rekonq 0.7.0 now in updates-testing

Just a short heads up to let you all know that rekonq 0.7.0 is now in updates-testing for F14, F15, F16 and devel.

rekonq 0.7.0

- General Cleanup
– OpenSearch support (XML & JSON parsers)
– Better cache management (WebKit Page Cache feature support)
– Enhanced Private Browsing mode (needs KDE SC 4.6)
– New restore session notification system
– Images in visual suggestions
– Various improvements in bookmarks management
– Optional tab list menu entry
– User Agent switch support
– Save zoom settings per host

rekonq 0.7.0

rekonq 0.7.0

Updating is simple:

yum –enablerepo=updates-testing update rekonq

or when not already installed you could do a simple:

yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install rekonq

Android 2.2.1 for Archos 7 Home Tablet v2

The user “birdiebnl” on the ArchosFans.com forums has found a way to put Android 2.2.1 on your Archos 7 Home Tablet v2. I haven’t personally tried it yet but I wanted to share it nonetheless. :)

Some of the features in this ROM include:

  • A working version of Android 2.2.1.
  • Sensors seem to work.
  • The Google Market also seems to work.
  • Build number froyo1.00 MASTER.eng.temp.20110225.134212.
  • Everything else seems to work as expected.

There is even rooted version available by the user “hvdwolf”. This includes even more software. A link can be found in the topic below;

The ROM and installation instructions can be found here: Custom ROM for A7HTV2: Android 2.2 (7HTV2_22.03)

As clearly stated, keep in mind that this is not a valid way of updating your device and that it’s not guaranteed for you although it does for most people. And it could void your warranty, as far as I know. That’s the only thing which stopped me from trying it myself at this point. I’m pretty sure that curiosity will take over any time soon though. :)

If either “hvdwolf” or “birdiebnl” is reading this, keep up the good work guys!

Archos 7 Home Tablet v2 (8GB)

About two weeks ago I decided that I would like to own a tablet PC (with Android). So after a view days of in-depth research and giving things a good thought, the Archos 7 Home Tablet v2 (8GB) caught my eye. Having a tight budget (I don’t want to spend that much on something that is just a play-thing), I figured that it was the right choice for me.

With a price of ~ € 150,- euros it’s not too expensive and it’s good value for money. It does what it has been designed to do; it plays movies, can do some simple web-browsing, allows you to read E-books, runs some simple games and it can play some music. There is a more expensive Archos 7 Internet Tablet available (~ € 249,- / € 299,-) which does the about same but has a more recent Android version (Android 2.2 “Froyo”), capacitive multitouch screen, better 3D support and a better CPU. Considering I just wanted to watch some movies when traveling and being able to grab a browser when I need one, it was not worth the extra € 100,- for me.

The Archos 7 Home Tablet v2 has a 7” TFT LCD resistive touch screen running at 800×480 pixels supporting up to 16 million colors. It is powered by a 800MHz CPU (ARM9 / Rockchip RK2818) (600 MHz in v1 of the tablet) and it runs on Android 2.1 “Eclair” (v1 runs Android 1.5 “Cupcake”). It also has an Accelerometer, something the v1 model of the tablet didn’t have. It has 8GB of internal storage and can be expanded by micro SDHC. I bought mine together with a class 4, 8GB micro SDHC card from Kingston, that means plenty of space for now.

Some of the other specs, worth mentioning, are:

  • Video playback: H.264 up to 720p resolution – 30 fps / 2.5 Mbps. MPEG-4 – 30 fps / 2.5 Mbps and Realvideo up to 720p resolution – 30 fps / 2.5 Mbps
  • Video playback time: up to 7 hours
  • Audio playback: MP3, WMA (non protected), WAV3, APE, OGG, FLAC, AAC
  • Music playback time: up to 42 hours
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g)
  • Dimensions: 203 mm x 107 mm x 12 mm – 388 g

It also has one USB port which can function as a host and slave port. This means that you cannot only connect your computer to your device to transfer files and stuff but that you also can connect an external source to it such as a keyboard, mouse or external storage. Archos sells a special converter (costs around € 10,- + € 14,- shipping) for this purpose. But there is an alternative too, after reading some inspiring pages about creating such cable yourself, I got eager to create one myself. Although, I didn’t want to cut op one of my micro USB cables for that. I went looking for pre-built cables and found out that a shop in the region sells a micro USB a to USB female converter, so I went to get one. Once playing, I found out that it works perfectly fine and it cost me only € 3,- + € 0,50 for parking. It was not a problem to connect a full-size keyboard or a mouse. The tablet recognized them out of the box. So now I only need to get me a USB hub so I can connect them at the same time. :)

The device in general feels like it’s well built. It’s heavier than for example the larger 101 Internet Tablet (which feels, well, kind of cheap – imho). Operation is just like any other Android touch-interface device except for the fact that the tablet doesn’t have any physical buttons. Which brings me immediately to an other point, it has no support for the Google Market. You have to rely on a market called “AppsLib“. Personally I don’t think it’s the best market around. The software feels kind clumsy and the apps aren’t that exciting as the ones in the Google Market. Luckily I found out about F-Droid, a FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) market for Android. It has fewer apps but then again, you cannot run that many apps anyway. I installed me a few (simple!) games, a decent E-book reader and a unit converter besides the video player, browser, music player and some other stuff which is installed by default.

Watching movies is a piece of cake, just load some (*.AVI) files onto your device and start the video player. I haven’t found anything in my (small) collection that couldn’t be played yet. Same for music, by the way. Internet uses the stock Android browser. You could install Opera or an other browser if you like. Flash is not supported, the Android version is too old. But in general, browsing works just fine and I haven’t had any problems with the sites that I visit.

My pros;

  • Good value for money
  • Play movies and music just fine
  • Regular web-browsing does it’s job
  • Can be rooted (good to know for when the warranty expires)

My cons;

  • Not likely to receive any official updates to newer versions of Android (or any updates at all)
  • It’s a resistive touch screen (motions detected by pressure) which means that it not always responds that good (capacitive screens respond to conduction which is way more accurate)
  • Charging seems to take a while and I think the battery life isn’t as good as advertised.  I’m only in my 3th cycle though, maybe it will improve (it can easily do 1.5 hour of movie time plus around 5 days of standby though)

Well, this is it for now. I hope that this can be of any use who is considering to buy a cheap tablet. This has been my first post since a long while, from now on I am planning on posting more and regularly about Fedora, Android, (F)OSS software and photography or a combination of them.

And last, but not least, some images:

  • I used my HTC Desire for size reference in one of the pictures
  • Box consists of 1 device, 3 different power plugs, in-ear headphones, micro USB cable and some booklets.
  • The wallpaper I am using is “Photoshop Geek” by Derek Prospero.
  • The micro USB connector I bought at a shop called Het Onderdelenhuis in Groningen.

Finally new nVidia drivers (173.14.27) for legacy (GeForce 5xxx) cards!

Proprietary drivers only though.

But at least they are compatible with xorg 1.8 and that means shiny desktop effects within Fedora 13 again for me. I must admit that the nouveau driver has come a long way recently although I never got the desktop effects to run as smoothly as they do with the proprietary drivers. And therefor I’m quite happy with nVidia releasing these drivers.

Since I don’t really mind using them ( and I’m too impatient to wait for RPMFusion to include these drivers into their repository’s :) ) here’s a quick guide on installing these proprietary drivers:

1. get the 173.14.27 drivers:

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=2288105

2. keep nouveau compatibilty [1]

su –
mv /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r)-nouveau.img
dracut /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img $(uname -r)

3. blacklist the nouveau driver by adding the following lines to your kernel parameters in /etc/grub.conf [1]

rdblacklist=nouveau nomodeset

4. when selinux is enabled, lower the system protection

setsebool -P allow_execstack on

5. make sure you’ve installed the kernel headers (kernel-headers) for your running kernel and a compiler (gcc) [2]

6. reboot to runlevel 3 (reboot, to make sure nouveau is not loaded else the nVidia drivers will fail to install)

7. find the drivers, make them executable (chmod +x NVIDIA-Linux-x86-173.14.27{-pkg0} or {-pkg1}.run) and run the installer (sh ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86-173.14.27{-pkg0} or {-pkg1}.run) and follow the instruction.

8. reboot

9. enjoy

[1] Howto/nVidia

[2] Fedora Nvidia Driver Install Guide

rekonq 0.5.0 in updates-testing

Right, it has been a while since my last post. I don’t have anything else but the excuse that the real life™ caught up on me. :)

Anyway, a new version of rekonq has been released upstream and has now hit updates-testing for F-12 and F-13 (and let’s not forget rawhide). My last post was about version 0.3.0 and there sure have been a lot of improvements since then, you’ll find a short list below. I’m still impressed by this spiffy little browser. In my humble opinion it has everything that a browser needs. Well, perhaps not everything yet (I could use some webdevelopertools a la firebug / webdeveloper) but someone is / was working on a plug-in framework so that gives me some hope for the future. :)

Next version in line is going to be version 1.0, if I’m not mistaking. By then rekonq should be a mature browser with a nice set of features and most bugs would be squashed. At least 0.5.0 is an other step in the right direction.

rekonq 0.5.0

Installation:

yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install rekonq

Updating:

yum –enablerepo=updates-testing update rekonq

What’s new in 0.5.0:

* improved adblock, automagically updating filter lists (+abp scheme support)
* RSS support
* new urlbar (tech preview): it’s just nice and more will come..
* auto-scrolling
* downloads history tracked
* SSL Info support
* Bookmarks & history panels improvements
* bugfixing & users wishes

What’s new in 0.4.0:

* moved to kdewebkit (this means based on kde 4.4)
* kwallet support
* KIO full support (cookies, cache, proxy, network)
* file: & ftp: protocol easy handling
* improved rekonq pages (in the about: protocol)
* multithreaded url resolver (hopefully, no more UI freezes)
* adblock support, first part (load manually links, for now…)
* improved fullscreen mode
* embedded inspector (A-LA firebug)
* first kget integration
* optional “clickToFlash” feature
* tons of bugs fixed

rekonq 0.3.0 in updates-testing

Just a quick heads-up that rekonq 0.3.0 has been pushed to updates-testing for F-10, F-11 and F-12 today.

What’s new:

- Final UI (just some elements missing)
– new icon
– multi windows support
– KDE proxy setting support
– “new tab home page” (tech preview)
– Initial handbook added
– tab previews
– save & restore session support

Installation:

yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install rekonq

Updating:

yum –enablerepo=updates-testing update rekonq

If it doesn’t work right away you probably have to wait until mirrors are synced. :)

rekonq 0.2

Last weekend Orcan Ogetbil finished the review on rekonq (thanks again!). rekonq is a new web browser designed for KDE. It’s small, light-weight, built with Qt and based on WebKit. Here’s a screenshot:

rekonq WebKit KDE browser

rekonq WebKit KDE browser

Currently it’s queued for -testing for F-10 [1] and F-11 [2] and can be installed from rawhide right away. Just a simple “yum install rekonq” will do the trick for rawhide users. As soon as it gets pushed for F-10 and F-11 you could use “yum install rekonq –enablerepo=updates-testing”. And people who can’t wait for it to get pushed, could grab it from Koji [3]. Just download the RPM and install it the way you prefer.

This has been my first real packaging challenge and I expected to know more than I did. Anyway it has been quite a learning experience and I’m pretty sure any following releases / packages will go a lot smoother. :)

[1] https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/rekonq-0.2.0-3.fc10
[2] https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/rekonq-0.2.0-3.fc11
[3] http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=9214

KDE 4.3.1

Thanks to the Fedora KDE SIG, KDE 4.3.1 is now located in updates. That means that you can use your favorite package manager to update to the latest version of KDE. This version of KDE brings us many improvements in the kdepim section, many Kmail bugs have been fixed. To see what’s new in KDE 4.3.1, have a look at the changelog or have a look at release announcement.

The SIG was also able to fix 2 other bugs in the process:

520661CVE-2009-2702: kdelibs: kssl incorrect verification of SSL certificate with NUL in subjectAltName
519654
– kdebase-workspace hijacks the gtk policykit authentication dialog

Fedora and KDE

If you would like to see more of KDE in Fedora then give Kevin Kofler a vote at the FESCo Elections.

Do you want the KDE SIG to be represented in FESCo? Do you want KDE to get
treated as a first-class citizen in Fedora? Do you want to stop the
misleading abuse of the word “desktop” to mean “GNOME”? Are you fed up of
proposed censorship of things like country flags which destroys our right
to free speech and hurts KDE? Or maybe you are unhappy with the current
FESCo and want to give a chance to a new face? If so, vote for “Kevin
Kofler (Kevin_Kofler)” at the FESCo elections, starting tonight at midnight
UTC. My answers to the election questionnaire can be found here:
http://fpaste.org/paste/14139

[source]

And on a side note,

I voted!

I voted!

Missing grub splash screen / background

Does your grub either look like this:

No grub background

No grub background

or this

No grub background

No grub background

Than you should change your grub.conf a bit to make it properly work. This happens when hiddenmenu is enabled and when a timeout has been set. A known workaround is adding “verbose=0″ to your grub.conf.

Below you’ll find my grub.conf:

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
#
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE:  You have a /boot partition.  This means that
#          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
#          root (hd0,0)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/sda2
#          initrd /initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/sda
default=0
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
hiddenmenu
verbose=0
title Fedora (2.6.29.4-167.fc11.i586)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.29.4-167.fc11.i586 ro root=UUID=b90e7788-3eeb-4ccd-a5be-4ed900405e95 rhgb quiet
        initrd /initrd-2.6.29.4-167.fc11.i586.img
title Fedora (2.6.29.3-155.fc11.i586)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.29.3-155.fc11.i586 ro root=UUID=b90e7788-3eeb-4ccd-a5be-4ed900405e95 rhgb quiet
        initrd /initrd-2.6.29.3-155.fc11.i586.img
title Fedora (2.6.29.3-140.fc11.i586)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.29.3-140.fc11.i586 ro root=UUID=b90e7788-3eeb-4ccd-a5be-4ed900405e95 rhgb quiet
        initrd /initrd-2.6.29.3-140.fc11.i586.img

I’ve found the solution in this bugreport: Bug 473319 – GRUB background is only shown around text, rest of the screen remains black and I was able to pull the trick on Fedora 10 and Rawhide.