Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Linux Autodesk Maya 2012 in Virtualbox

Posted by Admin • Wednesday, February 22. 2012 • Category: Linux
Maya does not appear to have a Linux version, so where I have a single machine, I want to run it in VirtualBox - in either Windows XP or Windows 7. I've successfully installed it in both, 32 and 64 bit, and it installs and starts up just fine. The fun comes later. There are two serious problems:
  1. Alt+Mouse doesn't work. Well, this has to do with my window manager more than anything - Alt+Mouse is usually used in Linux. I'm not willing to change that - but fortunately, Alt-Shift+Mouse does something fairly similar in Maya
  2. 3D repainting is completely messed up. In fact, there are two things that don't work immediately - selection on the 3d pane (pointer appears to be below the screen) and the Spacebar popup menu (also below the screen). Fortunately, this can be fixed with a bit of sacrifice: turn off 3d (I turned off 3d and 2d) acceleration in Virtualbox settings.

  3. And it works! (not horribly slow either)

Linux Using dual widescreen monitors on old hardware with Ubuntu

Posted by Admin • Tuesday, February 21. 2012 • Category: Linux
My primary development machine is probably 10 years old - it's a Thinkpad T42 in a docking station (Dock II). This is fine - it's fast enough for most purposes, it runs dual monitors, and it uses very little power so I can leave it on at all times.

Not so fine once I got a 24" monitor to go with the standard 20".

First, the DVI hardware in the docking station can't handle high resolutions - it worked fine at 1280x1024, but not so great at 1920x1080. That's OK, I can drive the widescreen with VGA, I can't tell the difference. But now everything on the screen repaints very, very slowly - I mean really slowly - 1/2 a frame per second. This is bad. OK so the video chip in the laptop wasn't intended to drive a combined 3200 x 1080 resolution - but what can I do about it?

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