charamei: Geek (DW10: Geek)
My Linux discs arrived! I'm typing this from the shiny new computer, on Mint 10.

Sort of. )
charamei: (NRFtW: Red grins)
I'm sidegrading from Ubuntu Lucid to Mint 10, and while I was at it, I decided to swap Rhythmbox for Banshee.

While it was importing my music library, I managed to turn off the album grid view. I turned it back on, then decided I'd preferred it turned off... and can I work out how I did it? No I can not. Google doesn't seem to know either.

Does anyone know how to turn it off again?
charamei: Geek (DW10: Geek)
Integrated command line in Nautilus (Ubuntu's file manager).

If you've never used Linux, it might not be obvious just how handy this is, but bear with me. It defaults to the folder Nautilus is showing and moves with you when you change directory, providing a proper visual representation of where you currently are in the file structure. And for the less hardcore users like myself who do most operations with a combination of command line instructions and the GUI, it's a real timesaver to not have to switch between two windows all the time. There's also a very good preferences window - not quite as full as the GNOME terminal's, but more than adequate.

Hrmm. Ubuntu 10.10's coming in October, and I'm debating upgrading. I like Lucid, it's long-term support so I don't feel obliged to upgrade - but my desktop has issues with this version of GNOME and some of the new features do look to be an improvement on the current set.

I keep meaning to get a new hard-drive and disk caddy so I can test operating systems - I'd like to have a look at Chrome OS, for example, but have no desire to switch to it. It might be time.
charamei: Geek (DW10: Geek)
I just opened Firefox, typed 'ch' into the address bar and hit the down arrow once to get my Dreamwidth URL up, appended '/update' to the URL and started typing. I am listening to Die Fledermaus (again) on Rhythmbox. If I feel like it, I can watch a DVD in a minute.

The impressive bit? Three hours ago, this computer was running a different operating system. And so was my laptop.

Ubuntu: Karmic to Lucid in an hour and a half. )

Yeah, that's it. I'm out of things to say about Lucid Lynx, except that I'm very glad I switched from Karmic and very happy with it so far.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and play with Nautilus some more.
charamei: Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. (NaNoWriMo: Good Writing Day)
I keep wondering why I'm still writing First Steps. Every time I get inspired for it I seem to end up derailed by more important things (essay deadlines, family stuff, you name it), and the stubborn need to finish the damn thing has been preventing me from concentrating on anything else. Original novels aside, there's a Four/Romana oneshot - probably not more than 4-5k when finished - that's sitting on my hard drive and dying to be finished...

And yet, I can't stop writing it. It's not dead, it's just been in a couple of nasty accidents.

And today, it squeezed my hand and said my name and hauled itself off life support once more, bless its soul. [personal profile] aleas_iacta was cringing about the burns scene before I wrote it, too, the poor dear...

Next up: another gorram corridor scene, albeit a short one. Then, dead babies.

(Mental note: find a way to get the word 'pustules' in somewhere when rewriting.)

/\/\/\


For my own future reference, the way to turn the NumPad back on when Ubuntu's inaccessibility* feature decides to be stupid is System -> Preferences -> Keyboard -> Mouse Keys -> Uncheck the magically self-checking box called 'Pointer can be controlled using the keypad'. NO IT BLOODY WELL CAN NOT.

*Whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have accessibility mode turned on to use the language switcher? I'm not blind, deaf, arthritic, or any other form of disability, I just want to write in Greek occasionally!

ETA: It occurs to me how appropriate this icon actually is tonight. Tomorrow may very well indeed be hell.
charamei: Skience! (DW10: Science)
Ubuntu 9.10 boot disk: free
Time spent arguing with OS, mistakenly assuming it was a software fault: Three weeks
New physical drive: £50

A functional work space that no longer crashes every two minutes, uncluttered and running my OS of choice? Priceless.

/\/\/\


Got the first election pamphlet through the door today, from the Conservatives. It's not exactly inspiring: the most interesting thing about it is that our MP is retiring and the new candidate is the younger brother of a fairly major political figure.

Which, uh. Damnit. That means the party thinks my constituency is a reasonably safe seat, and since I don't intend to vote Tory, I might as well not bother.

First past the post: worst. Electoral system. Ever.

charamei: Busy li'l elf (DW10: Busy Li'l Doctor)
Getting Creatures to install on Ubuntu has never exactly been easy, and as I recently discovered while trying to get Norns onto my newly-rebuilt laptop, Karmic has worsened the experience.

Also, the only article on Google which worked for me last time has disappeared, and I'm very glad I remembered vaguely what it said and was able to extrapolate.

So. No readily available information and a whole heap of problems... somebody ought to collate this stuff.

Here's how I finally got CIE working on my two Karmic installs. )
charamei: Busy li'l elf (DW10: Busy Li'l Doctor)
Well, with a connection speed of roughly 10kB/s when it's working at all and a chain of hardware and software fails as long as my arm it's taken roughly two weeks, but I have prevailed over lousy Internet connections (seriously, BT, fix our damn phone line already), impossible networking problems and crappy ancient monitors that no longer support basic functions such as displaying output from the graphics card, and I have rebuilt my poor laptop.

That's right, Canonical. Everything you screwed up, I have fixed. Eventually.

I feel obliged at this point to mention that this is the first time I have ever had a problem upgrading an Ubuntu distro in five years of use, but really, it does prove how closely Ubuntu - and presumably other open-source OSs - resembles the little girl in the rhyme. When it's good, it's very good. When it's bad, it's five hours of tearing your hair out and screaming things like, "Yeah, and you know why it's called bash? Because THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO ****ING DO TO IT!" before finding out that the problem existed between the keyboard and chair and basically amounted to you consistently mis-spelling 'sudo'.

I exaggerate, but not as much as I'd like.

Windows has encountered a teal deer and needs to close. )

In happier open-source news, today I also discovered Mozilla Songbird. I've been looking for a replacement for iTunes for ages, preferably something that I could use on both Windoze and Linux, with little success until today.

Songbird uses the same basic back-end as other Mozilla products, in that it saves a nice profile that I can copy from one hard drive to another and thus preserve my playlists. It imported from iTunes without the slightest fuss, loads about five times faster, has a really, really nice layout for the library with a search bar and a quick, simple way to change your sort criteria... and a built-in browser. No, I don't fully understand that last part either, though I assume it's to do with downloading music, but it made finding extensions much easier. The default theme is a little plain, but since it's open-source, that's easy enough to change - there's even a skin feather available that changes it to match your default theme.

By comparison with Banshee, which is what I was using on Linux, Songbird does less spectacularly than against iTunes - but mainly because iTunes has become so terrible of late. Mostly it's in a better state of development; Banshee had a couple of really irritating bugs, including one that caused it once to drop all metadata from all tracks. Given that Banshee's library was unmanageable without that metadata and I'd already risked RSI setting it up once, I wasn't happy.

As a final insult, when I uninstalled iTunes it did not clean up properly - left all of its shortcuts behind, and goodness only knows what else. Since I'm going to have to reinstall it to strip the DRM off my purchased files, though, doing its housekeeping for it is a problem for another time. Say next week...

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