So I've spent just about a month with this new HP Pavilion g6-2210us laptop that shipped with Windows 8. That means UEFI and Secure Boot.
And new hardware. We all know how difficult Linux can be with new hardware.
During the aforementioned month, I did a lot of work in Windows 8. I sent up my whole environment. Even installed Perl. And Python. (It's not like I'm a big-time hacker or anything, but I aspire.)
But it's time for me to get back to Linux. Except that I'm having issues.
Not so much irony as planned coincidence, Commander Chris Hadfield -- who is very musical if this is him singing -- does David Bowie's "Space Oddity," aboard the International Space Station.
Hadfield has a YouTube channel, and it appears he really can sing.
Keep track of all Steve's development on his GitHub page, which I'm putting here more for me than for you.
Unfortunately the Xubuntu 13.04 live DVD ate it.
I was trying to run Thunar with gvfs to open a file over FTP in the Mousepad text editor. The thing crashed and wiped out the data in the file.
So my Windows 8 post is gone.
No big loss, I suppose.
I'm rebuilding it (as a Xubuntu post).
To see if Mousepad is the problem, I installed gEdit in the live environment. You can do things like that with Linux: Try whole systems out with live media and even add software until your memory runs out.
It's fucking awesome.
If you see these words, it worked.
Linux on new computers is always dicey. Or it has been for me.
Right now I have a Windows 8-running (aka Secure Boot-equipped) HP Pavilion g6-2210us, and its AMD video chip is not playing nicely with 3D-accelerated video in Linux.
So GNOME 3 is unusable, Ubuntu's Unity is marginal.
But Xfce, in all it's 2D glory, looks perfect.
I've used OpenBSD as my primary desktop OS before, but it's been a long time. Since then my main laptop has run Linux -- a bit of Fedora and Ubuntu and a whole lot of Debian.
I still dabble in OpenBSD, and I've done a few installs of version 5.2 recently on older test hardware.
I love the whole vibe of the project: the care that is taken with the base system and even the ports and packages that you add later, the like-clockwork development schedule that puts incremental improvement and not breaking things ahead of whiz-bangery, the best documentation anywhere (they care about the man pages and offer a by-your-own-bootstraps FAQ).
It feels solid. I've run every BSD I could at one time or other (FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD, PC-BSD, GhostBSD, DesktopBSD) and have had more success with OpenBSD than any other. That's me. And my hardware.
I've had the Lenovo G555 for about 2 3/4 years at this point, and I've had another part fail -- the battery.
A laptop battery losing its ability to hold a charge after two years is by no means unusual.
Laptop batteries can be pricey. I've seen them go for $90 -- and that's for a computer that's worth maybe $30.
When my LCD power inverter went when I had the Lenovo for about two years -- a bit early -- and I was able to replace what is usually a $50 part by spending $9 and change on eBay, I decided to look around before committing to a new battery.
I saw aftermarket batteries going for anywhere from $25 to $65. That's quite a range. Some claimed to be better. Those offered a two-year warranty. Most of the time, it would take another $5 to $8 in shipping to complete the transaction.
I'm experimenting with a feed out of this Ode site whose sole purpose is to originate and archive my posts to social-media services such as Twitter.
Ideally I will be pointing the RSS of a specific subset of posts either at Twitter directly, or at http://dlvr.it, and the only things I will be posting to social networks will both originate and live here.
This is a "push" system that doesn't gather any responses to these social-media postings, but I could always gather and repeat that history here, provide a link to same, or just forget about it and be happy having my "original" posts contained within this portion of my Ode blog.
Later: The super long URL in the header ran right out of the box, so I used bit.ly to shorten it.
The link referenced in the title is the URL to this very entry: http://stevenrosenberg.net/blog/social/posts/2013_0220_twitter_out_of_ode
Even later: problems with this method include: The link doesn't track from the blog to Twitter. Instead the Twitter post goes back to this blog entry. That might not be so bad -- Any link I want can be at the top of the blog post, and the reader can go from Twitter, back here, then to the outbound link.
But it would be better to at least have the flexibility of originating a Twitter post with a unique link and pushing that to the social-networking service rather than a link to a blog post. There is probably some way to do this with the Twitter API (and maybe even the Twitter-related Perl modules). Something to think about.
I have no way of knowing how good or bad InceptionHosting is in terms of service, but the UK-headquartered company has somewhat of a presence in the U.S. and is offering VPSes -- virtual private servers -- running Linux for prices beginning at 4 euros per month. The latest exchange rate puts that at $5.38.
If you have a few extra bucks a month and want to mess around with a VPS, I sure haven't seen anything cheaper.
I don't have time to look too deeply into this, but if you love the idea of analog synthesizers with gobs of patch cords going from one module to another, you may love vModSynth. Just look at the screenshot above (click it for a full-size view).
As developer Rafał Cieślak says:
vModSynth allows you to play with a modular synth on your computer. You are free to choose any modules you wish, you can connect them however you want, and you will hear the result immediately. The synthesizer intentionally resembles the look of a modular synthesizer (I was inspired by modules manufactured by synthesizers.com), and it imitates behavior of one.