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Journal Journal: KDE volume steps

If you use KDE like I do - you may be interested in this article I found linked on Reddit - Volume Change Percentages in KDE. The idea there is that by default Kmix will increment volume changes by 4% when you use your keyboard - but it's possible to change that value. You just need to make a change to kmixrc. But you can go read it if you are interested.

So over at Reddit there were some comments like "Thanks for pointing this out." and one question "Any way to do the same with veromix?"

Let me confess that my first thought was - "This is about kmix stupid." But then I thought more about it and realized that it may not be stupid and so I started to dig. I got the source for veromix and it took me a little while to find it - but I did find the file and line where the value is set that drives this behavior. I was able to change it in my system and now I have a 2% increment (veromix is set to 5%) and that makes me pretty stinking happy.

I've emailed the veromix author because I think it wouldn't be too hard to add this value as one of the setting options. I think I've got most of the work done for it. I don't have time today to try it but I will soon. I think that would be pretty sweet.

Open Source - this is an example of why I love it so much.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Whole Fedora/nVidia/Google Talk thing 2

I think I've got it nailed down a bit. When I run the nVidia drivers it is not using OpenGL. The Google Talk plugin needs OpenGL to work. I can force OpenGL to run. The the talk plugin works but Firefox will not run. If I switch to the Nouveau drivers then OpenGL will work fine without any messing about but again Firefox is unhappy.

So for right now - with my GeForce card my choice is Google Hangouts or Firefox.

I don't do the Hangouts that often. I may try just switching over if I need to. I usually have my little Windows laptop at my desk. I don't use it unless I need to go to a meeting but I could hop over to it for video chats if I don't have time to switch my graphics over on the Linux box.

It's not the greatest situation but I do feel better now that I feel like I have a grasp of the situation at least.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fedora 18, Nouveau and Firefox 1

What happens if I open Firefox on my Fedora 18 box and visit the Google Sites page that Sophie Schmidt made about her visit to North Korea? This happens. That's a screen shot of both my monitors. On the left is Firefox and on the right is Chrome which was open to the Journal Entry writing page here. And it got much worse once I closed Firefox. Plasma pretty much took a dump at that point and I had to log out/log in to get back to a usable desktop.
 
If I run with the nVidia drivers I don't have this issue with Firefox. And even if I don't run Firefox - little artifacts like those in the screen shot will build up over time with the Nouveau drivers. Pretty much immediately if I have any desktop effects enabled. So why don't I just use the nVidia drivers all the time? Well - because I figured out today that under the nVidia drivers using Google Hangouts crashes KDE completely. As in kicking me out and forcing me to log back in. And I need Hangouts for work.
 
Very frustrating. So I'm stuck back on the Nouveau drivers and playing around looking for some magical set of options that will bring some stability and maybe even the ability to use my beloved Firefox again. The only up side right now is that abrt wont be giving me crap about having a tainted kernel any more. I hate software that has to exhibit moral superiority.
 
On a side note - I guess I can't add tags to journal entries any more. I guess I never paid attention to them anyway. They don't show up in the je list and I just used titles to find stuff anyway.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Can you remember, remember my name? 3

The title has nothing to do with what I'll talk about - I just heard Perfect Strangers on the radio this morning and it got stuck in my head.

While it was playing I was thinking about something that happened a couple weeks ago when I was in Thailand.

I've been to Thailand quite a few times. My first visit was in the late 80's as a sailor and then I've been at least once a year or more in the last 4 - 5 years. I've been enough times that it's become quite routine. I know my way around the airport. I have a rough idea of what the markets will be like in whatever city I visit, etc. This time I flew into Bangkok and then had a 2.5 or 3 hour drive to where I was staying.

During the drive I was fighting to stay awake - but what kept jumping out at me over and over was, "Wow - there are so many pickup trucks here!"

I'm willing to bet that the number of pickup trucks hasn't recently surged in Thailand. My guess is that the reason I noticed it so much this time is that it was my fist visit after living in Hungary for a while. Going from the US to Thailand, the number of trucks I see on the road would not be noticeable. But compared to here - it was on my mind for the whole visit. And I realized something for the first time. I love stuff like that. I think it may be the biggest reason I love to travel. I quickly become used to the environment that I'm in and start to filter stuff out. I don't consciously notice a lot of things around me after a while. I don't know what the proper term is for this - I'm sure some of you do. It's that whole idea that fish are unaware of water. I use to have a snippet of a poem I kept taped to my desk,

" Oh, where is the sea? " the fishes cried,
As they swam the crystal clearness through;

" We've heard from of old of the ocean's tide,
And we long to look on the water's blue. "

I long for experiences that knock me out of this numbness to my surroundings. I love seeing cool and exceptional things too - but even moreso I think - I love to just get an awareness of what I take for granted. I'm the same way with people. I love to have friends and conversations that force me to look at things differently. I don't like for everything to feel obvious. There is of course a limit. I have a co-worker who thinks very differently from me. Enough so that dealing with him can be a real chore. The chasm is too much to cross. He's another American - which is kind of funny. Most of my friends and the people I hang out with here are not. Same idea - I like what my Hungarian, Romanian, Albanian, and so on, friends bring to the mix.

At some point I expect I'll end up living in the US again. Honestly I'm not too crazy about the idea. I've really taken to Europe, and this part of it in particular. If I had my druthers I'd retire to Slovenia. Maybe somewhere not far from the farm where my great grandmother was born. But at some point my kids will head home to go to university and I'll head back. Maybe it will be more interesting as I'll have been gone long enough to make America new.

My last visit back I'd only been here a little over a year. So it wasn't such a big deal going back. It was a little annoying but not so much more than it was before I left. The in your face over indulgence that permeates so much of everything in the USA gets to me sometimes. But it's not like it wasn't that way before I left. It's just that much more obvious now that I've had a bit of a break from it. The insulation from the rest of the world is also difficult - but again - I was already aware of that before I moved. It's just now I get to be around more people who live lives that are connected and aware of others outside their own single context. (And that part isn't a critique of the USA alone. I've met Hungarians who are largely the same in that regard. They are not really aware of a whole lot outside Hungary and even moreso outside Europe. And they aren't interested.)

So I'm a bit of a junkie for these new experiences/view points. Probably part of why I enjoy the books I do as well.

Well - nothing deep and I'm sure nothing new. Just a glimpse in my head from my morning commute. The one Google Now told me about before I left my house. That deserves its own JE.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Changing the ROM on my Galaxy S3 6

I bought by Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile, in the US last year. So it is the SGH-T999 model. I've been very happy with it. I've stuck to running it as stock for a couple reasons. The biggest is that I just didn't want to hassle with learning how to change the underlying software. Secondly, because I wanted to keep everything cool in terms of the warranty and what not. I even jumped through all their hoops to get my unlock code from them.

But I ran into an issue the other week that finally used up all my good will towards t-mobile. I went to use the phone as a hot spot and couldn't. It wanted me to pay for their tethering plan - which doesn't exist where I live.

I didn't have time right then to do anything but this week-end I did a little reading and today I installed Cyanagenmod on it. So far everything seems to be going very well. And I actually have control over the device that I paid (in my mind anyway) a pretty hefty sum to own. None of the steps were all that difficult and my biggest holdup was it would not flash the new rom until the battery was over 85% charged - which I thought was odd, but it worked out.

I'm getting all my stuff back to the way I like it and enjoying being on a newer version of Android than the one that Samsung and T-mobile officially supply for this phone right now. Which is idiotic.

So - moving forward I don't plan to purchase phones from t-mobile any more. I'll probably stick with Nexus phones from Google and avoid all this headache. I wont get another new phone for a while. I bought a new, high end phone so that it would last a while. But when I do I wont make the mistake of getting stuck depending on mobile phone companies.

KDE

Journal Journal: Calligra Author

Calligra Author was announced last summer. Things are still early and often there isn't much to see. (Clicking on the Author Handbook in the Author Help menu takes you to that page.) So things are still rather rough, but I bring it up because when I ran an update today Author got installed on my machine. I was excited to see that and ran it but there's not much to see yet. It's built on Calligra Words and still pretty much looks just like it. When you start Author you are asked to choose a template and none of those offered really make sense for Author, they are just brought over from Words. But I'm optimistic for the future.
 
I'd never noticed before but in the announcement for the project they said it would be compatible with Plume Creator. I checked to see if Plume was available in the Fedora repos but it's not unfortunately. It looks pretty interesting. They have debs, source and a windows installer at Sourceforge. Not sure if I'm interested enough to install it from source. Maybe later if they get it to 1.0 or something. Of course hopefully by then it'll get pulled into the repos.
 
So Author really isn't amazing or anything yet but it's good to see they are working on it and I'll be watching it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Kickin' it in Cha-am 4

It's freaking hot in Thailand. The night I left Budapest the outside temperature was 8 and when we landed in Bangkok it was 33. And humid.

But I can't complain, even though I just did. And it doesn't matter that much as all day I'm in an air conditioned conference room. I always enjoy being in Thailand, the Thai people could be the friendliest on the planet.

Got to go to "Monkey Island" and feed some monkeys. That was kind of cool. I've never seen monkeys in the wild before. Got a lot of work done with my co-workers from all over the world. They are good folks so I love when we get back together. Tomorrow I fly home (I've been here a week) and I'm looking forward to it. I missed the big Budapest spring snow storm but that should be melted and I can get to fixing up my yard.

I'll try to post some pictures later.

User Journal

Journal Journal: NHL GameCenter Live 6

2nd Edit- As Pudge points out the ability to turn off the box scores is right there. So I'm the stupid one on that count and all I have left is being slightly put out that I need to call to turn off auto-renew.

Little first world complaining here.

I did something last week I haven't done before. I subscribed to the premium NHL GameCenter Live service.It is a freaking train wreck. Let me tell you why.

The biggest problem is this - you cannot watch games that have already been played without seeing the score. Their interface for selecting games already played is by giving you a box score. Clicking on that will take you to a summary of the game with the final score repeated at the top. It is horrific design. I really don't feel like staying up until 1 or 3 am to watch a game - but if I want to watch it during the day it means I have to watch it already aware of the result. STUPID.

As I realized it worked this way I dug around their site looking for some hidden way to make it work in a desirable fashion and learned a fun little fact. When I subscribed to the service I also signed up to auto-renew every year and the only way to stop that is to call them on the phone. ON THE PHONE. Seriously. This is such a complete mess. So I'll be calling them on the stupid phone to talk to a stupid person about not making me pay again next year for their horrible stupid service. Idiots.

Edit - I have found one screen that shows past games without scores but they have a 3 day lag. Today, the 21st of February - the most recent games I can watch are from the 18th. Losers.

Python

Journal Journal: Github pays off 1

Well, Pyrrhic REE has contributors. Found them via reddit. This is cool because if things work out the project could end up being much, much cooler than it would ever have been with me working on it alone.Woot!

Movies

Journal Journal: Cloud Atlas - Spoilers 1

I watched Cloud Atlas last weekend. I have not read the book - though I probably will now. I really enjoyed the film. I've been thinking about it quite a bit since I watched it and here is what I've come up with so far.
 
I found each story to be compelling on its own. This is important because the ties between them weren't tight enough for the whole to make up for weakness in the parts. At least I didn't see it that way. I had a little trouble at times putting together the relationships between the stories. I still don't totally understand how some of it fit in, but since I enjoyed each part on its own - it didn't bother me.
 
The cast was pretty amazing. Jim Broadbent is pretty much awesome in everything I've seen him in. And he's been in a lot of movies I've liked. I get a real kick out of him here. The thing I love about the setup with the different stories is how the actors get to portray such really different roles in the same film. I've always been impressed how Tom Hanks really seems like different people in his different films, as opposed to say Bruce Willis, who I like but he's always the same character. In Cloud Atlas, the players really get an opportunity to show that ability off. And as much as I enjoy Hugo Weaving's characters, I'm thinking he probably falls into the 'always same guy' category. If it wasn't for Elrond I would just immediately see him and think, "There's that bad guy who exists in so many worlds."
 
I do have an issue with the Neo Seoul section of the film. I thought it was pretty cool - the effects and the way they showed the future. But I think the whole idea of how the fabricants were treated was a bit unrealistic. The fabricants are too much like people for the way they were treated to make a lot of sense. Can you imagine going to work every day to spend hours shooting cute Asian girls in the head and then stringing them up on meat hooks? That would mess people up in the head. I think the struggle that Decker feels in Blade Runner gets at the truth more of how it would be to try and treat 'artificial' humans as disposable. If the process had been more automated, it would have made more sense. I still liked the story though - I just thought it was a bit flat and without much complexity.
 
I still don't quite get what Weaving's green guy character was in the furthest forward story. I think he's the only one who goes from being an actual person to being a figment of someone's imagination. That didn't make a ton of sense to me. I also didn't get why if humanity is on the brink of extinction, a group with more technology and resources wouldn't want to recruit in others, rather than leave them to die. I get the whole prime directive idea but in this setting it made no sense.
 
All that said, I really enjoyed the film and how it showed the stories by moving through them. It was very interesting.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Using a Wacom Tablet with my Fedora Box

My machine: Acer Aspire X3810
OS: Fedora 18 installed from the live KDE spin
Kernel: 3.7.6-201.fc18.x86_64
Desktop Environment: KDE 4.9.5
Tablet: Wacom model PTZ-930

I was asked about this. I wont have a lot to say because it mostly just works - but I will outline what I've done. The mostly comes from the fact that the one hang up is sort of a big deal but not a showstopper. When I initially plugged in the tablet it did not work and was not noticed by the kde configuration tool. After logging out and back in, the configuration tool saw it but it still didn't do anything. After a reboot, with the tablet plugged in, everything is fine.

I did install some packages not picked up from my initial install. I don't think they were necessary but I got them. They are all from the repos. The one already installed was xorg-x11-drv-wacom. I added kcm_wacomtablet (this is the gui config utility), libwacom and libwacom-data.

Once I did the little reboot dance above I could move my stylus around above the tablet and my mouse pointer would move.

Then I fired up Krita and drew some stuff. In The Gimp I needed to go into Edit -> Input Devices and turn on my various Wacom things. They were set to disabled. Once I did that it works great - with the varying levels of sensitivity to pressure and all that good stuff.

If I unplug the tablet and plug it back in - KDE kicks of notifications that it has been removed and that it has been added back in, but it will not work. Back to reboot land. So - not ideal but really not the end of the world. I don't know what the issue is but I have similar problems with my usb headset. I can unplug it and plug it back in - if it was in when the system started. If not, it's a no go. So something with usb and getting it all to work isn't right. I can live with it.

Books

Journal Journal: Free Books on Amazon 1

Found out about a site this week - Centsless Books that lists books available for free on Amazon. Apparently the list is updated hourly. Here is the sci-fi list. Now I see some pretty good stuff here that is available other ways - via Baen or Gutenburg for example. But if you have a kindle it is rather handy.

I'm reading Drake's "Redliners" right now and I'm enjoying it immensely. But I've always been partial to his military sci-fi. I love all the Hammer's Slammers stuff and such. Anyway - it's a handy site that I thought some of you might enjoy.

KDE

Journal Journal: Little Gimp Trouble Today 2

I'm a Fedora user as I've mentioned before. I do not run the default de, gnome though. I'm a KDE user. I recently moved my main work machine to Fedora 18. I had a bump or two but I've gotten things mostly dialed in. Today I tried to use the Gimp to do some work on an image but it would not start. I tried from the launcher first and that failed. I moved to the console and was greeted by an immediate segfault.

These attempts kicked off the Automatic Bug Reporting Tool (ABRT) and so I decided I should let it send in a report. It did it's thing and informed me that the bug had already been reported with a link to this bug. This was rather nice.

I looked at the bug report and saw that this is an issue dealing with the theme KDE was using for GTK+ apps. Well - I'm just using the defaults and didn't even know where to look to change this so I googled. The answer is to go to System Settings -> Application Appearance (not Workplace Appearance) -> GTK+ Appearance. On the page there I had a few choices for Widget style. For now I've chosen Adwaita. I'll keep an eye on this bug and switch back when it gets fixed.

So if you are a KDE user and Gimp wont start - there you go - that should fix it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Iran's Fighter 1

The only thing I can think is that this stuff is for domestic consumption as the farce is so easy to see. Is there something I'm missing?

Books

Journal Journal: entertainment 4

I wanted to read The Diamond Age by Stephenson and I heard it is built in a world that follows Snowcrash. So I re-read Snowcrash. Man I love that book.

My daughter is really into a series right now The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. She loves it. I think it is o.k. It's a bit repetitive but I do enjoy the locations the author uses and the way they are described. It's not bad for a juvenile series. I was also looking to do a little comfort reading (speaking of juveniles) and knocked back Space Cadet for the umpteenth time. Which has me wondering. I know you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a metric crap ton of juvenile fantasy - but what about juvenile sci-fi? The Fun Guy - get on that. When you are filthy rich from writing the equivalent of Harry Potter in Space, I want a cut for coming up with the idea.

I don't know if I mentioned the Hobbit film here. We liked it a lot. Looking forward to the next one. Went the next week to see Les Mis with my wife. I had to fight to stay awake and engaged. Sorry - I am a Philistine. But seriously - I took her to see Carmen at the state opera this fall and enjoyed that a lot more. Les Mis just felt long. I did like the sets and costumes. Just didn't care for the music so much.

I liked the new Bourne movie. It delivered what I expect from a Bourne movie. Though I think the first one is still my favorite. I haven't seen the others in a while so it did take me a while to figure out that this one was taking place concurrently with one of the others. (second or third? all 3? I don't know. or as I like to say now, nem tudom.(that's a nice one, didn't even have to switch my keyboard to Hungarian))

I think Scalzi summed up the situation with Abrams and Star Wars rather nicely. But he is a super smart dude. I am not buying Human Division an episode at a time. He says getting it as a full book at the end will cost about the same as buying each separately but I'm hoping that at some point that is not the case as that is a bit steep for me. Maybe I can weasel my way into a review copy like I did for Last Colony.

AND - I just wrapped up watching Season 8 of Deadliest Catch. I've watched every episode of that show there is. I've spent more time watching some of those guys than I have with people I'm actually related to. What a horrible sentence, the grammar not the content. Anyway I like it on account of all the waves and stuff. Now I'm liking the facebook pages of some of the guys and trying to squeeze more out of it. April I think the next season comes out.

I've been fending off the cravings for Breaking Bad by watching Malcolm in the Middle on Netflix. I'm a sad little junkie.

All right - I've got to get back to real stuff. I can't entertain you all day. I'll leave you with two music videos that are so gorgeous it actually hurts to watch them.
Little Talks
King and Lionheart

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