Your Graphics Card Sucks

I know that there are plenty of people out there that will vouch against what I am about to say, so if you are one of those, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

While running Windows XP Professional, my graphics card performed as a Radeon 9800 Pro (I actually have an ATI Radeon 9800se – the card that ATI knows nothing about). Thanks to a software modification, I was able to have my Radeon 9800se function as a Radeon 9800 Pro, and boy what a difference did it make! Staggering frame rates in all my games, including Half Life 2 and associated games! Needless to say, I was happy I had been a cheap skate, and bought the 9800se from eBay. Up until installing Windows Vista Ultimate, and a couple of games, my 9800se reborn, was “the ownage” in my little world. Come now the days of my Windows Vista adventure, and my 9800se reborn, plays games the same games like a 16MB Voodoo 2.

In other words, my graphics card now totally SUCKS the big one!!!1111. Even though I downloaded the Vista software modification, the resulting increase in performance was only that of a slight percentage, and for the first time (in regards to my graphics card), it caused my system to become unstable, and even blue screen! Yes! Vista has blue screens!

It seems that Windows Vista, really claims a lot of your video memory, just to run Windows, especially with Windows Aero enabled. Which is interesting, considering the same effects, in fact, even cooler and better effects, can be run on a 16MB voodoo 2, on a machine running Fedora 7, with Beryl/Compiz installed.

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News Flash! -:- Newer Version of This Guide based on CentOS 5.3 (32/64bit) and VMware Server 1.0.9 Available Here

So you just installed CentOS 5, as your host operating system for the latest version of VMware Server, 1.0.3. However, vmware-config.pl tells you it is missing something.

libXtst.so.6

What is libXtst.so.6? Well, to keep a long story short, libXtst.so.6 is a set of shared libraries that are used by the X Windows system. Although the term X Windows has now been deprecated in place of Xorg, the libraries are still required and still retain the same name.

To install the libraries that you require, just enter the following as root (or you could use sudo if you have it set up nicely):

yum -y install libX11-devel libXtst

Once you have those two and their dependencies installed, vmware will no longer complain about missing components, but you may come across another problem.

VMware requires GCC to be installed, so that it can compile a kernel module and run happily each day forever until the sun goes down. As root, type the following:

yum -y install gcc

OK, so now you have GCC installed. If VMware complains about how it can’t find your “C Header Files”, you may need to do the following, as root:

yum -y install kernel-headers kernel-devel

Now, some people will argue that you just need one, and not the other. In my opinion, just get both. That way when you install something else that needs the other later on, you will already have it! Besides, it’s not like you are giving up gigabytes of space, it’s just a few megabytes.

Lastly, VMware will probably look for your C Header files in the following location:

/usr/src/linux/include

Unfortunately, it won’t be there. As root, type the following:

mkdir /usr/src/linux

cd /usr/src/linux

ln -s /lib/modules/<your current running kernel>/build/include include

Run the setup one last time, and hopefully everything will be fine! Don’t forget to add your selected remote access port to your firewall!

If anyone requires any further assistance, feel free to post a comment here and let me know!

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Natural Selection

Which flavour of Windows Vista do you choose? With a Microsoft Technet Subscription at my fingertips, I could install any version I like, but not everyone has this advantage. Most will end up with Windows Vista Home Basic. Pirates will probably have Enterprise, before they realise what they actually wanted was Ultimate, those with money to burn will have Ultimate, and businesses will supposedly have Windows Vista Business. The full list of versions (according to Microsoft Technet) goes like this:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business Basic
  • Windows Vista Business Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise

You can check out a comparison here. Obviously there are academic variations of each of the above versions (excluding Enterprise), and I am sure there are many other types of versions as well (evaluation, pirate, trial etc). For the purpose of my “90 Days of Vista”, I will be using Windows Vista Ultimate.

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Tired of putting up with the same 3 – 4 year old ATI OEM graphics drivers that came with your laptop, because your laptop manufacturer has neglected to consider updating the drivers?

Just updated your laptop to Windows Vista, and want better graphics functionality then that of the WDDM driver?

Well, you have come to the right place, well… almost the right place! Check out the link below.

http://www.driverheaven.net/modtool/

That’s right, Mobility Modder modifies the official drivers and adds additional support for your ATI Mobility graphics device, which would otherwise be unsupported. For more information about how this actually work, please read the full documentation available on the same page.

NOTE: Please follow the guide in the link above exactly to the last letter. If you have Windows Vista, it is easy to get caught up at the “disable UAC (User Access Control)” step. There is a link with instructions on the same page. For your convenience, I have included it here also.