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Project Jalopy: Part 2, Middle of the Road Update —

My apologies, I know it’s been a while. I am coming out of one of the busiest parts of my work year. However it has not prevented me from messing with Project Jalopy here and there. I have quite a bit to report.

The actual install procedure barely differed from Dan’s install guide which can be found on his blog PPC Luddite. Obviously I used a x86 netinstall image instead of a PowerPC image. When it came time to partition the disk I just let the installer do it auto-magically as Debian will be the only operating system on Jalopy. Eventually I wound up with the openbox desktop environment along with most of the programs I wanted to run.

As I mentioned in the intro I was hoping to have the ability to run Minecraft on Jalopy. I ran into multiple challenges attempting to accomplish this. Minecraft would not even open until I had two things straightened out. I needed the actual Oracle JVM instead of the Open JDK and I needed the Nvidia drivers instead of the Nouveau driver. After a bit of Googling I got exactly what I needed. My Java issue was solved by this guide from Webupd8. This is really great because this downloads the Oracle Java installer via Webupd8’s PPA and whenever there is an updated installer I am notified when I apt-get update. Big thanks to webupd8! With the Java issue out of the way I moved on to the Nvidia drivers. The Debian Wiki came in handy here. It had exactly what I needed here. Since I had a GeForce FX5200 I had to install the version 173.14.35 driver. The install process went through without a hitch. After a reboot Minecraft opened and ran! However it did not run very well. Eventually I made a script with the switches suggested by this thread on Minecraftforum.net. The script did not make a big difference. It became evident that I was being limited by the FX5200. After some window shopping on Ebay I found a GeForce 6800 GS. It cost me roughly $44(USD). After I installed it and updated my Nvidia drivers I was finally able to play Minecraft! My FPS does not not light the world on fire but the game is playable. I would still like to load a simpler texture pack and play on a multiplayer server again and see if either one of those would help.


With the Minecraft more or less dealt with I have been customizing my desktop environment. I have been messing with conky quite a bit. Googling conky.rc configurations will get you an endless amount of configs and ideas for your conky.rc I started with a combination of the conky.rc shared by enifeder on this thread (post #954) and the conky.rc shared by rent0n86 on deviant art. I axed the top image, the gmail section and the updates section. I had to change the sensor name to reflect my CPU temp sensor. Frigginacky’s post (post #10) on this thread helped me get my GPU temp on my conky. I have yet to get hard drive and motherboard temperature monitoring working so I have those omitted at the moment. I added a “Distro” label with the help of bra|10n’s post (post #2) on this thread to show my distribution name. I added this script by pllb to show if I had available updates. All the other tweaks I made are purely cosmetic.


The last thing I will touch on in this post is browser performance. I have Iceweasel, Luakit and Chromium installed. I find Iceweasel to be the slowest of the three. I will admit that I have not learned how to effectively use Luakit yet. Chromium performs well however. What are your experiences with web browsers on Debian?

Part Two of Project Jalopy has come to a close. I will continue to tweak and play until I feel like I have enough to post for a part Three. This has been very fun and I have learned from this as well. There are two things I would like to leave you with. Google is a very powerful tool. If you are experiencing an issue or having a problem, search for it. Chances are someone else has already asked about it and gotten a solution. Last but not least, do not give up! Keep pushing! There is always a solution or way, and when you find you will have learned something.

Take care and thanks for reading!

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One Comment

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