Friday, February 13, 2009

Hey, did you know Envy can be a good thing?

Just the facts please.

First: my current position requires some learning of several basic computing languages, of which I have little or no prior knowledge.

Second: computer programmers (a.k.a. geeks) prefer an operating system called Linux. This OS is open source and free. Its based on UNIX and so is more similar to Mac than PC. There are also seemingly hundreds of distribution types ("distros").

Third: I use Linux Mint as my distro (currently Mint 6: Felicia).

Fourth: computer "geeks" in my field also like having dual monitors. I like this too.

Fifth: A good thing about Linux is that since its all open-source, there is less "junk" in the OS. I'm sure all my fellow Windows users can attest to how XP or Vista likes to assume what we want and/or need. I'll add my Apple disclaimer now: Macs combine properties of PC and Linux...that, overall, make it worse than both...the "whole being less than the sum of its parts" so to speak. The details of this statement are not necessary for this post.

Sixth: referencing my 4th and 5th points, some of the proprietary drivers (e.g. for dual monitors) are not included and can be more of a hassle (than say in XP) to install and manual configuration is often necessary.

: OK. On to my real issue here. My dual monitor settings would reset to single monitor (simply turning one monitor off) after each restart of my computer. Very annoying!! The search for the solution began!!

Eight: I remember having this problem when using Mint 5 (Elyssa). Having just installed Mint 6, I had forgotten how I solved this monitor issue. All I could remember was that there was a download package that fixed it and it had a short one-word name that was somehow ironic or cute.

Nine: it took me several hours to find it in Linux forums (most of the "geeks" manually program the files themselves to fix it and so its much more complicated to do it their way...Linux users seem to really love doing things the more complicated way). But I found it!! And now I'm posting this info on my blog so if I need it again, I can find it fast! Maybe I will go back to all the Linux forums and post there too because its really a much simpler solution.

Ten: The solution is to download ENVY. its a program by an Italian dude. This is ironic/cute because the Italian word for "envy" is "invidia" and the video driver that this works with is the NVIDIA driver. Thank you Alberto Milone!! You rock!!!


*image created using GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)...basically a free photoshop.


I spoke too soon! ENVY does not work with Mint 6! Therefore, I'm taking this opportunity to try out some other Linux distros. I will try PCLinux2007, PC-BSD, OpenSUSE 11.0, and Dreamlinux. I really like Mint though, so I might just revert to Mint 5 since I know it works. One final note: I have a dual-boot system, so my Windows is always ready!

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