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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 14 Jul 2012

Watch all the videos from DebConf12 in Managua, Nicaragua

I'm here downloading a bunch of videos from DebConf12, held this month in Managua, Nicaragua.

Phoronix has done a great job of summing up the sessions -- Michael Larabel was there.

But I'm anxious to see the presentations myself. There are plenty of .ogv files there -- Spanish on top, English below that.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012

I changed my Debian mirror -- no big deal

Just a quick note that I changed my /etc/apt/sources.list to pull updates for Debian Wheezy from a more local "secondary" mirror rather than the primary Debian mirror for the U.S.

I'm not sure whether or not this site at the closer-than-not University of Southern California will be faster than Debian's primary U.S. mirror, but I'd like to think I'm taking just that much pressure off of Debian's primary infrastructure by using this secondary mirror.

So how did I find the new mirror? They're all right here.

Here's my sources.list before:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free

And after:

deb http://mirrors.usc.edu/pub/linux/distributions/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb-src http://mirrors.usc.edu/pub/linux/distributions/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free

No big deal.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012

Starting applications with the 'type to search' box in GNOME 3

Though I'm very much a fan of the "traditional" menu, I had an inkling that I'd enjoy using the "type to search" box to start applications in GNOME 3 (or, more specifically, GNOME 3.4 in the just-frozen, still-Testing Debian Wheezy).

You see, even though I really like the "discoverability" of a traditional desktop menu system, when I know what I want, it's easier to either click an icon (like the long row of them I had on my upper panel in GNOME 2, or the many I now have in the GNOME 3 icon area on the left side of the screen) or start typing in what you want, getting it as soon as what you type is unique enough to give it to you.

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Epiphany, aka 'Web,' is fast and light in GNOME 3

Despite not being able to render Flash content without excessive (too much so for me) tweaking, the Epiphany browser (which the GNOME people are half-heartedly trying to brand not as Epiphany but as Web) has gained some speed in execution (or "feel") but remains light on the CPU.

It's a nice way to skitter around the web a bit more simply. It starts quickly, responds quickly, and seems to work as well as Chrome (or Chromium). Since both (or all three, if you want to separate Chrome and Chromium, though I do not) use Webkit as the rendering engine, this isn't surprising.

While still unsure overall about GNOME 3/Shell, I endorse Epiphany/Web as a light, alternative browser when you're tired of Firefox and Chrome, or just don't need all that full-featured firepower.

Sun, 01 Jul 2012

Could the 'leap second' have caused my CPU loading problem in Debian Wheezy?

Debian developer Ingo Juergensmann reports that addition of a 'leap second' to clocks made apps that include Firefox consume all the CPU on the system.

That sounds like as good an explanation as any for my troubles yesterday with both Iceweasel/Firefox and Google Chrome both pegging my two CPU cores at various times, especially since I didn't reboot the system, which was in suspend overnight.

Debian Wheezy with GNOME 3: Day 3 -- Troublesome browser-related CPU loads, plus GNOME Classic

I'm on my second day of intense use of my Debian Wheezy (aka Testing) system, which I upgraded from Squeeze (aka Stable) on Friday.

While I'm getting the hang of GNOME Shell, with its "hot corner" mousing technique, creation of virtual desktops as needed, plus the overall newness of transitioning from GNOME 2.30 to 3.4.2, today I decided to work in the GNOME Classic desktop as opposed to the full GNOME Shell.

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