Wednesday, December 24, 2008

学期结束


放音乐。GReader里似乎显示不出来,请点击打开网页。



Beethoven: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 3 Op. 69 - iii. Adagio Cantabile
Piano: Artur Schnabel; Cello: Pierre Fournier.

另附上篇文章的成果:截屏一幅。

Monday, December 22, 2008

Installing OpenSuSe 11.1 on Lenovo T400 with ATI Display Driver


Guess my Chinese readers who are interested in TECH-ONLY posts will bother to read English anyway (i.e. those not interested won't read even if this were in Chinese). So I think posting it in English won't harm, and may help more people who happen to have the problem and find this out with search engines.

Of course I did some google work before ever installing anything. The most helpful information are from an OpenSuSe wiki entry on ATI Drivers, a Thinkwiki entry on Fedora 10 on T400, and this OpenSuSe forum thread. Some of what are said there are a bit misleading. But since I don't know what exactly was happening, I'll just describe what I did to make my ATI driver work. There might be some redundant steps.

First, my T400 specs:
CPU: Core Duo 2 T9400 2.53GHz;
Memory: 4GB DDR3;
Hard Disk: Hitachi 160G 7200rpm SATA;
Display: 14.1 in 1440 x 900 wide screen;
Graphic Cards: ATI HD3470 / Intel GM45 dual graphics unit;
OS: Windows Vista Business 64 / OpenSuSe 11.1 x86_64.

Second, why use the not-open-source proprietary ATI driver? Because 3D acceleration does not seem to work with only open source driver for the HD3470 card, and performance is not satisfactory with GM45 (even compiz-fusion is slow).

Finally, what I did:

1. Do not change anything in BIOS, and install OpenSuSe from CD. I used KDE 4.1 as desktop. Set up the Internet. At this time only the GM45 is detected. Install libstdc++33 and kernel-source.

2. Download the ATI driver to the desktop. Open Konsole and run:

sudo sh ./ati-driver-installer-8-12-x86.x86_64.run


Choose to make package rather than install the driver, and choose ~/Desktop as the destination directory, choose OpenSuSe 11.1 x86_64 as the specific distro. Hereby you will have an rpm on your desktop.

3. Reboot, press F1 to enter BIOS setup, choose config -> display, change "switchable graphics" to "discrete graphics", and change "OS detection..." to "disabled". Save and exit. Thereby X will fail to start. Login and type the follows in command line, and if necessary, use sudo to work as root:
/usr/sbin/sax2 -a
cd Desktop
rpm -Uvh fgl*.rpm
/sbin/ldconfig
aticonfig --initial --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf
cd /usr/lib/dri/
cp fglrx_dri.so fglrx_dri.so.bak
cp /usr/lib64/dri/fglrx_dri.so .
reboot

4. After rebooting, you should be able to enter X and run 3D acceleration under the ATI driver. To verify this, run
glxinfo
and you should see "OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc." among the outputs.

If anything goes wrong and you fail to enter X, just run
sudo /usr/sbin/sax2 -a
to recover xorg.conf. You can also try
sudo /usr/sbin/sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx
to force sax2 to set fglrx as the default display.

BTW, why do I install OpenSuSe 11.1? Because: 1) I simply hate Ubuntu, 2) Fedora 10 was down just after I booted from the installation CD, 3) Debian uses Kernel 2.6.26 which won't recognize my Intel 5100 wireless card (which is my ONLY access to Internet), and 4) I don't have too much time to play with (or I'd rather say, to be played with by) Gentoo. OpenSuSe 11.1 happens to recognize my  wireless card, and happen to be simple enough, until I found that installing the display driver is troublesome. One problem is that you must keep switchable display disabled in BIOS to keep linux detect your ATI graphics. This will disable the switch display function in Windows. You may have to change BIOS settings before using Windows. After all, this is really a not-too-good user experience, from the Lenovo, ATI and Linux sides.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Name of Asparagus


经济危机中化学系期末办的自助招待,肉只有最便宜的鸡肉,比鸡肉贵得多的水果蔬菜倒是有一大堆。水果有各种应时的和逆天的,甚至看到了以为会永别了的石榴桑椹猕猴桃。面对那盘看起来应当生吃的蔬菜却只有瞠目结舌:不但有切片的黄瓜,还有洋葱,一剖两半的胡萝卜,整根四季豆,以及某样——在国内的时候基本是一种轻飘飘的只属于课本的东西,学过Asp和Asn,知道他们的名字和大概与常被归为百合科的天门冬属植物相关。在这边的超市里终于看到了这件标着asparagus的东东,后来不记得是贤惠的Kane同学还是getoffers同学告诉我,这个东西叫做芦笋……我取了一坨包有芦笋的长得很像春卷的东西,同座的韩国postdoc似乎想argu这个是大韩民族的发明,于是我问,it's so strange,why do they have asparagus in this roll? 他大概没听清我的问题,拿出一罐可乐,告诉我,旁边的吧台凭入场时发的酒票可以领到一瓶啤酒。据说,以前化学系的招待,酒都是随便喝的,不过现在经济危机,嗯……

回家无聊查asparagus这个词,却看到了有趣的东西。AHD里对英语的asparagus的语源是这样解释的:

The history of the word asparagus is a good illustration of one of the peculiarities of English etymology one found in few other languages. After the rebirth of classical learning during the Renaissance, Greek and Latin achieved a lofty status among the educated. As a result, etymologists and spelling reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries tried to give English a classical look by Latinizing or Hellenizing the spelling of words that had Latin or Greek ancestry (and even some that didn't). For example, Medieval Latin had a word sparagus, from Classical Latin asparagus, that was borrowed into Middle English and rendered as sparage or, more commonly, sperage. Botanists were familiar with the proper Latin version asparagus, and their use of that term together with the efforts of the etymologists caused the Latin form to become more widespread, eventually supplanting sperage. Thus, it is difficult to say whether the Modern English word asparagus is a direct continuation of Middle English sperage or a borrowing directly from Latin, a difficulty one encounters with hundreds of other words whose spellings and even pronunciations were Latinized during this time.·The Latin form asparagus lives on in another guise as well; in the 1600s it was shortened in popular speech to ’sparagus, which became sparagrass, sparrowgrass by folk etymology.
上过徐龙飞老师的拉丁语之后,有种把一切看起来像拉丁语的词都要用古怪的念法来发音的倾向。于是相当长时间想当然地认为,这个词明显就是未经加工的拉丁语嘛。却没有注意明显的疑点:为什么英语里的鸡要叫chicken而不是gallus,而这个东西在英美如此常见却没有一个盎格鲁化的名字,未免太说不过去。

所谓缺乏发现问题的能力,不禁为自己在科研上的前途担忧也。

话说往日学习植物学的最大动力,莫过于命名分类带来的令人愉悦的文化和审美体验。拉丁文名里的罗马神话、圣经和异域风情太遥远,真真切切触手可及的是中文名里从先民流传下来的古奥而富有美感的字眼。石竹萱草鸢尾杜蘅,好多这样的字眼若不是植物便要消亡了罢。当我还背的下来高中生物竞赛必考植物分类学十八科的拉丁文名和形态特征的时候,某个晚上与某同学夜聊,他说,你可能觉得那些农村上不起学的小孩子可怜吧,固然他们一辈子也学不来我们高深的物理和化学知识,然而他们会叫得出五谷、蔬菜、树木和野草野花的名字,我们也是永远学不来的。

我不以为然并以植物学的知识自得。那时我每天旁听他和女友打电话。后来我们读了大学,我结识了几个对花木的名字感兴趣的新朋友却忘掉了花木的名字,他有了新的女友,若干年之后的不久前又分了手。我则坐在富有田园风情的IL小镇木房子的窗前,深秋时的窗外有棵正掉落黑色豆角的树。落下来的东西和那时在国内见到的皂荚的模样并无二致,但是开花结果的时间并不相同——我不能确定是不是同一种植物。树下有丛开着串串白花的高等单子叶植物,我一直根据形态大概地推测它是鸢尾,后来走近仔细检视花和叶子的形态,发现根本不是我知道的种类。于是在山里度过一半童年却叫不出野草野花名字的我,这个疑窦一直萦绕着无从解答,直至叶枯花谢,冬天降临,余下雪地里焦黄的草秆。

顺便提一个问题,google是怎么正确解读gallus gallus这种关键词的?有趣的是,搜索这个可以得到chicken,然而搜索chicken chicken,居然会给出一部分pizza pizza的结果,甚是费解。

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

辣子鸡丁及其他




传说中的钨丝灯+手动白平衡,饱和度有点加得太过,不过懒得再改了。

算是火候掌握得最好的一次,辣椒没有黑,腰果脆了但是没有焦,鸡肉外酥里嫩没有变成木头渣。但是,刀工……实在惭愧……

下面是杂事。

话说在下了四五次雪后,今早六点多居然被噼啪的雨声吵醒。起来复习一会儿功课,然后去上课。拿了熬了一夜完成的论文的分数出来,边沾沾自喜边看GReader,然后就看到了上午九点多的消息,那位以前在这里提到过的IL州长被捕,据说是想卖小奥留下的参议院席位,云云。一翻刚拿的大概是今天凌晨出版的小报,还有州长和示威的被裁监狱员工对话的照片。情何以堪。

下午在某办公室里,突然某教授兴高采烈地冲了进来。问我, do you know the indictment of our goveneror? 我答, yes, this morning, and he is trying to sell the senate seat left over by Obama, right? 他说, well, he wants to be the head of Dept. of Energy, but, you know, this is usually for someone from the energy states like Texas....

于是他开始介绍案中若干州长想要通过卖官给自己安排的各种职位,总结说,he will earn $250k a year if he got this job.... 他对此感到很不值,说,he could be a professor if he wanted that money! You know, if a professor does some consulting, he can earn $250k honest money. 然后面露得意之色。意犹未尽地补充道,and a senator earns only $40k a year, almost nothing, just what a POSTDOC gets. Basically this is because the people don't want to give senators money....

听到这里旁边的postdoc大哥愤愤然地打断,a postdoc does much more good than a senator!

后来有位研究生跑去跟着教授看了布拉戈耶维奇大叔被FBI控诉的文件,狂笑着归来,说,里面有无数f**k出现,骂小奥motherf**ker什么的。大家一齐被囧住——我想起了以前在某著名东北明珠当市长的一位p大校友,据说也是脾气暴躁粗口连篇型的,而且为了$250k每年而折腰的塞尔维亚大叔比起他来,也是小巫见大巫了吧。

于是继续复习功课,看俄罗斯美女的课件。突然发现某张表现某个“拔河模型”的插图上,小盆友们脖子上赫然戴着红领巾。掐指一算,伊应该是在苏联解体前上小学的。

最后附趣味图片一张:天朝和米帝的空气质量对比,以回应上篇日志中海带同学提出的“天空像假的一样的质疑”。来源是aoao同学的校内头像,嗯。

Monday, December 08, 2008

大雪日游记


近期趣味阅读推荐,王小山之歪批成语系列:以德报德靡不有初,鲜克有终乘坚策肥头童齿豁浮一大白小小不言正正之旗。惭愧地说,本人果然一介文盲,这些成语的本义大多都不晓得,倒是对诸如正龙拍虎,秋雨含泪,兆山羡鬼之类网络歪词熟谙于心。现遥居大洋彼岸,天高路远,英语口语长进不少,母语则断无提高之可能。唯愿仓颉地下有知,饶恕小子则个。

言归正传,大雪节气清晨出门,步行去学校,路上所见贴图若干。


【敝宅】


【卖圣诞树的广告】


【某幢颇有情调的房子门口】


【公墓入口处,最近处是一个姓Bach的人】


【学校的钟楼】


【路遇一群鸟从头顶飞过】


【敝系办公室所在楼房】

中午看累了ppt后到钟楼南面的公墓去散步。看不见路的雪地里随意逛去,各式简朴或繁复的碑碣、雕塑、纂刻和花环,一一闪过。方尖塔,十字架,纪念碑,耶稣像,年份从17xx到二十一世纪,程度各异地风化、破碎……大约小镇短暂的历史就凝缩在这不过一里的墓园里。浏览碑上的数字,姓名,不可抑制地猜测民族,计算寿命,以及想象各种故事的开端和结局,然后又因敬畏而浅尝辄止。

印象最深的先是一尊合葬的碑,男性名字下是1833-1906,女性名字下则是1874-1899。就想起很久以前还看电视剧时的《橘子红了》,昏黄的色调诡秘的对白,以及别的什么复杂的,平淡的,抑或不堪的可能。后来又看到一尊父母为儿子立的,一尺见方小小的碑,生在1915,死于1916。旁边同样小巧的墓属于这家人的女儿,年份却被积雪盖住了。此时西风骤起,扬起浓密的雪霰。回头看,刚才踩出的脚印已被风和新雪抹平。

于是不敢造次,也不忍心去刨开一看究竟。匆匆地回学校找温暖的图书室去也。刚才GReader上跳出一则文章,于是想起今天是某个不幸事件的14周年。克拉玛依的孩子,沙兰镇的孩子,绵竹和都江堰的孩子,喝了奶粉的孩子。并没有过去多久,我们被故意地将他们淡忘,《V字仇杀队》中情节的现实版。不知他们有多少能留下块一尺见方的碑。百年以后,无论沧海桑田如何变化。有人路过时,或许愿意猜想一下当年发生了什么故事。

最后附卫生间内激情自拍一张。