Thursday, October 16, 2008

He must be raging mad!

He must be raging mad is probably the very thought of that high school teacher I met yesterday when I gasped in utter shock mixed with euphoria because openSUSE 11 worked on the damn projector without me tinkering with Xorg configuration for 20 or so minutes.

I was asked to give a lecture to an all-girl high school on the properties and evolution of stars, and I had an ODP presentation handy and ready to go. And to cover any contingency, I had it saved in Office 2003 version in case the laptop refuses to cooperate. A few minutes after my arrival at the school, I was at the auditorium setting up my laptop with the assistance of a very nice lady. I asked her if they have a spare laptop just in case my laptop experiences any problems, but there wasn't any. Then I explained to her that the laptop is running Linux and it might not work well with the projector, and she immediately replied:
Oh no, it's so easy, just press Fn + F4!
Yeah I wish. Usually, I use NVidia X Server Settings applet to setup a Twin View or a separate X screen, which doesn't work very well, if I don't lose my primary display to begin with. Sometimes, maybe depending on the projector itself, everything works fine, so in a way it was pretty much a gamble.

So I decided to do as the lady suggested, knowing in advance that this key combination never worked before. I pressed Fn+F4 and my screen flickered, a second after that, the projector was displaying a twin of my primary display in perfect resolution! I gasped with my eyes wide open, which probably perplexed the hell out of the teacher who probably thought there was some funny business going on.

So there you go, an issue that was a nuisance for many generations of distros and a source of embarrassment for many Linux users is now over, or at least over in openSUSE 11. Finally I can use Linux in my laptop without living in constant fear of being screwed over by X infront of 500 kids. I can already imagine myself saying:

Yeah, we use Linux to steer a 5 ton telescope, but the damn thing won't work with a 10 year old projector from Sony.

I don't think that will resonate very well.

But hey, it WORKS! Hats off to openSUSE 11! They really pulled off a solid distro this time around. Even the new NetworkManager supports my 3G Zain modem, so I can kiss goodbye wvdial hsdpa. In fact, I rarely need to fire up Konsole nowadays in my laptop to troubleshoot anything, and that's been since July 2008! Certainly looking forward to 11.1!

No comments: