Birch Street Computing -

about me

John M is a Linux fan in Lowell, MA.

I work at at a company writing software. I fool around with Free and Open Source software for fun & profit.

I was big into and you can still see some of what I listen to there. I can also be found using github and recently sourcehut as well as bitbucket (historically). I don't care for most popular social media sites. If I have an account on one or the other it's probably either old and unused or was created just for tinkering.


Links to things I like, use, or otherwise feel is worth sharing. Things I'd like to see get more popular.

Nvidia in Black and White

I'm blogging this in case any one else has the same issue.

In my attempt to start building a multimedia/Home Theater PC I was trying to connect the nvidia card to a (smallish) CRT television. For a while it seemed like there were two options, no picture or black & wite only. I kept adjusting xorg.conf over and over trying to find the right combination of options.

I knew the card was working because the console printed color up until X started. It turns out it was a hardare problem though, with the cabling! I had an S-video to composite adapter pugged into the video card. The composite cable then connected the TV to the adapter. Nothing seemed to work until I found this post at Apparently, X is being too smart for its own good.

Once I set Xorg's TVOutFormat to COMPOSITE (the black screen when using the S-video adapter), I plugged in the "octopus" that came with my other nvidia card to the computer and connected the yellow composite cable to the blue connector on the octopus. Restarted X and everything began to work.

I'm glad my other card came with that adapter, but I wonder why the output seems to be so convoluted. It doesn't immediately come to mind that the component cable is sometimes used for composite output.

Hey at least I was able to watch my Matroska encoded Star Trek episodes on the TV. :-)

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