Road Review: [VIC] Bonang Hwy C612

Last week, late-winter, I did a 1800km trip from Melbourne to Canberra. On the way back I took the Bonang Hwy for the first time. I travelled from Delegate to Orbost. A few people have asked about the condition of the road. Yes there is a gravel section towards the top. Honestly, once I hit the gravel, I was regretting this road and cursing those who recommended it. But once you pass the gravel this road is amazing. You must include this road in your next trip! The 105km of twisty road is towards the top section of this road.

Below is my video summary. I took it easy on the gravel as it was bone jarring. Arriving at Orbost, I was absolutely buzzing and glad I did it! The weather was brilliant too. Had a ball. There are still bits of gravel, branches, rocks on the sealed section. Pay attention and you'll be fine!

10169595833_8749ebc160_z 10169596963_f0dafb7fee_z

Diablo 3 On Debian Squeeze

I got sick of putting up with Windows just to play Diablo 3, so I looked into running it on Debian with Wine. It works great, and surprisingly doesn't have lag spikes like it did under Windows 7.The process below is probably the same or even simpler for Ubuntu users.

Firstly, you will need the latest version of Wine with the "AcceptEx fix" patchset by Erich Hoover. As of Wine 1.5.6 the patches submitted by Erich were commited. If you have any experience with running games with Wine, you'll know that certain games run better with particular versions of Wine. On a distribution like Debian, which has a package management system, that means you'll need multiple, parallel installations of Wine for each game. This can be confusing and messy so it's best to either compile Wine yourself in separate directories or have PlayOnLinux do it for you.

PlayOnLinux can be installed on Debian by

apt-get install playonlinux

PlayOnLinux has a large database of scripts and workthroughs for a large number of Windows games and applications. This means, you simply ask PlayOnLinux to install a game and it will hopefully do everything for you. This includes downloading the correct version of Wine and other addons, etc, etc. I won't describe how to use PlayOnLinux because it has a friendly GUI that you can work your way around.

I found that PlayOnLinux started the Launcher and downloaded Diablo 3 without any problems. However, as soon as it was ready to play it did nothing when I clicked on "Play". So I manually started it from the command line interface, and found the following error being repeated indefinitely:

Direct3D9 is not available without OpenGL.

It turns out this problem is caused by the lack of 32bit opengl libraries (I'm running 64bit debian), more specifically nvidia-glx-ia32 package. I tried numerous times to install this via the package management, but it failed miserably during the post configuration step. I got errors like:

Package libgl1-nvidia-glx-ia32 is not configured yet

After a bit of tinkering, I remembered I had installed cuda drivers for GPU number crunching. Maybe there was a clash? Anyway, I removed all debian nvidia packages, disabled X server on start up and restarted Debian. Using the Nvidia drivers from nvidia.com, I installed the latest modules and libraries. Interestingly, the installer does ask you if you want to install 32bit compatibility libraries. Make sure you click Yes 🙂

After getting X server up, Diablo 3 worked fine. After killing Diablo I can safely say it runs beautifully- no crashes or glitches.

Good luck!

Yay, it works
Yay, it works

Debian Installation Tips

Recently I've switched back to my first and favourite Linux distribution Debian. The latest release is called Debian Squeeze or Debian 6.0. So far it has been great. I have found that after setting up Debian on my server and multiple workstations the setup process isn't exactly complete when the installer is finished. So I've put together some hints/tips that I do on every Debian installation.

1. Software Sources

We need to modify the software sources to include the non-free and contrib repositories. You can do this directly via CLI or using the Software Source app under System -> Administration. Make sure you check the two boxes "DFSG-compatible Software with Non-free Dependencies (contrib)" and "Non-DFSG-compatible Software (non-free)". If you have installed Debian using a DVD you should untick the cdrom options under the Third-Part-Software tab. Finally, update the database manually if it doesn't automatically:

apt-get update

2. Nvidia Drivers

The best reference for this would be the wiki available here. I've listed a cut down version of the required commands for a typical setup below for your copy and pasting pleasure:

apt-get install module-assistant nvidia-kernel-common

m-a auto-install nvidia-kernel${VERSION}-source

apt-get install nvidia-glx${VERSION} nvidia-xconfig

Then simply run nvidia-xconfig and restart X server.

3. Fonts

You will notice that Debian doesn't ship with the pretty fonts. This is easily noticable when browsing the Web. To install fonts:

apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

4. 32 bit 3D libraries

If you have installed Debian 64bit like I always do, then you will surely have a problem with either Flash or other applications such as Google Earth. For example, you might be able to use google maps but Google street view simply doesn't work. Or you might see that Google Earth shows only a blank screen. Since you are running 64bit Debian you need to install the 32bit compatibility libraries:

apt-get install nvidia-glx-ia32 ia32-libs-gtk lib32nss-mdns ia32-libs lib32ncurses5