Fair Trade


Over the last few weeks I’ve started buying Fairtrade teabags, sugar and chocolate. It costs a few pence more and there’s less choice of brands but having looked at their website they really seem to be doing some good work.. it doesn’t make any difference if my sugar costs 90p instead of 70p when I’m spending twenty quid on shopping, but when somebody earns like $1 a week that’s a huge difference. Some folk seem quite reluctant to buy these brands – either because they don’t want to try something new, or else they reckon it’s a scam. For sure I was sceptical myself but after looking particularly at Fairtrade’s site and reading up on them, I’m convinced.


I’m off out tonight for the first time since I gave up drinking. It’s sure going to be strange; I remember last year going to the pub when I’d given up smoking and I ended up accepting a cigarette — not going to happen again I hope! Not been out for a while anyway so it will do me good, I always used to have a drink so I could socialize without feeling awkward – well just have to try without :).  Looking at drinking after giving it up: it seems a strange obsession, the first drink gives the euphoria but after that it’s just drinking for the sake of it. In any case it’s cheaper (mostly!) to stick to Cola and J2Os!

No BeerAlcohol Free Zone

Eureka! I finally got nvidia-glx working after my upgrade to xorg-xserver-core-1.3.0 and the kernel-image-2.6.21-686 which broke my x configuration: the nvidia_drv.o provided by nvidia-glx refused to load. See bug 420177: seems there’s an incompatibility. The upgrade had resulted in the “nv” driver being loaded which is slow and doesn’t do OpenGL :-(.

So I removed nvidia-glx-1.0.9755-1, nvidia-kernel-2.6.18-4-686 and old kernel sources. Since I’d got kernel 2.6.21 running I downloaded the Debian sources into /usr/src and made a custom kernel (you need kernel-package). The important config seems to be:

# CONFIG_PARAVIRT is not set
# CONFIG_FB_RIVA is not set

the Riva module apparently causes problems. I built and installed a new kernel with:

make-kpkg --revision=custom=x.x --initrd kernel_image
dpkg -i ../linux-image-2.6.21_custom.x.x.i686.deb

I know there’s a way of using fakeroot but I haven’t figured it out yet, so I just su and do it as root.

After booting the new kernel and checking that the nvidia module would load I went on to building the nvidia-glx-sources. Had a bit of trouble last night with a weird error – see bug 425692

LD [M] /usr/src/modules/fglrx/fglrx.o
Building modules, stage 2.
MODPOST 1 modules
FATAL: modpost: GPL-incompatible module fglrx.ko uses GPL-only symbol 'paravirt_ops'

but with CONFIG_PARAVIRT off in my kernel config I had no problems. I installed nvidia-kernel-source, nvidia-glx and nvidia-common. The source file installs to /usr/src, I choose to build it there:

cd /usr/src
tar xzf nvidia-kernel-source.tar.gz
cd linux *link to linux-source-2.6.21
make-kpkg modules_image
cd ..
dpkg -i nvidia-kernel-2.6.21*.deb

and that done the only thing left was to change xorg.conf to use the ‘new’ driver. I replaced Driver “nv” with Driver “nvidia” did a reboot and X started fine. Much faster now I’m back to the nvidia driver – phew! :)

I also found this page in the Debian wiki useful.