Tilt buttons and MX400 mouse under Fedora FC8

Spent a fruitless evening messing with xorg.conf trying to get the tilt buttons (6 and 7) working under FC8. Buttons 1..3, 4 & 5 (the wheel) and 8 & 9 (the side buttons) all work but not 6 and 7.

A bunch of guides on the net are either obsolete or just dont work. When I try get evdev to auto detect the mouse:

Option      “evBits”        “+1-2”
Option      “keyBits”       “~272-287”
Option      “relBits”       “~0-2 ~6 ~8”
Option      “Pass”          “0”

OR when I try:

Option      “Device” “/dev/input/event2”

OR when I try:

Option      “Name”   “Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse”

(from /proc/bus/input/devices) then X starts with a mouse cursor but its motionless and unresponsive to clicks.

I’m back to using

Driver      “mouse”
Option      “Protocol” “ExplorerPS/2”
Option      “Resolution” “800”
Option      “Device” “/dev/input/mice”
Option      “Buttons” “9”
Option      “ButtonsMapping” “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9”
Option      “ZAxisMapping” “4 5”

VMWare under Fedora FC8 + CCRMA Realtime Kernel

Getting VMWare running under a 2.6.24.2.1 realtime kernel:

Ensure you have gcc and gcc-c++ installed.

Download VMWare player from VMWare’s site. I downloaded ‘VMware-player-2.0.2-59824.i386.rpm’.

From here download the patch  http://rtr.ca/vmware-2.6.24/vmware-any-any-update115a.tgz

# yum install  VMware-player-2.0.2-59824.i386.rpm

Extract the any-any patch and run it.  It will prompt to run the configuration script. All the defaults worked for me and a link got created for vmplayer in the Applications->System Tools menu.

I was running the VM off an NTFS mount. To get it to allocate memory properly, I had to add this setting to the vmx file:

mainMem.UseNamedFile=”FALSE”

Replaced Matrox Parhelia with NVidia

My Matrox Parhelia 128 had been a reasonable 2D card under Windows but was becoming more of a struggle to keep going under Linux. Matrox’s little supported Linux drivers did not support the key feature of the card that I wanted – hardware zoom – and I couldn’t get Compiz Fusion (which has a nice software zoom) to work with it.

I bought an NVidia 7600GT to replace it; hardly the latest graphics powerhouse but I thought it would be more than good enough for running the Compiz desktop under Linux and maybe even the odd game.

The NVidia XP drivers support hardware zoom under Windows, so that feature was covered. Under Linux I eventually got Compiz going and its software zoom and other shiny graphical features are nice.

Hardware wise, the first thing I noticed was that the big bright fan heatsink was amazingly close to my GL824 card in the adjacent slot. I wedged a small plastic separator between the cards to make sure they dont bump.

Second thing I noticed is that the heatsink gets hot even if I’m not running the 3D desktop or doing anything graphic intensive. On a warm day it sat around 76 degrees. I got it down to 72 by underclocking the card (see below). I’ve then bumped up the rear case fan speed (making the machine more noisy), the temperature sits in the 60s now.

Guess I was too used to the power (and performance) miserly Matrox.

One thing that has me stumped; when X isn’t running, the card goes crazy heat wise, it gets to about 85C! What is it doing when X isn’t running? Is this a bug? I’ll have to try it under Windows when its sitting at a full screen CMD window to see.

Over/Under Clocking The 7600GT Under Linux

I found out how to enable clock adjustment in the card. In my xorg.conf I have:

Section “Device”
Identifier “Videocard0”
Driver “nvidia”
Option “AddARGBGLXVisuals” “True”
Option “Coolbits” “1”
EndSection

Then I’ve set this up to execute when my X session starts:

nvidia-settings -a GPUOverclockingState=1
nvidia-settings -a GPU2DClockFreqs=150,200
nvidia-settings -a GPU3DClockFreqs=150,200

This change brings the temperature down about 4 degrees. I must say I am a bit disappointed that so much heat (and power) is being wasted by the card when I’m not using the 3D capabilities. The world of graphics GPUs that use more power than the main CPU is very new and strange to me.