I never honestly thought I would see the day I was glad to get rid of Anjuta. I really liked it for a long time. It was good to me till things began to change on my computer. I switched from KDE to Gnome and finally to Fluxbox. I’ve upgraded compilers and learned(ing) to write in new languages. Not to mention to that for some reason as my computer changed around Anjuta it ceased to function properly. It would no longer compile programs for me, much less compile and execute them! So no I got rid of Anjuta. It was no longer serving its purpose. Let us not forget that Anjuta is a full IDE. At my current skill level I probably know how to use all of 2% of the features Anjuta offers. Here we run into a problem though. I meet a lot of experienced programmers on the Internet. I know, I’ve seen their code (we are talking open source here). Very few of these programmers use IDEs. Makes me wonder. Now I’m only talking open source programmers here. I have many proprietary programmers as well, most of which use IDE; mainly Visual Studio for Microsoft. So even though I can’t explain the difference I have noticed it. I digress. The point is almost every programmer I meet whose worth his salt uses a text editor to write code, not an IDE. So back to Anjuta, I realized all I was doing was using it as a text editor. That made Anjuta bloated, slow, and almost worthless to me. So I got rid of it. Foolishly, I got rid of it before I found a suitable replacement, but it is gone!
Screenshot of Anjuta from http://anjuta.sourceforge.net/
On to the screenshot. I have by the way decided to try to include a screenshot in most of posts. I think pictures are worth a thousand words, not to mention I think they look nice and make the blog more interesting to read. Continuing on though. I’ve decided to switch to Gvim after browsing around /usr/portage and Google looking for a suitable replacement. I don’t really like plain old vi, and vim isn’t much better (for newbes) in my opinion. As I’m sure most people do, I really hate the default look of vim. Its black, its plain, its not appealing to me in the least bit. So after some more searching I found Gvim. All it is, is a GUI interface attached to vim, which is great because it makes life easy for me while I learn the commands for vim. Not to mention its not bad looking either. I will be honest though, its not all mine. On the Gentoo forums I regularly encounter a user by the name of ciaranm. I wouldn’t call us friends, after all, its not like we talk to each other on a regular basis (or at all), but I read his blog a lot. It has a lot of very informative information in it. On his blog he posted his vimrc file. I copied and pasted it into mine. Deleted all the parts I didn’t want or didn’t know what they were for (to prevent weird occurrences) and ran with it. So far its serving me well. A lot of the stuff I borrowed from him was general in nature. Default indent size, etc. Still none the less it was originally his.
So there you have it. An extremely long winded tale of how I switched from Anjuta to Gvim. Another major up for me was by removing Anjuta and installing Gvim I must of saved upwards of 50M of space. Now I only wish I new what dependencies Anjuta had that I no longer need. Either way though. Enjoy the Penguins!
This picture is more than likely on wrong on a lot of levels, but if you’ve ever seen Silence of the Lambs and you hate Windows you might find this humorous. I thought it was hilarious personally. To give proper credit though I found it at asymmetric.net so go check it out for yourself while you wait for Windows to put the lotion in the basket. LOL Enjoy the Penguins!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t totally hate forums, but there seem to be a lot of reasons for me not to like them. I’m a regular user of at least three different forums, so I get around and meet a lot of people to say the least. I’ve been involved in my fair share of flame wars, debates, and discussions, so I consider myself well versed in the world online message boards. I don’t know why I keep coming back to them personally. The one thing that has gotten under my skin lately is getting ignored. This one guy (for simplicity, unless I know other wise, all are assumed male) refuses to listen to me. I know how to fix his problem. OK, I can’t honestly say I am 100% sure I know how to fix his problem, but I’m at least 85% sure, yet he still refuses to try anything advice I give him. Why? Instead he ignores me and has lengthy conversations with another user about extremely complicated hardware issues that, I quite frankly, think are not only off topic, but are totally wrong. So no, he won’t listen to me, though I have very little doubt I can resolve his issue.
Sometimes I wonder if there is something in human nature that makes people do this? Its like he wants his problem to more complicated than it is. I sometimes feel like people try to make their problems worse before they make them better. That somehow makes them feel better. Not being a good judge of myself I am not personally aware of me having ever done this, though I’m sure I am as just as susceptible to it as the next man. Either way though it bothers me and it ticks me off. My girlfriend tells me I need to quit trying to solve her problems and just understand them. Maybe that’s what this is all about? The user doesn’t really want to fix his problem, he just wants other users to feel sorry for him. I don’t know, either way it still makes me mad.
Enjoy the Penguins!
I am not happy with blogger right now. It goes away, it comes back. If they can’t make up their mind on my site feed, then why do I have one? Hopefully they were working on making something better for me. In that case I’ll let it slide. In all honesty though I can’t really be to harsh, this is the first real trouble I’ve ever had out of blogger. So their not doing to bad so far. I’d recommend them for a free blogging tool. Enjoy the Penguins!
My site feed is apparently gone. I don’t know where it went or why it left. This really bothers me though. My first though well it might have something to do with me switching to the Google beta version of Blogger, but now that I think about, it would of been working after I switched over, so there much be something wrong else where. I suppose I’m going to have to e-mail Blogger support and ask them what is going on. I would really like to get my feed back. It really bothers me that is gone. No wonder I’m not getting any traffic off of http://www.larrythecow.org anymore. No one there can see my posts! I’m sort of ticked off. Enjoy the Penguins!
If you look at the screenshot to the left you’ll notice I’m actually using swap on my x86 laptop! I don’t guess I should be excited by this but I am because is the first time it’s ever happened to me. How did I do it? I ran
emerge -1 gcc
Why that took so much memory this time that it had to eat swap too I don’t know, but it didn’t when I ran
emerge -e system
emerge -e world
I was so excited though that I had to post a screenshot. This is also ironic because it couldn’t of been more than a week ago I had a discussion with the creator of Zenwalk Linux on what the point of having swap even is. I told him “I don’t see why I need any, I never use it.” Now here I am eating my own words. Up until now that though that was a completely true statement. Oh well. Enjoy the Penguins!
As a personal update I spent most of the day looking at graduate schools for Computer Science. They all want you to think that they are big and bad, but I don’t believe a lot of them. My only real fear about getting in stems from not actually having an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. I feel like with my strong background in math though I’m a shoe in for the “catch-up candidate.” I just hope someone has room for that. If not I will be pursuing another B.S. from somewhere, more than likely one of the school I apply to for graduate school.
Of course Some nice developments in the Linux world. Gentoo 2006.1 has been out for quite a while now, but I’m just now talking about it. The only major change was update to GCC 4.1.1. Which doesn’t really mean much to me except its newer so I assume it must be better. I don’t remember if I have told my story about the update from 3.x.x to 4.1.1. I will look back and report later if I have not. AMD bought ATI. How fitting is that really? The only two three letter acronyms in the business are now one. I would expected them to buy nVidia first actually, their smaller, probably cheaper. I guess it does make sense to buy ATI since they are on a downhill slope. That would make them a good deal. Maybe they can get their act together since AMD bought them, who knows? Only time will tell us how it goes. I personally prefer AMD, but I also prefer nVidia for my graphics card, so I hope this doesn’t prohibit me using them together. That would not be sexy.
Enjoy the Penguins!
Not to much talk about. A lot of plans for the future. I’d really like to setup my own web page on my own server. I’d like to setup my own mail server. I’m also considering pursuing a degree in computer science, not engineering mind you, but computer science. The differences I am aware of and I have made my decision on which I like better. I haven’t really looked at schools much yet. Paying for school after getting my double degree her at Marshall is my biggest concern. I will have to find a suitable job. Everyone tells you “finding a job with a [insert degree here] will be easy” but I always somehow fail to put much faith in that statement. Computers are a career I have avoided most of life, never really believing I had any skill with them. The older I get though the less I care about how much skill I have as long as I enjoy doing it. That’s one thing my math degree has taught me. It doesn’t matter if your the best at it, as long as you put 110% into it. Truth be told I haven’t put 110% into math, but it has taught me what 110% percent means and how to do it. Now I just have to find out what to put 110% into. Computers looks like a nice alternative at this point. Finally, I would like to attend a school that is open source friendly. Marshall is, sadly, far from Open Source friendly. Everything here is “do it on Windows or die trying.” Granted we must have 20 computer labs, but only 2 are Mac labs. Our library (Drinko) is supposedly one of the most wired libraries in America and yet the only two non-Windows computers in there were taken out (both Macs). The only upside to Marshall is at least the Computer Science teachers here embrace open source. Well that recommend you compile your C++ on it, but that’s as far as it goes. They don’t exactly hand out links or iso-es. Something that probably stems from our contract with Microsoft.
On to things more Linux related though. My computer is running smooth and healthy. I’ve been contributing to the Gentoo Linux Wiki a lot lately. The idea of helping others not make the mistakes I’ve made with my system, or helping them recover from the mistakes I’ve made really drives me. I really enjoy it. I could do it for a living probably.
I’ve also been looking around at some web pages and I can’t swear it to it, but it seems like a lot of pages written using Ruby seem to load faster for me. Faster than say PHP websites. I can only speculate here, so don’t quote. It just feels like it. I know there must be a million factors that go into how fast a page loads but whether or not the page is image ridden or only text, it doesn’t seem matter.
I’ve also found a blog by another Gentoo user, Brian Carper. I know very little to nothing about him, but he has an excellent blog with a lot of useful Linux related information. I’m also sad to say he updates more often then I do, so if you read this on a regular basis, you’ll like him better. I actually check out his blog on a regular basis believe it or not.
Other than that things are going well. School is good. My computer(s) are good. Life is good. Enjoy the Penguins!
Here is a better screenshot of my laptop’s desktop. It incorporates all of the updates mentioned since my last screenshot and this time it actually includes a picture for a background.
That is a Porsche 911 GT3. Gotta love fast cars to go with fast computers. In the top left corner that’s conky, you can find the style sheet for that on the Gentoo wiki, I only modified it slightly. In the top right corner are the aDesklets I use for weather and one for the calender. I use the calender one because fluxbox doesn’t really provide you anything but a clock, and that is not always good enough. Finally on the bottom of the screen is aDesklet, yab toolbar. I really like that desklets. Though its probably one of the less needed desklets (not including conky) it does provide the most entertainment and eye candy in my opinion. It can be quite handy to for programs that I use on a regular basis. The icons on the toolbar are a mix of icons I got off of KDE-look.org. I suggest you go there and check them out. If you look closely you’ll probably notice the lone Gentoo icon for Anjuta. I have yet to find a decent icon for Anjuta outside of the Gentoo set. If anyone finds one, let me know! Enjoy the Penguins!
Well, I think I’ve finally made my computer a true usable piece of equipment. Its taking me around a month to do it, but I have done it. I’ve finally got all the pieces I need to have a computer that can be used everyday without lacking anything major. I have a word processor, cd burner, acpci, multimedia, chat, etc. To my knowledge there is nothing wrong with my current setup and most importantly I’m happy.
I recently switched to conky from the adesklets torsmo toy. The adesklet was nice, I really liked it, but it started doing weird things. Now I’m just as bad at measuring by site as anyone else, but 7% of cpu usage does not equal a half filled bar graph. That was really bugging me. I also feel like conky takes less of my system resources. I’ve also got conky up and configured to show me my last portage sync, last five packages merged/unmerged, etc. So right now I’m really liking conky. Also thanks to the Gentoo Wiki, I’ve also found a color scheme that looks decent with my new background picture.
For some reason every time I’d rip a CD I was getting a lot of background noise. It sounded like another track had been mixed in and was played really high pitched behind the ogg file I created. Well after some posting on the Gentoo Forums I discovered something was wrong with my vorbis encoder, so I put the ~86 keyword for vorbis in my package.use file, updated and now everything is working fine. I have no idea why that happened, but it did. Also, I have switched jukeboxes to Rhythmbox from XMMS. I like XMMS a lot, its functional, its relatively attractive, but at the same time it also seems to be lacking. The creators of Rhythmbox admit that it is inspired by iTunes and well I like the iTunes style. It also has the ability to disappear to an icon beside the clock without taking up space on the bar on the bottom. I really like that feature too.
I think that’s all the news for now. School is going well too, my C++ class is coming a long nicely. Maybe I’ll be able to contribute to a project or two soon. Who knows? Enjoy the Penguins!
Well the results are in. Though not a scientific survey I believe the results are probably fairly accurate. Who won? Ubuntu of course. If you didn’t see that coming your new to the Linux world. The best part of the survey results though was who came in fourth. Gentoo naturally. That makes me chuckle because I’m sure very few to no one would of ever guessed Gentoo to be the most popular distros. I wouldn’t of guessed it. The editor though mentions though that he believes the reason for said result is because the users who feel like they have a stake in their distro are more inclined to vote for their distro. Not to rip the guy off, but I have no doubt that his statement probably holds more than an ounce of truth.
Some other results that should be of no surprise. KDE was the most used desktop with Gnome running a close second. XFCE of course was a distant third and Fluxbox fourth. Firefox, of course, took over half of the votes for Internet browser, with its cousin Thunderbird taking the top place for most used e-mail client. No surprise, to me anyway, in any of those results.
Finally if you’d like to see the results for yourself, head on over and check them out!
Desktop Linux.com Polls
Enjoy the Penguins!
I of course, being the kind of guy I am, broke my laptop again. What did I do. I put in a new kernel of course. *laughs* I do this all the time. Naturally the thing that gets me once always comes back to get me again. While in a hurry to get my kernel up and running the way I wanted it, I messed up its configuration.
After posting on the Gentoo Forums, the best place you can go for Gentoo knowledge, I finally got it figured out. Turns out another guy had the exact same problem at the exact same time. Luckily he figured it out, because I didn’t. I think I’ll add another page to my website, which I still find very lame, about not configuring your kernel correctly. The error I was receiving was “Can not mount root file system, please append a correct root=” I’m sure many who have read this have seen that same error before. For me its the most disappointing. Unlike an error 15: no kernel found error, this error means you got to boot up half way and then stop. That’s really disappointing. Your so close to having a new working kernel and them BAM, not today.
I did get it fixed though, so there is no need to worry. Turns out I did not include an option that you have to have. Something about PC_BIOS support. Oops! That one sounds obvious to me, so how I missed it is really beyond me. So much for streamlining. All it did for me was ruin my ability to boot. On the flip side though, recompiling to allow me to fix my sound. I’m now using alsa-drivers instead the kernel option. Which is cool I suppose. Either way I now have sound and that’s all that’s really important.
So in the end I’m up to my fourth revision of the 2.6.17-gentoo-r7 kernel before I got one that works exactly like I want it to. That’s quite a lot of redos, but its worth it, for me it’s worth it. I hope its worth for the rest of you too. Enjoy the Penguins!
Since installing Gentoo on my laptop I’ve spent the past several days making it “mine.” Just like I would with any OS I go through and install the programs I want, uninstall the ones I do not, and configure and tweak it till it runs exactly the way I want it to. I don’t how I could ever use anyone else’s computer at this rate being so picky with my own.
The first thing that I have noticed with my laptop is that I do not feel like the compile times are any where near as slow as I hear people complaining about constantly. My laptop has a 1.6GHz Pentium 4 M, 512M of DDR RAM, and a 30G 4200RPM HDD. Those are relatively slow specs considering the average new machine or my desktop computer that is almost a year old now. To me though it doesn’t feel like compiling a kernel takes any more time. It compiles in under 30 minutes on either computer. Obviously is it much faster on my 3.7G desktop, but my laptop is not slower by much, no more then 10, 15 minutes tops. Another thing I hear a lot of Gentoo-ers complain about with older hardware is sync time for Portage. My laptop syncs within the same amount of time as desktop does. Again no more than 5, 10 minutes more max. That is not that great amount of time. Not in my opinion anyway. Perhaps these people are running even older hardware than mine, I don’t know.
The only thing at the moment that is truly broke is my sound. Its really making me mad too. Because the live CD knows which drivers to use. My SLAX live CD knows which drivers to use. Yet my install with the drivers built into the kernel can’t seem to figure out how to setup ALSA to use the right drivers for my sound card. It makes absolutely no sense. I would guess its all my fault, but that doesn’t help any. Either way I don’t have sound, and I don’t know how to fix it. As of this writing I’ve posted on the forums and I have yet to find a answer. Wish me luck!
Enjoy the Penguins!
Continuing where Part 1 left off, I then tried CRUX. I could never get it to work though I wish I could of, I think I might of liked it, but then again, I thought I would enjoy Zenwalk Linux as well. Either way though that was two distributions down the drain.
So I decided well maybe since I’m in a hurry I’ll try Saybon Linux. A Gentoo offshoot that installs a binary system for you but lets you retain the ability to use Portage. It also comes with a splashy version of KDE and boot logos. I really thought I would like this one, after all if I were desperate I could just redo my make.conf and then emerge -e world and emerge -e system. Well that never got to happen because I couldn’t get the live CD to boot on my laptop. Why not? I don’t know, it just hung every time. So there goes new distribution number three down the hole.
With new distribution number three down the drain, I decided to go old school. So I installed Slackware 10.2 with a 2.4.xx kernel. Well somehow during the install Slackware managed to fail to write my computer an fstab. So I wrote it one of those using, you guessed it, my Gentoo LiveCD. After that things continued to go wrong. So I gave up on “old school”and decided I had had enough. It was time.
That only left me with one other choice. With four new distributions tired and failed what else could I use? Gentoo, of course. Long compile times be damned the only distro I could find was Gentoo. So here I am again, using Gentoo on my laptop. The one piece of computer hardware that has been XP for a solid four years has now entered a fifth year and a new start as a Linux PC. Congratulations DELL Inspiron 8200, you’ve finally made it.
As a side note. My laptop hard drive was starting to grind right before I took XP off of it. Now with Linux on it, using a ReiserFS file system, the grinding has stopped. I have also noticed this on my desktop. It to has Linux with a ReiserFS file system and it no longer grinds either. What is it about Windows and NTFS that makes your hard drive grind? And what is it about Linux and Linux file systems that do not? Just a thought.
Enjoy the Penguins!
I’ve finally got a fresh working install of Gentoo on my laptop that has up to this point been Windows XP only. On there you’ll see the following aDesklets: yab, calender, weather, and torsmotoy. I tried to get the System Monitor one as well, but it won’t work. I’ll discuss that more later. I’m running Fluxbox and Xorg 7.0. In the Eterm I’m running “emerge -e system” because I just upgraded my GCC. If you have any questions just ask, I don’t actually have a background pic up yet, but I’ll probably get one soon enough. Enjoy the Penguins!