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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Mon, 22 Aug 2016

Keep Fedora's dnf from upgrading certain packages

Since the OpenShot video editor is pretty much broken in version 2.0.x, and I'm using a Fedora 22 package of version 1.4.3 so I can keep editing video while I contemplate learning KDEnlive.

I installed the OpenShot 1.4.3 package, and in my next run of the yumex-dnf package manager, it cheerfully offered to upgrade to 2.0.7.

No.

So how do you keep yumex-dnf and regular ol' dnf from bugging you about this every time?

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Sun, 21 Aug 2016

ReplacementLaptopKeys.com comes through again

Just like on the laptop before this one, if you bang on it and take it enough places, you end up with a busted key.

Where do you get a new one?

HP won't sell you one key.

Enter third-party individual-key sellers like ReplacementLaptopKeys.com, which attempt -- usually very well -- to send you any individual key to replace a broken one.

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Yelp, get bent

Yelp, thank you for withholding your content because I'm using a tablet and don't want your stupid app.

Fri, 19 Aug 2016

Will Fedora 22 OpenShot run on Fedora 24?

Will Fedora 22 OpenShot run on Fedora 24 and solve the "OpenShot 2.x is horrible" issue? Only one way to find out.

Tablet vs. laptop

You think you can do what you do on a laptop with a tablet if you add a keyboard and mouse. But you can't. Creating content remains a "real" computer's game.

Thu, 18 Aug 2016

Do broken apps in Fedora mean I should turn to Ubuntu?

I hadn't edited a video in a long time, and when I opened the OpenShot video editor in Fedora 24 yesterday, I found a completely updated user interface in version 2.0.7 that made the app harder to use. I could barely see the tracks at the bottom, and there appeared to be no way to make that window big enough to remedy the problem.

I could no longer change the "properties" of an item and modify the time it occupied on the video.

It wasn't recognizing linefeeds on my Inkscape-generated titles.

And then it crashed all the time.

In short, a decent, workhorse app has become totally useless.

I then tried to edit some audio. Again, I haven't done it in awhile. Audacity is very stable, so how could there be a problem?

There was. The play/pause buttons kept disappearing, as did the icons for switching modes. I was able to do a quick audio edit, but it was neither easy nor pleasant.

I think the OpenShot issues are systematic to the project and its one-man-band development situation. (I know -- I really should figure out KDEnlive and be done with it.)

Audacity's problem lies elsewhere in the system, as this Fedora bug report details.

I have a test Ubuntu 16.04 system on another drive. I loaded it up and installed Audacity (same version, 2.1.2). It worked perfectly.

I installed OpenShot, which RPM Fusion distributes for Fedora users in version 2.0.7). Ubuntu provides version 1.4.3. Which is old. But it works.

So I'm wondering if I should just make the leap and dump Fedora 24 for Ubuntu 16.04. It would do wonders for my video- and audio-editing productivity, for one thing.

And I thought that Ubuntu's HUD (heads-up display) was roughly equal to what GNOME 3 offers in its "hot corner" search. Nope. In GNOME, you can search for applications but not files. Ubuntu's HUD allows you to find applications and files. This is no deal-breaker because you can search for files in the Nautilus/Files file manager in both Ubuntu's Unity and any system running GNOME. Still, the HUD (love or hate what it CAN search for) is better than anything else out there for Linux.

So will I do it? I hate replacing systems and moving my files over. But I'm thinking.

Wed, 17 Aug 2016

Audacity having problems in Fedora 24

Audacity is having a screen-rendering issue in Fedora 24. Bug report: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1347053

OpenShot video editor has gone to hell

I've probably edited 100 videos with the "old" OpenShot, but I can say without reservation that the new OpenShot has gone to hell

Wed, 27 Jul 2016

Free textbook on mathematics for computer science (before you study algorithms)

Cormen's "Introduction to Algorithms" (aka CLRS) looks hard. People who understand the material say the math involved is trivial, but I'm not anywhere near there.

So how do you get comfortable with the math before tackling CLRS itself?

A writer on Quora suggests reading a free textbook from an MIT open course called "Mathematics for Computer Science."

Others suggest that the appendix in CLRS serves as a guide to the mathematics needed to understand the rest of the book.

Another Quora writer recommends algorithm books by Sedgewick and Dasgupta (the latter available for free) as alternatives to CLRS.

Sun, 24 Jul 2016

One-man Colorado newspaper still uses hot type

The Saguache Crescent is the last newspaper in America to use "hot" metal type produced with a Linotype machine. Take a look at the pictures from the Baltimore Sun web site. Amazing.