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User Journal

Journal Journal: Solution to Amarok crashing my system 1

I mentioned earlier I think that I'm back to successfully using my Nvidia card with proprietary drivers - but for one issue. If I started Amarok (which would start - loaded to the tray) and then try to restore the gui to the desktop, my system would completely lock up. No keyboard input would be accepted at all. I had to hard power it down and restart.

Being the middle aged genius that I am - I started amarok from the command line and piped the error output to a file. That gave me something to google and took me to https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=323635 which gave me the solution.

As soon as I saw OpenGL was involved I knew this would make me happy. I can't get my system config to switch the compositing type away from XRender. Trying to check the OpenGL settings for the card throws an error - so it's some kind of driver problem I'm sure.

I just had to follow the directions there and disable the analyzer in Amarok in the file they mention. I don't know what the analyzer is or what it does - but things seem just fine without it so I'm cool. Though I like Clementine which I was using instead as it had no problems. So I exported my playlists from Amarok to something I could open in Clementine and I may just make the jump.

Either way - kind of cool, what search can do.

User Journal

Journal Journal: OSCON Talk Webcast 1

I get emails from O'Reilly about different webcasts. Sometimes they are pretty interesting. Today I registered for one about mobile app development. Apparently it is in some way connected to OSCON. Which is cool. Anyway, here is the funny part, after I registered it gave me a link to test my system. I did - and as you can see I failed the operating system test because I'm not running Windows or OS X. I did the registration and ran the test on my Fedora 19 machine.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Busy

Been super busy - so it's not that I mean to ignore you...

I'm not smart, I think I've said that before. Today I proved it by trying to use my old Nvidia card in my Fedora box again. Tired of hearing about that? Skip ahead then 'cause I'm gonna talk about it. I got it up and running for the most part. There is some strangeness in that it wont switch to OpenGL for compositing and I don't know why. But most software works well. I had to do the driver install twice. The Nouveau drivers leave things in quite the mess. The proprietary drives do fine so far. I'll know better after a few days. Oh - but back to the install twice. I had a lot of problems the first one and realized something that may have caused me a lot of trouble in the past.

When you I install the proprietary drivers via yum and the freshrpms repos there is some scripting that goes on to modify grub. Well I have this Seagate external drive and when it is plugged in and on - grub config fails. Something to do with sector sizes or some other. I don't remember. I just knew I had a lot of problems. Uninstalled the drivers, turned off the external drive, reinstalled and things are a lot better.

Oddly enough though - trying to use Amarok will completely lock up the system. Nothing works to get it going again. I have to hold down the power button until it shuts down. I switched to Clementine and things seem fine. It's not as pretty as Amarok but actually seems a bit easier to use so I'm willing to make that trade.

Chrome and Firefox work fine which is where I spend a lot of my time.

I've gotten involved in a mobile project. I pulled the code today but I need something from them to get Gradle set up. I've never used Gradle before so it should be interesting to learn about it.

I might be headed to Moscow in December. I've never been to Russia so I'm hoping it works out - even though it will be stinking cold.

That's mostly it. Life pushes forward.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Been a while 12

So I was reading xkcd and it made me think about /. so I wandered back over here and starting poking around. Looks like 8 or so friends still post journals. Not like it was years back when I was checking for new stories or JEs all day almost every day. I find it funny that as the "social web" has grown into a mainstream.-even-my-parents-are-on-the-web,-jocks-too,-and-now-celebrities-hire-companies-to-manage-it thing, I've found less and less satisfaction with it.

My main social group these days revolves around a 4X game on facebook that a coworker got me to try out. I think I honestly crave the anonymity of the old days (like /.) and a game with a pseudonym and a forum fits that bill pretty well. Plus the fact that it's a semi complicated sci-fi strategy game keeps it relatively nerdy, which is my preferred company. Though of course there are the self described jock types in the game who resort to homophobic slurs when you cross them. I think the /. trolls inured me to that, so thanks trolls!

Feeling really nostalgic right now though. Can still remember many of the old Circle posters usernames off the top of my head and I have a terrible memory for names...

User Journal

Journal Journal: The first 5 minutes with an iPad 9

Work is using iPad mini tablets for a project. They gave me one so that I could better support the project.

I've been busy and out of town so this morning I finally got to unbox it and set it up. The box is nice. The tablet itself feels heavy. The instructions to set it up and feedback were awkward. There was a little spinner thing and sometimes it would be spinning so I'd sit and wait to see what was going to happen but nothing would happen. It was waiting for me to hit "next". The next button was not always in the same place.

Whenever I had to type something I realized that the iOS keyboard is horrendous. It is so very, very bad. I always hear that people can't use Android because it isn't quite polished enough. How does any person use that horrible iOS keyboard, if they are picky about things. You can't even tell if you are typing upper or lower case unless you look to see what color the little shift key is. Unreal.

And it apparently wont charge off my desktop or laptop because those usb ports don't send enough power. Really? I read that turning off the screen will allow it to charge very slowly. So that's what I've done.

How do people make such a big deal about this platform. I haven't even gotten around to actually using it and I already don't like it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: DeviantArt thinks this is spam 2

[Just saving this here in case I need to point to it. Long story short - never try. Someone posted a question. I wrote an answer. Then wasted five minutes signing up because DA pretends you can comment when you don't have an account then hits you with the sign in barrier. So you sign up, enter lots of crap, open Yahoo mail to retreive the confirmation email, confirm, then you're landed me on an unrelated page. So I had to back out until I found the comment form in my history. Fortunately the comment was still there. Then I resubmitted it. "DeviantArt can't post this message because we think it is spam." Uh, what? So I cut the comment, reloaded the page - in case there were expired magic tokens or some other never-works-in-practice anti-spam crap, repasted, and got the same message.

So.... then I said "Screw it", and tried to cancel the account. Which it refused to do, because it had forgotten my password. I knew my password, but no, DeviantArt thought I didn't. (OK, perhaps I made a typo when setting it up, but just curious DA assholes: you prompted me twice for my email address, which I can read, and which you're going to send me a confirmation email to anyway, but only once for the password which I can't read because each letter's replaced by a black circle. Does this make sense to you? No? Me neither.)

But, of course, DeviantArt didn't need my password anyway, it jsut insisted on it. You see (1) I'm already logged in and (2) DA's going to send a confirmation email to that email address I had to enter twice. But, fuck, OK, send me my password reset thingie. What's that? You can't? Not until I log out? Oh. My. Fucking God.

Last action on my part while still logged in is to send a nastygram to the person who wanted help. OK, it was polite actually, but I was seething.I actually signed up to DeviantArt to show you. Unfortunately DA says my comment is "spam". There are no links, it's just a list of instructions. To add insult to injury I can't now cancel the account as it reports the password - the one I set five minutes ago - is incorrect.

So, anywho, log out, remind password, open Yahoo mail, click on link, reset password, log in, close account, yes I'm sure, re-enter password, open Yahoo mail, click on link, YES, I already said YES SEVERAL SODDING TIMES you DICK. Why? You're asking me WHY? You call me a fucking spammer because I try to help someone? Reason entered. Yes. OK. Closed.

No good deed goes unpunished.]

It's not pretty, but I found you can get by by using unity-2d-panel.

1. Make sure you have Cinnamon set up to only show a bottom panel.
2. Open a terminal and run "gnome-session-properties"
3. Click "Add", and in the dialog box that comes up enter "unity-2d-panels" in both the Name and Command field. Save and close.
4. Restart your Cinnamon session.

This, obviously, only works if you're running Ubuntu. It may not work in very recent Ubuntus - I recall reading somewhere Unity 2D is not supported in more recent versions (I'm running 12.04) - if in doubt, before doing any of this type "which unity-2d-panel" at the command line and see if it can find that application or gives you an error message.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chrome New Tab Behavior 4

Opened up Chrome this morning and the page it loads on start is not my apps - which is what I want to see immediately. I had set it to always start with apps. Thought to myself, "Huh, I must have accidentally switched it somehow." and started looking to fix it.

Noticed that there is a new item on my bookmark toolbar that is called apps.

Do a little searching and realize that this is how it works now. I can't change it back through settings - looks like it will take poking around in the guts of chrome or finding an extension that fixes this.

What do I get instead of my apps? 8 thumbnails of my most recently visited sites and a google search text box. Right below my omni bar which I use to search with google. Now I have to add in a click to a little icon up in the corner - it feels and looks very much like using the corners on my wife's new windows 8 machine. Which is pretty funny if you think about it.

On a side note - Windows 8 isn't that bad in my opinion (for windows). My wife really likes it and I think it's pretty easy to use. It still has some annoyances that Windows has always had and maybe a couple new ones, but on the whole I think it's pretty similar to win 7 with some nice additions. Her laptop does not have touch but we haven't found it to be an issue. But I wander.

I guess Google beta tested this new tab behavior and received tons of negative feedback. I found this article saying be glad the new tab changes wont make it out of beta but unfortunately that guy was wrong. I found a google groups thread asking for feedback and it's almost completely against the change - but that apparently didn't outweigh whatever other considerations were pushing for the change.

I don't care if they want to play with the most viewed sites format - but I really don't understand taking away my ability to choose the apps view instead and forcing me to an extra mouse click to get to it. Seems to be the wrong direction.

Enough griping for today - got stuff to do.

User Journal

Journal Journal: California Scholarships for Undocumented Immigrants 2

I just read an article that interviewed a few kids taking advantage of college scholarships even though they aren't US citizens. Undocumented Students Get First Grants
 
I'm all for immigration reform and I think the US ought to be embracing immigration from Mexico in a big way. But this article made me sad. Look at what these kids want to study. Psychology? In my house we call that "getting a degree in retail management." Mostly because everyone I know with an undergrad degree in psych works as a manager in retail.
 
Please - give them scholarships - in fields that we need. medicine, technology, engineering - something. Not psychology and political science.

Cloud

Journal Journal: On the dreaded phrase: "I have an idea for an app" 9

In the past few weeks different people came to me with the dreaded phrase: "I have an idea for an app". If you feel targeted, you probably are, but you're not the first, and you won't be the last. Some even trusted me enough to tell me what their great idea was. Many, though not all, couldn't code their way through a paper bag and thus they look for someone "to code the app for free".

You even might find someone like that, and if you do, it's someone with a lot of time on their hands like a student with not much experience.

What those ideas (if I get to hear them) all have in common is that they need infrastructure behind it. Uploading pictures, movies, heck, even simple text need a place to be stored. That's definitely not your phone, especially if others need to be able to access it. Yeah, you can start off with hosting a little database and web front end on your DSL line (if you have one), but in the long run this will require some serious money. I'm not even talking about the people managing and creating it for you. I'm just talking about bandwidth, storage, electricity.

So, if you have an app idea, assess where you want to store what: if you have no concrete answers to those questions, shelve your idea until you do.. An app is nothing magical, it requires real resources, real work and thus real money.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Windows Sound

I was doing some work and listening to music. The music was coming from the desktop that sits in my entertainment center, connected to my TV via hdmi. I'm no audiophile and my tv's audio is good enough for me. It was playing an Audioslave album in Google Music.

In the middle of a song the audio just cuts out. Total silence.

I kick over to a regular tv channel and it is fine. So the tv works.

I check the volume control and nothing is muted. Then I start digging around and there are a crazy number of places that have audio options/hardware settings. I was thinking, "Man I wish this was KDE - so much easier." I finally tracked it down. I'm not sure what happened - maybe an update to a driver for the audio stuff? There's a new audio manager program and I have no idea what started it or why it decided to change my default audio device, but it did. The machine had been up and running for quite a while. And the easy to find interface wouldn't let me switch the default. I had to find another menu via the control panel.

Pretty funny.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sunday Comics

I never thought about this before. I was 11 when Bloom County started and 26 when Calvin and Hobbes ended. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to read both as they were published.

I don't think either have been matched since. Not for a guy growing up anyway. I don't want to take anything away from Trudeau and others. But for me that was an amazing thing that my youth and those strips lined up so perfectly.

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