Category: blog

Dell XPS 15 9550 was the most problematic device for me

After research I’ve found that not only me is struggling with this device, and after having experience with two 9550 i7 4k I suspect that this device was released in hurry without proper QA and probably because of that Dell has introduced a successor 9560 what as far as I know didn’t inherit problems of predecessor.

I decided to have one due some reasons:

  • I prefer Linux / Windows system rather than macOS
  • I had good experience with Dell before
  • I tried to have something powerful and light (I still use Asus K95N what is questionably mobile)
  • I wished to have 4K
  • Battery life

After having this deice almost 1 year, I wouldn’t buy 4k display, Windows and Linux have problems with supporting HIDPI and LowDPI displays at the same time (link).

#1 Problem of brand new device

In many cases I have to double verify if the problem it’s not me. I mean I have highly customized system, like custom shell, own entries in system PATH, some tools what I use day by day.

Subtle flickering of screen

This issue was present when display was dimmed, it was pretty annoying at night, so that a comfortable work wasn’t possible. Fortunately this issue has been fixed with some of the recent BIOS update.

Random freeze

So when I started to see that PC randomly freezes I did reinstall, then I did Linux installation, then I started to search on the Internet if somebody has the same problem. Apparently yes, many of people. In most cases people were pointing on SSD Samsung drivers, nVidia GPU or WiFi card. Unfortunately symptoms weren’t exactly how they described. Most typical example for me was watching YouTube video, then any IO stopped to work but video was playing nice, when the video went out of buffer it stopped to play.

Misaligned hole for Jack

The problem was that, when I plugged it headset (any jack device) the right channel wasn’t playing. I had to use a file to expand a hole, so that any pressure was applied on jack and I started to play a sound correctly on both channels.

 

After having all of above you can imagine my frustration, fortunately when I asked Dell on FB what to do, they helped me. So my warranty repair included:

  • Changing Motherboard
  • Changing SSD
  • Changing WiFI

 
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Blog was moved to trzeci.eu domain.

The blog has been moved back from asria.pl host to trzeci.eu host. Nevertheless, the old alias will be still active as a 301 redirection (until DNS and CNAME will propagate).

 
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Configure graphic and sound for WSL (Creators Update) for Ubuntu 16.04

Information

This is an update for http://asria.pl/configure-graphic-and-sound-on-wsl/

New version of WSL brings lots of fixes and updates: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2017/04/11/windows-10-creators-update-whats-new-in-bashwsl-windows-console/.
Unfortunately it’s still impossible to play a sound out of the shelf. The major problem is connected to the lack of direct support for audio devices. The solution is to use PulseAudio, what creates a server on Windows host, and this server plays a sound what is passed from Linux.

The problem with this solution is that it’s not supported:

Thanks to @therealkenk we can pull modified library for Ubuntu 16.04, like it was possible for 14.04: https://github.com/Microsoft/BashOnWindows/issues/486#issuecomment-299682364

Demo

In the following part I will present Base setup, what’s needed to do required steps manually, further you can find “Installation script” what does everything automatically, please choose wisely.

 
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Configure graphic and sound on WSL

This is more like a notebook entry, rather than full tutorial.

References:

In this post I will describe how to install WSL on Windows 10, configure X11 to run any Linux application in GUI mode, and fix missing sound problem.

 
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2016 wasn’t the year of Linux for me.

From the beginning of 2016 I decided to move permanently to Linux as a primary system. I thought through decently this decision. So that I did a list of programs, tools that I use day by day on Windows.

 

Challenge 1: Find a stable and well supported Linux Distribution.

A list of choice was rather not so impressive: Debian, Arch and everything that bases on those. After few installations on a virtual machine, I decided to go in Ubuntu.

Installation itself was in like flynn, every device on Asus K95VM worked nicely.

Challenge 2: Customization.

First month I spent for making a system tailor made, mostly from visual and UX aspect. It’s amazing how far a system can be changed, also it was surprise how different is on Linux to install a video player that just works.

In case of development tools I fall in love to Terminator console emulator. ZSH+oh-my-zsh+terminator provide far better workflow than ConEmu+clink.

Challenge 2: Missing WebGL.

Firefox didn’t enable support for WebGL for my setup, although it’s pretty powerful. One change in Firefox’s settings and I’ve got support for it. This made me to think about update a graphic driver for my primary nVidia card. This was my first mistake. I did update and upgrade, then I navigated to a control panel of Additional Drivers and I selected then highest number. After this system didn’t start properly, and I spend half a day trying to restore it. Eventually I managed to downgrade to 340.96. Right now my laptop works with 367.57 binary driver, and even if I can select 370.28 I’m simply to afraid to do it.

Challenge 3: Support by other companies.

In this case Logitech. Even if mouse works nicely, there is no way to customize all mouse buttons. Somehow I manage to live without my custom settings. Unfortunately, it’s not my level to write my own drivers for it.

Challenge 4: Open/Libre Office.

As a free alternative to Microsoft Outlook, Libre office does amazing job. Literally in normal home-usage cases I haven’t find anything missing. Once I needed to use more advanced pivot table techniques in LibreCalc, I admit that we reached a limit. Don’t understand me wrong. Libre Office for home usage and probably in many cases for a professional usage is fine.

Challenge 5: Energy management.

K95 is not an example of mobile laptop I did few travels with him and I had to rely on embedded energy management. What I didn’t find much useful. I know that due a level of customization one can configure Linux to be very efficient, but from a noobie point of view there is no simple option that could simplify it. As a result of my incompetence and lack of tool, I didn’t manage to have more than 50% of the time that I could have on Windows.

Challenge 6: Multi screen configuration.

No surprises here, unless one of screen is set in portrait mode. In my case my GPU didn’t allow me to put a monitor to portrait mode. I’m not even talking about having a nice GUI that could allow to do it, in my case simple xrand didn’t work.

I found few cases that windows manager didn’t handle multi-screen configuration. It’s not uncommon that once a window is moved to another screen then the windows moves back to an original screen.

Layout manager for Unity/Ubuntu is not such useful like in Windows 10. It allows only to move a windows to right/left half and it’s always hardcoded 50%. It’s far better in case of i3wm or awesome, but this requires more time to learn.

Positive aspects.

Miscellaneous tools useful for development like: valgrind, sanitizers ltrace, strace are amazing.

System update works how it should work, so that I didn’t have to restart my system only because system update.

Early access to the newest compilers, so that it’s easy to learn new techniques (C++ especially).

System looks far better than any Windows, every step can be scripted, and due a convention of storing settings in ~ folder, it’s easy to reinstall system, and have an environment works rapidly.

 

Current setup

I didn’t uninstall Linux from laptop, it’s there still as a development machine, nevertheless where It’s needed better performance in a travel I use an other – windows based laptop. Also I found that Window 10 + WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) fulfills a missing part of lack of tools, so that it’s so far my configuration of choice.

 

 

 
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Configure ConEmu and clink to show git branch

This is an extension to http://asria.pl/customize-conemu/ but int this case in a form of a tutorial / guideline that will help me (and maybe you) to mirror this setup.

The description shows how to configure conemu and clink, and display name of current branch:

 

 
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Windows 10 support of Hi-DPI and Low-DPI displays

Although Windows 10 has significantly improved support for high density displays I do have some strange issue, that I cannot confirm it’s a bug in my setup, or this is something not fixed yet.

 

 
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Do right things rather that do things right

I think that problem what I had on the beginning was that I tried to make something in perfect way. With perfect architecture. Sometimes it was almost over-engineered but I was proud because of that. I was so stupid. I waste so much time because of that.

Problem of this way of thinking is that I cannot be sure that some solution, or project will be the right one. Sometimes client just says “No, I don’t like it”. Sometimes it is OK, but after a while there is revolution in project and this particular feature will be trimmed off.

I think that it’s better to be able to create several prototypes in not right way. But this gives opportunity to choose the best one, and if I am sure that this is right way I can spend some time to improve it. Even I can delegate this to someone.

In other case I’ve got crap what has been written in perfect way.

 
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FlashDevelop is on the GitHub!

Regarding to forum post: (http://www.flashdevelop.org/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10961)

We finally did it: FlashDevelop is now under git.

For obvious size reasons (unless you want to download a gigabyte of git objects) only the current state of the code has been archived.

The svn repository will remind us of our long history: in 2004/2005 there was nothing like github. Even Google code only appeared in March 2005 and it quickly became FlashDevelop’s code home.

In the last few years git tool, hosting and clients have become a lot better than the svn offering (does Google still cares about Google code?) and we realize that svn makes us waste a lot of time, especially for a relatively large project with lots of contributors like FlashDevelop.

And there it is, fork FlashDevelop on github:
https://github.com/fdorg/flashdevelop

For good measure, I’d like to remind that bitbucket is another fantastic host, offering even free private repositories for small projects. The company behind bitbucket offers the great, and crossplatform, SourceTree client for free (github tools are toys in comparison).

Now we have an opportunity to improve the best open source IDE to Flash. Move to C# in quite easy.

Enjoy!

 
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new Blog();

My last portfolio.

 
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