Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I'm home for one day and already--
I've already been put to work putting Arch on my mother's computer. Windows was slowing down her computer to a stand-still and, frankly, she was sick of it. I'm going to dual boot just because her beloved printer won't work under Linux. Friggin' Lexmark.

I set her slow computer up with Openbox, stalonetray, and wbar (thus far). I'm going to find another program for her task bar so she can see what she has open. Unfortunately I wasn't too pleased with how wbar operates. Perhaps I just need to toy around with the settings a bit but, as it stands, there's little to no indication that one has clicked and successfully started opening a program. This can be a bit annoying when the computer is a bit sluggish with delayed gratification of clicking something.

I didn't bother to put on Windows yet. I'd been working on it for the better part of the day today when I realized I'm suppose to be on break. Any sane person would be relaxing now, so I think I'm going to do the popular thing and do nothing today and tomorrow (Thanksgiving).
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Learning as I go
I found out something interesting when reading the AUR newletter:

> One thing that we do with our kernel modules, to make this easier, is
> we set the version to "2.6.27" instead of "" so that when .9
> is released, we don't need to rebuild all modules (they still need to
> be tested, however)

Basically, the Arch devs (gods) make all minor updates to the kernel named similar to the last version so that modules don't complain. This way, the process of recompiling modules is completely avoided. I personally think that's pretty darned clever. Would that also mean that one could change the version number to 2.6 and never bother with recompilation of modules at all (well, that is, until 2.8)? Seems highly unlikely, but if so, I can possibly understand where this could come in handy as far as being a time saver.

I tried out wbar myself for the first time a few nights ago. Man oh man does it look slick. I was also surprised by its speed, for whatever reason. That, I believe, goes back to my past experiences with the Mac launchers being slightly laggy. Not to mention Rocket dock in Windows and some of the other launchers that I've used in Linux in the past. To be honest, I'm mostly impressed by the minimal dependencies required by wbar. That gets an A+ in my book.

In other news, my friends here at the University have had network ports shut off in their rooms several times now. The University's grade A (here I go with grading scales again) tech support team claims that they were DNS spamming, and, in one instance, insisted on COMPLETELY reinstalling Windows on one of their computers. The fact that they consider a complete wipe and re-install a solution is ridiculous.

The culprit, at least we assume, is their Xbox 360. I suggested using OpenDNS instead of the University's server, so we'll see how that goes. If their ports are turned off again, I believe I'll be able to hear them screaming from my dorm which resides one flight below theirs.

I really don't have much time to experiment with computer things here at the University. For one, I don't wish to lose any valuable data, although I'm pretty sure I'm past that phase of being careless about backups. Also, the University's technology policy is pretty strict, so I'm usually too wimpy to do anything ultra network heavy. Also also, I'm still waiting on my official Intrepid CD to arrive in the mail before I give that an install on one of my machines.

Yes, you read right: I'm probably going to make some space on my LVM on either my laptop or desktop to install the new Ubuntu release. I've waited a while so that I didn't have to deal with bleeding edge Ubuntu for a few reasons:
1) Having to troubleshoot a system that is as reliant on the GUI as Ubuntu is can be very frustrating. It's much better when I can just download a few updates that "fix" the system straight up without me having to go through extra programs and features and whatnot.
2) During release week, I could almost guarantee that more than half of the Ubuntu community has already been messing around with the RCs. By the time I go to install/configure, there will already be experts on the quirks of the new release.

Does this mean I'm getting lazy? I don't think so. Personally, I think of it as being a more experienced Linux user. I'd update Arch Linux in a heartbeat to be on the bleeding/cutting edge, but that's only because I know what it's going to update. I know my systems, I know their quirks, and I know them well. However, Ubuntu has become foreign to me. It only makes sense to ease myself back in again and have the benefit of a whole community's knowledge ready to bathe me in helpful hints and tricks and whatnot.