Saturday, April 27, 2013

Goodbye Fedora 18

When Alan Cox called Fedora 18 the worst Linux distro ever I thought he was being a little dramatic, and just happened to run into installation woes unique to his system and needs.

A month into running Fedora 18 on my laptop and desktop, I have to say, Fedora 18 may not have been the worst distro ever in January, but by March it was well on it's way. 

The biggest issue for me is the amazing number of kernel updates which are coming down the pipeline, often breaking my system.  The idea of "rawhide" being the bleeding edge and the rest of Fedora 18 being stable and secure has been completely forgotten.  For the past two months I have had no more than 2 weeks without a new kernel release, and sometimes 2 a week.  It's simply not possible to keep a distro reliable with that level of changes going into the mainline. 

At some recent point, my hard won battle to use the proprietary ATI drivers so I could game and work broke down completely.  

What  am I going to?  Ubuntu for now, though I hear the rumblings about Canonical and developers being out of sync in terms of who the community and who the driving elements should be.   With a nine month upgrade cycle and 2 year LTS versions I am willing to forego getting the latest MySQL DB or MariaDB, Apache releases, etc. for a stable system with good support for games, music management and an up to date Eclipse system, even if it has a crazy ass web-search oriented desktop and a package installer I do not like as much. 

Goodbye Fedora.  Call me when you figure out what good you are besides a place to crowdsource the testing of new kernel patches. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Theta Casanova and Casablanca I HDMI Upgrade

There are a lot of people who are rediscovering just how good the DAC's in the Theta Casanova are, especially with 96/24 program material.  Oh, right, most people dont' know this but the Casanova's play 96/24 just fine.  I'm listening to NPR through my Squeezebox touch and a Casanova right now.

There are also a lot of Casablanca I and II's out there which won't be upgraded.  Fear not, there are solutions.

There's just absolutely nothing wrong or outdated about the sound coming out of these, and for $399 or less for the Casanovas on the used market they are serious contenders for most DAC's out there at $2,000 or less.   So what do you do?

Upgrade it!

Get an external HDMI switcher with digital audio out and infrared remote control such as:

Monoprice 4 to 1 HDMI switch
Used along with the Home Theater master learning remote with macro capabilities:

URC Learning Remote

And you'll have a music and home theater processor which simply can't be embarrassed  for under $10K.

Full disclosure: I want to pump up the price of the Casanova's on the used market so I can afford a Supernova when they come out! :)