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Switch to Widescreen display, and Orac loses a brain.


  07:40:35 pm, by The Dreamer   , 57 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

Switch to Widescreen display, and Orac loses a brain.

Well, thought it was going to be another quick project....ended up taking the whole afternoon and then some.

I had gotten some speaker options using Amazon Prime, so that I could swap out the old 17" LCD monitor with built-in speakers for the Vison 21.6" MW22E-BAD monitor that had been bumped from Zen recently.

I decided I wanted something <$25 and USB powered, and I bought two choices...figuring that the other would go on Orac, since I've been wanting sound on there too for a while. I went a Coby Portable MP3 Speaker System CSMP48, Black and an Altec Lansing iML237USB ORBIT Ultra Portable USB-Powered Speaker.

I decided that I got with connecting the Coby to Gumby and putting it below the monitor...turned out it was the only one for the situation. The Coby has a 3.5mm jack to connect to the output and a mini USB jack with cable to power it. While the Altec only has the USB cord...it isn't just powered by USB, but it does its own sound. While that would work on either computer, it wasn't really what I had in mind for Gumby....or Orac. So, the Coby went in place and then I went to work on swapping the Vison 21.6" monitor into place.

Things looked weird on all computers, since I had to tell each computer about the change in display.

Gumby, Windows XP was a problem...in that it wouldn't let me set 1680x1050 at first. Eventually, I uninstalled the driver, rebooted and now it shows tons of modes that I'm not interested in. I set it to 1680x1050 and 60Hz and triggered an autoconf and done. I didn't decide on 60Hz right away, but that's where I settled. The other choices were 70Hz and 75Hz.

Then, BOX....I used the Monitor app to change things and it saw that the monitor was different and settled on 1680x1050 and 70Hz (again not first choice, but where I settled). Why...when they were all 75Hz...the had slightly different ideas on where the image was centered, so I went with 3 different verticals so the monitor would have the desktop properly positioned for all 3. Wonder what I'll do when I get LHAVEN going? &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

Then ORAC, which was harder....the Monitor app wouldn't see that resolution, and reconfigure has apparently gone away. Eventually, I discovered xrandr and cvt and got it working. As 1680x1050 and 75Hz.


Now the reality was that I went ORAC, BOX and then Gumby...and then back to ORAC to make things stick and see about the ghosting problem.

Well, decided the way to fix the ghosting problem was to switch back to the Integrated graphics....and it kind of worked...had lots of trouble because it kept looking for the Nvidia card first. And, failing and then working but not getting the monitor right....and why did they get rid of 'dpkg-reconfigure xorg-xserver'?

I yanked out the x-swat stuff, nvidia that way seems to have gone away.... still couldn't get the detection to work right, and was having trouble getting it to give me an xorg.conf to start with. Eventually, I invoked 'Xorg -configure' and got something to start with. cvt to get the modeline to get it show the login at the desired resolution as well as my session. And, that got things looking good again.

But, no Nvidia for BOINC. And, after lots and lots of reading and fiddling...looks like there's no way to get Nvidia to show up with the integrated graphics...guess I have one of those machines where the integrated graphics blocks add-in graphics cards. Not sure what I'm going to do with the card now (guess I could swap it for the GT420 in Zen, instead of getting the GTS450 that I've been wishing for....unless the price of a razor GTX460 comes into a point where I'd go for one).

Wonder if I got a DVI KVM, and got new video cards for Gumby and BOX...and went all DVI...would that make everything well again? &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

In the meantime...no GPU on ORAC for BOINC. Would've been nice if there was a way to have BOINC have exclusive use of the GPU while using integrated for display.....

There was a plan somewhere to get GPU's for Gumby and BOX....perhaps that should still happen.... &#58;&#99;&#114;&#97;&#122;&#121;&#58; Especially since it'll call for a new KVM (DVI to VGA doesn't work, because that's what I'm using on ORAC and the GT440 now....)

Well, so things were a total bust...I plugged the Altec speaker into Orac and got that working. For some reason I haven't been running the indicator applet on my desktop....guess I've never noticed it until now. &#58;&#114;&#111;&#108;&#108;&#58;

1 comment

Comment from: The Dreamer [Member]  

Last night new updates appeared, that required reboots….rebooting BOX messed up its video. First thing was to update grub to use vga=normal (like I had done with Orac to see any boot or the grub menu, though Box would show these things…it was badly shifted left…)

The login screen was wrong and the mouse didn’t work, and saw the keyboard sending unknown codes. Tried resetting cables, no help. Another reboot, no help….in fact X crash, spectacularly. With X down, I got it to make an xorg.conf file much like I had done with Orac…and then used CVT to generate the ModeLine and made the modifications to use that screen setting. Along with making the grub change at this point (since the vga problem wasn’t really bad until I was trying to fix xorg.conf….ended up ssh’ng from ORAC to do finish the edits.)

Then another reboot. vga screen was better positioned….and desktop came up right (slightly shrunk/distorted), the mouse worked….so I could log in. And, once in…I hit the auto configure button and it fixed the video adjustments. And all is good again.

Probably should’ve tested this sooner given the ordeal with Orac, but these are mainly non-headless servers….I want to approach 5-9’s of uptime. Figured out why Gumby freaks out so bad when BOX goes away recently though, it originally predated BOX and ORAC…and LHAVEN used to be my primary/only DNS. So Gumby used LHAVEN first for DNS….along the way BOX was added to gradually take over all the services away from LHAVEN….so when Gumby was upgraded, BOX got added as another DNS server for it.

Don’t know why I never thought to look before or how it didn’t get noticed. Once I had all the key services migrated from LHAVEN to BOX…I added ORAC as secondary DNS (and NTP)…simple things, since then its secondary for other things too. But, I never added Orac as a DNS server to Gumby. (nor took LHAVEN out of anywhere, guess I should…since its going to be away for a long time….might even be a year or more)

Anyways…I fixed the glitch on Gumby.

Someday what I need to do is completely reorganize my network….re-IP it too….but that’s probably never gonna happen. In fact, some of the ideas I have…I’m not really sure its possible to do with the kind of stuff I have, and I don’t think I’m going to buy commercial type switches and routers for my home network. Though may need to look at having cable and DSL in the same spot….

07/27/11 @ 07:50
Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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