Linux page to reflect that the Catalyst beta it is offering for download is version 13.10. Hopefully this means we are closer to a new stable release of the proprietary video driver as well as a new package from RPM Fusion (which you can watch for here).

Original entry from Oct. 2, 2013:

AMD has released a new beta of its Catalyst video driver for Linux.

You wouldn't know it by looking at AMD's Catalyst for Linux driver page (though the 13.8 beta link points to the 13.10 beta zip file).

But you would know it by looking at the separate page announcing the 13.10 beta.

As I've written previously, the AMD Radeon HD 7420g video chip (actually part of the AMD A4-4300M APU) in my HP Pavilion g6-2210us laptop will only render 3D graphics with the closed-source Catalyst driver. And it only suspended and resumed properly with the 13.6 beta version of that driver.

I'm hoping that by now -- the 13.10 beta -- or the next stable release that I can once again put the laptop to sleep and have it actually wake up afterward.

As I've also written previously, I don't use AMD's code directly because doing so is a recipe for failure.

I run Fedora (now version 19) and instead use the kmod-catalyst packages from RPM Fusion. RPM Fusion released a new version of the Catalyst driver, using the 13.8 beta 1 build for the 3.11 Linux kernel, on Oct. 1, 2013. I don't know if they'll ever push a 13.8 beta 2, or when they'll push a 13.10 beta.

But I'm very anxious for that to happen, as I really, really enjoyed my brief success with suspend/resume during the short 13.6 beta period.

Of course what I'd really like is working 3D acceleration and suspend/resume with the open-source Radeon driver on what is now a 6-month-old laptop. We Linux users must be patient. In my experience it takes about a year for the kernel and drivers to catch up with all bits of hardware on a machine.

It's an ugly truth. There are people out there who claim to have never had a problem with anything, ever, in terms of Linux and hardware compatibility. But that's not my experience, and probably not yours either.

So we wait, and we look for newer everything. Fedora just happens to be a great place to hang out and wait for new software. And that's why I'm here.