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TheLinuxGurus.org: Linux Graphics Programming with SVGAlib [Book Review]

May 29, 2000, 00:30 (0 Talkback[s])

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"...Walk into nearly any book store and go look at the graphics programming section. What you will see is a plethora of books covering graphics programming under Windows and close to none covering graphics programming under Linux. The closest book I know of that covers graphics under Linux is the Open GL Programming guide and it is not Linux specific but covers the compilation and running of Open GL programs on a Linux box. Coriolis has released the first and hopefully not the last book that specifically covers graphics programming under Linux."

"...The book is rated as being suitable for beginners to advanced programmers. I would agree with that, however beginners and those not well versed in math (most of the book requires only simple math) will not be able to follow everything in the book. The beginning of the book is the most useful and most informative as far as basic SVGAlib programming is concerned. Chapters one through seven will lead you through setting up SVGAlib on your machine and configuring it to work with your particular graphics card. SVGAlib comes precompiled and is installed by default on nearly every distribution, however I decided to uninstall SVGAlib and compile from source following the books instructions. I was unable to compile and install SVGAlib. I do not believe it was an error in the books instructions though, the compiler would halt with an error during compilation. I reinstalled the rpms from the Mandrake installation CD and everything worked fine. The very first program in the book appears in chapter 2 and when you run it it will inform you of what video modes your card supports. I noticed immediately that it was telling me my card (a Voodoo 3 3000) only supported low resolution and low color video modes. I edited the the /etc/vga/libvga.config file to tell SVGA to use the Banshee/Voodoo 3 drivers and reran the program, my machine crashed hard each time I tried. So, I reedited the config file to use the VESA driver and I was up and running in hi-res mode!"

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