Sunday, May 31, 2009

Top 10 hottest vegetarian places in Ireland

From that most accurate of metrics, the number of reviews on the Vegan & Vegetarian Guide to Ireland, comes the Top Ten hottest vegetarian places in Ireland:
  1. Blazing Salads (Dublin take out)
  2. Cornucopia (Dublin cafe)
  3. The Phoenix (Dingle B&B & restaurant)
  4. Natasha's Living Foods (Dublin raw food)
  5. Tir Na Nog (Sligo health food shop)
  6. Quay Co-op (Cork cafe & health food shop)
  7. Cafe Paradiso (Cork cafe)
  8. Organico (Bantry restaurant & health food shop)
  9. Govinda's (Dublin cafe)
  10. Juice (Dublin restaurant)
These are the places that have attracted the most reviews and most passion from their customers (and ex-customers!). This is not always the same as the most loved.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap is missing compiz error with gutsy

I've been trying out Ubuntu's latest gutsy gibbon development version for a while now. The newest shiny, compiz (compiz fusion as of this week) was working very nicely with the open source radeon driver and AIGLX with no particular changes except xorg.conf tweaking on my old laptop (IBM T41p). Always a lover of newer and shinier, I upgraded to a T60p laptop. The open source radeon driver doesn't support the more recent ATI graphics cards. The T60p has an ATI MOBILITY FireGL V5200. The proprietary driver from ATI, fglrx, works fine with the new card (but not with older ones now!). However, it doesn't support AIGLX, so no compiz.

You then follow one of the many howtos out there to get compiz working with the fglrx driver by using Xgl. All working fine. Soon though, I began to suffer compiz (the window manager) not starting when I logged into X. In ~/.xsession.errors you can see these errors:

compiz.real: GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap is missing
compiz.real: Failed to manage screen: 0
compiz.real: No managable screens found on display :1.0

You get a terminal window, but no window manager. Starting compiz manually always works first time. What gives? It turns out that the fglrx driver is missing the GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap capability and to provide this you need to LD_PRELOAD the libGL shared object library that the Mesa driver provides (and fglrx replaces). This works just fine:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/fglrx/ /usr/bin/compiz.real --ignore-desktop-hints --indirect-rendering --replace ccp &

However, so does this:

/usr/bin/compiz --ignore-desktop-hints --indirect-rendering --replace ccp &

Huh? The wrapper script in gutsy, /usr/bin/compiz, detects and sets up the environment as needed. The problem is if you have Gnome set to save your session on logout. Gnome saves the currently running processes and assumes they can be started in the same way. So it tries to start compiz.real on login without the LD_PRELOAD variable set, resulting in the error messages you see in ~/.xsession-errors.

To confirm, try this:

$ grep compiz ~/.gnome2/session

10,CloneCommand=/usr/bin/compiz.real --ignore-desktop-hints --indirect-rendering --replace ccp
10,RestartCommand=/usr/bin/compiz.real --ignore-desktop-hints --indirect-rendering --replace ccp

The initial number will vary. Check in System > Preferences > Sessions and uncheck "Automatically remember running applications when logging out" in the Session Options tab. Delete your session file (rm ~/.gnome2/session) and logout and back into X to verify.


Friday, May 04, 2007


OMG I want a pony. Well, sometimes you only deserve half a pony. That's when you need to learn the ancient art of ponysection.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bay Leaf Cafe is closed

We took the kids to Palo Alto hoping to get lunch at the Bay Leaf Cafe on Ramona Street. We discovered it closed in October 2006 - after we visited the boarded up premises! Sounds like the owners never really made a viable business out of it, although I liked it even with the faintly disorganised air that was always a feature. Palo Alto has plenty of other restaurants to choose from, so we were never going to go hungry.

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I can see mountains

My family and I are visiting Mountain View, California, for just under 2 weeks. Today, we took it easy and shopped and ate. That is enough shopping for me at any rate. One thing we were absolutely amazed at was the vegan food available in the local supermarkets, especially Whole Foods Market.

Like ten different varieties of vegan sausages and two types of frozen pizza. Like 2 entire freezers full of vegan ice cream and related frozen desserts. Like 5 varieties of freshly baked vegan cakes in their bakery! We choose a large chocolate mousse cake. 9 different flavours of vegan donuts. 3 types of vegan muffins. OMG. We will not fit on the plane on the way home.


A trip to Davos

Last week I was lucky enough to have a short trip to Davos in Switzerland, via Zürich, to meet up with some colleagues. Davos (pronounced Dav-OS, not DAV-os it turns out) is a nice little town up in the mountains, famous for the annual World Economic Forum. Klosters, famous for princes and celebrities holidaying there, is the next village along.

I had only a night in Zürich, but it seems a great town, hopefully I'll get a chance to get back there soon. Public transport is a strong point. When asked how to get to the train station, the hotel receptionist replied, "Why you get the train, of course". So I did. As expected, the train left precisely on time. It even arrived at some stations at precisely zero seconds on the alloted time. Uncanny.

I was able to get some fantastic vegan food in Zürich just next to my hotel, in a really popular restaurant called Tibits. It is owned by the same people who run the Hiltl restaurant, apparently Europe's longest running vegetarian restaurant, since 1898! The food is mostly buffet style, you pay by weight - they have both hot and cold food. Unlike many vegetarian restaurants in this style which I've been to, Tibits serves not just beer but a range of cocktails! Highly recommended, a great buzz about the place too.

Davos on the other hand, in part being there for work, was not so hot on the food front. A small, green salad for dinner doesn't quite rate the same.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Brothers In Arms copy protection pain

More time wasted figuring out eventually that the copy protection software of this new game appears to be incompatible with the DVD drive I have, a Samsung SM-308B. After finally getting the game loaded it fails to start with a wonderfully helpful error:

AppName: bia.exe AppVer: ModName: ~df394b.tmp
ModVer: Offset: 000c486b
The only options seem to be to buy a new DVD drive or follow the instructions in this forum post.

Now that I've finally got it working, I'm not sure that I like the game much. :(

Brothers In Arms fails to install

I bought an old, new game. Published in 2005 (Brother In Arms: Road to Hill 30) and not only still got bugs but the manufacturer's support forums are full of frustrated people getting no answers. Their excuse - these are community support forums, so they are not actually trying to support the game at all. It has nasty DVD copy protection software built in.

Thirty minutes wasted of my life and it came down to this: the installed DVD burning software from Roxio (Easy CD creator) which came with the PC clashes with the stupid copy protection. You see setup.exe starting in Task Manager, spawning Imapirox.exe, then both exiting. You can't even install the game.

The solution: go into the Windows Services administration app and disable Imapirox.exe (IMAPI CD burning service).

I guess it is just another of Windows lovable little ways of reminding me why I hate it.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Feisty upgrade goes smoothly

Only minor hiccups in the upgrade to Feisty Fawn. apt-get dist-upgrade stalled early on as it appeared to manage to install a newer version of a PHP library before upgrading the Apache version. As a result Apache wouldn't start or stop, couldn't be removed or upgraded and everything stopped. A bit of the usual poking around identified the suspects - apt-get remove of anything with php or apache remotely involved sorted it. A second apt-get dist-upgrade completed the install. Nothing remotely graphics card or X related to report, unlike with the Edgy upgrade.

I'm now enjoying Rhythmbox's cover art option and the Gnome menu bar song notifier showing the same. Still delving into the innards to see what else is new and shiny. That's what it's all about after all.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn upgrade

Been a bit lazy in posting in last few months. The latest Ubuntu release, Feisty Fawn, is nearing completion. So I thought I'd try for a dist-upgrade to the latest pre-release. It is running as we speak. Let's see how much survives, I'm guessing the graphics driver will be the usual suspect.