Logitech Premium Stereo Headset

A month or so ago I was getting ready to call someone on Skype. For some reason I had my Logitech USB headset unplugged. I plugged it in and the volume was extremely loud. Everytime I would go into the volume control (in Windows) and bring the volume down it would simply go back up to the loudest level. I plugged it into the Mac and it wouldn’t do that. You could increase the volume but you could not decrease the volume. The only way to decrease the volume was to adjust it using the OS controls.

I took the switch apart because I thought it might be sticking. While I had the volume control casing removed I plugged it into both computers and it still done the same thing. I put it back together, moved a wire to a different location and still the same thing happened. I figured it was time for a new one. For some reason these things never last as long as they should.

I think the reason the previous headset lasted so long was because I was able to plug it into the USB hub on my desk. With the headsets I had prior to the USB model I was constantly rolling over the cables with my chair because they were plugged into the side of my computer tower. This time I couldn’t afford to pay extra to get the USB model so I purchased the standard analog headset from Logitech.

This new pair looks almost identical to the old pair. The only major difference is the color and the fact that the old one had a USB connector. The new set is a lot more comfortable. The padding is a lot softer. I am able to wear the new set longer without my ears feeling like they are in a vice.

The audio quality of the new set is much better as well. I’ve always been told that analog is a lot better and I definitely agree with those people now. Several people have commented that I sound a lot clearer when I am talking to them on Skype. The only thing that took some time getting use to was listening to music with the new set. I’ve always noticed that with every new set that I get, I have to get use to hearing music through them. It’s never the same.

I feel a lot more confident with the audio and microphone controls that are a part of the cable. They feel solid. The volume control is different. Instead of it being on the side of the control it’s in a dial, like a clock. It’s not as easy to accidentally turn the volume all the way up or down, which is nice. With the previous set (the USB set) I was all the time accidentally muting myself because to mute the microphone you pressed down on the top of the control, if I were to lean against my desk I would press it without knowing it.

The price was great. I got it from a store on Amazon for under $20 (including shipping). If you’re in the market for a good cheap headset, I would recommend this one.

For reference this is the USB model I had prior and here is the link to the model I have now.

MikeyPod Interviews Joi Ito of Creative Commons

A couple of years ago I found out about Creative Commons. I watched the videos on their website and I was intrigued by it. Everytime I would create something I would stamp a CC license onto it because I thought it was so cool. A couple of years passed and I got out of the habit of CC’ing everything until the other day. I listened to MikeyPod‘s latest podcast where he interviews Joi Ito who is on the board of Creative Commons.

During the interview Joi Ito discusses Flickr and the benefits of having your images on Flickr having a Creative Commons license instead of the standard “All Rights Reserved” license. I would love for more people to use and see my photos. I don’t necessarily care whether I get paid for them or not as long as I get credit for them. I also would prefer that if people use them they have whatever they make be licensed under Creative Commons as well. I opted to change most of my photos to a Creative Commons Share Alike license. I didn’t change them all because I didn’t want photos of my family to be used by a commercial entity, they would not appreciate that. I changed a few of mine to CC, just in case someone decides I’m important enough for a Wikipedia article, someday!

During the interview Joi mentions the reasons people have really horrible pictures of themselves on their Wikipedia pages, that’s because a lot of images have copyright restrictions. I thought that was a really good point to bring up. A lot of people forget about that when they go to a portrait studio and have their photos taken and later on down the road want to have them re-printed but cannot find a photo copy center that will copy them because they are copyrighted by the photography studio. I know many people who have bought scanners because of this!

Also during the interview Joi mentions a plugin for WordPress for inserting Creative Commons meta information into your site. I have installed the plugin, I honestly don’t see where it has changed my source code. I don’t know if it’s suppose to or not. However. I just wanted to do my part of sharing my content to the world, just as long as I get credit and they share alike!

You should check out the interview MikeyPod did, it was really a great interview. Lots of valuable information. The interview has renewed my love of Creative Commons.

e-GeForce MX 4000 on Fedora 7

Last night I decided to go ahead and try to get the official Nvidia drivers installed for my GPU on Fedora 7. I was hesitant to do this because normally whenever I try to do this I break something and wind up having to re-install the entire operating system because I can’t figure out what I need to change in my x.org configuration file to make it work again. Fortunately, last night I had better luck.

I followed the instructions on this site first. When I’d reboot, the X-Server wouldn’t work probably. The text login screen would blink three times then a blue screen would come up saying that X was unable to be started. Eventually it would fix itself and I was able to login graphically. The driver was being installed but it was not directly rendering.

I then found this entry on another site that said SELinux causes the driver to not install correctly. I thought that might have been the issue so I disabled SELinux and the firewall, restarted, still got the same thing.

After about 30 minutes I finally found this entry on another site that made me realize that I was installing the wrong drivers for my video card. The GeForce2, 3 and 4 (including MX) cards are not supported by the 97xx drivers, you have to use the 96xx series.

I finally got the correct drivers installed and everything working properly, even the desktop effects work. I thought in case I have to do this again and in case someone else has the same card that I do I would make an entry about how I got the drivers installed:

  • Open up a terminal window, login as root by entering su – and pressing enter at the prompt. Enter your root password and press enter.
  • Enter the following command: rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-7.rpm and press enter.
  • Enter the following command: rpm –import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-livna and press enter.
  • Enter the following command: yum install kmod-nvidia-96xx xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-96xx and press enter. (Remember to put spaces between the two applications)
  • Once everything has been installed enter the following command service nvidia-96xx restart

At this point, I rebooted the machine just to make sure everything was installed correctly. Upon restart you should see a green Nvidia logo pop up, it may fade up depending on whether or not the desktop effects were enabled during the installation.

I went ahead and posted my own instructions for doing this because I wasn’t able to follow the instructions on the last link the way they had it wrote out. I did link to them so you can see where I got most of the information from.

I’d highly recommend removing the Livna repositories from your YUM sources. I had issues trying to install other software while Livna was still in my sources list. To remove Livna following these steps:

  • Open up a terminal window, login as root by entering su – and pressing enter at the prompt. Enter your root password and press enter.
  • Enter the following: cd /etc/yum.repos.d/ and press enter.
  • For me there were only 3 Livna repository files to remove, I used the following command to remove them: rm livna-devel.repo livna.repo livna-testing.repo. (Remember to put spaces between each file name). When you press Enter you will be asked if you are sure you want to remove the files, enter “Y” for each and press enter.

The only thing I’ve yet to figure out is how to get the TV-Out functionality to work. I know it’s possible, it’s just going to take some tweaking on my part. I got it to where I could see some text on the TV last night but it wasn’t readable, nor was the text on the default display so I had to kill the X server everytime (Ctrl + Alt + Backspace). Luckily it would reset itself back to the standard every time.

Hope someone finds this article useful. I know I will be appreciative of it in the future if I have to re-install Fedora.