Itsy Bitsy Spider

… or not so itsy, as the case may be. I recently purchased an Olympus μ700. Dang, I like those optics!

Anyway, we’re getting closer to autumn, and that means the spiders are growing in size and numbers in our garden.

These pictures (click to enlarge) show a very nice araneus diadematus, commonly known as cross-spider. Very common, but this one has a deep redbrown colour that I haven’t seen before around our place.

For more fun stuff about spiders, see:

BrokeBack Garden

Did some digging in the garden today to get rid of Vinca Minor, a.k.a. a pesky green creeper with nasty tangles of branches and roots.

It was just an area of about 10 sq. mtr., but the sweat was pouring down and everything hurt afterwards. I don’t know whether that’s an indication of my sorry physical state, or the stubborness of the Vinca.

In any case, the result is that we now have the area cleared for paving.

Suspend on Dell XPS M1210 (2.6.18-rc4 + Suspend2)

Got a Dell XPS M1210, dual core 2.17GHz processor.

Compiled 2.6.18-rc4 with Suspend2 patches. Hibernate works fine, as well as suspend-to-ram… That is, as long as I don’t use the nVIDIA proprietary driver. With the “nv” driver it works fine, although the cursor does weird things.

It’s pretty clear that the nVIDIA driver is causing this. The issue is that nVIDIA drivers are unreliable when used on a laptop where suspending (and subsequent resuming) is quite an important feature.

Some (that would be nVIDIA) say the binary blob driver relies very closely on the ABI of the kernel and is thus very sensitive to bugs or subtle changes of the ABI from one kernel version to the other.

I say it’s a weak argument. This dependency can easily be circumvented by releasing proper open source drivers, or writing a more robust wrapper around the blob. Either that, or speed up the updates, guys! I currently have to choose between using TwinView and 3D acceleration on one hand, and the ability to suspend and resume on the other. It’s tough…

SBLive! Value + Alsa = no mic recording

Urgh. Used to work, now it doesn’t. Hail to the penguin.

Microphone plugged into SBLive! card. Turn microphone on. Use Gnome audio mixer to turn mic on. Can hear my own voice amplified over the speakers. Now try to record using Rosegarden, Ardour, or Audacity. Foggedaboudit.

Possible answer?

Another handy link:

And maybe:

Anyway, here I was thinking that ALSA drivers are well-documented things. Turns out most of the cards are reverse-engineered, so even though the Alsa mixer controls have names, their meaning is not always clear…

Will try tomorrow.