[conspire] Knoppix-v3.3 flickers

Heather Stern star at starshine.org
Mon Oct 20 15:07:56 PDT 2003

> Quoting Bill Stoye (skiffworks at earthlink.net):
> > I've been using Knoppix 3.1 & 3.2 on the fly for awhile without any
> > problems; I downloaded and burned the recent 3.3 version, booted into it
> > and find the Window does not fill the screen, it has about a one inch
> > border and the screen constantly flickers.
Interesting.  Jim and I jsut booted 3.3 and found that our 15" flat
screen, previously quite the happy camper, now needs to be force fed a 
hsync command during boot up.  The best conclusion I have is that the
default monitor settings have been changed.

Sadly, framebuffer mode doesn't look nearly as good as the old modes
did and either picking a sync or entering fb mode requires a command at
the lilo prompt. :(

> Please forgive me for possibly being unbearably literal-minded; it's a
> bit of an occupational hazard.
Gosh, I wouldn't know anything about *that* :D 

> It happens.  Knoppix's hardware detection isn't perfect, but it's very
> good.  It's inevitable, though, that Klaus's attempts to improve one
> part of that feature will occasionally brain-damage some other part.
Thus my hypothesis.  Alternately a newer rendition of X server may have
changed heuristics for coughing up vrefresh and hsync, with basically
the same results.

> > I gave the CD to a friend along with the 3.2 version, to expose him to
> > Linux, both CDs work fine in his PC.
> Odds are, the CDs are uncorrupted, then.
I'd agree.

> > Could the problem be the speed of my processor or DVD-ROM?
> Sounds unlikely, but, if you want to test that hypothesis, you know what
> to do:  Step down the CPU speed temporarily, and/or slip in a cheap
> ATAPI CD reader. 
> By the way, if that were _my_ DVD burner, I'd not be using it for
> everyday CD reading.  Why?  Because DVD and CD burners have heavy
> voice-coil armatures to support the burn lasers they have to carry
> during seek operations.  The weight is hard on the bearings and other
> mechanical parts.  Therefore, burner units have fairly low MTBF (mean
> time before failure) ratings.  Do you really want to chew up the drive's
> service life reading CDs?  Wouldn't it be smarter to use a $20 CD reader
> for that?

Likely.  But whether its MTBF is sooner, I'd say putting the burner
though less non-burner work is a win, when CD readers are so incredibly
cheap.  Though I'd probably spend a fiver extra to get a CD reader with
decent speed in it (after all knoppix uses the CD heavily, no?  one less
bottleneck) - it may not be needed, as probably someone without that
wise thought Rick just had... might give away or sell a mere fast reader
pretty darn cheaply.

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