Thursday, 13 May 2010

Audacity Minus Compiz Equals Smiles

Still on the trail of the mysterious (and often data-fatal) Audacity crashes on the Dell, I have now turned off Compiz and defaulted to Metacity as my window manager. I have been switching between Compiz and Metacity using the handy little utility fusion-icon which is a small program available from the Ubuntu repositories. Once installed, you can run on demand or have it as a startup application sitting in the Notification area. Switching off Compiz is achieved through a menu option equivalent to the terminal command metacity –replace.

Net result? Only three crashes all week. And that's editing a bunch of audio including multiple projects and segmented two-hour podcast recording down to one hour.

I can't help thinking that the drastic reduction in crashes is a direct result. Audacity's GTK front-end is no longer fighting with Compiz over X-Org. Or X-Org is no longer having to referee. I don't know. It re-inforces my opinion that the nVidia Quadro in the Dell is a poorly-implemented piece of #### that no drivers in the world will ever get to work properly - because Audacity still crashed those three times and left X-Org running at 86% and Audacity at 46% doing something.
  • The geek in me wants to go trawling through the logs to find out what the heck is going on.
  • The user in me wants to throw the whole thing out the window and find something (anything) less geeky and more rewarding instead.
Life is too short to be messing around with nVidia graphics drivers, either their own or Open-Source. The Quadro is a mature (ok; ancient) and common piece of hardware and the thing should just work. It doesn't. If I weren't already a Linux stalwart, say, a new user, I'd have gone back to Redmond-M$ long ago. Before we talk about Linux going mainstream, this sort of thing has to stop.  RC

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